Some Christmas wines.


If you follow Decanter on Twitter you will have seen a hashtag recently, something like – #idrinkfabulouswineandyoudont –  under which people posted pictures of their Xmas drinks. No one was drinking £4.99 bottles from Morrisons or the local off-licence. Instead first growth claret, fine burgundy and old vintage port featured. Well, nothing quite like that in Sutton Coldfield. For various reasons (pregnancy, driving) little wine was desired and there were a few beer drinkers as well. Nevertheless a few bottle were opened, pictured. As ever, no notes taken whilst drinking.

The Ten Minutes by Tractor McCutcheon 2010 is an old favourite – last bottle unfortunately. Pure fine pinot bouquet and flavour which lasted well into the evening. From Lay and Wheeler, about £40 which is undoubtedly expensive but see some of our earlier posts on burgundy at similar prices.

I bought the Quinta da Manuela 2001 (£18) over three years ago following an excitable email from the Wine Society which talked about a rare opportunity to acquire old-(ish) wine from the Duoro. I’ve learnt over time that these offers are often not quite the bargain they are made out to be and initially I thought this one would be the same. The first couple of bottles were dull and clumsy. But on Christmas Day, with roast pork, the wine was superb. Like a classy old Rioja in style – different grapes of course.

Finally a manzanilla from my favourite bottler, Equipo Navazos, who have featured here several times. This is number 32 (a bin end, I think, so only £20) from Darley Abbey Wines. They still have a few bottles left. Still beautifully fresh with a saline tang, despite bottling in 2011. Indeed the producers think it will age well. Let’s hope so.


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