From Australia to Argentina – highlights from the Berry Bros. & Rudd sale



“A vintage is a story without end,” one producer told Berry Bros. recently – which seems a rather nice way to think of those wines which have been selected for the January Sale. Because the beauty of wine, of course, is that (unlike clothes) our Sale choices aren’t going out of fashion or out of season – they are simply making way for whatever the next vintage holds.
Those who spend a little time perusing the range will also find that our buyers have used the Sale as an opportunity to showcase the breadth of our wine selections. With that in mind, we asked Martin Hudsom MW, our new world specialist, to highlight some of the most interesting bottles which have been reduced. His top four picks are as follows…

McHenry Hohnen Burnside Chardonnay, 2010, Australia
Aussie Chardonnay won our hearts in the 1990s by being ripe, easy drinking wine at a great price. This wine, made by David Hohnen, the founder of Cloudy Bay, is a much more serious proposition than those earlier offerings, with its cool climate elegance, subtle use of oak and mineral finish. It really is an excellent way to enjoy the new face of Australian Chardonnay.

Massaya Silver Red 2009, Lebanon
The 1920s and 1930s French influence in this area shows through in the blend for this wine – 40 percent Cinsault, 30 percent Grenache, 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 percent Mourvedre, although the inclusion of Cabernet would be very unusual in a Southern French blend. The wine has a unique personality, with the generosity and full-bodied presence of a Southern Rhône red, but the freshness and structure of a claret, testament to the altitude at which the grapes are grown. I love to use this wine as a “surprise package” to open my friend’s eyes to a wider world of wine.

Don Maximiano Reserve, Errazuriz 2007, Chile
This is a much awarded wine, and deservedly so. Viña Errázuriz’s flagship is named after their founder, who amongst many achievements was responsible for gas-lighting Santiago, as well as amassing what was at the time the largest vineyard holding in the world in private hands. This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine has a definite Chilean personality, with some Syrah, Petit Verdot and inevitably Carmenere added to the mix.  Refined tannins and freshness belie the heft and strength of this wine, that wears its oak treatment (80 percent new French barriques) remarkably well, the oak flavours having had some years to integrate. Undoubtedly Chilean, with an exuberant character contained by elegant apparel, it reflects the character of the man after whom it was named.

Alpamanta Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Argentina
Vibrant fruit from biodynamically farmed vineyards over 3,000 feet above sea level gives this wine its lift. The winery was founded in 2005 by three friends, and is run by one of them, Andrej Razumovsky an Austrian with a Danish parent and Ukrainian/Moldovan origins. They set out to exploit the near perfect vine-growing conditions in  Luján de Coyo, Mendoza, where the low rainfall and clear skies enable organic and biodynamic farming practices to be readily adopted.

For more on the Berry Bros. & Rudd January Sale, click here.