Welcome to our new wine list. We have introduced several exciting new wines, confirming our list as, we hope, the finest and most wide-ranging selection in Orkney. Wine lovers are particularly encouraged to examine our Cellar Selection, towards the end of the list. All bottles are 750ml, unless otherwise stated. House wines are available by the 175ml and 125ml glass.
1. Borgo Selene, Bianco, 2012, Sicily, £15.00. By the glass: £4.00/£3.25
Sicily is the source of some delicious fruity wines at great prices. Here’s a fine example: a blend of the local Inzolia and Catarratto grapes, it is dry and refreshing yet surprisingly full bodied too. Lovely by itself or with a wide range of foods.
2. Emiliana, Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, Chile, £15.00. By the glass: £4.00/£3.25
Just off-dry, this zesty, flavoursome Sauvignon comes from Chile’s Central Valley, where cool vineyard sites ensure crisp, clean flavours. A fine match for seafood, cold meat, and salad, but is also a perfect wine to sip by itself.
3. Borgo Selene, Rosso, 2012, Sicily, £15.00. By the glass: £4.00/£3.25
For the Borgo red, the blend is of full-flavoured Sicilians, Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese. Although the colour is a deep purple, this is far from a heavy wine: it’s soft, aromatic, unoaked, and a good match for a wide range of dishes.
4. Emiliana, Syrah, 2012, Chile, £14.00. By the glass: £4.00/£3.25
A lovely medium-bodied Syrah (otherwise known as Shiraz) from Chile’s Rapel Valley, this has aromas of brambles and coffee, and a long smooth finish with just a hint of pepperiness. Excellent with many medium to full flavoured dishes, or by itself.
5. Ancora, Pinot Grigio Rosato, 2012, Italy, £15.00. By the glass:£4.00/£3.25
Made near Milan in the North of Italy from Pinot Grigio grapes, this is a lovely salmon pink wine with attractive berry aromas. Light, dry and refreshing, it will match fish and salad, or make perfect pink drinking by the glass
6. Senorio de Sarria, Rosado No 5, 2011, Spain, £21.95
A dark, Garnacha rose from high-altitude vineyards near Pamplona in north-east Spain. Wonderful wild-strawberry aromas lead on to a surprisingly full, rounded finish making it an excellent food wine. The rosados of Navarra were apparenty Ernest Hemingway’s favourite Spanish wine: he carried them around Spain on his bullfighting pilgramages!
CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING WINE
7. Lunetta, Prosecco Spumante, NV, Italy, £20.95
A fresh and frisky sparkling wine in traditional Italian style. Light bodied and a little off-dry, with crisp appley flavours, this is a very drinkable sparkler!
8. Famiglia Bianchi, Extra Brut, NV, £28.75
Made using the classic Champagne grapes of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and vinified using the classic Champagne method, this offers toasty aromas, long lasting fizz and subtle flavours at a price the French can only dream of. Highly recommended.
9. Taltarni, Brut Taché Rosé, Australia, 2010, £39.95
Sometimes only a pink bubbles will do! A New World brut rose to rival France’s greats, from the Pyrenees area in northern Victoria. Made from the traditional Champagne blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, it is also made using the ‘traditional method.’
10. Serge Mathieu, Brut Tradition Champagne, NV, France, £59.95
A superb Champagne. Serge Mathieu is a small, independent winemaker, free of the overpriced glitz often associated with the big brands. He makes superb Blanc de Noirs Champagne using solely flavoursome Pinot Noir grapes. Aged for four years on its lees before release, his Brut Tradition has lovely toasty aromas and real complexity.
LIGHT, REFRESHING WHITE WINES
11. Diez Siglos, Rueda Verdejo, 2011, Spain, £16.50
An exciting new addition to our list, from north-central Spain. This Verdejo grape is fresh and refreshing, but with many layers of flavour: lemon and lime, juicy peach and crisp minerality. Wonderful with all kinds of fish, or by itself. We’ll be moving to 2012 soon.
12. Goats Do Roam, 2012, South Africa, £19.25
Charles Back is a maverick with an eye for a humorous label. Luckily, he is also one of South Africa’s greatest winemakers. This unoaked blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc has freshness, lovely perfume and great fruit. A Lynnfield favourite.
13. Borgo dei Vassalli, Pinot Grigio, 2011, Italy, £23.95
A lovely Pinot Grigio from its heartland in northeast Italy. Lots of perfume, plenty of refreshing acidity, and good length, all coming together in elegant harmony. Great by itself, with seafood, or with many salads and even white meat.
14. Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium, Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, 2011, Germany, £29.75
A stunning Mosel Riesling in classic semi-sweet style. Its slatey minerality counters the sweetness perfectly, meaning it’s a superb match for crab and other shellfish, but balanced enough to enjoy with a wide range of dishes. A perfect aperitif too: a great introduction to the world of fine German wine.
15. Loimer, Kamptal Grüner Veltliner, 2012, Austria, £31.95
An outstanding introduction to a country whose wines we’re not too familiar with. Grüner Veltliner is about as crisp and zingy as wine gets – and is a fantastic match for oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. If you’re thinking of ordering those dishes, be a bit adventurous and try a ‘GV’ to accompany it: you won’t be disappointed.
16. Pasquiers, Sauvignon V, 2011, France, £16.00
Sauvignon Blanc we all love. But the V stands for Vermentino, a grape more associated with Sardinia than the south of France. This ground-breaking blend is an inspired innovation: crisp, lemony and a wonderful accompaniment to seafood and many lighter dishes.
17. Domaine de Corbillieres, Sauvignon de Touraine, 2012, France, £24.00
Remarkable value for an excellent Loire Valley interpretation of the world’s favourite aromatic grape: a lovely refreshing aperitif and a good match for lighter dishes. If you want to splash out on a Sancerre or Pouilly Fumé, see our Cellar Selection, but if you want to try one of the Loire’s hidden treasures, look no further.
18. Tinpot Hut, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, NZ, £27.50
Fiona Turner makes some of the fruitiest, most enjoyable wines in Marlborough, using fruit from her own vineyards at Blind River. The name harks back to the old sheep drovers’ bothies in the hills, and the wine is a great example of the classic Marlborough style: bursting with zesty aromas of grapefruit and fresh herbs. Deservedly popular.
FULLER BODIED WHITE WINES
19. Nieto Senetiner, Reserva Chardonnay, 2010, Argentina,, £19.95
One of the leading winemakers in the Mendoza area with a Chardonnay that’s ripe and buttery, with aromas of tropical fruits. It’s aged for six months in French barrels, giving it good structure, a creamy finish, and jut a touch of oak. Perfect with chicken, scallops or lobster.
20. Domaine Perraud, Mâcon Villages , 2010, French, £27.95
Every good wine list needs a white Burgundy, but in the face of crazy prices for the famous names and a lot of affordable but dull stuff, where to turn? The answer is to the southern appellation of Mâcon, and a young (just past 30) winemaker called Jean-Christophe Perraud. Using grapes from family vineyards as old as he is, he crafts lightly oaked Chardonnays that are full-flavoured and crisply acidic. Very adaptable, but we particularly like it with scallops and other shellfish. Highly recommended for lovers of refined old world wines.
21. Innocent Bystander, Yarra Valley Pinot Gris, 2010, Australia, £28.50
The Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s cool climate areas, producing wines of great freshness and precision, and Phil Sexton of Innocent Bystander is one of its great winemakers. Unlike our Pinot Grigio above, this has a full, rich palate with quite a lot of weight, yet it’s balanced with perfect acidity. Try with shellfish, white meats, or by itself.
22. Laroche, Chablis, 2011, France, £34.25
Gwénaële Laroche stayed here during 2010′s wine festival and introduced us to her whole range: we didn’t hesitate to make this lovely wine our house Chablis. Unoaked, it’s a refreshing, streamlined interpretation with loads of crisp lemony fruit. A good match for fish, shellfish, chicken or salads – or as a palate-stimulating aperitif.
AROMATIC WHITE WINES
23. Adobe, Organic Gewürztraminer, 2012, Chile, £18.75
This is a headily aromatic wine, with perfumes of rose petals and Turkish delight. First impressions are that its going to be sweet, but in fact it’s completely dry, and a wonderful match for many foods, especially spicy ones. It also makes a superb aperitif. The grape’s heartland is in Alsace and northern Italy, but this bottle – made by Chile’s biggest and best organic producer – proves that it can excel in South America too.
24. Willunga 100, Viognier, 2010, Australia, £23.25
A southern Australian take on a classic Rhone grape: it’s voluptuously aromatic, with beautiful apricot and peach flavours and a full body. Particularly good, we think, when paired with slightly spicy dishes like squid and Thai spices.
25. Martin Codax, Albariño, 2010, Spain, £25.95
Albariño is relatively unknown, but is one of the world’s great grapes, producing superb seafood wine. Grown in vineyards just two miles from the Atlantic, the cool seaside nights ensure the grapes’ aromatic character is retained, along with a nice crisp finish. If you haven’t tried Albariño before, we strongly recommend you do. And prepare to be wowed.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM BODIED REDS
26. Goats do Roam, 2012, South Africa, £19.95
Another winner from Charles Back: the quality of the wine belies its jokey name. If only all Côtes du Rhône were this fruity, smooth and spicy! Made mostly with Syrah, with touches of Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Grenache for added Rhone-style complexity and warmth, this is easy to drink, indeed easy to love and a match for very many dishes.
27. La Madone, Fleurie, 2011, France, £23.95
A very nice Fleurie indeed, with all the lovely flowery Beaujolais aromatics the name conjures up. A glowing cherry red colour in the glass, and a nice soft slurp in the mouth. One of our most popular reds.
28. Cave de Turckheim, Organic Pinot Noir 2011, France, £29.75
With good Burgundy increasingly unaffordable, where else can you get a good French Pinot Noir? Look no further than Alsace, a hundred to the north. Although best known for its whites, a small amount of high quality red is also made here by the German border. You won’t see this on many restaurant winelists, but we present it proudly: it’s smooth, packed with berry and earth flavours, and has a long, subtly oaked finish. Recent accreditation as an organic wine underline the Cave’s commitment to sustainability as well as tradition.
29. Tinpot Hut, Marlborough Pinot Noir, 2009, New Zealand, £31.50
A new listing for 2013, and a very welcome addition. In many ways it’s a close counterpart, to the same winery’s Sauvignon, featuring as it does precise fruit flavours and a clean, crisp finish. Aromas of black cherries and a light body make it a good match for terrine, duck salad, even full-flavoured fish dishes. A multi-award-winning wine: try it and you’ll see why.
JUICY ITALIAN REDS
30. Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, 2011, Italy, £20.95
A classic Italian red from the west-central mountainous area of Abruzzo. A largely slumbering area, as the name of the wine – La Bella Addormentata, Sleeping Beauty – suggests, there are nevertheless pockets of brilliant winemaking here and there. This is a fine example: fruity, generous and rounded, with a balsamic-like bite on the finish to make it a great red meat wine. And as it’s unoaked, it’s also good with chicken or white meats.
31. Poggiotondo, Chianti ‘Cerro del Masse’, 2011, Italy, £22.95
From the heart of Tuscany comes this joyous Chianti: it has lots of power and intense cherry flavours, but is very drinkable – and a great food wine too. Try it with any Italian-influenced dish, or with lamb and other red meats. From the personal estate of leading wine consultant Alberto Antonini.
32. Allegrini, Valpolicella, Italy, 2012, £25.75
Allegrini is one of the stars of the Veneto area in north-central Italy: his Valpolicella stands out like a beacon of quality midst a sea of factory-farmed wines of that name. Fairly light bodied, this nonetheless has charming cherry aromas, good length, and a lot of class. Try with fuller-flavoured fish dishes as well as terrines, chicken and lighter meat dishes.
A TASTE OF IBERIA
33. Alianҫa, Dâo Reserva, 2008, Portugal, £16.75
The blend of local grapes – Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaén and Touriga Nacional – doesn’t give much indication of what to expect, so we’ll tell you: it’s a full-bodied, characterful wine with spicy, plum-pudding aromas, which has become a surprise hit with many regulars. Match with robust dishes. We’ll be moving to the excellent 2010 vintage soon.
34. Bodegas Borsao, Selecciòn Tinto, Spain, 2012, £17.50 Normally we prefer our own descriptions, but in this instance the words of US wine guru Robert Parker are too good to ignore: “Possibly the single greatest dry red wine value in the world. Its deep ruby/purple colour is followed by classic aromas of kirsch liqueur intermixed with raspberries, loamy soil and flowers. This medium to full-bodied wine possesses remarkable depth, an expansive texture and wonderful freshness as well as purity.”
35. Bodegas Artesa, Rioja Crianza, 2009, Spain, £19.95
Towards the fruitier end of Rioja, this is a highly adaptable, highly enjoyable red. Made entirely from Tempranillo grapes, it has the raspberry and smoke aromas you’d expect, and a long, lip-smacking finish. Try with pork and lamb. We’ll be moving to 2010 soon.
36. Vega del Rayo, Rioja Reserva, 2008, Spain, £23.25
Fantastic value for a high quality Rioja, with all the juicy, raspberry-ish flavours you’d expect, and a generous dollop of oak for structure. Modern in style – meaning generous with its fruit, and not too tannic –so a good match for a wide range of white and red meat dishes.
MEDIUM BODIED REDS, OLD WORLD AND NEW
37. Baron de Badassiere, Carignan, 2012, France, £17.95
A beautiful berryish red made by New Zealanders in the eastern Languedoc! Carignan is not often given a chance to shine by itself, being usually blended to produce oceans of quaffing French red. When treated with care, as here, it’s a treat: deep purple, with aromas of cassis, and a nice juicy finish. Unoaked, so easy to drink by itself or with a wide range of foods.
38. Calbuco, Merlot, 2012, Chile, £19.50
Very drinkable Bordeaux-style red from a Chilean producer who offers great value as well as good quality. Lovely blackcurrant and cedar aromas, and a firm structure: a great match for many meat dishes.
39. Fairview, Pinotage, 2011, South Africa, £23.95
Full and flavoursome without being at all heavy, this is a wonderful expression of South Africa’s signature variety. Very adaptable across a range of food-matches, and a deservedly popular fixture on our wine list.
40. Chateau Mahon-Laville, Bordeaux Superieur, 2010, France, £27.50
Jean-Christophe Barbe’s day job is Professor of Oenology at Bordeaux University. After hours he makes wine on his family property, including this classic Claret. The blend is three-quarters Merlot for deep plummy flavours, and a quarter Cabernet Sauvignon for extra depth and structure. Great with a wide variety of foods.
BIG SPICY REDS
41. Bodegas Castaño, Hecula, Spain, 2009, £19.75
A powerful, earthy red from south-east Spain, in the mountains above Alicante. Made from the Monastrell grape (or Mourvèdre as it is known in France) this is a dark, brooding wine with assertive tannins that really comes into its own when matched with a nice juicy steak, North Ronaldsay mutton, or perhaps venison.
42. Nativa, Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, 2009, £21.50
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, but with a splash each of Syrah and Carmenere: the Cabernets signature blackcurrant aromas are still there, but the other grapes add depth of flavour and a very pleasant herbiness. Great with any red meat.
43. Willunga 100, Grenache, Australia, 2010, £23.50
Grenache doesn’t often get top billing by itself; it’s more often in a supporting role in wines from the warmer parts of France, Spain and Sardinia. Here it’s a star: generous in size but soft and drinkable, with an intriguing smoky note. A great wine for the steak-lover, and also great with chops and even burgers!
44. The Goatfather, South Africa, 2010, £24.75
Charles Back uses fruit from old vineyards planted by Italian settlers for this wine. A blend of Barbera, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t traditional, but there is a characteristic Italian savoury tang underlying the ripe, sunny South African sweetness.
45. Altos los Hormigas, Malbec, Argentina, 2012, £25.95
Argentina’s ‘national grape’ brings its signature dark purple colour and plummy aromas to this outstanding food wine. Lots of character and good length make it a natural to pair with a good steak.
46. Mr Smith, Shiraz, Australia, 2010, £27.50
This is what makes Australia a great wine country: straight-ahead, no-nonsense, easy-drinking red, with buckets of warm, red berry flavours, substantial but not sledgehammer body, and a few subtle eucalyptus notes tucked away underneath. Pure pleasure.
LYNNFIELD CELLAR SELECTION
We are proud to offer a special selection of premium quality wines, from some of the world’s leading winemakers. As elsewhere in our list, we have selected here on the basis of interest and appropriateness for our menu, rather than just ‘bagging’ famous names.
We would be very happy to decant any of these wines for you, which may be beneficial for some of the bigger reds in pariticular: please just ask us when you order.
47. Château Mouras, Grand Vin de Graves, 2008, France, £35.75
This is Professor Jean-Christophe Barbe’s top red, a full-flavoured but elegant Claret, with the characteristic mineral edge of the Graves terroir. Half Cabernet Sauvignon and half Merlot, this is a red with a lot of finesse: it would be a lovely match for chicken, pork and cheese as well as red meat dishes.
48. Château Clos de la Cure, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2009, France, £45.75
The wines of St Emilion are favoured by attractive plummy aromas and soft, generous palates, and this is no exception. Long ageing in oak is apparent only in the underlying structure, generously clothed in rich, rounded Merlot fruit. Tannins are very fine, the finish long. A fine match for game, beef or mature cheese.
49.Château La Tour de Mons, Margaux Cru Bourgeois, 2007, France, £48.50
A classic left bank blend, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with a small amount of Merlot and just a touch of Petit Verdot in support. It’s slightly more austere and tannic than our other Clarets, but with suitable food such as North Ronaldsay lamb it shines. The wines of the Margaux appellation are famed for their subtlety, finesse and fine tannins, and this is no exception.
50. Domaine Perraud, Saint-Veran, 2009, French, £34.50
A classic Chardonnay from southern Burgundy, crafted by talented young winemaker Jean-Christophe Perraud. Awarded a gold medal at the International Sommelier Awards 2010, it’s notable for its freshness, vivacity and lemony crispness. Wonderful with scallops or lobster.
51. Vallet Frères, Meursault, 2009, £69.95
‘One wishes there were more people like Vallet in Burgundy,’ wrote renowned critic Robert Parker, praising their adherence to traditional Burgundian wine-making. This Meursault is a great example of the classic style: elegant in texture, with complex vanilla and cashew aromas and a long mineral finish. Superb with chicken, lobster and other rich, creamy dishes. We’re currently on the excellent 2009 vintage, with the even better 2010 to follow in due course.
52. Pierre Bourée Fils, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, 2010, France, £29.95
Pierre Bourée is a small family business established in 1864, and still adhering to traditional methods of vinification. No surprise, then, that their Pinot Noir is in classic Burgundian style: scented with raspberries and smoke, and fairly light bodied though with firm underlying tannins. Match with lighter meat dishes such as chicken or game birds.
53. Vallet Frères, Gevrey-Chambertin, 1997, France, £59.95
We were delighted to source a limited quantity of this fine, mature wine from one of Burgundy’s most revered villages. The Vallets’ wines are old fashioned in that they prioritise elegance over power. Their wines are also intended to age well, and this is no exception. The delicate bouquet is mature, the colour almost translucent, the palate lacy and long lasting. Match with lighter dishes and allow the wine to shine.
54. Domaine de Maltaverne, L’Ammonite Pouilly Fumé, 2011, France, £29.25
The Loire Valley is heartland of traditional Sauvignon Blancs, and this is a sophisticated yet easy to drink wine from one of its most famous villages. The fruit is there in abundance, but so are complex aromas of smoke and flint. Delicious.
55. Domaine Henry Pellé, Sancerre ‘La Croix de la Garde,’ 2009, France, £33.95
A classic Sancerre and a wonderful wine: mixing generous fruity aromas with underlying crisp minerality as only Sancerre can. Great with shellfish, goats’ cheese, asparagus – or, of course, by itself. We’ll be moving to 2011 in due course.
56. Cave de Tain, St Joseph, ‘Esprit de Granit,’ France, 2009, £42.50
A classic northern Rhône red, 100% Syrah, from one of France’s leading co-operatives. It has an impressively smooth and rich texture, with intense raspberry and bramble flavours and a hint of minerality from the granite soils of the area (hence the name.) A superb expression of the terroir: wonderful with steak, beef, lamb and cheese.
57. Domaine de Chante Cigale, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2010, France, £44.75
A great example of an old favourite from the southern Rhône, Chante Cigale is full of ripe, dark flavours: everything from brambles to black pepper to liquorice to tar. But all in smooth, sophisticated harmony. A natural match for stews, steak and other full flavoured foods.
58. Alpha Zeta, ‘A’ Amarone, 2009, Italy, £56.25
A wine unique to the Valpolicella area, made by air-drying Corvina and Rondinella grapes till their flavours concentrate and intensify. It’s a big wine in every sense: Port lovers who want a wine to accompany their main course will be delighted by this! Or simply enjoy by itself after dinner.
59. Campiogiovanni, Brunello di Montalcino, 2005, Italy, £62.50
One of Italy’s most famous wines, Brunello is made only around the tiny hilltop town of Montalcino in the warm, southern part of Tuscany. Aged for three years in barrel before bottling, the oak brings vanilla notes to the rich, underlying black-cherry fruit flavours. A quintessential aristocratic Italian red, this is superb with beef, game or Italian cheese.
60. Poderi Colla, Barolo, Bussia Dardi Le Rose, 2006, Italy, £62.50
A textbook Barolo: in the glass it’s the colour of a Piemontese sunset, on the nose there’s tar and roses, on the palate plenty of firm tannin. We recommend decanting this wine, and matching it with our heartiest beef and mutton dishes. Then it will reveal its true majesty: an Italian classic, with real class.
SPAIN & PORTUGAL
61. Señerio de Sarria, Navarra Gran Reserva, 1999, Spain, £29.25
Sarria lies in hills outside Pamplona, and specialises in Tempranillo grapes, with some Cabernet and Merlot also grown. Their best grapes, in exceptional years, are vinified as Gran Reserva wines, made for long ageing: three years in oak followed by two more in bottle before release. The 1999 is brick-red in colour, has mature aromas of vanilla and leather, and complex dried-fruit and vanilla flavours. It’s dry, tannic enough to match well with steak and other red meat and game, and a rare treat for lovers of traditional Spanish reds.
62. Quinta da Terrugem, Alentejo, 2007, £31.25
Two of Portugal’s unique indigenous grapes – Tinta Roriz and Trincadeira – both from very old vineyards, combine to create a wine that could only be Portuguese. (Real aficionados might insist it could only be from Alentejo, in the south-east near the Spanish border!) Characteristic of fruitcake and Christmas spices lead into a wine with lots of body and a long, slight smoky finish. Unusual and delicious.
NEW WORLD WHITES
63. Greywacke, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, New Zealand, £32.95
Kevin Judd was founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, and guided that winery to its immense critical and popular success over more than twenty years. Five years ago he moved on and founded his own, much smaller winery, and is starting to make waves. This is not a simple, grassy Marlborough Sauvignon: Judd encourages multiple levels of complexity and richness. Outstanding with white meat as well as rich fish dishes.
64. Glen Carlou, ‘Quartz Stone’ Chardonnay 2011, South Africa, £38.75
We featured the wines of Glen Carlou at this years Wine Festival Lux, and would have been very happy to list any of them, such was their quality across the board. This one really grabbed our attention, though: a Chardonnay of overwhelming fruitiness, generous oakiness and a long, long finish. This is a real statement wine, and the statement is: sit back, hold tight and prepare for maximum enjoyment! Especially good with roast chicken, game birds, scallops, lobster and noble fish like halibut.
NEW WORLD REDS
65. Keith Tulloch, The Forres, 2010, Australia, £32.75
Keith Tulloch’s ancestors were Orcadian, but on their way towards the Hunter Valley and a reputation as one of that area’s finest winemaking dynasties, they paused a while in Moray; hence the name of this blend. A blend of Cabernet, Petit Verdot and Merlot, it’s unmistakeably Australian – bold and inky dark – but possessed of considerable elegance too, and long finish that will wrap itself beautifully around any game or meat dish. It would be lovely with good cheese too.
66. Firesteed, Oregon Pinot Noir, 2008, USA, £32.
It is an open secret that – like New Zealand on the opposite side of the earth – Oregon’s cool climate makes it ideal Pinot Noir Country. Here we have a beautiful example: cherry scented, fairly light in body, perfectly balanced in every way. Several years bottle age have brought lovely savoury depths, and overs of Burgundy will find this a delicious wine, lovely with all kinds of lighter foods.
SWEET AND FORTIFIED WINES
Our Sherries are produced in Jerez by a Norwegian, Jan Pettersen. The Spaniards have taken him to their heart – and anyone trying these wonderful wines will understand why. They really are (as the critics are saying) amongst the finest Sherries in existence. All are available by the glass, and make excellent aperitifs, though we do recommend the Fino as an excellent seafood accompaniment too.
67. Fernando de Castilla, Classic Fino, NV, Spain, £24.95; £2.75 per 70 ml glass
Mouth-wateringly fresh, crisp and dry, this would be lovely by itself at the start of a meal, or – best of all – with fish and shellfish.
68. Fernando de Castilla, Classic Amontillado, NV, Spain, £28.95 ; £3.50 per 70 ml glass
Lengthy ageing in oak results in a tawny-coloured, smooth and nutty wine, with just a hint of sweetness. A great aperitif, or good with mixed, tapas-style foods, and cheese.
69. Fernando de Castilla, Classic Cream, NV, Spain, £28.95 ; £3.50 per 70 ml glass
Moderately sweet but not syrupy: this is mahogany coloured and aromatic. Again a good aperitif for those who like to start sweet; but can also accompany desserts and blue cheeses.
70. Curatolo, Marsala Superiore Riserva, NV, Italy. £33.75; £4.25 per 70ml glass.
The Curatolo family have been making Marsala for over a century. This, their top wine, is smooth, sweet, complex and very drinkable. Sip as an aperitif, or after dinner, or even with a biscuit instead of afternoon tea!
DESSERT WINE BY THE GLASS
71. Chateau San Roch, Maury Rouge, 2011, (500ml), France. £32.95, or £5.75 per 70ml glass.
One of France’s most famous sweet red wines, this is a hedonistic delight: beautifully perfumed with berry aromas, fully sweet yet with perfect balancing acidity. A perfect way to end your meal, by itself or with dried fruit tarts – or above all, as the winemaker recommends, with chocolate-based desserts.
DESSERT WINE BY THE BOTTLE
72. Araldica, Moscato Passito ‘Palazzina’, 2006, (375ml), Italy, £17.50
Remarkable value for an irresistibly sweet and aromatic wine from Piedmont. Light and with attractive floral notes, it is lovely by itself, or with simple, fresh-fruit desserts.
73. Chateau Laville, Sauternes, 2007, (375ml), France, £39.95
Sauternes produces the world’s greatest sweet wines, and Chateau Laville’s meticulous approach to winemaking ensures theirs is a fine, multi-award-winning example: intense, honeyed and very long. It’s a wine of sweetness, clarity and balance, as you’d expect from its maker, Professor Jean-Christophe Barbe of Bordeaux University’s winemaking department!. A joy by itself, and a heavenly match for blue cheese and fruit-based desserts.
74. Wiese & Krohn, Porto Branco Seco, NV, Portugal, £25.00. 70ml glass: £3.25.
White Port is little seen in this country, but is immensely popular in Portugal, usually drunk well chilled as an aperitif. Krohn’s version is dry, light and tangy, somewhat reminiscent of an aged Fino sherry. Add ice and even tonic, if you like. “La perfection dans la genre,” says Gault Millau, the French wine guide.
75. Quinta do Infantado, LBV, 2007, Portugal, £33.95. 70ml glass: £4.25.
A refined Late Bottled Vintage Port, from a small, family-owned, quality-focused Douro firm. Everything you’d expect: dark, strong, slightly sweet and spicy, and beautifully mellow. Perfect with Stilton and other blue cheeses or to sip by itself.
76. Quinta do Infantado, Tawny, 10 anos, (375ml), Portugal, £27.50. 70ml glass: £6.75.
Infantado Tawny Port is aged in barrels for at least ten years, giving it a beautiful glowing hue in the glass, and a smooth, mellow, sweet-edged palate. Excellent by itself or with cheese.
77. Quinta do Infantado, Vintage Port, 2004, Portugal, £59.95. 70ml glass: £7.50.
True vintage port offers a unique experience. Only ‘declared’ in selected years (typically every three years or so) when conditions allow particularly high quality wines to be made. This is a giant of a wine, but a giant with finesse and grace. 2004 was an excellent year, and this is now entering its majestic maturity.