NV Tanners, Brut Extra Rserve Spcial Champagne, France (£24.90, reduced to £22.40 each if you buy three bottles until 18 January. Tanners-wines.co.uk, 01743-234455).
Made by Beaumont des Crayres, and using a finer reserve wine and a little more time on lees than its regular cuve, this Extra Rserve Spcial own-label Champagne from Tanners is a stunning piece of work.
I have tasted all of the Grande Marques and loads of smaller-grower Champagnes and nothing comes close to the value afforded by this wonderful, layered, effortlessly classy wine. I urge you to order a case for your Christmas and New Year celebrations you will be amazed by it and also save a bundle of cash.
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An extraordinary bargain
2012 Bergstrm, Old Stones Chardonnay, Oregon, US (£19.50, TheWineSociety.com, 01438-741177).
I rarely write up wines from Oregon, mainly because they are usually hideously expensive. You can rely on The Wine Society to reverse this trend and offer us an elite wine at a realistic price. Old Stones rather sums this wine up, because it is the minerality and poise that makes it so exciting. Unlike the lush California chardonnay model, the wines from Oregon are more Burgundian in outlook, and Bergstrm masterfully captures the elegance of this grape with none of the crassness that so often spoils the view. Break with tradition and give it a whirl.
2013 Clos Floridne Blanc, Graves, Bordeaux, France (£17.99, selectedCo-ops, 0800-0686 727).
Yes, it's the Co-op again fast becoming my favourite go-to high street store to find unexpectedly awesome wines at the right price. "Clos Florry" is a serious white Graves, made from sauvignon blanc, smillon and the merest drip of muscadelle. The oak used here gives this slender wine an eye-popping dcolletage. It is built like a red but has staggering freshness and acidity on the finish. This is a regal style of white wine that very few people have the chance to taste, but which offers incredible value and immense joy when matched with main-course fish dishes.
A beast of a red
2005 Jim Barry, The Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley, South Australia (£29.99, WaitroseCellar.com, 0800-188881).
You'll need to don a helmet and gauntlets to tackle this beast cram the monster into a decanter, then have a breather for a few hours before you use all your strength to pour it into your sturdiest glasses. The Benbournie is one of the most impactful and impressive cabernets in the world. It is inky, concentrated, cassis-stuffed and oak-veneered, and one of the most sumptuous wines in creation. If you like Napa cabernet, super-Tuscans, Vega Sicilia and top flight Pomerol then you will be in the zone for this devastating wine. At £30, it is also one of the finest-value grands vins in the world.
My favourite sweetie
2012 De Trafford, Straw Wine, Blaauwklippen Valley, Stellenbosch, South Africa (half bottle £22, WineDirect.co.uk, 01323-441991).
This is the finest straw wine in South Africa. It is also one of my favourite sweet wines in the world. Production is minuscule only 290 cases of six half bottles were made and this amount could sell out today if only a fraction of you clicked through to WineDirect. A labour of love, this wine is made from chenin blanc grapes that are dried for about three weeks on frames in the open air and then fermented and aged in French barriques for 26 months. The resulting wine is dripping in nougat and wild honey notes, and it will transport your palate into a wonderful trancelike state.
An epic port
1995 Taylor's, Quinta de Terra Feita Vintage Port, Douro (£30, Marks & Spencer, 0333-014 8000).
My chosen port is this epic single Quinta offering from Taylor's. At 20 years' old, it hits the high notes on cue, and the flavour has lost the spirity exuberance of youth, now replaced by mellow, intense fruitcake and prune tones, and a mind-blowingly long finish. I would decant it to allow it to release its full array of aromas, and then enjoy with a box of William Curley's choccies within reach.
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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