Anthony Rose: "Magnums bring a bit of majesty"

 

Anthony Rose
Saturday 08 November 2014 01:00
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Size isn't everything, but having a magnum on the dinner table undoubtedly brings a bit of majesty. The wine in a 1.5cl bottle generally keeps better, so if you were thinking of laying the wine down, it is well-served by this bottle.

Marks & Spencer showed a number of impressive magnums of fizz at its autumn tasting. From England's South Downs, Mike Roberts' 2000 Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs, an online exclusive at £75, is mature and toastily rich. M&S also has one of the best non-vintage champagnes in magnum, the exceptional Pol Roger, £79, whose mousse tones are shot through with biscuity flavours. Then there is the crowd-pleasing Prosecco Magnum from Masottina, £19.99, M&S.

Rioja is making a big splash in magnums, too. The 2008 Muga Reserva Rioja, £29, The Wine Society, whose magnum offers strawberry and vanilla oak. Or the 2005 Contino Gran Reserva Rioja, around £100, Berry Bros, D Byrne & Co, The Wine Society, The Leamington Wine Co, Harrods, is a silky tinto.

Bodega Chacra's 2013 Barda Pinot Noir, £44.75, Lea & Sandeman, comes from Piero Incisa della Rochetta's Patagonian vineyard, currently producing the best pinot in Argentina, it's bright and fresh and raspberryish. In contrast, the 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Villalta Classico, £45 (or £25 in 75cl bottle), Marks & Spencer, is rich in cherry and raisin aromas derived from the rich corvina grapes left to shrivel and concentrate over the winter. Serve it with Comté or Pecorino – you won't be dissapointed.

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