So the shop is a little full nowadays. We've taken more van loads of sumptuous Christmas wines than you could expect, so it's lucky the shop has a vaguely tardisitional air, unexpected nooks and crannies hiding yet another stack of Sancerrre, Malbec or the like-

"has to move sharpish as Julian attempts to rehouse a shedload of beers where I'm sitting"

-....but enough of that. Christmas is here and we're celebrating. Mulled wine is mulling* and the bar is busy. Come and join us!

 

*Though what’s on it’s mind, we do not know.

 

vinebar 17.12

 

On the Vinebar:

 

2015 Primitivo, Leone de Castris – £11.99, £4/glass

Absolutely stunning Primitivo from a venerable producer down in Puglia. Packed with sour cherries and generous spice, this is definitely my present -reach-for bottle to keep the cold and murk at bay. Gorgeous.

 

2015 Les Amis de la Bouissiere - £14.99, £5/glass £135/dozen

Like drinking the bastard child of a California Zinfandel and Bouissiere’s Gigondas: soft acidity, a touch of tannic backbone, wrapped in velvety texture and a strong spicy/brambly energy. It’s rare that great winemakers like this capture the essence of their greatest wines in their entry-level offerings, but here is a triumph – this is just the wrong side of the fence from being £30.00 Gigondas, and absolutely superb.

 

2009 Chapelle de Potensac - £26.99, £7/glass, £120/6

2009 Chapelle is a warmer, richer style of Medoc, the merlot fruit shining through clearly the delicious, restrained cabernet. This is classic Bordeaux, a worthy second wine to a great chateau and the perfect wine for a Christmas table.

 

2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay, Holden Manz - £26.99, £7/glass, £120/6

A massive rich style of chardonnay, this delicious glass of unctuous joy almost resists being poured – exactly as I want my big whites! Not so sure about the name – “avant-garde collection?” This isn’t experimental, unorthodox or radical, just seriously good.

 

2013 Blanc, Mas de la Rime - £16.99, £6/glass, £150/dozen

For those looking for something a little on the Rhone side this rocks. Marsanne Rousanne, with plenty of peach, pear and stone fruit textures, quincey spicy goodness – this is delicious.