So, tapping the barometer this morning (alright, consulting BBC Weather) assures me that this weekend is going to be the first of many, many days with far too much sunshine in them. This is a challenge for me; a natural recluse and refugee from the rays, but for many people it is a perfect chance to get outside and enjoy the gardens we spend all winter ignoring, probably firing up a barbeque on the way. Actually, that last thought is more than enough to tempt me out as well…
On the Vinebar this week:
2015 Fournillon Bourgogne Blanc £13.99 £5/glass
From our mates down in Chablis, but with more understated elegance than their fresh and preppy Chablis. Deliciously nuanced Bourgogne blanc, achieving a decent balance between the creamy honeyed notes and the stricter minerality which keeps it in balance. This is Bourgogne Blanc lite, with clear nods to its Chablis stablemates and drinks deliciously in hotter weather!
NV Instinct La Chapelle Champagne £28.99 £8/glass
This is our house champagne, back in stock and raring to go for the rest of the summer. Toasty brioche notes on the nose, with a subtle hint of liquorice spice. Lovely, rich and full in the mouth this knocks the socks off Moet, Bollinger or any of the other overpriced mass-produced items you see knocking around!
2012 Bourgogne Rouge, Bertrand Ambroise £22.99 £7/glass
Ahh, Pinot from my old mate Bertie. Maison Ambroise is now mainly made by his son Francois, with Bertrand taking a step back. However the 2012 is one of his last vintages, and to be savoured as a master winemaker at the top of his game. Full-bodied, gutsy Pinot made in the style of a Nuits-Saint-Georges, this delicious wine leads with heavy red fruits, loads of dark spicy notes and a delicious long finish. Easy to pair with anything up to and including chargrilled meats, this is still Pinot, and has that lovely, silky refreshing ending.
2016 Rimauresq Rosé - £17.99/bottle, £6.50/glass
Named for the river which flows through the vineyards at the foot of the Massif des Maures. Fine frolicsome flavours of red currents and wild red berries complete the bottle, laced with a minerality which pays tribute to the longer growing season engendered by the cool Mistral winds and the shade of the mountains. This is the drinking rose for the summer, unless you have ordered some of La Mascaronne…?