A sensational array of mercurial talent on show this week in my perfect quintet of wines. Some are paired to this week’s baked dishes.
2011 Finest* Grenache / Marsanne, Languedoc-Roussillon, France (£7.49, Tesco). This slightly oddball blend is a sheer delight with floral notes and a delicious, juicy texture. Hints of lemon, pineapple and peach intertwine and these wistful nuances and make this wine the perfect partner for the Potato fondue gratin recipe.
2009 Kumeu River, Village Chardonnay, Kumeu, New Zealand (£11.75, reduced to £10.56 by the case, Haynes, Hanson & Clark tel. 020 7584 7927 & www.hhandc.co.uk). I cannot quite believe that New Zealand’s most famous Chardonnay producer can knock out a stunning wine for a tenner! Kumeu River is a legendary estate and this keen, zesty, elegant wine is effortlessly impressive, showing class and true breeding.
2010 Gulf Station, Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (£11.99, Sainsbury’s). Made by the terrific team at De Bortoli this aromatically pristine strawberry and cherry concoction has the necessary zip on the palate and deft touch on the finish to entrance you. An ethereal and enchanting wine, pinot fans take note.
2010 Wirra Wirra, Church Block, McLaren Vale, South Australia (£12.49, reduced to £9.99, if you buy 2 Australian, until 3 September, Majestic). This is one of Australia’s finest value red wines and it is one of my 100 Best Australian Wines of the year, too. At this price you cannot miss the stunning layers of deep, plush red fruit and spice. It will age like clockwork, too. This week’s Wine of the Week!
2011 Domaine de Sainte Rose Coquille d’Oc Blanc, Côtes de Thongue, France (£7.29, Waitrose). Made from a chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, viognier and muscat, this devastating cocktail of grapes is a rare and wondrous creation. Haunting on the nose and succulent on the palate, this is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly wine and I would urge you to rustle up the Lemon and tarragon roast chicken recipe for a perfect combination.