11 NOVEMBER 1995, Page 72


Christmas for Paupers and Plutocrats

Auberon Waugh

Athough the Domaine de Perches Mauzad" 1994 was up for consideration as a cheapie at £4.69 from the not particularly well-favoured region of Gaillac in the Cotes du Tarn, it proved to be an adven- ture. Mauzac is a practically unknown local grape which the clever vignerons, Nicholas and Charlotte Fraser, have developed into a lovely wine which tastes like nothing else. After much discussion, the panel decided on pomegranate as its closest relation before admitting, one by one, that we had all forgotten what pomegranates tasted like. But it is a delightful wine which every- one should try. I am sorry not to have been able to include it in the Plutocrats' sample case. They will have to take my word for it and buy 12 bottles. It is most unusual and delicious.

Lupe-Cholet offers us an unbeatably cheap white burgundy in the 1993 Saint Mayol° at £4.99 the bottle. It is a proper bottle of what it claims to be, and might well set the Paupers' feet dancing at this price. I thought, next day, it might be flat- tening out, but it was still drinking well after a week in the fridge, which must be a good sign.

Next, a real winner at £5.65. I don't know what Raoul Johnston puts into his white Bordeaux 'ow& reservee'o - one panel- list guessed apricots - but it is a beautiful wine, full of taste, which can't be faulted a marvellous sauvignon nose, ripe and lus- cious in the mouth, with a fruit which goes on and on. A more sophisticated version of last year's wonderful sauvignon from Nobi- lo.

Finally, among the whites, an altogether more robust and livelier white burgundy than the Saint-Mayol in Eugene Blanc's 1994 Macon Lugny. With not a lot of acid but plenty of fruit and not quite as dry as some white burgundy fanatics require, it is for drinking now with immense pleasure, and very good value at £6.25.

Our red cheapie, from the Herault, has a good, strong, young merlot smell and a lovely deep red colour. At £4 the bottle, the Terrasses de Landoc(4) offers 13 per cent alcohol, a concentrated, meaty, dry wine with a touch of tannin at the end. It gets better and better with every gulp. An initial fullness of fruit might endear it to the young, but I should also recommend it to middle-aged, hard-drinking Paupers who aren't prepared to spend the extra 99p a bottle on . . .

Rouge Homme's 1992 Shiraz Cabernet 1992 from Coonawarre. This is an old favourite of mine which, in 1992, for some reason, tastes entirely of pine resin and eucalyptus, with faint blackcurrantly under- tones. Not everyone will like it, but those who do will love it.

It would never occur to me to buy either of the next two wines at the prices quoted unless I had tasted them. For a generic St Juliee of a year (1993) which is at best only fairly good, £7.99 seems a pretty stiff price, let alone the original asking price of £8.75. While for a completely unknown property, the Domaine des Gartieuxm, in a frankly indifferent year (1992) a price of £9.50 may seem a bit of a joke. Well, Domaine des Gartieux is the name they have decided to give a junior wine of Pichon Lalande, grandest of all the golden seconds. On first tasting it was good, strong, fruity claret, very nice in its way, but a bit closed and young, with no apparent complexity. Twenty-four hours later, it had opened up into a beautifully deep, rich wine full of ripe blackcurrants. If drunk this year, it should be decanted several hours in


c/o Avery's of Bristol Orchard House, Southfield Road, Nailsea, Bristol BS19 1JD. Tel: (01275) 811100 Fax: (01275) 811101


Price No. Value 556 I. Domaine de Perches Mauzac, 1994 12 Bots. £56.28 557 2. Bourgogne Chardonnay

St Mayol, 1993 12 Bots £59.88 558 3. Bordeaux Blanc

Duve Reservee, 1994 12 Bots. £67.80 559 4. Macon Lugny Eugene Blanc, 1994 12 Bots. £75.00 Red

560 5. Terrasses de Landoc Merlot, 1994 12 Bots. £48.00 561 6 Rouge Homme Shiraz

Cabernet, 1992 12 Bots. £59.88 562 7. Si Julien, 1993 - Raoul Johnston 12 Bots.

563 8. Domaine des Gartieux, 1992

Pauillac 12 Bots. £114.00 564 9.

Avery's Fine Red Burgundy, 19961

12 Bets. 4120.00 Sweet

565 10. Campbell's Rutherglen

Muscat (75cl) 6 Bois £66.00 Champagne

566 11. Avery's Special Cut* Champagne 12 Bois £155.88 567 12. Avery's Bicentennial Cuyee 12 Bots £211.80 Mixed

568 13. Paupers 2 bottles each of

1,2,5,6,7,11 12 Bots £79.30 569 14. Plutocrats 2 bottles each of

3,4,8,9,10 & 12 12 Bots £120.10

TOTAL (Cheque enclosed)

Please send wine to: Own name & address, if different: NAME NAME ADDRESS ADDRESS POSTCODE POSTCODE Prices include VAT and delivery to mainland address in England, Wales and Scotland. Cheques should be made payable to Spectator Wine Club. Payment with order please. This offer, which is subject to availability, closes on 31 December, 1995.

advance (whatever Jancis Robinson says). But it is a real winner, a great wine at £9.50.

So, in its way, is Raoul Johnston's St Julien(7) at £7.99. This is a perfectly excel- lent wine which could, without shame or scandal, bear the name of any château in St Julien in an off-year and cost twice as much. It is good claret at the price and comes in a handsome bottle.

I make no apology for offering Avery's Fine Red Burgundy(9) from the classic year of 1990 at £10 a bottle. It normally costs £13.50 and it is perfectly delicious, easily the best bargain available from Remoissenet, who has become hideously expensive. Perhaps this is the only high quality burgundy we poor English will ever be able to afford: a little pale by old bur- gundy standards, but entirely complete and altogether, nothing waterish, nothing thin, massive elegance and lovely smell.

Campbell's Rutherglen Muscat") is the best I have ever tasted. Pure, very concen- trated muscat, with nothing syrupy or oily about it, no burning in the mouth or throat, it is every child's idea of heaven. At 18 per cent alcohol and £11 the bottle, I judged that few would need 12 bottles and have put it in a 6-bottle case at £66. It will last for ever, and so long as a taste for sweetness survives, this will be one of its most exalted expressions.

The two champagnes need no introduc- tion. Avery's Special Cuvee(") is always reliable, always excellent. If they are hav- ing difficulty shifting it at the new price (£12.99) this may prove a blessing in dis- guise, as it improves wonderfully in the bottle. The Bicentennial Cuvee of 1989 is still, at £17.65, incredibly cheap for a pres- tige marque, and as good as any on the market at £30 or £40 the bottle. The Pau- per's Case works out at £6.61 — very good value when you reflect that it includes two bottles of champagne, the brilliant St Julien(7) and the exciting new Mauzac(1). The Terrasses Merlot(5) also gets better with every gulp. The Plutocrats, at £10 the bottle, have heaven at their feet.