4 Great Wines to Try During Lockdown
Greetings, I’m Ben, here to bring a little wine cheer during these trying times. I’m a Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Certified Educator offering the WSET qualifications in Lincolnshire and beyond. I run private tastings and corporate events as The Straw Collection and education courses on behalf of the as Lincoln Wine School. I hold their Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits. One of only 12,000 or so people worldwide.
I’m always interested in trying something new having recently discovered the wines of Slovenia, Turkey and Macedonia. But I will always drift back to my old favourites: German Riesling of all styles, Northern Italian Reds and fortified wines of all types, but Port is definitely the way forward!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been pouring over some personal favourites so as collectively we’re staying home and the weather is improving. I thought it was only fair to share these with you in the hope of bringing a little something to enjoy as a welcome distraction. Here’s four of my faves all available as detailed during lockdown, the origin of the fizz at number 4 in the list may surprise you!
- Peter Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand
A beautiful, zingy example of Marlborough Sauvignon perfect for the sunshine by the barbecue. Light, fresh and aromatic. Very typical of the region with passionfruit, grass and citrus aromas. Peter Yealands operation is run to be at the forefront of sustainable and environmentally wine production. Everything they do on their picturesque estate has that in mind. Damn good Savvy Blanc that is one of the benchmarks for the region. Available from www.waitrosecellar.com for £11.59 a bottle.
2. Bellingham ‘The Bernard Series’ Old Vine Chenin Blanc, South Africa
Bellingham produce a wonderful range of single variety wines but for me their Chenin is the pinnacle. The old vines mean less fruit per plant but more concentration of flavour in the remaining bunches. The fruit is fermented in stainless steel to preserve the purity of the fruit before being moved into oak barriques for nine months to add some depth and complexity. Full of peach and apricot flavours with a smooth, creamy texture and a background of vanilla. Oak ageing when done right is where wine gets interesting, and these guys definitely do it right! Delicious lightly chilled as is or try with fish and chips. £13.00 a bottle from www.tesco.com
3. Clos Troteligotte ‘K-or’ Cahors, France
For those needing red in their lives then Emmanuel Rybinski delivers. One of the young stars of Cahors. This is Malbec from it’s homeland. Argentina may get the plaudits, and rightly so, but the younger generation of winemakers are ever-innovative and willing to learn. The South of France does some of the best examples of this varietal. This appellation has made very good Malbec for decades, but it has got more international recognition in the last twenty years. The Clos Troteligotte estate is certified as organic, biodynamic and sustainably maintained. This is smooth yet powerful wine full of dark plum and berry fruit flavours with a mineral complexity. Concentrated and spicy on the long finish. Ageing takes place in concrete vats to maintain the intense fruit flavours. Minimal sulphur is used during production and at bottling. Available at £14.99 a bottle through Ben for local and national delivery.
4. Ovens Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé Sparkling, Lincolnshire, UK
Lincolnshire is not the first place you think of when talking wine production, but Ovens Farm Vineyard has an ideal spot nestled on the Wolds near Harrington outside Louth. The vineyard started operations in 2017 and is geared towards white production with Bacchus and Solaris as the mainstays. Both are available direct from www.ovensfarmvineyard.com and are definitely worth a look. The Solaris is a personal favourite!. There is also a small quantity of Dornfelder, an old Germanic grape variety, and an early-ripening Pinot Noir. It is the latter that in 2017 became the first vintage of Simon White’s sparkling Rosé. This is a lovely Brut sparkling wine with a delicate pink hue and delicious aromas and flavours of red fruit. Bread and toast complexity shows in the glass from prolonged lees contact. Think of this as Lincolnshire ‘Champagne’! The 2017 was limited to a couple of hundred bottles and if you ask Ben nicely he’ll sell you one at £25.00 a bottle! But don’t worry the 2018 has just been disgorged (where the lees are removed and the mushroom shaped Champagne corks we know are inserted). Simon will have that available for sale soon. I recommend giving Ovens Farm a visit once we are allowed out again. Something to look forward to…
Here’s to enjoying whatever tipple takes your fancy. Stay safe.