Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine Club

Article excerpt

There was a brief blip in the club's relationship with Adnams, the splendid brewers and wine Suffolk. This was due to marketing people of the type who destroy markets.

But now Adnams, one of the finest independent merchants in the UK, is safe and welcoming again. We returned to Southwold last week to enjoy the wines selected by Alastair Marshall and Rob Chase - and also demolished a grande bouffe at the Crown Hotel, which I thoroughly recommend if you're in those parts. It made for a splendid August day out, and we were able to pick some first-rate wines. All of them are discounted, by 10 per cent and sometimes slightly more.

First, however, we're offering the Bordeaux Explorer Case, selected by Alastair from the wines made by and for the negotiants Sichel. There are two bottles of each, including a wonderful white from Ch. d'Argadens, grown on high ground overlooking Ch. d'Yquem. The Cuvee du Portail is a luscious, sweet white, with just a touch of dryness, making it perfect with rich pates or fruit. In between there are four clarets, all different, all excellent, all ready to drink now but fine for another few years if you want to lay them down. The whole comes in a wooden case, and is a snip at £125. Only 40 cases are available, so you might want to get your order in quickly.

Now for the main offer. White Rioja can be a bit of a let-down. Not this Vallobera 2009 (2), which I loved. It's unoaked, yet has a delicate, nutty taste, making it perfect for an aperitif or for glugging with food. A treat, and discounted to a generous £6.29 a bottle.

Our party of four tasters all raved about the Pinot Gris 2009 (3) from New Zealand, named Tattybogler, after the Scottish word for a scarecrow. Adnams have knocked £19 a case off list price to bring the price down to £10.42. This is a majestic wine, honeyed and complex, yet with a steeliness that brings the whole thing alive. …

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