2018 Wine Highlights of the Year

Awards and Accolades

2018 Wine Highlights of the Year
2018 Wine Highlights of the Year 2018 Wine Highlights of the Year

The world of wine never stays still, and 2018 has seen many new arrivals at Rude HQ. Always on the search for wines we think you'll like, it's been a vintage year for great value bottles.

Early in the year, the Languedoc proved yet again it's home to some of France's best value wines. Blending Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache, Le Cadet de Lauriga is a case in point. Smooth, supple, powerful red that works a treat with Sunday roasts. Top Burgundy producer Albert Bichot introduced us to their superb Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. See what's so special with the elegant Horizon Chardonnay from Limoux.

Italian wines arrived by the boatload, from the northern Corvina, whose cherry-ish charms have proved a huge hit, to the warming flavours of southern Primitivo.

German arrivals proved that the best from here stick to the great varieties. Riesling and Pinot Gris at their fruitiest, moreish best.

Classic French regions Bordeaux and the Loire saw their ranks bolstered, thanks to cracking wines like this Cabernet Franc, all blackcurrant leaf aromas and refreshing, to smart Claret like La Chapelle du Couvent. The white Graves from Trebiac is outstanding too.

And, Portugal goes from strength to strength, proving astoundingly popular. With wines like the luscious Portada Reserva Blanco the impressive Casa Do Lago Cabernet, and the stellar Paxis Always on Friday Pinot Noir, it's not difficult to see why.

Kickstart your 2019 wine drinking by saving £30 on this highlights case.

It's been a busy year here at Rude HQ. From the Languedoc to the Loire, Bordeaux to Italy, Germany to Portugal, great value wines have been arriving non-stop. Taste the best of the bunch in this smart case, saving over 23% with this stellar collection.
0 review(s)
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1 xLe Cadet de Lauriga 2015, Côtes du Roussillon

1 xHorizon de Bichot Chardonnay 2017, Vin de France

1 xWalt Riesling 2017, Pfalz

1 xVilla Wolf Pinot Gris 2017, Pfalz

1 xTorre del Falasco Corvina 2016, Veneto

1 xPaolo Leo Primitivo 2016, Puglia

1 xPaxis Always on Friday Pinot Noir 2016, Lisboa

1 xCasa Do Lago Grande Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Lisboa

1 xPortada Reserva Blanco 2017, Lisboa

1 xClaude Michel Pichon Cabernet Franc 2016, Loire

1 xChâteau La Chapelle du Couvent 2015, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

1 xChâteau Trébiac Blanc 2017, Graves

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  • About The Wine

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Le Cadet de Lauriga 2015, Côtes du Roussillon

0 review(s)

Think Roussillon, think terrific red wine blends, like this mix of 3 varieties. Classic Sunday roast wine...

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

14.5

Region

Roussillon

Grape Variety

ArrayCarignan, Grenache / Garnacha, Syrah / Shiraz

Country

France

Style

ArrayMedium-Bodied Red, Unoaked Red

Vintage

2015

Food Match

ArrayBBQ, Game Meats, Mediterranean

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

An estate with 60ha covering three of the Roussillon’s key terroirs, Lauriga is known for producing red wines of classic character.

Whilst white and rosé wines are also made, it’s the Carignan and Grenache Noir that are stars here (with the help of some newcomers too, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvédre and Merlot.

Now part of Domaines Paul Mas, this has led to massive improvement in the wines, thanks to investment in both vineyards and winery facilities.

We import two red wines from Lauriga which we’ve chosen for their Roussillon character and terrific value for money.
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BBQ Lamb Kebabs

Pair grilled or barbecued lamb with lightly oaked reds - blends including Syrah or Grenache from southern France. Try the Le Cadet de Lauriga from Côtes du Roussillon for size. Full recipe

Horizon de Bichot Chardonnay 2017, Vin de France

0 review(s)

Take a renowned producer of exquisite Burgundy wines, let them loose in new territories, and what do you get? The Horizon de Bichot wines. Very smart French Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (sticking to their strengths) from the south-west of France. Not Burgundy, but every bit as spellbinding. As is the remarkably reasonable price

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

13.0

Region

Vin de France

Grape Variety

Chardonnay

Country

France

Style

ArrayCrisp Dry White, Oaked White

Vintage

2017

Food Match

ArrayGame Bird, Goats' Cheese, Shellfish

The Producer

The Bichot family settled in the Chateau of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois, Burgundy in 1350. The family’s coat of arms has not changed since nor has its symbol, a doe, or biche in French. Their wine heritage started in 1831 with Bernard who was a wine trader. It was his son, Hippolyte, who brought the first vines in Volnay and grandson, Albert, who rooted the Bichot name in Beaune from which the family business escalated. Since 1996 Bichot has been under Albéric Bichot who is completely focused on developing the future of the company without compromising family tradition or quality.
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Pea And Goats Cheese Risotto

Risottos pair well with both reds and whites so consider the other ingredients when choosing a wine match - the combination of sweet peas and salty goats cheese call for a vibrant white with lots of fruit flavour - the Horizon de Bichot Chardonnay. Full recipe

Walt Riesling 2017, Pfalz

0 review(s)

If you've ever wondered how far German white wines have come in recent years, look no further than this very delicious, and contemporary, Pfalz Riesling. Marvel at the way sweetness is perfectly poised with acidity, meaning you've a white wine that's sure to please everyone you give a glass to

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

11.0

Region

Pfalz

Grape Variety

Riesling

Country

Germany

Style

ArrayFruity Dry White, Unoaked White

Vintage

2017

Food Match

ArraySushi, Thai, White Fish

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

Ernst Loosen took over this German wine estate in 1996, having picked the Pfalz as the wine region where he'd make his dry wines. The Villa Wolf is used to label his excellent quality wines made from fruit grown outside his vineyard holdings and the Walt Riesling is produced by the Villa Wolf team.
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Crab Cakes

The delicate crab meat calls for a smooth, fruity, floral white which doesn't overpower the meat - try aromatic whites like the Walt Riesling which will naturally complement seafood dishes. Full recipe

Villa Wolf Pinot Gris 2017, Pfalz

0 review(s)

Gorgeously peachy from nose to finish, this vibrant, fruity Pinot Gris offers wide appeal along with a gentle price tag. Dry on the palate and refreshingly zesty, it’s an elegantly balanced sip. A touch of stony minerality lends complexity to the finish. Wine Enthusiast - 90 pts

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

11.0

Region

Pfalz

Grape Variety

Pinot Grigio / Gris

Country

Germany

Style

ArrayFruity Dry White, Unoaked White

Vintage

2017

Food Match

ArrayBlue Cheese, Sushi, Thai

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

Ernst Loosen took over this German wine estate in 1996, having picked the Pfalz as the wine region where he'd make his dry wines. The name 'Villa Wolf' is used to label his excellent quality wines made from fruit grown outside his vineyard holdings.
Find out more

Spicy Pork Curry

Try this aromatic pork dish with its layers of complex spice with a vibrant, ripe white (not too dry) which will balanced out the heat of the curry without overshadowing the rich flavours. The off-dry Villa Wolf Pinot Gris will work just perfectly. Full recipe

Torre del Falasco Corvina 2016, Veneto

0 review(s)

Corvina's a chameleon Italian grape variety. Responsible for Amarone, Recioto plus a host of deliciously refreshing cherry-fruited red wines. This is one. Extremely gluggable, oodles of mouthwatering flavours, it's a brilliant Italian all-rounder. Pizza to pasta, watching the Sopranos... it's the perfect wine

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

13.0

Region

Veneto

Grape Variety

Corvina

Country

Italy

Style

ArrayMedium-Bodied Red, Unoaked Red

Vintage

2016

Food Match

ArrayMediterranean, Pizza, Tomato-Based Dishes

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

Sourcing grapes from over 700 hectares of vineyards and 250 growers, the Cantina Valpantena is one of Italy's largest and best co-operatives, situated in the Valpantena valley, north of the city of Verona. Established in 1958, the co-operative now makes wines from the surrounding appellations, with the Torre del Falasco wines showing their commitment to quality.
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Blue Cheese Burgers

Burgers are red wine are a match made in heaven but don't forget the blue cheese element which could scuper your wine choice. To contrast the creamy, salty notes (not forgetting acidity) of the cheese, head to full, fruity reds with good acidity - fresh Italian styles such as Valpolicella are a good bet. Full recipe

Paolo Leo Primitivo 2016, Puglia

0 review(s)

It's thought Primitivo came to Puglia by way of the ancient Greeks. Today it makes some of southern Italy's most reliably rewarding red wines. Nothing 'primitive' about these wines; it refers to its early-ripening. A bold red wine that's so easy to enjoy

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

13.5

Region

Puglia

Grape Variety

Primitivo

Country

Italy

Style

ArrayFull-Bodied Red, Unoaked Red

Vintage

2016

Food Match

ArrayBeef, Chicken, Sausages

The Producer

The Paolo Leo winery has been in the same family hands for five generations, so has been well-placed to witness the dramatic changes in Puglian wine fortunes over the years.

The focus today is very much on producing Italian wines of real character and value, wines which reflect the rich history of Puglian wine.

The new winery was built in 1989 and boasts state of the art winemaking and ageing facilities. The investment Paolo Leo has made, both in their vineyards and in the winery, is clearly reflected in the outstanding quality of the wines.
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Chicken Paupiette filled with Sundried Tomato and Mushrooms

The multi-layered flavours of savoury mushroom, sweet, sun-dried tomato and rich aubergine and pepper calls for a bit of an all-rounder. A soft, easy-drinking red like our Paolo Leo Primitivo will cover all the required taste bases! Full recipe

Paxis Always on Friday Pinot Noir 2016, Lisboa

0 review(s)

Ripe and fruity Pinot Noir from Portugal's number one winemaker.

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

13.0

Region

Lisboa

Grape Variety

Pinot Noir

Country

Portugal

Style

ArrayMedium-Bodied Red, Oaked Red

Vintage

2016

Food Match

ArrayGame Meats, Pork, Rice Dishes

The Producer

Founded by winemaking legend José Neiva Correia in 1998, DJF Vinhos is located in the Lisboa region which stretches north along the coast from the capital Lisbon. A simple philosophy with an ambitious aim: to transform the rich and diverse Portuguese varieties into top quality wines that are accessible to all. Quality and value for money are key, and the estate even buys in used oak barrels and employ two coopers to take them apart and strip them back to the new wood – as good as new for a fraction of the price. DJF is not short of fans, with more awards than any other Portuguese producer of the last 20 years, including red wine of the year at the IWC and twice Portuguese Winery of the Year in the New York Wine Competition since 2012.
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Portuguese Salt Cod

The robust flavour of salt cod with spicy piri piri can stand up to a red wine such as a Pinot Noir. So there's no need to match this white fish with a white wine on this occasion - try the fruity, balanced Paxis with soft tannins to stand up to the rich fish and vibrant seasoning. Full recipe

Casa Do Lago Grande Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Lisboa

0 review(s)

This is soft and juicy with just a hint of a more tannic structure in the background. It is designed as an immediate easy-drinking wine, full of fruit and blackberry fruits. Wine Enthusiast

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

13.0

Region

Lisboa

Grape Variety

Cabernet Sauvignon

Country

Portugal

Style

ArrayFull-Bodied Red, Oaked Red

Vintage

2014

Food Match

ArrayBeef, Mediterranean, Sausages

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

Founded by wine-making legend José Neiva Correia in 1998, DJF Vinhos is located in the Lisboa region which stretches north along the coast from the capital Lisbon. A simple philosophy with an ambitious aim: to transform the rich and diverse Portuguese varieties into top quality wines that are accessible to all. Quality and value for money are key, and the estate even buys in used oak barrels and employ two coopers to take them apart and strip them back to the new wood – as good as new for a fraction of the price. DJF is not short of fans, with more awards than any other Portuguese producer of the last 20 years, including red wine of the year at the IWC and twice Portuguese Winery of the Year in the New York Wine Competition since 2012.
Find out more

Slow cooker Beef Brisket

A super-simple one pot recipe using a flavoursome cut of brisket. Try with a fruity, medium-bodied red to contrast nicely with the meaty, savoury sauce. Try the Casa Do Lago Grande Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon the black fruit and oak ageing will pair beautifully. Full recipe

Portada Reserva Blanco 2017, Lisboa

0 review(s)

This aromatic, floral wine has ripe apple and pear fruit and a rich, creamy texture. It has immediately attractive fruitiness and fully integrated acidity. A delicious wine to drink now. Wine Enthusiast 88 pts Best Buy

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

12.5

Region

Lisboa

Grape Variety

ArrayArinto, Chardonnay, Fernão Pires, Verdejo

Country

Portugal

Style

Rich, Complex White

Vintage

2017

Food Match

ArrayChicken, Salads & Herbs, Shellfish

The Producer

Founded by winemaking legend José Neiva Correia in 1998, DJF Vinhos is located in the Lisboa region which stretches north along the coast from the capital Lisbon. A simple philosophy with an ambitious aim: to transform the rich and diverse Portuguese varieties into top quality wines that are accessible to all. Quality and value for money are key, and the estate even buys in used oak barrels and employ two coopers to take them apart and strip them back to the new wood – as good as new for a fraction of the price! DJF is not short of fans, with more awards than any other Portuguese producer of the last 20 years, including red wine of the year at the IWC and twice Portuguese Winery of the Year in the New York Wine Competition since 2012.
Find out more

Spicy Pork Curry

Try this aromatic pork dish with its layers of complex spice with a vibrant, ripe white (not too dry) or sparkling wines which will balance out the heat of the curry without overshadowing the rich flavours. The fruitiness of the Portada Reserva will off-set the spice perfectly. Full recipe

Claude Michel Pichon Cabernet Franc 2016, Loire

0 review(s)

The red wines of the Loire Valley offer you some of France's true wine bargains. Whilst winemaking's improved massively in recent decades, prices haven't risen too much. So you'll be getting red wines that won't stretch the wallet and are superb value

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

12.5

Region

Loire

Grape Variety

Cabernet Franc

Country

France

Style

Medium-Bodied Red

Vintage

2016

Food Match

ArrayBeef, Blue Cheese, Pork

The Producer

Claude Michel Pichon is the sixth generation of the family to take the reins at the family estate in the heart of the Nantais vineyards of the Loire Valley. He expanded the domain's vineyards to a total of 92 hectares with the vines an average age of around 30 years old.
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Baked Stuffed Aubergine With Walnut and Roquefort

With a lot of strong, rich flavours in this baked dish, you need to match the salty cheese with acidic tomato, savoury aubergine and nuts. Try a medium to full-bodied red with enough fruit flavour to contrast with the saltiness in the cheese. Loire Cabernet France will match very well. Full recipe

Château La Chapelle du Couvent 2015, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

0 review(s)

Density, fruits and pleasure. This Blaye presents all the qualities of the 2015 vintage, at the same time concentration, density and volume. Round, supple and juicy in the mouth, this wine is already very pleasant to drink Andreas Larsson

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

13.5

Region

ArrayBordeaux, Côtes de Blaye

Grape Variety

ArrayCabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot

Country

France

Style

ArrayMedium-Bodied Red, Unoaked Red

Vintage

2015

Food Match

ArrayBeef, Lamb, Rice Dishes

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

The history of this Château la Chapelle du Couvent goes back to around the year 804, when a chapel was erected at the place where Charlemagne threw his spear after winning a battle. Situated on the slopes above the village of Plassac overlooking the Gironde, the estate has been owned by the Lorteaud family since 1960.

Blue Cheese Burgers with Sweet Potato Wedges

Burgers and red wine are a match made in heaven but don’t forget the blue cheese element which could scupper your wine choice. To contrast the creamy, salty notes of the cheese, head to full, fruity reds with good acidity. Full recipe

Château Trébiac Blanc 2017, Graves

0 review(s)

We're really chuffed with buyer Gerald's new Bordeaux wines. And this classic white Graves wine is one you'll love, if flavoursome whites that work wonderfully well with food is your thing.

Full Product Information

Percentage Alcohol

12.0

Region

Graves

Grape Variety

Semillon

Country

France

Style

ArrayCrisp Dry White, Unoaked White

Vintage

2017

Food Match

ArrayOily Fish, Rice Dishes, Shellfish

Vegan

Vegan

The Producer

Château de Trébiac lies on a gravel plateau at Portets, 35 km south of Bordeaux and over the past five years, has undergone a complete renovation, both in the vineyard and the cellar. You'll now find these Graves wines offer exceptional value, with all the classic hallmarks of this Bordeaux wine region.

Pea And Goats Cheese Risotto

Risottos pair well with both reds and whites so consider the other ingredients when choosing a wine match - the combination of sweet peas and salty goats cheese call for a vibrant white with lots of fruit flavour, Château Trébiac Blanc form Graves is a glorious wine that will match well. Full recipe

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