Time to concentrate, as there are not many delivery days until Christmas and New Year are upon us. Even if you’re sat outside the Christmas melée, then why not send a gift to absent friends / family or to anyone for whom you cannot find the perfect electronic gadget or iTunes voucher? They’d so much rather have wine, or gin, or sake, or Port, or whisky…
We have tried to offer something for everyone, so we have put together a few mixed cases of our favourite recommendations and also included our recent Champagne offers which really do offer great value for excellent drinking. Keep your eyes peeled on our 2013 Christmas offers page as we will will be adding a few extra mixed cases.
Latest Christmas Press reviews
Pol Roger Brut 2002 France (12.5%, £59.95)
Mere words are not going to be able to express how I feel about this perfect, discreet, elegant champagne from the extremely good 2002 vintage. It seemed to stop a crowded room moving around me each time I have tasted it. I can feel the clichés descending: it’s Grace Kelly, an Aston Martin – oh look, champagnes this good don’t come along often.
Vajra Moscato d’Asti 2012 Italy (5.5%, £12.95)
Keep it in the family. This beautifully labelled, slightly sparkling … Moscato is a delicious treat – sweet but far from unctuous, blissfully light on its feet, gently peachy and mildly floral. A treat of a counter to the stodge of Christmas pud. This one is worth the extra money and the tracking down effort. (Available in our shops today, available on-line from tomorrow.)
Durou Exception Malbec 2011 France (13.5%, £6.95)
Made from grapes grown in the area of Cahors but declassified to Vin de France. Lovely deep violet colour, not at all brutish but a far more contemporary take on French malbec – smooth, with polished edges, but not a walkover. Nice geometry and improves when left open. Could replace your house claret – and would very likely constitute a far better deal.
Cuvée Selection Paul et Marie Jacqueson 2011, Burgundy, France (13%, £16.95/£15.75 by the mixed case)
A one-off cuvée made by these Rully producers using bought-in fruit after they lost a chunk of their crop to hail. It’s a deliciously cushioned, ample, white burgundy, shot through with bright lemon.
Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas 2001 Portugal (20.5% £27.95)
Brilliant port for the price, made from grapes grown on Taylor’s Vargellas estate up in the more remote wilds of the Douro. (Available in our shops today, available on-line from tomorrow.)
Jancis Robinson (Champagne)
BARNAUT Blanc de Noirs Brut Grand Cru Bouzy
‘Big and brawny. Not that complex but not expensive, especially at the special offer price that lasts until Christmas.’
2008 GUSBOURNE Brut Reserve Brut
‘One of the most toothsome English fizzes with some real depth to it.’
Ruinart, R de RUINART Brut NV
‘Bready nose with real interest. Something to get you teeth into. Very clean and neat and tastes as if it had quite a bit of age on the lees.’
LARMANDIER-BERNIER ‘Longitude’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 1er Cru
‘Still one of the finest non-vintage champagnes from a fine bio-dynamc grower. Very broad and rich compared with many hand-crafted growers’ champagnes. Quite incredible to think this is an extra-brut in view of the richness on the palate. Clean, refreshing, fabulous. Very persistent.’
2004 BOLLINGER Grande Année Brut
‘Hint of oak on the nose. Very winning and interesting. Extremely savoury but with a flirtatious lift on the finish. Very persistent.’
(All champagne notes from the FT Weekend Magazine – see FT website: Top 100 festive wines: sparkling wine)
Jancis Robinson (Red Burgundy)
Dom François Raquillet, Les Naugues Premier Cru 2011 Mercurey £24.75
Fragrant, slightly leathery, a healthy pinch of tannin. Dry, gastronomic finish with real persistence of fruit. Very good indeed. Delivers as much as you could hope for at the price, and scores all the more for that. (RH) 17.5
Dom François Lumpp, Vigne Rouge Premier Cru 2008 Givry £25.95
Really charming, open and earthy nose with a fantastic pert fruit and tannins that are just softening enough to drink now. Evolving beautifully, loaded with complex, forest flavours. (RH) 17.
Dom Joël Rémy 2011 Bourgogne 16.5 £11.95
Glossy, pert, bright red cherry character. Tart acidity and refreshing finish. Really vibrant, perky Pinot. Flashy. (RH)
Dom Comte Armand, Premier Cru 2009 Auxey-Duresses 16.5+ £23.50
Rather restrained nose, but bright and open-knit on the palate. Firm, leathery tannins suggest further ageing is advisable. (RH)
Dom François Lumpp, Crausot Premier Cru 2009 Givry £27.75
Mushy, overripe fruit – even possible slightly oxidative, but not in a destructive way. Retains grip and freshness. Lovely violet character on the finish. (RH) 17
Jane MacQuitty chose a couple of L&S wines in her Christmas line-up – one Burgundy and one Claret, either of which would make a great Christmas wine:
2010 Marsannay Huguenot, Burgundy, France
£19.95, special price for Times readers of £17.95 until Dec 15
‘Lea & Sandeman sells so many great red burgundies that it is hard to select just one. However, I have chosen this magnificent marsannay because it is such outstanding value. I loved this jolly, juicy red burgundy, whose vibrant, young, crunchy redcurrant and raspberry fruit is just what’s wanted for that cold Boxing Day collation.’
2008 Château Capbern Gasqueton, Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux, France
Lea & Sandeman (020-7244 0522), £22.95
‘It’s always sad when a grande dame of wine such as Madame Denise Capbern Gasqueton dies, but her legacy lives on in the flood of her vintages on sale here this winter. This is one of the best-value among them, with complex, deftly oaked, structured yet beguiling beefy, truffle, mocha and green pepper flavours.’
Please do remember all of these offers are also available to pick up in our shops in Chelsea, Barnes, Kensington and Chiswick which are open right up until 5pm on Christmas Eve (with Chiswick now open on Sundays).
Christmas Delivery Cut off times:
Our warehouse and delivery team are currently warming up for their Christmas marathon with one finger press ups and bulk orders of Civit coffee. In order to make this as smoother experience as possible for the delivery team and to ensure all your orders are delivered in good time, please note our following cut off times for Christmas deliveries:
All countrywide orders ( outside M25 ) received up to midnight on Tuesday 17th December.
All Greater London orders ( inside M25 ) received up to midnight on Saturday 21st December.
Wishing you an enjoyable Christmas season!
The Lea and Sandeman Team