Prohibition Wines selection. I read an article recently that claimed most customers don’t want a wine recommendation they want to know what the retailer would drink. I’m not sure about this theory but misgivings aside here’s what I’m drinking this weekend (not all by myself, I hasten to add).
Les Garrigues Grenache Blanc 2012 £11.30
I love this Western Languedoc wine because it’s so versatile. It’s great on its own – the limey, peppery, herby flavours shift and change as the oxygen gets to it so you’re always keen to have another sip and see what happens next. It also goes well with a wide range of foods that can be a bit tricky (cavallo nero and big lumps of roast garlic for example). I like Grenache Blanc particularly from this part of the world where in a good vigneron’s hands it makes satisfyingly textured wines that have a good balance of zip and fatness.
Meerlust Red 2011 £12.45
I’ve always had a soft spot for Meerlust since many moons ago when the other half of Prohibition Wines cracked open a 1979 Rubicon that his best friend had given him. So when we were planning our shop this was one of the first wines on the list. It’s a Bordeaux blend from Stellenbosch; a fantastic barbecue, steak and roast beef wine that represents really good value.
Paisajes La Pasada 2010 £25.95
Regular readers of this column might have picked up that I am a bit of a Rioja fan. This wine is a lot more special occasion than Friday night, but the quality/price ratio is very high. Its superb depth and complexity of flavour stay around on the palate for a long, long finish, and its lovely silky texture and juicy freshness mean it is smooth without being remotely cloying. When we first tried it in the shop we had a small glass of it sitting around in the store room for about eight hours after which it was still unbelievably good when many other wines would have given up completely.
Niepoort Drink Me Branco 2012 £12.90
We welcomed the 2012 vintage of this wine last Summer and it was an immediate wow: what intense flavours and what a finish (oh.. and what a mad label)! We opened up a bottle for our customers last month to see how it was getting on. It has matured and settled down a bit but become even better. The flavours and textures come together in perfect harmony and make something really complex and special. We were going to have it with our Sunday lunch but somehow there wasn’t any left by the time the chicken was cooked so we’ll be drinking it again soon…