We’ve just been refreshing our Chardonnays. We got in two new, top notch Burgundies – the Rully in the picture (left) and a cracking Chassagne Montrachet.
But at the same time we also just imported 30 cases of the ridiculously good value Extrait de Romarion. It’s a Chardonnay that’s been matured with oak too. For £12, you may not get the finesse, complexity and length of the Burgundies, but you do get a great load of Burgundy-like characteristics for your money: A crisp, refreshing start, opening up to rounder stone and stone fruit flavours and finishing with a long, creamy toffee finish.
The Burgundies do all of that and more. Again each will give you that clean, crisp opening, the Chasssgne-Montrachet particularly including touches of blossom in the nose. The deeper, riper fruits follow, balanced by clean mineral elements. Each ends with a creamier, dreamier finish that lingers for an eternity. The difference between the two would be that the Rully is a little lighter, the Chassagne-Montrachet has more caramel in its finish. Both are an investment. Both will pay back dividends!
Priorat is simultaneously one of Spain’s premium wine regions and one of its best kept secrets. We need to change the latter!
It’s an arid, rocky region just inland from Tarragona in eastern Catalonia, not many miles from Penedes, the home of Cava.
Grenache fans, this is one for you. Garnacha as it’s known in Spain, is the principle grape of Priorat and in this blend it’s just over half – 55%, with Carinena (Carignan as the French-dominated wine world knows it) and Cabernet Sauvignon adding another 15% each and a little Merlot and Syrah to complete the mix. As you might expect, this is a complex wine.
That arid, rocky landscape plays a part too, with the low rainfall and water retention nurturing low yielding vines to produce a hugely concentrated wine. You’ll be met by rich and intense aromas of black cherry, liquorice and toasty oak and then deep ripe plummy flavours come through on the palate, with herbal, rosemary and vanilla notes, and leather, spice and smooth yet powerful tannins at the finish.
This is a great wine for everything from goat and sheep cheeses, to Boquerones (soused anchovies), to summer grills, to slow cooked winter roasts,