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2019 Vouvray Plaisir Ancestrale, Domaine Vincent Carême White | Still | 13%

For complexity, depth of flavour, and interest, it’s hard to beat this ancestral method sparkling wine from Vincent Carême. So vinous and lively, it’s delicious in youth, and fascinating with some age. It’s made by transferring the still sweet and fermenting grape juice into bottle, and then trapping the subsequent carbon dioxide as it continues to ferment to dryness in the bottle. No dosage is added, though the spent yeast cells are expelled, leaving a brilliant, crystalline sparkling wine behind. It has such a wonderful depth and complexity on the nose, with a vinous structure on the palate, and a salty zing. The creamy mousse wraps around crunchy apple fruit. Experience from tasting back vintages of this cuvée shows me this wine ages brilliantly, and will develop complex depth, and savoury precision with a few years in bottle.

Ready: 2022 - 2030
2021 Clos de L'Ecotard Saumur Blanc, Thibaud & Michel Chevré Dry | White | Still | 12.5%

Thibaud Chevré is a seriously exciting young talent in the Loire. His father spent a magnificent career working with Thierry Germain, and this wonderful vineyard - Clos de l'Ecotard - was the first parcel the father-and-son team bought. It's found right on the edge of the Saumur’s border with Anjou, and its highly active limestone and clay soil produces taut and nervous wines that reverberate with tension and energy, even in warmer years. They only use horses to plough it, but the extra hard work is worth it. The 2021 sees them realising the toil of the past decade, bringing to fruition a truly magnificent Chenin Blanc. It is so expressive, bursting with chalky, saline drive, and a flash of green pineapple freshness. A brilliant Chenin Blanc from a formidably good year for Loire whites. Exclusive to Lay & Wheeler in the UK.

Ready: 2023 - 2034
2018 Vouvray Plaisir Ancestrale, Domaine Vincent Carême White | Still | 13.5%

This sparkling wine is made by transferring the still sweet and fermenting grape juice into bottle, and then trapping the subsequent carbon dioxide as it continues to ferment to dryness in the bottle. No dosage is added, though the spent yeast cells are expelled, leaving a brilliant, crystalline sparkling wine behind. It has such a wonderful depth and complexity on the nose, with a vinous structure on the palate, and a salty zing. The creamy mousse wraps around crunchy apple fruit. Experience from tasting back vintages of this cuvée shows me this wine ages brilliantly, and will develop complex depth, and savoury precision with a few years in bottle. It’s one of the most exciting wines on the list this year.

Ready: 2021 - 2030
2020 Calvarino, Pieropan, Soave Classico Magnum White | Still | 12.5%

The Pieropan family were the first to bottle and release a single vineyard wine in the region, this was the Calvarino vineyard that is planted to 60 year old vines on very steep slopes. The basalt soils help to produce a wine that has great finesse and a saline core. Expect florals, red apple, ginger and honey notes as well as a zesty acidity with herbal hints and an attractive phenolic grip.

Ready: 2021 - 2030
2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo, Fontodi, Tuscany Magnum Dry | Red | Still | 14.5%

Ready: 2024 - 2042
2019 Vigneto Bucerchiale, Selvapiana, Tuscany Dry | Red | Still | 14%

A single vineyard Sangiovese, from the area of Rufina, the 2019 Vigneto Bucerchiale is intense and pure with incredible concentration and freshness. Old vines dating back to 1968 allow the wine to have a concentration and complexity that's rarely seen in the region. This is a remarkable wine that stands up to many of the top wines of Tuscany’s greatest estates.

Ready: 2024 - 2040
Critic Score
87/100
2021 Chinon Le Temps des Cerises, Domaine de la Noblaie, Jérôme Billard Dry | Red | Still | 13%

This is such a juicy, inviting delight. It has wonderfully primary floral notes, and Cabernet Franc’s structured freshness. Zappy and delicious, and brilliant if served a little chilled.

Ready: 2022 - 2025
2021 Cornas Cuvée Casimir Balthazar, Franck Balthazar
Cellar Circle Exclusive
Dry | Red | Still | 13%

Casimir is a blend of fruit from the younger vines of the domaine grown across a few parcels. Like the Chaillot it is made with 100% whole bunch fruit, and aged in old oak barrels, using minimal sulphur dioxide additions. There is plenty to get excited about here, particularly if you like the wilder side of Cornas, as this cuvée plays with volatility in a beautiful way.

Young: 2025 - 2038

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2021 Cornas Chaillot, Franck Balthazar
Cellar Circle Exclusive
Dry | Red | Still | 13%

This is the pinnacle of the Balthazar cellar - a Cornas that defines Franck’s style for making complex and ethereal Cornas from old vine fruit. The 2021 shows impressive tension, with a superbly long, silky finish. This is Cornas at its very best.

Young: 2026 - 2040

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2021 Pommard En Brescul, Domaine Violot-Guillemard Dry | Red | Still | 13%

This village wine is 100% destemmed and has a sapid, redcurrant, spiced pomegranate character, with long, lightly structured tannins holding it together. This is a great entry point for one of Pommard’s most promising new voices.

Young: 2026 - 2036
2019 Reserve White, Reyneke, Stellenbosch Dry | White | Still | 13.5%

Dubbed one of the "world's greatest Sauvignon Blancs" by Tim Atkin MW, the 2019 Reserve White is a really lovely wine. Fine-boned and suave, with notes of grapefruit and lime cordial, and plenty of spice too. A hint of reduction ensures it remains restrained, as well as hints at future greatness.

Ready: 2022 - 2032
2020 La Rocca, Pieropan, Soave Classico White | Still | 13%

The Pieropan family were the first to bottle and release a single vineyard wine in the region, recognising the potential of the region with its rolling hillsides and complex soils. La Rocca comes from a limestone dominant vineyard, truly unique to the region. Aged on its lees for 15 months in a mix of large oak casks and stainless steel the wine has a density to its palate as well as a hint of almonds and creaminess. Ginger spice, pink grapefruit and fresh mango notes are supported by verbena and floral aromas.

Ready: 2021 - 2030
2019 Cornerstone, Reyneke, Stellenbosch Magnum Dry | Red | Still | 13.5%

A wine with an amazing story, where the proceeds go to helping the workers on Johan Reyneke's farm, this Bordeaux blend is classically styled, with just enough South African energy. It's a total bargain: this with a barbecue (or a Braai!) will be heaven.

Ready: 2022 - 2033
2021 Soave Classico, Pieropan White | Still | 12%

85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave, this white is full of citrus and white stone fruit aromas, combined with a subtle herbal nose. The palate displays attractive white floral elements as well as lemon verbena and a saline quality that is supported by the wine’s zesty acidity. This wine is beautiful in its youth but is also well worth ageing where it will develop more savoury elements.

Ready: 2022 - 2032
2022 Sancerre Les Denisottes, Domaine Claude Riffault Dry | White | Still | 14%

Staggering attention to detail is paid by Stéphane Riffault in both the vineyard and cellar. He is unquestionably making some of the most exciting wines in the appellation. They stand out for their tightly coiled, supercharged concentration. This is Sauvignon Blanc as you've never known it before: powerful, with a filigree, piercing, precise freshness. It is Burgundian in stature. It comes from a parcel grown on Kimmeridgian marl, known locally as terres blanches, which produces wines full of flavour and texture. Long, slow fermentations in large oak foudres encourage complex savoury expression from the Sauvignon Blanc. This is not to be missed.

Ready: 2025 - 2036
2022 Sancerre Les Chasseignes, Domaine Claude Riffault Dry | White | Still

This is an exciting new addition to our Claude Riffault offering. Like Denisottes and Chailloux, this is a single vineyard cuvée that shows Stéphean'e dexterity and skill in abundance. It is concentration and intensity you only find in the very best Suavignon Blancs. It also shows the ripe fullness of the vintage, and will drink well from early on.

Ready: 2024 - 2036
Critic Score
99/100
2022 Ermitage Le Méal Blanc, M. Chapoutier Dry | White | Still

This impressive white comes from 50-year-old+ Marsanne vines, is whole-bunch pressed and is fermented half in 600l oak foudres, half in vats. The vineyards are south facing, and are always the first to be harvested. This is full-bodied, concentrated, powerful and intense on the palate with notes of fresh pear, honey and hazelnuts. Yet a lean, freshness prevails. Incredibly impressive.

Young: 2026 - 2036
Critic Score
97/100
2022 Ermitage de L'Orée Blanc, Chapoutier Dry | White | Still

Ermitage De l'Orée comes from 60-70 year-old Marsanne vines from lieu-dit “Les Murets” at the top of the hill. Perfumed with white flowers, stone fruit and quince, the palate is wonderfully textured, with zippy acidity and a chalky, mineral finish. Expertly-judged.

Young: 2026 - 2036
2022 Ermitage Les Greffieux, Chapoutier Dry | Red | Still

This parcel sits at the bottom of the Hermitage hill on alluvial soils. In 2022 it is fleshy and full, with notes of fragrant red and black fruit, game and cracked black pepper. It is detailed, pure, elegant and complex. Utterly charming.

Young: 2026 - 2042
Critic Score
97/100
2022 Ermitage Le Méal, M. Chapoutier Dry | Red | Still

50-year-old Syrah vines grow in the high terraces of shingle and clay on the Hermitage hillside. This is rounded, with a voluminous texture and superb notes of dark fruits, black cherry, smoked meat, leather and a hint of dried rose petal. There is impressive complexity, with layers that build and build.

Young: 2026 - 2042
Critic Score
96/100
2022 Ermitage Le Pavillon, M. Chapoutier Dry | Red | Still

Coming from a 65 year old parcel, on the all-granite soils of lieu-dit Les Bessards, Le Pavillon displays cassis, blackberry and cracked black pepper notes. On the palate, the tannins are fine and swept along with fresh acidity, underpinned with a lovely, smokiness. This is a captivating Hermitage.

Young: 2026 - 2044