Wine: The 2019 Bold List


And so with the 6 Nations rugby tournament about to start this Friday night in Paris with Les Bleus taking on Wales here are a few BOLD wine suggestions to accompany the rugby from friends around the world with a sporting interest. Contributors Simon Halliday from London and Mike Gourlay from Singapore both know their wines well – with a couple thrown in by me for good measure. Simon’s suggestions can be ordered through his company

* under €15

** under €40

*** big budget required


Segura Viudas Cava Brut Non Vintage, Catalonia, Spain *

A blend of 3 Catalonian traditional varietals produces a lower alcohol wine with a long lasting mousse and more balance than the more acidic offerings from the high volume producers such as Cordoniu and Frexinet. Mike Gourlay [MG]

Clover Hill Vintage Brut – Tasmania  **

Under the expert guidance of old friend Rob Remnant this is a small Tasmanian winery specialising in prosecco and some exciting new white wines. A lovely place to while away a day although I regret being on my motorbike.  NB


Manincor, Tannebenberg, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Tramin, Sud Tyrol, Italy  **

If you want to try Sauvignon Blanc in a style very different from NZ, try this. Has subtle fruit and more balanced acid. A food wine rather than an aperitivo.  MG

Nussbaumer Gerzurztraminer 2016, Kellerei Tramin, Sud Tyrol, Italy  **

From the “home” of this varietal even though it has gained fame in other regions such as Alsace. This co-operative produces the most distinctive and typical examples of the varietal at an attractive price point. MG

Domaine de la Source 2015,  Rolle, Bellet, Provence, France  **

A tiny (40 hectares in all) wine region near Nice produces a fruity white with relatively low alcohol from a warm region that is known for its quaffable rose. A curiosity worth tracking down.

Rustenberg Chardonnay, 2017 Stellenbosch, South Africa  *

Great balance of oak and ripe fruit from South Africa’s best Chardonnay region. Rustenberg hand picks their fruit and the quality is reflected in the finished product. Up there with the better village wines from Burgundy.


Chateau du Galopet 2017 Cru Classe  *

It’s tough to find a rose wine that really has a Wow factor and is sensible priced. Happened across this at a seafood brasserie in Toulouse and it was the cheapest on the list at €26. Retails for around €15 and I sense we could be seeing more of this over the summer.


Josef Chromy – Pinot Noir – Tasmania *

The first wine I found on my first night touring Tasmania on a motorbike and a delicious example of the good value pinots that the island is now producing. NB

Chateau de Pez – St Estephe  **

Unbeatable in my biased opinion as it was the first chateau I ever visited in 1977. Still knocks it out of the park as the Americans would say and at around €35 a bottle it’s good value believe it or not. NB

Chateau Clarisse – St Emilion    **

Owned by a good hotel friend and just outside the pretty village of Puisseguin in St Emilion. Small but perfectly formed with a range of 3 reds from around €15 to €35 for the Vielles Vignes. Nectar.   NB

Chateau Ponzac – Malbec – Cahors *

Cahors is France’s foremost malbec producing region and its under an hour away from where we live so makes for a great day out. This is delicious and great value at around €10 a bottle. NB

Chateau Champarel 2011 – Bergerac  *

Maybe Bergerac wines need to be put down for a little while given their lack of complexity against neighbouring Bordeaux reds. In this case almost 8 years and for €11 it is terrific value.  NB

Chateau d’Issan, Margaux Grand Cru Classe – Margaux, France ***

A combination of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes aged in French oak barrels, provides this wine with a harmonious, silky and elegant taste. A little known fact that this wine was served at the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 12th century. Chateau D’Issan is part owned by Jacky Lorenzetti, owner of Racing 92, pre eminent rugby club in the Top 14.  An absolute gem of a wine that disappeared very quickly once it was put out at a recent SWC tasting event!! SH

Welbedacht Patriot, Kaapse Versnit – Schalk Burger Wines  **

This is a classically styled Cape Blend of 50% Pinotage, 25% Grenache, 12.5% Malbec and 12.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. A Patriot is someone who cares deeply about their country and so this amazing award winning blend can be tasted all around the world. Fits so well with the Burger Family who care passionately about their wine alongside their sporting prowess.  SH

L10 Premium Malbec – Leo Messi – **

Messi’s flagship wine has intense aromas of dark, ripe fruits including blackberries, cherries and ripe plums and enriched with notes of roast coffee and coconut thanks to influence of French and American oak. It is balanced and full bodied with silky tannins and a lengthy finish. An award-winning wine highly appropriate for the player it represents!  SH

Jaffelin, Chambolle-Musigny 2014, Burgundy, France  ***

My favourite village in Burgundy for it’s lighter, more feminine style of classic Pinot Noir. This was an unexpected delight from a major negotiant.  MG

Cantina Tramin Kellerei, Urban Langreid Reserva 2015, Sud Tyrol, Italy  **

THE red wine varietal unique to this region. Ripens early in this alpine region and this co-operative showcases how attractive these wines can be. MG

Luciano Sandrone Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba 2015, Piedmont, Italy **

He makes some of the best Barolos from the best sites in the modern small barrel Barolo style and brings the same quality to this “village or regional wine”. MG

Alvaro Palacios Vi di Vila Gratallops Priorat 2014, Spain  **

The new “King of Priorat” has made a big impact from a small region that has considerable diversity of “climats”. Want to appreciate the region? This is a great example to start with.  MG

Brunello di Montalcino, Castello Banfi – Tuscany **

Delightful place to stay if you are touring around Tuscany and have the budget for an overnight stop plus dinner. A delightful red to accompany that dinner. Rich, smooth, peppery with a long finish. Honestly. NB

Kevin Arnold Shiraz, Waterford Estate – Stellenbosch  **

Kevin Arnold is probably South Africa’s finest wine maker; this is the most beautiful winery and his Shiraz tops it all. Fruity, plummy, hints of liquorice and will just disappear before you know it so buy a case [just in case]. NB

Roaring Meg, Mount Difficulty – Pinot Noir – Otago/Queenstown  **

A rugby trip to Dunedin with Mike Gourlay 5 years ago led to a detour into wine territory in central Otago. This is Pinot Noir central for New Zealand and Mount Difficulty is a compulsory stop. You’ll see why. NB

Groot Constantia 2015 Cape Ruby Port, South Africa **

Rare to find a port outside of the Douro that has such typical port characteristics such as ripe fruit, residual sweetness and “grip”. The age of the vines is the key here. The vineyard was established in the 1600s.  MG

So, enjoy some or all of the above depending on where you are in the world and what you can find. All prices are guidance only and of course may vary according to location. I’ll be in a craft brewery in Monpazier for the France v Wales game – – and then doing a wine tasting of some of these wines just before the England v Ireland game although Guinness might be more appropriate. Enjoy the rugby and the wine. Cheers.













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