Spectator Christmas Offer

 

 

It’s the music that gets me, the bloody piped music. Christmas carols on an endless loop. It’s a wretched constant, whether one’s in the supermarket, the station, the airport or even — and, good grief, is nowhere safe? — the doctor’s surgery, as I’ve just discovered. ‘How can you stand this?’ I asked the girl in the Santa hat at the supermarket checkout. ‘How can I stand what?’ she replied, glassy-eyed. ‘The music, the bloody music!’ I exclaimed. ‘Oh, that,’ she said with a sigh. ‘I don’t hear it any more. It’s been on for six weeks now and I’ve become immune.’ We looked at each other sadly. I know, I know. I’m a miserable git at Christmas but I can’t help it. Everything winds me up. I’ve just been given my traditional festive talking-to by my ever-loving. The general gist is that if I don’t pull my socks up and join in then she’s off home to her mother. The joke is that her mother is coming to stay here for Christmas. First sign of a cork popping, though, and she’ll be back. At least we agree on that — the vital importance of getting the vino right. I propose that we get stuck into this tip-top offer from our old chums at FromVineyardsDirect and urge you to do likewise. Happy Christmas all!

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    Alto Del Obre Rioja Reserva, Bodeagas Taron 2005

    Alto Del Obre Rioja Reserva, Bodeagas Taron 2005

    Rioja / ES
    13.5%
    Rioja is always a sound bet at Christmas, especially if you’re lucky enough to be sitting down to roast saddle of lamb rather than that dried up old cardboard we know as turkey. The 2005 Alto del Obre, Rioja Reserva from the Bodegas Tarón co-operative, set high in the foothills of the Sierra Obarenes, fits the bill perfectly. Brand new to FVD’s list, it’s a lusciously flavoursome blend of 90 per cent Tempranillo and 10 per cent Mazuelo (the oldest vines of which were planted more than a century ago) aged in American oak barrels for 14 months and then in bottle for a further two years. It’s full of rich, ripe and concentrated bramble/ hedgerow fruit with plenty of aromatic spice in the background and a long, soft, satisfying finish. £12.95 down from £13.95.

    Bottle 75 cl £13.95 £12.95
    Case 12 bottles £167.40 £155.40

    Petite Sirène de Château Giscours, Bordeaux 2015

    Petite Sirène de Château Giscours, Bordeaux 2015

    13%
    We offered the 2015 Petite Sirène in June and it was so well received that I’m delighted to waft it under your beaks again. From a corking vintage, it’s effectively the 3rd wine of Ch. Giscours (the much-loved Third Growth from Margaux) made by the same winemaking team. A blend of 70 per cent Merlot and 30 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s richly flavoured and succulent with red and dark berry fruit, whispers of vanilla and spice and a long, mouth-filling finish. It’s an extremely approachable entry level claret with impeccable pedigree and reassuringly accessible price. In short, it’s perfect Christmas fare. £11.45 down from £11.95.

    Bottle 75 cl £11.95 £11.45
    Case 12 bottles £143.40 £137.40

    Château de l'Abbaye de Saint-Ferme, Bordeaux 2010

    Château de l'Abbaye de Saint-Ferme, Bordeaux 2010

    Bordeaux 2010 / FR
    14%
    Finally, for those who enjoy their clarets more mature, I suggest the 2010 Ch. de l’Abbaye de Saint-Ferme, an extremely well-regarded Bordeaux Supérieur made from old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot planted at the striking 11th century Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Ferme, some 40km east of Bordeaux itself. It’s absolutely bang on song and so it should be, coming from a 10/10 vintage and having had eight years to relax and open out. It’s soft, mellow and silkily seductive with plums, blackcurrants, spice and even earthy truffles on both nose and palate and although I’m not sure it’s quite got the legs to last till next Christmas, it’s in absolutely peak condition for this one. £11.45 down from £11.95.

    Bottle 75 cl £11.95 £11.45