Five of the best bottles in our Autumn Sale
Author: George Turner
During our recent Autumn Sale, we asked George Turner, Assistant Manager of our London Shop, to recommend five of the most interesting bottles on offer.
Delectably complex Jura
Don’t be fooled into thinking that light- to medium-bodied reds can’t be complex: Tissot’s Singulier will certainly prove you wrong. Tissot makes this biodynamic wine from the Trousseau variety, native to the Jura region. Light ruby in colour, the nose offers aromas of redcurrants and alpine strawberries, gently infused with a few sprigs of thyme and myrtle. The whole thing is balanced by bright acidity and well-integrated tannins. This is a perfect candidate to be served chilled; believe it or not, you can chill reds. It’s delectable when paired with cured meats and hard cheeses. If you really want to go the whole hog, serve it with a fondue – 100% Comté, preferably!
Old-vine Grenache from Eden Valley
This Grenache comes from century-old vines grown on sandy soil at the foot of the Eden Valley; it’s beautifully high-toned and sumptuous. Though the sand retains the pretty, bright cranberry and raspberry notes, don’t underestimate the darker side of this wine. Beneath the surface, brooding away, you’ll find spice, dried violet, blood orange and dark fruit flavours. This low-intervention wine is just another great reason for my current passionate love affair with Australian wine.
Spain via South Africa
This wine utterly fascinates me – and so does the signature approach of Eben Sadie’s natural, hands-off approach to winemaking. Sadie, already known for his eponymous South African winery, has brought his talents to Spain. A blend of 11 white varieties, this is a wine with both complexity and subtlety: flavours of lemon wax, bee pollen, orange blossom, grapefruit pith and hints of salty almonds are all balanced out by a tense and pure acidity. If there is such a thing, this is a “cerebral” wine.
Pet Nat from California
Malvasia Bianca is most prominently grown in the Mediterranean. Having made its way to California and into the hands of Alex Krause and John Locke, it has produced my favourite pétillant naturel* to date. As you’d expect on the nose, we’re treated to a fruit orchard on a summer’s day; the light salt breeze brings out the fragrance of the wild flowers growing around the pear trees. Then, prepare for some mild puckering as we take a sip and experience the dichotomy of this grape and wine style combination: tart gooseberries, Sicilian lemons and a slight hint of baked bread.
* Pétillant naturel or “pet nat” wines are bottled part way through fermentation. The remaining sugar is subsequently converted by yeast into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which is trapped in the bottle. This produces a gently sparkling and lightly cloudy wine.
Distinctive Jamaican rum
It pleases me greatly see rums finding their way into people’s drinks cabinets. This example won’t be to everybody’s liking; Jamaican rums have a distinctly individual personality, after all. Fans of the style will find a lot to like, with typical characteristics of hogo and funk, which are tell-tale signs of Jamaican rum’s unique production method. These are complemented by notes of beeswax candles, spun sugar and green and yellow fruit.