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.
This is a special edition with a selection of wines tasted during the 39th edition of London Wine Fair.
Michel Mailliard Champagne Cuvée Brut Gregory 1er Cru NV - 91pts
Champagne, France, Sparkling White, 12% abv, natural cork closure
95% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, shellfish.
A blend of 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir based on Vertus in the Côte des Blancs, this Champagne surprised us at the London Wine Fair for its intense, biscuit aromas and deliciously complex flavours in a finely textured mousse that finishes on a tangy, dry note.
£32.95 available from Southern Wines Ltd.
Vondeling Rurale Méthode Ancestrale 2015 - 91pts
Paarl, South Africa, Sparkling White, 12% abv, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Cold baked salmon, fried whitebait.
This unusual, pure blanc de blancs Chardonnay from Vondeling in South Africa’s Paardeberg Mountain area combines richness and freshness in an appley sparkler whose gentle mousse tastes biscuity and rich. Its 16 months on the lees bring a creamy texture and elegant, citrusy dry finish to a seriously gastronomic fizz.
£34.20 available from Southern Wines Ltd.
Bastia Rebuli Colfondo Capo Degli Onesti 2017 - 89pts
Veneto, Italy, Sparkling White, 11% abv, crown cap
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, white fish.
A traditional method Prosecco made using the Colfondo method, whereby the frizzante is induced in the bottle in the primary fermentation without filtration, leaving a slight cloudiness, resulting here in a faint pink tinge and an appetisingly yeasty and pearskin-like flavour with a delicate mousse leading to a refreshingly bone dry finish.
£11.99 available from Hay Wines
Domaine Saint André de Figuière Atmosphère Mousseux Methode Traditionelle NV - 89pts
Provence, France, Sparkling White, 13% abv, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, pan-fried red mullet, mussels.
We associate Provence with rosé of course but sparkling rosé? This blend of Cinsault and Grenache came as a pink surprise out of the blue: a berry-like nose followed by an expansive raspberry ripple-like mousse that envelopes the tongue with delicately summery bubbles, and the weight is there to lend gravitas as a wine to go with pink-fleshed fish and mussels.
£19.09 available from Bon Coeur Fine Wines
Champagne Dehours Grande Réserve Extra Brut NV - 93pts
Champagne, France, Sparkling White, 13% abv, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, shellfish, white fish.
One of the very few Champagnes to be made from pure Pinot Meunier, now simply called Meunier, this is an extremely classy number from Champagne Dehours, delicately dry with a fine, persistent mousse of bubbles that explode with precision and delicacy on the tongue, bringing underlying toasty notes and berry fruit flavours to a satisfyingly balanced and dry conclusion.
£47 available from H2Vin
Spagnol Col del Sas DOCG Rive di Solighetto Brut 2016 - 90pts
Veneto, Italy, Sparkling White, 11% abv, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Oysters, shellfish, aperitif.
This single vineyard, vintage Prosecco costs about double what you’d expect to pay for a common or garden Prosecco, but this isn’t common, or garden, but rather a refreshingly dry , intensely flavoured fizz with a ripe, peachy mousse of bubbles that release their textured, flavoursome foam onto a gratefully refreshed tongue.
£16.99 available from Hay Wines
Value choice of the Month
Château Bas d’Aumelas L’Egerie Blanc 2017 - 91pts
Languedoc, France, Dry White, 13.5% ABV, natural cork closure
Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier
Pairs nicely with: Paella, sea bream.
Fresh, floral aromas lead into an accomplished dry white-blend whose integrated oak treatment brings texture to a sumptuously apricot-laden, dry southern French white that finishes on a mouthwateringly refreshing note.
£15.90 available from The Sampler
Bosman Family Vineyards Optenhorst 2016 - 94pts
Wellington, South Africa, Dry White, 13% ABV, natural cork closure
100% Chenin Blanc
Pairs nicely with: Roast Chicken, light pasta dishes, cheese plate.
An elegant Chenin hailing from one South Africa’s oldest vineyards of this variety, with aromas of pink peach, grapefruit combined with a lovely grainy texture and wide mid-palate. The wine is fermented and aged in oak which gives it a smokey, nutty edge – think roast almonds and honey-glazed apples. A beautiful, complex, food-friendly wine to be enjoyed not terribly cold.
£22 available from Woodwinters
Slobodne Deviner 2017 - 89pts
Lesser Carpathian, Slovakia, Dry White, 13% ABV, natural cork closure
50% Devin, 50% Traminer
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, hearty salads, spicy Thai curries.
Six-months of skin maceration in old wood give this wine aromatic intensity and body while retaining elegance and varietal expression. Subtle floral notes (lychee, jasmine, orange blossom) levitate on top of intense citrus (lemon rind, white squeezed grapefruit).
£25 available from Pull the Cork
Methymneaos Orange 2016 - 91pts
North Aegean, Greece, Dry White, 13.5% ABV, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Grilled fish, salads, mezze.
An orange wine that is not an “orange wine”?! Indeed this Methymneaos Orange is technically a blanc de noirs (the Chidiriotiko grapes have dark skin but clear flesh) and the colour derives in large part from the high sulphuric soils where the plants grow. The Methymneaos vineyards sit on red soils from which the water – and therefore the grape’s flesh – gets an intense orange hue. The result is a gently fragrant wine with a strong mineral backbone, a pleasant acidity and a lingering citrusy finish.
£21 available from Isle of Olive
Value choice of the Month
Tetramythos Retsina 2018 - 90pts
Peloponnese, Greece, Dry White, 13% ABV, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Mezze, mild cheeses, roast chicken.
A number of Greek vignerons, such as Tetramythos, are reinventing the original tradition of retsina with a refined touch. For this retsina, the Roditis grapes were shortly macerated and fermented in clay vessels with a gentle infusion of pine extract that the estate itself collects from the pine trees bordering the vineyard. The result is elegantly aromatic with the herbal notes perfectly entwined with Roditis’ orchard fruit characters.
£11.50 available from Isle of Olive
Simpsons Wine Estate Gravel Castle Chardonnay 2018 - 89pts
Kent, England, Dry White, 12.5% ABV, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Oysters, sushi, sole meunière, goats cheese.
English still wines are certainly moving fast and quickly catching up with their exquisite sparkling counterparts! Simpsons Wine Estate’s Chardonnay is delightfully creamy – much thanks to extended time on the fine lees – and has a generous bouquet of white peach, pear and Fuji apples with very well integrated acidity. We’ll want to taste the vintages to come and see the full potential of a more mature vineyard!
£17 available from Roberson Wine
Szeremley Rizling 2017 - 91pts
Badacsony, Hungary, Dry White, 13% ABV, natural cork closure
50% Olasrizling, 50% Rheinriesling.
Pairs nicely with: Aperitif, sushi, soft cheeses, light salads.
There’s something incredibly Alsatian about Szeremley’s wines and this Rizling is a perfect example: lean, mineral with intense apple blossom and lime zest aromas. It’s beginning to develop a very interesting bees wax edge, supported by a lovely texture and broad mid-palate.
for price and availability please contact Malux wines
Domaine Les Yeuses Syrah Les Epices 2017 - 90 pts
IGP Pays d’Oc, France, Dry Red, 12% alc, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Barbecues, grilled lamb cutlets, sausages.
From Jean-Paul and Michel Dardé, this is, as the name suggests, a spicily aromatic southern-French Syrah in which black olive, pepper and blackberry fruit mingle in a savoury-fruity compote that’s nicely rounded and elegantly balanced.
£11.99 available from Majestic Wine
Domaine de Cébène Les Bancels 2016 - 91 pts
Faugères, Languedoc, France, Dry Red, 12% alc, natural cork closure
Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan.
Pairs nicely with: Wild boar stew, or, failing that, game and roasts.
From Brigitte Chevalier’s estate in Faugères, this inviting blend based on schist soils starts out intriguingly smoky and spicy in aroma before settling on the palate with full-bodied, vivid, garrigue-infused blackberry fruit quality supported by supple tannins whose subtle presence give this wine a framework within it will age well for a good five years.
£19.99 available from James Nicholson
Ayunta Etna Rosso Navigabile 2016 - 91 pts
Sicily, Italy, Dry Red, 13.5% alc, natural cork closure
Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio.
Pairs nicely with: Roast guinea fowl, duck breast, pork belly.
From 700 metres above sea level on the volcanic soil slopes of Mount Etna, this blend from Filippo Mangione is classic Etna, showing the cool climate acidity of altitude that brings a Barolo-like mineral structure to a dry red with pure sour cherry and strawberry notes, all infused with the unique fresh fragrance of the mountain terroir.
£32 available from Red Squirrel Wine
Quinta do Montalto Não Condenado 2017 - 92 pts
Lisboa, Portugal, Dry Red, 14% alc, natural cork closure
50% Trincadeira, 50% Fernão Pires.
Pairs nicely with: Cheese & Charcuterie platters, salt cod dishes, ratatouille.
Both fresh and structured Não Condenado (‘Uncondemned’) reclaims the ‘condemned’ tradition of co-fermenting red and white grapes to make an everyday wine that is food-friendly, rich in ripe aromas & flavours but with restrained tannins and refreshing acidity.
£18 available from Noble Fine Liquor
Domaine St. Germain Persan 2018 - 90 pts
Savoie, France, Dry Red, 12% alc, natural cork closure
Pairs nicely with: Roast lamb, tuna belly, coppa.
Persan is a fussy variety that can go from not producing fruit at all to yielding too much. It finds balance in the calcareous mountainous soils of Savoie, where Domain St. Germain works an old vineyard by hand and is one of the few (if not the only!) producer to make a single-variety Persan. We love its Cabernet Franc-like earthiness and its gentle pepperiness, reminiscent of an elegant Syrah. The firm, dense tannins can be challenging but are perfectly balanced by the crunchy red fruit and dried herb notes.
£21.11 available from Alpine Wines
Thymiopoulos Terra Petra Rapsani 2016 - 95pts
Northern Greece, Dry Red, 13.5% alc, natural cork closure
50% Xinomavro, 30% Krassat, 20% Stavroto.
Pairs nicely with: Veal carpaccio, roasted vegetables.
Wine Gangsters are big fans of Apostolos Thymiopoulos and, in particular, of his work to bring dynamism and refinement to Naoussa’s wines. Terra Petra expands his magical touch to the schist bedrock soil of the Rapsani terroir, at the feet of Mount Olympus. This is an extremely precise wine with smooth tannins and an elegant bouquet of bramble, black cherry and tapenade. Long finish lined by herbal notes.
£20 available from The Wine Society
Château Musar Musar 2002 - 96pts
Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, Dry Red, 14% alc, natural cork closure
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan.
Pairs nicely with: Roast lamb, rich stews, entrecote.
A vertical tasting going back to 1995 during LWF confirmed the incredible ageing potential of Château Musar. Such is the case with this 2002 that, 17 years on, it retains lovely primary aromas of red cherry, bramble and plum, over a developing layer of garrigue, tobacco box and leather. The tannins are firm but very finely grained. An extremely vibrant, refined and complex wine.
£33 available from Ellis Wharton Wines