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Top 5 Vegan Wines With Sergio Dossantos

10th Jan 2019

"I love creating living wine lists which will evolve continuously, showing the wine characteristics of each region and how they differ from each other." - Head Sommelier, Sergio Dossantos.

Over indulged throughout December? Are you taking part in Dry January? For many, the good intentions went out the window quite early on as we settled back into reality. As part of 'Veganuary', we caught up with Head Sommelier, Sergio to find out his top 5 vegan wines. The wine cellar at The Montagu Arms features over 2,200 bottles of wine from over 300 different categories, so picking just five was not an easy task!

1. Amarone della Valpolicella, “Riserva di Costasera”

Year: 2013

Region: Veneto

A little about the area the wine is from:

Amarone is a wine made in a wine producing region called Valpolicella, located roughly to north-west of the town of Verona.

The Amarone is made with grapes coming from high altitude vineyards around 600 metres above sea level in the communes of Fumane and Negrar. The heart of the production area is the Valpolicella most prestigious zone (called Classico) which extends over the three main valleys of Fumane, Marano and Negrar (in addition to the villages of the same names includes those of Sant’Ambrogio and San Pietro in Cariano). The warm breezes that ascends throught the valleys of the Valpolicella from Lake Garda meet the cooler air streams of the Monti Lessini, create meso-climates ideal for the production of top quality Amarone.

Why the sommelier likes it:

This wine is produced in a limited quantity from an accurate selection of grapes. Amarone is the product of the ancient wine making method called "appassimento" (drying of the grapes), and the vinification is according to the old tradition.

It’s quite a unique juicy texture combined with supple tannins and complex aromas of baked fruit, coffee, leather and spice. The wine is half red wine and half sweet wine; it behaves like a sweet wine without technically being sweet, which has distinguished it among the most sought after red wines in the world.

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2. Château La Serre

Year: 2008

Region: Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France

A little about the area the wine is from:

Saint Emilion is a small village located to the east of Bordeaux, which has the reputation for producing some of the best red wines in France. Perched on the famous limestone hill, St-Emilion covers the slopes from the town of St-Emilion towards the south, and the plateau which surrounds the town. It is the land of the Merlot grape variety where different expositions and several soil types produce smooth wines with charm and flair.

Why the sommelier likes it:

There's nothing better than a rich, smooth and elegant St Emilion during the meal, especially from a brilliant vintage that has produced superb wines from Bordeaux and a high proportion of Merlot in the blend which gives this wine great subtlety and charm.

3. L'Instant Rosé, Domaine de la Grande Courtade

Year: 2017

Region: Languedoc, France

A little about the area the wine is from:

The estate of the Grande Courtade (meaning large sunny courtyard) is located close to the town of Beziers, in the Languedoc, south east of France. The Languedoc is one of the main producers of rosé in France thanks to a warm and dry climate.

Why the sommelier likes it:

It’s a no brainer -  South of France rosé is synonymous with freshness and softness.

The colour pink makes people feel warm, comfortable and romantic. According to Michel Pastoureau, Historian, “the colour pink acquired its symbolism during the eighteenth century it was one of tenderness and femininity." In summary, this is a red stripped of its warlike character, synonymous with softness. Ladies tend to fancy more rosé wine because of its colour, lightness and subtle aromas.

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4. Sancerre, Domaine Sylvain Bailly      

Year: 2017

Region: Loire Valley, France

A little about the area the wine is from:

Situated on the banks of the Loire Valley, Sancerre vineyard extends on a plateau surrounded by steep and often craggy slopes. The Sancerre hills protect the vineyards from the strong winds and rain which help to get grapes with a good maturity especially in this part of France. It is the clay-limestone slopes of Sancerre that give the full expression of its aromatic palette and complexity: aromas of white flowers, tropical fruit and citrus with a soft, elegant and lively palate, Sancerre wine is the benchmark expression for this varietal.

Why the sommelier likes it:

Sancerre is maybe the one vineyard of the Loire Valley that lives and breathes wine. If you really want to know what wine and vineyard means, Sancerre is the place for you. Sancerre’s steep vineyards have grandeur that you will find nowhere else in the Loire and the wine when coming from a good producer and with no oak, really expresses the sense of the place.

5. Taittinger Brut Non-Vintage

Region: Champagne

A little about the area the wine is from:

There is no introduction needed about Champagne, a wine area in the North of Paris, it may be the most famous region of France for sparkling wine, which has its own unique technique of producing beautiful, tiny bubbles that continue to sparkle forever to keep the pleasure everlasting. 

Why the sommelier likes it:

Founded in 1734 under the name Fourneaux and since 1936 has been apart of the Taittinger Family. Champagne Taittinger is the only one family owner house Champagne remaining at this time who are faithful to family and champagne-making tradition. A light, fresh and vibrant Champagne with citrus, green apple and peach flavours. There is also a touch of biscuity to the palate that gives the distinctive Champagne character.


Are you a lover of great wine and food? Visit the Terrace Restaurant where Sergio is hand to pair the most amazing wines to compliment the exquisite food on the plate.

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