Thursday 9 November 2017

D. Byrne & Co.
Christmas Cases 2017

The Christmas Case is finally here!
Quite simply the best value for money Christmas selection around, twelve carefully chosen wines which will compliment any food you are likely to serve over the Christmas period. Any of our cases make ideal presents, which can be collected from the shop or can be delivered to any address in mainland UK in time for Christmas. The cases also make excellent corporate gifts, please call us for details. All of our staff have fought to include their favourites in this one box of fabulous wines. Twelve wines to fill your wine rack, so light the fire, put your feet up and enjoy!

We also have our famous Connoisseur’s Case, perfect as a gift for the wine expert in your life (if you can bear to part with it), but equally perfect for drinking at home over Christmas, some of the best wines at an amazing price.

As usual, we also managed to get Andrew to finally decide on his special case of six wines; this year with a nod to his recent travels in the wine world, more about that later (if you see him, ask about his very short lived career as an international honey smuggler!)

Drum roll……………..
Your next newsletter, following shortly in a very different format will give you much more information about all we will be offering over Christmas. This year it has been taken over by younger members of our staff and will be an exciting and fascinating read. I’m not allowed to reveal too much about it other than to say it has been designed and put together by Philip’s daughter Kate, a recent Illustration degree graduate, with contributions by staff member and budding photographer Matt, both of whom you may have met in the shop. With the amazing Byrne family wine and spirit knowledge of Andrew, Philip and Joseph, combined with the creative skills of our younger staff we hope you will look forward with bated breath to the next major Byrne Production, our Christmas Newsletter.

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. These prices & offers are current for the Christmas 2017 season


Monte Schiavo Ruviano Verdicchio Classico - Italy
Delicate apricot and orchard fruit aromas, hints of white flower, and a refreshing lemon citrus acidity. The palate has minerality and texture with ripe stone fruit characteristics, a touch of salinity and a crisp zesty finish.
False Bay ‘Slow’ Chenin Blanc - South Africa
D. Byrne & Co. White Wine of the Year, first of two in the case
The grapes here do not take just three weeks to get from vineyard to bottle. This wine is crafted the wild way, old-vine fruit fermented with wild yeast – magic like this takes at least six months. Sampled at a recent tasting in Manchester, Philip, Judith and Kate were blown away by the quality. Vegetarian & Vegan
Joyau Gros Manseng Chardonnay - Pays the Côtes de Gascogne – France
Fresh, racy and instantly appealing, fruit salad in a glass! Its lovely grassy, aromatic nose is balanced by ripe, tropical melon and pink grapefruit notes. The palate is a lot softer and creamier than you would expect with real depth of flavour finishing in a fresh, lemony tang. Vegetarian & Vegan
Rude Mechanicals ‘Ephemera’ - South Wales Australia
Made by the brilliant Keith Tulloch. The Viognier/Pinot Gris blend combines depth and freshness in this real belter. On the nose there are the honeysuckle and orange-blossom signatures of Viognier, spice and ripe pear coming from the Pinot Gris. Tight and elegant, poised and precise with hints of lemongrass and fresh ginger. This wine is bright and fine but has real depth and a fresh, long finish. And, for a wine called ‘Ephemera’ this wine is actually ironically long on the finish.
Sileni Sauvignon Blanc - Marlbourgh - New Zealand
The second D. Byrne & Co. White of the Year
This Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc is rich, complex and exotic. Its tangy grapefruit aromas lead to a zingy yet, impeccably balanced finish. Reminds you what made Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc famous!
Soldiers’ Block Malbec – Victoria - Australia
One of our two D. Byrne & Co. Red Wines of the Year
This fabulous value Malbec from the Victoria region of Australia is the first of our red wines of the year, and it’s a dark, aromatic Malbec for the soul. Appealingly chocolatey with an abundance of crisp, mineral fruit and notes of Morello cherry compote. Vegetarian & Vegan
Boutinot ‘Les Coteaux’ Côtes du Rhône Villages - France
We simply couldn’t resist putting this in the case again, it really is that good!
This wine epitomises the D. Byrne & Co. philosophy: quality and drinkability. Due to its soft, approachable and very easy drinking nature it remains a firm favourite amongst our team and this 2014 vintage is one of the best they’ve produced yet! Brambly fruit is underpinned by subtle oaky nuances leading to lovely sweet spicy notes of warm star anise and cinnamon. Vegetarian & Vegan
Ginestet Classique Lussac - Saint Emilion
A very classy Claret nose leads on to a ripe, flavoursome Merlot palate, smooth, with a surprisingly long finish. This Merlot dominant blend is packed with delicate black mulberry flavours, subtle cigar box notes and firm, yet smooth tannins. Slight perfume from the 5% Cabernet Franc addition adds elegance and complexity. Vegetarian & Vegan
Ontañón Ecologico Rioja (Organic) Rioja – Spain Organic
Bright cherry and raspberry aromas are balanced by sweet spice. The palate is structured with complex, ripe red fruit, clove and black pepper. Just five months spent in French and American oak is enough to give this bright 100% Rioja Baja Tempranillo a character upgrade; harmonious and elegant, this is everything modern Rioja should be.
Showdown ‘The Man with the Ax’ Cabernet Sauvignon - USA
Ripe blackcurrant and wild berry fruit on the nose compliment sweet vanilla oak notes, with rich cassis and black cherry on the palate leading to a soft and juicy, yet long finish. This is deep, dark and delectably smoky, the perfect wine to crack open in front of the fire on a cold winters evening. Framed by the subtle American oak. Vegetarian & Vegan
Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère/Cabernet Sauvignon – Chile Organic
Another fabulous wine under this trophy winning label. Blackcurrant and strawberries give way to a light touch of black pepper, tobacco leaf and chocolate. Its medium body and smooth, lush tannins make this a very easy drinking red which stands out for its great balance and fine yet fresh finish. Vegetarian & Vegan
The Rude Mechanicals ‘Three Monkeys’ Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro - South Australia
What a wine to finish the case with! A sensuous blend of Barossa classics. Warm plum and raspberry fruit dominate the nose with subtle hints of rocky earth, spice and violets. Lovely and ripe, it is medium to full-bodied with juicy plum and raspberry on the palate leading to flavours of black cherry, spice and a lick of creamy oak. It’s a generous mouthful with bags of flavour.

£89.99 if collected from the shop or £98 if delivered anywhere in mainland UK


Feudo Maccari Grillo, Sicilia
Fresh and lightly floral on the nose with savoury, nutty notes. The palate is complex with crisp citrus flavours, ripe stone fruit, and tropical characters on the textured mid-palate. A subtle and multi-layered wine with immediately appealing freshness and fruit leading to a taut, savoury, mineral finish.
Les Heritieres de Saint-Genys Haut Cotes de Beune Blanc, Burgundy
This estate has an artisanal approach in order to offer high quality Burgundy wines. Its philosophy is based on respect of land and vine linked to wine passion. All the vineyards are worked traditionally, in a reasoned way, limiting chemical products and favouring the soil work. With white peach and citrus on the nose, this is a deliciously ripe and rich Chardonnay with a lovely citrus character, tangy mineral notes and some salinity. Full flavoured and approachable this wine shows great character.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
A powerful and intense wine with an aromatic nose of white currant and fragrant tropical fruit with a hint of cut grass. Luscious ripe grapefruit and green guava flavours envelop the palate, which has a chalky texture. A refreshing and beautifully balanced Sauvignon Blanc with a long, lingering finish.
Cline Cellars North Coast Viognier, California Vegetarian & Vegan
An honest and expressive Viognier. Wonderfully fragrant with notes of stone fruits, jasmine and honeysuckle. The palate follows through with a richness of fruit including ripe peach and apricot. The finish is given finesse by the refreshing acidity.
Le Riche Chardonnay, Stellenbosch Vegetarian & Vegan
Chablis freshness with lees contact and a light wood influence. A fresh, lemony style with rich minerality, melon and citrus characters and hints of lemongrass and butterscotch. In the words of Christo Le Riche, "We make it to drink it!" This wine has all the best of the Chardonnay character whilst remaining poised, elegant, clean and fresh.
Chateau Lanessan Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux Vegetarian
Fine Haut-Médoc from a good vintage. A blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot and a touch of Petit Verdot. Drinking beautifully now, this has a classic Médoc cigar box nose, followed by a textured, plum fruit and aniseed palate. Harmonious, elegant and reasonably rich.
Vallone ‘Vereto’ Salice Salentino Riserva, Puglia
Vereto is a blend of rigorously selected negroamaro grapes with a touch of malvasia nera to add complexity and elegance. Generous nose of spice and dark fruits. On the palate there is an exotic profile of sweet herbs, tobacco and candied cherries with layers of dried fruits, brown spice and liquorice - complex and characterful.
Vina Real Reserva, Rioja
Deep ruby and cherry red with the slightest hint of a terracotta rim. There’s good intensity on the nose with ripe autumn fruits, warm spices and elegant toasted oak. The palate is rich, warming and velvety with good acidity and fine tannins. The vanilla from the oak is well integrated with the raspberry fruit of the Tempranillo producing a rich complex palate and a long finish.
Domaine Tourelles Vielles Vignes Cinsault, Bekka Valley Vegetarian & Vegan
This extraordinary old vine Cinsault is wonderfully unique. The nose has an exotic mix of ripe fig, bright red cherry and plum fruit with star anise spice, it’s lifted and pronounced. The palate has beautifully ripe red fruit characteristics alongside the fig and date notes. The acidity perfectly balances the generous flavours and leaves a pure, clean finish.
Sileni ‘The Plateau’ Pinot Noir, Hawkes Bay
A ripe, savoury Pinot Noir showing tremendous regional and varietal character. There are complex aromas of varietal dark berry fruit and florals. The palate is rich with flavours of sweet dark cherry, spice and silky tannins. This is a food-friendly style, which will pair beautifully with mushroom risotto, lamb or pasta with truffle and parmesan.
The Songlines Grenache, Barossa Valley
The ancient peoples of Australia navigated the vast emptiness of the continent using mind maps; instructions remembered in song and passed down through generations, a kind of pre-GPS tom-tom. This enticing wine celebrates this near-lost tradition and the Barossa’s well-trodden red earth in its deep, warbling fruit - a song of the soil. Juicy and forward with its ripe red fruits and tasty confected fruit punch. This is a bright and primary Grenache that’s fit for all occasions.
Kloovenburg Eight Feet Red, Swartland
In 2003 Pieter du Toit thought it would be a good idea to get his four sons involved; a good opportunity for some father-son bonding. They picked grapes, stomped it themselves in a few barrels and they made wine! His wife suggested calling it Eight Feet to remind them all of that special family time they had together. Aromas of red berries, hints of perfume, dark fruit, black olive and spice. The palate is medium to full-bodied and has a good structure with soft and silky tannins. Pairs well with grilled and roast beef, stew, mildly spicy foods and game.

£152 if collected from the shop or £160 if delivered anywhere in mainland UK

Andrew’s Six Case

My biggest adventure so far in the wine trade took me to Chile and Argentina and this beautiful place, I christened it the ‘happy vineyard’ – everyone that worked there, even the animals seemed to smile. The ethos of this winery is strictly organic, this wine is a fantastic example of their produce.
From the La Vinilla estate vineyard – a seriously good Rhone style blend… better than ever! Translucent golden yellow in colour, the nose features fruity aromas of apricots and white fruits with a floral side and notes of toasted almonds and butter. Robust and creamy on the palate with good acidity.
A young lady came into the shop with some samples of her family’s produce, reminding me of how good the wines of Campania are. Looking for an example of what this region produces I selected this wine as being great value and interesting.
A rich and textural Fiano from Raiano's finest vineyard plots. Stone fruit aromas with some savoury, flinty and herbal notes. The palate is complex with peach, nectarine, mineral, and slight leesy characters. Textural with crisp acidity and great length.
Travelling to Florence earlier this year, an American gentleman at the back of the plane was talking to somebody about a tasting he was going to. On arriving I made further enquiries in a local wine shop and discovered that a huge Chianti tasting was taking place in the city. A few phone calls later I had secured us some tickets and this wine stood out as one of the wines of the day.
A nose of plush red fruit and blackberries, with spicy, savoury tobacco characteristics. The textured palate opens up to show dense rich fruit, with layers of black cherry, spice and savoury notes. A lush and complex red - long and full on the finish.
My annual holiday this summer found me in Ireland. Not knowing what to expect from the local wine shops I made sure there was a nice case in the boot of the car. Working our way through whilst enjoying all Ireland has to offer, this wine really stood out as being fantastic value for money.
Selected from two vineyard plots in the southernmost part of the Rhône valley, Savoir-Faire d'Autrefois showcases our skill in taming the wild Mourvèdre grape. An intriguing nose of tobacco, cloves and leather is followed by a luxuriant yet sleek and supple palate. Dark cherries and chocolate are interwoven with fine French oak and supported by firm tannins.
Last year’s young wine maker of the year and a fanatic! Santiago shows real passion for what he does and his hard work pays off with the wines he produces. This was the second part of my trip to Chile and Argentina and I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Nieto vineyards where he is the Enologist. Cadus is where Santiago makes his greatest wines at these unique vineyards high in the Uco Valley.
High quality Malbec from this standout producer. The combination of altitude (1300m) and rocky, calcareous soils provide a platform for Malbec to excel. Intense purple in colour, the wine displays great minerality, fresh herbal notes, spice and beautifully expressive black fruits. The palate is elegant with nice fresh acidity, silky tannins and a long finish.
My favourite alternative to a Tawny Port or sweet Madeira.
The name refers to the East India Company, a British trading company that transported cotton, silk, spices, tea, saltpetre and other commodities from the East Indies. As a fortified wine (which lasted longer), sherry was taken along as ballast and to serve the ship’s crew on its transatlantic journey. It is made from a selection of around 80% Oloroso and 20% Pedro Ximénez butts that have aged separately. The Pedro Ximénez is up front, with its thick raisiny notes and dates. However the slightly tangy Oloroso is nicely balancing this nose. Hints of toffee and walnuts. Plum jam. Chocolate and coffee. Nice hints of tobacco as well. Very thick and right in the middle between two styles. Sweet but nowhere near as intense as PX. Notes of brown sugar and caramel come through at first, followed by prunes with a spicy background. There’s a very light salty edge and a good acidity from the Oloroso, with a very long finish with hints of Turkish coffee.

£78 if collected from the shop or £86 if delivered anywhere in mainland UK

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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