Welcome to our new wine list. After extensive tastings we hope our wine list is 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 also available by the 175ml and 125ml glass.
1. Borgo Selene, Bianco, 2010, Sicily, £14.00. By the glass: £3.75/£2.95
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, 2010, Chile, £14.00. By the glass: £3.75/£2.95
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, 2010, Sicily, £14.00. By the glass: £3.75/£2.95
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, 2010, Chile, £14.00. By the glass: £3.75/£2.95
A lovely medium-bodied Syrah (AKA 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, 2010, Italy, £14.00. By the glass:£3.75/£2.95
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, 2009, Spain, £19.75
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, £19.50
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, £25.00
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, 2008, £35.00
Sometimes only a pink spakler 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, £60.00
Our house 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. Goats Do Roam, 2010, South Africa, £16.00
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 Chenin Blanc, Viognier and several other grapes has zingy acidity and great fruity flavours. A Lynnfield favourite.
12. Borgo dei Vassalli, Pinot Grigio, 2010, Italy, £21.00
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.
13. Plantagenet, Riesling, 2008, Australia, £26.00
Consistently one of Australia’s best Rieslings, this is completely dry, packed with lemon and lime aromas, and has a long, mineral finish. A stunning match for crab, and wonderful with any seafood. A perfect aperitif too, especially for those who think they don’t like Riesling!
14. Loimer, Kamptal Grüner Veltliner, 2010, Austria, £27.50
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.
15. Pasquiers, Sauvignon V, 2010, France, £15.00
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.
16. Domaine de Corbillieres, Sauvignon de Touraine, 2010, France, £21.00
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 Fume, see our Cellar Selection, but if you want to try one of the Loire’s hidden treasures, look no further.
17. Yealands Estate, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, NZ, £22.00
Yealands are notable for several reasons: they’re organic, follow sustainable practises in all areas of their operations, and are the largest privately owned winery in New Zealand. Most importantly, they make absolutely stunning wines: perfumed, precise, and food friendly. This is the best new Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc we’ve tasted in years.
18. Shaw & Smith, Sauvignon Blanc, 2010, Australia, £27.00
Many consider this to be the most exciting Sauvignon coming out of Australia. Certainly it’s the most immediately impressive, with gorgeous aromas leaping out even as the first glass is poured. It nods towards Marlborough rather than the Loire, with grapefruit and gooseberry aromatics and a crunch like a juicy green apple. Joyous.
FULLER BODIED WHITE WINES
19. Nieto Senetiner, Reserva Chardonnay, 2010, Argentina,, £17.50
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. A new name for us this year but one that has swiftly become a firm favourite.
20. Yealands Estate, Marlborough Pinot Gris, 2009, NZ, £21.25
We were so impressed with Yealands that we decided to list their Pinot Gris as well as the Sauvignon. 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.
21. Domaine Perraud, Mâcon Villages ‘Le Loup’, 2009, French, £24.25
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.
22. Laroche, Chablis, 2008, France, £28.50
Gwenaele Laroche stayed here during last year’s wine festival and introduced us to her whole range, and we’ve decided 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. Willunga 100, Viognier, 2009, Australia, £21.00
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.
24. Yealands, Gewürztraminer, 2009, New Zealand, £21.25
Happy memories of off dry, sweetly aromatic German white wines? This wine should appeal hugely – it’s in a more modern, elegant style but retains all the appealing features of those favourite Germans of old. Lovely perfumes of rose petals and Turkish delight.
25. Martin Codax, Albariño, 2010, Spain, £23.25
Since joining our list a couple of years ago, this has become a great hit, proving to be a superb seafood wine. Grown in vineyards just a couple of 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, 2009, South Africa, £16.50
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, easy to love and a match for very many dishes.
27. La Madone, Fleurie, 2009, France, £21.25
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. Yealands, Pinot Noir, 2009, New Zealand, £26.00
A new lisiting for 2011, and Yealands’ first red offering. We’re convinced it will be as popular as their Sauvingnon Blanc, and is in many ways a close counterpart, 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.
29. Cave de Turckheim, Pinot Noir 2007, France, £27.50
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. A real find!
JUICY ITALIAN REDS
30. Ca del Matt, Barbera d’Asti, 2008, Italy, £16.00
From the heart of Piemonte in Italy’s hilly north-west comes this very enjoyable wine….made by a New Zealander. Matt Thomson finds new-world warmth and fruitiness in dark, earthy Barbera grapes making it a great match for all kinds of red meat dishes.
31. Poggiotondo, Chianti Cerro del Masse, 2008, Italy, £18.00
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.
32. Allegrini, Valpolicella, Italy, 2010, £21.00
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.
33. Cantina Mesa, Primo Rosso, 2009, Italy, £22.00
A rounded, easy-drinking blend of carignan and Syrah from coastal vineyards in the far south of Sardinia. It would be great with a wide range of dishes – the winery suggests eel stew, though if you don’t see that on our menu then other meaty fish dishes should be fine. The emphasis is on juicy berry and fruit flavours, with the oak influence is in the background, so also good with chicken or white meats
A TASTE OF IBERIA
34. Alianҫa, Dâo Reserva, 2007, Portugal, £16.00
The blend of local grapes – Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro, Jaén, 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.
35. Bodegas Artesa, Rioja Crianza, 2007, Spain, £18.00
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.
36. Cascabel, Tempranillo Joven, Australia, 2009, £21.00
A unique wine, and one we are delighted to introduce this year for the first time. The tiny McLaren Vale winery is run by an Australian man and a Spanish woman, and the wine captures their blend of cultures: generous raspberry fruit aromas, and a crisp, refreshing body, that’s the ‘joven’ style: young and only very lightly oaked. Try with fish or cold meat dishes, or anywhere else you might try a Rioja Joven.
37. Vega del Rayo, Rioja Reserva, 2005, Spain, £22.00
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 fruit and not too tannic – and so a good match for a wide range of white and red meat dishes.
38. Bodegas Borsao, Tres Picos, Spain, 2009,£27.50
Top billing in our Spanish selection goes to this stunning old-vine Grenache from amongst the peaks of Camp de Borja, a hilly area east of Rioja. Dense in colour, weighty in body, high in flavour – and fairly high in alcohol – this is a high impact wine that shows its best with steaks and roasts. One for lovers of big red wine.
MEDIUM BODIED REDS, OLD WORLD AND NEW
39. Calbuco, Cabernet Merlot, 20010, Chile, £16.00
Very drinkable Bordeaux-blend from a Chilean producer that offers great value as well as good quality. Lovely blackcurrant and cedar aromas, and a firm structure: a great match for many meat dishes.
40. Fairview, Pinotage, 2009, South Africa, £21.00
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.
41. Altos los Hormigas, Malbec, Argentina, 2009, £23.00
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.
42. Chateau Lauriol, 2007, France, £27.50
From the lesser-known Côtes de Francs appellation, this Merlot-based Claret offers excellent quality at a reasonable price. Made by the legendary Thienpont family (owners of the famed Le Pin) this is inky and intense, but soft, drinkable, and good with a variety of foods.
BIG SPICY REDS
43. Bodegas Castaño, Hecula, Spain, 2008, £17.50
A powerful, earthy red from southeast 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.
44. Willunga 100, Grenache, Australia, 2007, £20.00
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: gererous in size but soft and drinkable, with and intriguing smoky note. A great wine for the steak-lover, and also great with chops and even burgers!
45. Goats do Roam in Villages, South Africa, 2008, £20.00
We tried this at a Lynnfield Lux dinner in the depths of winter, and were wowed but its dark, fruity, spicy blend of Shiraz and Pinotage. So we decided we had to have just one more South African on the list!
46. Mr Smith, Shiraz, Australia, 2009, £23.00
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 quality 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 Clos de la Cure, St Emilion Grand Cru, 2007, France, £40.00
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.
48.Château La Tour de Mons, Margaux Cru Bourgeois, 2007, France, £49.00
A classic left bank blend, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Merlot and just a touch of Petit Verdot in support. It’s slightly more austere and tannic that the St Emilion, above, 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.
49. Domaine Perraud, Saint-Veran, 2009, French, £32.00
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.
50. Vallet Frères, Meursault, 2009, £60.00
‘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.
51. Pierre Bourée Fils, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, 2008, France, £28.00
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 guinea fowl.
52. Vallet Frères, Gevrey-Chambertin, 1998, France, £50.00
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.
53. Domaine de Maltaverne, L’Ammonite Pouilly Fumé, 2009, France, £30.00
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.
54. Domaine Henry Pellé, Sancerre ‘La Croix de la Garde,’ 2007, France, £36.00
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.
55. Paul Jaboulet Aîné, Crôzes Hermitage ‘Les Jalets,’ France, 2007, £30.00
A classic northern Rhône red, 100% Syrah, from a classic Rhône house which is on a real quality streak since a change of ownership just before this vintage. It has an impressively smooth and rich texture, with intense blackcurrant and bramble flavours and a hint of vanilla. A superb expression of the terroir: wonderful with steak, beef, lamb and cheese.
56. Domaine de Chante Cigale, Châteauneuf du Pape, 2005, France, £47.50
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. 2005 was a superb vintage here.
57. Petrognano, Pomino, 2007, Italy, £30.00
One of the most obscure wines on our list, but also one of the most exciting. Pomino is a tiny, hilly appellation entirely surrounded by Rufina – which is itself the smallest of Chainti’s appellations. Being high in altitude and also in the relatively cool north of the area, its wines are characteristically precise in their aromatics, and high in acidity: ideal when matched with steak, roast beef or other rich meat dishes. Predominantly Sangiovese, as you would expect from a classic Tuscan red, complicated historical relations with France mean that Pomino has traditionally had measures of Cabernet and Merlot included, as is the case here. Stunning!
58. Alpha Zeta, ‘A’ Amarone, 2007, Italy, £50.00
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! Stunning with hearty beef and game dishes, or with strong, hard cheese to finish your dinner.
59. Poderi Colla, Barolo, Bussia Dardi Le Rose, 2006, Italy, £60.00
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.
60. Señerio de Sarria, Navarra Gran Reserva, 1999, Spain, £30.00
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.
61. Quinta da Dôna, Bairrada, 2004, £45.00
Because our more red from Dao has been such a popular success, we thought we should offer a more ambitious Portuguese wine in our Cellar Selection – and here it is. The grape is Baga, the area of origin is Bairrada, a coastal area south of Porto, and the style could be described as a Portuguese Barolo: packed with dark fruit flavours, and with assertive tannic structure. As such, we recommend decanting and matching with game and red meat. Named as one of the ’50 Great Portuguese Spanish Wines’ in 2010′s classification.
62. Seghesio, Arneis, 2009, USA, £39.00
Seghesio are a long established family firm based in Sonoma County, where they make superb Zinfandels. A bit more unusual, and just as much a treat for the wine lover, is their small release of very special wines made from Italian varieties. This Arneis is a case in point. Little seen now, even in the country of their forbears, the Seghesios have crafted a wine that is full, complex, smooth and a lovely match for rich fish and shellfish dishes.
63. Firesteed, Oregon Pinot Noir, 2008, USA, £33.00
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. Lovers of Burgundy will find this a delicious alternative, and it is recommended with all kinds of lighter foods.
NEW ZEALAND & AUSTRALIA
64. Greywacke, Wild Sauvignon, 2009, New Zealand, £45.00
Kevin Judd was founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay, and guided that winery to its immense critical and popular success over more than twenty years. Three years ago he moved on and founded his own, much smaller winery, and is already starting to make waves. This is not a simple, grassy Marlborough Sauvignon: Judd introduces multiple levels of complexity and richness through the use of wild yeasts and barrel ageing. Outstanding with white meat as well as rich fish dishes.
65. Killibinbin, Langhorne Creek Shiraz, 2007, Australia, £42.00
We wanted to feature a truly outstanding South Australian Shiraz, and think this fits the bill to perfection. Full-blooded and powerful yet fruity and smooth, it hits the classic big, bold – 15.5% alcohol – Aussie style in the bull’s eye. Produced in tiny quantities from very old vines south of Adelaide, it’s also notable for its very striking label design – love it or hate it!
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.
66. Fernando de Castilla, Classic Fino, NV, Spain, £22.00; £2.25 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.
67. Fernando de Castilla, Classic Amontillado, NV, Spain, £26.00 ; £2.50 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.
68. Fernando de Castilla, Classic Cream, NV, Spain, £26.00 ; £2.50 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.
69. Curatolo, Marsala Superiore Riserva, NV, Italy. £27.00; £4.00 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
70. Chateau San Roche, Maury Rouge, 2004, (500ml), France. £30.00, or £4.50 per 70ml glass.
One of France’s most famous sweet 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 dessets.
DESSERT WINE BY THE BOTTLE
71. Araldica, Moscato Passito ‘Palazzina’, 2006, (375ml), Italy, £15.00
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.
72. Chateau Laville, Sauternes, 2006, (375ml), France, £36.00
Sauternes produces arguably the world’s greatest sweet wines, and Chateau Laville’s meticulous approach to winemaking ensures theirs is a fine example: a wine of sweetness, clarity and balance. Intense, honeyed and very long. A joy by itself, and a heavenly match for blue cheese and fruit-based desserts.
73. Wiese & Krohn, Porto Branco Seco, NV, Portugal, £24.00. 70ml glass: £3.50.
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.
74. Quinta do Infantado, LBV, 2007, Portugal, £34.00. 70ml glass: £4.00.
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 or to sip by itself.
75. Quinta do Infantado, Tawny Port, 10 Years Old, (375ml), Portugal, £24.00. 70ml glass: £7.00.
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.
76. Quinta do Infantado, Vintage Port, 2004, Portugal, £55.00. 70ml glass: £7.00.
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.
77. Wiese & Krohn, Colheita Port, Portugal, 1991, £75.00. 70ml glass: £9.00.
An exceptional opportunity to sample a fully mature Colheita from a great year. Setting them apart from Vintage ports, Colheitas are aged in barrel rather than bottle, and develop a unique mellow smoothness and a rich old-gold colour. Wiese & Krohn specialise in this style.