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The Ultimate
Cellar case

Six of the most exceptional wines from Waitrose Cellar
The Ultimate Cellar Case
Xenia Irwin - Buyer, wines, beers & spirits, Waitrose Cellar

Enjoy a taste of the best in our new Waitrose Cellar...

Xenia Irwin, MW

Master of Wine at Waitrose

Take a tasting tour with our wine buying team...

To celebrate the launch of Waitrose Cellar, our wine buyers each chose their personal favourite from the 1,200 bottles that make up our range. The result? Our Ultimate Cellar Case.

Inside are six exceptional wines from modern classics to old masters, and gems we’ve uncovered on our travels. There’s something for everyone - from a trusty red to match Sunday’s roast beef, to a bottle of fizz for that special occasion. Read on to discover why our wine buyers handpicked these wines for this fantastic mixed case.

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Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 1er Cru Montmains

“A classic Chablis full of character”

This is no ordinary Chablis – it’s a Premier Cru from one of the best producers in Chablis - and by far one of the loveliest I’ve ever tasted.

Established in 1840, the producer has had plenty of time to get it just right. The Montmains slopes, where this wine is produced, are similar in their geological profile to the Chablis Grand Cru sites, which lie just the other side of the beautiful town. The soils are composed of light, sandy topsoil with the limestone-rich subsoil that is so characteristic of the region. This mix of earth contributes to the character of the wine with its typical restraint and elegance, underpinning plenty of citrus fruit and floral aromas.

Classic, vibrant and with a distinctive streak of minerality, this delicious white has green apple and lime flavours with a long, steely finish. You’ll find me serving it alongside shellfish or with poultry dishes.

Xenia Irwin - Buyer, wines, beers & spirits, Waitrose Cellar

Xenia Irwin

Buyer, wines, beers & spirits, Waitrose Cellar

Alexandre Merlin Brut NV Champagne

“An incredibly moreish Champagne”

Champagne has the wonderful ability to make any occasion a celebration, which is why I love a glass or two with my fish and chips for the ultimate Friday-night indulgence.

This delicious cuvée, made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, is a crisp, slightly fuller-bodied style, yet one which also manages to remain beautifully light and elegant on the palate, which means it also works fantastically well as an apéritif.

A great value Champagne such as this doesn’t come along very often – with its delicate citrus and berry fruit and soft toasted notes, it has a long, fine finish and is incredibly moreish.

Ken Mackay MW - Senior Buyer, Champagne and sparkling

Ken Mackay MW

Senior Buyer, Champagne and sparkling

Cune Rioja Reserva

“A deliciously spicy Rioja”

Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE), better known as ‘Cune’, is one of the leading traditional Rioja producers.

Founded in 1879 and still family-owned to this day, this well-respected bodega has always made excellent wines. I’ve visited them many times over the years and have always admired their dedication to quality and consistency with wines that are built to last.

'Reserva' means that it has been aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak, bringing a soft, supple palate

The tannins in this wine are woven in with some attractive fruit characters, including bramble fruit and a hint of spice. As this develops, notes of leather and savoury spice overlay rich autumn fruit flavours with a long finish. My family and I regularly enjoy it with tender lamb dishes but I must say, it’s also fantastic with my wife’s paella, and even chorizo.

Nick Room - Buyer, South America, Spain and Portugal<

Nick Room

Buyer, South America, Spain and Portugal

Terre da Vino Barolo

“A beautiful award-winning Barolo”

Pick just one wine? For me, it had to be this Barolo. Not only is it a classic wine from the Piedmont region, but this particular bottle is a delicious, award-winning example from a tiny producer that combines the best of modern wine-making with the advantages of a traditional and well-managed co-operative structure of growers.

When comparing Italian wines, there were some more obvious choices like Chianti, but for me, a Barolo is infinitely more challenging, more interesting and more rewarding. It’s a style that I’ve come to love over the years, and I’m completely enamoured by the complexity and freshness that makes it such a delicious match to Italian food.

The Terre da Vino, made from the Nebbiolo grape variety, is incredibly perfumed and full of elegant complexity. It has the tannic, light-coloured, intensely-flavoured profile of good Barolo, in an elegant yet structured style with notes of rose petal and red cherry.

The structure derives from the traditional winemaking technique, with extended skin contact and then ageing in old wood, before a little maturation in bottle prior to release. This process gives this wine its intense tannins and beautiful, distinctive aromas - decant before serving and treat yourself by serving with slow-cooked, richly sauced meat dishes.

Maria Elener - Buyer, Italy, South Africa, Loire, Eastern Europe

Maria Elener

Buyer, South America, Spain and Portugal

Astrolabe Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc

“An intense and elegant Sauvignon”

This is a really fantastic wine, and my favourite of all the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. It is produced by the talented winemaker, Simon Waghor, who is fascinated by the differences between the emerging sub regions of the Marlborough Valley.

While it has all the delicious intensity of a typical Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, there's also an elegance and balance that's typical of top quality Loire Sauvignons such as the delightful Pouilly-Fumé.

With nettle, lime, lemongrass and basil notes on the nose, there’s a superb herbal depth on the palate that gives hints of its cool origin and the soils of the Awatere Valley.

This is expressed through an almost smoky minerality and tomato-leaf note, which makes it a delicious depiction of the best that the Awatere Valley can produce. This wine pairs deliciously with green herbs – so I recommend pasta with chicken and pesto, or herb crusted cod.

Liam Stevenson MW - Buyer, Australia, Burgundy, New Zealand and regional France

Liam Stevenson MW

Buyer, Australia, Burgundy, New Zealand and regional France

Moss Wood Amy's Blend

“An Australian take on a classic”

One of the wonderful things about working with wine is the opportunity to discover different regions and those wines that really encapsulate the character of a place. As a Bordeaux Buyer, I spend a lot of time tasting French blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – and this Australian blend has been made in their image, but with its own unique deliciousness.

Moss Wood Amy’s Blend is made from the classic Bordeaux varieties, but with different proportions than you would expect in France, leading to a luscious, ripe and balanced style. Blended from four different grapes, it’s packed with a huge quantity of plum, blueberry and cassis fruit flavours with a rich and satisfyingly long finish.

Margaret River, where this wine originates, is a really special region. The relatively cooler climate in the West helps produce slightly more elegant and interesting wines, and the winemakers make some fantastic blends - like this stunning example.

This wine just keeps on giving, from the floral violet aromas on the nose to the depth of fruit character, and the soft oak influence that provides a toasty, spicy background - a beautifully balanced wine, and especially delicious with food, particularly homemade gourmet burgers.

Cat Lomax - Buyer, Bordeaux, Rhône, Alsace, Germany, Austria and USA

Cat Lomax

Buyer, Australia, Burgundy, New Zealand and regional France

Video: Stéphane Sanchez presents Astrolabe Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

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