Wines of the Month
Seasonal wines for December: "...wonderful wines from off the beaten track."
Back in rosé-drinking season, we spent considerable time pondering our Christmas Offer wines. When it came to the December Wines of the Month, the usual candidates were introduced, discussed and discarded: none felt quite right for Christmas 2020. Deliberations had been going on for some time (over a bottle or two), when someone piped up 'Why not choose wonderful wines from off the beaten track?' - and that started the ball rolling. Everyone chipped in, and this case is the end result: two bottles each of three wines starting with an exquisite Alsatian fizz, crisp Alpine delight from the Savoie and sumptuous Rhône Syrah.
Alsace: Léon Beyer Crémant d'Alsace Brut
Marc Beyer's fizz is always a treat and was the choice of bubbly at our last Yapp Staff Christmas do; an honour granted but once a year. Made from an assemblage of Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois that is fermented via the traditional champagne method, it has oodles of class and a deliciously moreish citrus zing, with a touch of brioche on the finish and plenty of orchard fruit. Not only brilliant as an aperitif or palate sharpener, it works very well with blinis, Thai-spiced green curries or buttery pastry.
Savoie: Domaine de l'Idylle 'Vieille Vigne' Blanc 2019
Having a versatile go-to white is absolutely crucial for pre-Christmas nibbles or partnering smoked salmon. Ollie Smith exuberantly enthused “Exuberant as an orange waltzing in the arms of a mango.” Jancis Robinson OBE, MW seems tame in comparison: "Sylvain, Philippe and François Tiollier are responsible for this. Pure Jacquère from mature rootstock in the subappellation of Cruet overlooking the Isère valley. Full malolactic fermentation takes place and the wine is raised on its fine lees with 20% in used oak barrels. Light, fresh and just the right side of watery because there is so much delicate fruit, with a hint of alpine flowers. Pure Savoie. Chapeau! Lovely aperitif. Drink 2020 – 2022. 16 points."
IGP Collines Rhodaniennes: Patrick Jasmin 'La Chevalière' 2018
From world-renowned Côte Rôtie winemaker Patrick Jasmin comes this pure Syrah 'mini' Côte-Rôtie has that grand appellation's hallmark sleek bramble fruit and cool mineral core. An unmitigated bargain given its lowly IGP status, this is brilliant with poultry, game, red meat or a sauté of wild mushrooms with plenty of butter, garlic and persillade.
(Two bottles of each wine shown are included in this six-bottle case. Our standard list price of these wines would be £98.50, plus £10 delivery to a mainland UK address. Offer price saves £13.50).