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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    Crémant de Bourgogne, Sainchargny, Émérite 2014

    Crémant de Bourgogne, Sainchargny, Émérite 2014

    Bourgogne / FR
    11.5%
    The 2014 Crémant de Bourgogne, Sainchargny Émérite is one of my all-time favourite fizzes and if it isn’t yet one of yours, it darn well should be. It’s an absolute snorter and I’ve recommended it (under its previous name: Cave de Lugny Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Millésime), both in print and, well, yelling from the rooftops, countless times. It really is a model of its kind, produced using the champagne method by the highly-rated Cave de Lugny co-operative near Mâcon in southern Burgundy. Only the finest hand-picked Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is used, some of which is aged in oak before blending. The cuvée, having been assembled, then spends a further 18 months in oak on the lees and the result is as appealing a sparkler as you’ll find anywhere. It’s full of delicious ripe, honeyed fruit, toast and brioche and blessed with a delectably fine mousse. As I’ve said many times to anyone who will listen, I’ve had dozens of champagnes twice the price that don’t taste half as good. £14.95 down from £15.95.

    Bottle 75 cl £15.95 £14.95
    Case 12 bottles £191.40 £179.40

    Domaine du Bicheron, Mâcon-Péronne 2016

    Domaine du Bicheron, Mâcon-Péronne 2016

    Bourgogne / FR
    14%
    I had a bottle of the 2016 Domaine du Bicheron Mâcon-Péronne, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes only last night with a plate of Mrs Ray’s pitch-perfect chicken risotto and — goodness me! — it hit the spot. FVD’s Esme Johnstone tells me that it’s their best-selling burgundy by miles and I’m not in the least surprised. Produced from old vine Chardonnay by Denis and Geneviève Rousset, whose family have been making wine in the village of Péronne, also near Mâcon, for almost 130 years, it sees not one splinter of oak and is as crisp, clean and pure as they come. It’s rounded and textured with an underlying citrus freshness and a fine mineral core. It’s a class act for sure and — I don’t care what you say, such things matter, especially when it comes to showing off to the neighbours at Christmas — the bottle looks dead pukka too. £12.45 down from £12.95.

    Bottle 75 cl £12.95 £12.45
    Case 12 bottles £155.40 £149.40