Wednesday Wines – Episode 6

Episode 6 – 6th May 2020

Champagne sales have taken a bit of a kicking during the lockdown and English wine sales are up!  So, it is rather good timing that Waitrose, who is by far the largest retailer of English wines in the country, is launching some juicy discounts today!  2017 Camel Valley, Pinot Noir Rosé Brut, Cornwall (£29.99, reduced to £25.99 from today until 9 June, Waitrose).  Camel Valley’s Pinot Noir Rosé Brut continues to win gong after gong all over the world and it is modelled on an early-drinking, precociously alluring framework and this 2017 vintage is no exception.  The difference with this company re-aligning wine is that while it looks every inch a lip-smacker right now, this is the very first release which I wrote the words ‘great potential’ about in addition to my other cooing descriptions.  Well done team Lindo – make sure you set some aside for a museum release!  MV Nyetimber, Classic Cuvée, West Sussex (£19.99, 37.5cl bottle, reduced to £14.99, from today until 9 June, Waitrose).  Nyetimber’s ‘Multi Vintage’ wine is a work of art with lush flavours and a bracing finish.  It has been a trailblazer for aeons and, if anything, as the years roll by it just gets better and better.  Find this cheeky half bottle a home in your fridge today!  Better still, load up for impromptu celebrations.  We all need a few bubbles in our lives these days.  NV Nyetimber, Rosé Brut, West Sussex (£39.99, reduced to £29.99, from today until 9 June, Waitrose).  The Rosé from this estate is a broader and more muscular proposition than the Camel Valley, so if you are looking for a wine to drink with food, then this is it.  Finally, NV Ridgeview, Bloomsbury (£28.99, reduced to £21.69, until 9 June, Waitrose) is a bloody bargain at this discounted price and I really hope that you grab some bottles because this is another perfectly balanced wine from one of our greatest estates.  Made from 2/3 Chardonnay and 1/3 Pinots Noir and Meunier, this wine is all about harmony and poise and at this price it is an unmissable treat.

2018 Les Tannes en Occitanie, Marsanne, Jean-Claude Mas, Sud de France (£8.95, Jeroboams tel. 020 7288 8888 & www.jeroboams.co.uk).  I rather like the fulsome décolletage of a well turned out Marsanne.   A fascinating and underappreciated grape variety, that is seldom seen flying solo, Marsanne fills the flavour void between oft-slutty Viognier and chubby, puffing, unfit Chardonnay.  Marsanne stands out from the crowd because it is happy to be rounded, rich and intriguing not least because you can always rely on its acidity to temper any mid-palate enthusiasm.  Top end Marsanne is sheer heaven.  See my recent MoneyWeek write up of 2018 Saint-Joseph Blanc, Lieu-Dit, E. Guigal, Northern Rhône, France (£39.50, Fenwick Newcastle tel. 0800 783 1783; £39.00, www.noblegreenwines.co.uk; £35.95, www.farehamwinecellar.co.uk), which is a 95% Marsanne / 5% Roussanne stunner with all of the sass you could ever ask for in a glass of white wine.  But in this slot in my Wednesday Wine article, I promise to bring you a sub-tenner wine and so this time I have found my favourite nine quid Marsanne on the market!  This inexpensive creation will show you exactly why I love this grape.  Summing up all of Marsanne’s attributes accurately, this honeysuckle blossom and pear juice perfumed wine is a thriller and it is brilliant with main course fish dishes and summer salads.  Get into this wine and then bathe in other awesome examples of this grape variety and please allow me to be your guide.