We are delighted to announce the launch of this year’s Christmas Crackers case, a truly special selection of goodies tailored to the Christmas and Boxing Day festivities. We thought it was time for a treat, choosing twelve splendid bottles we know you will love, if you can’t do it at Christmas when can you?
Lallier Blanc de Blancs NV, Champagne, France £41.00, 2 bottles
When there are so many lovely Champagnes on our shelves, it’s really hard to pick a winner for Christmas Day. This year though, this gem just edges ahead of the rest – a seductive Blanc de Blancs from family-run Lallier in Aÿ. Made from Grand Cru vineyards in both the Côte des Blancs and Avize, it is at once both delicate and complex on the nose with seductive aromas of autolysis, akin to fresh-baked croissants. The palate delivers a full, creamy richness and beautiful clarity. You’ll be sipping again and again – so to plump for two bottles seems a really very good idea.
Macon Pierreclos 2015, Marc Jambon, Burgundy, France £17.00, 2 bottles
White Burgundy on Christmas Day might seem a little obvious – but hey, let’s relax into this very tasty number from a small biodynamic producer. It’s the texture and flavour here that deliver well: plenty of ripeness, but also a good lick of limey freshness to back up all that fruit. A really expressive find with much of the versatility we all need for the Christmas Feast.
Ontañon Reserva 2005, Rioja, Spain £16.00, 2 bottles
And what better red accompaniment to all those vibrant Christmas flavours than a mature, spicy Rioja? Bodegas Ontañon is located in the Rioja Baja, among groves of peaches and nectarines, while the grapes for their Reserva come from their 800m La Pasada vineyard. Predominantly Tempranillo, with just 5% of the racy variety Graciano, the blend spent 12 months in American and French oak, with the rest of the ageing in bottle. A red that’s comfy enough for Auntie Mabel, yet with enough character for you, dear reader.
Morris Black Label Rutherglen Muscat NV, Rutherglen, Australia £21.00, 1 bottle (50cl)
Rutherglen, that small wine-growing region of Victoria, Australia – produces a rare creation: a wine that can stand up to the pudding itself. It is the ‘Muscat à Petits Grains Rouge’ variety that creates such sweet pleasures, but paramount is the skill of the winemaker David, himself a fifth-generation Morris. Wines both young and old are blended to achieve this level of perfection: caramel and candied peel aromas yield to sweet raisin on the silkiest of palates, while the rich balance is restored on the finish with a light brandy note. Please don’t drink this too cold: room temperature, or only very gently chilled.
Henriques 1998 Single Harvest Madeira, Madeira £28.00, 1 bottle (50cl)
And meanwhile, on a tiny island far out in the Atlantic Ocean, Henriques & Henriques have been making wine since 1913. Vintage wines are not unusual – but this example certainly is: the balance between rich, sweet fruit, grilled-almond ‘estufagem’ notes (from the unique Madeira process) and the typical racy ‘rancio’ acidity is nothing short of eye-opening. Drink this little gem with all your favourite cheeses: Helford Blue, grapes and crackers or maybe finest Lancashire and Mince Pies.
Langlois Cremant de Loire Rose NV, Loire , France £17.00, 1 bottle
What a way to unwind on Boxing Day – a truly relaxed Traditional Method Rosé made from a variety attracting a lot of buzz just now: Cabernet Franc. BinTwo die-hards will know well their Saumurs both red and white – but do leave space in the ice-bucket please for this dry and refreshing, strawberry-scented gem from the Langlois team. We’ll be sure at some stage to introduce you to the ever-ebullient François de Régis Fougeroux – the Grand Fromage of this extraordinary Loire Valley outfit.
Château l’Ermitage Cuvée Sainte Cécile 2013, Costières de Nîmes, France £14.50, 2 bottles
A traditional Languedoc blend of Syrah, Mourvèdre (with a little Grenache) from our favourite Southern Rhone producer. Selling out on our weekly ‘Decanter Saturday’ spot, you’ll immediately see why – and without wishing to beat the drum too hard, it’s all about the balance. Solid, chunky fruit, yes – but also a gentle hand with the oak notes – only small old oak barrels are used here. Dark, dry bramble fruit on the nose, and with the deep fruit in the mouth, a refreshing tightener of juicy Mourvèdre tannin. The finish is long and velvety, with subtle, oaky backbone. A wine that’s as much at home with glazed ham as it is with a Boxing Day roast. We think two bottles might not be quite enough – this red offers such cracking value.
‘Max’ 2014, Miles Mossop, Stellenbosch, S. Africa £20.00, 1 bottle
One would hope that by the Christmas fire, there’s time to sniff, swill and savour as well as quaff? Either way, Max delivers superlative after superlative. It’s a classic Bordeaux blend, crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Merlot – yet is unmistakably New World, even behind the solid French oak and minty Cabernet structure. A delight in so many ways – and as delicious to sip on its own and wax lyrical on Christmasses Past as it is to enjoy with a roast beef sandwich during Christmas Present. A long-standing BinTwo fave.
It comes beautifully gift wrapped, when collected from the shop or delivered locally, and lovingly packaged when sent by courier.
Local delivery is included in the price and national delivery of the Christmas case is just £10 to all of our customers.
A fabulous gift for wine-loving family or friends or the perfect treat to aid your Christmas preparations and festivities. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!