Wines of the Month - February 2024
Seasonal wines for February: "...a month that can veer from mildly clement to wildly wintery."
February is a month that can veer from mildly clement to wildly wintery at the drop of a bobble hat, so vinous requirements need to cosset or refresh in equal measure. This month's selection pairs South African Sauvignon Blanc with two Syrahs – one from the Languedoc, the other from the Maghreb. Any of these bottles would suit this month's epicurean treat from Jason Yapp.
Napier Winery: 'Klein Louis' Sauvignon Blanc 2022
'Sauvignon Blanc, Darling?' Usually a question for your nearest and dearest at 'aperitif hour', but in this case, Darling refers to an enclave of cool-climate viticulture on South Africa's Atlantic coast from where the fruit for this wine is sourced. The cooling Benguela current means that vineyards are often blanketed in morning mists which keeps the vines cool, preserving acidity and aromatics. Crisp gooseberry and nettle notes enjoy grapefruit acidity and a slight grassy edge. Enjoy as a pre-prandial palate sharpener, with seafood or a pea and mint risotto.
IGP Pays d'Oc: Moulin de Gassac Syrah 2022
We're always on the lookout for well-made, keenly-priced wines and the IGP Pays d'Oc is a happy hunting ground. Covering Languedoc-Roussillon, it has a broad set of rules, grape varieties and blends which fall outside most Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée rules. Moulin de Gassac is the junior sibling of Mas de Daumas Gassac and sources fruit from parcels of vines across the area. Their fruit-forward Syrah is chock-full of juicy blueberry and blackberry fruit, fondant tannins and a little white pepper on the finish. Eminently quaffable, it will enhance sausages and mash, roasted root vegetables or a chilli con carne.
Tandem: Syrah du Maroc 2021
Reds from North Africa have somewhat of a reputation as chest-thumping fare but the Graillot family's 'Tandem' Syrah de Maroc - a partnership with the Ouled Thaleb winery – has been described by Malcolm Gluck as 'bottled sunshine'. Some years back, the late Alain Graillot was on a cycling holiday in the Atlas mountains and tasted their wines – promptly proposing making this cuvée together. Best decanted, its warming baked-fruit and spice flavours dominate and are lifted by intensely aromatic forest fruit aromas and tannins. Lamb tagines would be the most apposite pairing though roasted root vegetables or cassoulet of various hues would suffice in extremis.
The Wines of the Month offer can be purchased as a case of 6 or 12 bottles, and as part of our Regular Wine Delivery service.
Grant Berry - Shop Manager
(Two bottles of each wine shown are included in the six-bottle case. Our standard list price of these wines would be £91.30 plus £15.00 delivery to a mainland UK address - offer price saves £16.30. Four bottles of each wine shown are included in the twelve-bottle case. Our standard list price of these wines would be £182.60, with free delivery included to a mainland UK address - offer price saves £17.60).