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Whether you’re entertaining friends, celebrating a special occasion, or just unwinding after a busy day, here are Square Meal’s top picks for your wine rack – whatever the weather
2008 Marqués de Cáceres, Crianza, Rioja, Spain
£11.95, Majestic Wine, winehound.co.uk
Crianzas are a great introduction to Spanish reds, as they generally have plenty of fruit and well-managed tannins. This example is no exception, with bags of bright cherry notes on the nose, and a rich palate of red and black fruit, with some herbal notes in the background, and a soft mouthfeel. A good all-rounder and a perfect match with spring lamb.
2009 Miguel Torres, Cordillera Chardonnay/Viognier, Limarí Valley, Chile
£10.99, portlandwine.co.uk, yorkshirevintners.co.uk
Chardonnay gets a rough press at times, so it’s reassuring when you find one to shout about. This example from Chile’s Limarí Valley has plenty of fruit, with a refreshing touch of steeliness, all topped off with a lovely stone-fruit perfume thanks to the dollop of Viognier that’s part of the blend. The well-integrated oak makes for a classy package indeed.
Bollinger, Rosé NV, Champagne, France
£45, Bancroft Wines, Exel Wines, Hailsham Cellars, Hennings Wine Merchants, Nickolls & Perks, slurp.co.uk, Waitrose
Full toasty aromas show that this rosé means business. On the palate notes of brioche, ripe peach, spice and a hint of Alpine strawberry make for a satisfyingly complex Champagne that’s equally good with food or as a celebratory aperitif.
Bodegas Hidalgo, La Gitana Manzanilla NV, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Jerez, Spain
£7.75 (50cl), Jeroboams, slurp.co.uk, Tanners Wine Merchants
You should always keep a bottle of dry sherry chilling in your fridge during the summer months: it’s a perfect pick-me-up at the end of the day and will match almost any light summer dishes, from a simple platter of ham and olives to seafood salad. If you’ve never tried sherry before, manzanilla is a good place to start: crisp and delicate with a fresh green-apple character – and Hidalgo is one of the oldest sherry producers, so you know you’re in safe hands with La Gitana.
2011 Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
£18.99, Berry Bros & Rudd, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Lea & Sandeman, Majestic Wine, Philglas & Swiggot, Waitrose
This iconic Marlborough Sauvignon deserves space in your wine rack all year round – although a chilled glass is perfect on a summer’s day. Fragrant aromas of ripe stone fruit and juicy citrus with hints of blackcurrant leaf are immediately appealing, while the palate is plush and zesty with a characteristically crisp finish. Perfect with goats’ cheese salad or a simple dish of ripe strawberries during Wimbledon.
Louis Roederer, Brut NV, Champagne, France
£39, Berry Bros & Rudd, Harrods, Laithwaites Wine, Lea & Sandeman, Majestic Wine, Selfridges, Waitrose
One of the top non-vintage Champagnes, Louis Roederer Brut is fruity, rich and complex on the palate with a long, creamy, elegant finish. Celebrate the summer sun
and savour this wine with a shellfish platter or share it out as an indulgent aperitif at a garden party.
2005 Marqués de Cáceres, Reserva, Rioja, Spain
£15.95, Majestic Wine, winehound.co.uk
A winning match with autumnal game dishes and hearty roast beef, this Rioja is aged for 22 months in oak barrels, giving it a rich texture. Blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, vanilla and spice are wrapped up in silky tannins on the palate, making a warming treat for chilly evenings.
2008 Château d’Anglès, Classique Rouge, La Clape, Languedoc, France
Made by Eric Fabre, formerly winemaker at the iconic Bordeaux estate Château Lafite, this blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre is drinking well now, but could happily sit
in your cellar for another five years. Smooth and savoury on the palate, it also has a lovely freshness: a perfect combination of power and elegance. Finishes with notes of garrigue (pine, thyme and rosemary) that perfectly reflect the terroir of the south of France. Enjoy it with a range of meat dishes, particularly those that have a touch of spice.
Krug, Grande Cuvée Brut NV, Champagne, France
£120, Berry Bros & Rudd, Jeroboams, Lea & Sandeman, Magnum Fine Wines, Majestic Wine, Waitrose
Mid-gold in colour, this Champagne is a blend of wines from different vintages. The end result is an elegant fizz that shows notes of spicy apricot and honeyed citrus. The palate
is full bodied and beautifully balanced with a long, toasty finish. Equally lovely on its own or with a special seasonal feast.
2002 Bollinger, La Grande Année, Champagne, France
£70, Bancroft Wines, Berry Bros & Rudd, Majestic Wine, slurp.co.uk, Tanners Wine Merchants, Waitrose
A real step-up in class from the NV Special Cuvée, this has a delightfully toasty and creamy nose, while on the palate, the classic rich, bready Bolly flavours come through,
with a pleasingly taut acidity. This Champagne is nigh on a decade old, but will last well into its 20s – if you can wait that long.
2006 Bodegas Roda, Reserva, Rioja, Spain
£27, Divine Fine Wines, Hennings Wine Merchants, Tanners Wine Merchants
This exceptional Spanish red is class in a glass, and perfect proof that Tempranillo is not a second-rate grape variety. You’ll find a beautifully silky texture, with sweet berry fruit and hints of vanilla (from the oak), with everything in balance. A great introduction to fine wine – a glass of this with Christmas lunch will convince any sceptics that sometimes, you just have to spend a little more.
2000 Dom Pérignon, Rosé, Champagne, France
£275, Harrods, Majestic, Selfridges
This elegant amber-coloured fizz has complex aromas of black cherry, candied peel, cardamom and cocoa, with smoky hints. Beautifully balanced, it’s a classic style that opens up to become deliciously rounded and creamy, with a subtle note of pink grapefruit. Perfect for a very special Christmas celebration.