In Review

The Week Wine Club: Try our latest selection from Private Cellar

Save up to £27 on our wine editor Bruce Palling's Burgundy selection from Private Cellar

 Wine buyers sometimes wonder why they should use a small specialist merchant rather than simply buy from a high street discount store, or perhaps even from the cellar door if they are travelling through France. There is nothing wrong with either approach, but it is better to develop a relationship with someone you trust. Take Private Cellar, one of the finest of the provincial wine merchants in Britain. They can rootle out small parcels from trusted suppliers, which other people don’t even know exist. The Spanish wines of Bodegas Pinuaga are a case in point; they can offer rare magnums as well as Colección, which is offered here in bottles.

As usual the selection below is available either as a pair of each in a mixed case, or as whole cases. The mixed case includes two bottles of each of the wines. The Week Wines price: £171.80, usually £196.10. Click here to orderAlso available are a mixed red case, a mixed white and rosé case or 12 bottle cases of each of the wines. All are at an exclusive price for readers of The Week and with free UK mainland delivery. Terms & conditions apply. Offers end midnight 18th May 2017. 

Sancerre Rosé, André Dezat 2014

The Dezats have been producing wine here since before Shakespeare was born. Sancerre is renowned for crisp, grassy Sauvignon Blanc whites, but this rosé is completely different. It is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, which isn’t so extraordinary when you recall that Sancerre is actually closer to Burgundy than it is to Muscadet, which is at the other extreme of the region. Highly mineral, with a cutting edge to it that would make it perfect with shellfish and oysters, it has a beautiful lightness with a hint of herbs, along with some creamed red berry fruit. The Week Wines price: £167.40, usually £195.00. Click here to order

Pouilly Loché Aux Barres, Domaine Laurent Cognard 2014

This relatively unknown white Burgundy was a revelation. With just under 80 acres in production, Loché is one of the smallest appellations in the Mâconnais and is more mineral and linear than its neighbour, Saint Véran. It has the elegance more usually found in the Côte d’Or. 2014 is a great White Burgundy vintage and, while this is drinking well now, it will continue to gain weight until the turn of the decade. The Week Wines price: £234.00, usually £262.20. Click here to order

Cantosán Verdejo, Viñas Viejas, Yllera, Rueda DO 2015

This is a wonderful white Spanish varietal that was hardly known outside its region until a couple of decades ago. It has an appealing freshness, due to being harvested at night and then subjected to cool fermentation and skin contact prior to fermentation. The most appealing aspect of it is the floral fruit and depth with an intense structure. Perhaps it would be ideal with a richly flavoured paella. The Week Wines price: £138.60, usually £159.60. Click here to order

Château Beauchêne Premier Terroir, Côtes du Rhône 2014

Due to the changes in classification, this rich Rhône wine can no longer be called Châteauneuf du Pape, which it is in all but name. Although 2014 was a cooler vintage than most, a late harvest enabled the fruit to show a fabulous spectrum of flavours. The hidden tannins behind the fresh fruit will ensure an evolution for a decade or more, but why wait when it is delicious now? The grape breakdown is complex, from vines ranging between 30 and 100 years old. The Week Wines price: £150.60, usually £171.60. Click here to order

Colección, Bodegas Pinuaga 2013

This organic wine was the first one ever made at Pinuaga, in Toledo Province, south of Madrid. I was highly impressed with its earthiness mixed with a spiciness and red fruit aromas. It is also harvested at night to maintain its freshness, which partially comes from its altitude – more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Colección is 100% Tempranillo, from a single, 15-acre vineyard called la Lastra, which retains moisture thanks to the flat stones in the soil. This would go perfectly with any rich meat dish. The Week Wines price: £186.00, usually £213.00. Click here to order

Barbera d’Alba, Rocche Costamagna 2015

The Barbera grape is a lot more easy-going than Nebbiolo, its Piedmont rival. Although not as long-lasting, it does have the advantage of being far more approachable when young – and considerably cheaper, too. Rocche Costamagna have just six acres in this parcel in the heart of Piedmont, by La Morra. It has all of the usual cherry notes of the Barbera grape, with a dark chocolate twist on the end. I adored it for its addictive drinkability while so relatively young. It would go perfectly with any pasta dish for lunch. The Week Wines price: £154.20, usually £175.20. Click here to order


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