Olly Smith’s Hot Bottle Recommendations

I was knocked out by a recent tasting of wine samples kindly sent to me for review by Haynes Hanson & Clark and I’m glad to share my findings exclusively with you. This was the first tasting in a very long time where I found every single wine in the line up was good enough to recommend. The hit rate is usually nowhere near this high so consider this as my doff of the hat to the team at Haynes Hanson & Clark and their excellent work. I’d order a case of 12 if you can, one each of these rockers should do it. You can find all these wines at www.HHandC.co.uk

  • 2019 La Fruitière Vignes Blanches, Val de Loire IGP, Famille Lieubeau – £10.50

    Blended from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Melon de Bourgogne this blend is genius. Just think of sinking into peaches and melons at the seaside, fruity refreshment and breezy delight.
  • 2019 Viognier, IGP Pays d’Oc, Domaine Gayda – £10.70

    DING DONG! Apricot scent, jasmine and lemon blossom, a wonderfully scented wine with beautiful balance. Viognier this good is rarely a tenner.
  • 2019 Anjou Blanc, Domaine Alexandre Cady – £12.25

    There’s a savoury windfall apple character here along with a saline edge – richness with brightness, makes me want to reach for punnets of seafood dipped in mayonnaise.
  • 2019 Pinot Bianco, Kellerei Kurtatsch, Alto Adige – £14.65

    A delicate whirl of apple blossom, roses and tangerines. This is minerally pure Pinot Bianco, think ripe Cox’s apple bite, with a sensational twist of melon and all presented with pristine crisp definition – sunlight on a gently frosted mountain flower.
  • 2019 Quincy Villalin, Domaine Jacques Rouzé – £15.25

    Cor! This has deeply pleasant rounded zing about it, think Granny Smith meets grapefruit with a dusting of lemon balm. Vivid, enticing and splendid.
  • 2018 Petit Chablis, Domaine Daniel Dampt – £15.95

    Worth the money! This is Chablis as it should be, all chalk, fresh green herbs yet rounded with a lift of zip to the finish and long tapering elegance. Dive in.
  • 2016 Château Paret, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux – £10.65

    All the savoury, sweet leather and truffly aromas with savoury herby depth, classy velvet richness and then a firm firm tannic finish. Roast beef please. Class.
  • 2018 Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu, Domaine de Verquière – £13.50

    Stewed strawberry-cherry compote and roses – so scented! Stunning purity of fruit with a minerally-liquorice core of bolt upright structure and lovely espresso nip to the tannins.
  • 2018 Saumur-Champigny, Domaine des Sanzay – £13.50

    Alongside the black cherry and pencil shaving you’d expect from Cabernet Franc, there’s a glorious intensity here with fine grain tannin that coalesces into a finish that calls for a platter of peppery salami.
  • 2019 Dolcetto d`Alba Vilot, Ca` Viola – £15.50

    Heavenly! Inky aromas layered into damsons and cherries and when you sip it, black and red berries with bite… just gorgeous. Fine tannin, impressive length and pleasing vibrancy. I love this elegant red – pair with charcuterie.
  • 2019 Lagrein, Kellerei Kurtatsch, Alto Adige – £15.65

    Another belter. Blackberry, violet, black cherry and sapid silky blackberries draped in sweet scented honeysuckle. The long finish is bright with a twist of bitter cherry rising pleasantly at the end. Stunning poise.
  • 2015 Clos Sainte Anne, Côtes de Bordeaux – £16.25

    Get your nose in the glass! Strawberries in a dusty sheen of hazy summery splendour. Vibrant fruit, lively and lovely balance, scrumptious and sumptuous, long tangy length with fine grainy tannins knitting the finish, pair with roast chicken and you’re set for the day.
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