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  • Roger Jones’ Christmas Six: the chef’s top wines of 2016

    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.

    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.

    mm By December 22, 2016
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    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

    Christmas Six

    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

    Christmas Six

    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.

    Christmas Six
    And after a barrel of Colheita, Roger… a waffer thin mint?

    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.”

    1. Reply

      Good choices Roger.

      I discovered Ancre Hill before they had even sold a bottle as it featured in our Guide to the Wines of England and Wales published back in 2008. (Wish I could find someone to sponsor an update!) Their commitment to producing quality fizz was obvious then and I see that they have really made the grade now.

      We describe Clos St. Hune Riesling as arguably the greatest dry expression of the variety in the region and one of the greatest anywhere in the world, so I am really in agreement with that one.

      Rick Kinzbrunner’s Giaconda Chardonny 2013 was one of my highlight bottles in 2015 and I’m sure that the 2008 would still confirm Rick’s award as one of our groundbreaking winemakers in the last edition of Wine behind the label.

      I don’t know either of the South African reds but the quality of South African wines generally have improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years.

      And as for Colheita – Niepoort is my fave at the moment!

      • Reply

        Great choices Roger, especially Ancre Hill.
        Best wishes. Robert Giorgione

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