Archive for the ‘Trade Tips’ Category

Alain Geoffroy Chablis: A quality report.

Posted on: October 13th, 2016 by Andrew No Comments

A quick trip to Mâçon offerred the opportunity for a stop-off in Beins to visit Chablis producer Alain Geoffroy, with whom we have worked for 5 years. Met in a sunny courtyard of the now sprawling Geoffroy estate by Pascal Sailley, the export manager, we were whisked off on a little tour of the winery. Geoffroy is not a big estate but houses in its chais the modern panoply of winemaking equipment, facilititating the reliability and drinkability of this Northern Burgundian wine, which is often, like this year, very much at the mercy of the weather. After a petit tour, where we saw the equipment being washed down after the completion of the rather meagre harvest, we were shown their piece de resistence – the largest collection of corscrews and wine paraphenalia in France , the Musee de Tire Bouchon. This was extraodinary; rooms and rooms of cabinets stuffed with corkscrews of every size, shape and vintage. This was quite a surprise and not what one normally gets on a winebuyers winery tour. Some pictures below to give a bit of an idea


Once the tour was over, the serious business began. Discussing the state of the Chablis 2016 harvest and tasting the previous two or three vintages.

As you may be aware, Chablis was hit badly by hail in June, with most producers losing most of their 2016 crop. Geoffroy is down by 2/3rds, but some have lost nearly everything. This means that there will be very little, if any, wine for sale next year. Geoffroy has customers in 30 countries as well as France, so the little they have will be spread very thin. For us in the UK, the so far tangible result of the referendum in june is the collapsing value of the pound, so what little we get will also be much more expensive. As to the quality, the rest of the season was good so the wine should also be of good quality, but we wont know for sure until next spring. If Pascal mentioned it, I missed it.

But what about the wines, you say; well as usual they were stunning. We tasted a range from the 15 vintage going back to 2012 as follows:-

Petit Chablis 15 – tight, crisp, very fresh, medium bodied with lively fruit. V good

Chablis 15 (in UK stock now) Rich and very ripe, almost opulent and rounded. Dry full and long. Not quite classic Chablis but v drinkable.

Chablis 15 Vieille Vignes (50/50 barrel and Stainless Steel) – Lively and rich with the ripeness of the straight chablis with a layer of young oak under. Still unbalanced but should develop complexity with bottle age. Lovely wine

Chablis Premier Cru Vau Ligneau 15 – This is more classic Chablis. Long, clean, racy flinty and dry. Elegant and sinewy, this is superb.

Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy 15 – Powerful much broader wine, rich long and still a little closed.

Chablis Premier Cru Beauroy 14 – fantastic, complex, dry, long superbly balanced wine. Still tight and flinty on the finish. Delicious

Chablis Premier Cru Vau Ligneau 12 – Ripe, layered, dry , full, long with tight minerally fruit. Again elegant and stylish

Chablis Grand Crus Les Clos 13 – This is very ripe and extracted with loads of oak and fruit. A little too Burgundian for me – I prefer stainless steel!

Planning a wine list #2 – the Country/Gastropub

Posted on: December 6th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

One might assume that if someone is planning to open a pub that he might have thought about the wine list along with the style of food he (or she!) is going to offer. In my experience, this is very far from the case. We deal with a lot of premises that would fall into this category and many of them offer a list barely different from the kind you might find anywhere – a box ticking exercise. (more…)

Planning a Wine List – part one, the Local

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

We all know them, there used to be one on every street corner in every town and village in the country. Not any more. Recession and various blundering attempts by the government to “open up the pub industry to competition” has meant a bloodbath in this sector, with pubs closing at an unprecedented rate. The brunt of the cull has fallen on the in-town local, where pub gardens for smokers weren’t an option and the ability to diversify into food was not possible. Despite the carnage, however, some locals have not only survived but thrived. In our area we have a few that we supply, catering in town to the more traditional pub go-er and doing it really well. How? There isn’t really one answer but good management allied to welcoming front of house staff and a clean inviting atmosphere seem to do the trick.


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