Harry’s Birthday Favourites (April)

It’s here!!!! My birthday is tomorrow (3rd April) and even though we are still very restricted on movement I cannot help but think that things are going to get better. Realistically I think they are already getting better - here’s hoping that it continues into summer and we kick this disease into touch. As it is my birth month I have gone a little over the top with this month’s selection… which I am definitely not sorry about.

So, this month we have a theme; ‘oooh’ I hear you say well ‘oooh’ away because it is going to be exciting! For those of you who know me and for those of you who have looked at our website and read previous blogs, it is no secret that my favourite wines all come from France. Specifically Burgundy and Southern Rhone regions, though I do enjoy the odd Bordeaux and am of course extremely grateful whenever the opportunity comes to taste one, however the two previous regions mentioned just stand out for me. I’m sure you have probably guessed the theme by now! We will be looking at 2 white wines (one from each region) one rosé from Southern Rhone (where else?!) and 2 red wines (one from each region again).

Right! Let’s crack on:

Domaine Thibert-Miranda Macon Fuisse 2017

I have had a couple of bottles from this producer recently and they have been truly amazing. I have been blown away by the depth of flavour, the consistency, structure and body of this wine, considering of course that this is ‘only’ a Macon Fuisse. The term ‘only’ is one that I feel very harsh in using considering how beautiful this wine has become, but if we are being realistic, this wine is made to be drunk within 2-3 years of it being produced. This wine is now 4 years old and is aged perfectly, you will not get much more out of this if you wanted to age it any longer so buy now and drink up because you will not be disappointed. £13.99 a bottle is not expensive by any means and bursting with citrus and stone fruits it is a great crowd pleaser. I am truly amazed that our friend Ygor Miranda has managed to produce such an astounding entry level wine. Now let’s hop down the A6/A7 to:

Domaine La Fourmone Vacqueyras Blanc Cuvee Fleurantine 2018

Now this is a very interesting little number. Generally speaking white wines coming out of the Southern Rhone do not have a great reputation, however over the last 5-8 years generally the vignerons have become much better at producing some brilliant white southern Rhone wines, this one included. At 3 years old it is just starting to show its true colours, quite literally in fact - a pale golden colour with fruity and floral notes on the nose moving into fantastic minerality and acidity that is very typical of southern Rhone white wines. If we are to keep this for longer and age it to 7 years+ then I do believe that honey, marmalade and a beautiful orange gold colour will be present and could be a fascinating drink for anyone who is interested. At £18.99 I am by no means suggesting this is cheap but I am suggesting it is worth it if you have not tasted these types of wine before. Just across the road we have:

Villa Safranier Southern Rhone Lulle Rose 2019

If you have read the previous blogs you may recognise this charming lady. I believe in a previous blog I wrote ‘This is undoubtedly becoming my favourite rosé, which is a shame because I feel like I’m cheating on my current rosé with a brighter, fruitier model.’ Unfortunately this has now become the case… I am sorry (or not) to say that this rosé is undoubtedly my favourite and I couldn’t not imagine drinking anything else this summer. Provence is one of, if not the, greatest rosé wine producing regions so I am not surprised that my favourite two rosé wines come from the same area about 15 minutes apart from each other. Citrus, red fruits and just beautifully luscious for £10.99 I think it is a steal. You’d be hard pushed to find much better in my humble opinion. Okay it’s red wine time:

La Bastide Saint Dominique Cotes-Du-Rhone Villages 2018

A classic CDR Villages in my eyes. We have been getting a lot of interest in this particular wine and I must say that it is extremely valid. The wine starts with rich, expressive notes of cocoa, morello cherries and dry figs. There are almost tertiary notes forming which is incredible considering it only has 3 years of age. I myself have only tasted one bottle of this which is when we first imported it and I was extremely impressed with it. It is definitely one of those CDR’s that will actually become far superior with age. I believe that Veronique at Bastide and her team have put some immense work into producing a fantastic red wine that is only £13.99 a bottle, something that everyone can enjoy in fact. Right last but certainly not least back up the A7/A6 for:

Guy Cinquin Domaine de l’Europe Mercurey Levitation 2015

The pride of Monsieur Cinquin, given its name because of the perch that the vineyard sits on. As he said to my father and I, 'from the Domaine it looks as though it levitates above everything else. Now I know I took that straight out of the tasting note on the website but really that is almost everything you need to know about this wine. It is gorgeous, full-bodied, well-structured and beautifully balanced. If that is not enough for you then please note that southern Burgundy wines in general were given 96 points by The Wine Advocate and Decanter rated them 5/5 for the 2015 vintage. I only have 24 bottles of this left which I know seems like a lot but it is going very quickly, I’m scared there won’t be enough left for me let alone yourselves! As it says on the tasting note, when you undoubtedly go to read it, good for drinking now, but we really recommend that you age this. With 6 years on it already this will be able to age for at least another 5 years if not more and will only get better.

Well I hope you enjoyed this slightly longer blog, apologies if it was a bit much for you but congratulations on making it all the way through! As the year goes on you will find that these blogs will become slightly longer and I may include wines that we do not sell as I want to use this as a learning facility as well as talking about what we sell here. So don’t worry there will be plenty more wine for thought…

Harry Vernau

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