Thursday, 4 August 2011

And at number 3…

Bryn continues his countdown his top six wines from his time at Averys. And at number 3…

How do we as wine lovers, justify what our favourite wines are? Is it a sense of place, that is to say, is our favourite wine one we had whilst sitting in the heart of Namibia with family enjoying a braai (Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir)? Is it that special bottle we open with that special someone (Krug NV)? Is it the bottle which made a tear fall down the cheek because we never thought wine could taste that good (Domaine de Chevalier 2003)? When we sit down and actually think about it, it really isn’t an easy question to answer. For my brother, his favourites are the ones he opened at the right time with the right people. For my father (much more of a pragmatist than my brother and I) it was all about the taste and quality, not the situation. For some of my customers, its all about the value they get when spending £70 on a case rather than £70 on a bottle. So I would like to open this discussion up to the readers of this blog. What criteria do you use to judge your favourite wines? Why are they so special to you? Please leave a comment below! Happy posting!

Deciding upon my top three wines I had to really think about these questions, and for some reason, it has caused me a comparatively large amount of bother, and at least one sleepless night. Only Wales losing to England at rugby and stupid things I have said in front of women on nights out have preyed on my mind more, so I did console myself in the fact that after spending all of my early twenties deciding what I really wanted to do as a career, only something that matters to me this much could keep me up like that! So the first thing I did was to have a look at all the wines I have bought since starting with Averys (quite frightening when I realised how much money I have spent but hey ho!). Surely it would be something spectacular that leapt out at me and said ‘Yes Bryn I am your number three and you know it!’ but nothing really grabbed me properly until I had nearly got through all my orders. I felt like an opera director casting my supporting role, being presented with spectacular singers all day, but none the perfect fit for the role. Then five minutes after the auditions finish, someone timidly pokes their head through the door asking for a chance, and saving my day completely! This is a wine that I have bought continuously since starting at Averys, but it’s so unassuming that I never really thought about how much it actually means to me as a wine drinker! So after all that I suppose I used my father’s advice for which university to choose. ‘Tabulate all the results giving each chosen category a mark out of 10, weigh up all the pros and cons such as living costs and price of accommodation… then disregard everything and choose the one you like the best’

Conde de Cron NV Vino da Mesa, Spain - £83.88 per case of 12

A table wine… a bog standard Spanish table wine…But look closer! Spanish wine laws dictate that Rioja is only allowed to produce a certain amount of wine each year. Everything that producers make beyond this limit has to be labelled as table wine. Now usually this kind of stuff is sold on to friends of the winery, staff, and occasionally restaurants, but due to our relationship with Javier Murua at Bodegas Muriel, we get to sell this! And my god its good drinking. The wine inside the bottle is actually a 2004 declassified Rioja Crianza.

Beautiful brick red colour and good texture in the glass. Nose of soft berry fruit, blackcurrant, crushed cherries, cedar wood, spice and hint of roasting meat. The palate is satin smooth with just a dash of tannin. The fruit is pure and hearty with a great finish that lasts way beyond its price tag. Brilliant!

I wrote this tasting note back in November 2009 and not much has changed in the final verdict of the 14 times or so I have blind tasted it since. What keeps me coming back to this wine is the fact that every time I have tasted it, it has been slightly different. I remember the Christmas 2010 parcel having a wonderful note of nutmeg and cinnamon. I got two or three cases of that… I remember the most recent parcel is much fruitier with not so much spice. It just keeps changing slightly, not so much as to be a different wine or to dampen the quality in any way, just enough to keep things fresh and not get bored of the taste. It is simply the only table wine I shall buy as long as it is still here, and I think that is a pretty good reason for it to get into my favourites list!

Please give one of the wine advisors a call on 01275 812230 if you would like to order this, or get advice on wines of any region country or price!


  1. In as where there are two or more gathered together, there shall be a bottle of wine.
    I'd like to think that this should be a matter of law and custom.

    A poor wine is all the more miserable when consumed without a pairing. The same can be said that a fine wine is made even more succulent by the consort at it's side. Like a woman or a gemstone, a wine should be self defining. However it can be degraded or enhanced by the setting in which it is experienced. A diamond is good, a diamond in a proper setting is elegant. A woman can be beautiful but place that woman in a satin nightgown with longing eyes and what you have is breathtaking.

    Wine needs to be good. But it is always better in the right setting with the right people.

  2. Jacob, very wise words indeed sir!

    Its funny what that place can be though. I remember one particular New Years Eve just recovering from flu. I was at home alone waiting for my friends to come back before midnight and simply thinking to myself 'i'm going to open something nice.... all to myself'. Duly picked was a bottle of Reserve de Leoville Barton 2000, and for some reason, sitting there all on my own, there was a slightly decadent feeling that made the wine special. Knowing there was only me to drink this superb bottle. Maybe that's greedy, but it seemed to be the tonic I needed! I'm sure people would agree that probably isn't the best setting to drink a beautiful bottle in, but for some reason it worked that evening! Maybe it proves the old adage, 'where there is plenty of wine, worry and sorrow take wing!'

    keep posting folks!