Each year I sit down and choose six wines that mean something very special to me, to share with you, my valued customers and fellow winelovers. They represent exciting highlights of my 50+ years of buying hand-crafted wines from small estates. I hope you enjoy my 2021 selection! Plus please enjoy a fine bottle of Bordeaux from my very own estate, FREE – my way of saying thank you for your custom.
Indulge in 2 bottles each of:
Château le Bonalguet 2019, Bordeaux AOC, France Bordeaux is where it all began for me, and this complex, silky, elegant wine from a small estate near Saint-Émilion reminds me why I was so excited to share my Bordeaux finds. It’s wonderful with 2 Golds!
Le Champ des Etoiles Pinot Noir 2020, Pays d'Oc IGP, France Discovering Southern France was also a revelation … so much incredible flavour! This Gold-medal winner offers all the charming silky red fruit and exciting aromatics of Burgundy’s Pinot Noir without paying the earth.
La Fonte d'Oro 2019, Puglia IGT, Italy Southern Italy’s Puglia was another amazing flavour-packed find. Winemaker Gaetane Carron’s Amarone-style semi-dried Primitivo and Negroamaro is wonderfully weighty and rewarding.
El Bombero Gran Reserva 2014, Cariñena DO, Spain Spain is SO exciting, and our bestselling Gold-medal winner El Bombero quickly showed what our customers loved – BIG reds, with plenty of oomph! This is the Gran Reserva, now 7 years old, and it’s lavishly rich and intense.
HJ Fabre Reservado Malbec Cabernet Franc 2018, Mendoza, Argentina Argentina … another exciting destination! Last vintage, this very fine wine won Best Red of Argentina. We’ve always teamed up with the finest talent (like the great Hervé Fabre) to bring you the best!
The Black Stump Reserve Shiraz 2020, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale, Australia Australia’s famous Black Stump is a pur popular big red, with a huge cult following. Brought to us by the legendary John Casella (another great collaboration!) this Reserve Edition takes it to the next level.
I hope you enjoy my Annual Highlights Collection. We have just 36 cases available, so be quick to secure your share!
Across the slope from Saint Emilion’s Grands Crus Châteaux Faugères and de Pressac lies little Château de Colombe. It sits on the same limestone ridge but in less fashionable Castillon. Hence this appealing claret is both delicious and well priced.
Black Stump has ignited the flame of enthusiasm under the previously obscure Durif grape. The Reserve however is pure Shiraz, selected from Australia's premium Clare Valley. Rich, dense blackberry fruit laden with spice, with a silky polished finish.
Le Bonalguet is brimful of rich fruit and Saint-Emilion like finesse. It's from a vintage described by JancisRobinson.com as "very good to excellent", and, with all its luscious, velvety fruit, this regular Gold medal winning claret is a stunner.
Raised in Bordeaux, Hervé Fabre left France in the early 1990s in search of new and more challenging wine territory in which to invest. He was heading for Chile but became side tracked by old Malbec vineyards in Argentina and never left. Hervé now runs a leading estate in Mendoza, and another in Patagonia, and has won hoards of international awards. In 2017, Fabre was awarded Argentina Winery of the Year, in 2018, Winemaker of the Year and this wine last vintage took two Trophies. Decanter called it, "One of the best wines in the country."
From award-winning winemaker Javier Domeque, El Bombero Gran Reserva is a premium edition of an old favourite. From Cariñena, a region, synonymous with delicious wines and great value, this mellow 2014 Gran Reserva was aged a full three years in oak.
Le Champ des Etoiles lets you reach for the stars – it offers all the charming silky red fruit and scent of Burgundy’s Pinot Noir without paying the earth. It's from Le Chai winemaker Mark Hoddy. A perfect balance of lush ripe fruit and elegance.
La Fonte d'Oro's built up quite a fan club since it first arrived in 2008. It's a velvet smooth red packed with black fruit flavour thanks to some brilliantly creative winemaking courtesy of the fabulously talented Gaetane Carron. She knew that by drying the finest Negroamaro and Primitivo grapes, two Puglian varieties that ooze ripe fruit character, she’d concentrate their flavours even more. Of course this is a costly way to make wine (which is why famous Amarone starts at around £20), but the results speak for themselves.