Our inaugural curated case for our new website! We’ve been open since 2016, and there are some wines that our customers just keep coming back to time and time again, so we thought they’d make the perfect mixed case to kick things off! 1. Vidal Sauvignon Blanc 2022, New Zealand 12% 75cl Intense aromas of passionfruit and fresh herbs lead into a palate of vibrant, tropical fruit flavours. A distinctive and classical Marlborough style, quite direct and forward. Fruit for this wine was grown in the Awatere and Wairau Valleys where typical warm days and cool nights provide classic flavours, intensity, and definition. Vineyard selection for this wine was based on each site's potential to produce wines that show tropical fruit flavours and generosity – it’s got more about it than so many we’ve tasted at this level! The overt fruit flavours of this wine make it a great apéritif but also goes well with tomato-based dishes such as ratatouille or even a Rogan Josh curry. 2. Pouilly Fumé 2022 AOP Domaine Barillot, France 13% 75cl Aromas of citrus fruits (hints of lemon and grapefruit) with developing floral notes of acacia and lily. The refined palate shows freshness and gives a real sense of place. The fruit is gentle but ever-present, and the flinty mineral character so typical of this region gives a definition to this wine, whilst a delightful roundness develops on the finish. Pouilly Fumé and its neighbour Sancerre in Central France are the spiritual home of Sauvignon Blanc, and their wines are revered around the world. This wine can be enjoyed on its own but also goes well with seafood, grilled fish, and roasted asparagus. Pouilly Fumé is also the perfect match for the local goat’s cheese, considered the best revered in France. 3. Pouilly Fuissé “Au Clos” 2019 AOP Domaine de Pouilly, France 13.5% 75cl From its golden colour to the honeyed, almond, and citrus notes along with the integrated oak aromas, you know you’re in for a treat with this wine. The palate is rich and sophisticated, well-rounded with a structure that is persistent but allows the fruit flavours to further develop whilst retaining a freshness from the pleasing balancing acidity. A world-class Chardonnay. Pouilly Fuissé is a highly respected Appellation in the Macon area of southern Burgundy. Known for great value compared to the big guns of Puligny Montrachet, Meursault et al in the Cote d’Or, this example from old vines and maturation for 9 months in oak barriques punches well above its weight. Feeling hedonistic? Yes, you can enjoy it on its own, as many of our wine bar customers indeed do, but with food, it’s very versatile. Anything in a buttery or creamy sauce, be it fish, white meat, or vegetables. Mushroom risotto. Seared scallops. Roast chicken. Crumbly cheeses. You get the picture! 4. Hahn Pinot Noir 2021, USA 14.5% 75cl Aromas of red and dark cherry, raspberry and strawberry are joined by subtle touches of vanilla and toasty oak. The palate is medium-bodied with silky tannins, a soft round mouthfeel, excellent acid balance and notes of earthiness on a long, lingering finish. Some wines do exactly what they say on the label, and this is no exception. What the label doesn’t tell you is that this winery, founded in 1980 and still family-owned and run, has been a pioneer in developing Monterey County as a region for growing premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There’s more to Monterey than cheese, Clint Eastwood and abundant seafood. Enjoy on its own or goes well with charcuterie, herb road chicken and hard cheeses. 5. Trustello Primativo 2021 IGT Puglia, Italy 14.5% 75cl Deep red colour with fresh varietal aromas such as blackberry and cherry, which develop and become more complex over time. The palate is well balanced between the soft tannins and gentle acidity. Organically grown Primativo (similar grape to Zinfandel but a bit more savoury) from the sun-kissed Puglia region (the heel) of Italy. This bombshell of a wine is sometimes referred to as a “mini Amarone” and the comparisons don’t end there. First passage harvest is vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, then a second harvest is done 10 days later with a traditional vinification, only for the resulting pomace (pulpy residue after crushing) to be used for a secondary fermentation of the first harvest before blending. A lot of work has gone into this wine – enjoy with Charcuterie, Roast lamb and anything with lentils or bacon. 6. Rasteau AOP 2021, Domaine la Soumade, France 15% 75cl Dominated by Grenache (with some Syrah and Mourvèdre), this is a wonderfully ripe, fresh, juicy and succulent wine with black and red fruits. There are ripe and silky tannins on the finish with a hint of spice plus some freshness which adds balance. Rasteau became a “Cru” in 2010, which puts it on the same level as well-known local heavyweights Chateauneuf du Pape and Gigondas. André Roméro, owner and winemaker, is described by American critic Robert Parker as the superstar of the region and that’s not easy praise to get. Close your eyes and you can imagine yourself in the garrigue of northern Provence whilst you’re back home enjoying a very British Sunday roast. Or any other kind of food, you’ll find an excuse!
In all our years in the wine trade, it’s never been more difficult to find good value at everyday prices. Notwithstanding rising global production and transport costs, on an £8 bottle of wine more than 50% is tax alone. But fear not, we’ve been busy these past 3 months and have tasted over 1000 wines to save you from taking a gamble each time you see a wine on offer on the supermarket shelves! So, let’s introduce you to our first collection of sub £10 wines. Each and every one of them we’d be more than happy to drink ourselves and share with friends. Wines with soul by talented award-winning winemakers, that over-deliver at the price, and are true to their grape varieties and region of production. 1. Tierra Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2022, Chile 14% 75cl Bursting with red and blackcurrant fruits, this is a really soft and pure Cabernet with gentle tannins and a hint of green pepper on the finish. Cool herby flavours mingle with red fruits and a nice touch of acidity. Easy drinking and uncomplicated. Working in partnership with small growers in the Central Valleys, this wine maintains the ethos of freshness and purity that is sought by flying winemaker Guillaume Letang. A relatively cool short fermentation to preserve fruit aroma with maceration on the skins for only a few days to extract nice colour and minimum tannins. Match with herby meat dishes, sausages or stuffed baked red peppers. 2. Aliança DOC Bairrada Reserva 2021, Portugal 13% 75cl Attractive mixed berry aromas with spice notes. Vibrant plum and black cherry on the palate with liquorice hints, elegant tannins, and finely poised acidity. A medium-bodied, vibrant and wonderfully drinkable glass of red. The grapes are vinified without being totally destemmed and macerated for 5 days in cold temperatures. This wine is all about finesse and approachability. Produced from a blend of traditional local grapes (70% Baga, 20% Tinto Roriz, 10& Touriga Nacional), Portugal never ceases to amaze us with its diversity. Matches well with Charcuterie platters and lamb dishes. 3. Les Volets Pinot Noir IGP Haute Vallée de l’Aude 2022, France 13% 75cl Bright ruby red, with upfront aromas of freshly picked raspberries and an underlying savoury leesiness. Fleshy red fruits continue to the palate and are joined by fine tannins and juicy acidity - the foundations of a serious Pinot Noir. About as South of France as you can get, these vineyards are located at the foothills of the Pyrenees and benefit from both the warm Mediterranean climate tempered by the higher altitude and cooler nights. These slower growing conditions suit Pinot Noir well and, made well, wines from this region can bridge the gap between a more traditional Burgundian style and fruit-driven New World style. Enjoyable on its own or try it with a herby sausage casserole or hard cheeses. Best served cooler than room temperature to allow the fruit its full expression. 4. Tesoro de los Andes Malbec Bonarda 2022, Argentina 14.5% 75cl The nose offers an appealing, mixed spice, bramble fruit followed by dark, damson and savoury overtones on the palate. The finish is smooth, rounded and nicely balanced. This is a bold wine and an immediate crowd-pleaser. Tasting dozens of inexpensive Malbecs is an arduous task and we were despairing until this beauty suddenly wowed us with its overt fruit, attractive spiciness, and smooth finish. Argentina is well known for Malbec, but the addition of the lesser-known (originally Italian) variety of Bonarda is very welcome. Grapes were sourced from the Mendoza region, where the warm days and long cool nights provide optimum growing conditions. This wine was vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and no oak was used. Drinks well on its own and loves any kind of red meat, especially if done on the BBQ. 5. Domaine Mas Bahourat Merlot IGP Gard 2022, France 14% 75cl Deliciously ripe fruit with flavours of prunes with a touch of bergamot. The tannins are supple and the finish is fresh - a characterful wine with a sense of place. Approachable and serious all in one bottle. Merlot can often be a bit over-simple, but this has a lot of complexity and some savoury characteristics which makes it adaptable for matching with food as well as drinking on its own. This vineyard is situated on a plateau near Nîmes in the Southern Rhône. The heat of the day is tempered by coastal sea breezes that add a lot of freshness to the wine. Micro-oxygenation was adopted during vinification to ensure minimum intervention and as a result, the tannins are finely textured. Great on its own but goes well with a variety of meat dishes. 6. False Bay “Old School” Syrah 2022, South Africa 14% 75cl Full yet elegant with bramble fruits, lifted berry fruit and some earth and meaty aromas. The palate is structured and well-balanced with fresh red fruit characters, gently spicy notes, fine tannins and a refreshing natural acidity. It punches well above its weight! In the days of a lot of “technical” winemaking, it’s great to see an inexpensive wine have so much care and attention bestowed upon it. Sustainably farmed, hand-harvested grapes, fermented spontaneously with wild yeast (including a portion whole bunch) and then raised in large wooden casks (or foudres). This wine is more than a nod to the Northern Rhône and tasted blind we rated this wine significantly more expensive than the price we’re offering it at. Enjoy!!! Suits spicy dishes, red meats, and rich Mediterranean dishes.
Monday 11th December, 7pm - 9pm Waterkloof, one of the most stunning wineries in South Africa, are presenting 6 of their top award winning wines, just in time for you to stock up for Christmas. Not one less than 94 points! Founded by wine entrepreneur Paul Boutinot 20 years ago, Waterkloof embodies the very best natural and biodynamic techniques with minimal intervention learnt from making and purchasing wine from around the world for over 40 years. We recently met up with Paul again at a trade tasting, and were blown away by the latest releases from the estate. His son, Louis Boutinot, International Brand Ambassador and passionate advocate of everything Waterkloof, is looking forward to sharing fruits of the family’s vision, endeavour and future legacy. Find out more about Waterkloof at waterkloofwines.co.za. The tasting will be accompanied by our usual artisan cheeses. Plus introducing some vegan cheese from local Celebrity Plant-Based Chef Bettina Campolucci Bordi. Check them out at www.bettinaskitchen.com or follow on Insta @bettinas_kitchen. Call 07831637298 to find out more.
In all our years in the wine trade, it’s never been more difficult to find good value at everyday prices. Notwithstanding rising global production and transport costs, on an £8 bottle of wine more than 50% is tax alone. But fear not, we’ve been busy these past 3 months and have tasted over 1000 wines to save you from taking a gamble each time you see a wine on offer on the supermarket shelves! So, let’s introduce you to our first collection of sub £10 wines. Each and every one of them we’d be more than happy to drink ourselves and share with friends. Wines with soul by talented award-winning winemakers, that over-deliver at the price, and are true to their grape varieties and region of production. 1. Vila Nova Vinho Verde 2022, Portugal 11% 75cl Bright and zesty with floral, citrus, and gentle tropical aromas lead to a deliciously off-dry palate with flavours of ripe melon and sherbet lemon acidity. The finish is refreshing with a classic spritz but also a welcome creaminess. The Vinho Verde vineyards in northern Portugal are exposed to the Atlantic Ocean winds and influence. Soils, microclimate, grape varieties (this wine is 50% Loureiro, 35% Arinto, 15% Avesso) and the unique characteristics of the wine culture, distinguish it from all other wine regions of the world. Enjoy as an apéritif or serve with salads, sushi and grilled fish. 2. Soldier’s Block Chardonnay 2022, Australia 12.5% 75cl This vibrant Chardonnay exhibits lifted fruit character, bright tangerine fleshiness, textural mouthfeel, a bright palate, and a long and foodie finish. The small element of oak ageing in part of the blend adds palate weight and texture without detracting from the primary fruit flavours. The vineyards are predominantly in the Victoria region. The grapes are harvested in the early dawn hours when it’s still relatively cool and best for retaining the bright fruit flavours. 15% of the blend comes from the cooler sea-breeze-influenced premium Langhorne Creek area. This wine can be enjoyed on its own or will go well with full-flavoured fish or chicken in a light creamy sauce. 3. Terrazze della Luna Trentino Pinot Grigio 2022, Italy 12.5% 75cl Stone fruit, apple and floral nose. The palate shows delicate yet complex floral notes, a rounded mineral character and an attractive green apple leading to fresh lemon acidity on the finish. Gold medal at the Drinks Business Global Pinot Grigio Masters. The name of this wine refers to “terraces of the moon”, the selected hillside vineyards of the Vall dell’Adige in Trentino in Northern Italy where the grapes of this delicious Pinot Grigio are sourced. This wine has more richness and roundness than many Pinot Grigios we have tasted, partly thanks to the 15% Chardonnay within the blend. 4. Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Chile 13% 75cl The complex nose presents citrusy notes of grapefruit and lime with a subtle touch of freshly crushed bay leaf and white pepper. The smooth palate bursts with citrus freshness balanced by good volume and persistence. Awarded 91 points by James Suckling MW in his Chile Annual Report. Sourced from Organic grapes from Emiliana’s Casablanca Valley vineyard, a cooler climate area renowned for allowing the fruit to ripen more slowly, resulting in grapes with a tremendous concentration of aromas and flavours. Ideal with shellfish and lighter fish prepared with lemon, such as ceviche. Also goes well with sushi and pastas with seafood sauces. 5. Percheron Chenin Blanc Viognier 2023, South Africa 12.5% 75cl Vibrant and aromatic with subtle perfumed aromas, white peach and hints of jasmine on the nose. On the palate, it has tight, white, fleshy, stone fruit and fresh citrus flavours balanced by bright and lively acidity. A crisp, incisive finish with a touch of minerality helps deliver a delicious, flavoursome, and characterful wine. Named after the “Percheron” shire horses that are now making a comeback as part of vineyard management in South Africa, once found everywhere in France. This wine is made of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier. Grapes are grown on 30+ year-old trellised Chenin and 15-year-old Viognier in the Coastal region, mainly from Swartland vineyards. The climate is perfect for viticulture with the low rainfall summer months, tempered by cool afternoons and the cold winters allowing the vines to rest and to build up the reserves. Part of the Chenin Blanc is wild yeast fermented and kept on the yeast lees for as long as possible in order to achieve a rounded palate with good fruit concentration. Goes well with grilled prawns with plenty of chilli and garlic, whole lemon sole fried in butter and other delicate freshwater fish dishes. 6. Domaine Mas Bahourat “La Petite Parcelle” de Viognier, France 13.5% 75cl Viognier of intense power, character and zest; soft apricots, and honeydew melon with notes of chamomile tea are followed by a rich palate and long perfumed finish. Tasted blind this wine is reminiscent of its significantly more expensive Northern Rhône cousins. This tiny plot of Old Vines Viognier, less than a hectare in size and surrounded by apricot trees, is situated in the Vin du Pays du Gard region, nestled between the Southern Rhône and the Languedoc. The grapes are picked at optimum ripeness to ensure rich and concentrated flavours. The must is cooled prior to vinification to maintain maximum fruit concentration, and no oak is used. Bottled in dark glass to protect the fresh aromatic characters. A delicious apéritif, especially if served with almonds, or try with butternut squash risotto or roast pork with sage.