Deli’s Choice – Wine of the Moment

Muret Picpoul de Pinet £10.95

Languedoc, France

Tasting Note

Produced in the rolling hills overlooking the Mediterranean, this is fresh, vibrant and a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. If you typically enjoy drinking Pinot Grigio, we urge you to try this. Picpoul is a variety that is fast gaining popularity thanks to its zesty, wild herb flavour, with a touch of peach. Pairs well with fish too.

Food Match

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil by Gino d’Acampo

Christophe Muret was once the biggest exporter of melons in France, apparently selling over a million a year to the UK alone. He lived in Moissac, famous for Chasselas eating grapes and once he decided enough was enough, he sold up and moved, with his wife Béatrice, to the hills where Picpoul de Pinet is made and set up his own wine producing domaine, an enterprise that yields nowhere near the profits of melons, but far more life style, and so he continues on his path.

His enthusiasm for his vines, which he cultivates on a minimal intervention principle (and is in effect organic), is infectious, but it is his love of Syrah that is absolutely fantastic. His vines are set upon a garrigue filled outcrop of red clay and limestone, exposed to wind which allows the cool winds to blow over and retain freshness wines. In the cellar he is playful and humble.

He is still seeking the perfect way to express the variety and the terroir, and will never stop trying. As it happens, all his wines display the skill and discipline of a great winemaker, and all represent excellent value, but it is great to know that when one is drinking a relatively humble VdP wine that so much love goes into them.

Our Butcher’s Recommendation

Erebo Mencia £12.50

Valdeorras, Galicia, Spain

Tasting Note

Medium cherry red colour. Intense aromas characteristic of the variety with notes of red fruits (raspberry, mulberry) mixed with floral notes. Smooth on the palate, with a remarkable fruit expression and a very good structure, which is balanced and consistent.

Food Match

Grouse with Roasted Pumpkin, Jerusalem Artichoke and Beetroot by Tom Kitchin

José Pato Oviedo, proud owner of Carballal, speaks not a word of English. In fact
he doesn’t speak much Spanish either, but Gallegos, a sort of Welsh Spanish that is virtually impossible to understand. No matter, when we turn up to taste his wines and visit his vineyard and cellars, it is obvious that he loves and understands his vines, he is dedicated to producing wines that represent the region, and committed to trying to be among the finest examples estates in the valley.

His cellars are spotless, and his pride in what he has built up is frankly deserved, there are plenty of bodegas in Valdeorras who go through the motions but not here, these are wines with serious aspirations.
The vineyards are located around Petin, in the heart of Valdeorras. The vineyards are located on the valley floor, with alluvial soil mixed with clay and limestone, and on the hillsides where poorer, limestone soils are the norm.

Here Godello and Mencia are the primary varieties, all fermented in stainless steel (Mencia has a strange ability to appear to be oaked when it has never seen a piece of wood), and settled prior to bottling. A simple and effective procedure producing fresh, lifted wines.

Our Butcher’s Recommendation

Malbec, Les Escures Mas del Perie £15.50
Cahors, France

Tasting Note

Welcome the Malbec grape from its truly original home in the ancient land of Cahors situated midway between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Dark and inky black with a mass of currant fruit – the wine is nevertheless really quite approachable with the tannins quite soft and appealing. Handled, with gentleness, by the youthful hand of Fabien Jouves.

Food Match

Neck of Lamb with Lemon and Thyme by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

Mas de Périé is run by the young Fabien Jouves and located on the Haut Plateau south west of Cahors in Trespoux Rassiels. The soil here is complex clay and Quercy Limestone, a brilliant white limestone that is soft and very permeable. There are incidences of gravel here and this serves to produce wines with more immediacy and freshness. There are also areas of Sidérolithique, a complex blend of sand chalk clay and mineral and where this can be found, the wines develop more complex deeper tones.

The vines are managed along biodynamic principles. The fruit is handpicked and selected at the winery prior to ferment in inert tank of oak depending on the cuvé. The resulting wines are neither filtered nor fined, and Fabien’s 5 years in Bordeaux have lent him the skill to manage the tannins extremely well.

The wines are as pure as can be, with a direct expression of the terroir and variety, holding focus and balance whilst still portraying the classic deep inky Cahors style. They have freshness, life and restraint. They will age, for sure, but to drink them now is no chore. How many Cahors can you say that of?

Our Recommendation for the Cheese of the Month Rachel Goat Cheese

Thörle Weissburgunder £14.95
Rheinhessen, Germany

Tasting Note

Nice brilliant yellow colour with green tints. Nose. Pleasant and intense with notes of yellow ripe fruits. Smooth structure on the palate with a good length of finish. Intense note of salty-mineralic limestone, elegant and with great finesse and creaminess.

  Grape Variety

  Pinot Blanc

  In 2006 Christoph and his brother Johannes have worked together, having left their jobs, to take care of the family domaine in Saulheim, a little inland from Oppenheim and the mighty Rhine. The vineyards lie on a mixture of light clay, limestone red sandy loam and in places flint and schist.

All vineyard management is now undertaken organically with a move to biodynamic imminent, a brave step given that a lot of producers still believe this to be akin to witch craft. In the cellar, the work in the vineyard is allowed to sustain by allowing natural ferments and minimal handling. In some instances the wines reflect a more salt/mineral character, a style that they have found naturally occurs in dry Rieslings from the calcareous soils.

The Lagen, or single vineyard wines (Cru) are exceptional for their expression and Holle being the most impressive of the lot. What also captivated the imagination was the Spatburgunder, or Pinot Noir, which is a wine that carries all the delicate, fragrant hallmarks of the variety.

Deli Counter Wine of the Moment

Domaine Pouzac Merlot £9.95
Côtes de Thongue, Languedoc, France

Tasting Note

This little star from southern France is rich in colour, supported by good structured tannins and has aromas of red pepper and blackcurrants. It maintains depth and complexity which proudly resembles wines from right bank Bordeaux but at a fraction of the price. Don`t miss out!

Food Match

Prosciutto, Mozzarella and Fig Pizza by Lorraine Pascale

  The Domaine de Pouzac is situated in the Languedoc region, between Béziers and Pézenas, where wine has been produced since the 17th century. Today there are 40 hectares under vine and has been in the same family since 1890; Laurent Bonnet, the current owner, is the fourth generation and lives there with his wife and two children.

  The “terroir” is characterised by the Thongue River which winds through the heart of the Domain. To the north of the Domain are the “Roucaniole” areas, and to the south the “Pouzac” areas.

  Wooded areas with mature trees have developed along the banks of the river and since the 1950s the area has been a nature reserve thanks to the diversity of its wildlife and its flora. The vines are aged between 4 and 30 years and are worked with the utmost respect for the environment (e.g. mechanical vineyard management and restrained use of chemicals) The winery, which is partly below ground level, allows many winemaking operations to be performed using gravity, which helps to maintain the freshness of the wines. All bottling is done at the Domain.