This is organised roughly by order of price at the time of purchase.
Gran Cerdo is becoming a popular house wine on some of London’s better pub wine lists. Their white is available for about £10
retail, and about five quid a glass at the Victoria in Peckham. You get citrus and peach all brought together with a decent mouthfeel that makes it stand up on its own without food. Well worth buying if you see it.
Biddenden’s Gamay Noir 2018
(£15) remains one of my favourite English reds. This sits between village and cru-level Beaujolas. Endlessly quaffable, fresh, with ripe red cherries singing throughout.
And yet, it’s their Lou Payral
Blanc which I fell in love with. Cloudy, golden, saliney, nutty, honeyed, with a wonderful texture. Hints of stone fruit, but it’s not becuase of its fruit that this wine sings. Both available for about €10-12, and a true shame they aren’t available in the UK.
Tinedo’s Runrún is a captivating wine. White grapes, aged in red wine barrels for a long time, gives this an incredible deep pink colour. I drank this recently at Good Neighbour and it was absolutely delightful. Refreshing, fruity, but also interestingly complex. It’s a white wine that looks like a rosé: every part plays tricks on you. Whatever it is, try this, it’s delicious. (Fine Wine Co.
have it at £15 but you have to buy a case).
Finally, Tillingham White (£17 from Pull The Cork
) is a real delight. Winemaker Ben Walgate wanted to test as many different wines out as possible in his first years and so far is really hitting a stride with his low intervention, natural Sussex wine. The Tillingham White has a flinty smokiness, lashings of apples, and a textured palate.
I love Rhone whites, and Chateau des Roques Vacqueyras 2017 (£19 from Davy’s
) was no exception. Hay, peach, melon, and white pepper all came together nicely in this rich and rounded mouthfeel of a wine. Yet, despite its richness, there was still a surprising bolt of acidity in here that slowed you down without food.
is the first wine since Roman Times to be both grown and produced in London. Grown at Forty Hall and produced by Blackbook, this is an incredible display of bacchus. This has fresh minerality, a welcoming body, and a balanced aroma of elderflower, white pepper, and some stone fruits.
At £21, Grappin’s Bourgone Aligoté
is not an every day bottle, but nor is it an unaffordable luxury. Six months lees contact gives this some wonderful buttery texture, but it’s still got that mineral elegance that you expect from aligoté. I can never have too much of this in my life.
The wine list there too is worth a visit for. Here we drank Marie-Pierre’s Chevassu Fassenes Savagnin from Jura (£22 from Terra
). Jura wines are fascinating to explore if you haven’t yet. This was deeply complex with an immediate nuttiness, the warming texture of oak, white flowers, and some saltiness. A brilliant introduction to how well made Jura wines can be.
Dunleavy is a Somerset vineyard known for its rosé. But last week, I was lucky enough to try their new sparkling red
. Sparkling red?! That’s right. This is rondo – a red grape I often struggle with. But its treated well here. There’s strawberries, rhubarb and cherries in abundance. It’s £29.99, and if you’re looking for an aperitif sparkler for anything this Christmas, you honestly couldn’t go wrong with this.
The first thing you notice about Au Bon Climat’s Wild Boy Chardonnay 2017 (£27 from BBR, £29 from Hennings
) is the artwork. With a photo that looks like Bill Bailey mid acid trip, Wild Boy wants to stand out. While this has lashings of tropical fruits, it feels like a Santa Barbara ode to Merusault. This is endlessly rich, and charming. Also love the fact it’s titled shortens to ABC.
“This is my favourite English sparkling wine I’ve had so far,” said a friend who has a very good level of English wine knowledge. The wine in question? Denbies Cubitt Blanc de Blanc 2013 (£33.50),
and it is is indeed well worth searching out. Brioche, apples, and vanilla sing in harmony here, without some of the tartness you usually find in English sparklers.
Szeremi Szerelem by Oszkar Maurer joins the ranks as one of the hardest wines to pronounce. Which meant I went straight for it when I saw it on the list at Sager + Wilde last week (£8 a glass). I wouldn’t be surprised if this was produced in qvevri. This had orange peel, hazelnuts, and honey in abundance. A moment of delight for a white that arrives like your favourite song coming on late at night. Origins seem hard to place. I made a note of Serbian, but some post-Googling indicates Hungary.