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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    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

    Domaine de l’Ermitage, Menetou-Salon Blanc 2017

    Domaine de l’Ermitage, Menetou-Salon Blanc 2017

    Loire / FR
    13%
    If Sauvignon Blanc rather than Chardonnay is your thing, I’d respectfully suggest that you look no further than the 2017 Domaine de l’Ermitage, Menetou-Salon. Menetou-Salon, just north of Bourges in the Loire Valley, is where canny folk who quail at the prices now asked for top quality Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé now head for their vino, and quite right too. I reckon this is as good as anything you would find elsewhere in the Loire. The de la Farge family have been making wine here at the Domaine de l’Ermitage estate for 500 years, so one imagines they know what they’re up to. Only the finest hand-harvested Sauvignon Blanc is used and the result is an impressively sophisticated glass of wine. It’s clean and fresh, with the expected notes of nettles and grass, but there’s ripe stone fruit too and even something bordering on the tropical. The 2015 vintage won gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards and I reckon this is every bit as good. £ 14.95 down from £15.95.

    Bottle 75 cl £15.95 £14.95