There isn’t enough time to dedicate a feature to every delicious bottle uncorked, so – in lieu of that endeavour – here is a soon-to-be-regular round-up of the producers and wines that have lingered in my memory most over the last month
I’m still learning more about this ever-so-edgy Californian producer, and popped into Sager + Wilde for their takeover last month. Despite some dubious service from S + W team, I did eventually get a taste of the Valdiguié Rosé (only the second example of the grape I’ve found in the UK – the other being Broc Cellars‘ fantastic red), and the famous Trousseau Gris. The reds I’ve had previously have tended towards the overly natural, seeming a touch blurred in their expression; but these were delicious, clean, enchanting wines, with great acid and aromatics. Their annual Roberson release is looming, I believe, and I can’t wait to try and snap some up – the Gamay escaped me on the night…
Phwoar, this is Champagne that is well worth the Insta-hype. I enjoyed a bottle of the Pinot Meunier dominant Les Béguines at Bright (read my review of this excellent restaurant here), and fear it may be a while before I can stump up the funds for another, alas.
A new producer just arrived at Berry Bros. & Rudd, this whacky couple is creating sensational, fascinating wines in the Napa Valley. Their top wines take the name of an extraordinary-sounding site, Proof vineyard – the red a field blend of Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet, the white a concoction of Green Hungarian, Golden Chasselas and Sauvignon Vert. The “lower-level” Old Vines isn’t quite as complex or deep in flavour as the Proof White, but is stunning nonetheless – layers of rich stone fruit, citrus pith, honey, minerality and such length. I’m a fan, and – having spent some time with them last week – there’ll be a write-up of an interview in due course. (And they were just one of the US invasion that took place last week – my Cali obsession continues, see my piece on the maverick duo at Birichino here.)
Reminiscin’ and missin’ Margs with a bottle of Leeuwin’s ’13 Art Series Chardonnay – still extraordinarily tight, it needed a decant but really opened up over a couple of hours. It’s proper good stuff. (And for more Margs escapism, I’ve penned a travel guide to the region, and a piece on the folks at Pierro.)
Relatively cheap and cheerful, a bottle of this producer’s single-vineyard Orestilla Lugana hit the spot on a sunny evening, consumed on the roof – slightly less glamorous than the vineyard and winery near Lake Garda. Much more serious than its price, it offers plenty of weight and fruit density, yet is oh-so-gluggable.
Gin and cold, cold lager
It’s hot, and this is really all I want at the end of an overly sweaty day (I may not have been too discerning on this front of late).