- Clos Puy Arnaud, Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux
A rising star from Bordeaux and one of the iDealwine’s team’s favourite finds in recent years. Thierry Valette comes from a family of globe trotting winemakers. In 2000, he decided to quit his occupation as an artist to go back to his roots, taking over 12 hectares in the little known Côtes de Castillon appellation that looks out over the Dordogne Valley near the famous hill of Saint-Emilion. Since day one, Thierry Valette opted for a ‘hands off’ and small yield approach to winemaking (somewhat Burgundian in style). This wine is aged in oak barrels (50% new) for 18 months.
Clos Puy Arnaud is universally lauded in the biodynamic world thanks to the influence of a few key figures, notably the celebrated oenologue Anne Calderoni who trained alongside Stephan von Neipperg at Château Canon La Gaffelière in Saint Emilion. Calderoni helped bring new life to this domain by adopting a more rigorous and transparent approach in the chai. In fact, in 2007 Clos Puy Arnaud became a part of the highly respected Biodyvin union, whose other members include Jean-Louis Trapet, Alphonse Mellot and Domaine Leflaive. This domain enjoys a clay and limestone rich terroir and is planted with predominantly Merlot, the leading grape variety in the blends. The wines are fruit-driven and have a rich and supple texture with a good tannic structure and acidity.
- R de Ruinart, Brut, Champagne
Inspired by the erudite monk Dom Thierry Ruinart, Nicolas Ruinart founded the first ever Champagne house in 1729. This house has long stored its wines in the labyrinth of UNESCO protected crayères, an amazing architectural feat of tunnels carved into quarries. After centuries of family ownership, this domain was bought by Moët Hennessy (LVMH), who nonetheless allow it to keep its independence and put the expert cellar master Frédéric Panaïotis in charge, who ensures that the tradition of this historic Champagne house is kept alive. Panaïotis is a pro at blind tasting and impressed us all with his skills at the Grand Tasting. Most vines are planted in the Reims Mountain, an area renowned for producing excellent Chardonnay. These Champagnes are characterised by their floral and mineral notes while the Pinot Noir contributes fruit aromas. They are dry, balanced and expertly made.
- Cuvée Zaccharie, Château Thivin, Côtes de Brouilly, Beaujolais
This outstanding cuvée is one of the best examples to come out of Beaujolais! The vines used to make it are the oldest of the domain and are planted on the steep and magnificent terroir of the Côtes de Brouilly. During these difficult years for Beaujolais, it is consistently this cru that comes out on top. This domain places prioritises quality and small yields. Grapes are carefully hand harvested before being meticulously sorted. Cuvée Zaccharie offers good concentration, subtle woody notes with hints of spice and supple tannins, not to mention a beautifully long finish. The Gamay proffers aromas of ripe fruit such as blackberry and blackcurrant. Cellar this wine for up to ten years if you prefer less pronounced fruit flavours. It will be wonderful with red meat.
We’ve given you our top three suggestions, now it’s up to you! We’re sure that once you’ve tasted them you’ll be coming back for more (if they don’t make it to the cellar…) The beauty of our Must Haves selection is that you can! We keep it constantly topped up all year round.
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