Wine of The Month – December 2013

With Christmas and the end of the year hoving into view, it’s time to think about celebratory wines.

With that in mind, we have fizz (and plenty of it) in the form of a couple of guest wines. WineTrust 100 make a welcome return, and we have the wines of local resident Eugene Lismonde who set up a vineyard in South West France near his wife’s childhood home.

To start – fizz

Taltarni Tache 2010 (£18, WineTrust 100) from cool-climate regions of Australia, a very classical, elegant and composed Champagne-style fizz – pale salmon pink, restrained yeasty-citrus nose; ripe white pear and white peach with redcurrant. Assertive, well-structured, linear acidity and leesiness. Savoury persistence on the finish

Really poised and precise, it is drinking nicely now, but will repay a few years’ cellaring.

Tour de Belfort Crémant de Bordeaux Brut (£12.50, Tour de Belfort) Bordelais grapes, but Champenois method; elegant, crisp and refreshing and as good as many an entry-level Champagne.

The main event – Christmas Dinner

Henri Clos Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (£24.99, Joseph Barnes Wines) Combining New Zealand freshness and precision with classical European elegance – ripe, pure red fruits, elegance and a lick of oak. This is really lovely and worth every penny.

Domaine de Vedilhan Serica Viognier (£10.49, Bacchanalia) a Languedoc Viognier that sees a bit of time in oak; stone fruits and creaminess that will match well with roast turkey.

Go on then, just one more mince pie

Stanton & Killeen Rutherglen Muscat (£13.49 per half bottle, Noel Young Wines) solera-method Aussie sticky, this is a dark orangey-mahogany colour and very syrupy. Very full on so won’t be phased by mince pies and Christmas pudding. Serve lightly chilled to emphasis the freshness.

Henriques & Henriques Bual Madeira 10yo (£18.99 per 50cl bottle, Cambridge Wine Merchants) delicious raisins, mixed fruit, roasted nuts and sweet spices – but with a refreshing acidity, a sort of Christmas pudding in a glass

Goes best on Christmas Day after you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey and sprouts, had your Christmas pudding and you can’t face another mince pie; sip whilst staring contentedly into the fire – or watching the Dr Who Christmas Special as the Daleks try and conquer the universe again


Cambridge Wine Merchants – website

Joseph Barnes Wines – website

Noel Young Wines – website

Tour de Belfort – website, twitter

Wine Trust 100 – website, twitter

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About Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis is a wine writer and educator from Cambridge with a particular interest in Austria and France. His comments have been published on, Local Wine Events, as well as in the local press in his hometown of Cambridge, UK. When it comes to buying wine, Tom’s philosophy is to buy as close as possible to where it comes from. He writes a regular blog, the Cambridge Wine Blogger which launched in 2009 and is a presenter for the Cambridge Food and Wine Society. To read more of Tom’s work, please check out
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