Archive for the ‘News and Views’ Category

Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 est arrive

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Andrew No Comments

This is the first year in very many that we have brought over some of this once modish wine.  From Robert Sarrau who makes decent Beaujolais if memory serves and dare I say it, drinking rather well, despite its youth.

Is this a fad ripe for revival? If you would like to decide for yourself, pick up a bottle from any participating store (If you can find one)  Alternatively you can purchase it here but stocks are very limited.

Wine delivered by froggy bike, natch.

Charles Sydney’s latest Loire Vintage asessment

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by Andrew No Comments
Guest post from Loire supremo Charles – well worth a read:
2014 is looking pretty damn good so far.
The Muscadets, the Touraine sauvignons and most Sancerres and Pouillys are now in.
Some background information :
You’ll remember that fine June giving perfect weather for the flowering. Cooler weather than normal in August slowed things down so the ‘advance’ was lost, but perfect, dry, sunny and hot weather all through September meant that the grapes everywhere had time to really ripen in ideal conditions.
There were storms overnight on 19th September, with a little much needed rain to soften skins (could have used that a bit earlier to boost volumes in Muscadet!). They also brought a very unwanted pile of hail onto 100 hectares of St Pourçain, ripping some 80% of the bunches from the vines – a real pain as the rest of the harvest is really good.
Hail too in Ligré and Panzoult in Chinon, but the damage there was much more limited.
So…. for the dry white Muscadets and all Loire sauvignons, the harvest was in as near perfect conditions as you can get.
The grapes have come in with real concentration and intensity, an ideal balance of sugar to acidity. The ‘liquid gold’ colour of the juice reflects the sunshine and ripeness of the Muscadets.
The only potential problems could be from attacks of mildew in late summer, but all the better producers coped well. There are reports of some pourriture acide starting in the pinots, so all the good growers are picking selectively and using their sorting tables.
A couple of growers have commented that you’d have to go out of your way not to make great wine this year.
Others have talked of a dream vintage.
‘On ne peut pas rêver mieux’ seems to sum it up, though we’re a little disappointed that yields weren’t maybe 10% higher in Muscadet – the guys need a break after two tiny harvests.
Here in Chinon, trailers of grapes have been trundling past the door over the last few days – but not today as it’s raining (at last!), which gives us an excuse to be in the office. Growers are talking of degrees nicely over 13 and the grapes look as healthy as can be, so fingers crossed!
Picking for the chenin blancs has started and the grapes are starting to concentrate very nicely in the Anjou, so fingers crossed there will be some smart stickies too.
We’ll get back to you on those.
Meanwhile, you’ll find some pics of the harvest here :
More anon!

Christmas 2013 Last Orders

Posted on: December 13th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

Please note that the last ordering day to insure you get your wine before Christmas day is Tuesday 17th December.  Any orders placed after that date we will endeavor to dispatch  as soon as we can,  but cannot guarantee that it will be delivered prior to Christmas

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Andrew, Chris and the team.

Penetrating the impenetrable – the wine trade versus the consumer.

Posted on: November 21st, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

Reading an article in the trade Bible Harpers today about the introspection of the wine trade and its inability to talk to modern consumers in a language they understand got me thinking. (more…)

Two to Viu – Viu Manent Reserve from Colchagua

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

I have posted about Chilean reserve wines before and our continual struggle to get anyone to trade up from Entry -Level from Chile. Chile in our view has become the go-to region for cheap drinkable house wine. The Chileans themselves have benn saying for some time that this significantly undervalues what they are about and I am inclined to agree up to a point.  For cracking wines at the sub £10 mark they are hard to beat unless you are looking for a point of difference. Despite the trade ballyhoo over newly discovered terroir-rich production areas, most chilean wines are rather samey But at least they are samey in a good way, drinkable and often more than that at very reasonable prices, especially away from the rock bottom stuff.


We are fans of this producer and their fine quality wines from the Colchagua valley. These are of Reserve level  and are both classic examples of the style and yet easy drinking and not too complicated. The Sauvignon has a more Loire like feel to it with crisp fresh acidity allied to classic gooseberry and grassy flavours, whilst the Merlot is rounded with the sort of ripe soft-skin fruit flavours we have become used to from Chile. Very easy to drink but with a depth that adds a serious note. Well worth a punt for some great value everyday drinking.

Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Colchagua Chile

Viu Manent  Merlot 2011 Colchagua Chile

Special Price  £7.98


Europe, Wine and the Tory party

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

This post came to me after hearing Malcolm Rifkind on the Today program putting the boot into the bulk of the tory party who seem to have collectively taken leave of their senses. He sounded exasperated and not a little fed up. I dont blame him. (more…)

New Web pricing – going down!

Posted on: April 3rd, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

At last some good news! Prices are falling.  Well they are here anyway.  We have repriced our website so that the price now listed is the same for whatever quantity you would like to purchase.  We felt that as many of you were choosing to buy six or twelve bottles, you were being unfairly penalized by our pricing structure.  By giving you all the same price we feel that we are offering a fairer deal.  So despite the predations of the budget and some fairly hefty producer-induced price hikes,  the vast majority of what we sell has come down by at least 50 pence a bottle. (more…)

Budget 2013 – good and bad for us

Posted on: March 20th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

So another budget has come and gone and the blogosphere will be all a twitter with informed and less-informed comment flying about concerning the impact of the various changes wrought by the chancellor today. (more…)

Who drinks this stuff? Another entry – level Pinot Grigio tasting

Posted on: March 4th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments

I was reading an article in on-line American wine mag Palate Press about the lack of humour (humor) in wine writing and thinking that whilst this was true, the state of our Industry is really no laughing matter if our latest attempt at finding a drinkable example of the nations favourite white wine is anything to go by. (more…)

The mutability of taste – how much can we rely on tasting notes?

Posted on: February 20th, 2013 by Andrew No Comments


I have recently been suffering from the after effects of a heavy cold and attempting to enjoy a glass of wine over these last few evenings, I have been struck how the change in my condition has completely altered my ability to experience the wine as it should taste. (more…)

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