For winelovers, Christmas is a time when we look forward to drinking – and even sharing – a special bottle or two. This might be a classic wine with traditional fare or just something different we’ve wanted to try for a while. I asked some wine loving friends what they were looking forward to and they have kindly agreed to write a blog post for me.
Jim Dunlop is a canny Scotsman who is seemly always on holiday somewhere – though that somewhere is usually a wine region whether in the Pfalz, northern Italy or the Canaries.
Many say Barolo or Barbaresco are the only wines that matter with regards to Nebbiolo but to the north of the Tanaro River and the Langhe, in Piemonte, there lies the Sesia River where both Gattinara and Ghemme are produced. The wines here are more delicate and balanced than some of the forceful wine produced in the Langhe. This 2006 offering by Antoniolo is, for me, the top of the pile at Gattinara. A classic red with a fantastic balance in the mouth, liquid velvet and so soothing – just right for a winter’s evening dinner. This wine ages well, maybe for 10 to 15 years.
Antoniolo Gattinara DOCG 2006 (Piemonte, Italy): Purchased at Winery but similar offerings can be purchased from Tannico UK (Ave Price in UK: £20 to £30)
For me I always have a decision as to what is my favourite Riesling area, the top two being the Mosel or the Pfalz. Recently my thinking is to prefer the more rounded style of the Pfalz compared with the austere style of the Mosel. This offering from Spindler (based at Forst on the Weinstrasse near Deidesheim in the Pfalz) is just gob smacking amazing. If anything, the 2015 harvest produced a better balance than the 2016. Loads of Granny Smith on the front of the palate but huge soft fruit with balanced acidity at the rear of the palate and the finish goes on forever.
Heinrich Spindler Pfalz Riesling Trocken 2016 (12.0%): Purchased at the Weinhaus in Kallstadt, but similar offerings can be purchased from The Wine Society (Ave Price in UK: around £11)