I have known James Handford MW for a very long time, in fact we both sat the Master of Wine exams together back in 1994. He is not only a great chap but also a mercurial wine merchant and he, Greg, Gav and Laurie run a very tight ship masquerading as a dusty, old, curiosity shop of wine on the Old Brompton Road in London. With regular wine events and a messianic following from the great and good wine collectors, this is a company that respects tradition yet also throws caution to the wind when they find a delicious new wine. There are no rules at Handford – you only have to walk into the shop to see the eclectic line-up of gems. One thing is certain – you may walk in empty-handed but you will need a forklift to bring home the pallet of wine you will inevitably buy!
How it works:
Prices and savings below are exclusive to MoneyWeek readers and are based on ordering a case of 12 bottles. You can also buy a mixed case, giving you two bottles of each wine, for just £182, saving you over £25. You’ll enjoy FREE UK delivery on all orders. Offer ends 30 August 2018.
This collection is not available to buy online, so to benefit from exclusive MoneyWeek savings and FREE UK delivery, give Handford Wines a call on 020 7589 6113 and quote “MoneyWeek”.
2017 Val di Toro, Auramaris Vermentino, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy
£183 per case / £15.25 per bottle (was £203.40)
There is so much excitement surrounding the Vermentino grape right now, whether it’s from Tuscany, Sardinia, Corsica or the South of France. Greg Sherwood MW unearthed this shimmering beauty on one of his travels and it is a frighteningly pure and vivacious example of this high IQ white grape. Aromatically, it is akin to its southern cousins, Fiano, Falanghina and Greco with cool, stone fruit and wild green herb notes, but the palate is sleek and tender with pineapple husk and pink peppercorn spice. I adore its stance. If you are used to drinking haughty Chablis or arrogant Sancerre, then get into this wine today – it will floor you.
2017 Pur Mineral Müller-Thurgau, Fürst, Franken, Germany
£237.48 per case / £19.79 per bottle (was £263.88)
Paul Fürst underlines the character of this wine by writing ‘pur mineral’ on the label and this should immediately put your mind at ease. Fürst is one of the most revered estates in the country and the wines have a superiority and presence about them which is very attractive.
M-T is a dreary grape in the wrong hands, but in this pickaxe-sharp white, it seems to transcend to a higher plane. The fruit is green apple themed, seriously dry and ever so slightly prickly. It is epically refreshing and sophisticated and will be sure to take your palate to somewhere it has never been before.
2017 Val di Toro, Anna’s Secret Rosato, Maremma, Tuscany, Italy
£194.28 per case / £16.19 per bottle (was £215.88)
The world can thank Provence for making the pale, sophisticated rosés we gargle-down like crazed warriors, but who would have thought that this inviting style of wine could be made to a very high standard in Spain and Italy, too? This immensely attractive wine is a biodynamically-farmed 100% Sangiovese and it has all of the traits of a top class Provençal pink, albeit with a classical cranberry and spice twang, which give us a GPS location on its production. This is a remarkable wine and one which I will follow closely, given that it hails from the same estate as our stellar Vermentino!
2015 Château Tour Saint Paul, Bordeaux, France
£118.20 per case / £9.85 per bottle (was £131.40)
When I tasted through a range of wines with James, Greg and Gav, we all thought it a marvellous wheeze to put three clarets in this offer – not least because no one would ever consider doing this.
The three wines are so diverse in flavour that they could come from different planets as opposed to the same region, so in order to highlight the open-mindedness and acumen at Handford, here is, to all intents and purposes their ‘house claret’ and it is a stormer. Clean, fresh, stuffed with 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet fruit, this is as good as this category gets!
2016 Château Le Rey, Les Argileuses, Castillon, France
£183 per case / £15.25 per bottle (was £203.40)
This is a natural wine and as such has only a touch of sulphur added prior to bottling and it works extremely well indeed. Made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and employing 20% new oak it is an elemental wine which seems more Burgundy-shaped than Bordeaux-shaped.
The fruit is certainly sauvage and I find it fascinating, terroir-focussed and thought-provoking. There is a slow but sure movement of wineries looking at this sort of wine and I think that this is one of the finest examples around.
2006 Château Machorre, Bordeaux, France
£204.60 per case / £17.05 per bottle (was £227.40)
Yes, you read this correctly, it is a twelve-year-old claret for less than twenty quid. I am no stranger to tasting knackered old parcels of wine which wash up on our shores, but this is a very different beast.
With dark, spicy fruit, masses of energy and even some perky tannin still holding firm, this is a classic old claret that’s nothing short of magnificent. Unlike Le Rey which is perhaps a glimpse into the future, Machorre is a time machine wine, zooming back to the old days in style. You will not believe the flavour in this wine.
PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW by calling Handford Wines direct: 020 7589 6113 and quote “MoneyWeek”
Terms & Conditions: Offer ends 30 August 2018. Free delivery on all orders of 12 bottles of wine or more, otherwise £10. Orders will be dispatched within 3 working days of being received. Payment can be made by credit or debit card by phone. All stock is subject to availability.