Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Article excerpt

I am excited about this offer, from the admirable Hertfordshire firm Hedley Wright. All the wines are packed with flavour and character and that special heady, perfumed quality you normally find in bottles at much higher prices. It may have something to do with the fact that they are nearly all from the New World, made by some of the most enterprising wine-makers you will find in many a month of glugging.

Take Ernst Loosen's Villa Wolf Pinot Gris 2004 1. Dr Loosen was named Man of the Year by Decanter magazine in 2005, and when you drink this you will understand why. As different from a normal German wine as you could possibly imagine, it has all the punchy freshness of Pinot Gris, but layers of richer, fuller flavours. I saw this on a London restaurant wine list the other day priced at £29, but you can have it for £6.49.

New Zealand growers have pretty much mastered Sauvignon Blanc and made astonishing progress with Pinot Noir over the past few years. Now they are beginning to produce Chardonnays of a remarkable and unique quality. This Wild Rock Wild Ferment 2004 2from Hawkes Bay is unoaked, yet it is crammed with flavour, spicy and with a special fragrant edge. At £8.49 it costs quite a bit less than almost any wine of similar quality.

Wither Hills is one of the finest New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, and is usually hard to get hold of. The UK has an allocation, which gets snapped up pretty quickly, so I suggest you do the same with this 2005 3if you like that grassy, gooseberry, herby quality, combined with a roundness that balances it out. At an informal tasting people thought it was 'delectable' and 'gorgeous', and they were right. Just £7.49.

Now the reds. A New York merchant famously once said that if Robert Parker, the omnipotent American judge of wines, gave a bottle less than 90, he couldn't sell it, but if Parker gave it more than 90, he couldn't buy it. …

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