Caviar first thing, smoked eel, lobster and he hasn’t even put the oven on for the turkey yet! Christmas lunch at Roger Jones’ house is a sumptuous affair and a chance to open up his six wines of 2016. A Michelin-starred chef, wine writer, judge and industry bigwig, see if you agree with his best wines of 2016 aka the Christmas Six. Put it this way, you’re hardly going to put your hand over your glass now are you? Cheers Roger! Hope you, Sue and the kids have a blinder.
Roger Jones’ Christmas Six was always going to include a good showing of New World wines, what with his many New vs Old competitions. But what is Wales? Is that Old World or New? ….
“Here are 6 wines that particularly excited me this year, these have been chosen to match with a classic Christmas Day lunch
Sparkling: Ancre Hill Blanc de Blancs 2010, Monmouth Wales
Whilst this was a difficult choice with runners up being Cuvee Clive from Graham Beck and Nyetimber’s Tillington 2010, ultimately I had to give it to Wales.
This wonderful Blanc de Blancs will no doubt become a star and highlight how well the Morris family have done at this picture perfect eco friendly vineyard in Wales.
Perfect way to start your Christmas morning with some caviar.
Riesling: Trimbach Clos St Hune, 1996, Alsace,France
Australia have helped highlight the quality and diversity of Riesling, but ultimately one needs to go to Alsace or Germany to get the perfect purity.
Having know Jean Trimbach for nearly 18 years and with a collection of Clos St Hune back to the 1970s, this had to get on my list.
A great way to start the Christmas lunch, possibly with some smoked Somerset eel.
Chardonnay: Giaconda 2008, Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
My word a very difficult decision here with Hamilton Russell 2015, Neudorf’s 2012 Moutere both up there as superb examples of this wonderful grape highlighting value outside Burgundy.
This Giaconda was the winner in the Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards earlier this year and is a brilliant expression of Chardonnay at its very best.
This luscious wine will be a delightful match to a slightly spiced Lobster salad.
Pinot Noir: Crystallum Peter Max 2014, Western Cape, South Africa
A very difficult decision here, no doubt that South Africa has come from nowhere to highlight world class New World Pinot, and there were many contenders here including Newton Johnson, but as we have made a Pinot with the Newton Johnsons I could hardly pick my own wine.
Felton Road from New Zealand continues to excite as do many Pinots from Mornington Peninsula and then, when we can source them, Germany excels with this grape, I also loved the Albert Mann Pinots from Alsace.
The Peter Max, though, with its racy freshness and bright acidity will be perfect with your bronze Turkey. Peter-Allan Finlayson, the winemaker, makes a selection of Pinots, as well as Chardonnay, and the Peter Max is his best value.
Syrah/Shiraz: Lismore Syrah 2014, Greyton, South Africa
A clear winner here, a wonderful story behind Sam O’Keefe who single handedly set up a winery miles from civilisation and now not only makes her own wines but also supplies grapes to some of South Africa’s top winemakers.
This rare, sought-after Syrah is a nod to the Rhone – classy, seductive and a wine that will age for years but is drinking well now and will go well with some classic British cheeses such as Old Winchester accompanied by some bright chutney.
Dessert: Kopke Colheita Blanco
With Colheita making a grand entrance to the UK market this last year, I was fascinated and blown away by the White Colheitas that I tried at Kopke’s cellar in Oporto.
Some of the best I tried were with age, and the older they are the more tropical and coconut the wine becomes, a brilliant refreshing match to the Christmas pudding.”