What we’re drinking


Photograph: Jason Lowe
Every month, we ask a handful of our team to recommend a wine or spirit they’ve particularly savoured: here’s what they said

2017 Bourgogne Blanc, Eclat de Calcaire, Pierre Girardin, Burgundy

Not being one to stray far from the path of predictability, my white wine of choice tends to be whatever Burgundy my budget allows – which is not as much as I would like, I hasten to add. What has become a bit of a revelation over recent years is the quality and affordability of Bourgogne Blanc, especially from excellent vintages. Over the last few months I have been thoroughly enjoying, albeit surreptitiously, Pierre Girardin’s 2017 Bourgogne Blanc, Eclat de Calcaire. Just 22 years old, Pierre-Vincent Girardin is a tremendously talented vigneron who is forging his own path as one of Burgundy’s leading young winemakers. His aim is to produce mineral-driven, focused, terroir wines which doff their cap to Jean-Marc Roulot and Jean-François and Raphaël Coche-Dury. This is a name to watch out for. His 2017 Bourgogne Blanc, Eclat de Calcaire is sourced from fruit in the lower part of Meursault and Volnay. The nose offers aromas of white pear and a smattering of citrus oil, with gunflint adding complexity and intrigue. The palate is medium-bodied, nicely concentrated and energetic. The salinity and minerality are the perfect foil to the pure fruit character. The acidity is well-judged offering a zippy, fresh finish. Give this a try or indeed most other 2017 Bourgogne Blancs in our range.

Simon Herriot, Private Account Manager

2018 Berry Bros. & Rudd Australian Shiraz by Hewitson, Barossa Valley

Ask me the same question in a week’s time and the answer will be the new vintage of our own-label Beaujolais-Villages, of which I’ve just ordered a case (forgive the shameless plug) – but it’s another Own Selection wine I’ve turned to repeatedly over the past couple of months: our stunning 2018 Barossa Shiraz made by Dean Hewitson. In many ways, of course, the Shiraz is a very different proposition, but hardcore Beaujolais fans like me will find much to admire in its lifted aromas, cooling acidity and sheer drinkabality. Dean’s wine has all the power you’d want from the Barossa – the palate densely packed with black berry fruit and velvety tannins – but is light enough on its feet to quench the thirst on a warm summer’s evening, with or without food.

Will Heslop, Burgundy (and Beaujolais) Buying Assistant

2018 Mellifluous Elements, Riesling, Eva Fricke, Rheingau, Germany

This fantastic wine is one of many examples of Eva Fricke’s mastery of the Riesling grape in Germany. Fricke is widely considered one of the rising stars of German winemaking, having worked in some of the most famous wine regions around the world, before returning home to start producing wines of her own. I would recommend trying every single one of her wines, but my personal favourite at the moment is the enigmatically named Mellifluous Elements Riesling=. It is slightly off-dry with lots of orange blossom, peach and pear on the nose, and bursting with fruit on the palate. Juicy and mouth-watering with refreshing acidity, I’ve found it perfect as a summery apéritif, however it would go equally well with some delicious seafood with a hint of spice.

Henrietta Gullifer, Events & Education Executive

2016 Crianza, Cillar de Silos, Ribera del Duero, Spain

During the heatwave of May, I found myself living in my garden with the barbecue as my best friend, and I’ve been barbecuing non-stop since. I’m a huge fan of Cillar de Silos, a talented family operation based in the heart of Castille, in Ribera del Duero. The other weekend, their 2016 Crianza called to me from the wine rack. Sufficiently structured with knitted ripe tannins, juicy black and blue fruit at the core, its seductive manner leans perfectly to easy drinking on a summer’s day, but is even better to wash down some aromatic flame-grilled lamb koftas, given its crunchy acidity and gentle spiciness on the finish. Need I say more, it’s à point for the next 12 months – make the most of it come rain or shine. Reassuringly, we have some remaining in stock, a great buy at £23 per bottle (I went straight in for a few more bottles following this experience).

Chris Lamb, Private Account Manager

Berry Bros. & Rudd Fino by Bodegas Emilio Lustau

If you work in the wine trade, it’s almost a cliché to declare your love for Riesling and Sherry. We tend to will customers to drink more of these wines, while selfishly also wanting to keep them all to ourselves, with their off-trend pricing making them joyously affordable. Case in point is our own-label Fino Sherry: just over a tenner and you get a wine of extraordinary complexity and freshness, evoking salty seascapes, freshly baked bread just out the oven, citrus and crisp apple. I try to always have a bottle on hand, but it never lasts long – being a devilishly moreish apéritif. The most recent bottle was guzzles alongside Friday’s deliciously indulgent fish and chips from down the road. Absolutely glorious.

Sophie Thorpe, Deputy Content Editor

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