Tuesday, 28 January 2014

From the Tasting Room: Burgundy En Primeur 2012 - Part One

This year's vintage was definitely a game of two halves. As we've all heard from various sources ranging from growers, the press, weather men, merchants and everyone in between, it didn't start out as a great vintage weather-wise for Burgundy. Cold, wet conditions, made worse by hailstorms, took its toll on the crops. But this all turned around mid-July to the growers' relief with days on end of baking hot sunshine to ripen up what was left. With the change of weather and the skill of the winemakers there are some serious wines to be found out there - if you're prepared to look. Fortunately, that's exactly what our buyers have done and they've provided us with some early-release barrel samples to test out.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Bristol Jeroboam Club - Cornas Tasting - 15/01/2014

Just over a week ago our resident MW, Matthew Hemming, went along to one of the Bristol Jeroboam Club's tastings where he got to sample a fantastic array of wines and vintages from Cornas in the Rhône Valley... definitely one of the better perks to the job of Fine Wine Manager!

Cornas Granit 30 2010 - Vincent Paris 
Vivid fruit aromas with a slightly raw edge.  Bright on the palate with crisp red fruit
profile.  Very primary.  Whistle clean winemaking in the modern style.  With air, more floral and pepper Syrah notes emerge.  Slightly anonymous.  15/20

Cornas VV 2007 – Alain Voge
Very succulent fruit and some oak on the nose.  Initially this is a wine labouring beneath a thick lacquer of wood but everntually some vibrant fruit and more interesting spice tones come through.  Slightly constrained by the barrel character, this nonetheless has lovely acidity, snap and length.  16+/20

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

From the Tasting Room: Louis Roederer Brut Premier NV Champagne

What better way to start out a new venture than Champagne! We have been given a strict budget to stick to... so we thought we'd blow a lot of it straight up and try something extra special.

Made by one of the most famous names in Champagne, this non-vintage is by no means the "ugly sister" to the flagship Cristal. It's a blend of three champagne's classic grapes (40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier) that's been aged for over 3.5 years before it arrives with us.

The bottle opened with the wonderful "pop" that heralds many a celebration and gets the pulse racing. The nose was exactly as expected being fresh and vibrant with apple and lemon and a pleasant biscuity undertone. The palate delivered much the same with those fresh flavours carrying through and there being a delicious richness from the aging with additional yeasty, bready notes. The finish was surprisingly long - even for this - and left us craving more! But unfortunately, at 3pm on a Thursday, we had to stop at one glass.

A definite crowd-pleaser that didn't fail to disappoint. There has been a recent (and very understandable) trend in buying Prosecco but there is something, that certain je ne sais quoi, that only Champagne - especially one of this quality - can deliver. With Valentine's Day just around the corner it's time to start thinking about making it an extra special occasion. Great for a celebration and ideal with any meal throughout the day:

Monday, 20 January 2014

Burgundy 2012 En Primeur Report

Small but beautiful

2012 is a year in which it is difficult to make generalisations because it was such a complicated vintage. However, one thing we can all agree on is that there are some very attractive wines, and the reds, in particular, look tremendously exciting. The problem this year is that there is very little wine and it is more important than ever to order early to secure your favourites.

"2012 has turned out, not merely 'all right' but really very good indeed, 
if not perhaps even very fine." - Clive Coates MW

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Buyer's Report: Maddie on Beaujolais

I find France exhilarating in the winter. The sun seems permanently low in the sky, only occasionally lifting up a corner of the grey blanket of cloud to cast a ray of hope on the bleak desolate vines. I love the acres of bare, gnarled stumps, knowing that they bear the promise of  another year of flowers and grapes and wine. I love the towns, impossibly quiet, boarded up and hibernating; the only sign of life being the curls of smoke rising from the vines while the growers get on with their pruning. Finding a spot for lunch or dinner is a veritable treasure hunt – not always easy but once you find that elusive menu outside with a light on within, you know it will be buzzing with locals celebrating the brief respite from hordes of tourists.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

From the Tasting Room

Welcome to our new regular wine tasting feature with Averys 'From the Tasting Room. We (Alex, David and Duncan from the Marketing team) will try out a new wine each week, give it a once over, then post our views here.

We're open to suggestions if there are any wines that you'd like us to try, so feel free to get in touch.

It's not going to be about picking straight from the latest mailings as we're going to choose what looks interesting, something that will pair well with a recipe we saw on TV the night before - anything and everything we can.

The aim is to begin with our first tasting on Friday with the first review online next week.

We hope you enjoy reading about them and even give one or two a try yourself. So keep watching this space - we have something very special lined up for our first wine!

Alex, David and Duncan

Monday, 6 January 2014

**New Tasting Added**

We are very pleased to announce that we have just added a new tasting to our busy schedule for this year!

Matthew Jukes’ 100 Best Australian Wines Roadshow

This fantastic tasting will give you the opportunity to taste over 45 wines from a wide variety of Australian producers and regions. Sparkling wines from Tasmania, Semillons from the Hunter