Having bought Lay & Wheeler last year (until then, family-owned and run), Majestic showed some of the L&W wines at a press tasting for the first time last week. There were a couple of rather stinky (bretty) wines, but overall it was a good line-up. I was particularly struck by these three reds.
2006 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Côtes du Rhône
Excellent Côtes du Rhône from a top Châteauneuf producer. Fragrant, nutty, raspberry nose; succulent fruit on the palate with savoury, stony, peppery flavours; full and dry with polished tannins. 13% abv. This is a great way to get a flavour of the domaine’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a fraction of the price, the 2006 of which would set you back upwards of £26 a single bottle.
£10, Lay & Wheeler.
2007 Gianni Voerzio Dolcetto, Piedmont
If only more dolcetto was like this – appetisingly fresh and fruity with a touch of licorice on the nose, and mouthfilling, juicy, sweet cherry fruit and softly chewy tannins. Just what the textbooks promise, but so few dolcetto deliver. 13% abv.
£14.25, Lay & Wheeler.
2004 Château Paloumey, Haut-Médoc
This is lovely, fragrant, fresh, cedar-scented Médoc with gently sweet fruit and supple, well-integrated oak. Well-balanced and perfect for drinking now and over the next three years. Martine Cazeneuve is the very hands-on (and charming) owner here. 13% abv.
£11.75, Lay & Wheeler.