Le Wine Shop Festive Half Dozen
For Christmas we have put together a Festive Half Dozen. Christmas cases always need some fizz and some sweet wine, a dry white for smoked salmon and oysters, a rich white or lighter red for the turkey and a few other cracking wines just because it’s Christmas and 2020 has been rubbish! So treat yourself to our selection and wine will be one thing you won’t have to worry about as the year comes to a close.
Domaine J Laurens, Crémant de Limoux 2018
This wine needs no introduction. Don’t waste your money on overpriced, mediocre Champagne. Unless you spend serious money, you won’t find Champagne as smooth as this Languedocien fizz. Chardonnay-based with Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc and Mauzac, it’s as gluggable as a sparkling wine gets. Being from the south of France, the acidity is subtle rather than overpowering. The respected Hachette Wine Guide gave this 2018 cuvée two stars, with three being the maximum. Open one of these on Christmas Eve and the celebrations can start!
Laurent Miquel, Albarino 2019
The great white grape of Galicia in north western Spain, is now growing successfully here in the Languedoc. This is an elegant white which will be a perfect accompaniment for any smoked fish or seafood that you may be serving this year, with a wonderful, fruity attack. Dry, crisp and with a delicate hint of smokiness. We think that it reminds us somewhat of a good Sancerre with perhaps a little bit more body.
Domaine St Georges d’Ibry, Chemin Partagé 2019
Superb Burgundy-style white. Chardonnay-based with added Viognier this wine has a lovely creamy texture, with lactic notes that are typical of a white that has gone through a malolactic fermentation. Our experience shows that this wine is a perfect accompaniment for your Christmas Turkey. Yes, you don’t have to drink red with your turkey.
Domaine des Trinités, “L’Etranger” 2019
If you do want to drink red with your turkey, then stick with a lighter style. This is a remarkable 100% Cinsault produced by Englishman Simon Coulshaw in Roquessels. Low yield and natural style winemaking have produced an exceptionally complex example of this grape variety. Lots of spicy garrigue notes on the nose, with an attack of lovely red fruit. The wine stays long in the mouth with more deep notes of mushroom and undergrowth. Has to be tried.
Domaine la Grangette, “La Part des Anges” 2017
They might be better known for their excellent white Picpoul, but Grangette also produce some great reds. This hand-harvested, low yield Syrah/Grenache blend is all black fruit, especially cassis, and rich, warm and spicy notes. A big wine, but the tannins have been managed so well that it is a pleasure to drink on its own or if you choose to have beef or lamb over the festive period. Organic conversion.
Château de Stony, “Soleil d’Hiver” 2017, Muscat de Frontignan
Yes we know: sweet wines have gone out of fashion. Sugar is the great satan, and it’s all a bit old fashioned. Well think again! Yes this is a wine to be used sparingly, but it is so well made, with the sweetness being tempered with lovely floral and especially citrus notes, that you will soon forget those cheaper, poor quality, cloyingly sweet Muscats. Ice cold it makes a lovely apéritif. It is a perfect companion for any fruit desserts (avoid chocolate which is too strong), but make sure you try it with blue cheese, especially Roquefort, where the sugar and salt combine to produce a genuine taste sensation.