Virgin Wines Christmas Box

by Alan Kingsbury - Tuesday December 15, 2015 3:12 pm

Every Christmas wine box should contain at least two fantastic bottles of fizz and two ravishing reds. Alan Kingsbury makes his 2015 selection from Virgin Wines.

“English Fizz has come of age” says Andrew Baker, head wine buyer at Virgin Wines; and Andrew backs up his belief in English Sparkling Wine by offering some fine examples on the Virgin list.

Henners Brut 2010 (£29.99) is an East Sussex Pinot Noir / Meunier blend made with race-winning precision by ex Formula One auto engineer Lawrence Warr. 

Careful handling of the 'traditional method'  gives an exemplary Champagne style in which deeply embedded memories of English orchard fruits are lifted on a cloud of creamy brioche. 

Although vineyards are now being developed across the breadth of England, it is the south east which dominates the field.

From family-owned Ridgeview in West Sussex, Ridgeview Cuvee Merret Bloomsbury Brut, 2013 is on offer at Virgin Wines until 31.12.15 at £22.46, from £24.95.

It is a premium traditional blend of predominantly Chardonnay with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

The honeyed citrus fruit and balanced, crisp acidity typify the high quality which is catapulting Engish producers onto the international stage.

And what about the reds?

Well, there are plenty to choose from; and for big red wines we have to leave the shores of England and head for the sun-baked terrains of more southern climates.

La Traversée, Terrasses du Larzac, France, 2012 (£24.99) is a sumptuously fruited, biodynamic beauty from France's booming Languedoc region.

The label may be minimalist in style but the wine takes us to the max with its blend of Grenache / Garnacha grapes, aged for eighteen months in fine oak barrels.

The overall effect is of luxurious depth, well worthy of the Christmas table.

Travelling even further south, in fact all the way to the Antipodes, reveals The Black Pig, The Prize, Shiraz 2012 (£19.99) from South Australia's Clare Valley.

The winery is named after it's own beloved herd of Gloucester Black Spots; and this prize Shiraz, being made from the finest selected grapes, reflects the peak of the maker's aspirations.

It's one full-bodied hog.

Ripe black fruits are smoothly delivered over a background of earth and spice and hit the 'Spot' with manicured precision.

The whole range of wines can viewed at virginwines.co.uk  Pre-mixed box selections are available.

Free delivery is available on orders over £150. 

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