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New Year Cheer

We hope that you were all able to enjoy sharing Christmas Day with those you love and of course, wish you a very happy and healthy new year!

Whilst there is now a light shining at the end of this long gloomy tunnel, by way of the eagerly anticipated vaccinations, we begin the year, once again in national lockdown. In contrast to the start of the initial lockdown however, when we were blessed with a surprisingly warm and sunny spring, we begin this one with the grey skies and long, dark evenings of winter. To help spread a little sunshine, we are pleased to offer one of our most popular, good value red wines and a deliciously aromatic white wine from two of our favourite regions and producers. I remember when I first began working with wine, being told that the wines that offered the best quality to price ratio, were the sun kissed, Rhone valley reds and the tantalizingly aromatic and expressive white wines of Alsace. Although prices have certainly risen, with specific appellations and vineyards gaining a reputation akin to the most treasured vineyards of Burgundy and certain producers gaining superstar status, it is indeed still possible to find some wonderfully affordable gems in these regions. I am delighted to offer two of my favourites below, which I hope will provide a welcome cheer, for the new year!.

Plan Pegau, Vin de France, Domaine du Pegau

It is always good to have a plan and this is certainly one of the best! Produced by one of the greatest wine makers of Chateauneuf du Pape, the dynamic Laurence Feraud of Domaine du Pegau, this superb, vin de France, captures all the Provencal character of her alluring Chateauneuf. Coming from vineyards outside the appellation, it is crafted from a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Merlot, with 20% of other varieties. Produced with the same skill, care and passion as all the Pegau wines, the grapes are hand picked and selected, with no de-stemming. Fermented in concrete vat, using only natural yeast, Plan Pegau is always a blend of three vintages, which are indicated by the ‘clock’ on the neck label, the wine ages for a period of 5 years in barrel, to ensure the wine is beautifully mature and harmonious.

Plan Pegau, Vin de France, Domaine du Pegau

The distinctive style and Provencal character of the wines of Domaine du Pegau, makes it instantly recognisable. This same ‘hallmark’ is clearly apparent in their little gem, Plan Pegau. The vintages in the current release are the superb trio, 2015, 2016 and 2017, giving the wine real depth and substance, whilst of course, still possessing the distinctive Provencal Pegau charm, with wonderful floral notes of the garrigue, dark plum and berry fruits, pepper and spice.

2016 Pinot Blanc Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Schoffit

Like Domaine du Pegau, we have had the pleasure of working with the wine of Domaine Schoffit for many years now, when Bernard Schoffit had begun to gain recognition for the fabulous wines that he was producing on the Grand Cru Rangen. The sign of a good producer is undoubtedly consistency and balance, both of which are synonymous to the wines of Schoffit. Although it might well have been the illustrious wines from the Rangen that first caught the attention of the international wine press, the domaine’s range of generic varietals from their vineyards around their home in Colmar, are without doubt some of the most consistently enjoyable, expressive and good value of the appellation. Whilst people naturally reach for the regal Riesling or iconic Gewurztraminer, the humble Pinot Blanc Auxerrois can often be overlooked and yet is one of the most versatile varieties being able to partner a wide variety of dishes, from fish, to white meat, vegetable and egg based recipes, and is also pleases most palates, with it’s deliciously aromatic, fruit driven qualities. As I said previously however, balance is key and there are sadly many examples which are either picked too early, lacking in depth and harmony, or possessing too much residual sugar, either naturally, or more disastrously through over chaptilization. Like all the wines of Schoffit, this fabulous old vine Auxerrois, has a glorious natural, unforced balance between the ripeness of fruit, subtle delicate spice and clean acidity.

2016 Pinot Blanc Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Schoffit

Lovely aromatic bouquet, which makes you think of summer, with scents of blossom, honeysuckle white peach and pepper. Mouth filling and silky on the palate, with delicious ripe fruit with subtle but tangy spices dancing on the mid palate, balanced by a lovely lift of vibrant acidity.

Plan Pegau, Domaine du Pegau and 2016 Auxerrois VV, Domaine Schoffit Six Bottle Case containing 3 Bottles of each wine Normal Retail Price £96.12 Special Lockdown Support Discount £85.00

Plan Pegau, Domaine du Pegau and 2016 Auxerrois VV, Domaine Schoffit Twelve Bottle Case containing 6 Bottles of each wine Normal Retail Price £192.24 Special Lockdown Support Discount - £170.00

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