SPECTATOR WINE CLUB
A 1994 miracle for everybody
None of the classic wine regions is rep- resented in this offer for summer drinking, which covers some new wine areas in France, as well as Alto Aragon in Spain and Marlborough, New Zealand. In fact they have nothing in common except that they struck the panel as being the best of the 28-odd wines which Avery chose as pos- sibly suitable for a summer offer.
First, a chardonnay/sauvignon blend from W. Klug(1), who operates out of Petersbach, where this wine was bottled. I should have been most interested to taste an Alsatian chardonnay/sauvignon blend, but this wine comes from the deep south. It is a wonderfully drinkable thirst-quencher, slightly more chardonnay than sauvignon in taste, but nothing improper or rude, a clean, honeyed, lively wine which does not try to impose itself too much — slight, but delicious at £4.75.
Nobilo's 1994 sauvignon blanc(2), by con- trast, is a giant of a wine, all gooseberries and choisya on first attack, with a slightly sweet finish which lasts for ever. I have raved about these Marlborough sauvignons before, but the 1994s are truly exceptional, even by New Zealand standards. They taste like nothing else on earth. Although it is possible to find examples which are too assertive, with a crude touch of nettle or cat's piss, and although one can understand there are those who prefer the gentler, sub- tler sauvignons of the Loire or Bordeaux for normal drinking, I feel that one should not compare the experiences. At their best, they are stupendously good, and Nobilo have produced such a wine in 1994. Most have prices hovering around £6.50, some right up into the £8-9 range. At £5.75 this is one of the two or three best. For those who have discovered the taste, there are certain occasions in life when nothing else will do. In my own, these occur every morning at about 10.30 a.m.
And so to a much more expensive Span- ish chardonnay from Somontano in high Aragon(3). Not many people will buy this because they expect chardonnay from any- where except Burgundy to cost £5 a bottle, but £7.60 is incredibly cheap by Burgundian single-vineyard standards and this example from Enate is an enormous improvement on recent Burgundian standards — well oaked, but not oppressively so, full but not blowsy, with a bite at the end. It is a good wine. Take it or leave it.
Our red cheapo this month is a Cabernet Syrah blend from the south-west of France, where they are doing these things more and more — to remarkable effect, producing fuller, fruitier wines at reasonable prices.
At first opening we found the Domaine de Baudare Rouge(4) a meaty sort of wine with a slightly hard edge which would make it better with cheeses than as an aperitif, but on second tasting it was fruity, young and full, much better than one has any right to expect at £3.65 the bottle.
Next, slightly more expensive at £4.75, a cabernet/merlot blend from W. Klug(5) from the Pays d'Oc. Surprisingly opulent for a cabernet, but proper cabernet smell, beautiful dark colour, in a pretty, slender bottle with long neck, this wine stood out among its competitors. Personally, I would buy it before the Baudare Rouge, but then I am quite rich and spoiled and all my chil- dren have grown up.
Finally Enate's Crianza 1992(6), made from tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon, at £5.49. Nobody could possibly mistake this for anything but a Spanish wine, with its musky smell, masses of fruit and curly black hair, but we all found it delicious, so here it is.
The mixed case works out at £5.33 the bottle. There are some interesting wines in it, but the one which everybody should have in the house is Nobilo's miraculous 1994 sauvignon.
ORDER FORM SPECTATOR WINE CLUB
cio Avery's of Bristol Orchard House, Southfield Road, Nailsea, Bristol BS19 1JD. Tel: (01275) 811100 Fax: (01275) 811101
Code No. White 407 1. W. K1ug ChardonnaylSauvignon
Price No. Value
Blanc 1994, Vin de Pays d'Oc 12 Bois. £57.00 355 2. Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 1994
Marlborough, New Zealand 12 Bots £69.00 356 3. Enate Chardonnay 1993
Alto Aragon 12 Bots. £91.20 Red
357 4. Domaine de Baudare Rouge 1992
Pays de Compte Tolosan 12 Bots. £43.80 358 5. W. Mug CabemetIMerlot 1993
Vm de Pays d'Oc 12 Bots. £57.00 359 6. Enate Crianza Tempranillo
Cabernet 1992, Alto Aragon 12 Bots. £65.88 360 7. TIvo bottles of each 12 Bots. £63.98
TOTAL (Cheque enclosed)
Please send wine to: Own name & address, if different: NAME NAME ADDRESS ADDRESS POSTCODE POSTCODE Prices include VAT and delivery on the British mainland. Orders may be telephoned or faxed, with credit card details, or they may be sent by post with a cheque made out to Spectator Wine Club. This offer, which is subject to availability, closes on 1 September, 1995.
Signature Expiry date