Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Article excerpt

I'm pleased to say it has become an annual tradition: our February offer of the new vintage of Chateau Musar with Lay & Wheeler. It has been a tremendous success with Spectator readers. The wine won't be in the shops until May, but it can be shipped to your door a month earlier, and at a reduced price. This year's crop is the 2000. The red 1is, perhaps, slightly more austere than usual, closer to a fine Bordeaux, but it will age gratifyingly well for a very long time. And you can drink it with great pleasure now: all that soft, velvety, peppery, spicy, earthy, even chocolaty quality is already there in spades.

The white 2has become increasingly popular too. I always think of it as a kind of liquid tarte tatin, bringing on apples, cream and butterscotch. Maybe flaky pastry is going too far, but there is certainly toast there. And, this year, a hint of pineapple. It's not sweet, but is slightly off-dry, so it would go wonderfully well with fresh fruit or dessert. Or just as an aperitif.

You can order the rest of the offer now for swift delivery, and book your supply of Musar to arrive later. Or, if you prefer, have all your wines sent at the same time. Best to telephone L&W to discuss what works best for you.

Meanwhile, their Amanda Skinner has suggested some terrific bargains. They need to make space for the new vintage of the gorgeous Greenhough Sauvignon Blanc from Nelson, New Zealand 3so Amanda has knocked a lavish £3 a bottle off the 2004.

This is still wonderfully fresh and ripe -- fruity, yet with real backbone. At only £6.95 you can afford to stock up with lots.

Now two very different Burgundies from the amazing 2005 vintage. You can buy any amount of bad Chablis at this price; to find a really good one at only £7.86 a bottle (a £1.39 reduction) is terrific. My complaint about poor Chablis is that they are great on the steeliness, and very good at banging on about terroir; they forget that wine is supposed to taste of something too. …

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