Our Butcher’s Recommendation

Champ de Carra Viognier £13.25
Languedoc, France

Tasting Note: The wine is beautifully floral with notes of green apples, melons, honeysuckle and lychee. Despite the aromatic nose, the palate is fresh and dry and the ripe fruit flavours continue.

Food Match: Pork Schnitzel With Fried Duck Egg, Pickled Apple And Apple Purée by Tom Kerridge

This wine comes from our friend Jean-Fredric Sambardier who makes our Beaujolais wines as well but he also has vineyards further south in the Pay d’Oc where this fabulous Viognier is crafted.

Manoir du Carra is a well-established producer who have benefited from an injection of youthful enthusiasm and passion in the form of the sons of the house, Frederic and Damien, who look after the vineyards and winemaking now.

The terroir of these vineyards is impeccable, but perhaps more importantly the viticulture is leaning toward ‘lutte Raisonee’ with a view to going fully biodynamic once the vines are through a period of ‘cold turkey’. The aim here though is not to jump on any popularist bandwagons but to produce wines that are true to their origins, and that are focused, balanced and pure.

Both the Bourgogne Blanc (really a Beaujolais Blanc) and the Beaujolais Village, which like all the wines is unfiltered, are exceptional value and very good food wines so worth exploring too.

Deli Choice – Wine of the Moment

La Hoja, Tempranillo £9.50

Rioja Alavesa, Spain

Tasting Note: A lovely vibrant nose of blueberry fruit, this is a soft, easy Tempranillo from the rocky, high altitude vineyards of Alavesa in the north of this famous region. Refreshing in being entirely without oak and resonating with ripe berry fruit. Great on its own, or with anything.

Food Match: Parma Ham and Rocket Rolls by Paul Rankin

La Hoja is a side project for the Fernandez brothers, producing entry level Rioja with the care and passion they apply to their own wines but from fruit that is bought in and produced in larger volumes. The wines are impeccably made.

The family has been attached to winegrowing for centuries where their ancestors from Labastida and the outskirts lived surrounded by caves and vineyards for generations. Their love and passion for their land and wine has passed on to the current generation who still are just as passionate today. The brothers run this bodgega in the rainy Riojan subregion of Alavesa, high up in the Basque hills.

Along with Alta, Alavesa produces Rioja’s most elegant and complex wines. The Sierra Cantabria dominate the local landscape, and chilling Atlantic weather systems frequently infiltrate the area (rainfall is double Rioja Baja’s amount), imbuing the wines with bright acidity, good colour and an ability to age.
Beneath the bodega lies a network of caves joined by tunnels dating from the middle ages.

In these cavernous cellars Tierra’s fine Riojas rest and age gracefully in 500 oak barrels of varying type, toast and size .with the constant temperature and humidity naturally maintained the whole year round.

Our Butcher’s Recommendation

Pic Saint Loup Le Gamin

Clos des Augustins £17.50 Languedoc, France

Tasting Note: Ripe, juicy plums, creamy oak, smooth and rounded Syrah/Grenache blend. ‘Gamin’ translates as ‘toddler’. This wine is matured in both old and new oak barrels before the final blending creating that lovely combination of weight and freshness.

Food Match: Lamb Sausages on Lightly Pickled Cabbage and Bacon by Brian Turner

The vineyard is subject to both Mediterranean and continental influences in which temperatures vary from high during the day to low at night, especially in summer. The history of Le Clos des Augustins began in the early twentieth century and the same dedication to the vineyard has remained within the Mezy Family until today having been passed down from father to son since 1920.

The Clos story can be traced through the generations back to Frederic, le Gamin (the Kid). Two great- grandfathers both named Augustin, already worked the wine on these 25 hectares of land, at the foot of the Pic Saint-Loup. It was in their memory that the domain was named le Clos des Augustins.

The son, Roger decided to re-launch the domain, which was abandoned during the post-war years, and revived the family tradition. In 2000, four hectares of vines were entirely replanted. Ten further hectares were reformulated and replanted. The wine storehouse was built where an old hangar once stood. One of Roger’s sons, Frederic, began to be seriously interested in the vineyards and took up studies in oenology.

In 2005, Frederic, helped by his brother Damian bought six hectares in the commune of Fontanès, to which four hectares of old Syrah were added at the foot of the Pic Saint-Loup in the commune of Saint-Mathieu de Tréviers.

Our Recommendation for the Cheese of the Month – Baron Bigod

Chianti Antiche Vie £11.95
Tuscany, Italy

Tasting Note: Jammy Sangiovese cherry fruit and soft tannins from ageing before bottling. Bristling with cherry fruit and a smoky tang. Antiche Vie spends time in bottle before release. This is the only red in the Beconcini range not to see any oak.

 

Baron Bigod

A creamy, white bloomy-rind cheese handmade on the farm by Jonny and the team, from our own raw Montbeliarde cows milk. It has a smooth silky texture and a golden curd, with long lasting warm earth, farmyard and mushroom flavours.

Leo Beconcini took over the reins of the business from his father. Since 1997 he and his partner Eva Bellagamba, who made the heroic decision to share his project and sacrifice her own future as an architect, have shared in the hard work and passion that is involved in creating a wonderful winery.

They believe that the patience and caution that they showed in undertaking the studies of the local environment was the real key. The history of the winery begins well before then, in the early 1950s to be exact. Leo’s grandfather was successful in purchasing the lands that he, along with his family, had already been working for some time, but as a sharecropper on the estate of the Marchesi Ridolfi family.

His family was in fact one of the first in Tuscany to free themselves from the then-prevalent sharecropping system, and that made possible the founding of the present Pietro Beconcini Agricola. Under his grandfather, it was an agricultural operation that produced a variety of products and under his direction, on the other hand, it became strictly a viticultural and winemaking estate.

Deli’s Choice – Wine of the Moment

Gran Cardiel £9.50
Rueda, Spain

Tasting Note: A blend of 60% Verdejo and the remainder old vine Viura – the latter adding weight to the natural aromatics of the Verdejo. Crammed with flavours of apricot, mango, peach and passionfruit. Bright packaging and even brighter flavours

Food Match: Smoked Haddock Rarebit with Apricot and Chilli Chutney by Simon Rimmer

A family-owned business run with energy and flair, Bodegas Felix Lorenzo Cachazo is a winery that has used traditional winemaking methods for over 60 years. The experience and know-how of Felix Lôrenzo Cachazo, one of the founders of Rueda Appellation of Origin, have guided them to combine a deep devotion to the homeland with state-of–the-art technologies in order to make wines for you to enjoy.

The name pays tribute “Conde de Cardiel”, (the Cariel Count) a person who felt deep love for the extremely harsh Castilian landscape. Grapes are selected from the Estate known as “Pago del Regalado”. It’s position above sea level and vineyards that are planted on a combination of stony soils and old vines produce wines made with Verdejo grapes that have surprising vibrancy, expression and freshness, demonstrating the best of Rueda.

However until now very little of their wine has made it beyond Spanish borders, as all the production was snapped up by the eager Spanish consumer. Indeed Carrasviñas was the white wine served at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona, which was attended by the King of Spain and a host of sporting dignitaries.