Match your food and drink this Easter
Nipping out to the shops for some last minute Easter wine supplies? Muddy Kent is no stranger to the joys of a good bottle of wine, and the more I meet independent wine merchants the more I appreciate their passion for what they do. Proper indie wine stores are now sadly few and far between, but the ones that are hanging in there are successful because they’re seriously good. And they seriously know their stuff. I went into the Vinorium pop up shop in Cranbrook, conveniently situated in the car park of the Hartley Coffee House & Farm Shop. It was massively helpful, and unless you’re a secret Master of Wine I hope you it helpful too!
So whether you go for roast lamb, chicken, pork, beef or duck, I’ve got the perfect wine suggestion to match, from leading wine expert Stuart McCloskey, the man behind Vinorium wines…
Here’s one for those of you who always start family feasts with a bubbly. Doesn’t have to be champers, other sparkling alternatives can be just as lovely.
Suggestions: Pierre Mignon Grande Reserve Premier Cru NV. Our Premier Cru house Champagne has repeatedly baffled many during blind tastings as many a famous Grande Marque came trailing behind. Creamy-textured, full-styled offering that loses none of its elegance and sophistication in spite of the amazing price tag. The balance and overall harmony here are simply impeccable.
Sumarroca Cava Rosé Pinot Noir Brut NV. Rosé in colour and with medium depth this stunning Cava, produced from 100% Pinot Noir displays aromas of red fruits; ripe cherries, strawberries and plums. In the mouth, it is fresh and vibrant with an elegant foam and persistent finish.
Pinot Noir is a classic choice for young Spring lamb and we find it hard to break away from the tradition. However, the tasting team was split (after 30 wines) therefore, and in the true spirit of Easter we have put forward our best three.
The multi award winning 2013 Akitu A2 Central Otago Pinot Noir – ‘Medium-full bodied, the palate features lusciously sweet fruit flavours of black cherries, berries and plums along with fresh herbal elements. The mouthfeel is bright and lively with fresh acidity enlivening the fruit, providing good energy and vitality. The wine is elegantly proportioned and follows a fine-grained tannin line that carries to a long, lingering red and black fruited finish’. Super buy at £21.95.
2013 Chanin Sanford & Benedict Pinot Noir (California). ‘The aromatics are stunning, as is the fruit and texture on the palate. Wild berries and undergrowth unfold in the glass. The palate has astonishing structure – Such tension. The wine unfolds with amazing precision to reveal layer upon layer of dark fruits that just seem to flow and flow on the never-ending finish.’ Our best Pinot of the past three years. £50.50.
Domaine Henri Prudhon St Aubin Rouge Les Frionnes 1er Cru 2010 – Expressive and unmistakably a St. Aubin. ‘Medium bodied and offering delicate floral as well as red berry aromas. There is a fine core of red cherries, pomegranate and attractive saline notes toward the masculine finish.’ Lovely character and another super buy at £20.95.
WHITE: 2014 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay. Barrel matured for 10 months in 100% French oak, of which 20% was new. After a further 6 months ageing in stainless steel tanks, the wine was bottled in August 2015. A little retrained at first however, twenty / thirty minutes in a decanter brings the Estate Chardonnay alive. There is always a little more fatness to the Estate wines however, this is far from clumsy. Burgundy-like – layers of minerals, clean and tensile on the entry. Such energy and utterly brilliant for less than twenty quid!
RED: 2011 Moulin-à-Vent Olivier Merlin. With a little aeration the 2011 reveals scents of red cherries and bilberry, with fine delineation. The palate is well-balanced with crisp acidity, has a lightness of touch and a skip in its step.
WHITE: Les Héritiers du Comte Lafon Mâcon Prissé 2014 – Dominique Lafon had been eyeing land and property in the Maconnais for some time before he eventually bought some cellars and vineyards around the village of Milly. Here he recognised an opportunity to produce some very good yet very well-priced wines which is exactly what he has achieved. These are intense, complex examples of Mâcon, aged in a mixture of steel tanks, wooden foudres, and demi-muid oak casks.
RED: The multi award winning 2013 Akitu A2 Central Otago Pinot Noir – ‘Medium-full bodied, the palate features lusciously sweet fruit flavours of black cherries, berries and plums along with fresh herbal elements. The mouthfeel is bright and lively with fresh acidity enlivening the fruit, providing good energy and vitality. The wine is elegantly proportioned and follows a fine-grained tannin line that carries to a long, lingering red and black fruited finish’. Super buy at £21.95.
2004 Torbreck, The Steading. A stunning blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvédre, and 20% Shiraz blend aged 22 months in old wood. The ‘04 is a superb example of this cuvee with deep plum/ruby colour and accompanied by a big, rich bouquet of resiny pine forest scents interwoven with kirsch liqueur, blackberries, pepper, and spice. Full-bodied, pure, heady, complex, and nuanced.
2010 Château Sénéjac. Sénéjac simply shouts quality as it is now run by Alfred Tesseron of the famed Château Pontet Canet. A bouquet of red and black fruits, a touch of smoke and a faint whiff of cigar box. The palate is medium-bodied with silky tannins. Very focused and seductive towards the rounded, plum finish. Great harmony and focus. This is certainly beginning to open, although it needs serious decanting.
WHITE: Qupè Winery Marsanne 2012. Light vibrant and refreshing, this is a classic, cool climate Marsanne with hints of delicious orange and peach and a wet stone character. It has plenty of up front fruit with a crisp, clean acidity…
RED: Louis Boillot et Fils Cotes de Nuits Villages 2008. For every Rousseau or Mugnier, there are a handful of domaines who make wines of profound expression, but whose prices remain sensible and accessible to all. At the top of our list of such producers is Louis Boillot. It boasts gorgeous depth and richness, yet with marvellous delineation as well. The finish is layered, vibrant and impeccable in its harmony. Stunning!
So there you go, peeps. Hope you found that useful! Pop in and see Stuart and the Vinorium team if you want some advice, and he can put a lovely selection together for you, totally based on your budget. Happy *hiccup* Easter all!
The Pop-up Shop: The Car Park, Hartley Coffee House & Farm Shop, Hartley Road, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3QG, thevinorium.co.uk