Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Baroffer

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Mini-Baroffer

Article excerpt

Stone, Vine & Sun of Winchester is one of my very favourite wine merchants. I've never tried anything of theirs that wasn't first rate, and I was not remotely surprised when they won the Best Small Independent Wine Merchant award from Wine International this year. What they do brilliantly is fossick around for amazing bargains in unexpected places, and there are few discoveries more pleasing than a delicious wine at a price that allows you to buy plenty.

White wines need to breathe as much as reds, but generally people are afraid of them getting too warm -- though they should never be iced. Probably you should decant any decent white some hours before drinking, then maybe give it an hour in the fridge. This isn't always possible when you've just got home from work and all you want is a great, cold slug of something alcoholic. I think these two whites would work splendidly in either event.

The Domaine La Croix Belle, La Champ des Lys, 2005 1is only a vin de pays but has terrific style, character and weight. It's just under half Viognier, just over half Grenache blanc, so it's rich and has an unctuousness neatly undercut by its fresh acidity. Yum. Perfect with food or as an aperitif.

The Domaine du Météore 2005 2is from Faugères, a very recent appellation which has only just included white wines. …

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