Start 2019 as you mean to go on
Last year’s collection of MoneyWeek Wine Club wines certainly pricked the interest of a large number of wine-keen readers and this year I am kicking off the set with a phenomenal collection of wintry reds from the peerless Lea & Sandeman palate.
Every bottle I opened while compiling this list was a winner. The prices jump around all over the place, but you can be assured that I was as knocked out by the eight and nine quid wines as much as I was by the grander creations.
It doesn't matter what price wine is these days it only matters how competent and experienced the palates are who find them. After all, they have the supreme confidence and fine-tuned communication skills to put them on appreciative dining room tables and so with this in mind, the six wine merchants who I have selected this year to fulfil their Wine Club duties will not put a foot wrong on your behalf. I will simply be the messenger and tell you why I love them.
This collection is available to buy online via Lea & Sandeman's website, or give them a call on 020 7244 0522 and quote "MoneyWeek" to benefit from exclusive MoneyWeek savings and FREE UK delivery.
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, which at just £160 gives you the best saving in total (almost £40!) and allows you to try every wine, twice! You'll enjoy FREE UK delivery on all orders. Offer ends 31 January 2019.
I am kicking this list off with a wine which profoundly moved my palate. There is an elemental depth to this blood-drenched red which is staggering. It shows rocky, grainy tannins, epic density of plum and damson fruit and a velvety, brocaded texture which sends a shiver down my spine. This is a truly great Gigondas and it will remind you that while you are a mere mortal, this vineyard will make masterful wines like this for centuries to come. I cannot recommend this wine enough if you adore awesome Grenache.
The bottle is hefty, the label is modern and arty and the flavour is arresting, with a degree of flair and a touch of drama, too. I dutifully made my tasting notes and then looked up the price on the spreadsheet accompanying the bottles. "There must be a mistake," I thought. This cannot possibly be an eight-pound wine, but it is. Bright and earthy with violet and lavender notes, which sit at the back of the palate, there is a profound flavour of red and black fruit which washes over you and you gasp for another sip. Joy!
This is the finest CdR of the year! Don't laugh, but I cannot believe there will be a finer version which will cross my path in 2019, such is the gloss and depth of fruit in this lip-smacking wine. With a sheen and lustre which is rarely found in traditional wines, this is a black cherry-soaked beauty and it is already drinking well. I have a feeling it will evolve further, but I wouldn't waste a moment climbing into a glass because it looks so ravishing right now.
I have not tasted the wines from this estate before but, interestingly, I read the L&S notes after I had made my own and both focus on earth and mineral descriptors as opposed to fruit expressions. I adore wines that taste of the dirt and rock in which they are grown and the dark, slate-y coolness in this fabulous red underpin all of the blueberry and blackberry fruit tones. It is refreshing, slightly gamey and also deep, with proud tannins which make the palate salivate. A definitive winter red for rakish chefs and culinary bandits.
This rather lovely label hides a wine which combines unclassified fruit from Jean Royer's own Ctes du Rhne vineyards as well as a small percentage of grapes hailing from the young vines in his Chteauneuf du Pape properties, too. I am sure that you can imagine the muscle and gait of this vinous thoroughbred and it rewards the palate with sleek blueberry freshness and juicy plum fruit. Insanely well-priced, this is not a wine to rush into; while it looks superb already, it will hold well for a few years, too.
Breaking away from the Southern Rhne palette of grapes for a final flourish, this thrilling red wine is made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. There's some Syrah in the mix, too, so there is a small Rhne link, albeit tenuous. This wine is the first rung on the Le Macchiole ladder, which ends with the £150 Titan Messorio, and lacks nothing in its nobility. Its flavour, though, definitely nods to the depth and majesty of its lofty stablemates. If you fancy the idea of an everyday Super-Tuscan red (if this is not an oxymoron), then this wine for you.
PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW via Lea & Sandeman's website, or give them a call on 020 7244 0522 and quote "MoneyWeek".
Terms & Conditions: Offer ends 31 January 2019. Free delivery to UK mainland only (does not include N.I., Scottish Isles or Isle of Wight). Payment can be made by credit or debit card over the phone or online.