Earlier this month Davy’s Wine Merchants held their annual Vintner’s Hall Tasting, a highlight of the year for many people who come and try some excellent wines in order to do a stock up for Christmas.
For those of you unfamiliar with Davy’s Wine Merchants, the business was established back in 1870 and to this day remains an independent, fifth generation family-owned company, operating a thriving wine merchants’ business with wholesale, online and private cellars operations. Davy’s also have wine bars right across London, from St. James’s in the West End to Greenwich on the outskirts of the city.
I popped along to Vintner’s Hall at lunchtime, when it was a bit quieter, to have a look at the wine selection and speak with some of the suppliers, importer partners and experts on hand there, as well as taste some of the superb wines that were being showcased.
The range included Davy’s exclusives and wines from a selection of importers the merchants work with closely, with wines being available by the bottle or you could order them as part of a mixed case.
As I made my way around the larger of the two rooms, the first table showcased champagne and red and white wines from Italy by Mark Bingley, while at the next table Emanuele Barrasso had some sparkling and red wines from Italy. Meanwhile the adjacent table was showcasing three Tuscany reds from David Green.
The next table had a range of Bordeaux and new world Bordeaux blends from Leigh Claridge, while another table offered a selection of Davy’s established favourites from Martin Everett.
Georgie Wetton was showcasing some iconic wines from famous names at the table next door, which included wines from Argentina, Australia and Italy, whilst the Davy’s team also had a range of iconic wines from famous names from the same regions at the neighbouring table.
The Davy’s team also had a selection of new releases as well as some old favourites from Italy, Spain and Napa Valley in the United States on the final table.
As there were so many really good wines from the producers and some fabulous Riojas, which I love, I thought I would highlight a few that caught my attention.
The first was Champagne Duménil, which is an independent Champagne House that continues to draw on the expertise that has been handed down through five generations of the family. Both Frederique and Hugues Poret-Duménil are passionate about both the vineyard and the wine and craft champagnes they produce on their land which is situated in Chigny-les-Roses, Rilly la Montagne, Ludes and Sacy.
If you like organic wines, then Domaine Bousquet is worth checking out. The Bousquet family relocated to the foothills of the Andes from the South of France in 1997 with the aim of bringing together their traditional French winemaking practices along with the ideal agricultural conditions Mendoza had to offer. They are passionate about organic winemaking and all Domaine Bousquet wines are certified both organic and vegan.
A little closer to home, Hoffmann & Rathbone is a boutique winery located in the small village of Mountfield in East Sussex, creating small quantities of ultra-premium, modern sparkling wine using traditional methods and aged for long periods. As Ulrich Hoffmann says:
“Nothing is released until it is ready to be sold and unless it is worthy of the brand.”
Lastly, the Prüm name has been synonymous with quality wine production in the Mosel region of Germany for generations, where the family has been cultivating vineyards and producing wine since 1156. S A Prüm was the original dominant Prüm name until 1911 when different parts of the family decided to go their own way. Alois Prüm’s grandson established the winery in 1911 and over the past 50 years it has been modernised and the vineyards further developed, producing consistently good wines with a loyal international following.
So, if you are looking for some good quality wines for the festive season, the Davy’s team have put together their recommendations which you can take a look at here: www.davywine.co.uk/christmas
Alternatively, if you are looking for a great venue for your Christmas get together, be it with family and friends or business colleagues, then you could try one of the 12 Davy’s Wine Bars across London.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs by Simon Burrell