This month, our wine editor Bruce Palling chooses six excellent wines from esteemed wine merchant Corney & Barrow.
I‘ve been a customer of Corney & Barrow for more than 40 years and always rely on them for the very best examples of Pomerol and Burgundy. Their exclusive agencies include the finest in each category; far from everyday wines, these are the very grandest wines on the planet.
Corney & Barrow are forever finding obscure examples of fascinating wines throughout Europe and the rest of the world, which is what makes them so good at their job. The wines I’ve picked for July demonstrate this at prices that are thankfully more purse-friendly.
If you want to experience something satisfyingly different, the Egy Kis from Hungary ticks that box, while the Italian Barbera is thrilling with its sheer drinkability at such a tender age. As usual, you can purchase any of these wines by the case, or if you’re finding it hard to pick just one, the mixed cases are a great opportunity to try them all.
See the full collection here, and remember - prices are exclusive to The Week Wines, and include FREE UK delivery.
Wine Editor, The Week Wines
Barbera d'Alba Giulia Negri 2015, 14% Italy -
I was blown away by the sheer drinkability of this lovely Barbera, once known as “the people's wine” due to its widespread popularity in northern Italy. Giulia Negri only recently took over these vineyards, which have been in the family even before Italy was unified in the nineteenth century. One of the rising stars of Piedmont, she also makes a renowned Barolo, but that takes far more time to come around. I don’t want to wait to see whether this wine improves with age; it’s exquisite as it is, with hints of fresh cherries and red fruit.
Pouilly-Fumé Les Chaumiennes A&E Figeat 2017, 13% France -
It may be 100% Sauvignon Blanc, but unlike its Antipodean cousins, Pouilly-Fumé is more understated with a hint of smokiness and flint like precision. Located across the Loire from the much larger Sancerre appellation, André Figeat is the sixth generation vintner at this family estate, which sells exclusively to Corney & Barrow in the UK. This wine will improve for a few more years but it’s drinking perfectly already, and its freshness is one of the great attractions. An excellent choice with seafood.
Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles Olivier Leflaive 2015, 12.5% France -
This is one of the most famous and reliable village wines from Burgundy, crafted by Olivier Leflaive, who is a leading negociant in the region. The grapes came from a number of different vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault on a 60/40 ratio. It is made in the way that well established non-vintage Champagne producers create a house style year in and year out. Les Setilles has minerality and white flower notes you get from proper white Burgundy and is a perfect summer wine.
Egy Kis Dry Furmint Barta 2017, 13% Hungary -
Located in the Hungarian village of Mád, this is an exciting find. The region is renowned for Tokaji, the great pudding wine. This dry wine is made from the same grape variety (Furmint) but without the Noble Rot. Picked from the Old King’s Vineyard, which is cultivated under organic principles, wine has been made here for the past three hundred years with minimal intervention. It is a wonderful expression of the terroir. It has a clean, pure aftertaste and I would happily drink this on a terrace while watching the sun go down.
Brouilly Pisse-Vieille Domaine Lathuilière-Gravallon 2016, 13% France -
Brouilly is the largest of the various Beaujolais crus and generally produces the most robust examples. Grown from 50 year-old vines, it amazes me how reasonably priced this wine is. Cathy & Cédric Lathuilière are the fifth generation of owners and work as near as they can to organic principles. In time, the Gamay grape takes on the personality of Burgundy’s Pinot Noir grape, but when it is young has an exuberance and vitality, making it very enjoyable without food.
Cabernet Sauvignon Bodega Ruca Malen 2014, 14% Argentina
Famous Argentinian reds tend to be Malbec, but I’ve always preferred the lesser-known Cabernet Sauvignons. These are high altitude wines, planted above 3,000 feet in Mendoza Province. There are also tiny amounts of Petit Verdot and Merlot in the mix, similar in proportion to many wines from the Medoc in Bordeaux. This wine has a rich texture with a chocolatey flavour and hint of spice, without any of the fruit bomb characteristics that can afflict New World reds. Great with red or white meats and full flavoured cheese. In a word, delicious.