Not many white wines age as wll as Hunter Valley Semillon and this is well up to speed, as its haul of medals (plastered all over the front label) testifies. It’s just starting to shift into another gear, developing the toasty notes that are so typical of the style. Refreshing, waxy and taut with custard, honeysuckle and citrus peel notes. Long and satisfying.
Retailer: Berry Bros & Rudd
2009 Berry Brothers & Rudd Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy( £29.95, 13%, Berry Bros & Rudd )
Showing the sweetness and silky drinkability of the 2009 vintage in Burgundy, this Gevrey from the excellent Rossignol-Trapet domaine is one of the best wines in Berrys’ newly-launched own-label selection. Supple, textured and forward, it has aromas and flavours of summer pudding and a hint of savoury oak, underpinned by just the right amount of acidity. So good, you’ll want to drink it now, but this has more stuffing than you think.
2009 CVNE Imperial Reserva, Rioja( £20.49, 14%, Berry Bros & Rudd, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Majestic, The Co-operative, Wimbledon Wine Cellars, Wine Rack )
CVNE’s Imperial is one of Rioja’s best value, ageworthy wines. This is still an infant and will need at least another five years in bottle to come close to its best. Dense, concentrated and sweetly oaked with a chalky undertone adding freshness and bite to the plum and raspberry fruit flavours. Traditional Rioja at its youthful best.
2012 Angosto Almendros Sauvignon Blanc/Verdejo, Valencia( £12.95, 12.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd )
A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo from Valencia? Not exactly run of the mill stuff, but this white duo from Spain’s eastern coast is very tasty stuff. It’s ripe and spicy, with sweet vanilla oak, flavours of pear and honeysuckle and a hint of ginger for good measure. Highly unusual, and further confirmation that Spain’s white wines are on a roll.
NV Champagne Deutz, Brut Classic, Champagne( £36, 12, Berry Bros & Rudd )
Deutz produces wines at the more elegant end of the spectrum, expressing finesse rather than power and concentration. This is floral and well balanced, with flavours of nut, digestive biscuit and stone fruit, a supple mousse and a well balanced, refreshing finish.
2012 Dog Point Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough( £12.95, 13.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd, The Wine Society )
As good as ever, this textbook Marlborough Sauvignon has more depth and layers than most local examples, combining grapefruit and guava fruit with pithy acidity and notes of green herbs, green pepper and zing. These Sauvignons age surprisingly well, too.
2011 Reuilly, Les Coignons, Denis Jamain, Loire Valley( £14.25, 12.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd )
A Reuilly that tastes as good as a lot of much more expensive Sancerres and, crucially for a 2011, doesn’t suffer from the earthy, grey rot-like notes that damaged the Loire in that vintage. Subtle, flinty, yet ripe, with good almost Graves-like concentration and notes of goosberry and minerals. Try ageing it for a year or two, as you would a Pessac-Léognan. It might surprise you.
2009 Lions de Suduiraut, Sauternes, Bordeaux( £15, 14%, Averys, Berry Bros & Rudd )
That’s £15 per half by the way, just in case you were amazed by the bargain on offer here. Still, it’s a lovely Sauternes, made by a property that made some of the best sweet wines in Bordeaux in 2009. This is honeyed and intense, but with less concentration than the same château’s grown up wine. Sweet vanilla pod and crème brûlée notes combine with a citrus lift on the palate. Classy stuff.
2007 Nikolaihof Steiner Hund Reserve, Kremstal( £45, 12.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd )
This brilliant biodynamic estate is based in the Wachau on the “wrong” side of the Danube, but this wine hails from vineyards in neighbouring Kremstal. It’s an incredible Riesling: intense, focused and minerally with remarkable texture, density and concentration. Honey, white flowers and a stony undertow, with spice, creamy lees and a finish that lasts for minutes. The wine will develop for at least another decade in bottle.
2010 Berry Bros & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret, Bordeaux( £9, 13.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd )
Not quite as sumptuous and fleshy as the 2009 GOC, but you’d expect that based on the character of the 2010 vintage. Just give this a little time to fill out, because it’s an appealingly fresh, well structured red with attractive berry fruits and medium tannins.
2010 Errazuriz, Max Reserva Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley( £12.49, 13.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd, The Leamington Wine Company )
A comparatively old-fashioned, worked style of Chardonnay, with lots of sweet peach and coconut flavours, but plenty of fresh acidity to keep the whole barrage ballon up in the air. Mealy and slightly sweet, with bags of fruit.
2010 Negroamaro Rosso Filimei, L'Astore Masseria, Puglia( £14.95, 13.5%, Berry Bros & Rudd )
Negroamaro is often dismissed in northern Italy as a southern grape that lacks finesse, but it is capable of a delicacy and freshness that wouldn’t look out of place in a Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo if it’s sensitively handled. This is a case in point, an unoaaked, cherry stone and raspberry-scented red with notes of wild herbs and a nip of tannin. It’s light-bodied, too, especially by the standards of some beefy Puglian reds. A delight.