I look at wine prices constantly. Partly, because it’s my living, but it also goes far, far beyond that – I’m one of those people who can’t stand getting over-charged for anything, whether it’s a holiday, a new coat or in this instance, a case of wine.
March – end of Winter, start of Spring. Snowdrops and Snapdragons, Daffodils bursting through the earth, lifting the spirits to push us through those final weeks of chilly weather. There’s a lot to look forward to in March (especially for the Irish), and though the produce isn’t quite as bountiful as April, when things really get going, there’s plenty of wonderful things to cook and eat.
At Lea & Sandeman we like balance and rather unwittingly we appear to have struck a lovely equilibrium with our producers in Montalcino. By this I mean we have two in the North of the region and two in the South.
Last year the City Fine Wine Challenge raised over £200,000 for the NSPCC. In the last year charities have had little opportunity to raise funds through events, but the NSPCC has seen demand rise, particularly through Childline, and it needs your help more than ever.
I am a particular lover of White Burgundy and like all discerning fanatics, covet the wines of Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, however I find it increasingly difficult to find good village level whites under £50. It is when I start to look further afield that I find the most excitement.
Our latest press reviews: The Times, The Guardian, JancisRobinson.com, Timatkin.com, The Telegrah & The Sunday Times.
Benefit from our case price discount in red by buying any 12 bottles from this selection – in a mixed case of your design or simply by the dozen.
The Sunday Times, Six of the best Portuguese reds to try, Will Lyons, 24/02/2021:
2017 QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA Reserva
£48.95 | £43.95
Review: ‘One of the most classic, elegant reds from the Douro Valley I’ve tasted. Reminiscent of a big, full-throttle bordeaux, it’s velvety and smooth, with sophisticated aromas of violet and basketfuls of intense dark fruit.’
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The Telegraph, The stunning wine cellars you’ll really want to show off, Victoria Moore 18/02/2021:
2017 TOURIGA NACIONAL Quinta da Romaneira
£24.95 | £22.50
Review: ‘The Douro has already established a solid reputation for unfortified wines, as well as port, but they’re still not as feted as they deserve to be. This one showcases the touriga nacional grape, also used in port. It will drink well now but also improve over the next few years.’
The Telegraph, The most spectacular champagne and sparkling wine for Valentine’s Day, Victoria Moore 12/02/2021:
Grand Rosé Brut Champagne Gosset NV
£56.95 | £52.95
Review: ‘Another good pink champagne is Gosset Grand Rosé Brut NV it’s delicate and refined.’
2016 MEURSAULT Chevalières Domaine Rémi Jobard
£68.95 | £60.95 SOLD OUT
Review: ‘And finally Domaine Rémi Jobard Meursault Chevalières 2016 France is a gorgeous, big Meursault, filled with flavour, detail and energy.’
www.timatkin.com, Wine of the week, Tim Atkin 11/02/2021:
2019 ARTUKE Rioja
£15.50 | £13.95
Review: ‘Always one of Rioja’s great bargains, this wonderfully juicy cuvée of Tempranillo and 5% Viura from brothers Arturo and Kike de Miguel is a classic carbonic maceration style that dates back to the 19th century and was popularised by the so-called “cosecheros”. Showing masses of perfume, it’s a tangy, crunchy, cement-fermented delight that combines perfume with vibrant summer berry fruit. Unwooded Rioja at its individual best.
Drinking range: 2021 – 2024
JancisRobinson.com, Alistair Cooper MW 08/02/2021:
2015 RIPPON ‘Rippon’ Mature Vine Pinot Noir
£39.50 | £34.95
Review: ‘Complex nose that initially shouts dark chocolate and then opens up to show ferrous and pure red-berry vibrant aromas, earthy and tar notes (not unlike Barolo!). There’s a density to the palate, with a fine delineated but compressed tannin structure. This is serious, yet young and very tight on this showing. A great balance of purity, texture and seamless integration. Will age for decades.”
Drinking range: 2021 – 2040
The Guardian, Perfect wines for hibernating, David Williams 07/02/2021:
2016 MAS AMIEL Vintage Maury Domaine Mas Amiel
£15.50 | £13.95
Review: ‘Equally good with chocolate and cheese is the southern French answer to port: the fortified grenache reds of Roussillon. There’s silky-smooth plum black cherry compote in Mas Amiel Vintage Maury 2016 (£15.50, leaandsandeman.co.uk), while the various numbered cask bottlings from Vignerons de Maury’s 1928 Solera are a complex nutty, figgy, fruitcakey, chewy experience like nothing else.’
The Times, Special occasion bottles: the best red, white and sparkling wine for Valentine’s Day, Jane MacQuitty, 05/02/2021:
2018 SANTENAY Comme Dessus Domaine de la Choupette
£31.95 | £28.95
Review: ‘Great value-for-money red burgundy because the high, rocky Comme Dessus vineyard lies slap bang next door to the superior 1er Cru La Comme vineyard. If your taste is for rich and juicy yet velvety red-berry and cherry-fruited burgundies you’re in luck because this beguiling 2018 has this quality in spades.’
2016 GRÜNER VELTLINER Von Stein Reserve Salomon Undhof
£30.95 | £27.95
Review: ‘You get a lot of bang for your buck with this gloriously racy grüner made from 70-year-old vines grown on steep, terraced vineyards behind the town of Stein on the Danube. With masses of elegant, mineral, grapefruit and preserved lemon zest pizzazz, creamy fish dishes love this.’
2017 QUINTA DA ROMANEIRA Reserva
£48.95 | £43.95
Review: ‘This 2017 was one of the greatest vintages that the high, wild, mountainous Douro region has seen in recent years. Indeed, Romaneira’s 2017 — a smouldering, silky, herby, violet and sloe-spiced date-night charmer — is the best yet from this lavishly rejuvenated estate.’
2019 KUMEU RIVER Chardonnay Coddington
£37.95 | £33.95
Review: ‘Every bit as thrilling as top-drawer Côte d’Or white burgundy, this gorgeous barrel fermented and aged chardonnay comes from Coddington, a grower’s vineyard, and was given plenty of TLC in the cellar. What you get is a sweet tobacco and hazelnut toast of a chardonnay that is very hard to beat.’
A common mis-conception about the naming of the Côte-d’Or in Burgundy, is that it relates to slopes of gold (some vineyards are definitely worth more than their weight in gold nowadays). In fact it takes its name from the direction in which the slopes face, which is east, towards the Orient.
[caption id="attachment_32590" align="alignnone" width="600"] Shaun Rankin from the Grantley Hall[/caption] It was, undoubtedly, a bit of an odd Michelin ceremony this year. Originally scheduled for October 2020, postponement thanks to you-know-what meant that the results of the 2021 Michelin Guide were announced last week, on Jan 25th.
Our latest press reviews from Lockdown 3.0: The Independent, The Sunday Times, The Times & The Daily Mail.
Benefit from our case price discount in red by buying any 12 bottles from this selection – in a mixedcase of your design or simply by the dozen.
The Daily Mail, Three pairs of phenomenal wines this week – one at an everyday price and one pushing the boat out!, Matthew Jukes, 30/01/2021:
2019 SANCERRE Chavignol Domaine Vincent Delaporte
£22.95 | £20.95
Review: ‘This Sauvignon Blanc is made by one of the most famous wineries of all and the grapes are grown in the most famous region for this variety, too. Effortless elegance and stunning intensity of citrus flavour are finished with a minute’s long aftertaste. Heaven.’
2018 FIRST FLIGHT Viognier Domaine G&J Bott
£25.50 | £22.95
Review: ‘After years working for other wineries, First Flight refers to Kiwi Graeme and his French wife Julie’s very own winemaking odyssey taking off in France. From the spiritual home of the Viognier grape, in the Northern Rhône, this is a pristine example with extraordinary elegance and amazing precision.’
The Times, The best burgundy wine to buy now against all the odds, the 2019 vintage is the business, Jane MacQuitty, 29/01/2021:
2018 SANTENAY 1er Cru Clos Rousseau Domaine de la Choupette
£32.95 | £29.50
Review: ‘Gorgeous, fruit-forward red, with some delicious new oak on the finish.’
The Sunday Times, Six exciting new wines to try: Find a diversion from the well-trodden wine route, Will Lyons, 27/01/2021:
2016 AUTÒCTON Vinyes Velles Autòcton Celler
£15.95 | £14.50
Review: ‘Native to Catalonia, sumoll is an intriguing red grape variety you may not have sampled that makes a rustic, vivacious alternative to pinot noir. This example has a light texture and buzzes with juicy red fruit.’
The Daily Mail, Push the boat out this weekend with these classic styles of wine, Matthew Jukes, 23/01/2021:
2019 TOURAINE LES SAUTERELLES Domaine de Pierre, Lionel Gosseaume
£12.95 | £11.95
Review: ‘By contrast to the Chilean Sauvignon, this tremendous Loire version is superbly classy and restrained. The citrus fruit is smooth, long and mellow and this unruffled approach is ever so attractive. Drink it with the indulgent Cod cassoulet.’
The Independent, 10 best malbec wines all red oenophiles need to know about, John Clarke, 06/01/2021:
2018 ARUMA Bodegas Caro
£13.95 | £12.95
Review: ‘A malbec that’s the result of a partnership between the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and the Catena family of Argentina. Together, they’ve created a pure malbec that’s sourced from best high-altitude vineyards in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Aptly named aruma, or “the night” in the language of the region’s native population, it’s an inky red malbec that’s aged in stainless steel tanks, preserving the rich and supple dark fruit flavours, giving it elegance and depth. Good to drink now, it does contain some natural sediments, so it’s best to decant before serving.’
Domaine François Raquillet It’s a winding back road through the vineyards to get to Domaine Raquillet and I more than once tested the brakes on Charles’ car (he’s promised not to sue for the whiplash, but we’ll see).
Our latest press reviews: The Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, The Wine Conversation, The Daily Mail & Metro News. Benefit from our case price discount in red by buying any 12 bottles from this selection - in a mixed case of your design or simply by the dozen.
What do I buy for the overly particular wine lover in my life? Is a statement which I expect is issued forth by almost every person in line (all three of them) to buy me a gift, every Christmas. Do you buy them wine? Perhaps.