Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Easter Newsletter 2012

As I'm typing this the sunshine is streaming in through the window and though Spring doesn't technically begin until 20th March, it is very difficult to ignore that feeling of warmth and vigour it generates. At this time of year the number of wine tasting opportunities for our staff increases and newly discovered wines start to fly into the shop, most of the team will shortly be off to various wine growing regions of the world, so watch this space for the ideas they will be bringing back with them. And yes, before you say anything, we know it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!
A British Spring might bring snow one day and sun the next, so our wine rack needs to be able to accommodate our fickle tastes. With this in mind we have put together two beautiful cases of wine which should have everything you might need; firstly the Easter case and a brand new Everyday Drinking Case which constitutes great value for money.
We are also offering En Primeur wines from the brilliant Rhone 2010 vintage. If this is of interest to you please reply to this email with the word 'Rhone' in the subject line and a list will be sent out to you shortly.

In this blog:
Five Star wines from Decanter Magazine
Brilliant new wines selected by Philip & Judith at a recent tasting
Offer of French country wines recently tasted by Andrew whilst in France
A case of wines specially selected for drinking over the Easter period
Our new outstanding value for money 'Everyday case'

To order any of the wines or cases mentioned in the blog please phone us on 01200 423152 or 01200 422281. Please do not email us with orders or you amy not receive an immediate reply.
For any order over 12 bottles within a 30 mile radius there will be no delivery charge. Any wines ordered together with one of our seasonal cases to be delivered over a 30 mile radius will not receive an extra delivery charge. If you are simply ordering wines from the non case selection, there will be just one charge of £8 per delivery.

Five star Decanter Magazine wines

Bodegas Darien Reserva Rioja 2007 19/20 points 12.99
This was the top wine in the tasting of 177 Rioja wines ranging in price from £8.00 to £70
"High toned baked fruit, spice, raisin, mint and vanilla on the nose. Super wine which is sweet, upfront and approachable, typically supple and juicy, balanced by crisp acidity and chalky tannins. Elegant". (Decanter Magazine)

Vega del Rayo Reserva Rioja Alta 8.39 (four stars Decanter Magazine)
"Smoke, oak, baked fruit, cinnamon, damson, pepper, spice and herbaceous aromas. Tight crisp palate with baked fruit and supple juiciness. Delicate use of spicy oak and tannins on the almost glorious finish". (Decanter Magazine)

All the following wines were selected for a Decanter tasting of South African wines at over £10 per bottle, it is interesting to note our prices for them!

Rustenberg John X Merriman - South Africa 9.95 (Decanter price £12-£14)
"This wine punches well above its weight, making it one of the most consistently reliable and best value wines on the market. The classic Bordeaux blend of grapes - ripe but with poise" (Decanter Magazine)

Spice Route Chakalaka - South Africa 8.69 (Decanter price £10-£11)
"A Rhone blend boasting attractive dark berries and cherries on the nose followed by ripe and forward fruit on the palate. The alcohol is tempered by lively acidity and refined tannins. Stylish va-va-voom." (Decanter Magazine)

Paul Cluver Chardonnay - South Africa 11.79 (Decanter price £14-£15)
"Extremely toasty, oaky nose but then a lovely complexity of flavours: apple, toasted almond and hazelnut, plus excellent fruit-acid balance and dynamic minerality. Vigorous, with great charisma." (Decanter Magazine)

Some brilliant new Chilean wines
selected by Philip & Judith at a recent tasting
All the wines in this section below are organic.
2011 Novas Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 8.19
2011 Novas Gran Reserva Chardonnay 8.19
2010/11 Novas Gran Reserva Viognier 8.19
2010 Novas Chardonnay/Marsanne/Viognier/Roussanne 10.59
2008 Novas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 8.19
2009/10 Novas Gran Reserva Carmenere/Cabernet Sauvignon 8.19
2008/9 Emiliana Coyam (a cult wine) 15.39

Three more exceptional Chilean wines which are stunning value for the quality:
2007 Tabali 'Payen' 28.99
2007 Sideral Altair 13.99
2005/6 Altair 33.69

A selection of other superb wines we tasted:

2009 Piere Fine Grenat Grenache Noir Vieilles Vignes - France 8.19
Not a fashionable grape, but a brilliant wine. The quality at this price completely over-delivers.
2010 Chateau Fleurus St. Emilion - France 10.39
Soft gentle tannins and bags of fruit. Great with the Sunday roast. A very good St. Emilion

2006 Vallet Freres Santenay Premier Cru - France 21.89
Nice mature Burgundy made in the old fashioned style, sweet beguiling fruit and complex flavours.

2008 Turckheim Sables et Galet Pinot Gris - France 9.89
Rich and beautifully balanced with great concentration of ripe tropical fruit, exceptional

2006 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes Domaine Chante Cigal - France 28.39
Nice and savoury, with soft tannins and spice laden rich fruit. This wine really put a smile on my face, decant, put your feet up and relax!

2011 Catalan Eagle White Garnacha Blanca/Viognier - Spain 7.99
Fresh vibrant fruit with lovely crisp acidity and bags of flavour, superb value.

2010 Catalan Eagle Red Garnacha/Cairinena/Syrah - Spain 7.99
Packed full of juicy black fruit, nice and soft with great complexity. Another brilliant wine.

2009 Byron Santa Barbara Chardonnay - USA 12.89
This stunning Chardonnay is packed with stone fruit, fig, honey, spice and red apple characters, wrapped up with crisp, concentrated minerality on the finish.

2006 Dominio de Atauta Ribera del Duero - Spain 20.69
Fantastic wine  from Ribera produced from very old vines. Rich concentrated fruit flavours combine with a darker more brooding character which opens up in the glass to give an elegant sophisticated drink.

2009 Clio Bodegas El Nido Jumilla - Spain 28.99
Tried this against its big brother El Nido that sells for 85.00 and thought it superb at the price. Dark cherry red with an intense nose of ripe cassis fruit, toasted coffee and liquorice and all the power and finesse you come to expect from a wine of this quality.

Andrew's choice of French Country Wines
"The things we do for our customers! I have just returned from a week in the south of France being wined and dined in some very fine places. I was there to taste some more recent vintages, starting in Montpellier and finishing in the Provence. The overall impression of the wines I tasted was very encouraging, the quality everywhere was high and nearly all represented excellent value for money. The growers, in this part of France in particular, maintain a very high standard of viticultural practice and I think this is amply reflected in the wines. One of the great privileges of being in the wine trade is being given the opportunity to taste old vintages, one such wine was the 1959 Domaine de Montcalmes, tasted with proprietor Frederic Pourtalier, a great treat. The quality and breed of the wine was amazing and could easily pass for a top Chateauneuf-du-Pape or Cru Classe Bordeaux. For shear value for money I was most impressed by the wines of Vigneros de la Vicomte, a large co-operative in the Languedoc from where we are shipping at the moment. The Vin de Pays red, white and rose are all delicious and a bargain at £4.99 a bottle.
Also tasted a selection of single varietals at £5.39 per bottle listed below:
Sauvignon Blanc - Lovely gooseberry nose, nettley fresh, crisp and clean.
Chardonnay - Fine nose, richly fruited, round and creamy, no oak used.
Cinsault Rose - Nice crisp fruit (raspberries), with a good refreshing crisp acidity. Roll on summer!
Merlot - Red berry nose and a soft rounded palate, light tannins, fruity finish.
Cabernet Sauvignon - Rich cassis nose which follows on to the palate, rich and rounded, delicious!
I have a buying trip organised to Spain fairly soon and will let you know what I find."
Andrew Byrne

Cape Heights Chenin Blanc - South Africa
Lovely Guava aromas on the nose leading to a full and ripe citrusy white wine. A long and lingering finish with gentle acidity make this wine perfect to match with food.
Sierra Grande Chardonnay - Chile
Tropical island fruit, lemon, peach and passion fruit, easy to drink with a variety of fruits emerging on the long clean finish.
Sanvigilio Pinot Grigio - Italy
A crisp and lively dry white, lightly aromatic with characters of peach and baked apple, medium-bodied with a fresh citrus finish.
Borsao Macabeo - Spain
Fresh light savoury nose of fennel, lemon and cashew nut characters on the palate are backed by a broad textural palate and a nice clean finish.
Les Oliviers Sauvignon/Colombard - France
Smooth supple and fresh with a lasting finish. Lovely crisp citrus flavours lead to a very satisfying finish, very easy drinking.
Montevista Carmenere - Chile
Delicious bramble fruit aromas complement the rich fruit flavours which are backed up with a hint of cloves and cinnamon. Luscious, full, rich and easy to drink as the tannins are smooth and supple.
Cape Heights Shiraz - South Africa
On the nose fresh and forward, lively red fruit backed by real depth, perfectly balanced with a delightful spicy finish.
Castanzu Cannonau di Sardegna - Sardinia
Fresh and medium-bodied with aromas of raspberry, black cherry and a hint of eucalyptus - attractive and forward, a good every day food wine with some substance.
Champs du Moulin Grenache - France
Subtle spice and a luscious fruit combination go to make a wonderfully juicy red.
Ancora Sangiovese - Italy
A perfect food wine, fresh and lively on the palate with ripe berry fruit and a hint of spiciness.
El Tesoro Monastrell/Shiraz - Spain
A medium-bodied warm, soft spicy red, with aromas of damson fruits on the palate, light redcurrant flavours and a subtle red cherry fruit on the finish.
Marktree Red - Australia
A blockbuster Aussie blend offering fruit, weight and texture, making it a great food wine.
£58.99 if collected from the shop or £67 if delivered over a 30 mile radius.

Easter Case

Diez Siglos de Verdejo - Spain
Diez Siglos are a fantastic new source of top quality Verdejo, located in the heart of Rueda DO. Old bush vines have been re-grafted to produce a zingy citrus style of Verdejo.
IMV Nosiola - Italy
Floral, aromatic nose with hints of green apple, the palate is deliciously nutty, ripe and spicy with a balancing acidity and a dry, crisp finish.
Pra Soave- Italy
Big and fat and ripe with great poise and balance, from one of the best producers in Soave, a truly delicious wine.
Montevista Reserva Viognier - Chile
This aromatic and subtle Viognier presents aromas of citrus and floral notes. On the palate gentle floral, honeyed and citrus flavours mingle with a soft, rounded texture and great purity, this is a real find!
The Cloud Factory Sauvignon Blanc - New Zealand
Up, up and away - an uplifting Sauvignon Blanc with crisp fresh gooseberry fruit and nice aromatics and just a hint of hidden sweetness - a great wine.
Ceppi Storici Barbera - Italy
This juicy, lip-smacking, damson packed Barbera is dense, smoky and seductive with complexity coming from 40 year old vines. This is just about the greatest value for money red we list.
Novas Gran Reserva Pinot Noir - Chile
Immediately juicy with lots of raspberry fruits and polished complexity, creamy, soft and deliciously pure.
Marques de la Villa Tinto de Toro - Spain
An open nose of blackberry and blueberry with lightly toasty notes, medium-bodied, on the palate this wine is hugely appealing with balanced fine tannins.
Soldiers Block Malbec - Australia
The Malbec is sourced from low yielding vines. This is a classically textural, violet black and exotically perfumed wine.
Montevista Reserva Carmenere - Chile
Bold, black and foodie, this is a serious Carmenere from a single, cool rocky site high in the Andes, with a hint of spice and nice soft tannins.
Ciconia Red - Portugal
Deep vibrant in colour, an inviting nose of toasted nuts and blackberry fruit and an intense spicy finish. Lashings of rich fruit flavours balanced by subtle tannins make for a very enjoyable drink.
La Chapelle du Marin Cote du Rhone - France
D. Byrne & Co. Red Wine of the Year
We have had such a fantastic response to this wine we just had to put it back on. Delicious bramble fruit aromas compliment the rich fruit flavours, with a hint of cloves and cinnamon. Luscious, full, rich and very easy to drink.
Rich and fruity with soft tannins and vibrant black fruit. Great with food or just on its own. Another wine we are excited about!
£71.95 if collected from the shop or £80 if delivered over a 30 mile radius.