I have always thought that London is the capital of wine business. Not only because it is one of the best place to have a wide choice of wines coming from all over the world but also because the calendar is every year busier with wine events especially consumers oriented. The Wine Gang Christmas Fair was the most recent one. Not only wine merchants but big retailers suck as Waitrose, Marks and Spencer & Sainsbury's were present with a selection of hot buys!
I have been there walking around the tables for a while, looking at people and quite randomly tasting wines. I say quite randomly as I have actually focused my search on the big retailers just looking for good buys
And here is what I've found...in good and bad...
Cave de Lugny Macon Villages 2010 Waitrose £6.99
An extraordinaire value for money for this fair Burgundy Chardonnay with simple ad fresh apple and citrusy flavours. Light in body and relatively short in its finish but with a good acidity it can be a very pleasant aperitif or a gentle company with a delicate fish.
Moonvine Biodynamic Shiraz/Cabernet/Merlot 2009 McLaren Vale Australia Waitrose £9.99
Deep colour for this rich, strong wine that is all red fruits,plums and spices at the nose. I found its acidity was overpowering the fruits in the mouth. Probably too young or just in need of some food to balance it and keep it quiet!
Falanghina Guardiolo 2010, Campania Italy The Wine Society £6.95
Very good example of Falanghina for a great price. Fresh, mineral with aromas of flowers and citrus fruits. Quite light with a medium long finish. Great as aperitif , you would love with seafood.
Chateau Argadens 2010, Bordeaux Blanc, France The Wine Society £8.95
Predominant green flavours of Sauvignon Blanc and a gentle (luckily) touch of oak. Warm and rounded in the mouth. Not extremely remarkable.
Barbera d'Alba 2008 Bruno Giacosa, Italy Armit £21.67
Elegant Barbera characterised by herbal notes and intense cherries flavours. All freshness and lively acidity in the mouth. Price probably affected by the producer's name but if you can afford it you won't regret it. Can be chilled.
La Metropole Blanc 2010, Languedoc ad Roussillon, France The Co-operative £6.99
Easy wine with a nice mix of sweet exotic fruit (mango, melon mainly) and pear, lively acidity and a balanced richness. No complexity, but it doesn't need it to be so pleasant for this price.
Chateau de L'Etang 2008, Bordeaux France The Co-operative £8.99
Soft tannins and lively acidity. Blackcurrant and dark cherries. This wine needs food company.
Heartland Dolcetto Lagrein 2009, Limestone Coast Australia, Great Western Wine £11.95
Weird meeting of a Piedmont indigenous grape with one from Trentino...in Australia. Red intense fruit, fresh at the nose, jammy in the mouth. Lively acidity. Light tannins, warm.....you may like it, I am still not sure!
Blanc de Noirs Champagne NV Sainsbury's £17.69
Fairly priced Champagne from Pinot Noir. Lightly yeasty, freshly fruity, pleasantly dry. Not a great personality but a good balance.
Plan de Dieu 2009 Domaine Durieu, France Majestic £10.99
Juicy, jammy fruit and spiciness with soft tannins and a medium structure. Rustic, good French wine. One of my favourite of the day.
The Ned Black Label Waihopai River Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand Majestic £9.99
Intense gooseberry, green and tropical aromas. Refreshing and dry, deep and warm. Very good quality.
Chateau de Chambert Cahors, Malbec 2008 France, Le Marche' du Quartier £16.99
A wine for a steak. It is juicy, has vegetal and spicy notes mixed cherry flavours. Strong but velvety tannins that require food.
Pieropan La Rocca Soave Classico 2009 Italy, Majestic £23.99
Elegant and serious white wine from Veneto. Apple, pear, white flowers and a gentle touch of oak. Gracefully intense. The ripe fruit of this still young vintage is balanced by a good acidity. A long charming finish. This a treat more than a wine. Expensive but a good idea fr a present...for yourself.
Now you should have enough to drink until Christmas...well at least until the end of the week!