The Telegraph Case - Curated by Victoria Moore
Wines from The Bunch group: Yapp Brothers, Tanners, Corney & Barrow, Lea & Sandeman, Adnams, Private Cellar, and Haynes Hanson & Clark.
I chose these wines as if I were going to be drinking them myself and hope you will enjoy them as much as I would. Please do let me - and The Bunch - know which ones you like the most.
This mixed case contains one bottle each the following wines:
1. Daniel Dampt Petit Chablis 2019 France (12%, Haynes, Hanson & Clark, £15.95)
A superb Petit Chablis that for me is better than a lot of Chablis. There can't be much of this because HH&C tell me the grapes come from the vines on a tiny, "0.5ha plot on a plateau (argilo-calcaire) on the other side of the Serein from where the Dampts are (they're in Milly). It's well exposed, and the vines are pretty young - one section is 4 years old, the other 12. They make it in exactly the same way as they do their village Chablis, the focus being on creating a totally transparent expression of Chardonnay from Chablis." A brilliant wine.
2. Basa Blanco 2019 Rueda, Spain (13%, Tanners, £11.30)
A clean and refreshing wine that acts like a very smart neutral. It's made from verdejo and viura and there's a hint of yellow plum and of white blossom and citrus.
3. Domaine Reine Juliette Picpoul 2020 France (13%%, Lea & Sandeman, £11.95)
A bandbox-fresh picpoul from the new vintage: lithe, subtle and just slightly saline, this is a lovely fridge-door white for the spring.
4. Domaine Maby La Fermade Lirac Blanc 2019 France (14.5%, Yapp, £14.50)
Lirac is an appellation situated just across the Rhône river from Châteauneuf du Pape and Richard Maby is one of the star producers in it. White Lirac - in fact all white Rhône wines - are under-appreciated. I think we should drink more of them and love this one for its combination of texture and freshness. The grapes are grenache blanc (texture), clairette (the scent of meadow flowers) and picpoul (freshness). It's beautifully scented and fits together perfectly. Try it with tarragon and thyme and garlic chicken casserole.
Two sauvignon blancs
5. Trotignon Les Silex Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2019 France (12.5%, Tanners £10.95)
6. Château Grinou La Combe de Grinou Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2019 IGP Perigord, France (12.5%, Corney & Barrow, £10.25)
These two wines show different faces of the same grape. The Trotignon is a chiseled, grassy, refreshing jolt of a sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley. Very crisp, it's the sort of wine you might call a ‘mini Sancerre' and silex, by the way, is the soil-type - much sought-after for sauvignon blanc. The Combe de Grinou, meanwhile, is gentler. If the Trotignon is an arrow then the Grinou is a meandering stream. Made in the hills of the Dordogne, it tastes of lemons and white flowers with a hint of grass. Dangerously drinkable, it made me think of drinking wines by the glass carafe under a plane tree in a French square. Also, it's organic.
1. Adnams Douro Red 2019 Portugal (14.5%, Adnams, £9.99)
A sturdy yet also polished red made in Portugal's beautiful Douro Valley using port grapes - tinta roriz, touriga franca and touriga nacional. It's made for Adnams by the excellent Quinta do Crasto who also happen to have a glorious infinity pool overlooking some pretty spectacular scenery, just in case you're thinking of visiting one day when we can all travel again.
2. Weingut Petri Pinot Noir 2018 Pfalz, Germany (13%, Lea & Sandeman, £12.50)
Pinot noir from Germany is no longer an undiscovered secret but if you still haven't tried any here's a good place to start. This pinot noir is all about brightness, perkiness and freshness: think red cherries, redcurrants and strawberries. A frisky start to spring.
3. Château Paret 2016 Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux, France (14%, Haynes, Hanson & Clark, £10.65)
4. Private Cellar's House Claret 2016 Bordeaux Supérieur, France (13.5%, Private Cellar, £12.90)
"You can't find good value wine in Bordeaux," is a line that's often trotted out and it's wrong, as these two clarets prove.
We've got two very different styles here, both from the brilliant 2016 vintage. The Ch. Paret is the one I'd open before dinner. It's from the appellation of Castillon, which borders St Emilion and produces some of the best value wine in the whole region. What I like about this wine is that it has a strong sense of place. There's soft, sweetly ripe fruit, a hint of redcurrant leaf and of mulberry and, because it's just beginning to age, the faintest waft of truffle too. A gorgeous wine that would also be lovely with pink rack of lamb and spring vegetables.
The Private Cellar claret is made by Château Argadens, situated to the south-east of Bordeaux. It's a much more dusty wine with a firm taste of oak on the finish. I probably wouldn't drink this without food (right now) but it's great with lamb with a herb crust or sausages and mustard.
5. Enrique Foster Malbec 2019 Uco Valley, Argentina (13.5%, Private Cellar, £11.25)
6. Idahue Estate Malbec 2018 Licantén, Chile (14%, Corney & Barrow, £13.95)
Malbec - and in particular malbec from Argentina - has become hugely popular but it's rare to find two bottles as good as this. The two are very different in style. The EF Malbec from Argentina is juicy and vibrant, with a fresh taste - all blueberries and damsons. It's almost unoaked (just 10% of the blend goes into oak barrels, which adds a subtle weight and texture to the background) so is really all about the fruit. I drank a glass with a pizza. The Idahue Estate is, I think, the first Chilean malbec I have tasted that I also liked and I didn't just like it - I loved it. It's from the new and very small DO of Licantén, located in Colchagua close to the Pacific Ocean. This malbec is savoury and layered (I caught hints of drinking chocolate powder). It's also oaked (10 months in French barrels) and there's a bit of cabernet franc and of merlot in the blend which bring another dimension to the wine.