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
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