Returning to one of my favourite haunts where three counties virtually meet and it was indeed during my sojourn in Lyme Regis that I made a serendipitous discovery as I descended Broad Street – namely that of a bookworm’s paradise nestling in centre of the town Lyme in the form of the Sanctuary Bookshop run by avid book enthusiast Bob Speer.
This seemingly endless curiosity shop hosts a cornucopia of the written word in all formats with ten separate book areas and one splendid reading room equipped with fine settees and musical instruments dotted all over the place.
Dorset and Devon are also growing in reputation in terms of sparkling wines, so I availed myself of a 2015 Dalwood Brut – produced in the picturesque Devon village on just three acres of hillside as a hobby business by David Dower and a group of friends and was able to note the good bubbles, interesting combination of the Seyval Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes and the delicate hints of the orchard and undoubtedly one of the best in the area!
Venturing home , it seemed opportune to stop at Aldi, Chichester, in search of good-value wines. A good starting point is its Exquisite Collection which is generally synonymous with quality. I opted for a 2017 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie and observed a slight spritz with a good lemon and green apple flavoured tang and, for an outlay of £5.69, a pleasant wine and one to accompany shellfish.
In the same range, was a 2017 Clare Valley Australian Riesling for £6.99 sporting a lemon and lime nose and exuding peach and tangerine flavours culminating in a good dry mineral finish – a wine worthy of your consideration!
At the same price, the 2017 Gavi Del Commune Di Gavi proved to be a great spring tipple and whose fresh acidity held together honeydew melon, apple and subtle hazelnut flavours to form a well rounded wine.
Two reds stood out côté good bang for your buck beginning with a 2016 Animus Douro priced at a miserly £4.99 being of Portuguese provenance and made from port grapes.
This gem is pleasingly smooth and fruity and totally belies its pecuniary worth. Soft and rond en bouche, it has rich black fruit to the fore and a hint of spice and is one to grab at this low price!
My final selection was that of a 2015 80 Acres Cabernet Shiraz Merlot priced at £5.69 from carbon neutral producers, namely the Taylor family from South Australia.
This wine is medium-bodied with a fragrant nose, is both smooth and well balanced with a touch of vanilla spice, has soft tannins and luscious red berries and blackcurrant to regale your palate – an Australian delight!
Till next time, Cobber!