Posh Wine. wot’s it all about Alfie?
Most of us operate under the assumption that the more money a wine costs, the better it is. Even more so if it is from a posh region such as Chablis, Sancerre, Burgundy or Bordeaux where the history and reputation of the region gives us confidence, even in the face of dinner with that dreaded wine snob friend. We’ve all been there! Sadly, all too often the wines we taste from these famous appellations are but pale imitations of the great wines that those reputations (and price tags) are founded upon.There are reasons why these regions often produce more expensive wines: High land prices, expensive production methods, low volumes, and of course the high potential quality of the wine. This quality is a combination of some of the world’s best soils and climates for growing quality grapes along with excellent wine making. When those stars align you get a wine of immense complexity, balance, elegance and length that can taste truly sublime, can mature over decades and are exhilarating to drink young or old. If posh wine could do that for us every time, then it would be well worth the punchy price tag.
However, carelessness in the vineyard, greed in trying to get too much volume from each vine or a bad winemaker and the game is up. This is where the duff wines appear, using the strength of the regional brand to sell their inferior wares at the high prices. Like everything else it is all about knowing which ones deliver. Like a knight in shining armour we are here to ride to your rescue so you can experience their magic safe in the knowledge that these wines are worth the big bucks. We are not going to apologise for waxing lyrical about these them because when a wine is that good it deserves all the pompous tasting notes you can muster!
First up is the Tesco Finest Sancerre 2013 from France; this wine perfectly sums up what beauty and elegance Sauvignon Blanc can possess in the right hands. Delicate and elegant with creamy lemon, bright green apple and lime zest flavours which lead into a subtle lemon thyme spice and a long chalky finish. This wine really over delivers at its £11.99 price point which we felt was worth £13.00. Beautiful with goats cheese or asparagus. Click here to buy with your groceries. Or click here to buy by the case.
The Domaine Gerard Fiou Sancerre Le Grand Roc 2010
from M&S it was quite simply fabulous. In style it is the big sister to the previous wine. All the flavours are intensified and refined into a wonderful expression of crystalline purity. It really shows just how stunning Sauvignon can be when it has some age as it develops into complex flavours of lemongrass, ginger, basil and gingernut biscuits underpinned by a cool wet stone minerality. The flavours would give the Duracell bunny a run for his money as they go on and on and on. Yes it is expensive at £27.00, and though we valued it at £25.00 it is still fair value and well worth the investment as it will continue to improve with age over the next 3-5 years. Try it with a richer white fish such as monkfish and samphire which can be seasoned with all of the above ingredients (except possibly the gingernut biscuits, that would just be odd). Click here to buy.
Burgundy produces arguably some of the world’s greatest white wines, so a piece on posh wines wouldn’t be complete without dipping our toe into this fabulous region. The wines are often produced in minuscule quantities and can have quite a daunting price tag however, on the upside they can also give you goose bumps when you drink them. The 3 most famous and glorious white wine villages are Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet but tucked just around the corner of the hill is the little village of Saint Aubin. From the right producer, this is the insiders treasure trove of great value, great quality white Burgundy and the Domaine du Limont Saint Aubin 1er Cru 2010
from M&S at £23.00 is just the ticket. Especially when we thought it was worth at least £25.00. In layman’s terms this wine makes you feel like a superhero when you drink it! Our favourite pairing for beautiful rich white Burgundy has to be aged cheddar such as Wookey Hole to bring out all the nutty glory in the wine. What a treat! Click here to buy this wine.
Burgundy is also famous for its red wines made from the Pinot Noir grape, at their best they can be like a ballerina; elegant, graceful but deceptively powerful. The Louis Jadot Santenay Clos de Malte Rouge 2009
is a stunning example of a village Burgundy showing all the feminine elegance that Santenay is associated with; perfumed strawberry and cherry fruit which is dancingly fresh and leads on to a long and deliciously savoury finish. We thought it would comfortably warrant a £30.00 price tag and were gob smacked when it came in at only £18.00. Hat’s off to Asda, that is a serious deal so get your skates on, that is if the wotwine?
team hasn’t beaten you to it! This would be a dream with a lovely rare rack of lamb. Click here to buy this wine.
Nuits-St-Georges is one of the most prestigious villages in Burgundy for red wine and the wines that come from there are more darkly fruited and savoury yet always with a hallmark firmness and finesse. The Les Caves de la Colombe Nuits Saint Georges 2009
is a fabulously complex and savoury wine with smoky tobacco, crunchy black fruit, liquorice spice and an earthy richness. Despite these powerful flavours it is taut, fresh and poised and definitely worthy of cellaring for 10 years. M&S are selling it for £32.00 but we thought it was well worth £35.00. With this plethora of aromatics it is no wonder that this is a food wine, try it with venison, wild mushrooms and a juniper sauce. Click here to buy.
A word of warning; the more premium wines are often in small volumes so might run out of stock quickly. Happy Drinking Folks!