I have to say that this months selection is the best I can remember, ok so there's not one brilliant stand out wine - but the overall standard was high. In fact I'd go so far as to say that pretty much any of the wines on this months list would be perfectly at home on the main superstars list. The thing I love about their monthly selection is that whilst it is only 12 wines - they are generally imaginatively chosen and fit together well. This was a social night out to celebrate my new job (working for a local wine merchant - SH Jones in Banbury) so I didn't take notes, this is based more on memory than anything.
The Clover Hill Sparkling from Tasmania has lovely toasty, yeasty flavours - my one criticism was that the bottle we tasted had been open too long and so it was completely flat - give it some decent fizz it would probably be great, but it fell slightly flat without. (79/100)
Chateau Haut Grelot 2005 is a first example of a 2005 Bordeaux for me - albeit a white blend of Semillon and Sauvignon - and you know what - it really was fabulous, lovely gooseberry and asparagus flavours with some lovely body provided by the Semillon. (85)
The Inama Soave Classico was a fine example of Soave that I got on very well with (83), and the Laroche St Martin Chablis 2005 was fine, if a little unexciting - mineral with some smokey hints there was nothing wrong but it just failed to hit the mark (83).
Rolly Gassman Gewurztraminer 2004 was nice enough - but to be honest I just don't get on with this variety, it seemed well made and was as good an example as I've tasted, and perhaps with spicy food it would stand out but for now not something I'm going back to (80).
The reds were uniformly lovely - I'd have taken any of them home quite happily and we started with a Savigny-Les-Beaune Vielle Vignes 2002 Nicolas Potel which was lovely if a little one dimensional (85), Molino Ausario Barbera 2004 was full and juicy and fantastic (87), Chateau Kefraya 2002 was complex and delicious - my first taste of Lebanon (incredibly I've never got around to Musar or Massaya up to this point!) wonderful black fruits and aromatic spice (88), Casa Silva Coleccione Carmenere 2005 was after the previous wines a little on the simple and unexciting side - a great wine but not of the class of the others (82) Torbreck "Cuvee Juveniles" GSM 2003 is lighter than I expected from the Barossa but is full flavoured and delicious (88), Abadia Retuerta Tempranillo 2003 was a lovely example from just outside the Ribera Del Duero, again not of the class of the other reds on show but good nonetheless (83).
To finish an Australian 10 year old Tawny "Port" from Grant Burge which I have to say was wonderfully delicious - perhaps the nicest example and certainly the easiest drinking example of a tawny that I've had (91)