Samedi dernier Hollie (pictured right with yours truly), the new lead singer of the local band Miles High entertained an enthusiastic throng at the Chichester Inn with a medley of crowd pleasers old and new.
Quant au vin, M&S’s range of wines in the £7-£13 price bracket is the subject of my column this week and I begin with a South African 2017 Journey’s End Honeycomb Chardonnay from the cool coastal climate of Stellenbosch, an area I associate with quality vinification!
For an outlay of just £8 you can avail yourself of this lightly-oaked (in French barrels for six months) Chardonnay with aromas of toasted almonds and a honeyed texture leading to apple flavours with a modicum of lemon culminating in a subtle oak taste on the finish.
This dry and refreshing wine would suitably embellish any chicken dishes! My next selection was that of a 2016 Saint-Véran from the Burgundy region of France and, at the price of £11.50, is at the affordable end of the Burgundy range.
Soft, nicely balanced with hints of vanilla and raisins, this wine is decidedly creamy and delicate with white peach and melon flavours and would be an ideal accompaniment to fish dishes.
My final white wine was a £12 2016 Californian Hames Creek Monterey County Chardonnay and proved to be a traditional, flavoursome example of the variety being bold and buttery with toasty oak, vanilla to the fore and complemented by sweet spices and green apple – a blockbuster of a Chardonnay!
Incidentally, the Crémant De Bourgogne Brut is currently on offer at £9.60 and guarantees to add a touch of classy sparkle to your day !
In terms of reds and, at an offer price of a mere £7, I spotted the 2016 Campo Aldea Rioja which was eminently quaffable, but not particularly noteworthy.
Taste-wise black cherry, plum and vanilla added to leathery notes make this a good accompaniment to lamb dishes and is a wine which is better when aired.
For £13 expended, the 2015 Les Voiles De Paulilles Collioure from a small coastal picture postcard town south of Perpignan, is a Rousillon wine characterised by ripe red fruits and complex spice notes and regales the palate with its panoply of flavour – one to try for sure!
Finally, for a reduced price of £13, the 2016 Sussex Vale Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon caught my attention in terms of the ostensible Sussex connection. Eh bien, this is Western Australian and a truly fine expression of Cabernet from this region and one that can compete with left bank Bordeaux.
Beautifully rounded, smooth and oozing black berry fruit and cherries, this wine floats my boat, so to speak, and would pair readily with steak pie, lasagne or a seasonal Sunday roast and is one I wholeheartedly commend to you! Imbibe and enjoy!