Ahead of Father’s Day next month, we thought we would take this opportunity to showcase a selection of wines that are significant to us as a team on that particular date. One of our favourite aspects about working in the wine trade is that we don’t just sell a product or commodity. To us, and to many others, wine is so much more than that. Like we often mention in this monthly introduction, we are of the opinion that wine has the ability to metaphorically transport us around the globe. But more than that, wine can have such powerful emotion attached to it.
Not many ‘products’ can remind us so distinctively of a specific space in time, a particular place or the company of a certain person or group of people.
It is this sensory attachment that sets wine apart from so many other commodities that we encounter in our day-to-day lives. With that in mind, I have made two selections for this case.
The first a Beaujolais Villages from Lucien Lardy. My father still lives in Lyon, just 30mins south of the Beaujolais region. You were never far away from a good bottle of Beaujolais in our house growing up and uncorking this example will allow me to reminisce about the formative years of my relationship with wine.
My second selection is a bright & textured white from the region of Dao – perfect for this time of year! Later this year I am heading off to Portugal for our first foreign holiday since my son was born almost 4 years ago. While he is a little young to indulge in the local Vinho just yet, I am sure there will be plenty of good wine for his mother & I as we create special memories together as a family!
To round off this case, I also asked my colleagues to nominate a wine for the selection.
Richard opted for a classic claret from Bordeaux. He says, “it was drinking Bordeaux that really got me in to wine. My Dad used to always open a good Bordeaux on special occasions. This was typically paired with a full roast accompanied by all the trimmings, painstakingly prepared by my Mum. In contrast, Dad had the easy job – selecting and opening a good bottle of wine!”
And for his addition to the case, Lewis is headed to the south of Spain. “Last year, I completed the Sherry Half Marathon in the wonderful city of Jerez with my Dad. It was a fairly unique set-up, a run through the famous Sherry producing vineyards with pit-stops every 5 kilometres or so to taste the wares of each producer’s land we passed through! Gone were the water stops, bananas or energy gels you may expect from a mass-participation endurance event – instead replaced with sherry, jamon and local goat’s cheese! One of the biggest revelations from the trip was how much good still wine is made in the area. And this is one of those examples, using a classic Sherry grape variety called Palomino.”
There you have it, our slightly self-indulgent Father’s Day selection! Hopefully you too have special wines that have a deeper meaning to you. And who knows, maybe some of the bottles in this case may become those wines for you in the future!
Prunus 'Branco', Dao, Portugal 2021
Prunus is one of a number of wine projects supported by Gota, an organisation that came to life in 2010. Established by winemaker and wine buyer Natália Jessa, Gota (which means drop in Portuguese) have the ambition of bringing lesser known grape varieties and appellations to the wider market. They work in conjunction with small producers who lack the necessary connections to successfully export wines themselves.
The wines from the Prunus project are fantastic examples of their overall philosophy. Based on blends of indigenous varieties, they are wonderfully gastronomic wines that offer excellent value for money and further highlight the quality of wines to be found off the beaten track in Portugal.
The majority of wine produced in Dao is red, but this lively blend shows that the whites are up to the mark as well. Despite a complex blend of 60% Encruzado, 15% Bical, 15% Malvasia Fina and 10% Cerceal Branco, the wine is well rounded and harmonious, with notes of tinned peaches and fresh herbs, a fresh juicy palate and a long, mouth-watering finish.
An ideal aperitif or the perfect partner to seafood or pasta.
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Palomino ”El Pinto”, Hacienda La Parrilla, Jerez, Spain 2021
El Pinto is a project based at the glorious, sun-drenched estate of Hacienda La Parrilla in southern Spain. The idea behind this particular bottling was to create a wine that offered excellent value from sustainably grown grapes and that identified with the key characteristics of the area.
The vineyards are part of a 500-ha estate in the San Jose del Valle, inland, 35km south east of Jerez, in beautiful countryside close to the Sierra de Cádiz. The land is made up of old olive trees, vineyards (17ha), pasture (where Iberico pigs roam free) and other crops. Owned by the Rebuelta González brothers they built the winery in an old olive mill, within their charming ranch house which dates from 1881.
A wine that highlights the potential of still wines from the region best known for Sherry production. Crisp and bright, with vibrant notes of green apple and citrus fruit. Some delicate floral notes sit in the background. The finish is clean and slightly reductive.
Drink as an aperitif – particularly when paired with some olives, cured meats or hard cheese. Also great with seafood, light fish dishes or moderately spiced curries.
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Gamay Beaujolais Villages, Domaine Lardy, France 2021
Lucien Lardy sees himself as a keeper of both French and family winemaking heritage. Rather than seeing his job as arduous, he thinks that his profession enables him to fulfil the role of guardian, protecting the land for the next generation. This respect for nature has fuelled his winemaking philosophy, as Lucien aims to let his wines speak for themselves and act as a representation of their individual terroirs. Each plot is vinified separately, allowing the creation of complex wines that display the many characteristics of his land. Lucien is a founding member of the Terroirs Originels collective, a federation of likeminded winemakers who promote integrity and passion for winemaking alongside sustainable growing practices.
Classic Gamay in that it possesses little to no tannic structure and a wonderfully bright colour. It is light bodied with chewy summer red fruit characters and vivacious acidity.
The ideal partner for white meats or bbq dishes. My little tip is to try it ever-so-slightly chilled along a bbq and some sunshine (if we get any)!
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Château Lauretan, Bordeaux, France 2015
Not only do the team at Château Lauretan produce some of the best value Bordeaux wine available, they also boast one of the best views the region has to offer.
Their vineyards, which have been certified organic since 2013, sit atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the Garonne River, providing the perfect vantage point for keeping an eye on all the goings on up and down the valley.
The Château, which is named after the family who lived there during the 17th century, comprises 26 hectares of vines.
A Merlot dominated blend, backed up by Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a small dose of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Aged in a combination of oak barrels and stainless steel tanks, the resulting wine possesses a fine nose with aromas of red berries, leading to a supple and elegant palate.
Very enjoyable the way Richard remembers in the family home – accompanying a full roast beef with all the trimmings! Also great with steak, lamb or duck breast.
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