Wines of the week: The 12 bottles to drink over Christmas

Three sparklers…

A correct champagne

Champagne Devaux Extremely D NV (£35.99 simplywinesdirect.uk; £44.95 thewhiskyexchange.com) 

Devaux is an previous established home, primarily based within the beforehand neglected Cote des Bar space of southern Champagne, the place many of the grapes grown went to the massive names additional north. However they’re now reinventing themselves as a person grower champagne, housed in modish bottles and capitalising on the very fact the pinot noir grapes grown right here, not removed from Chablis, are of top of the range. That is subsequently 60 per cent pinot noir, 40 per cent chardonnay, extraordinarily dry, with a really nice mousse and a definite salinity – most likely from the traditional sea mattress fossils within the soil – delivering poised magnificence and a protracted end. 

An English glowing

Harrow and Hope Brut Reserve NV (£26.50 laithwaites.com) 

A high quality English sparkler from one more unexplored space, the chalky south Chilterns’ slopes. Not like extra speculative ventures, this has a pedigree – proprietor/ winemaker Henry Laithwaite comes from the Laithwaites wine service provider household and having made wine in Australia and France, planted household and the traditional champagne vines close to Marlow in 2010, took recommendation from some key figures within the glowing enterprise and this one among their first vintages. Refined, floral, biscuity, pure English glowing gorgeousness; what higher method to have a good time the festive season?

And a fizz from far-off

The Haywire Bub (£40 redsquirrelwine)

Anybody for a biodynamic Canadian glowing? And why not. That is fairly in contrast to any glowing you might need tasted earlier than: these are chardonnay and pinot grapes largely grown on volcanic soils, positive, however that is nothing floral, citric or bready right here and it’s 1,000,000 miles out of your common celebration prosecco, with its beneficiant dosage. Effectively, the Oakanagan Valley in British Colombia is a great distance from most locations. And it’s obtained a beer bottle model cap, not a cork. There’s a slight yellowy-orange tinge, it’s very, very dry and austere, drily toasty somewhat than brioche and it’s fabulous as an aperitif but additionally with any fishy canapes. Mad, however in a great way.

Three white wines…

A traditional white for fish and white meats

Pouilly Fuissé ‘Aux Chailloux’ 2015 Domaine Sève (£23.95 davywine.co.uk) 

A full-bodied, substantial white is required for large baked fish seasonal dishes, reminiscent of a carp, salmon or as a substitute for crimson for poultry, so that you want one thing like this traditional white Burgundy from the dependable village of Solutre within the Maconnais area. The wine has had a little bit of cautious oak and someday within the barrel, deepening the nutty, barely broad fruit flavours with a delicate trace of spices like ginger and nutmeg, however nonetheless retaining freshness and exact acidity.

An all-purpose white for events or gatherings

Domaine Cauhape Chant des Vignes Jurancon Sec (£9.95 winesociety.com) 

It is a attractive, zingy little wine from the small Jurancon wine space in southwest France within the foothills of the Pyrenees, which has hitherto been most well-known for its candy white wines. Comprised of the regional gros manseng grape, this, nevertheless, is bone dry, bracing and refreshing, with a mountain air freshness reducing via the sunshine tropical fruit flavours. It’s excellent for celebration quaffing or something fishy, reminiscent of salted anchovies.

And an sudden white

Laurenz V and Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner 2016 (£13.99 ocado.com)

It’s all the time good to supply your company one thing totally different at festive gatherings and whereas many wine buffs are up to the mark on gruner, Austrian’s native grape has not but achieved the broader recognition it deserves, presumably as a result of the recent, citrus and white pepper with a tinge of earth and smoke flavours are laborious to pin down. However they’re a very intriguing various to traditional whites like chardonnay for fish dishes and the grape, to my thoughts, additionally has a very good affinity with pork dishes, reminiscent of a joint of pork stomach. And Laurenz V is without doubt one of the masters of gruner, so it is a nice introduction to the grape.

Three crimson wines…

An all-purpose crimson for on a regular basis consuming (and people plates of leftovers)

Les Grands Chemins Previous Vines Carignan 2017 (£9.99 Virgin) 

It is without doubt one of the advert hoc pleasures of Christmas: a leisurely late lunch or hearth supper consisting of a plate of leftovers: some chilly meats and pickles… maybe a slice of pork pie or simply some turkey sandwiches. And also you don’t need to open one among your greatest bottle only for one glass to go along with it, do you? However you do want one thing worthy of the event. Which is why you want this little magnificence from the Herault area of the Languedoc within the south of France. It’s a nice instance of the dependable, good worth desk wine the world does greatest – clean, wealthy, ripe crimson fruit flavours, a touch of spice and immensely drinkable, with or with out meals.

A crimson for poultry and duck

Karl H Johner, Enselberg, 2015-16 (£20.99 waitrosecellar.com) 

Neglect expensive Burgundy and head to Baden in Germany for this completely fabulous pinot noir. And overlook any preconceptions about German reds being a bit on the sunshine and ethereal aspect: there’s a actual depth of flavour right here which belies its gentle color and aromatic mouthfeel. It’s wealthy, silky, elegant, with luxurious crimson fruits and actually spicy, peppery edge with sufficient physique to match sport dishes in addition to poultry. And each bit as beguiling as Burgundy.

One thing totally different for roast crimson meats and turkey

Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2015 (£23 robersonwine.com; £23.05 exelwines.co.uk) 

You possibly can pay some huge cash for a claret at Christmas or you should buy a Tuscan Bordeaux mix and get much more bang to your bucks. From a coastal property, this combines merlot and cabernet franc (grown on a winery subsequent to the legendary Ornellaia concern), with some cabernet sauvignon. The result’s balanced, wealthy, silky clean and properly structured, with crimson berries, cassis and a little bit tar and woody notes. Nonetheless comparatively youthful and fruity, if in case you have the self-control, a case would repay the funding in future years.

Three dessert wines…

A candy wine for trifles, sweeter puddings and blue cheeses

Chateau Suduiraut, 1er Cru Classe, 2013 (£49.10 for 75cl armitwines.co.uk; £23.80 for 33.75cl laywheeler.com) 

A fully pitch excellent, benchmark Sauternes from a extremely respected chateau: supremely luscious but someway bracingly recent and citric, with flavours of melons, nectarines and pineapples and a whiff of spice from the noble rot – botrytis – this can linger on the palate for ages. A beautiful match for sweeter dessert, but additionally a supreme companion to Stilton and Roquefort, the place the benevolent moulds of wine and cheese mingle enticingly on the palate.

A port for Christmas puddings

Kopke Colheita 1999 (£32.99 waitrose.com; £38.34 portugalvineyards.com) 

A single winery tawny port from the Douro’s oldest port home, based in 1638. Whereas the wine has solely matured in seasoned oak barrels for a mere 18 or so years within the bottle, its pedigree shouldn’t be doubtful. Intense, fragrant and tangy, with flavours of caramel, candy spices and a few dried fruits, the flavours are deep, complicated and final eternally. The proper complement to the Christmas pudding, Stollen cake, in addition to laborious cheeses like aged cheddar and nuts.

And a uncommon sherry for all events

Gonzalez Byass Leonor Palo Cortado, 12 years previous (£13.13 thedrinkshop.com; £14.15 thewhiskyexchange.com) 

Undecided about candy, sticky wines? A bit tired of port? If you’d like one thing totally different to your pudding wine this yr, do that versatile uncommon sherry within the palo cortado model, which is a light-weight to medium bodied, dry, aged wine, someplace between an oloroso and an amontillado. That is perhaps all Spanish to you, however simply strive the layered, complicated, predominately nutty flavours, with a totally dry end and also you is perhaps transformed. Not solely will this serve you properly with all festive puddings and muffins, significantly mince pies, in addition to cheeses, you possibly can even serve it with charcuterie and crimson meats and even the turkey. And that may be a Christmas cracker…

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