Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas Wines

Victoria Moore at the Daily Telegraph recommends a selection of wines for Christmas, 2011, which ought to be widely available in Northern Ireland:-

  • Tim Adams Sémillon 2008 Clare Valley, Australia 12%; Tesco, £11.29 
This superb sémillon reminds me of dried limes on a sand dune. There’s also a hint of new leather and sweet hay. Textbook stuff from an excellent producer. One for the hot smoked salmon with horseradish.
  • Pernand Vergelesses Les Combottes 2009 France 13%; M&S, 150 stores only, £25 

Very stylish white Burgundy from the underrated Pernand Vergelesses (the most northerly appellation of Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune). This has some new oak, which gives a sensation of careful, neat, tailoring, and really opens out, like vivid yellow sunlight, once decanted. 

  • Tingleup Vineyard Great Southern Riesling 2010 Australia 11%; Tesco, £8.68 

Riesling offers a sprightly change of pace at this time of year. This perennial favourite smells of petrol and lilac, an odd-sounding combination but it works for me. It’s off-dry, succulent, juicy and has the tang of sweet stewed apples and tangerine. 

  • Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2010 Australia 13.5%;  Sainsbury’s, £8.49 

a bone-dry white underneath a gently floral nose. Viognier can be oily and cloying. This one isn’t.


  • Asda Corbieres 2010 France 13%; Asda, £3.56

This Christmas carol of a wine is all you need for mulling, cooking and drinking out of tumblers on sausage and mash evenings. 

  • Crozes Hermitage 3 Lys Cave de Tain 2009 France 12.5%; Sainsbury’s, £7.49 down from £9.99 until Dec 6 

Dark, imposing syrah from the on-song Cave de Tain co-operative. About a fifth of the blend is aged in oak. This would be great with a dense casserole – say venison or beef with chestnuts. 

  • Marananga Dam Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2008 Australia 14.5%; M&S, £12.99

This great big Down Under version of a Rhône blend is wonderfully luxuriant. It has layer upon layer of flavour, from powdery drinking chocolate to raspberry, all underpinned with a savoury, spicy note. 

  • Château Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac St Emilion Grand Cru 2006 France 13%; Sainsbury’s 55 stores only, £19.99 

Sumptuous right bank claret. Think crushed crimson velvet and 40-year-old vines. This is merlot-based but there’s also about a third cabernet franc, which contributes an aerating, leafy, redcurrant freshness and scent. 


Davethewineguy said...

Now you're talking Lord Tim. I am working in Grange Wine Merchants now on the far side out past Holywood at Torgrange BP filling station. Saw you yesterday morning in the two seater, nice cap!


Timothy Belmont said...

Dave! What do you think of Ms Moore's choices? Most are not on the list; I've been selective being in NI!

Re the cap: Lock Bros, St James's!

Timothy Belmont said...

Re Grange: would that be where the two petrol stations are opposite each other?

Must call in for a chin-wag and a few veeeno pointers :-)

davethewineguy said...

Quite correct sir, Grange is on the right side on way out of Holywood and there is even a special slip road to do a u-turn before the set of traffic lights. I am there most weekends but should you wish to call in the Top man is Tom Bell, an avid sailor no less and he knows a thing or two about vino rosso. Incidentally as a Gin man we have many varieties, Sipsmith, Tanquery and Ten, Martin Miller and Plymouth as well as an interestingly packaged Bulldog Gin complete with dog collar and hendricks all washed down with fever tree tonic haha.