With Valentine’s Day approaching, romance is in the air, so we have put together a great selection of 6 romantic wines.
Regardless of how you will be spending Valentine’s Day, with your loved one or with a bunch of friends we can all agree that it is always a pleasure to open up a special bottle, with each sip bringing back memories of your first date, a party with your friends, or you can just curl up on the sofa and enjoy a relaxed evening watching a rom com.
So this year, reward yourself by creating a lasting memory.
Here are 6 top wines to make this Valentine's Day memorable.
Fleurs de Mai (FM) IGP Comtés Rhodaniens0.75l RedNew€19.00 €15.70The first vintage of this wine was made in 2010 from vines planted more than 50 years ago by Georges Vernay in an old orchard where once peach varieties called « Mayflower » were grown. Like the Pied de Samson, the vineyard is higher than 300 metres so is no longer in the appellation. Made from Syrah grapes and stylistically like a Côte Rôtie, this is a lovely lyrical wine with notes of plums, figs and wood smoke, quite simple but absolutely delicious with mineral peristence and a juicy, fruity finish. Produced in small quantities and aged in oak vats for eight months this is a wine to be drunk now for the next five years.
2015 I BastioniChianti Classico0.75l RedNew€15.29 €12.64Produced on the Collazzi estate just above Florence and grown in the south-western facing amphitheatre of well-drained gravel soils, this is a classic Chianti with great flavours of dark cherries and plums characteristic of the Sangiovese grape. There is freshness and spice from Sangiovese balanced by small amounts of Merlot and Malvasia Nera to round out the wine. Aged for 12 months in used oak, this is a lovely, juicy Chianti to drink young and pair with classic Italian dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, pizza and meatballs in tomato sauce. Drink now for next 2-3 years.
2014 Château CouhinsPessac-Léognan0.75l Red€19.70 €16.28The research estate of INRA run on organic principles which is getting better and better with more investments. There is more Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend this year and the result is a very pretty wine with lots of berry fruit and lovely elegance. Silky and refined and a good value.
2015 Domaine des ValangesCuvée Hors Classe Saint-Véran0.75l White€15.10 €12.48The Paquet family created the Domaine des Valanges in the 1980s and over the years have been able to expand their vineyard holdings over several other appellations. Their children, Matthieu and Camille have now formed a separate domain with Camille as the winemaker and managed to take over this vineyard in a fermage agreement in 2015. What a year to begin and what a lovely wine! This is a sunny, happy wine reflecting the fine summer weather of this vintage. The nose is expressive and aromatic with notes of acacia flowers, blossom and sweet fruit. On the palate the wine is generous, round and fruity with notes of spice, a touch of anise and then lovely, honeyed concentration. This is a very pretty Chardonnay with lots of personality where freshness and richness meet and blend superbly together. There is a bright future ahead for this domain.
2012 Clos du PorteauL'Oie Blanche Montlouis sur Loire0.75l White€12.50 €10.33We love the Chenin Blanc grape from the Loire and its ability to show both richness and freshness at the same time. We have been looking for a wine to serve with festive meals – with foie gras, lobster and other rich foods – that will add the right balance between acidity and sweetness. This Montlouis 2012 comes from the 16th century Clos du Porteau, owned by Isabelle and Aynar Clermont Tonnerre whose family has been based in Touraine for over 800 years. The vines are planted south facing on clay silex soils with limestone bedrock. The estate is now farmed organically, which gives greater precision and minerality to the wines. Handpicking at night ensures that the grapes arrive fresh at the winery where they are pressed and most of the harvest is allowed to macerate for 10 days at 5°C before being fermented in oak barrels while 20% goes through a 10 hour pre-fermentation maceration before being pressed to give weight and more aromatic expression. The fermentations take place very slowly (85 days) and then the wines are aged on the lees for three months. This is a lovely Montlouis with a very fragrant and expressive nose of Chenin Blanc with a touch of sweetness; aromas of melon and ripe pear dominate. On the palate the wine has great liveliness and purity with lots of fruit, spice and nutty flavours. Although the wine has about 5 grams of residual sugar, the finish is clean, persistent and very fresh.