'Tis the season to buy wine. Tra la la la la....
For a lot of wine lovers Christmas provides an opportunity for a little indulgence. Time to splash out on the nice stuff as a treat for the whole family. I mean what says Christmas more than popping the cork on something sparkly, whilst sitting down to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol?
However, you don't want your wine buying to be another thing that adds to your stress levels, what with hangovers after Christmas parties, last minute Christmas shopping and trying to find that Christmas jumper that you bought last year...
Step forward French wine specialist and independent online wine retailer Your Sommelier. They are hosting their first ever Flash Sale of some rather fine French wines between 9 and 21 December 2015 - just in time for delivery to your house for Christmas! To buy their wines you have to sign up for membership - fortunately this does not cost you anything and you also receive a £20 voucher towards your first purchase (note: valid for orders over £80).
Their wine list is unashamedly French, featuring all of the usual suspects, and has been crafted by their chief wine buyer Celian Ravel d'Estienne.
I tried a few of the wines from their range last week:
NV Gimonnet-Gonet Brut Rosé (Champagne, France) £25/bottle, this is a rosé champagne made from 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir and made by a small family Champagne house. I am not usually the biggest fan of non-vintage champagnes and would prefer for the price to go for English sparkling or a decent Cava, however I was very impressed with this wine. In the glass it sits quite a vibrant pink. On smelling I found the nose to have a delicate pink grapefruit aroma, not overly expressive and rather polite. On the palate it had a pleasing fruitiness to it with juicy, fresh raspberries and strawberries coming through. The wine had a nice foamy, moussy mouth feel to it and a balanced finish. This was a poised and refined wine for a very decent price, considering it's a Champagne. Quality:8.0; Value: 8.5.
2010 Chateau Saint Valery St Emilion Grand Crus (Bordeaux, France) £15/bottle. Having visited St Emilion earlier this year I was excited about trying this wine. In the glass it was a deep, intense red. On the nose I found there to be a deep red cherry aroma coupled with blackcurrant juiciness. There were quite a few secondary aromas going on too: a bit of funky leather, plus a touch of smoke. On the palate it was a little one-dimensional and did not quite deliver on what the nose promised; there were big red cherry and strawberry flavours, but not a lot else. I was hoping for a little more from this wine. Quality: 6.0; Value: 6.0
2012 Domaine Tour St Michel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée des Deux Soeurs (Southern Rhone, France), £23/bottle. This wine had a very deep ruby to its colour in the glass. On the nose it really came alive, it was heady with lush red cherries aromas and had a strong secondary profile featuring cloves. On tasting it started off with a quite light blackcurrant and blueberry flavour profile, which became more and more luscious and juicy as it got time to breathe. This one is certainly one to open and give at least two hours in a decanter to really get it to soften up. Lovely! Quality: 7.5; Value: 6.5.
2013 Domaine Hubert Brochard Pouilly-Fumé Classique (Loire, France), £13/bottle. If you've followed my posts for a while then you will know that I am a fan of Sauvignon Blancs from the Loire (certainly versus Marlborough). This was right up my street. On the nose it had some bright tropical fruit aromas of pineapple and kiwi, on tasting it had a pleasingly elegant smattering of quince, red apple and lemon aromas. It was just what I like from a Loire Sauvignon Blanc, verging on the under-stated (as opposed to those Malborough ones that you can smell around a corner...!). Quality: 7.0; Value: 8.0.
So, there you have it - I highly recommend signing up and checking out the offerings on Your Sommelier. You can have all of your Christmas wines delivered right to your front door, leaving you more time to get on with enjoying the festive season!
Disclaimer: I was sent the wines as samples; the opinions contained within this piece are my own.