The Wine Mixtape

Words: Simon Reilly   Photography by Root + Bone

The Wine Mixtape

Article from Root + Vine


In October we launched a one-off wine publication called Root + Vine. There are still some available to buy from the Magazine Subscriptions section, or just

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If you haven't already seen it, here's a sneak preview of the final article. We think it might be helpful if you're looking for tips on some decent wine for the festive period. We asked each fo the guest writers to choose a wine and we made our own mixtape. Enjoy.

The mixtape

If you’ve got this far through the magazine, you’re probably a bit of a wine geek. If you’re anything like me, the wine geekery in you started as just another excuse to obsess about something, to feed your inner-geek. Then you got a bit carried away, and there’s no way back. Before I was a wine geek, I was a music geek. In my experience, most wine geeks were too. As a teenager I obsessively created mixtapes on blank cassettes (I recall TDK being the brand of choice for the connoisseur), competing with my mates to compile the best mix, using ever more leftfield tracks. I was secretly trying to impress them with my amazing, eclectic taste in music; a bit like selecting the wines for a dinner party these days, to be honest. In homage to the humble cassette mixtape, we have created a wine mixtape to celebrate issue 1 of Root + Vine, featuring a wine selection from each of our guest writers.
1 Celia Bryan-Brown
Pedro’s Almacenista Selection Palo Cortado
£15.99 from Majestic
Pedro first handed me a bottle of this to smuggle into the Alcazar. I’ve been revisiting it this summer: the dizzying heatwave combined with my white-walled roof terrace, swathed with creeping jasmine, feels as much like Seville as anywhere. My outrage on discovering our local Sainsburys doesn’t stock Marcona almonds is equal only to the pleasure taken in slow sips of this, as rich and dry as any oxymoron.
2 Mark Haisma
Mark Haisma Vin de France Syrah/Grenache 2016
£17 from Vinoteca
As for wine I have no idea, but why not my Vin de France Syrah/Grenache 2016?? But probably better to have a different producer? (Ed – nah, don’t worry Mark, we love it too!)
3 Sophie Thorpe
2016 Luke Lambert, Crudo Shiraz, Yarra Valley, Australia
£24.50 from Honest Grapes
Ok, it’s not mega cheap, but this — an entry-level Syrah from the young and talented Luke Lambert — is superb. It’s a juicy, perfumed, elegant expression of New World fruit (and very much unrecognisable alongside ‘typical’ Aussie Shiraz), made by a rock star of a winemaker. He’ll soon be focusing just on Nebbiolo, and the Crudo range is no longer being made due to a trademark issue, so get it while you can. Its supple structure makes it easy to drink alone, but this red-fruited beauty would be excellent with lamb chops, sausages or whatever’s on the menu, to be honest.
4 Miquel Hudin
Sangenís i Vaqué Vall Por 2006
£23 from Berry Brothers & Rudd
This wine is everything that’s great about Priorat: hearty poise with delicate balance and a blend of mostly Grenache and Carignan (the two principal grapes). Not only that, it’s made by a family that has produced wines in the region for over eight generations, its name means ‘Scary Valley’ and — best of all — they’re unique in that they hold back their upper-end wines until ready to drink. This 2006 is just blissful right now.
5 Ben Walgate
Descendientes de J Palacios, Pétalos, Bierzo 2015
£17.99 from Majestic
Perhaps more conventional than I tend to drink these days, but when I first got into this a few years ago, I thought it was amazing value (and it still is). Floral, mineral and generally intense Mencia.
6 Aaron Ayscough
Domaine Chapel Beaujolais-Villages 2017
£18.77 from Uncharted Wines
The ideal Beaujolais-Villages: unfiltered, low-sulphur, agile and lithe, with a precise yet juicy white-cherry fruit. 2017 is just the domaine’s second vintage, and their first from this promising parcel in the underrated village of Lantignié.
7 Joss Fowler
2015 Kumeu River Coddington Vineyard Chardonnay
£24 from The Wine Society
If you have an interest in wine and you’re not a member of the Wine Society, then you should join today — there are few better places to buy wine. Kumeu River makes Chardonnays that will frequently embarrass the very best white wines from Burgundy. This is a big, rich style; you could decant it, serve it blind and tell your guests that they are drinking Premier Cru Meursault, and a good one too (not something you can usually do for £24 a bottle).
8 Morgan Dunn
Radikon Pinot Grigio Sivi 2016
£35 from Buon Vino
This is a great one to get people started on orange. You get a little tannin, but there’s still lots of fresh cut peach and citrus on the nose and palate.
9 Henry Jeffreys
Biblia Chora Areti 2016
£19.15 from Cava Spiliadis
Santorini’s great grape Assyrtiko works on the mainland too. Drunk young it’s hugely tangy, think lemon, grapefruit and sea salt, but keep it a few years and it will start to taste like a Hunter valley semillon.
10 Doug Wregg
2017 Trebbiano Frizzante Secco Camillo Donati
£18 from Les Caves De Pyrene
This is a pét-nat (sparkling wine) from a biodynamic producer in Emilia-Romagna. This humble grape is transformed by fermenting the skins; the result is a cloudy fizz with wonderful aromas of autumnal fruits (golden pears), hedgerow flowers and exotic spice. It’s like spring and autumn in a single glass!
11 Ruth Spivey
Prunecchio Bianco Toscana IGT
£15 from Salon Wine Store in Brixton
An organic blend of Sauvignon, Trebbiano and Malvasia; Prunecchio is the name of the vineyard. This wine is really versatile and despite it being made from grapes I don’t normally run to — and from a region better known for its reds — it still delivers. One to go for when you want uncomplicated freshness and balance over big shouty flavours or any sort of extremity.
12 Tom Cannavan
Case Bianche, Prosecco Superiore ‘Vigna del Cuc’ 2017
£15.00 from Bat & Bottle
Prosecco? Really? If ever proof were needed that not all Prosecco is created equal, this is it. From a single, south-facing vineyard in the prime Conegliano / Valdobbiadene zone, just a few hectares of old vines are reserved exclusively for this cuvée. It is made with a longer maceration on the grape skins before fermentation, to maximise flavours, and is a particularly dry and grown-up style. Floral, lime peel and crunchy apple aromas lead on to a mouth-watering palate, a pithy lemon and grapefruit acidity asserting itself against the prettier fruit flavours, to give an intensity rarely found in Prosecco.