A New Year's Resolution

January 04, 2019

Bruce Palling, Wine Editor for The Week Wines, has chosen six wines from Corney & Barrow to start 2019 with a bang. 

Bruce Palling, Wine EditorIt’s that time when earnest resolutions are made to reduce alcohol consumption for at least part of the New Year, if not far beyond it. It’s very admirable and I suppose should be encouraged in some cases, though I think it would be wiser to resolve instead to drink wine of better quality. Equally important is to diversify one’s selection of wine, otherwise you become stuck into simply repeating yourself with predictable wines year in and year out. 

How much more interesting to try wines from an entirely new region or country, such as Austria’s Grüner Veltliner.  It took Austria’s wine industry 15 years to recover from the antifreeze scandal of the mid-Eighties, though the affected wines were invariably sweet supermarket ones rather than those of a higher quality or dryer disposition.

Corney & Barrow have always been happy to extend their range from classic Bordeaux and Burgundy – I must have first drunk the excellent Achaval-Ferrer Malbecs from Argentina more than a decade ago. Of course, that doesn’t mean one should ignore their classic range either – the Domaine Leflaive has long been one of the very best white Burgundy producers, though when I first tasted them more than 40 years ago, the prices for their top Pulignys were somewhat more affordable than now. How lucky for us then, that the Mâcon-Verzé immediately shows its quality and deliciousness despite its modest price.

We have generous savings available on our January selection, and as always, prices are exclusive for readers of The Week. Start your year as you mean to go on, and delve into a more exciting world of wine.


Bruce Palling signature

Bruce Palling
Wine Editor, The Week Wines


Malbec, Achaval-Ferrer, 2015, Mendoza, Argentina 14%
£19.50  £17.50 per bottle - £210 per case of 12, saving £24
This is the entry-level wine of one of the greatest Malbec producers in Argentina. Located in Mendoza Province in the foothills of the Andes between 700 and 1100 metres above sea level. It has a robust backbone with a peppery nose, plus the potential to improve for a few more years. It’s extraordinary to realise this is made from ungrafted, pre-phylloxera vines and that the ratio here is one vine per bottle.

Mâcon-Verzé, Domaines Leflaive, 2015, Burgundy, France 13%
£25.95  £23.25 per bottle - £279 per case of 12, saving £32.40
Given that this is made by Domaine Leflaive, it is no surprise that while this is from one of the humblest regions of southern Burgundy, it is exceptional. Grown biodynamically from five tiny plots, Corney & Barrow rightfully call it the least expensive fine wine in the world. Taut, with a minerally undertone, it still manages to have a slightly honeyed edge – the typical combination of the greatest white Burgundies. Perfect for drinking now, and it will also age for another five or more years.

Soraie, IGT Veneto, Cecilia Beretta, 2016, Italy 14%
£11.50  £10.33 per bottle - £124 per case of 12, saving £14
A fascinating Veneto wine made using “appassimento” techniques of Amarone wine, which sells for multiples of this price. The grapes are a blend of classic Bordeaux and local varieties, which are dried out to give them raisiny and chocolate overtones. This is a perfect winter wine for meat or game dishes and offers remarkable value for money, too.

Folie de Roi Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh Sec, Producteurs Plaimont, 2016, Languedoc, France 13%
£10.95  £9.83 per bottle - £118 per case of 12, saving £13.40
Coming from the Madiran region of southwest France, this wine has a cleansing citric freshness with white fruit mid-flavours. This region is better known for its sweet white wines, but this dry wine is made entirely of a trio of local grape varieties (Gros Manseng, Petit Courbu and Arrufiac). Gauthier Soho, one of the most popular French restaurants in London, serves this as their house white,  indicating its excellence.

Crozes-Hermitage, Domaine Guillaume Belle, 2017, Rhone, France 13%
£16.95  £15.25 per bottle - £183 per case of 12, saving £20.40
A lot of Crozes-Hermitage seems lean and mean to me, so it is a delight to find a new wave of producers, including Guillaume Belle, that are making delicious versions that can be drunk young. Using 100% Syrah grapes, which are grown organically and hand-picked, this wine has a lovely smooth finish that makes it perfect for immediate drinking.
Grüner Veltliner Strass Allram 2017, Kamptal, Austria 12.5%
£15.95  £14.33 per bottle - £172 per case of 12, saving £19.40
From one of the most esteemed regions for Grüner Veltliner production, this is from a family-owned estate in the heart of the Kamptal region. It is the most commonly planted grape variety planted in Austria but has only really expanded beyond the country in the past decade and can now be found on most top restaurant wine lists. It is defined by pepperiness to its apple and pear flavours with enough citrus and mineral elements to make it properly dry. If you are tired of being disappointed searching for seriously dry Riesling, this is the wine to try.
View the full collection here, or call Corney & Barrow on 020 7265 2443 and quote "The Week". 
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