Welcome to our wine list, which we hope is the finest and most wide-ranging in Orkney.
For reopening in 2021 we have taken the opportunity to refresh our list completely, seeking out several exciting new wines, as well as new vintages of old favourites. Wine lovers are particularly encouraged to examine our Cellar Selection towards the end of the list where we have some special and rare choices. All bottles are 750ml, unless otherwise stated.
We’ve chosen two white and two red wines to be our house wines – meaning that they are easy to drink, and suited to a wide range of dishes on our menu.
1. Seriti, Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, South Africa, £18.00
Dry and refreshing, this crisp, limey Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Western Cape, where cool vineyard sites ensure clean, green flavours. A fine match for seafood and salad, but also a perfect wine to sip by itself.
- Estampado, Off Dry White, 2020, Argentina, £18.00
An exciting new wine for this year, especially for those who like a subtle touch of sweetness. It’s beautifully perfumed and a joy by the glass or with seafood and many lighter foods, including slightly spicy dishes.
- Gran Tesoro, Garnacha, 2019, Spain, £18.00
Garnacha (or Grenache as it’s better known) is a soft, fruity, juicy red, a speciality of north-east Spain. This is a fine, unoaked example: perfect with everything from chicken to beef.
- Seriti, Shiraz, 2019, South Africa, £18.00
Like its white equivalent, this represents extraordinary value for money: it’s full-bodied and powerful, scented with raspberries and violets, and a great match for steak and other full-flavoured dishes.
- Maison de Vigneron, Côtes de Gascogne Rosé, 2019, France, £18.00
From Gascony, south of Bordeaux, this is a simply delicious rosé. Light, dry and refreshing, it will match fish and salad, or make perfect pink-drinking by itself.
CHAMPAGNE AND SPARKLING WINE
- Lunetta, Prosecco Spumante, NV, Italy, £27.00
A fresh and frisky sparkling wine in traditional Italian style. Light bodied and a little off-dry, with crisp appley flavours, this is a very drinkable sparkler.
- Lunetta, Prosecco Spumante, NV, Italy, 200ml bottle, £9.00
The same delicious Prosecco, but in a handy 200ml bottle; two decent glasses to share…or to keep for yourself.
- Lunetta, Prosecco Rosato, NV, Italy, 200ml bottle, £9.00
A touch of pink adds to the pleasure.
- Farnese, ‘Fantini’ Cuvée Rosato Brut, Italy, NV, £39.00
This intriguing sparkler comes from Basilicata in the far south of Italy. It’s made with the Aglianico grape, which usually ends up in full-bodied reds, but in this case it’s a cherry-scented, slightly sweet, very fruity rosé. Try it by itself or with rich seafood like scallops.
- Peter Lehmann, ‘Black Queen’ Sparkling Shiraz, Australia, 2015, £59.00
Australia’s unique contribution to the world of wine, sparkling Shiraz is a fixture at every down-under Christmas dinner – and it does go well with turkey and trimmings. It’s a fantastic deep red in the glass, with fine crimson bubbles. Despite being dry, it’s a good match for cheese and even dense chocolate puddings as well as roasts of all kinds…not just turkey.
- Champagne Lallier, Grand Cru Grande Réserve Brut, NV, France, £69.00
Lallier is a small, family-owned winery, free of the overpriced glitz often associated with the big brands. Made entirely from the best Grand Cru vineyards, this superb Champagne is chiefly Pinot Noir, with just a touch of Chardonnay, so has real depths of fruity flavour, as well as a superb, toasty fizz. A multi-award-winning Champagne.
- Champagne Lallier, Vintage Champagne, 2012, France, £99.00
A luxurious Champagne for that special occasion, the Lallier Grand Cru is aged in barrel for more than five years, then in bottle for several more. The result is a rich but harmonious wine (a touch more Pinot Noir than Chardonnay) with great length, depth of flavour, and finesse. Aromas of brioche and baked apple… Very classy indeed, and good with food as well as by itself.
A PERSONAL SELECTION
Château de la Gardine
On holiday at the end of 2017, we travelled the length of the Rhône Valley, exploring the wonderful food and wine of the area. One wine that particularly impressed us was a Châteauneuf-du-Pape by Château de la Gardine, and we asked who distributed it in the UK. Amazingly, they said they didn’t have a UK agent, and just shipped small quantities directly to a few specialist merchants in England. This seemed like a challenge! We got together with our Kirkwall wine merchant, Kirkness & Gorie, and have imported a broad selection directly from the Rhône to Orkney.
They own two wineries: Château de la Gardine itself, an ancient property, owned and run by the Brunel family since 1945, and Chateau Saint-Roch, a few miles to the west, on the other side of the river Rhône, which they have owned since 1998. They also work under the name Brunel de la Gardine as négociants, buying in wine to bottle and mature to their exacting specifications from the Northern and further-flung parts of the Southern Rhône. Whatever the label, the wines are very special indeed – and exclusive to us in Scotland.
A word about vintages: 2016, 2017 and 2018 were all exceptionally good, with 2016 being considered the best year in this area for quarter of a century. 2019’s whites are looking fine and fragrant; the reds are yet to be released.
SOUTHERN RHÔNE: WHITE
- Brunel de la Gardine, Côtes du Rhône Blanc, 2019, £28.00
This has complexity far beyond what its modest price would suggest, but it’s the pleasure of drinking it that’s the main thing! Peachy, light to medium bodied, dry but rich – this is by far the best white Côtes du Rhone we’ve ever encountered. Enjoy by itself or with all manner of lighter dishes.
- Château Saint-Roch, Lirac Blanc, 2019, £34.00
Delightful citrus aromas and a touch of oak for added body make this a classic fish wine. As with the Cotes du Rhône, it’s a blend of traditional grapes including Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Rousanne and Viognier.
- Château de la Gardine, Châteauneuf du Pape Blanc, 2018, £65.00
A majestic white wine, blending Rousanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, and Bourboulenc grapes, fermented and aged in oak. Its richness is balanced by a distinct minerality from the limestone soil of the vineyards. Try with rich fish and shellfish dishes like monkfish, scallops, lobster and turbot. You could ask for this to be decanted if you wanted to really open up its aromas.
SOUTHERN RHÔNE: RED
- Brunel de la Gardine, Côtes du Rhône Rouge, 2018, £28.00
Incredible quality for what is often a lowly appellation: this would make a great introduction to Gardine’s wines. Mostly consisting of Grenache and Syrah, it has lovely aromas of violets, a medium to full body, and good length. Try with red or white meat. Above all, just try it!
- Château Saint-Roch, Lirac Rouge, 2016, £34.00
A step up, this Lirac blends Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre to delicious effect. Although it’s aged in oak barrels, they are all old, and so add little oaky flavour: rather, the wine is fresh, fruity and medium-bodied. Good with lighter meat dishes, and cheese. From the exceptional 2016 vintage.
- Château de la Gardine, Rasteau Rouge, 2017, £33.00
The Brunel family have been farming in Rasteau, a few miles east of the Château, since 1963. Here they grow mainly Grenache grapes, with a small amount of Syrah. The wine is unoaked, allowing the dark and earthy fruit of the Grenache to shine through, lightened by some raspberry aromas from the Syrah. Try with meaty dishes, including duck and other game.
- Château de la Gardine, Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge 2017, £65.00
This wine is the flagship of Gardine’s production: in France, everything they do is measured against the success of this wine in each vintage. Luckily, although there are many good wines from this famous area, this is often listed as one of the very best. A blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and the (very obscure) Muscardin, it is aged in oak barrels, which provide lovely sweet vanilla aromas, complementing the concentrated dried- and roasted-fruit flavours. For such a big wine, it’s remarkably elegant. Superb with full-flavoured dishes of all kinds. Decant if you can.
- Château de la Gardine, Châteauneuf du Pape Rouge, 2017, MAGNUM, £140.00
The same, but in a double-sized (1.5 litre) bottle. Nothing beats the drama of a magnum of fine wine at the table!
- Château de la Gardine, Châteauneuf du Pape, ‘Gaston Philippe,’ 2016, £130.00
This is Gardine’s top wine, and from a top vintage. A careful selection of the best, ripest Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes is made, they are co-fermented, then aged for roughly 18 months in barrel. The resulting wine is dark purple, almost black in colour; it has complex aromas of cassis and berry jam; it is quite big and tannic, making it an ideal match for red meats like steak, and roast lamb or beef. A special wine for special occasions, it’s definitely a good idea to ask for this to be decanted so its concentrated layers of flavour can open up.
NORTHERN RHÔNE: RED
- Brunel de la Gardine, St Joseph, 2017, £45.00
St Joseph lies on the west bank of the Rhône river, with vineyards (100% Syrah) tending to slope down to the south-east, catching the morning sun. It produces wines that are rich and rounded, but a touch lighter, juicier and more aromatic than its neighbours around the Hermitage hill. Worth decanting, to release lovely aromas of berries and blossom. Good with white meat as well as red.
- Brunel de la Gardine, Crozes-Hermitage, 2018, £43.00
Like Côtes du Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage comes from a large area, and consequently quality can be variable. But you don’t have to worry with Gardine. In fact, this wine is an object lesson in Northern Rhône style, and represents amazing quality for money. It’s 100% Syrah, and has beautiful aromas of raspberries and violets, good structure, and loads of soft, generous fruit. If you like Australian Shiraz, try this and found out where the Aussies got their inspiration from!
- Brunel de la Gardine, Hermitage Rouge, 2017, £84.00
Overlooking the sleepy town of Tain is a precipitous sloping vineyard with a tiny, ancient, stone hermitage on top. From this dramatic setting comes one of the world’s greatest red wines, which somehow manages to be both powerful and graceful at the same time. 100% Syrah, it is dark as ink and has aromas of violets and brambles, an array of complex flavours that open out in the mouth – truffle, leather, cassis – and a long subtly-spicy finish. Decant if possible, and pair with the finest meat and game dishes.
CRISP, REFRESHING WHITE WINES
- Cave de l’Ormarine, ‘Selection’ Picpoul de Pinet, 2020, France, £24.00
Our guests appreciate seafood more and more, so this Picpoul is an exciting edition, as it is THE seafood wine of southern France. Made in coastal vineyards a few hundred metres from the huge oyster beds of the Étang de Thau, it’s lemony and fresh, perfect with shellfish, seafood platters and simple grilled fish.
- Mastri Vernacoli, Pinot Grigio, 2019, Italy, £22.00
A lovely Pinot Grigio from cool vineyards in Trentino in north-east Italy. Lots of perfume, plenty of refreshing acidity, and good length, all coming together in elegant harmony. Great by itself, with fish, or with many salads and even white meat.
- Azevedo, Vinho Verde, 2019, Portugal, £25.00
Another great seafood wine, which will be familiar to anyone who’s ever had a Portuguese seaside holiday. Some Vinho Verde’s are bitingly acidic, but this one is restrained and balanced: crisp, but also featuring lots of peachy fruit. Simply delicious.
- Loimer, Kamptal Grüner Veltliner, 2018, Austria, £37.00
An outstanding introduction to a country whose wines we’re not too familiar with. Grüner Veltliner is about as crisp and zingy as wine gets – and is a fantastic match for oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. If you’re thinking of ordering those dishes, be a bit adventurous and try a ‘GV’ to accompany it: you won’t be disappointed.
- Domaine de Corbillieres, Sauvignon de Touraine, 2019, France, £31.00
Remarkable value for an excellent Loire Valley interpretation of the world’s favourite aromatic grape: Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a lovely refreshing aperitif and a good match for lighter dishes. If you want to splash out on a Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé, see our Cellar Selection, but if you want to try one of the Loire’s hidden treasures, look no further.
30. Crowded House, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, NZ, £28.00
An absolutely stunning Marlborough Sauv Blanc, with all the exuberant, grapefruity perfume the region is famous for. A long, refreshing finish makes this a great match for fish, shellfish and goat’s cheese – though it’s lovely by itself too. Ageing on lees adds more complexity of flavour than usually found in Sauv Blancs from this area.
FULLER BODIED WHITE WINES
- Goats Do Roam, 2019, South Africa, £26.00
Charles Back is a maverick with an eye for a humorous label. Luckily, he is also one of South Africa’s greatest winemakers (honoured in 2014 with the IWC Lifetime Achievement Award.) This unoaked blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier and several other grapes has lively fruit flavours. A Lynnfield favourite.
- Sileni Estates, Cellar Selection Pinot Gris, 2019, New Zealand, £27.00
Fuller in flavour and rounder in texture than Italian Pinot Grigio, New Zealand’s Pinot Gris is an increasingly popular style. Sileni’s version is at the lighter end, but still full of lovely pear-juice aromas. Try by itself or with many light to medium dishes.
33. Waterkloof, Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc, 2018, South Africa, £27.00
Winemaker Paul Boutinot hosted a Lynnfield Lux dinner in 2016 and, of his many fine wines, this one stood out: we’ve had it on the list ever since. It has a full, rich palate with quite a lot of weight, yet it’s balanced with perfect acidity. Try with scallops, white meats, or by itself.
- Domaine Perraud, Mâcon Villages, 2019, France, £37.00
Every good wine list needs a white Burgundy, but in the face of crazy prices for the famous names and a lot of affordable but dull stuff, where to turn? The answer is to the southern appellation of Mâcon, and a young (mid-thirties) winemaker called Jean-Christophe Perraud. Using grapes from family vineyards as old as he is, he crafts lightly oaked Chardonnays that are full-flavoured but finish fresh. Very adaptable, but we particularly like it with scallops and other shellfish. Highly recommended for lovers of refined old-world whites.
AROMATIC WHITE WINES
- Cave de Turckheim, ‘Tradition’ Gewürztraminer, 2018, France, £36.00
Gewurztraminer is a unique grape: nothing else possesses such lovely perfumes of rose petals and Turkish delight. It smells like it’s going to be sweet but it’s not, though it is certainly rich. Try with spiced dishes or as an unusual and memorable aperitif.
- Baron de Badassière, Viognier, 2019, France, £24.00
Viognier is another strikingly aromatic wine, with enticing aromas of peach and apricot. Its crisper than the Gewurtz, and is a fantastic match for richer fish dishes. The vineyards are located just along the road from our Picpoul producer (see above) and within striking distance of the same oyster beds. Not much wonder it’s made for seafood.
- Hexamer, ‘Porphyr’ Riesling, 2019, Germany, £36.00
Our wine supplier came back from a trip to central Germany – his last before lockdown – raving about the obscure Nahe region, west of Frankfurt, and especially about the wines of this ancient family firm. Germany produces many fine Rieslings, but few can match the perfect balance of acidity, ripeness, aromatics – and price – that the Hexamer possesses. A dry but rich wine that is wonderful with shellfish, but also chicken and pork. Or by itself as a zesty aperitif.
- La Bascula, ‘The Atlantic Way’ Albariño, 2019, Spain, £34.00
Coming as it does from vineyards close to the sea in Galicia in north-west Spain, it’s no surprise this should be a superb seafood wine. Cool coastal breezes ensure the grapes’ aromatic character is retained, along with a dry, crisp finish. If you haven’t tried Albariño before, we strongly recommend you do.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM BODIED REDS
- Goats do Roam, 2019, South Africa, £26.00
Another winner from Charles Back: the quality of the wine belies its jokey name. If only all Côtes du Rhône were this fruity, smooth and spicy! Made mostly with Syrah, with touches of Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Grenache for added complexity and warmth, this is easy to drink, easy to love and a match for very many dishes.
- La Madone, Fleurie, 2018, France, £30.00
A very nice Fleurie indeed, with all the lovely flowery Beaujolais aromatics the name conjures up. A glowing cherry red colour in the glass, and a nice soft slurp in the mouth. One of our most popular reds.
- 41. Sileni Estates, Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, 2019, New Zealand, £26
New Zealand is now almost as celebrated for its Pinot Noirs as its Sauvignons. Kiwis have the knack of making Pinots that are generally rounder and fruitier than comparable Burgundies, but that still retain elegance. Sileni’s is a fine example, delicious to drink by itself and with all but the heaviest dishes.
JUICY ITALIAN REDS
- Poggiotondo, Organic Chianti, 2018, Italy, £34.00
From the heart of Tuscany comes this rich, organic Chianti: it has lots of power and intense cherry flavours, but is very drinkable. A balsamic tang, characteristic of the Sangiovese grape, makes it a great food wine too. Try it with any Italian-influenced dish, or with lamb and other red meats.
- Allegrini, Valpolicella, Italy, 2019, £36.00
Allegrini is one of the stars of the Veneto area in north-central Italy: their Valpolicella stands out like a beacon of quality midst a sea of factory-farmed wines of that name. Light to medium bodied, this has charming cherry aromas, good length, and a lot of class. Try with fuller-flavoured fish dishes as well as terrines, chicken and lighter meat dishes.
RIOJA AND BEYOND: SPAIN
- El Coto, Rioja Crianza, 2016, £29.00
Crianza, the youngest of El Coto’s Riojas, is all about the fruit. True, it is aged in American oak barrels for twelve months, but that is apparent in attractive vanilla aromas rather than anything very woody. Instead you get loads of raspberry fruit, and a juicy, medium body. Great with white meat, cold meat and terrine, salads, and by itself.
- Coto de Imaz, Rioja Reserva, 2015, £39.00
The Reserva is aged for 18 months in American oak. Allied with top quality, intensely flavoured Tempranillo grapes, the result is a perfect balance between warm fruit and toasty oak. A full-bodied wine, this is great with any red meat dish, or game, and mature cheese.
- Coto de Imaz, Rioja Gran Reserva, 2011, £57.00
Only produced in the best vintages, three or four times per decade, the Gran Reserva is aged for 24 months in barrel, then at least 36 more in bottle. The result is a wine of great power, but also subtlety: the initial intense fruit flavours have evolved into a complex layering of dried fruit, leather, spice and coconut. This is not an introduction to Rioja, it’s a wine to move up to when you’ve tried the relatively approachable pleasures of the Crianza and Reserva. After that…with a nice rare steak or roast…this will be heavenly.
- Pinna Fidelis, Ribera del Duero, Spain, 2018, £30.00
A favourite with many regular customers. Made with the same grape as Rioja – Tempranillo – this has its own style: exuberantly fruity, with aromas of raspberries, blackcurrants and cherries vying for attention. It’s all underpinned by a subtle flavour of sweet vanilla from oak ageing. Great value for a famous area, and a good all-round red, suitable for a wide range of foods.
MEDIUM BODIED WINES, OLD WORLD AND NEW
- Papa Figos, Douro Tinto, 2019, Portugal, £30.00
We featured this at a Lux a couple of years ago, and such was its popularity that we have taken the opportunity to add it to our list. The Douro is known for its Ports, and this has some of the same rich berry-and-spice-box aromas. But of course it is much lighter – a real easy-drinker in fact – and a good food match for many medium-bodied dishes.
- Chateau los Boldos, Merlot, 2019, Chile, £24.00
A perfect expression of Merlot from the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes: soft and plummy, with a touch of sweet spice from ageing in French oak. Excellent value and a great match for many meat dishes.
- Chateau los Boldos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 2019, £24.00
As with their Merlot, some of the fruit for this classic Cabernet comes from vineyards dating back as far as 1948. Lovely concentrated cassis aromas and a lick of tannin are the result, make this a perfect match for lamb or mutton.
- Château Mahon-Laville, Bordeaux Supérieur, 2018, France, £37.00
A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is smooth, well-structured, but with bags of blackcurrant and plum fruit. Ideal with lamb and other red meats. The owner and winemaker is Jean-Christophe Barbe, Professor of Oenology at Bordeaux University, so you can be confident that this is classic Claret!
BIG SPICY REDS
- Altos los Hormigas, Malbec Clasico, Argentina, 2016, £33.00
Argentina’s ‘national grape’ brings its signature dark purple colour and brambly aromas to this outstanding food wine. Lots of character and good length make it a natural to pair with a good steak. An established favourite. We’ll be moving to a new vintage soon.
- Mitolo, ‘Jester’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, 2017, £37.00
We have featured Mitolo’s wines at several Lux dinners. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is made using partially dried grapes, resulting in a classic Southern Australian red: deep in colour, powerfully scented, a bit of a blockbuster in fact. But with the right food its balance shines through; try with steak, slow-cooked meat and even cheese.
- The Black Craft, Shiraz, Australia, 2018, £31.00
This is what makes Australia a great wine country: straight-ahead, no-nonsense, easy-drinking red, with buckets of warm, red-berry flavours, substantial but not sledgehammer body, and a few subtle eucalyptus notes tucked away underneath. Pure pleasure.
LYNNFIELD CELLAR SELECTION
We are proud to offer a special selection of premium quality wines, from some of the world’s most quality-focussed winemakers. As elsewhere in our list, we have selected here on the basis of interest and appropriateness for our menu, rather than just ‘bagging’ famous names. We would be very happy to decant any of these wines for you, which may be beneficial for some of the bigger reds in particular: please just ask us when you order.
- Château Mouras, Grand Vin de Graves, 2015, France, £49.00
An equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot ensures there’s plenty of fruit here, but the traditional minerality of Graves – from its gravelly soil – adds something special. A traditional Claret, then, with a fresh edge. An excellent vintage.
- Clos de la Cure, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2014, France, £59.00
The wines of St Emilion are favoured by attractive plummy aromas and soft, generous bodies, and this is no exception. Long ageing in oak is apparent only in the underlying structure, generously clothed in rich, rounded Merlot fruit. Tannins are very fine, the finish long. A good match for game, beef or mature cheese.
- Château Lanessan, Haut-Médoc, 2011, France, £52.00
A classic left bank blend, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot and just a touch of Petit Verdot in support. This eighth-generation (!) family winery creates elegant, cedar-and-blackcurrant-scented wines that are perfect with roast beef or lamb. 2011 was cool and tended to produce tannic wine, but ten years maturing have softened this up nicely; decanting will help open it up further.
- Laroche, Chablis ‘Les Chanoines’, 2018, France, £56.00
Gwénaële Laroche stayed here during the Orkney Wine Festival a few years ago and introduced us to her whole range. We decided to make this lovely wine our house Chablis. Unoaked, it’s a refreshing, streamlined interpretation with loads of crisp lemony fruit. A good match for fish, shellfish, chicken or salads – or as a palate-stimulating aperitif. Very classy.
- Vallet Frères, Meursault, 2017, France, £90.00
‘One wishes there were more people like Vallet in Burgundy,’ wrote renowned critic Robert Parker, praising their adherence to traditional Burgundian winemaking. This Meursault is a great example of the classic style: elegant in texture, with complex vanilla and cashew aromas and a long fresh finish. Superb with chicken, lobster and other rich, creamy dishes. We’ll be moving to the equally good 2018 vintage soon.
- Vallet Frères, Gevrey-Chambertin, 2015, France, £67.00
The Vallet family has been making wine in Burgundy since 1864 and own several outstanding vineyards around their cellars in the heart of Gevrey-Chambertin. Vallet’s wines have all the finesse and complexity you’d expect of a fine Côte d’Or red, with just a little more intensity of fruit than most. Having said that, above all it’s a beautifully elegant wine: try with dishes like pheasant or duck, or our cheeseboard.
- Domaine de Maltaverne, Pouilly Fumé ‘L’Ammonite’, 2017, France, £48.00
The Loire Valley is heartland of traditional Sauvignon Blancs, and this is a sophisticated yet easy to drink wine from one of its most famous villages. The fruit is there in abundance, but so are fleeting aromas of smoke and flint. Delicious.
62. Domaine Henry Pellé, Sancerre ‘La Croix de la Garde,’ 2018, France, £49.00
A classic Sancerre and a wonderful wine: mixing generous fruity aromas with underlying crisp minerality as only Sancerre can. Great with shellfish, goat’s cheese, asparagus – or, of course, by itself.
- Alpha Zeta, Amarone, 2016, Italy, £70.00
A wine unique to the Valpolicella area, made by air-drying Corvina and Rondinella grapes till their flavours concentrate and intensify. It’s a big wine in every sense: Port lovers who want a wine to accompany their main course will be delighted by this. A winner with hearty beef and game dishes, or with strong, hard cheese to finish your dinner. We’ll be moving to 2017 soon.
- Campiogiovanni, Brunello di Montalcino, 2015, Italy, £80.00
One of the great wines of Italy, Brunello is made in and around the mountain-top village of Montalcino in the south of Tuscany. The warm climate delivers very ripe grapes, and consequently wines of great power and complexity. Brunello can be noticeably tannic, but with the right food – beef, mutton, roast pork – it is a truly memorable experience.
- Poderi Colla, Barolo, Bussia Dardi Le Rose, 2016, Italy, £85.00
A textbook Barolo: in the glass it’s the colour of a Piemontese sunset, on the nose there’s tar and roses, on the palate plenty of firm tannin. We recommend decanting this wine, and matching it with our heartiest beef, game and mutton dishes. Then it will be reveal its true majesty: an Italian classic, with real class.
- Greywacke, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, New Zealand, £45.00
Kevin Judd was founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, and guided that winery to its immense critical and popular success over more than twenty years. Ten years ago, he moved on and founded his own, much smaller winery, and has had immediate rave reviews. This is not a simple, grassy Marlborough Sauvignon: Judd introduces multiple levels of complexity and richness. Outstanding with white meat as well as rich fish dishes.
- Greywacke, Marlborough Pinot Noir, 2018, New Zealand, £70.00
Greywacke are best known for their whites, but their Pinot Noir is such a stunner (featured here during the 2016 Orkney Wine Festival) that we just had to add it to our list. It has the depth of flavour and balance of a great Burgundy, but with the exuberant fruit that only the New World can bring. This is never going to be a best seller…but everyone who tries it will love it!
SWEET AND FORTIFIED WINES
Our Sherries are produced in Jerez by a Norwegian, Jan Pettersen. The Spaniards have taken him to their heart – and anyone trying these wonderful wines will understand why. They really are (as the critics are saying) amongst the finest Sherries in existence. All are available by the glass, and make excellent aperitifs, though we do recommend trying the Fino as an excellent seafood accompaniment too.
- Fernando de Castilla, Classic Fino, NV, Spain, £33.00 70 ml Glass £4
Mouth-wateringly briny, crisp and dry, this would be lovely by itself at the start of a meal, or – best of all – with fish and shellfish.
- Fernando de Castilla, Classic Amontillado, NV, Spain, £39.00 £4
Lengthy ageing in oak results in a tawny-coloured, smooth and nutty wine, with just a hint of sweetness. A great aperitif, or good with mixed, tapas-style foods, and cheese.
- Fernando de Castilla, Classic Cream, NV, Spain, £39.00 £4
Moderately sweet but not syrupy: this is mahogany coloured and aromatic. A good aperitif for those who like to start sweet; but can also accompany desserts and cheeses, especially blues.
- Curatolo, Marsala Superiore Dolce, NV, Italy, £40.00
The Curatolo family have been making Marsala for over a century. This, their top wine, is smooth, semi-sweet, complex and very drinkable. Sip as an aperitif, or after dinner, or even with a biscuit instead of afternoon tea!
- Mas Lavail, Maury Rouge, 2015, (375ml), France, £29.00 £7
This is a hedonistic delight: beautifully perfumed with berry aromas, fully sweet yet with perfect balancing acidity. A perfect way to end your meal, by itself or with dried-fruit tarts – or above all, with chocolate-based desserts. Oh, and it’s a sweet RED wine!
- Araldica, Moscato Passito ‘Palazzina’, 2014, (375ml), Italy,£22.00 £6
Remarkable value for an irresistibly sweet and aromatic wine from Piedmont. Light and with attractive floral notes, it’s lovely by itself, or with simple, fresh-fruit desserts.
- Château Laville, Sauternes, 2015, (375ml), France, £59.00 £10
Sauternes produces arguably the world’s greatest sweet wines, and Château Laville’s meticulous approach to winemaking ensures theirs is a fine example: a wine of sweetness, clarity and balance. Intense, honeyed and very long. A joy by itself, and a heavenly match for cheese and creamy or fruit-based desserts.
- Sandeman, Dry White Port, NV, Portugal, £32.00 70ml glass £4
White Port is little seen in this country, but is immensely popular in Portugal, usually drunk well-chilled as an aperitif. After trying several versions, we found our favourite white Port to be produced by our favourite red Port maker! Add ice, and even tonic, if you like.
- Sandeman, Late Bottled Vintage Port, 2015, Portugal, £46.00 £5
A refined Late Bottled Vintage Port, from our new favourite Port house. Everything you’d expect: dark, strong, slightly sweet and spicy, and beautifully mellow. Perfect with Stilton or other cheese, or to sip by itself.
- Sandeman, Tawny, 10 years old, Portugal, £55.00 £7
Sandeman’s Tawny Port is aged in barrel for at least ten years, giving it a beautiful glowing hue in the glass, and a smooth, mellow, sweet-edged palate. Excellent by itself, with creamy puddings, or with cheese. An underappreciated style in this country, Tawny Port is one of the wine world’s hidden treasures.
- Sandeman, ‘Vau’ Vintage Port, 1999, Portugal, £66.00 £10
True vintage port offers a unique experience. Only ‘declared’ in selected years (typically every three years or so) when conditions allow particularly high-quality wines to be made. This is a giant of a wine, but a giant with finesse and grace, especially in these lovely mature bottles that we are introducing in 2021.