Long Live the independents! Jancis Robinson 13 Nov 2012

13 Nov 2012 by Jancis Robinson, Richard Hemming & Tamlyn Currin

"This array of more than 200 wines provides proof, we hope, of howinteresting the independent wine merchants of Britain are. However hardsupermarkets such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and to a certainextent Sainsbury's are currently working to demonstrate to the wine media thatthey also sell fine wine, I think it would be fair to say that few of the winesbelow would ever be found on a supermarket shelf."

Jancis selects the following Vine Trail wines after attending The Dirty Dozentasting in September - "a great collection of finds found by 12particularly enterprising importers. Vivent les indepéndants! They willnever be able to match the multiple retailers' prices for cheap wines, but see,for example, Domaine Directtreasures, which shows that they can sometimes - quite often infact - beat their prices for fine wine, for which experience is worth far morethan the size of the order."

Wines are grouped by country/region, and within those groups in order ofdescending score. GV = good value; QGV = quite good value; VGV = very goodvalue.

Agrapart etFils, Terroirs Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut NV Champagne 16 Drink2012-2016
Nicely complex and layered. Lip smacking. 12%
£33.50 Vine Trail

Bérèche &Fils, Réserve Brut NV Champagne 16 Drink 2012-2015
Easy and open textured with real attack. Bone dry and very sincere even if notthat old. QGV 12.5%
£25.50 Vine Trail

Gérard Boulay,Clos de Beaujeu 2010 Sancerre 16.5 Drink 2012-2016
Tingly/tangy. Very clean and limpid. Masses of personality and integrity. Hintof lychees. Distinction. 13%
£22.50 Vine Trail

Daniel Bouland,Vieilles Vignes 2009 Morgon 17 Drink 2012-2016
Polish, substance and structure. Very impressive. Real attack. VGV 13.5%
£12.25 Vine Trail

Gilles Berlioz2010 Vin de Savoie Chignin 16 Drink 2012-2014
100% Jacquère. Very, very delicate and subalpine. Delicacy personified.(Compare and contrast with Koshu.) Great care needed to decide how to servethis – apero? Perhaps slightly chewier than ideal? 11%
£11.95 Vine Trail

Gallety 2009Côtes du Vivarais 16.5 Drink 2011-2016
Still very dark crimson and lovely texture and development. So much smootherthan most southern Rhône wines with real interest and savour. Beautifully madewith some restraint. GV 14%
£16.96 Vine Trail

La Grange deQuatre Sous, Bu N'Daw Petite Arvine 2010 Vin de Table 17 Drink2012-2015
100% Petite Arvine from Assignan, Languedoc. Very enterprising to plant thisvariety here. Scented, herbal and with no shortage of either body or acidity.Really alpine and with great delicacy and freshness. Underpriced! 13%
£13.40 Vine Trail

Le Conte desFloris, Arès Blanc 2010 Coteaux du Languedoc 16.5 Drink2012-2016
Broad, spicy, complex and interesting. Enough freshness. Tight and herbal. Welldone! 13.5%
£14.95 Vine Trail