Bruce Palling, Wine Editor of The Week Wines, has chosen six top quality wines from Corney & Barrow. There has never been a better time to explore beyond the European classic, and these wines offer plenty of opportunity to discover this for yourself, at exclusive bargain prices!
Congratulations to all of you who managed to survive Dry January! It’s not something I’ve ever attempted, but hats off to those who did. Whatever your outcome, our February selection from Corney & Barrow is the perfect antidote to enforced abstinence. Corneys made their reputation several decades ago by championing under-appreciated wine regions, especially Pomerol in Bordeaux. Since then, their business has spread beyond the greatest Bordeaux and Burgundy into relatively unknown wine regions, such as Latin America and southern Africa.
There has never been a better time to explore beyond the European classic. Wine makers are applying the knowledge they’ve gained elsewhere to enhance their own particular region. Pinot Noir rarely appeared beyond Burgundy but now we can find exciting versions in neighbouring Italy, and further afield in the Antipodes and North America. Shiraz has long been successfully transplanted to Australia, but the Nelson family are showing how it can be successfully grown in South Africa. Chardonnay has been grown for decades in the New World, but recently new approaches mean it has been improved vastly by restraint rather than exuberance. It is not just in new regions that exciting wines can be discovered – take the renaissance of dry red wines in Portugal. More and more, the quality of a wine is down to the grower rather than the specific region it originates. Our February selection offers plenty of opportunity to discover this for yourself, at exclusive bargain prices! See the full collection here.
Editor, The Week Wines
La Tunella Pinot Nero 2015, (13%)
This family-owned estate is from Friuli in north east Italy, near the border with Slovenia and Austria. Made exclusively from the Pinot Noir grape, it is delightfully fresh with a lovely clean texture – more like a high quality Beaujolais than red Burgundy. This is an exceptionally good price for such a well-made low yield wine with its unobtrusive structure. It would be ideal to drink with any light food or simply by itself. Click here to buy.
Manoella Wine and Soul 2014 (14.5%)
Manoella is an exciting dry red blend of four different local grape varieties grown in the Pinhão Valley of the Douro, which is also the heart of Port production in Portugal. Owned by Jorge Serôdio Borges and his wife Sandra Tavares, Jorge is the fifth generation of his family to make wine in this location. They are complex and robust wines, which have hints of fruitcake flavours and are made for equally hearty foods. Although ready to drink now, they have sufficient structure to last for many years. Ideal if you like well-structured southern Rhône wines. Click here to buy.
Nelson Estate Shiraz 2012 (14.5%)
This Northern Rhone style red is from an award-winning family run vineyard in the Paarl district of South Africa’s Cape region. The balance and purity of the fruit is remarkable; it has more complexity than many other New World versions. Corney & Barrow are exclusive importers of Nelson wines in the UK. It has broad shoulders but is absolutely delicious. Click here to buy.
Francois Carillon Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015 (13%)
This is an exciting village white Burgundy from one of the most renowned wine makers in the region. They are famous for their numerous premier cru wines from Puligny-Montrachet and despite its simple denomination, this can be regarded as a mini-Puligny in all but name. It has a racy, citrusy style with a refreshing minerally end, yet possesses pure fruit with that hint of honey you get in great white Burgundy. I can imagine this actually improving in the next few years, given that it comes from such a brilliant vintage. A bargain for this level of quality. Click here to buy.
Tardieu-Laurent Les Becs Fins Blanc, Côtes du Rhône 2016 (13.5%)
I adore the wines of Tardieu-Laurent – their Gigondas vieilles vignes is one of the very best I have drunk. This white Côtes du Rhône has an unctuous but gloriously fresh finish and is ideal if you have tired of the usual Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc alternatives. Tardieu-Laurent was a collaboration between Michel Tardieu and Burgundian Dominic Laurent but is now under the sole control of Michel, who selects the grapes and is responsible for the blending and bottling of his wines. They come from five different grape varieties located in three Rhône regions. Click here to buy.
Bakestone Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2015 (14%)
Made from younger vines, this is the second wine from Cakebread, one of the greatest Californian chardonnays. Located in the coastal region near the Napa Valley, this has more richness than the traditionally leaner white Burgundies of France but is in no way cloying or heavy. Aged in French oak, and less than half the price of its grander relative, it is a perfect introduction to the joys of New World Chardonnay. Click here to buy.