This month, our wine editor Bruce Palling has chosen six top quality wines from online wine merchant Swig. Our wines for May introduced Bruce to new grape varieties and domaines, and he described one of the wines as the most exciting discovery he has made since he began writing this column!
"This month’s wines are more eclectic than usual, which is what I have come to expect when I select from Swig - one of the most interesting online wine merchants in the UK. Founder Robin Davis is tireless at exploring new regions and grape varieties, which is how we have come across Domaine Horgelus and its spectacular La Valses de Mansengs. For me, this month was a double first as I had never previously had wines either from this domaine or grape varieties. I’ve already bought some cases to enjoy immediately, as when the initial pleasure is so intense, why wait? The same could be said of the Rote Cuvee Groszer Wein and the Blaufränkisch grape – an equally attractive introduction to dual new experiences.
It’s thanks to merchants like Robin Davis that we can still make amazing discoveries from countries we think we already know well. I urge you to give these a try — you won't be disappointed.
See the full collection here, and remember - prices are exclusive to The Week Wines, and include FREE UK delivery."
La Valse des Mansengs Domaine Horgelus 2017 -
This is the most exciting discovery I have made since I began writing this column - a true revelation! It soars from the glass with an extraordinary vitality and energy that belies its modest origins. It is drinking perfectly now, so I would merely enjoy it while it is so intense and delicious. There are traces of citrus and apricots in the background with floral notes from the small amount of Sauvignon Blanc grapes included. Made in the foothills of the Pyrenées, the owners only pick the grapes in the early hours of the day to preserve their aromatics. Fabulous. Click here to buy.
Thelema Sutherland Chardonnay 2016 -
Gyles Webb was one of the original New Wave winemakers in post Apartheid South Africa and his cool climate chardonnay brilliantly reflects what the fuss is about. Fittingly, Gyles was inspired to plant his first vineyard after tasting a glass of Puligny Montrachet, of which this wine is a respectable kinsman. Decanter magazine judged an earlier vintage of this wine to be one of the best South African Chardonnays. Unlike many New World chardonnays, this is all about elegance and restraint and is perfect to be consumed any time in the next few years. Click here to buy.
Titos Garnacha Familia Bastida 2015 -
Produced in the heartland of Don Quixote’s Castilla La Mancha, this has to be one of the best value reds from Spain. Garnacha is the Spanish equivalent of Grenache, the mainstay of southern Rhone wines and it has the same intense solid framework. It is extraordinary to find a wine of this quality for the price. The grapes are hand-picked and fermented with local yeasts and kept in American and French oak barrels for nearly a year. There is nothing modest about this wine, which can be enjoyed with any full-flavoured dish. Click here to buy.
Gutedel Weiler Schlipf, Weingut Claus Schneider, Baden 2016 -
The Schneider family in southern Baden have been involved in the wine business for nearly 600 years. This nuanced dry white wine is made from a grape variety called Gutedel in Germany, but is better known elsewhere as Chasselas. It has a distinctive mineral flavour with elements of hay and even almonds and is wonderfully refreshing – ideal for spring. ‘Weiler Schlipf’ is the name of the family’s most prized vineyard, which was classified in 1875 and is considered the best site in Markgräﬂerland. Click here to buy.
Mas Brunet Cuvee du Mazet 2015 -
On the edge of the Massif Central in the Languedoc, Domaine de Brunet is a small estate of 60 acres owned by the Coulet family since the French Revolution. A mixture of Grenache, Syrah and other Rhone grape varieties, it is best thought of as a bargain version of a Chateauneuf du Pape. Located quite close to Mas de Daumas Gassac, the most famous wine of the Languedoc, Mas Brunet is quite forward with excellent fruit and is so reliable that Robin Davis considers it to be his de facto house wine. Click here to buy.
Rote Cuvee Groszer Wein 2015 -
Coming from Austria’s Burgenland, this handmade organic wine was discovered and promoted in the UK by Robin Davis. Primarily made from the Blaufränkisch grape, it is the second most popular red wine variety there. Owner Matthias Krön is so sure of the quality of his wines that he confidently puts them up against many of the leading wine producers in Bordeaux, the Rhone and Barolo. Despite its Baroque label, it is made in a modern style and given that 2015 was a textbook vintage, it will easily last for another decade. Click here to buy.