Tuesday, 2 July 2013

D. Byrne & Co. July Newsletter

D. Byrne & Co. July Newsletter

D. Byrne & Co. Barbecue Case
Alasia Piemonte Cortese - Italy
Delicious fresh fragrant nose, clean, invigorating and zesty, with crisp green fruit on the palate and lovely acidity, a very moreish drink.
Percheron Chenin Blanc Viognier - South Africa
Vibrant and aromatic with delicious, generous fresh apricot, nectarine and hints of passion fruit on the nose, in this delightful blend sourced from vines up to 40 years old.
Ancora Bianco Garganega delle Venezie - Italy
Pale straw yellow colour, lightly aromatic with ripe citrus and baked apple characters, a soft easy to drink white.
Sierra Grande Chardonnay - Chile
A fantastic expression of un-oaked Chilean mountain Chardonnay. Ripe peaches and mango, with hints of vanilla creaminess. A very pure crisp Chardonnay.
Ca' di Ponti Catarratto - Italy
This great value has some real weight and character, fresh and dry with ripe guava and citrus, and a succulent tropical fruit finish.
Percheron Grenache Rose - South Africa
SWA Gold medal & a separate award for wine by the glass Sommelier Wine Awards 2013
Elegant, savoury and lifted, from young vine Swartland Grenache. No surprise it scooped so many awards at the SWA!
Mas de Vigneron Rouge, Pays du Vaucluse - France
First impressions are of a classic Rhone red, friendly and warming, with the hallmark spice of Grenache and Syrah. Soft, fruity and easy to drink.
Alasia Piemonte Barbera - Italy
Light juicy red with aromas of raspberry fruit, plums and cherries. These characters follow through to the palate, along with soft tannins and a savoury finish.
Percheron Old Vine Cinsault - South Africa
Highly praised by wine critics, from gnarly vines up to 65 years old, this wine is gently compelling with aromas of the earth and stony minerality. The palate includes red fruits, cherries, a hint of spice and creamy refreshing acidity.
Borsao Garnacha, Bodegas Borsao - Spain
It would be hard to find, at the price, a more highly praised and award winning wine than this. Juicy bramble fruit and fresh redcurrants dominate this very approachable wine.
Cape Heights Shiraz - South Africa
A ripe chunky red, with layers of spicy fruit and damsons, that massively over delivers.
Ancora Rosso Sangiovese di Puglia
A cracking barbecue wine, medium bodied with aromas or red fruit and damsons, balanced by a tangy acidity.
£60.99 if collected from the shop and £69.00 delivered anywhere in the UK
Free delivery within a 30 mile radius.
D. Byrne & Co. Summer Case
L'Ormarine 'Duc de Morny' Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux Languedoc - France
Nicknamed 'La Bomba' due to the incredible fruit and zest in a white from this far south. Exuberantly fresh on the palate with ripe mango fruit, a slightly salty edge and underlying minerality.
Torre de Menagem Vinho Verde - Portugal
Aromas of stone fruit, peach and orange zest. The wine is ripe, spicy and aromatic on the palate, with tangy, citrussy lemon and pink grapefruit. Portugal's answer to the wines of Rias Baixas.
Lauca Sauvignon Blanc, Valle Maule - Chile
Twenty five year old low-trellised Maule Valley Sauvignon Blanc from cool, rocky terrain. Medium-bodied with fresh citrus notes, hints of tropical fruit, a steely mineral palate and delicious pink grapefruit acidity.
Les Cepages Oublies Gros Manseng Colombard, Pays de Cotes de Gascogne - France
Ripe grass nose (reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc), citrus fruit and hints of nuttiness harmonise into an intensely aromatic wine. Quite frankly superb!
Castell del Remei Blanc Planell - Spain
Costers del Segre remains an emerging but not exactly mainstream region, producing exceptional quality wines. peach and white blossom on the palate, almonds, hints of fennel and herbaceous notes. This is an absolute delight, a wine that certainly delivers.
Borsao Seleccion Rosado - Spain
A great fresh rose, spicy and full with excellent harmony between acidity and ripe fruit. Borsao have achieved a rare combination of quality and stunning value.
Alianca Dao Reserva - Portugal
This a proper, grown-up, thoroughly drinkable wine. Intense, a full flavoured spicy brambly red, perfect for drinking on long summer nights.
Soliti Merlot, Il Cascinone - Italy
An exuberant, juicy, slurpy, fruity red which tastes of proper wine! Crushed cherry characters, a nice soft palate with vibrant acidity and a mouth-watering oh-so drinkable finish.
Domaine Belle Granges Syrah, Pays de Collines Rhodaniennes - France
Sourced a 15 minute drive from Hermitage in the Rhone Valley. Amazingly fresh and vibrant with real depth and the tell-tale perfume of violets gives way to lashings of sweet ripe fruit. Perfect for the barbecue or to cheer you up if it's raining!
Senorio de Sarria Crianza, Navarra - Spain
SWA Gold Medal winner, also awarded a medal for wine by the glass, Sommelier Wine Awards 2013
Packed with an abundance of juicy ripe berry fruits. An harmonious palate and soft rounded tannins. Great with lamb.
Barbera d'Asti 'Ceppi Storici' - Italy
A medium-bodied, warm, soft, spicy red, with flavours of damson fruits on the palate. Light redcurrant and subtle red cherry fruits on the finish, juicy, succulent and comfortingly full.
Lauca Cabernet Sauvignon - Chile
Made from 30 year old vines. Dark and brooding, with pepper and spice and intense black fruit on the palate, rich plum and exotic spices mingle to ensure a great drink.
£79.89 if collected from the shop and £88 delivered anywhere in the UK
Free delivery within a 30 mile radius.

Philip's Holiday Drinking

Soon to be going on holiday my mind has turned to the all important decision of which drinking delights I am going to take with me, it's surprising just how many bottles you can squeeze into a car between the dog and the wetsuits.

Holiday drinking is a relaxed affair, so no premier crus here, just good quality, easy drinking, pleasure-giving wine, you know, the ones where you won't feel guilty if you pull a second cork!

A great start to the holiday this year will be Rimauresq 2011 Cotes de Provence - particularly since my wife, Judith, recently received a 3 litre double magnum as a particularly spectacular birthday present. This is available in a more reasonably sized bottle at £10.39

We may be enjoying a Devon seaside holiday, but I will always remain a Francofile, so the the family will be enjoying a Bourgogne Rouge Michel Lafarge 2006 £13.99 and a Chateau Cap de Faugeres Cotes de Castillon £13.99. At the moment we are particularly partial to the Bernard Vallet Chardonnay £13.29, a grower we have met many times and are proud to call a friend. Next in the box will be the Greywacke Sauvignon from New Zealand £13.99, especially if we boys have been out mackerel fishing for the day. I might just sneak a bottle of Pouilly Fume Arret Buffatte £12.99 in to go with the spectacular crabs that are brought in at the local beach.

Being a father to two student daughters I often find myself pandering to their wine whims. Our youngest, an art student, has a great wine palate but is always drawn to a good label, not aesthetics over quality I might add, she just likes a bottle to look good. Her current favourites are more than worthy to be going on holiday with us: Passion has Red Lips Cabernet Shiraz by Some Young Punks £11.89 and Pablo Y Walter Malbec £8.39.

The irresistible urge for man to make fire gets to us all which means you'll frequently find me in charge of the barbecue and that calls for serious quaffing wine. Our family quaff would be either Pina Fidelis from Ribera del Duero (our Red of the Year) £6.99 or a superb Alianca Bairrada Reserva £5.99. For the white wine drinkers there will be a bottle of Mastri Vernacoli Trentino Nosiola £6.09

Holidays aren't all about wine, even for a wine merchant; we always sample the local beers, especially since we stay next door to a pub! For a long cool tipple, Judith has recently discovered the delights of Hendrick's Gin £26.19, which she insists must be drunk from a large brandy glass with slices of cucumber and ice to capture all the flavours.

Fine Wines from Oporto by Tim Byrne
I have just returned from a visit to Portugal, this was an opportunity to taste the new vintages and to meet with a number of our suppliers there. One of the many highlights of the trip was an extensive tasting and dinner with Jose Carneiro of the port house Wiese and Krohn.
In port wine terms Krohn are a relatively small house, but they are widely acknowledged as one of the finest producers of Colheita ports. The company house an impressive stock of some five million litres of wine and still have Colheita ports in barrel dating back to 1863. A Colheita port is a tawny port from a single harvest, the wines must be aged in wood for a minimum of seven years after which time they take on a smooth tawny character.
Fine Colheitas are fascinating and of all the styles of port wine produced,  I find Colheitas to be the most alluring, with a rare complexity and intensity all of their own.

Here are my personal favourites from the tasting, needless to say they are all highly recommended.

Krohn 1964 White Colheita £62.99
This rare and remarkable wine has spent 47 years in cask and is an utter joy to taste. Super complex from start to finish, this is a truly stunning Colheita. It is hard to believe that a wine so fine has a cost which equates to less than £1.30 a year - rare indeed.
Krohn 1982 Colheita £39.99
This wine shows the development of the 30 years spent in cask, it has rich and nutty complexity backed by some silky spicy notes, the finish lasts for over a minute!
Krohn 1995 Colheita £21.99
With 15 years in cask this is a more vigorous and full-bodied wine than the '82. Rich in dried fruits and some chocolaty notes, this is a perfectly balanced example.
Krohn 2000 Colheita £15.59
This is the youngest of Krohn's Colheitas and the perfect entry level style. Rich and fruity with some soft Christmas spices.
Krohn LBV 2005 £12.99
Outstanding value. This is a sensational LBV, full-bodied and very sweet, fruity and not too serious.
Krohn Dry White £10.29
Served as a long drink with tonic water and ice this makes a delicious aperitif.
Krohn Rose £8.99
The finest example of the new style 'Rose Port' I have tasted. With crisp red fruits and a vibrant refreshing feel.

Andrew's Spirits

Benromach is carefully handcrafted at Speyside's smallest distillery by just two men using the finest Scottish barley and the purest of spring water from the nearby Romach Hills. Golden in colour, with a soft mellow character, this single malt combines soft fruity notes with a rich sherry influence and gentle peat smoke to deliver an exceptional whisky experience. Benromach 10 year old has just achieved the 'Ultimate Recommendation' accolade at the Ultimate Spirit Challenge after scoring 95 points out of 100.
Benromach 10 year old SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £27.99

Maison Briottet is a family business, founded in 1836. Originally in the wine business as a negociant buying and selling wine. Following the development of the 'blanc cassis' aperitif (white wine with Crème de Cassis), the company progressively focused its activities of producing fruit crèmes liqueurs. More recently people have been experimenting with all sorts of concoctions and two of the nicest are either Liqueur de Rhubarbe £15.29 or Liqueur Pamplemouse Rose (pink grapefruit) £16.39 - mixed with Prosecco (Lunetta £7.49) they both make delicious tasting summer evening drinks.

Orders or enquiries for any of the cases or wines in this blog please telephone the shop on 01200 422281 or 01200 423152.