Sunday, July 17, 2011

WINES of the WEEK, 17 July 2011

Four great value wines from Berry Bros & Rudd’s summer by-the-case sale which is on until the end of August, although with no guarantee, of course, that stocks will last that long.

2008 Olivier Merlin Mâcon-La Roche Vineuse Chardonnay, Burgundy, France

Delicate, lemon wheatmeal and honeyed nose. Buttery, rounded palate wth lemony fruit, a touch of honey and nutty, wheaty flavours. Nicely developed, but still impeccably fresh. 13% abv.

£119.40 per case (£9.95 per bottle, down from £13.50),

2001 Nyetimber 1er Cuvée Blanc de Blancs, Sussex, England

Coming up for a decade old and in its prime – the best English sparkling wine I’ve tasted. At the sale price, it knocks spots off most champagne at the same price. Refined and complex with biscuity, lightly buttery mature flavours, polished citrus fruit and perfectly balanced acidity. Textbook champagne-method chardonnay. 12% abv.

£299.40 per case (£24.95 per bottle, down from £32.95),

2005 JL Chave Séléction Hermitage Farconnet, Rhône, France

Perfumy and layered, with berries, spice, sandalwood, incense and black pepper on the nose and a rich, but still young and fresh palate with spicy, red berry fruit, ripe tannins and well-integrated, soft, chocolaty oak. Long finish. Can be drunk with pleasure already, but undoubtedly has years ahead of it. 13.5% abv.

£330 per case (£27.50 per bottle, down from £37.95),

2007 Château Marsau, Bordeaux Côtes de Francs, France

Deep ruby; inviting nose – spicy and fresh with sweet fruit and an attractive whiff of new oak. Supple palate with fleshy fruit, cedar and oak flavours. Stylish modern Bordeaux, but not for new-oak phobes. 13% abv

£119.40 per case (£9.95 per bottle, down from £15.95),