Category Archives: Series

CUNE Rioja Reserva

CUNE Rioja Reserva

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: Red

There’s a winter ramble of flavours here. Leather, bramble, spice, coffee and caramel. The ultimate partner to lamb, it’s also perfectly matched with a night in front of a classic movie or box set. From one of Rioja’s most celebrated family producers.

Villa Maria Bin Sauvignon Blanc

Villa Maria Bin Sauvignon Blanc

Country: New Zealand

Colour / Style: White

There are lots of Sauvignon Blancs, but few count as classics. This is a go-to wine for Kiwi Sauvignon lovers like us. Gooseberries, lime and tropical fruit, it’s a juicy, fruity wine for drinks with friends and a perfect partner for Pacific Rim spiced dishes.

Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Brut Champagne

Laurent Perrier La Cuvee Brut Champagne

Country: France

Colour / Style: Sparkling

The mark of great Champagne is the ‘mouth-filling perfume’ that lingers on your palate. You’ll find it here, with a sleek, elegant freshness followed by a long and floral complexity. A perfect wine for lovers of lift, grace and harmony.

Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Champagne

Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Champagne

Country: France

Colour / Style: Sparkling

Colour / Style: Rosé

The wine that caused a revolution. Not only because of the sweep of berries, cherry and currants. Or the freshness and precision that marks the palate. But also the elegant, historic presentation and vibrant salmon-pink colour. It’s lovely with pink food. Think salmon and prawn.

Abbaye De Lerins Saint-Pierre

Abbaye De Lerins Saint-Pierre

Country: France

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 3

As chosen by: James Purefoy

Along with the partner red, this was a huge surprise when it arrived, fresh from an Island off the coast near Cannes. The monks make the most of a particularly good soil and cool, fresh coastal breezes to keep the freshness in the grapes. They also cleverly lift the peachy aromas of Chardonnay with the zest of Clairette, a local grape more suited to the warm climate.

Olivier Horiot 5 Sens

Olivier Horiot 5 Sens

Country: France

Colour / Style: Sparkling

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 7

Against a backdrop of established producers, Olivier Horiot only began making Champagne in 2004 (still wines in 2000). This quirky, fruity blend is has the classic tio of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as Arbanne and Pinot Blanc. It’s fragrant and brisk and deliciously different too.

Hirsch Vineyards West Ridge Estate Pinot Noir

Hirsch Vineyards West Ridge Estate Pinot Noir

Country: America

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 7

I have no doubt lives have been changed by this wine. Hirsch are among the most lauded California producers by Pinotphiles. Intense and complex, this is an expression of California as much as Pinot Noir. There’s inviting richness but also delicacy. Truffles and earth, but a New World heart of vibrant berry fruit.

Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino

Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino

Country: Italy

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 7

A “must try” for lovers of Brunello and great Italian reds, Andrea Costanti has worked tirelessly to make this one of the greatest Brunellos. Rich morello cherry, a clearly-defined spine from high-altitude sub-plots, spices and lingering, seamlessly integrated oak that leaves a hint of aniseed and liquorice. Utterly delicious.

Francois Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Choisilles

Francois Chidaine Montlouis-sur-Loire Les Choisilles

Country: France

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 7

There’s a reason sommeliers love Chenin from the classic appellations of the Loire. It’s in the tension and fruit purity. There’s a smokiness (notionally from “Les Choisilles” – black flint) too, and it all combines into a fabulous food matching style. It’s a great foil to the sort of complex, poised, thoughful food you find in the finest restaurants.

Gabrio Bini Serragghia Zibibbo Secco

Gabrio Bini Serragghia Zibibbo Secco

Country: Italy

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 7

A wine that defies tasting notes – it’s an “amber” or orange wine, so you have the detailed structure of a red, with complex, surprising, fascinating aromas that you don’t expect constantly popping on your palate’s timeline. Beguiling. At times bizzare. Whatever you do, dont’ drink this wine without looking up winemaker Gabrio Bini and his remarkable vineyards on Pantelleria.

Monte Cascas Malvasia de Colares

Monte Cascas Malvasia de Colares

Country: Portugal

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 7

Here is a massive insider tip. It’s going to be harder to buy Chablis for the next few years as the harvests have been tough. But switch to Colares Malvasia like this gorgeous wine and you’ll have plenty of intense, minerally, slightly iodine tang fun in the same style. Awesome with shellfish, gorgeous with hake.

Hambledon Classic Cuvee

Hambledon Classic Cuvee

Country: England

Colour / Style: Sparkling

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

This isn’t just great sparkling wine. It’s not just great English sparkling wine. This is a historic wine, from one of the most important estates in the development of English fizz. The dried and fresh fruit character, the toasty brioche, the succulent fizz on the palate; it’s delicious. It’s also a seriously classy wine, rivalling the greatest sparklers from around the world.

Txakoli Ganeta

Txakoli Ganeta

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Episode 6

You know that prickle of refreshing zest you get in a perfectly made gin and tonic. This is wine’s answer. And it’s better. There’s a spectrum of citrus with everything from lime to grapefruit, and then the wine’s characteristic tingly fizz. It’s the perfect sharpner at the start of the evening, or at 11.5%, it’s a great choice for lunch.

Marques de Riscal Finca Torrea

Marques de Riscal Finca Torrea

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

There’s been quiet experimention in Rioja, to look for a more modern style of wine for people who want more fruit and a tad more grip in their wines. This is Marques de Riscal’s answer. Less sweet oak, more bright fruit, a bit more bite. But still fresh. It takes brighter, more modern food too. A touch of spice, a bit of fruit, and maybe slightly richer meats like duck too.

Marques de Riscal Rueda Verdejo

Marques de Riscal Rueda Verdejo

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

Verdejo is like Spain’s classy answer to Sauvignon Blanc. Lots of citrussy fruit with an elegant restraint. It’s a refreshing, early-evening kind of wine, and Rioja producer Marques de Riscal is one of those who’ve captured Verdejo’s aromatic loveliness and made it famous. Have it with lighter salads, fish and chicken.

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

Maybe it’s the muscular fruit. Perhaps it’s the sweet oak. Possibly it’s the smooth texture. There’s something about Rioja that makes it a perennial favourite. It’s often the first wine people fall in love with. Served with a roast lamb Sunday lunch, it’s a classic, an archtype. And this one’s a classic in the mid-weight, ripe berry fruit style. Lovely.

Itsasmendi

Itsasmendi

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

We are reliably informed, do NOT pour your Txakoli from a height to froth up the light fizz. It’s only for tourists. Pour normally, nicely chilled and enjoy the brightly, zesty citrus aromas and refreshing palate. Itsas (“sea”) and Mendi (“mountains”) tell you all about what this wine goes with (fish) and where it comes from (the hills).

Bodegas Bhilar Phincas Rioja Alavesa

Bodegas Bhilar Phincas Rioja Alavesa

Country: Spain

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

Rioja is divided in three parts – Baja, Alta and Alavesa, which is the smallest and highest region and the only one that sits in the Basque country. The climate here is more extreme from warm days to cool nights. But the results are a supple, smooth, lingering wine with a combination of ripe fruit and truffley earthiness. Perfect with lamb

Pinot Noir Spatburgunder

Pinot Noir Spatburgunder

Country: Germany

Colour / Style: Red

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

Fresh cherries, redcurrant and sometimes raspberry in warmer valleys, German Pinot Noir is a “thing”. It’s grown fast in the last couple of decades, but Germans have kept much of this to themselves. Beautiful lightly chilled with a slighlty spiced duck salad or something involving aubergines. It also has the advantage of impressing wine friends who will notice how bang on trend you are.

Spindler Lindenhof Riesling Trocken

Spindler Lindenhof Riesling Trocken

Country: Germany

Colour / Style: White

Featured in: Series 2

Featured in: Episode 6

Vibrant, refreshing and bright. This has a core of delectable peach fruit, but it’s the passionfruit zest and the lemon zinger freshness that gives the wine lift and vibrancy. The food-matches for these Rieslings are endless. Vietnamese and Thai dishes are a favourite. Spiced salads too work beautifully. And even barbecue dishes work a treat.