MORE jolly japes this week as I ventured into the Chichester Inn to sample the delights of the soulful and mellifluous tones of the Trevor John Band reconnecting us to great songs of the past.
As music and wine often combine, taking a short step in time I felt inclined to see what Sainsbury’s have to offer.
I began by electing to purchase my go-to Italian white wine, namely a Gavi and for £7 procured a 2016 Gavi Terredavino. Gavi is produced in the misty hills of Italy’s Piemonte region and the Cortese grape produces crisp, floral, peachy and aromatic wines which are best enjoyed young. This Terredavino Gavi sports a floral nose, has a slight spritz and oozes zesty citrus and white peach flavours culminating in a long finish and is one I happily recommend to you.
My next white wine selection was that of another wine I swoop to buy if on offer, so for £7.50 I was able to obtain a 2017 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc and no sense of disappointment befell me given that it was bursting with crisp gooseberries and would ideally complement oysters or seafood.
The New Zealand climate of long sunny days and cool nights produces an unusual combination of very ripe fruit alongside fresh acidity. This refreshing wine with rich gooseberry, lime and tropical fruit flavours will not disappoint guests and merits your attention.
My final white wine selection is a 2016 Château de La Pierre Côtes de Grandlieu Muscadet Sur Lie currently retailing at £7.75. The old vine character of this wine is most evident and the wine’s intense minerality produces an alluring texture allied to refreshing fruit flavours of green apple and pear. Balanced acidity, delicacy and a slight spritz make this a great apéritif with any seafood starters and I commend this merveilleux Muscadet to you.
Conversely, in terms of my red wine selections, I decided to peruse the fine wine section and for an outlay of £12 availed myself of a 2015 Les Courlandes Châteauneuf du Pape and, as the name suggests, comes from the village which acquired its name from the new château built by the Popes as a summer residence in the 14th century in this Southern Rhône location.
The vineyards are famously covered in ‘galets’ or pudding stones which are large pebbles which absorb the sun’s heat by day and release it overnight to aid ripening of the grapes and high alcohol content. This example produced by the Ogier family is of a lighter style, although still 14.5 per cent alcohol content, and has a red cherry scent with a fruity palate alongside spicy and peppery notes culminating in a very dry finish. This wine is good value for just £12 currently and one well worth a punt!.
I next espied another wine capable of floating my boat, so to speak, in the form of another Rhône appellation – a 2015 Les Challeys Saint – Joseph currently on offer at £14. Originally known as Vin de Mauves and mentioned in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, the wine from Saint – Joseph was a favourite in the French court of Louis X11 who actually owned a vineyard in Clos de Tournoi.
Moreover, St Joseph is a saint and the protector of scorned husbands. This wine from the great 2015 vintage is rich and dry, complex and concentrated with raspberry and cassis flavours to the fore added to herbal and mineral notes affording a savoury lift to the wine. Refined and sleek and racy in structure with a peppery finish, I advise you to open the bottle for at least two hours before imbibing.
Scaling the heights, I then opted for a 2014 Chanson Père et Fils , Nuits – Saint – Georges priced at a lofty £30! 2014 as a year saw a great combination of red and black fruits making it charmingly approachable as a young wine with September sun embellishing the vintage.
Chanson has been operating since 1750 and this lovely wine with its red berry aromas, hint of liquorice plus oak ageing will enhance mastication of Christmas pudding or mince pies and make this a yuletide wine to savour!
Off next week to more regal provenance!