You will note that all the wines below are fully annotated. We hope that this helps you in making an informed and enjoyable choice, and perhaps tempts you into trying something unfamiliar – very often, you will encounter better value and quality by not focusing overmuch on the ‘classic’ areas or varietals – by trying something different, We hope you have a more rewarding experience.
Please also note that we strive to avoid vintage changes, but wine merchants-and ourselves are on close, friendly terms with all of our suppliers-will frequently change vintages without consultation or even notice: annoying, maddening even, but a fact of life for the average restaurateur. We merely comment that, fortunately, vintage variations are far less marked than in the past (not a cop-out but plain fact-better wine-making, better hygiene, better transport and storage all help) and that when a substitution is sneaked past us, We will always taste to ensure some stylistic consistency with our tasting notes: if there is a marked difference, we will either have reprinted the list by the time the change gets to you, or, when dramatic, simply de-list the wine in question. However, it is always worth remembering that only the tiniest fraction of the wine produced in the world is designed for the long haul: so far as most of our whites, and many of our reds are concerned younger is better.
All Vintages Subject To Change Without Notice
N.B All wines by the glass are 175ml; dessert wines and sherries 125ml
WINE BY THE GLASS
1. House white £4.75
6. Sabina, Viura-Chardonnay, 2016 £4.95
8. Rioja Blanco Azabache 2015 £6.00
9. Crego e Monaguillo 2015 £6.25
10. Badajo, Verdejo, 2016 £5.85
11. Reveleste, Albarino, 2016 £6.50
18. Rioja Rosado Azabache 2015 £5.95
2. House red £4.75
20. Rioja Tinto Azabache 2015 £5.95
26. Sola Fred Montsant 2016 £6.95
27. Sembro Ribera del Duero 2014 £6.50
29. Morenito, Garnacha 2016 £4.95
WINE BY BOTTLE
1. WHITE £18.95
Lovely fresh, juicy, pear-like fruit in this Galician blend - fragrant, quaffable and great value.
2. RED £18.95
Soft-but-structured gluggale red from Galicia, the epitome of easy drinking but without the bland flabbiness that usually means - proper, full-bodied red wine.
3. Babot brut nature n/v £32.75
Classic cava varietals - Macabeu, Xarel-lo, Parellada - a rich combo of brioche and green apple on the nose, fresh, smooth mouth-feel, concentrated and long, good with seafood as well as an aperitif.
4. La Rosita, Cava Brut Rosado, Penedes £34.95
Creamy, frothy, fruity Cava that bubbles beautiful, made by the traditional method from 100% Garnacha, strawberries and cream on the note with a fleshy fruit driven palate balanced by crisp acidity, try on its own or enjoy with some Langostinos A La Plancha.
5. Prado Rey Verdejo, 2016 £22.50
Highly impressive Castilian Verdejo, a wonderful silken softness and a jasmine – and – lime, aroma, just, exceptional, polished, elegant wine making.
6. Sabina, Viura Blanco 2016 £19.95
Delightfully fresh, lively white, Viura/Chardonnay blend, clean, floral nose with hints of passion fruit on the palate, balanced by a zesty citrus acidity and a crisp finish.
7. Sola Fred Blanc, Celler El Masroig, Montsant, 2015 £27.95
Macabeu/Garncha Blanca blend from Montsant, pure orange and herbal notes from the Garnacha, stony minerality from the old-vine Macabeu and a rich, dense character on the palate, bone dry, balancing hints of stone fruits (peaches, mirabelles) kicking in at the end, finishing on an almost spicy note. Fascinating, complex old-school Catalan white.
8. Rioja blanco, Azabache Fermentado en barrica, 2015 £20.95
Aromas if tropical fruits and nuts, well blended with balsamic aromas and spicy from the wood. Well structured, dry and a good choice with seafood or, indeed, with nothing at all!
9. Crego e Monaguillo, 2015 £25.00
From Monterrei in Galicia, a fresh, gentle young white with an intriguing fruit-stone character on the nose, but a beautifully balanced soft yet refreshing acidity and discreet tropical fruit – guava, papaya – on the finish.
10. Badajo, Verdejo, Rueda 2016 £23.25
Wildly pungent, bracing Verdejo from Rueda in Castilla. A riot of fragrant greengage fruit with a beautifully full mouth-feel yet restrained lime-zesty acidity – brilliant, clean, modern Spanish dry white wine, with a pointed similarity to a high-class Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc.
11.Reveleste albarino, 2016 £33.80
Classic Albariño, pale gold-yellow, peaches, apricots and a mineral note on the nose, repeated on the palate, backed by a refreshing crispness and an easy, supple mouth-feel. The quintessential Gallego accompaniment to all kinds of seafood, but especially the pulpo a la Feria so beloved in that seafood-obsessed province.
12. Verd Albera, Emporda, Catalunya, 2014 £27.50
An unusual blend of 60% Garnacha Blanca, 30% Moscatel, 5% Garnacha Gris and 5% Chardonnay from Emporda in Catalunya, full, golden yellow, fragrant peachy fruit, a seductive grapiness on the nose with a citric (orange, rather than lemon) edge and a certain smoky, white pepper quality. Fresh, to begin, again somewhat grapey, becoming fuller and pear-like in the mouth, good, palate cleansing acidity but very rounded mouthfeel, and a long finish. A rich-but-dry style, keenly priced for the quality.
13. Aroma De Camilo Castilla, Muscat, 2015
A clean and dry Muscat from Navarra giving a fresh aromatic wine with plenty of citrus flavours and floral hints with a great long finish. £24.50
14. Torres Fransola Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 £43.95
Fascinating, big-framed, complex Sauvignon, barrel fermented but with the oak so carefully integrated that it serves only to add a suggestion of roundness with no clumsy heft-firm, ripe, herbal-spicy (mint, green peppercorns and grapefruit zest) with a silky, almost creamy overlay and the most mouthwatering white peach finish: better than many a Cru Classé Bordeaux Blanc Sec at several times the price.
15. Bioca, Godello de Valdeorras, 2013 £29.95
Lemon colour, shows a fresh, zesty and herb nose, good level of acidity with spice on the palate. The fruit concentration and freshness is the key to this wine. Many layers of complexity and a long finish.
16. Viña Zorzal, Garnacha Blanca, Navarra,2016 £29.75
Dry and fresh 100% Garnacha Blanca, clear lemon in colour and medium intensity aromas of citrus fruits soft mineral notes on the palate with a creamy long finish.
18. Rioja Rosado, Azabache, 2015 £20.95
Limpid salmon – pink, 100% Garnacha from one of the oldest Rioja houses, delicate aromas of fraises des bois and apricots, light, vivid mouthfeel, generous fruit well to the fore with a very clean, dry and refreshing finish: brilliant summer drinking!
19. Sorbet, Garnatxa, Catalunya, 2016 £24.95
Clean , pale pink in colour, 100% Garnatxa, vibrant and fresh aromas, well balanced acidity, a properly flavoursome rosé, voluptuous and mouth-fillingly delicious.
20. Rioja Tinto Tempranillo, Bodegas Azabache, 2015 £19.95
This archetypal Rioja Crianza is all gentle strawberry and vanilla fruit, just enough oak, very soft, enveloping tannins, a little lively liquorice note on the finish and, so, being utterly typical what it’s meant to be…does what it says on the tin.
21. Finca Resalso, Ribera Del Duero, Emilio Moro, 2016 £26.00
100% Tinta Del Pais (local clone of Tempranillo), only 4 months in French oak, the emphasis here, unlike many young Ribera Del Duero reds, is on the vivacious fruit. Beautiful deep garnet colour, ripe cherries and a little violet on the nose, quite a lot of toasty vanillin from the oak and prominent, but well-integrated tannins, finishing powerfully but smoothly. Great value for the area, and given that Emilio Moro's more exulted cuvees are some of Spain's best - and most expensive.
22. El Bon Homme, Rafael Cambra, Valencia, 2016 £28.95
50% Cab Sav, 50% Monastrell from the viticultural desert that WAS Valencia, full, vibrant dark purple colour, pronounced cassis fruit with a lot of Monastrell spiciness, VERY juicy mouth-feel, low – to – no tannin but with really pronounced coffee and leather notes on the end palate: alcohol quite evident, but melds harmoniously into the overall package.
23. Vermador, Monastrell-petit Verdot, 2016 £29.35
Organic wine, lurid ruby color, fragrant ripe cherry and red plum. Sappy and incisive, the palate offers bitter cherry and berry skin flavors, fine-grained tannins and lingering berry skin and cherry pit notes.
24. Cerro Añon, Rioja Reserva, Bodegas Olarra, 2014 £29.85
Amazing value, triple gold medal winner from a big bodega which has recently regained its mojo after a few fallow years. 20 months in new American oak, 80% Tempranillo with small dollops of Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. Cherry red with an orangey rim hinting at its aging, suave (in a typically oak-smoothed, soft-tannin, Rioja way) yet hefty (14% alcohol, a good dose of brooding, dark, almost Rhône – like fruit, really lingering, spice-box finish) – good God, it’s Olly Reed in a bottle! How apt. It’s what Rioja should be when the vanillin of the oak just softens the broken-nosed edges but allows that hefty fruit to really shine through. Lovely winter warmer.
25. Alion, Vega Sicilia, Ribera Del Duero, 2012 £99.95
Pure tempranillo from vineyyards averaging 25 to 30 years of age, matured for 14 months in new French oak barrels. Cherries and raspberrys on the nose, palate is quite round with some notes of dark chocolate, fresh and logo. It has the balance and stuffing to develop nicely bottle.
26. Sola Fred, Celler El Masroig, Montsant, 2014 £27.95
90% Carignan/10% Grenache from Montsant, the poor man's Priorat. Hand harvested, fermented and aged for 5 months in stainless steel (no wood), v. dark, pronounced nose of violets and black cherries, supple and forward on the palate, unencumbered by oak so totally fruit-driven, very soft, fleshy tannins, cocoa and papperiness on the finish, 14% alcohol so best with food: great value for the area.
27. Sembro, Ribera Del Duero, 2014 £25.95
Plush, fruit packed offering from the Ribera del Duero, 4 months in oak, beautifully pure Tempranillo fruit – wild strawberries, blueberries – toasty overtones of coffee and vanilla, even toffee on the nose, with a dark, glowering intensity from the firm, well-balanced tannins on the finish. Outstanding young Ribera that pulls off the difficult trick of balancing ripe, accessible fruit with a structure of tannin and acidity with great verve.
28. Viña Zorzal Graciano, Navarra, 2013 £30.95
100% Graciano, elegant, bright, bramble-and-white pepper fruit, truly gourgeous, mouth-filling black cherries (indeed, so well rounded that it’s actually more like black cherry yoghurt) on the palate, satin-smooth tannins softened by four months on its lees in new French oak, just a hint of something darker and more “balsamic” (mint, a little liquorice) on the finish. Suave, well balanced and a graceful, polished counterpoint to the heftier feel which is the stock-in-trade of many Spanish reds. Perhaps the best value red currently on the list.
29. Morenito, Garnacha, Campo de Borja, 2016 £19.95
Medium bodied caramel, cherry and plum sing against botanical juniper and thyme. Fresh, fruity and bright. Keenly priced, good with braised beef, meatballs, etc.
30. Sierra Cantabria Unica, Rioja Reserva, 2013 £59.95
Mostly Tempranillo, sweetly persistent wild strawberry fruit with well integrated oak, perfectly balanced acidity and gentle, faded tannins, this has complete typicality and is, at the risk of labouring the point, both top quality Rioja of the more traditional.
31. Casa Don Angel, Vera De Estenas, “Multivintage”12-13 £39.95
Fascinating out-of-left-field red from Utiel, in the mountains west of Valencia, an assemblage of two different vintages of Malbec, the wine makers achieving a deliciously harmonious, forward wine, very different to the sometimes harsh examples typical of Argentina. Bundles of dark, damsony fruit, good firm tannins, restrained balancing acidity and notes of coffee, liqourice and blueberries, Would excel with lamb, beef estofado and fabada, but just try it for its sheer character.
32. Priorat - La petite de Agnes, 2016 £31.95
High layer with purple trim and youthful reflection, aromatic, mix of red and black fruit and floral memories present. After a mild agitation, a more complex hints of spice and subtle memories present. Fresh and with a balanced concentration mouth, all harmonized.
33. Bobal , Vera de estenas, casa don Angel £49.95
Medium-bodied red from vines averaging 50 years of age (some of them up to 100 years) which shows a mix of bright black and red fruits, spice, and mineral notes while maintaining moderate alcohol and high acidity friendly with wide variety of meats, especially the rabbit.
34. La Rioja Alta, Gran reserva 904, 2005 £84.95
One of Rioja's foremost traditional estates, fairly pale ruby colour, the palate is elegantly structured with lovely depth of delicate Morello cherry fruit and a complex mineral/smocky bouquet, secondary notes of leather and balsamic with a long lasting finish.
35. Vega-Sicilia Unico, Ribera Del Duero, 2004 £275.00
A blend of 87% Tempranillo and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. It has complex notes of tobacco, cedar wood and blackberries, and shows very good balance between power and elegance as well as perfect ripeness. Perfumed on the nose, elegant and pure with heady florals, raspberry and mulberry fruit and well-integrated sweet spice of oak. In the mouth the wine displays flavours of liquorice, strawberry and black cherry chocolate accompanied by exquisite textural, velvety tannins and ends on an almost ethereal finish of wild herbs (thyme and heather) that just goes on and on.