A selection of 12 superb Old World Wines - admittedly with a leaning bias to classical French wine. Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva Rioja was the Red Wine of the year of Food and Wine magazine in Ireland for 2015. All of these wines have won awards - From award winning champagne house Bauchet, is Champagne Gustave Roché. House Melini in Tuscany are also producers of multiple award winning wines and Chateau Roc de Levraut Bordeaux Superieur is a multiple medal winner in thu Guide Hachette des Vins and it got an impressive 89 Points in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Altogether a really special case for a wine lover and someone who knows their wines backwards.
2 x Champagne Gustave Roché, NV, Bisseuil, France
This Brut Classic is a definitive NV blend, with equal proportions of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier rounded out by a high proportion (20 - 40%) of reserve wine. Resulting in a beautifully pure, elegant wine, with a refreshing lemony aroma and a delicate mousse. Dry and with plenty of substance. "There's an aromatic floral note to the flavours of apricot, ripe apple, smoky mineral, kumquat and lemon zest in this firm bubbly, which is fine-grained and balanced, with a lively, moderate finish." - 90 points, Wine Spectator, November 2011
2 x Chateau Croix Cantenac Saint Emilion Grand Cru 2013, France
Château La Croix Cantenac has been in the Richard family for several generations. Today the husband-and-wife team are passionate about doing what they do: making gorgeous wine. The estate is located on the eastern side of the Saint-Emilion plateau, out towards Puisseguin. It is really quite small - just 5.5 ha of vines are planted - but even in such a small area, two distinct soil types are to be found. Some of the parcels consist of clayey limestone, others of gravelly sand, and being able to play with these two different 'ingredients' means that the resulting wine has an impressive level of complexity. The grapes are partly picked by hand, partly by machine. Vinification is fairly standard, with a three week vatting period, and ageing is carried out in oak. The barrels come from a variety of different cooperages; they are all French medium-toast though and one third are renewed each year.
2 x Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva Rioja 2008, Spain
One of the finest examples of Rioja Gran Reserva available, it boasts a more full-bodied style with layer upon layer of fruit and sweet spice. This is a richer twist on one of the world's best loved wine styles; rich and creamy with vanilla and dark bramble fruit. Good structure and just that bit heavier, it's more concentrated than the more traditional style. It was Food and Wine Magazines Wine of the Year for 2015.
2 x Melini Sante Lancerio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, DOC, Tuscany, Italy
Once again Caterina Dei and Nicolò d’Aflitto have fashioned an elegant, flashy, highly scented Vino Nobile in the 2012 Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The 2012 Dei Vino Nobile carries the deep, telltale color of Prugnolo Gentile to delight the eye, and it offers a beguiling aroma of red and black fruits infused with hints of rose petal and violet to delight the nose. In the mouth, the 2012 Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano comes across as seamless, with well-integrated fruit, purity of flavor, superb texture, and supreme balance – all of which account for the numerous 90 point ratings the 2012 Dei Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has received, including 92 Points from James Suckling and 90 Points from Wine Spectator.
2 x Chateau Roc de Levraut, Bordeaux Superieur, 2016, France
Chateau Roc de Levraut Bordeaux Superieur with 88 Parker points. In a review by Jancis Robinson, she said - ‘pounce on this Bordeaux - Softer and smoother than other Bordeauxs, a really smart buy’. It won a Bronze Medal at the Concours des Grandes Vins de France. We’ve included this before, Chateau Roc de Levraut Bordeaux Superieur and each time, you come looking for it later.
2 x Chablis Mommessin, Burgundy, France
A crisp and dry white wine with refreshing acidity and an abundance of melon and pear fruits. Elegant and stylish with great texture and balance. Delicious cool burgundy with intense mineral green fruits, subtle grilled hazelnuts and excellent length. A great all rounder for any fish, seafood or white meat. Excellent value. Grown on the rich clay and limestone soils of Chablis, this is fresh and crisp with peach and citrus flavours - Fantastic as an apéritif or with smoked salmon.