Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Summer Newsletter 2016

As I'm typing this the sun is streaming in through the window, we have both doors of the shop wedged open (always a sign that summer is on its way) and our customers in the shop have even been spotted wearing shorts! Our thoughts have turned to the summer delights of dusting down the BBQ and choosing between chilled glasses of rose or clinking ice in the G&T. We have our new Summer Case ready to go which features some stunning wines for all occasions, a special Barbecue Case with wines specially chosen to go with charcoal grilled foodstuffs, and an Everyday Case stuffed with fun and easy-drinking wines for when you don't need a special occasion as an excuse.

We have new wines in store, a few pictured below, some fantastic award winning wines and seasonal spirit offers. One of our recent mentions in the national press has thrown the spotlight on a particularly lovely Greek wine and just for a little change we have suggested some fabulous summery Ports. 

There's a little bit of something in here for everyone. If anything captures your imagination call in at the shop to see us, or give us a ring on 01200 423152 and we can arrange delivery for you.
We hope you have a resplendent and sumptuous summer of blue skies and warm temperatures.

All the team at D. Byrne & Co.

The Summer Case 2016

La Lisse Soie d’Ivoire Chenin Blanc, Pays de l’ Haute Vallee de l’Aude
A bright, lemony and densely fruity ensemble made from the ultra-fashionable Chenin Blanc grape. This ripe yet crunchy fruit gives this wine its freshness, vigour and spine and at the same time its luscious texture which is further complemented and enriched from one third vinified and matured for nine months in seasoned French oak.

Alasia Roero Arneis, Piemonte
A rich, dry white with ripe pear fruit, almond and tropical notes. The palate is plump, soft and expressive, packed with stone fruit and apricots, with a delicious texture and nutty, herbal finish. Hints of fennel, clove and citrus.
Sileni Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
The Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc has ripe tropical and gooseberry fruit flavours with a zingy finish and impeccable balance. A great aperitif or seafood wine the Sileni Sauvignon is understandably one of our most popular white wines.

Quintas de Melgaço Alvarinho/Trajadura, Vinho Verde
The archetypal white wine of northern Portugal - classic Vinho Verde with an appealing touch of spritz. Gentle aromas of citrus and nectarine. Pure and bright on the palate with textural stone fruit and pear characters. Beautifully balanced with a dry, mineral finish.

Vedilhan Serica Viognier, Pays d’Oc
Richly textured with bitter-sweet aromas of crystalised orange peel, ginger and cream. Barrel-fermentation brings subtle texture and richness rather than a dominant oaky flavour, leaving rich stone fruits and lightly tannic herbs to shine through. Elaborately textured, full-flavoured Viognier at its finest.
Peacock Wild Ferment Syrah, Stellenbosch
A very classy, restrained style of cool, coastal Cape Shiraz.
Bright red and sour cherries, plums as well as earthy dusty notes and sweet spice on the nose. The palate has lots of creamy fruit, with firm food tannins and a lovely sappy finish. Ripe, savoury flavours which are balanced by the fresh acidity.

Fleurie La Madone, Beaujolais Villages
This is very fresh and perfumed with deliciously crunchy red fruits. Appealing aromas of crushed strawberries and autumn leaves with a puff of lilac perfume that lead to the classic forest fruit flavours backed by earthy undertones. The 2015 vintage is outstanding.
Pablo y Walter Malbec, Mendoza
We simply had to include this stunning new vintage of one of our stalwart Malbecs.
A celebration of Mendoza - the colour, culture and flavour and a celebration of friendship. A really pure expression of Malbec, bright red and wonderfully aromatic with lifted red currant and cassis. Muy, muy fantasticó – richly bloody, vibrant, Latin and velveteen.

Caparrone, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
A great combination of rich, spicy, robust flavours with fresh and approachable fruit. Deeply-coloured red with aromas of violets and ripe black fruit. The palate is warm and generous with attractive black cherry fruit, wild plum, firm tannins and good length.
Sila Mencia, Monterrei
A bright, fresh and intriguing red from the increasingly fashionable Mencia grape.
Fresh cherry and redcurrant aromas typical of Mencia, with hints of black pepper. Bright, juicy red fruits, balancing acidity and added complexity from the subtle use of French oak - together with smooth rounded tannins - make this wine nicely poised and very drinkable.

Borsao Seleccion Garnacha, Campo de Borja
Rich, plum and red berry fruit with a touch of white pepper on the nose. A nicely balanced yet concentrated red fruit mix with darker spice and chocolate notes giving weight and texture to the palate. Plump ripe tannins and pepper add some grip to this juicy, approachable and utterly delicious red.
Ciconia Tinto, Alentejano
This wine is constantly picking up awards and plaudits for the best value Portuguese red wine, and it is very easy to see why. Ciconia Tinto combines approachability with the Alentejo’s rich, soft red fruits. An un-oaked fruit driven wine with real character.

£89.99 if collected from the shop or £98 if delivered to any address in the UK


The Barbecue Case 2016

Les Cepages Oublies Gros Manseng/Colombard, Cotes de Gascogne
Fresh, racy and instantly appealing. Fruit salad in a glass!
Lovely grassy aromatic nose, balanced by ripe, tropical melon and pink grapefruit, the palate is softer and creamier than you would expect with real depth of flavour finishing with a fresh, zippy lemon tang.

Domaine L’Olibet Viognier, Pays d’Oc
An aromatic wine combining perfumed fruit with freshness and zip!
This viognier is refreshingly lean, counterpoised by the near-tropical lilt of floral scents which mingle on the palate with delicious ripe pear and fleshy peach flavours.

Meerestein Chenin Pinot Grigio, Western Cape
Vibrant and aromatic with delicious generous fresh apricot, white peach and hints of passion fruit on the nose. On the palate it has tight, white, fleshy stone fruit with a balancing sandy texture. Bright acidity and minerality delivers a delicious balance.
Adobe Reserva Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley
Fresh, nutty and balanced Chardonnay made from organically grown grapes.
Its aroma is a mixture of citric fruit such as grapefruit blended with juicy tropical fruit notes with a soft touch of hazelnut. The palate has sweet characteristics of mango, pineapple and passion fruit with a finishing lick of acidity

El Tesoro Verdejo, Castilla Leon
An intensely aromatic Verdejo from Rueda's finest co-operative.
Aromas of tropical fruit with hints of citrus. The palate has some passion fruit and grapefruit characters backed by broader stone fruit notes. Well-balanced and textural on the palate with a fresh, bright finish.

Percheron Grenache Gris Rose, Western Cape
A beautiful, limpid pale salmon pink with delicate floral hints and wild red fruit flavours from the young-vine Grenache fruit, finishing with zesty pink grapefruit acidity. This is a very soft and approachable style of unashamedly easy drinking rose.
Les Cepages Oublies Cinsault/Grenache Old Vines, Pays d’Oc
Herbal and savoury with just enough richness - a great Mourvèdre.
Mourvèdre is enjoying a renaissance in the South; with a deeply stained colour and herby, blackberry bushes and thyme on the nose, this is a grown-up wine quite different from many wines produced in the Languedoc. On the palate, bright and fresh red and black fruits are counterpoised with savoury tannins and a meaty finish.

Alaia Prieto Picudo/Tempranillo/Merlot, Castilla Leon
Characterful red from the intriguing Prieto Picudo grape, indigenous to the León province.
Intense aromas of cherry and red fruit, with more savoury woodland and cocoa notes. The palate is complex - fruity and medium-bodied - with black cherry and plum characters combined with bramble fruits, spice, balanced acidity and good length.

Vista Tinta Roriz/Touriga Nacional/Cabernet Sauvignon, Beira
Aromas of ripe black fruits and herbal, leafy notes, with a touch of pepper. Warm and richly flavoured on the palate with riper blackberry fruit - bright and lifted though, with plenty of grip and a touch of spice on the finish.
The Last Stand Shiraz, Victoria
Bright, aromatic and juicy on the nose with just a touch of naughty bacon fat. True to the varietal, the tiny proportion of Malbec in this blend gives a flowery perfume. A dangerously drinkable Shiraz with bright fruit and soft silky elegance.
La Chapelle de Marin, Cotes du Rhone
With attractive, bramble fruit and floral aromas, the palate is up-front and fresh with warm spice and real depth. This is a classic southern Rhône red; ripe and characterful with smooth supple tannins.
San Felice Contrada Red, Tuscany
This wine is sourced from San Felice's renowned Chianti Classico vineyards.
Warm and generous aromas of ripe cherries, violet, spice and leather. Rich, plummy fruit on the palate is balanced by gentle tannins and fresh acidity giving an approachable versatile style of Tuscan red.

£74.99 if collected from the shop or £83 if delivered to any address in the UK

The Everyday Case

Murviedro Fauno Viura/Sauvignon Blanc, Valencia
Medal-winning and fantastically fruity Viura Sauvignon Blanc blend from sunny Valencia.
Fresh peach and citrus aromas follow onto the bright and fresh palate. Here ripe stone fruit and gooseberry notes combine with mineral characters to add texture.

Sanvigilio Pinot Grigio, Pavia
Shows delicate, yet lifted, floral and fruity aromas on the nose. Crisp and fresh on the palate with a ripe lemon character, the wine has a good mouthfeel and clean finish. Very light and easy drinking.
Il Meridione Grillo, Sicilia
A honeyed, floral and spicy nose with hints of ginger and stone fruit. Ripe, sun-dried citrus characters on the palate with savoury notes and a creamy texture. Fresh balancing acidity on the lightly nutty finish.
Soldiers Block Chardonnay, Victoria
Pure elegance from the Southern Ocean.
An elegant and easy drinking wine. This vibrant Chardonnay exhibits lifted fruit character, bright tangerine fleshiness, textural mouth-feel, a bright palate and a long and foodie finish.

Bellefontaine Sauvignon Blanc, Pays d’Oc
Classic Sauvignon Blanc nose with herbaceous notes, yet with underlying ripeness. Pretty elderflower aromas balanced with zesty grapefruit notes. Concentrated fruit and good acidity make this a very satisfying drop!
Murviedro Fauno GSM, Valencia
Appealing, award-winning, juicy Grenache Syrah Monastrell blend from Valencia
Bright nose with plums and blackberries. The palate is characterful with riper black fruit, supple tannins and fresh, juicy acidity. Finishing with a hint of pepper and spice.
Vega Piedra Tinto, Rioja

Great value classic House Rioja from Bodegas Carlos Serres in Haro.
Approachable, appealing and juicy in style with lifted red berry fruit and hints of spice. The palate is bright with bramble and cherry fruit and gently rounded tannins. Nicely-balanced with a long finish.

Conviviale Montepulciano, Abruzzo
An intense wine with cherry, ripe plum fruit aromas and warm, earthy spice. The palate is densely packed with Morello cherry, cassis and bramble fruit flavours. Tannins are ripe, giving structure to a substantial wine with a fresh sappy finish.
Les Oliviers Grenache, Pays d’Oc
Supple yet with underlying structure, it is quite lifted and vibrant on the nose moving on to a full and intense palate. A fresh and exciting wine that is lively and exuberant. Packed full of ripe, crunchy red berry fruit backed up with a hint of liquorice and touch of spice. Lovely.
Meerestein Shiraz/Mourvedre, Swartland
A perfumed nose with a delicious bright raspberry and crushed blackcurrant character and an almost savoury finish.
Tierra Alta Pinot Noir, Central Valley
Quite simply the best value Pinot Noir we have come across.
A delicate and elegant wine (as all good Pinot should be) showing ripe fruit flavours of plums and wild strawberries, balanced with subtle smoky notes and a deliciously lingering finish.

Soldiers Block Malbec, Victoria
Classically textured, violet in hue with an exotically perfumed nose. A great wine to serve with rich and flavoursome foods. 

£64.99 if collected from the shop or £73 if delivered to any address in the UK

Three of the finest
The top three wines from the March 2016 edition of the Decanter magazine Australian GSM blends Panel Tasting, all given a rating of outstanding 95-97 pts. All wines are now in stock.
2013 Ruggabellus Efferus, Barossa Valley 96/100 £32.99
2014 Rusty Mutt Rocky Ox GSM, McLaren Vale 95/100 £16.99
2012 Spinifex Esprit, Barossa Valley 95/100 £22.99

Our latest recommended wines
and special offers

Offer The Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc, Piekernierskloof £8.99 (was £10.59)
Complex sandy stone fruit nose with notes of crushed granite, slightly saline. The palate has firm, high-key fruit, a broad texture and quiet persistence that persists and persists. Ultimately this is a deeply satisfying single vineyard, ancient vine block with a genuinely unique terroir feel and character from an unforgettably surprising vineyard. Winemaker Donovan Rall is one of the hottest wine making talents on the planet, a simply outstanding and impossibly fine wine for the price.

Offer Aquifer Semillon, Swartland £8.99 (was £9.99)
A sensational and uniquely textural Semillon from 51-year-old vines.
Wonderful aromas of fresh lime, eucalyptus and hot sandy soil, there is a slightly rocky, dried lemon peel flavour but most of all a taut, precise layered palate with bright acidity and real breadth. Beautiful now, this might just have a life span to match the current age of the vineyard. A bottled drop of time and place, hand-made in Africa.

Offer Sileni ‘The Straits’ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough £8.99 (was £10.99)
The richer sister of the hugely popular Sileni Cellar Selection Sauvignon, this is a great offer. Rich and intensely flavoured Marlborough Sauvignon, in the classic regional style, this wine has intensely aromatic gooseberry and passionfruit characters. The palate is rich and full with a long finish.

Offer Les Coteaux Tufiers Demi-Sec, Vouvray £6.99 (was £7.99)
A delicious off-dry style of Chenin Blanc with aromas of just-picked walnuts, a hint of lime and a sappy melon skin note. The palate is honeyed with cooked apple, agave and ginger. The sweetness is perfectly integrated and balanced, resulting in a refreshing wine with good length. 

Offer Durello Spumante Brut ‘Palladino’ £6.99 (was £7.99)
A great alternative to Prosecco at a great price, very clean green apple fruit flavours and good depth.

Offer Domenico de Bertiol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry £8.99
(was £9.99)
There are fine, light, fruity aromas of fresh green apples and pears plus a hint of yeastiness on the nose. The palate is creamy and softly sparkling with some richness and a long, gently aromatic finish.

New Kindred Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch £9.99
Fresh hay and warm sand with just a bee’s breath of honey on the nose. The palate shows fine sand again, a touch of honey over tight white stone fruit.

New Kindred Old Vine Cinsault £9.99
First thing is the colour. This is the correct colour for Cape Cinsaut. It's pale and interesting. The nose is a sandy textural thing with notes of fresh beef carpaccio. The palate is soft and silky and more akin to Pinot Noir than the muscular wine you may expect. It's delicate, even feminine.

New Domaine du Pre Baron, Touraine Gamay £7.39
Lovely fresh, raspberry fruit. Good concentration and depth on the palate, a touch of rusticity and a gentle balancing structure. A classic Gamay with buckets of character.

New Domaine Pontbriand, Pays de Vaucluse £6.59
Sumptuous, fruity and concentrated. Hard to believe this is a humble Vin de Pays!
Beginning with headily-perfumed aromas tinged with violets the nose flows into the full, round and juicy flavours of the mid-palate before a smooth and savoury finish.

The Black Craft Shiraz, Barossa £9.99
A compelling, dark and rich chocolatey beast. Classic Barossa Shiraz with intense savoury flavours of thick blackberry compote, black pepper and typical iron-rich beefy flavours. Not a hint of jam here, no sweetness, this is serious shiraz for grown-ups with balanced acidity, fine velvety tannins and tremendous length.

2012 ‘La Cote Sauvage' Cairanne, Cotes du Rhone £11.59
                         Magnums £22.99
Andrew tried his damnedest to exhaust the entire stock of the 2012 whilst holidaying on this estate recently, but thankfully for us we still had a few cases of this velvety elixir hidden away in the warehouse. Cairanne was recently and very deservedly elevated to ‘Cru’ status, and for now its wines offer distinctly better value for money than some of the Rhone’s more famous crus. All in all, this drinks beautifully right now but it also has the capability to age for 10+ years and for that reason it has to be the best value, serious red wine in the shop.      

Percheron Old Vine Cinsault, Swartland £5.99
‘BEST VALUE RED WINE TROPHY’ The Wine Merchant Top 100 competition.
An untraditional style, where elegance and true character prevail over colour and intensity. Gently compelling with aromas of the earth and stony minerality. The palate includes red fruits, cherries, a hint of spice and creamy refreshing acidity. This is pure, elegant, restrained Cinsault with warm notes of crushed rocks and the regions dry earth.

In the press...........
The Guardian Weekend Magazine 21.05.16
Fiona Beckett
"Domaine Papagiannakos Savatiano 2014 (£8.99 D. Byrne of Clitheroe) It's delicious now, but worth hanging on for four to five years, when it will have developed an incredible richness reminiscent of white bordeaux; no wonder the Greeks love their whites."

Tickled pink…some new & great value rose for sipping over the summer 

New Leccio Monferrato Chiaretto, Piemonte £6.99
An appealing pale, coral pink - the nose has pretty red berry, strawberry and gently floral notes. The palate balances delicate bitter cherry and redcurrant fruit with crisp, incisive acidity - a refreshing style of rosé with texture and minerality.

New Dune Gris de Gris, Camargue £6.59
This screams of sunny days in the south of France. Think deliciously pale and elegant Provençal rose and halve the cost.

New Chateau Gairoird Rose, Cotes de Provence £9.59
An elegant, fleshy Provençal beauty.  

Les Cerisiers Rose, Cotes du Rhone £6.99
Andrew has just returned from this estate where he spent two weeks washing his feet in
this ‘beautiful breakfast rose’. Needless to say this is a gorgeous, fruity and sinfully
easy drinking rose. 

Offer Torres Reserva Santa Digna Rose, Curico £6.99
This dark and full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon rose is delicious with spicy food or quaffing at a barbeque. 

Lallier Grand Cru Rose Brut, Champagne £23.99
This champagne shows fine mousse in the glass and fresh floral aromas mixed with characteristic sweet, doughy overtones, which are balanced by richer fruit, peach skin characters and classic baked biscuit flavours with a crisp citrus finish. From 100/100 classified Grand Cru vineyards this outstanding Champagne puts many of the more famous Champagnes to shame, on both price and quality. We cannot recommend this highly enough.

 Some delicious summery Ports

Barros White Port £12.99
White ports are served well chilled and make a wonderful aperitif, or mix this with some ginger ale and ice cubes to make a glorious, thirst quenching long drink.

Barros 10-year-old Tawny £18.99
A classic 10yr old Tawny, light in colour but tremendously rich, nutty and complex in flavour. 
Best served lightly chilled.

Barros 1996 Colheita £21.99
A Colhieta Port is a Tawny Port from a selected harvest. This is 20 years old and a true bargain, incredible complexity and a finish that lasts and lasts. 

Spirit Recommendations

New Old Perth, Blended Malts
The Finest Scotch Whiskies carefully blended as a tribute to The Fair City of Perth, Birthplace of Historic Blends. Three fantastic whiskies showing that Single Malt isn’t always the best.
Number 4 Release £22.99 
Sherry Cask £26.99 
Peaty £26.99 

Special Offer Tomatin Legacy, Highland Single Malt £22.99
Light and delicate with a candy sweetness which is peppered with hints of pine. Lemon sherbet, pineapple and crunchy green apples with a touch of freshly baked sponge cake. Clean, light and refreshing finish.

Special Offer Tomatin 12 Year Old, Highland Single Malt £25.99
A unique combination of attractive flavours – a balance of apples, pears, malt, with a gentle hint of nuttiness enhanced by the subtle use of sherry wood. Smooth, sweet and very satisfying.

Special Offer Glen Moray Peated, Speyside Single Malt £23.99
A unique twist on the traditional Glen Moray flavour and character. Subtle flavours of vanilla and oak merge with rich peat smoke to provide a very different and intense Glen Moray taste sensation.

Something different Bruadar, Malt Whisky Liqueur £19.99
The finest single malt combines with the unique flavour of honey and sloes in a delicious distinctive mix that is unmistakable. Not overly sweet, instead it is a balanced, well-crafted liqueur.

Gin Brockmans, Intensely Smooth £28.99
A well balanced, full flavoured fruity gin perfect for summer. Made with Bulgarian coriander, blueberries and blackberries as well as bittersweet Valencia orange peel. Delicious!  

Gin Darnley’s View, London Dry £24.99

A small batch gin infused with elderflower and citrus. Named to celebrate the first sighting of Lord Darnley by Mary Queen of Scots in 1565 at Wemyss Castle. Nicely balanced with initial lemon freshness, mellowing to a warm, slightly sweet aftertaste and subtle floral notes throughout.

All of these wines and spirits can be purchased from the shop
or by giving us a ring on 01200 423152 and we can arrange delivery to you.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Spring Newsletter

In this newsletter:
Wines chosen from a recent wine tasting – to spit or not to spit?
An evening in Italy by way of Newton-in-Bowland – The wines of Montresor
Malts of the Month and other whisky offers
Gin of the Month
Current Seasonal Case offers.

To spit or not to spit?

So, exactly what do we do when we attend large trade portfolio tastings where there might be several thousand wines to sample? Firstly we go in with a plan. Are there new wines we need to familiarise ourselves with? Are there new vintages we need to check out? Finally, are there new producers we need to meet? The later always being a joy.

What equipment do you need when faced with a room dripping (literally) with bottles from all over the world? First, and most important of all you need the ability to spit and the willpower to do so. As a fledgling taster you might think “oh, I’ll only taste a few, I don’t need to spit”, big mistake, a large tasting quickly robs you of your ability to count how many samples you have made. Also, with so many wines to discover, not spitting will radically reduce your options, and will you remember wine one when you have got to wine fifty five? I’m not going to teach you to spit in this newsletter, but do practice in the privacy of your own home, preferably whilst wearing a tie or scarf/necklace, just to make it an extra challenge!

Don’t get me started on the rather fetching purple teeth and tongue a wine tasting leaves you with.

Philip (champion spitter) and Judith (fledgling spitter) recently attended a portfolio tasting of over a thousand wines in The Point at Lancashire’s Cricket Ground, Old Trafford. This is a fantastic venue with a wonderful feeling of space that the architectural cube provides, made all the more stunning by the view from the wall of windows overlooking the ground itself. Needless to say we made the journey there by train and tram.

Any of the wines and spirits you see in this newsletter can be ordered by ringing us on 01200 423152 or 01200 422281 – please don’t order by email.

We started the day by reassessing the wines offered in our everyday range, wines for drinking any time of the week, with or without food, the happy sorts of wines you might keep handy for whenever you just fancy a glass.

Cape Heights Chenin Blanc - South Africa £4.99
This is packed full of juicy fruit and nice balancing acidity, it displays classic baked apple and zippy citrus aromas, Philip was really impressed by this one.

Les Oliviers Chardonnay Pays de Cotes de Gascogne - France £5.69
A recent addition and what a find! Racy acidity with a smooth and refined freshness, soft ripe fruit flavours on the palate finishes with a twist of melon.

False Bay Sauvignon Blanc - South Africa £5.99
Fresh and zesty with grassy notes, it has a palate with lots of minerality and citrus fruit. A very classy wine indeed.

Les Volets Malbec, Pays de la Haute Valle de la Aude - France £5.99
Vibrant garnet hues gleam out of the glass and invite one to explore further, extremely fine red fruit flavours fill the mouth, raspberries and chocolate and smooth silky tannins.

La Chapelle de Marin Cotes du Rhone, Patrice Armand – France £5.99
One of our past Reds of the Year. What a brilliant wine! This has now come down in price and is an absolute steal – rich, soft and packed full of fruit.

Domaine Mas Bahourat Merlot Pays d’Oc – France £5.99
Smooth ripe and seriously good. With flavours of prunes and a touch of herbiness mingled with pepper and spice.  

The following wines from New Zealand really caught our attention.
We now have the Crowded House & Catalina Sounds back in stock.

Sileni Selection Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough £7.49
Packed full of juicy gooseberry fruit, rich and elegant with a crisp zingy finish.

Crowded House Sauvignon, Marlborough £8.19
Pungent and full flavoured, a real mouthful. An abundance of natural acidity shot through with freshly cut limes.

Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough £9.99
Soft and approachable with citrus and white stone fruit, elements of crushed sweet herbs and floral notes.

Fromm La Strada Sauvignon Blanc, Marlbourgh £10.39
Vibrant and up front, brimming with crisp aromatic joy. Simply one of the top New Zealand producers.

Maude ‘Mount Maude’ East Block Riesling, Central Otega £12.59
Crisp with nice tart acidity and rich minerality, a vibrant nose filled with aromas of juicy ripe apple, lime leaf and orange peel, off dry in style, a wine with beautiful purity.

Maude Pinot Gris, Central Otago £12.59
Complex, exotic, smooth-textured Pinot Gris. Dry in style with a lovely persistence and balance.

Cloud Factory Pinot Noir, Marlborough £8.99
Cranberry and red currant aromas give a wine with enough bite and texture to be foody, but with great generosity of fruit to be enjoyed by the glass.

Jealous Sisters Pinot Noir, Wairarapa £10.39
Hugely lifted wild strawberry nose that follows through on the full earthy palate, this immensely drinkable Pinot Noir demands a second bottle.

Nanny Goat Pinot Noir, Central Otago £13.89
Fine elegant and beautifully understated. 

Super Nanny Pinot Noir Central Otago £16.59
Vibrant, rich with seductive soft tannins, packed full of savoury red fruit, soft elegant and classy, what more could you want?

Some young Punks epitomise the best of Australia
(Voted Australia’s Young Gun Winemaker of the Year)

Some Young Punks ‘Passion Has Red Lips’ Cabernet, Shiraz McLaren Vale £10.29
A rich mouthful of lip smacking Cabernet/Shiraz. An electrifying vibrant nose of ripe red cherry, cranberry, black fruit, aromatic smoke, vanilla and violets leads to a concentrated palate of sour cherries, and more savoury flavours, a precise and astute wine with plenty of appeal.

Some Young Punks ‘Naked on Roller Skates’ Shiraz, Mataro, Mclaren Vale £10.29
Expressive notes of musk, violets and savoury meatiness. The palate is dense with black fruit, and a little quince and juniper spice.

Cline cellars are a family-owned vineyard and winery in the beautiful Carneros region of Sonoma County, California. We can announce that after a short absence we now have their wines back on our shelves and at very competitive prices.

Cline North Coast Viognier £9.29 
A classic Cline Viognier. A rich, perfumed varietal, this wine has pineapple, peach, and apricot flavours with accents of floral and citrus notes. This has a very pure Viognier fruit character.

Cline Cellars Lodi Zinfandel £8.69  
Hints of both black cherry and strawberry, additional spice notes and with a lasting finish of vanilla oak ageing that add complexity to this wine.

Cline Cellars Nancy’s Vines Zinfandel £13.49 
Wonderful, fat strawberry with coffee chocolate character, ripe fruit and soft tannins make this a mouth-coating rich wine.

Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Mourvedre £13.49
Distinct and luscious. Flavours of dark plum and chocolate lead to a hint of oak and a smooth finish. A blockbuster of a wine, not for the feint hearted.

Cline Cellars Live Oak Zinfandel £17.99
Concentrated flavours of sweet red berries roasted coffee and liquorice, well balanced with good silky tannins and firm acidity. A big wine with elegance and charm

New wines added to the shelves
These are some of the new wines from the tasting that really impressed us.

Chateau Pinet la Roquette ‘Cuvee les Arpeges’ Blaye, Cotes de Bordeaux £7.69
Just what you want from a lesser Bordeaux, juicy fruit, nice complex structure, long length, and hints of spice. This would be great with beef dishes.

Sentiers de Bagatelle Cuvee Donnadieu Rouge, Saint Chinian £10.69
Wow what a find! Very long and fragrant on the nose, complex with fine tannins, soft red fruit with hints of black pepper and sweet spice, multi layered the flavour goes on and on. Brilliant!

Madai Oregen Mencia Bierzo, Spain £9.29
Bright red fruit with strong savoury flavour, nice structure with good balancing acidity, dark and brooding, a big beast of a wine.

Murviedro Bobal Cepas Viejas, Valencia, Spain £8.59
Aromas of forest fruit, together with notes of toffee and vanilla, the palate is complex and structured, with more blackberry and plum characters, smooth tannins, a touch of mocha and a long finish.

Tridente Prieto Picudo Castilla, Leon, Spain £16.99
Powerful blackcurrant and tomato stalk scented, with sweet savoury notes on the palate fine balanced tannins, the fruit is concentrated and intense … again black fruit textured, multi layered and extremely complex.

Domaine Feuillat-Juillot Montagny 1er Cru Les Jardines, Burgundy, France £15.99
This is how good white Burgundy should be, fat multi-dimensional with a blissful mouthfeel, great length, nice balancing tart acidity and freshness avail, we could happily drink this all day long.

Satinato and Soprano.
A special dinner with Giacomo Montresor.

On Saturday evening we enjoyed another joyful and hugely successful winemaker dinner at The Parkers Arms in Newton, our special guest for the evening was Vittoria Sassi from the Montresor Winery in Veneto. Giacomo Montresor are a long established Veronese family company, headed by Giorgio Montresor, they produce wines which increasingly rival the offerings of the region's more fashionable names. The estate wines, from 100 ha of vineyards in Valpolicella and Garda, offer remarkable value for money, particularly the Capitel della Crosara vineyard near Negrar which produces fine, richly-flavoured Ripasso and a generous, classically-styled Amarone with great concentration and texture. 
We chose a selection of six wines that best represented the estate, and head chef Stosie matched the wines with a superb menu inspired by typical ingredients from the Veneto.

The evening started in fine fashion with a selection of canapés accompanied by the… Montresor Rose Royal Sparkling Pinot Noir £8.99
This wine really epitomises the sort of quality/value for money to be had right across the Montresor range, and guests were blown away by the concentration, fresh fruitiness and sheer drinkability of this unbelievably reasonable fizz.   
A delicate pale pink colour, with lifted aromas of flower blossom, ripe apples and cherries. The palate is rich and winey with very soft red fruits leading to an elegant and lengthy finish. Quite a number of guests compared the quality of this wine to a ‘reasonably famous’ Rose Champagne which is at least £40 a bottle more expensive. High praise indeed for a humble fizz from the Veneto. 

For the starter plate we enjoyed a light and tasty duck terrine with pickles and this was paired with the two classic white wines of the Veneto: 
2014 Montresor Soave Classico £6.99
I would openly admit that value priced offerings from Soave are not the sort of bottles that I would normally seek out for a point of interest or pleasure, but this wine had many of us stumped. There are some truly fabulous wines to be had from the Soave and even the most expensive wines offer incredible value for money, so it turned out to be no real surprise that this very well made example was exactly that. 
Made from 100% Garganega grapes, this is fresh and lightly fruity with delicate floral aromas of honeysuckle, elderflower and a hint of spice. Crisp and refreshing on the palate with good depth of lemony fruit, lively acidity and a dry, lightly nutty finish. 
2014 Montresor Lugana Campo Valentino £9.59
This wine has been one of our most popular Italian whites for a number of years and the 2014 vintage is a classic.
  Made from 100% Turbiana this is a subtle and restrained white with delicate stone fruit and lightly nutty aromas. The palate is textural with more nutty characters and good concentration, all beautifully balanced by peachy fruit, a dash of lime, and taut acidity on the finish. 
Both of these white wines are perfectly in tune with the current trend for clean and fruity flavours, nothing to rich or serious just light, honest and dangerously drinkable. Try some.

And on to the main event, a main course of Gallina Ubriaca (drunken chicken). This is a very tasty dish that is similar to coq au vin and it was the perfect foil for our next pairing of wines.
These are the classic red wines of the Valpolicella region and made from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes.  
2013 Montresor Capitel della Crosara Valpolicella Ripasso £11.99
Unsurprisingly Vittoria informed me that this is the most popular wine in the Montresor portfolio with listings as far flung as Vietnam and Sweeden. The Ripasso name is such that it has become more of an internationally recognisable brand that is synonymous with quality rather than a style of winemaking.
Intense aromas of fresh morello cherry and ripe plum give an attractive first impression. The palate has bright crunchy cherry fruit with spicy vanilla notes and the classic bitter cherry finish typical of Ripasso. This is a very appealing wine from the single vineyard ‘Capitel della Crosara’ that offers beautifully fresh fruit and silky smooth, spicy tannins.
2013 Montresor Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ‘Satinato’ £22.99
Few wine lovers can resist the sort of thought provoking hedonism brought on by the words Amarone della Valpolicella, and tonight we would enjoy two of these great wines.
The first Amarone was the ‘Satinato’ which refers to the distinctive black frosted bottle, this is a more modern and approachable wine but no less delicious.
Hints of coffee and chocolate on the nose with ripe crushed berry, bitter cherry and sweet plummy fruit on the palate, this is backed by notes of bitter chocolate. Rich and warming yet fresh and well-balanced, with supple tannins and a rich texture.

A simple cheese course then followed, and this was always going to be a match made in heaven with a ripe and pruny Amarone.
2012 Montresor Amarone della Valpolicella Classico del Fondatore £25.99
A complex nose showing notes of black cherry, plum, violets, coffee and raisins. The palate is smooth and rounded, with a richly-textured mid-palate and a medley of spice, dried fruit characters and supple tannins. The wine remains elegant, being so beautifully integrated and sweetly rich, but with a long and complex, dry finish. A truly great Amarone that offers real value for money in the region.

To finish we enjoyed a perfectly executed panna cotta and as Montresor do not import a sweet wine into the UK we finished with….
2012 Il Cascinone ‘Palazzina’ Moscato Passito £5.99
This is a delicate and floral Moscato from Piemonte that is absolutely gorgeous paired with lighter pud’s such as panna cotta.     
A nose of intense lemon curd, marmalade, and citrus peel with lightly floral notes. The palate has lots of ripe apricot and acacia honey characters with honeyed sweetness, well-balanced by a citrus zest bite on the lingering finish.

And thus ended another glorious winemaker dinner, a splendid evening filled with fun and far too much fine wine………oh and an unexpected surprise. Unbeknown to us prior to the dinner, Vittoria our lovely and larger than life special guest was a bit of a star. Following the introduction of each wine Vittoria would burst into song. In an operatic and almost tuneful soprano she belted out renditions of Nessun Dorma and several other Opera stalwarts including that very famous Dean Martin classic ‘Volare’, such is the joy of Amarone.
As Vittoria says “Wine is music in a bottle!”
Malts of the Month

GLENFARCLAS 10 Year Old, Speyside Single Malt £29.59
Delicately light, with a mouth-watering combination of maltiness, smokiness and sherry sweetness. Hints of dried fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves tempt the taste buds further. Long smooth and spicy finish, with a delicious, yet delicate, lingering smokiness.
GLENFARCLAS 15 Year Old, Speyside Single Malt £43.29
Full bodied with super balance of sherried sweetness, malty tones and peaty flavours. Long lasting finish, glorious sherry notes, sweet, gently smoky and distinguished. With greater complexity than the 10 year old, this is a great whisky drinker's whisky.

Other Whisky Offers

AUCHENTOSHAN American Oak, Lowland Single Malt £26.99
Chocolate coconut, citrus peels and peaches. A little bit buttery, with golden barley and oak spice developing on the mid palate. Lasting notes of grapefruit and toffee.
THE ARDMORE Legacy, Lightly Peated Highland £26.99
Light, silky peat-smoke and creamy vanilla, balanced with sweet honey and spice.
HIGHLAND PARK 12 Year Old, Orkney Single Malt £28.99
A uniquely smooth, balanced single malt, with a rich full flavour and a gentle smoky finish.
LAPHROAIG 10 Year Old, Islay Single Malt £33.59
Bold smoky taste, followed by a hint of seaweed and surprising sweetness. This full-bodied variant is the foundation of all Laphroaigs expressions and comes with a long finish.
GLENROTHES Vintage Reserve, Speyside Single Malt £33.99
Red berries and nutty, light fruit cake, apple skin and creamy caramel. A light and easy-drinking introduction to the distillery’s range.
MACALLAN Gold, Speyside Single Malt £33.99
Citrus and boiled sweets rule the palate, along with hints of ginger and cinnamon, while soft oak tones reveal toasted apples. The finish is medium-sweet, malty and slightly dry. 

Gin of the Month

WHITTAKER'S Small Batch Distilled, Harrogate £31.99
Whittaker's Gin (Harrogate Distillery Ltd) is a family business run from Harewell House Farm in the heart of Nidderdale in North Yorkshire. They are passionate about Yorkshire and where they live and about their amazing local produce which they are so proud to be part of.
Their aim is to produce an artisan small batch, handcrafted spirit which reflects the Yorkshire countryside in a bottle. Predominantly Juniper mixed with Coriander and Angelica Root. Bilberries bring sharpness, complementing the Juniper berries keeping the gin character intact. Hawthorne berries, which grow on the beautiful hardy trees and hedgerows throughout the countryside, bring background sweetness. Bog Myrtle grows on the stunning Yorkshire moors and has a spicy aroma and tastes both bitter and balsamic at the same time (rich like vanilla). Just before distilling, citrus and delicate thyme are added to their gin basket, giving it a fresh yet savoury flavour.

If you want to browse one of the largest ranges of gin anywhere in the country, check out our website:
Any of these gins can be added to your order.

Seasonal Cases
All of our current seasonal case offers can be found on our website:

For orders or enquiries about any of the cases or wines in this newsletter, please contact us by phone at the shop on 01200 423152 or 01200 422281, thank you.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Easter newsletter 2016

Easter Newsletter 2016

With Christmas behind us and Easter so very early this year we have decided to hit the ground running and release both our 'Easter' and 'Easter Treats' cases, together with some great wine and whisky recommendations.


El Provenir Amauta Absoluto Torrontes – Argentina
Bright and appealing yellow colour with lovely fresh tropical fruit and citrus blossom notes. Alsatian in style, with lovely Eastern nuances of rose-petal, lemon grass and ginger. The palate is rich and aromatic, fresh and beautifully structured, with lovely rich ripe fruit and crisp acidity.
Magpie Estate ‘The Next Big Thing’ Chardonnay – Australia
With the faintest whiff of oak this bright, tangy Barossa Chardonnay is an absolute delight. It has that classical Barossa charm, elegance, poise, tang and a very moreish quality that makes one wonder why we don’t drink more Australian Chardonnay.
Domaine de Vedilhan Sauvignon Blanc – France
A wonderfully elegant Sauvignon Blanc from the Languedoc.
Tropical fruit, citrus, slightly honeyed, with hints of flint on the nose. The palate has lots of peach, guava, other stone fruit and fruit pastilles with good palate weight and crispy acidity.
Bottega Vinai Trentino Pinot Grigio – Italy
Rich and round with distinct floral, apple and citrus notes on the nose. Palate flavours include white spice, green olive and almond characters that finish rich and nutty. This is a Pinot of uncommon quality, weight and richness.
Boutinot ‘La Fleur Solitaire’ Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc – France
The nose is pretty and delicate, with hints of hedgerow flowers. The palate flavours are subtle and refined, with elegant tropical fruits and just a hint of oak adding texture.
Il Cascinone Soliti Merlot – Italy
A ripe, opulent nose with plum and blackberry characters. Full flavoured and spicy on the palate with ripe black fruit and structured tannins. A soft, well rounded merlot with plenty of character.
Emiliana Reserva Pinot Noir – Chile
Perfumed red fruit aromas are supported on the palate with bright and crunchy red fruit’s, this is a soft and fruity wine that is well balanced and persistent on the finish.
Domaine Bresquieres Ventoux ‘Les Contreforts’ – France
A classic southern Rhone with bright, juicy Grenache notes streaked with some Syrah spice. A tasty red with elegance and balance, black cherries, woody herbs and a backbone of tannin giving the wine structure.
Clos Bagatelle Rouge a L’Origine St Chinian – France
This is a very characterful wine blended from equal measures of Syrah, Carignan and Grenache with a dash of Mouvèdre. The flavours here sing of the south of France, with plum, black olive, liquorice and herbs leading to an intense spicy finish.
Bottega Vinai Teroldego Rotaliano – Italy
A complex, savoury nose with hints of tar, wood-smoke, dark fruit and tobacco. Good structure and weight, with great concentration of dark plum and sour cherry characters, balanced by fresh acidity and ripe easy tannins. Rich on the finish with dark chocolate, liquorice, white pepper notes.
Vega del Rayo Vendimia Seleccionada Rioja – Spain
The nose has warm spice, ripe plum and cherry aromas while the palate is richly flavoured and substantial with black fruit and a smoky, spicy character from time in oak. This is a very well-balanced, fruity and approachable Rioja made in the modern style.
Le Riche ‘Richesse’ Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot – South Africa
A wine that over delivers on all fronts! This is the only red wine produced by Le Riche that is not 100% Cabernet. A reincarnation of Le Riche's classic Cab Merlot blend, this is an exceptionally lovely, classically Bordelaise blend.
£85.99 If collected from the shop and  £94 if delivered in the UK.


2014 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre – Loire
A wine of style marked by richness, elegance and smoothness. Lifted aromas of flint, and citrus zest, leading to a fine and fruity palate with real focus and intensity. Enjoy this classic dry white with shellfish or as an aperitif.
2014 Domaine Faiveley Rully Blanc ‘Les Villeranges’ - Bourgogne
Fresh, mineral, flinty aromas mix with ripe fruit to give a nice fresh bouquet. This wine is very pleasant on the palate, sophisticated and rounded with soft lightly tropical notes backed by a touch of nutty oak.
2012 Domaine Madeloc Collioure Rouge ‘Cuvee Serral’
Dark in colour with intense aromas of red berries, liquorice and vanilla. This is a fine Languedoc red blended from Grenache and Mourvedre that offers soft fig fruit notes and some smoky spice.
2012 Circle of Life Red - Stellenbosch
A deeply refined single estate expression showing bounds of character, finesse, length, breadth and structure, a testament to biodynamic viticulture. A classically styled wine with notes of cassis and cedar, seamless, elegant and encased by fine tannins. It is a wine whose flavours become more complex if the wine is allowed to aerate for a while.
2012 Zenato ‘Ripassa’ Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore - Veneto
A close relation to Amarone, Ripassa takes its name from the ancient process of Ripasso, literally meaning repassed. After the Valpolicella is fermented, it is put into vessels recently vacated by the Amarone. The wine soaked skins and lees that remain in these vessels initiate a slight re-fermentation, subsequently increasing both the alcohol and body of the wine. This is a lovely velvety wine.
2013 Clos du Val Zinfandel – Napa Valley
 This luscious Zinfandel has a deep ruby red hue. Brambly and cranberry notes of spice, minerals, black pepper and cherry marry with some subtle tobacco aromas. Ripe, red berry fruit dominates throughout the palate, with savoury notes and vanilla. It is a beautifully balanced wine with a silky mouth-feel and moderate tannins. A classic Zinfandel in every sense.
 £95 If collected from the shop and  £103 if delivered in the UK.

Just a reminder……..
Our Everyday Case is still available in store & for order
£62.99 if collected from the shop
£70.99 delivered anywhere in mainland UK
Free delivery within a 30 mile radius


2014 Bodegas Juan Gil Moscatel Seco – Jumilla £6.99
Fresh peach, grape and lychee aromas - backed by notes of jasmine and white pepper. The palate is complex - juicy, yet also broad and savoury with more stone fruit characters, a touch of spice and a long, zesty finish.

2014 Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc – Stellenbosch £8.99 **SPECIAL OFFER** 
This is a very fine Sauvignon with real intensity and minerality.

2014 Cusumano Shamaris Grillo – Sicily £11.99
Lovely and fruity on the nose with flavours of melon and nectarine.

2013 Alta Mora Etna Bianco – Sicily £13.99
A very fine, crisp, fruity and textural dry white showing good minerality. Something new and tasty.

2009 Michel Lafarge Meursault – Bourgogne £25.99 
This is a very fine Burgundy from the rich and delicious 2009 vintage…..a great price.

2012 Cousino Macul Antiguas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon – Maipo £10.99
This is one of our longest serving new world reds and a model of consistency. A soft, leafy Cabernet.

2014 Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Shiraz – Frankland River – Australia £10.99
A ripe and spicy shiraz from one of WA’s most respected producers.

2013 The Rude Mechanicals Three Monkeys Red – South Australia £9.59
 A classic Aussie blend - bright, really juicy, not too rich and highly quaffable.

2013 Cantine San Marzano Negroamaro ‘Il Pumo’, Puglia – Italy £7.99
This is very soft and packed with bright red fruits.

2011 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva – Puglia – Italy £12.99
Intense garnet colour wine, derived from grapes Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera. Classic Salice with blackberry and black cherry, hints of dried herbs and sweet spices.

2009 Il Faggeto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva – Tuscany £19.99
One of Andrews better finds…a powerful and concentrated Sangiovese.

2001 Bodegas Artadi Pagos Viejos – Rioja – Spain £39.99
We still have stock of this modern classic, 2001 was an outstanding Rioja vintage…..compare this price you will be amazed!

2013 Bodegas Juan Gil 12 Meses Monastrell – Jumilla - Spain £9.99 
A massive and intense modern Spanish red from Juan Gil, the masters of Monastrell.

2013 Pierre Fine Grenat Grenache – Cotes Catalanes £6.99
A new and slightly improved vintage of one of our most popular reds.

2011 Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Rouge £10.99
This is very good value, a light and fruity Burgundy.

2011 Domaine Les Pallieres Gigondas ‘Les Racines’ £23.99  
This is drinking perfectly, a lifted and succulent Gigondas from one of the regions finest domains.

Whisky Recommendations

Something a bit special:
Mortlach 18 Year Old, Signatory Vintage 1997, Un-chillfiltered Collection £41.99
Woody, fruity nose with hints of marmalade and raisins. Ground almonds, stem ginger and a touch of honey. The palate is fruity and clean initially, leading on to flavours of cooked banana, butterscotch, apple peel and allspice. Malty and spicy to finish with.

For the Speyside Whisky lover:
The Singleton Spey Cascade £29.59
Smooth, rich and perfectly balanced. The maturation in American and European oak casks gives a cascade of flavours with layers of rich stewed fruits, soft brown sugar and toasted nuts.

For the Peaty Whisky lover:
Talisker Skye £33.59
Introduced in 2015, named after the beautiful island on which the distillery resides. An easy drinking Talisker, taking the distilleries classically rugged character and softening it out. Fresh citrus, sweet smoke, peppery spice and traditional maritime notes.

Great value Bourbon:
Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon £22.99 Previously it had been bottled at 40% abv for the UK market, but now we can get the Frontier Whiskey at 45% abv, just like they have in Kentucky. Bright with orange zest, toasted oak, vanilla, warming spices and a hint of tobacco leaf. Very smooth and spicy finish.

Something a little different:
Produced by John distilleries in Goa, India, the Paul John range of single malt whiskies (named after their Chairman) represents a move into premium spirits for a company who are already big players in the Indian molasses 'whisky' market.
Paul John Brilliance £36.99
Lots of chewy caramel and chocolate flavours. Lively spiciness, with a little bit of waxy orange on the mid palate. Long, lingering finish with flavours of the and again more orange notes. *94.5 points - Jim Murray Whisky Bible 2016*
Paul John Edited £38.99
A peated Indian single malt showing really well at what most would consider a young age. Toasted cereal, barley and honey notes. Slight vegital peatiness, but it's not overpowering. A touch of mocha, oak and hints of liquorice. Only lightly smoky but with a good earthy peat underneath. 

For orders or enquiries about any of the cases or wines in this newsletter, please contact us by phone at the shop on 01200 423152 or 01200 422281, thank you.