It's reasonable to say that we're all in need of a good glass of wine, now more than ever. To this end, we asked Tanners tasting and events manager Alix Chidley-Uttley to peruse the shelves and stocks of Tanners and come up with four wines that could ease us all into Spring and, indeed, to put a spring in our steps.
It seems sensible to kick off with a sparkling, an English fizz, Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, NV, £34. I had the great pleasure of trying this in three different tastings recently – admittedly I hand-chose the wines so its regular appearance wasn’t too much of a mystery. The estate itself is listed in the Domesday book in 1086 and is situated in a rather picturesque village in Sussex by the name of West Chilington. Fast forward nine hundred years and, in 1988, the estate planted their first vines.
The current owner, Eric Heerema, took over in 2006 and their head winemaker is the profoundly talented Cherie Spriggs. Using traditional grapes of the Champagne region - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - producing this wine in the traditional method (we cannot use the term méthode champenoise for wines made outside of Champagne), this wine has some impressive pedigree and a good dose of character to book. Elegant, an evident and refreshing acidity, Chardonnay lead in a cooler climate has given a real finesse here, and that consistent flow of bubbles that not only looks gorgeous in the glass but keeps each sip as enjoyable as the last. My suggestion in these somewhat restricted times? Get a portion of fish chips and spruce up a warm evening in the garden with a bottle of Nyetimber. It’s the perfect pairing and an easy indulgence that could do us all a bit of good!
My second wine is, rather traditionally, a white. White for Spring hardly seems ground-breaking but it’s an exciting wine made by an interesting sister duo, the Tibaldi Sisters, Monica and Daniela. Favorita Langhe, Tibaldi 2019, £14.50. Taking the reigns in 2014, these impressive winemakers between them have studied oenology, completed a harvest in New Zealand and a sommelier course. Fourth generation of their family to grow grapes, they know wine and they know how to make good wine. The grape is a little more obscure being 100% Favorita.
This wine has an abundance of fresh fruit – think apricots and peach – a structured acidity that keeps things lively but not intense, Riesling with a softer side. It’s perfect with your midweek risotto or a goats’ cheese salad on an easy Sunday afternoon. The sisters’ youth, talent and modern thinking is evident and this wine not only attests to that but credits it too. Well worth digging the corkscrew out of the drawer for this one.
With a fizz and a white in the rack it seems a little lacking to overstep Rosé and so we go to Corbières where pale in the glass but bags of flavour Rosé reign triumphant. Multum in parvo, they look gentle and unassuming but, blimey, these wines are anything but. A hearty Southern-Rhône blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache, this wine is environmentally friendly, organic, and just delicious. It’s ripe, fruit-driven and the perfect tonic to forgetting that long bleak winter and enjoying a seat in the garden on a hot (ok, we will settle for warm) Spring day. Perfect with tuna and summery salads, it’s almost too easy to enjoy.
The vineyard is in an area of wine production since the Roman times. Cendrillion (Cinderella) dates back to the mid 18th century. Robert Joyeux is the current owner and a direct descendant. With a heritage and talent for producing substantial yet complex wines, this is property to familiarise yourself with. Their Rosé is the perfect diving board into their range. Domaine de la Cendrillon Minuit Rosé, Corbières 2020, £11.95.
This is much more than a generic own label, Tanners are particularly, well, picky when it comes to who creates the wines under the Tanners label, and Nicolas could not be a finer choice.
Last and, of course, not least, a red wine. Tanners Red Burgundy, Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2019, £16.60. Something of a perennial favourite and a bit of classic amongst the Tanners range, this own label Burgundy represents good quality and is pocket friendly – the latter harder to find in Burgundy, a region famed for larger price tags. This is your Sunday roast wine, or soon to be!
The producer, Roche & Domaine de Bellene, the talent who is the famed and much celebrated Burgundian negociant Nicolas Potel. Here is a man who knows Pinot Noir and how to nurture this somewhat tricky grape, creating some truly delicious and impressive wines. This is much more than a generic own label, Tanners are particularly, well, picky when it comes to who creates the wines under the Tanners label, and Nicolas could not be a finer choice. Talented, energetic, overwhelmingly knowledgeable, his wine here oozes the charisma and charm of the region and doesn’t chip away at the funds. Sustainability is a priority for Nicolas - this wine is environmentally friendly - and so it gives us another reason to pluck it from the shelf. I am big fan of this Pinot Noir and I think you will be too.
You can order these wines via www.tanners-wines.co.uk or through their private house sales on 01743 234500