For a few years now my family have spent a week away in Devon, the site of happy childhood holidays for all three generations. Nostalgia plays a big part of course and so kites are flown and pasties followed by ice creams topped with Clotted cream are eaten, even in the drizzle and the wind. It is of course my job to provide a couple of bottles to soothe frayed nerves after a day of tantrums (mostly mine) and “are we there yet”s.
Fish and chips are a must, eaten on the quay as the sun sets there is no finer dining. And with a glass or two of Champagne to help wash it down, what could be more perfect? At Ake and Humphris we have always loved the Champagnes of Lallier, their Grand Reserve Brut has been a staple and in Magnums or Jereboams it takes some beating. However I have a soft spot for their R0.14 series produced each year this is not strictly a vintage Champagne but gives a nod in that direction with a touch more creamy fullness and the same bright apple skin crunch on the palate.
Picnics also need some thought and so our new Te Quiero White Field blend with the cheery label and easy going fruity refreshment makes it into the case. Swiftly followed by Poderi Colla Pian Balbo Dolcetto D’Alba an Italian answer to Beaujolais at a very sensible 12.5% it is the kind of red that is made for drowsy afternoons while the Grandparents take the kids off for the day. Suddenly a long lunch and an afternoon looking around a gallery seems very do able.
There must always be a bottle of Rose for my wife and her mother to share while the menfolk barbeque and overcooked chicken (better safe than sorry) is chewed politely. This year Bauquiere Moment du Suspendu is on the menu, achingly elegant and extravagantly delicious with aromas of rose and summer pudding the palate is bone dry, with redcurrant and strawberry flavours guaranteed to get me in the good books. Surely too there must be something from the Rhone to curry favour with the father in law and to be supped with cheese from the local deli. Ideally slightly too much of each should be consumed and the subject of politics avoided. I am being brave and packing Chateau De La Tuilerie Cuvee Eole I love this punchy, dark fruited, spicy, herbal, rubik’s cube of a wine from one of the best Chateau in Costieres De Nimes fingers crossed I’m not the only one.
It was Cloudy Bay that fuelled the Grandparents Jaunts and my wife’s first experience of excess. So the last bottle that goes in the case must be a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but which one our Te Merio is joyous and the Fairhall Downs is we think every bit as thrilling today as Cloudy Bay was when we first tried it. But I am having the Magnificent Framingham F series Sauvignon Blanc, possibly the most complete and compelling Sauvignon Blanc we have found this year. That it happens to be a vineyard my in Law’s visited while holidaying with their other daughter is of course nothing but co-incidence. One of the miracles of wine is to help us build connections and bring back memories so I hope that this case will in a very small way remind us of happy times gone by help us make some new memories.
The Case in full
Lallier R014 Non Vintage 12.5% £32.99
Te Quiero White Field blend 2018 11.5 % £7.99
Poderi Colla Pian Balbo Dolcetto D’Alba 2018 12.5% 12.49
La Grande Bauquiere Moment Suspendu 2017 12.5% 19.99
Chateau De La Tuilerie Cuvee Eole 2016 14.5% £23.99
Framingham F-Series Sauvignon Blanc 2016 13.5% £22.99