Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine

Magazine article The Spectator

Spectator Wine

Article excerpt

Welcome back to Berry Bros. & Rudd, the unfeasibly posh wine merchants in St James's, London.

They left The Spectator fold some years ago, but are now home again, which is why the other day I found myself pushing through the creaking front door, crossing the creaking floorboards, then climbing the creaking stairs, all in the company of creaking servitors. (No, I made that bit up! In the company of enthusiastic, helpful young persons! ) BB&R do not do cheapo. You would not pop in and ask for something to go with your chicken vindaloo, though if you did I am sure the staff would try to accommodate you.

You are more likely to see, as I did a couple of Christmases ago, a well-dressed man buy two bottles of Chateau Palmer at £200 each.

This is not Tesco. In their fine wine collection, I have spotted the priciest Burgundies at more than £7,000 a bottle.

Now they have come up with some massive deductions on their list prices, designed to tempt you into their creaking parlour. All these are heavily discounted, with savings that range from £30 to £60 per case.

There is almost £40 off the lovely 2010 Pinot Blanc sec (1) from Rolly-Gassmann, one of the leading names in Alsace. I adore these ripe, almost lubricious scented wines, which are perfect with spicy - say Chinese - food or as an aperitif. For such a stylish wine, the price of £9.94 a bottle is just silly.

There is a £55 case saving on the 2009 Rully Blanc (2) from Jean-Yves Devevey.

Given the chaos caused in Burgundy by the weather this summer, there is bound to be a shortage, so if you're a fan of Bourgogne Blanc, you should stock up on this. I took a bottle of this creamy, minerally beauty to an open-air concert with friends and it was polished off in no time. An incredibly reasonable £13.88.

Now an experiment. As I never tire of saying, much of the best value wine in France comes from the south, including the Coteaux du Languedoc. …

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