London Wine Week starts today and will run until 11 June. Showcasing the very best in food and wine across the capital, this seven-day summer festival is packed with pop-up wine bars, al fresco brunches, Champagne dinners and even an entire pop-up vineyard in East London. If you’re in town, we’d highly recommend grabbing your festival pass from DrinkUp.London, and then heading down to any of the 125 fantastic bars serving £5 wine tasting flights and Sip & Snack pairings.
If, sadly, you’re on your way out of town, then at least join us in spirit. To that end, we’ve done the legwork for you and found which wines are worth stocking up on at London’s airports – from a cheap and cheerful rosé to a premium English sparkling wine.
1. Furleigh Estate Classic Reserve 2010
We had to include this refined English sparkling wine, made in the stunning Dorset countryside. Hand-picked grapes, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (the same varieties used to make most Champagnes) are then whole-bunched pressed to obtain just the finest juice. After 9 months of initial fermentation, the young wine is bottled with additional yeast and allowed to ferment again. Over the next four years, the wine matures naturally on lees – creating that distinct, autolytic character; notes of apple crumble, buttery toast and a hint of umami porcini. The wine has an appealing pale gold core with delicate bubbles and a seductive aroma of roasted hazelnuts and toasted brioche with sweet hints of butterscotch. The mouth-feel is rich and creamy, with a persistent mousse. Beautifully complex, this fizz has a medium palate and deliciously lingering finish, perfect for any special occasion.
2. Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz
Named after the Kalimna Vineyard in the panoramic Barossa Valley, Bin 28 is actually a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend, which is beautifully balanced. This South Australian wine has strong aromas of tangy red berries and hints of sweet cherries. The palate is juicy yet fresh, with supple tannins and a generous mouth-feel. Berries dominate, with accents of milk chocolate and gentle spice.
3. Henri Gaillard Cote de Provence Rosé
This wine, from the South west of France, is an exceptionally good value rosé. It has been carefully macerated and fermented in temperature controlled conditions. The terroir is a mixture of red clay soil, chalk, gravel, silty alluvia and sandstone, producing notes of tart red fruits with a touch of spice. Light pink with purple hues, this wine makes for elegant summer drinking.
4. Numanthia 2011 Numanthia
This signature wine from the Numanthia Estate in Toro, Spain, is made from carefully harvested Tempranillo grapes. The aroma has a fruity complexity, with strawberry, fig and hints of balsamic giving way to coffee, light tobacco and spice. 18 months maturing in French oak barrels has brought suppleness to the tannins, creating an unctuous mouthfeel, as well as nuances of cedar and liquorice. This full-bodied and well-balanced wine has a generous finish with accents of dark chocolate and spice. It’s certainly worth buying a few more bottles for the cellar, as this red has great ageing potential.
5. Hospices de Colmar Riesling
There’s a reason Riesling is a favourite among wine connoisseurs and this is a bright illustration why. Bursting with citrus, this pale lemon wine has a surprisingly weighty mouth feel. Accents of elderflower and an undertone of minerality bring complexity to this crisp and refreshing white. Perfect with seafood or a tasty goats’ cheese salad. Just add friends and sunshine.
6. Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘T’ Marlborough Pinot Noir
From the hills of Brancott Estate, Marlborough, comes this intense and complex Pinot Noir. The aroma of this New Zealand wine is full of ripe red fruits, with violet accents and hints of savoury spice and oak. The fine tannins provide a generous mouth feel, whilst rich plum and cherry flavours dominate the palate. This wine has a spicy complexity and velvety chocolate finish.
7. Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella
125 years of winemaking experience spells heritage and class. This powerful Italian beauty is a timeless classic. With a deep burgundy colour, Bolla Amarone has an aroma full of sweet berries and accents of spice and oak. With a structured, weighty mouth feel, this wine has a rich palate of black cherries, and a lingering spiced, dark chocolate finish. A great accompaniment to a barbecue – come rain or shine.
All wines available at World Duty Free