January's Recommendations


We rate our wines out of a 100-points scale.
Our reviews and recommendations are completely independent and we do not have any commercial affiliation with the importers and/or retailers listed.
Please note that prices are correct at the time of our tastings/reviews but are subject to change without us being notified.


Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs Brut NV - 92pts

Sussex, England, Sparkling White, 12% abv, cork closure
100% Chardonnay
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, seafood and especially oysters.
Showcasing their elegant new branding, this wine is also every bit as good on the inside and is proof, if any were needed, of why Ridgeview were the well-deserved winners of last year’s IWSC Winemaker of the Year. Broad, mouth-filling and characterful this is buttery, biscuity and boasts notes of brioche and bread with a great length and layers of complexity.
£52 available from The Wine Society

Langham Estate Special Cuvée Brut 2014 - 92pts

Dorset, England, Sparkling White, 12% abv, cork closure
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif.
A classic three-way blend of the Champagne grapes with 50% Chardonnay and the other 50% divided equally between Pinot Noir and Meunier. Spending two years on the lees, this Dorset estate’s NV blend is remarkably delicious, with a malty note on the nose and an intense, richly toasty mousse of fine-textured, mouth-filling bubbles and tangy, dry finish.
£25.95 available from Lea & Sandeman

Bodegas Muga Conde de Haro Cava la Rioja 2015 - 91pts

Rioja, Spain, Sparkling White, 12% abv, cork closure
100% Viura
Pairs nicely with: Drink it as an aperitif or with battered haddock.
The Viura grape can be awfully neutral at times so why not make it sparkle by creating a traditional method-fizz from it. That’s what Muga have done, and, as with pretty much all things Muga, they’ve made an excellent job of it, creating a mouth-filling cava, yes cava, in which the lees-derived flavours come though with an attractive nuttiness in a billowing mousse that finishes refreshingly dry on the tongue.
£14.99 available from Waitrose

Dry White

Domaine Les Chaumes Pouilly-Fumé 2017 - 90pts

Loire, France, Dry White, 12.5% alc, Cork closure
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Pairs nicely with: Light white fish, roasted vegetables and goats cheese salad.
A very pretty, elegant wine that is zingy, zesty and fresh with subtle notes of elderflower and quince on the nose and palate. There is also a very pleasing texture and a good, persistent length. Refined and refreshing.
£13.75 available from Co-op

Wine of the Month!!

Wine of the Month!!

Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay 2016 - 92pts

North Island, New Zealand, Dry White
100% Chardonnay.
Pairs nicely with: Moules Marinières, dressed crab.
One of four excellent Kumeu River Chardonnay’s at Lea & Sandeman, this Kiwi dry white from Coddington Vineyard is fresh, intensely aromatic, showing white Burgundy-like leesy notes on the nose, followed by a long, textured, richly creamy, full-flavoured peachy fruit quality, all beautifully balanced and dry on the finish. £25.95 in case of 12.
£27.95 available Lea & Sandeman

Artisan Gewürztraminer 2016 - 90pts

Tasmania, Australia, Dry White, 13.5% alc, screwcap
100% Gewürztraminer
Pairs nicely with: Spicy food, dim sum and pork.
A lovely example of a cool climate Gewürz that isn’t too overpowering or blowsy. This has lovely subtle floral, lychee, lime and pink grapefruit aromas with a textured yet crisp palate that has a swathe of citrus acidity cutting through the aromatic fruit.
£10.99 available from Aldi

Co-op Irresistible Viognier Pays d’Oc 2017 - 89pts

Languedoc, France, Dry White, 13.5% alc, screwcap
100% Viognier
Pairs nicely with: Chicken, monkfish or tagines.
Made by the extraordinary and quite ubiquitous Domaines Paul Mas, 15% of this Viognier has been aged in oak for three months which enhances both its aroma and texture. This is a very charming example with a perfumed nose of yellow plums that has great freshness and finesse.
£8 available from Co-op

The Society’s Exhibition Hermitage Blanc 2014 - 93pts

Rhône, France, Dry White, 14.5% alc, cork closure
Marsanne & Roussanne
Pairs nicely with: Risotto, roast chicken or cod cheeks.
Made for The Wine Society by Jean-Louis Chave, this wine is quite unique. With a lovely deep colour reflecting its time in bottle, the nose is full of peach perfume, blossom, spice and honey. The palate is rich, broad, ripe and round with a real depth of honeyed ripeness to the fruit. A wine to keep on going back to.
£36 available from The Wine Society

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - 90pts

Marlborough, New Zealand, 13% alc, screwcap
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Pairs nicely with: Seafood linguine, white fish, salads.
From iconic Kiwi winery Cloudy Bay, the wine is pale in colour with restrained notes of citrus, pear and tomato leaf on the nose. The palate is tight, lean and racy with zesty acid along with some passion fruit pungency.  
£22.99 available from The New Zealand House of Wine

Rippon Mature Vine Riesling 2017 - 92pts

Central Otago, New Zealand
100% Riesling
Pairs nicely with: Pan-fried sea bass, roast cod.
There’s a fine purity of lime citrus aroma before the intense, lime juicy character of this accomplished South Island Kiwi Riesling kicks in with a richly textured flourish and a finish that’s as tangy as it’s mineral and dry.  £20.95 in a case of 12.  
£23.50 available from Lea & Sandeman

Rouve-Rijckaert Florent Rouve Viré-Clessé 2016 - 90pts

Burgundy, France
100% Chardonnay
Pairs nicely with: Roast chicken with thyme.
Coming on more like a Pouilly-Fuissé than a Mâcon, this good value, lightly oaked white Burgundy from the Mâconnais is pleasingly rich  with a concentrated butteriness and peachy fruit quality that’s held in check by  good refreshing acidity and a gently nutty aftertaste.  
£14 available from Marks & Spencer


Value choice of the Month

Yallaroo Australian Rosé 2017 - 87 pts

SEA, Australia, Dry rosé, 11.5% alc, screwcap
43% Pinot Noir, 24% Colombard, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Shiraz, 7% Chardonnay, 3% Other
Pairs nicely with: Stir fries, Thai food, sushi, fish.
This is a very pretty, very good value, lower alcohol wine that has beautiful freshness and flavour with notes of raspberry pip and cassis. Crunchy with a suggestion of strawberries and cream and even blackcurrant crumble this is a great everyday alternative to a white wine. Don’t leave rosé in the rack until Spring!
£4.99 available from Aldi

Dry Red

Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon ‘Le Temps des Cerises’ 2015 - 89 pts

Loire, France, Dry Red, 13% alc, cork closure
100% Cabernet Franc
Pairs nicely with: Gammon, wild boar pasta or game.
A classically crunchy and deeply hued Chinon with all the notes and nuances of cranberries, redcurrants and pencil lead that you would hope for. The perfumed notes of red berries become deeper on the palate with soft bramble fruits and a whisper of violets. The tannins are present but well-balanced. Organic.
£10.95 available from The Wine Society

Lot Series Terra Verde Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2017 - 89 pts

Tasmania, Australia, Dry Red, 13.5% alc, screwcap
98.5% Pinot Noir, 1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Pairs nicely with: Duck breasts, game or venison.
Light in colour with an ethereal nose of pretty red cherry drops, cranberry and a sprinkling of white pepper offset by crunchy raspberry pip acidity. Charming, fragrant and with an intriguing beetroot finish.
£10.99 available from Aldi

Sottimano Barbaresco Pajoré 2011 - 93 pts

Piedmont, Italy
100% Nebbiolo
Pairs nicely with: Roast pheasant, partridge, venison.
Top quality Barbaresco is never cheap, but this elegantly-styled Nebbiolo from close to the village of Barbaresco itself, is delicately raspberryish in its fragrance with a restrained, spicy red-fruited character on the palate that’s quite beguiling, and while the berry fruit is intense and powerful, the wine maintains a terrific tension between fruit and freshness thanks to a trenchant streak of acidity. £47.50 in a case of 12.  
£54.50 available from Lea & Sandeman

Value choice of the Month

Tikves Cuvée Methodius Vranec 2011 - 88 pts

100% Vranec
Pairs nicely with: Lamb cutlets, pan-fried calves liver.
Still in the first flush of youth, this vivid, fresh red offers a lovely pure and pristine plum and dark cherry fruit character, with no obvious oak interference, and although still youthful, the balance is good and the texture is already soft and juicy enough for it to slip down effortlessly.  
£10 available from Oddbins

Rasova Tortuga Rosu Red 2015 - 91 pts

Cabernet Sauvignon, Feteasca Negra.
Pairs nicely with: Roast lamb and rosemary, chicken tagine.
Oddbins have gone where few others have dared to venture in championing Easter Europe not least Romania, from which this classy red blend with its pretty tortoise label comes; there’s a stylish veneer of lightly toasted oak over a pepper-spicy, sweetly ripe, dark berry richness of fruit, whose texture is nicely rounded by oak without excessive oak dominance, while the intensity of flavour is enhanced by its firm grip on the finish.  
£25 available from Oddbins

C.V.N.E. Contino Rioja Reserva 2015 - 90 pts

Rioja, Spain
Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha.
Pairs nicely with: Roast lamb, duck breast, partridge, venison.
Still youthful in its vivid colour and fresh aroma, this lovely Reserva Rioja is just starting to come into its own with a hint of coconut oak and spice in the aroma (but not too much) and a velvety mouthful of sweet dark strawberry-cherry fruit tinged with the light vanilla and coconut character of classic Rioja from the oak casks it’s been matured in.  
£25 available from Marks & Spencer

Cave de Saint-Désirat Coeur de Rochevine Saint-Joseph 2013 - 91 pts

Northern Rhône, France
Pairs nicely with: Game birds, venison.
Made from pure Syrah vines with an average age of 30, this nicely maturing, medium-bodied St-Jo displays the cool climate peppery character so typical of the Northern Rhône’s Saint Joseph appellation, while the black cherry-like fruit is infused with an elegant spiciness and the texture succulently juicy.  
£29.99 available from Waitrose [in 44 selected branches]


Wine of the Month!!

Wine of the Month!!

Sanchez Romate Oloroso Encontrado 1/5 NV - 94pts

Jerez, Spain, Fortified, 20% abv, screwcap
100% Palomino
Pairs nicely with: Cheese and nuts.
Encontrado means ‘found’ and this is a very old, rare Oloroso that has a lovely deep colour with notes of raisins, vanilla, salted caramel and honey roasted nuts. Exceptionally long, delicious and exciting. Highly recommended.
£17 (35.5cl) available from The Wine Society