This spring, the pubs and wine bars may be closed but the wine producers and merchants certainly aren’t. As the days stretch in length, warm afternoons at home invite us to crack open a crisp bottle of white wine or blushing rosé, ensuring quarantine is that more pleasant. From lesser-known producers to organic types and some of the most beautiful English labels, here is our pick of the best brands that can deliver straight to your door.
Domaine Clarence Dillon is a family company managed by the fourth generation of a dynasty founded in 1935 by its namesake, Clarence Dillon. Since its creation, the company has been celebrating the French art de vivre, combining exceptional wines and ultimate gastronomy. This spring, their Clarendelle wines inspired by Haut-Brion are readily online and available to be delivered straight to your front door. Catering to every taste and palate and offering a spoiling drinking experience from your own home, the collection includes the Clarendelle Blanc 2018 with fresh fruit and citrus aromas, the Clarendelle Medoc 2016 – a beautifully concentrated wine with hints of black cherries on the nose and the Clarendelle Rose 2018 the first Rose wine produced in the history of Domaine Clarence Dillon, boasting delicious flavours of tangy red fruit, ripe citrus, pink grapefruit and tropical fruits. Clarendelle wines are available to buy directly from their website, from La Cave du Chateau.com and LaithwaitesWines.co.uk.
Phone: 33 (0) 556 010 010
Justerini and Brooks
With spring fully underway and the nights getting lighter, fine wine and spirit merchant, Justerini and Brooks has carefully selected a set of beautiful wines to enjoy as the temperatures start to rise for summer. This includes a 2018 Prestige Rosé from Domaine Montrose, and a Sancerre Pinot, rosé from Lucien Crochet. Established in 1749, the quintessentially English brand was awarded their first Royal Warrant by King George III in 1761 and are proud to have been granted this honour by every successive British monarch since, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Phone: 44 (0)20 7484 6430
Domaine du Météore
Météore wines are named after the 300-meter-wide meteorite crater which sits at its heart in the foothills of the Haut-Languedoc mountains and where their wines grow. Owners, Dr Paul Jenkins and Dr Paul Jarman create wines that truly give a sense of terroir with the Cevennes Mountains to the north sheltering the Domaine from harsh winds, creating a down current of cool air that gives their wines freshness and acidity. They make their wines in small volumes using organic methods and are working towards being fully biodynamic too. They believe this is the best way to create wines that truly express their terroir, with each cuvée telling a different story.
Phone: 33 (0) 4 67 90 21 12
Wanderlust – translating into as ‘a strong desire to travel’ is an ethos Wanderlust Wines use in the context of supplying new wines, regions and styles which enables them to keep exploring and pushing the boundaries of the world of wine. Offering sustainable, quality wine made by small producers with honesty and love, this spring they are delivering organically farmed and biodynamic wines to your front door via a contactless courier service. Next day delivery is available across the UK along with their wine on demand service for Londoners within the hour.
Phone: 44 (0) 203 633 9086
Lyme Bay winery
The Lyme Bay Winery is a small and dedicated west country company passionate about producing delicious, award-winning English Wines from their home in Devon’s beautiful Axe Valley. Under the watchful eye of their brilliant winemaking team and using secret blends of local ingredients, they take great care crafting traditional recipes into award-winning wines, tailored to the 21st-century palette. This spring enjoy their 2018 vintage shoreline with well-balanced and refreshing with complex layers or their Brut Reserve English wine – a fruit-driven sparkling wine that displays refreshing lemon and green apple notes, with a vibrant and creamy mousse finish.
Phone: 44 (0) 1297 551355
London’s 35-year-old local wine merchant successfully fuses traditional wine savoir-faire with a modern approach to service with each of its eight stores at the heart of their own local London community. With a long history of procuring and selling an extensive range of wines, they pride themselves on the ability to find the most interesting wines, covering an extensive range sourced at the most competitive price. As we hit the warmer depths of Spring, they recommend a stunning rosé to while away the evenings: a 2018 Mountain Tides Clements Hills AVA, Rosé of Petite Sirah, a vessel of pure energy and freshness. Providing an aromatic complexity with subtle notes of frozen strawberries, salty sea air, and honeydew, the rosé is incredibly refreshing and shines when complemented with food. Jeroboams are now also offering free deliveries to the over 70s within the M25.
Phone: 44 (0)207 288 8888
The Finest Bubble
Champagne same-day delivery company The Finest Bubble are making living rooms bubble every Friday evening with their newly launched weekly Instagram Live tastings: The Friday Bubble. Serving up hour-long tasting sessions on various grape-led topics, customers can choose to pre-order one of their ‘famous five’ champagnes to indulge in. We sampled a bottle of Laurent Perrier 2008 and Taittinger 2012 – The Laurent Perrier 2008 was a wonderfully poised blend with equal parts Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, with the toasty aromas creating a palate of grapefruit, almond, and white flowers. Our preferred, the Taittinger 2012, held a pale radiant yellow colour with an abundance of fine bubbles, forming an intense, sweet fruitiness, radiating scents of lemon and mandarin with a flowery touch of acacia honey. Stocking over 200 bottles of champagne, bottles can be ordered online as little as two hours ahead of time (if you’re in London) or the day before the tasting if elsewhere in the UK.
Phone: 44 (0) 20 7359 1608
A firm favourite for the ladies, family-owned Hampshire winery have just launched STILL, its first range of premium still wines, leading with a 2019 Rosé and a 2016 Pinot Noir to follow later in the year. Housed in a beautiful bottle with their stand-out butterfly branding, we tried the light and elegant STILL Rosé – sourced from prime Kent and Berkshire vineyards. Using the freshest fruit picked just before rainfall, the wine is processed in the saignée method and fermented in stainless steel tanks for five months, giving it a delicate yet vibrant acidity. Dry with refreshing notes of red fruit, the exquisite pale pink wine paired perfectly with Asian prawn salad, grilled fish or shellfish and is the ideal accompaniment for al fresco dining as the evenings get lighter. The limited-edition bottle of STILL Rosé is £14 and a STILL Rosé case is £84 and can be ordered via their website.
Phone: 44 (0) 125 638 9188
Jascots Wine Merchants
Trade wine supplier Jascots Wine Merchant is at the heart of hospitality, championing quality wine and service. Transforming into a home-delivery wine merchant overnight to appease their customer’s appetite for quality grapes they’re now offering, for a limited time only, wines plus great mixed case deals at trade prices. Our favourite of the bunch was a stunningly delicate, award-winning South of France Mon Rosé de Montrose 2018, characterised by the ‘Three Lizards’ coat and a beautiful bright salmon colour with raspberry reflections. Containing nose clear, fruity-fresh aromas of red and citrus fruits, this bottle compliments the lighter evenings perfectly, paired with salads, canapes, and barbecues.
Phone: 44 (0) 20 8965 2000