What to drink this week
Anything from Davy’s Wine Merchants
Some wine merchants fly—pretty successfully—under the radar. They may not be as familiar as certain others with a presence in the high street or storied premises in St James’s, or beloved national institutions such as the Wine Society, but they deserve to be better known.
Why you should be buying from them
For instance, I only recently cottoned on to the fact that the excellent chain of Davy’s Wine Bars, concentrated in the City of London, also operates an equally impressive retail outfit under the name of Davy’s Wine Merchants. There are obvious advantages in having a steady customer in the form of 23 wine bars, as James Davy, representing the fifth generation of this family business, founded in 1870, explained.
What to buy
A star at the recent Davy’s tasting was the grower Champagne house of Duménil. Duménil Grande Reserve Brut (below, £31.95/£30.35 case price; www.davywine.co.uk), made from one third each of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, has lovely richness from a high proportion of reserve wine and excellent balance. Even more tight and structured is Duménil Les Pêcherines Vieilles Vignes Brut (£39.95/£37.95). Davy’s is also strong on white Burgundy. For everyday drinking, its chalky and fresh Côteaux Bourguignon Blanc Le P’tit Bonheur Maison Pascal Prunier-bonheur (£17.95/ £17.05) is excellent value. Another strength is the Rhône. I especially enjoyed the peachy and beautifully textured Condrieu Les Ravines Domaine Rémi Niero 2016 (£37/£35.15) and the spicy, soft, full-bodied Cairanne Cuvée Col du Débat Domaine Les Hautes Cances 2015 (£26.50/£25.18).
This family business deserves to be better known, believes Harry Eyres