Three top drops for your table
I don’t know much about wine, except what I like. And that I like to cook with it. This page is to showcase and recommend the wines I’m drinking at the moment and am introduced to by those who know much more than I do.
This month, I am dedicating this page to my late acquaintance with Robert Sandall who died last month. He was a brilliant music writer, bon viveur and thoroughly nice guy who had a dream to visit Suilven in Sutherland one last time. I suggested that he stay at the perfectly appointed Albannach Hotel where he would have been fed and watered right royally. We had planned that I would read aloud to him but sadly his light went out before we had a chance.
Pinot Noir 2008 Cave de Turckheim, £7.99, Majestic Wine
I’d never associated Pinot Noir with anything but Burgundy and that is a wine which more than any, needs to be well placed with what you are eating. This drop is from Alsace and bottled in th
at typical elegant bottle called a flûte. It bowled me over. It has all the
finesse of Rosé but when you explore it for a while, it’s every inch a red with caverns of mouthfeel and syrupy fruits that slip over the tongue. Buy a case of this, you won’t regret it. Serve slightly chilled.
What Majestic say: An elegant raspberry-coloured Pinot Noir. An enticing nose of red berry fruits, particularly cherry, which follow through to the fresh, elegant palate and a dry finish.
Château Camplazens – Syrah 2008, Naked Wines, £7.99
The Belgian is keen on rustic French reds. He likes the smell of the farmyard. There is lots of that in this wine and the smell of La Garrigue, the herby, furzy growth that covers this limestone outcrop. It’s not as redneck as it’s Australian sister Shiraz, so lighter and more peppery flavours. This is a wine that benefits hugely from being sloshed into a decanter just to revive the oxygen in it.
Comment on Naked Wines forum: “the hit in the mouth is sublime voilet”
Villiera Estate Chenin Blanc, 2009, Wine Society, £6.75
I’m not a bit white drinker but tend more towards fuller Chardonnay based wines, which I know is deeply unfashionable. But I suppose it’s really because my palate needs lots of cover and searches for the deeper flavours you get in red wine. I tend to go for cheaper whites because I know less about them. Chenin Blanc was originally grown in the Loire but the terroir of South Africa, it’s ancient soil and temperate climate, are perfect for a tight ripening and give this grape a lighter, greener bite which I guess is why this drop seems to satisfy the white drinkers too.
What the Wine Society says: The new vintage is gently textured but very clean and fresh. This was voted ‘Superquaffer of the Year 2010′ at the influential John Platter Awards for offering flavour beyond its price.Articles Alsace, Camplazens, Chenin Blanc, Majestic Wines, Naked Wines, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Wine Society