Chris Piper's Favourite Wines for Christmas
"Without dwelling on what has been one of the hardest years we have known, pretty much in all senses, I feel we can only look forward to the day we can all be together again and spend time enjoying the company of friends and family. Who knows how Christmas will turn out so the focus needs to be firmly set on the small pleasures in life, namely food and wine !
There are many wines I take pleasure from, but if I was to pick a few of my favourites I would have to mention the following:
Firstly Champagne Gremillet, our 'house' champagne which is incredibly good value and always hits the spot when wanting a pick-me-up at pretty much any time of the day. The Brut Non Vintage is full of lovely brioche toasty flavours with a fresh citrussy burst of bubbles and a wonderfully long finish.
I love white Burgundy and the Pernand Vergelesses 1er Cru Fretille 2017 from Domaine Francoise Andre is always a real treat. It has an intricate aroma of honeysuckle and hawthorne and although it starts gently, it builds through the palate and carries through the mouth and leaves me just wanting to pour myself another glass. It's utterly gorgeous.
To pick out one red is impossible as our range covers the world and there are so many to choose from. Wines from the Northern Rhône are perhaps a region that I particularly like for their minerality and purity of fruit. The Côte Rôtie 'Indiscrete' 2013 from Vignobles Verzier has some bottle age making it wonderfully 'a pointe' at the moment (drinking well now !) and smells amazingly of wild red berries and spring violets.
The 2017 Brouilly from Château du Pavé had some fabulous write-ups over the year. The article by Jancis Robinson in The Times proved hugely popular and although has been a running customer favourite we still have some stock available. Definitely worth a try.
At the beginning of last year we also took on some Israeli wines from Har'el Vineyards situated in the foothills of the Judaen Hills. The Har'el Merlot is barrel aged in 30% new French oak and is unfined and unfiltered. As a match to roasted meats you can't go far wrong with this delicious red.
A new one to our list is from one of our longstanding family suppliers. This brilliant, delicious and organically produced Pinot Noir “Rouge Comme Renard” 2018 from Domaine Henri Fuchs was selected in the November’s Revue de Vin de France for its succulence and purity. It’s sheer freshness and balance makes it Alsace’s leading Pinot Noir. Although we haven't had it long, it has gone straight to the top of my Christmas list. It's extremely good !
If I could mention a 'sweetie' in my selection, I would mention the halves of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey 2009 we have in stock at the moment. OMG, so good. Complex, lusciously honeyed, rich with candied apricots and caramelised oranges, it's a winner in my book. Utterly gorgeous.
Wishing you all a happy Christmas and here's raising a glass to 2021