Steven Spurrier's top wines to take out from the cellar

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Steven Spurrier from cellar 2013, Vieux Télégraphe blanc

From the cellar: A Rhône weekend

Mark Savage MW and his wife coming to stay in Dorset was a good excuse to focus on the Rhône Valley. The first evening kicked off with Billecart- Salmon, Cuvée Elizabeth Salmon Rosé 2002, beautifully poised and delicate, then down to Châteauneuf-du-Pape with three wines from Domaine de Vieux Télégraphe: white 2006, young looking, fragrant and enticingly southern; red 1998 from magnum, firm and garriguey, with vigour and length, almost claret in structure; and red 1995, richer and deeper, more Grenache, all black fruits; superb. While all three had a good future, my last bottle of Château de Beaucastel 1981 was a revelation of lissom fruit and middle sweetness that grew in the glass, perfect in its fourth decade.

The next evening we began with Pol Roger, Blanc de Blanc 1998 from grand cru vineyards, combining florality and precision; leading to Château Grillet 2006, one of the rarest single winery appellations, whose density of stone fruits and rich but dry finish places it above all the nearby Condrieus. Then, still in the north, a marvellously elegant Noël Verset, Cornas 1999. To end in the Loire, the mature richness of Prince Poniatowski’s Vouvray 1976. The Savages must come again.

Taken from the June 2013 issue of Decanter magazine

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