Tom's Christmas Selection
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We start with the fabulous, award-winning Frerejean Freres Blanc de Blancs, the signature cuvée of this increasingly impressive grower Champagne with Grand Marque aspirations. I’ve chosen a contrasting pair of whites: Yves Leccia “The Rolls Royce of Corsica” pure and steely, intense Vermentino – perfect with salmon and shellfish; and Edouard Delaunay’s hugely impressive Saint Romain Blanc – a true Burgundy hidden gem, which punches well above its price bracket and comes from the rich and solar 2018 vintage. For reds I’m delighted to include a maturing Aloxe Corton 1er Cru from Tollot Beaut a grower new to HG this year, but much admired by astute Burgundy lovers, who recognise the unmatched value of this noble domaine’s increasingly impressive terroirs. Smith Haut Lafitte is one of my favourite Bordeaux and recent years have seen the estate's wines ascend to 100 point scores. The second wine from the five-star hedonistic vintage 2015 is brilliant drinking now but will age if you are patient, and then to finish, we have a really exciting Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère blend – Albis 2016, from the Antinori’s Chilean property Haras de Pirque, in the Maipo Valley (which garners 93 points from the Wine Spectator). All in all a fabulous, eclectic selection to ensure fine festive drinking.!
Frerejean Freres Blanc de Blancs NV "This particular champagne was incredible, with loads of nutty brioche on the nose as well as apples and orchard fruits. Its mouthfeel was far silkier, richer and plumper than any of the wines beforehand and as a small grower champagne, with a production of only 3000 bottles, this rivals any of the big brands for taste alone.Drink Up, London. 2016
Yves Leccia e croce White AOC Patrimonio 2020Vermentinu, Planted in 1989, Clay, Limestone, Schist, 3 ha. Ripe grapefruit, mandarin zest on nose, twist of pepper, herbal -wild thyme,clementine fruit and herbal, savoury, pine sap palate. Tom Harrow
Edouard Delaunay Saint Romain Blanc 2018 Gorgeous pale yellow in colour with a fresh, bright nose redolent of pear, candied chestnut and fresh mint, opening up to scents of lemon, wild flowers (cowslip, dandelion, nettle) and pollen. On the palate, this wine is full bodied and expansive, boasting lovely maturity while remaining very fresh with flavours evocative of ripe grapes, sugared almonds and caramel. The finish leaves an impression of freshness and minerality, the hallmark of this terroir.
Albis Haras de Pirque 2016 "Powerful and pure-tasting, with plush dark plum, cherry tart and dark currant flavors. Refined and minerally on the finish, with dried mint accents and plenty of chocolaty richness. Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. Drink now through 2025. 150 cases imported." 93 pts, Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator
Tollot-Beaut Aloxe 1er Cru Fournieres 2011 "There is a hint of herbaceousness to the otherwise fresh and ripe red pinot fruit, spice and earth elements that actually adds breadth. The broad-shouldered, concentrated and punchy medium weight plus flavors possess fine size and weight along with a certain muscularity on the extract-rich finish. In typical Fournières fashion, this is a robust and rustic effort with mouth coating tannins and as such it will require extended cellaring." 90 pts, Allen Meadows, Burghound
Petit Haut Lafitte Rouge 2015 "Beautiful aromas of blackcurrants, blackberries and dark chocolate. Some hot stones. Full-bodied, dense and chewy yet polished and juicy. Shows pretty length and density. Very clean and focused. Precise. Better in 2021."94 pts, James Suckling
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