The dust may have only just settled on Christmas, but look out! Valentines Day is just around the corner. I expect to be inundated. Sorry – stupid auto-correct – I mean in, undated.
I can’t understand it – last year I bought my partner what I thought was a nice present of a new belt and a bag. For some reason she was really angry with me, however the vacuum cleaner has worked a treat since.
Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic day because it’s always exciting to get a Valentine’s Day card with no stamp and just your name on the envelope pushed through your door…except if you’re in prison.
Ayala Rose Majeur Champagne
Valentines Day without fizz? Unthinkable! This is a little beauty from the little known sister house of Bollinger, Ayala.
A gorgeous pink Champagne, made predominantly from Chardonnay with the addition of small portions of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it has a lovely pale colour with a delicate pink hue.
On the nose, red berries and peaches abound – in the mouth, great freshness from the Chardonnay is complemented by lovely strawberry fruit and a tight, herby, complex character. Fantastic long and voluptuous finish – perfect for a Valentines Day aperitif. Delicious! Just £26.95!
La Fleur Solitaire – Cotes du Rhone, France
Don’t be fooled – although the Rhone is famous for its reds, white wines also have a long heritage in the Southern Rhone valley.
This is a cracker made from the typical white grapes of the region – predominantly Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Rousanne.
Floral notes come to the fore on the nose, with a hint of hedgerows and a slight touch of fennel.
On the palate, there’s lovely bright fresh fruit with a hint of creaminess from the brief oak ageing, cut through with a delightful savoury edge.
Fantastic value and a lovely easy drinking wine to share with a loved one. Just £8.95
3 Ases Tempranillo – Ribera del Duero, Spain
Unctuous Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero to the south of the Rioja region.
This is a big, bold, yet refined, wine displaying a wonderfully fruity nose with buckets of blackberry and touches of cocoa and black liqourice.
On the palate, the black fruits come to the fore, backed up by soft spices from the oak barrels.
Smooth, rounded and guaranteed to keep you coming back for more – hopefully like your partner on Valentines Day…..
Macon Charnay – Clos Saint Pierre 2015
Oh no! Not the dreaded Chardonnay?!?!
Yes – but forget all about the claggy, oaky stuff from the 1980’s, (and also please remember that without Chardonnay, there’d be an awful lot less Champagne than there is now. This is a simply stunningly beautiful, crisp clean, and fruity bargain of a white Burgundy.
Lemon, ripe pear, peach, apple and a hint of honey on the nose, followed by generous and elegant flavours of citrus, white stone fruits, toasted nuts, vanilla and a lingering citrusy lime finish.
You can probably tell we absolutely adore this wine, so put aside those prejudices.
It’s Valentines day – be brave, and let’s all show this much maligned and misunderstood grape a bit of love!
Bargain of the year at £9.95!
By Tim Naylor (Saddleworth Wine Vault)