Thursday, 28 April 2016

4 more releases have been added to our offer of 2015 Bordeaux En Primeur

Chateau Gazin - £480/cs (12) – is one of the biggest names thus far to release its 2015 to the market. In recent years, Gazin’s winemaking team have been refining the style at this famous Pomerol chateau and I’ve noticed the difference as the wine has been quietly out-performing itself and moving up the rankings at our annual blind tasting in Southwold. The wine is far less rustic than vintages of old and the tannins have a much greater degree of polish and finesse. 2015 is a year that favours Pomerol and Gazin is shot through with a delicious seam of mineral freshness. There are only a few cases available, though, so please don’t sit on your hands it you’re keen to have some in the cellar.

From St Estephe’s famous 2nd growth Calon Segur, Chateau Capbern is thoroughly delicious, a screaming success of the vintage and sure to be one of its best value wines. The sweet, ripe, blackcurrant characters really capture the fruit purity and succulence that define 2015 Bordeaux. This is an enormous amount of wine for £140/cs (12).

Wine Advisor Masterclass - Saturday 23rd April

On Saturday April 23rd we welcomed 40 guests into our Bristol cellars for our second ‘Wine Advisor Masterclass’. The aim of the event was to dig deeper into the world of wine, in a fun and engaging manner. We had four of our most knowledgeable wine advisors on hand to give presentations on wine topics of their choosing. We also welcomed our friends at the Arch House Deli in Clifton, who provided us with their usual fantastic selection of cheeses.

For Adam Simpson, our lead account manager, the decision of which region he wanted to discuss was an easy one, he’s been a fan of the Rhone Valley in France since he can remember! He opened up with a creamy, rich, mouth-filling Rhone Valley white, from his favourite estate in the Rhone, Domaine Mourchon, an estate he has visited on numerous occasions. Moving on to the reds, he opened the Domaine Andre Aubert Le Devoy, from Grignan-les-Adhemar, the appellation formerly known as the Coteaux-du-Tricastin. Returning to his favourite estate, we tasted the Domaine de Mourchon Cotes du Rhone Villages Seguret Grande Reserve 2012, a rich, full-bodied, southern Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. Saving the best for last we tasted the Domaine Rostaing Cote Rotie Ampodium 2011, this was possibly my favourite wine of the afternoon, and at £45 per bottle, so it should be!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Bordeaux 2015 En Primeur - Release Update

The en primeur releases are starting to gather pace this week as familiar names and old favourites are beginning to be released to the market.

Margaux is an undeniable star of the 2015 vintage and we’re pleased to be offering one of the appellation’s most stylish Cru Bourgeois in Chateau Labegorce. The svelte texture and sweet blackberry fruit give a modern but classy rendition of the vintage at £200/cs. Alongside this we have one of the UK’s favourite Margaux wines in Chateau Angludet. The estate seem to be following a wider theme amongst the chateaux in reducing the number of cases they release en primeur. We are still trying to buy additional stock but please contact us if you’re keen to add Angludet to your 2015 purchases. Angludet’s 2015 gets an impressive 17-/20 from Jancis Robinson MW and the price is £215/cs (12).

Fronsac seems to have been coming up the inside track in recent years, quietly over-achieving and providing claret lovers with some serious wines at very fair prices. This year our top pick is Chateau Dalem, a particularly richly-structured example, full-bodied, with succulent fruit and a lifted, juicy finish. Unlike many Fronsacs this year, this is clearly built with the ambition to age, and I’d recommend stashing it in the cellar for 3-4 years from release. Dalem 2015 delivers a lot of wine for £145/cs (12).

Joining the ever popular Chateau Cissac (£100/cs), Chateau Chasse Spleen was released earlier this morning. The 2015 vintage of this wine has a greater degree of polish than we’ve seen in previous releases and is much less rustic in character. The price is £215/cs (12).

Finally, one of the best sweet wines I tasted other than Chateau d’Yquem has been released. 2015 delivered near-perfect conditions for noble rot and Chateau Coutet is blossom-scented and elegant, with a citric edge and a scintillating balance. A wine of delicacy and poise, I rated it 18/20 and will find it extremely hard not to hand over £150 for a case of 12 halves – world class wine and great value.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Bordeaux 2015 Vintage Report

A complex set of wines that, at their best, are entirely seductive and from a similar mould to the delicious 1985s.

Last week’s tasting of 2015 marked my 10th consecutive year of en primeur tasting in Bordeaux so, after 5 days and 400+ wines, you might expect some sort of authoritative opinion on the vintage. However, one thing I’ve learned from a decade of barrel tastings is that 5 day’s of sipping and slurping is far too little time to pass any sort of judgement on the product of a year’s work by a vigneron. These are wines we aspire to tuck away in our cellars for upwards of a decade; to expect to understand them after less than 6 months in barrel rather misses the point.

The wisest comment I’ve heard about 2015 is that it is not like tasting a single vintage and more like two or three that happen to have fallen within the same 12 month period. I wish I was clever enough to have said that myself! 2015 has produced a complex yet fascinating set of wines, the best of which I found utterly charming and which I’m entirely prepared to believe share much in common with the delightful 1985s. As ’85 has been a favourite vintage for claret lovers for as long as I’ve been drinking Bordeaux, the 2015s seem to be well worth your attention.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Want to wish the Queen a Happy Birthday?

Thanks to an online birthday book commemorating the Queen’s 90th birthday, you can send Her Majesty a personal birthday message.

Simply click The Queens Birthday Book and choose ‘Leave a birthday message'.