Wines noted by Tom Leahy included the following:
Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Conegliano Valdobbiadene Bianca Vigna NV: “a fresh tasting, zesty and appley delight, which wiped the floor with the Champagne I tasted afterwards. At under £12 a bottle, it is a bargain and perfect if you are planning on throwing a festive get-together.”
White Wine: “Of the white wines, inevitably I gravitated towards the Burgundy, but it was a Chardonnay from California that really stood out. The 2007 Hanzell Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley had all the attributes of a seriously good wine, with an intense apple and lemon fragant quality to it that I really enjoyed. However, at £40 a bottle, it is one for a special occasion – possibly with a Christmas Day lobster. Much less expensive, but almost as enjoyable, were a 2010 Macon-Loché from Marcel Couturier; the aforementioned 2010 Albarino from Quinta Couselo; and an excellent 2010 Alsatian Pinot Blanc from Domaine Mittnacht.”
Red Wine: “Moving on to the reds, the three wines from Sean O’Callaghan at Riecine were ones that I marked with a virtual gold star; the 2006 La Gioia, the pick of the bunch. Meanwhile, a pair of Spaniards, the 2004 Rioja Reserva from Bodegas Jalon and the 2004 Ribera del Duero from Bodegas Valduero, also stood out from the crowd. My final mention goes to the 2004 Chateau Batailley, a fifth growth from Paulliac in the Medoc. 2004 is a Bordeaux vintage which has been overshadowed by the hype surrounding the 2000, 2005, 2009 and now 2010 wines, but with the classic cedary, tobacco and cassis flavours coming through on the palate, this is one to consider.”
Tom, please come back for thirds of that Californian Chardonnay.