For Part #1 see here.
When you start to take more than a casual interest in wine, one of the first questions is often: how do I find good wines?
Masters of Wine have some of the best-trained palates in the world, so are a reliable guide to what is considered good in wine.
You don't have to agree with them, of course - preferences are highly personal. But it's a good idea to learn the rules before you can break the rules.
These three wines from Vineyard Productions all have something of a house style or family resemblance; beyond being merely well-made and adept, they have a food-friendly mid-palate savouriness from extended lees aging.
This is not, I'm told, a Vineyard Productions identikit approach, but rather just one of tools in founder Liam Steevenson's toolkit.
Liam grew up in the wine trade and was the youngest person to qualify as a Master of Wine; with an ambition to make wine but no actual vineyards, he set up a series of partnerships with various winemakers to make small amounts of wine using their grapes.
The plan was to start with very small quantities and deliver a proof of principle; if the wine worked and sold well, he would then seek to make it in larger quantities the following year. He now makes wines all over the world from Languedoc to New Zealand via Portugal, Spain and even India.
He also stocks
Céu na Terra Alvarinho 2019 (around £17)
Expressive Alvarinho from the inland part of Portugal's Vinho Verde area, this is closer in style to a kiwi Sauvignon blanc; fuller bodied with some skin contact for gentle tannins and lees aging for depth, it is fresh and zippy.
It is made by Quinta de Santiago just inside the Portuguese border from grapes grown on clay (for fruit) with a mixture of Atlantic climate (for freshness) and some continental influence (for ripeness).
Aromatic and complex nose with zesty tropical fruits, lemon curd and brioche; full, supple and refreshing with lemongrass, lime marmalade and savoury, saline minerality.
Drinks nicely on first pouring but can be aged for several years.
Fresh enough for an aperitif, it will match with white meat and herbs: pork terrine, monkfish in broth or Moules marinière
Fincher & Co. The Dividing Line Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 (around £20)
Hand picked, straight to barrel feral ferment and left until November - then a blend selection is taken place and prepped for bottling in February
The wines shows quite dramatic funk and citrus notes with underlying exotic fruits and floral tones.
The extended time on natural lees give the wine an unexpected texture as well as a deliciously nutty character. A full bodied style of Sauvignon Blanc with a dried herbal edge, vibrant acidity and a long, persistent finish
Match with grilled fish especially squid or swordfish. Dishes with herbs and greens - salmon with dill, for instance, but great with recipes that contain basil, coriander, rocket and especially mint. Salads with goats cheese and feta, asparagus, avocado or grilled red peppers, fresh tomato salads or salads with fennel, mango or papaya
El Garbi Blanco Terra Alta 2019 (around £24)
Grenache blanc from high sites in north eastern Spain near the Mediterranean coast.
Rich and textured with apricot, golden apple and sweet spice; toasted brioche, fennel and aniseed with a long lingering finish; full and supple.
Pairs with a diverse range of food flavours, particularly suited to richly spiced dishes especially those containing cumin. Try with chicken satay, Chinese 5-spice sea bass, tempura shrimp, lobster, Moroccan tagine, roasted pork shoulder or creamy cheeses.