Boisset Bourgogne Chardonnay 2014

IN: TRAVELSWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

This week I’ve decided to pick my ultimate Christmas white wine. I’m a boring old traditionalist so it’ll be a turkey on our table on Christmas day and I’m assuming that most people out there will be doing the same, so if you’re still figuring things out for the big day then let me see if I can help you out. For me has simply has to be Chardonnay and more specifically, Burgundy. Boisset Wines have been amongst our favourites ever since head winemaker and legendary Burgundian dude, Gregory Patriat cruised in to the shop back in 2004 and wowed us with his exceptional silver hair (seriously, Google him) and brilliant range of wines. His speciality is making wines from tiny plots of vines, something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines. Boisset Bourgogne Blanc 2014 (£16) is my ultimate Christmas white wine is made using fruit mainly from selected parcels from the Cote de Beaune....
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Logan Cuvee ‘M’ Vintage 2014

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

Logan bubbly is finally back after its long journey from Central New South Wales and it’s been amazing to see people’s reactions to this particular wine returning back to the shelves. It’s felt like a the shop is complete again now that it’s back and there aren’t many products that have that effect and peoples loyalty to this brilliant fizz is a joy to behold and what makes it even more special is that it’s exclusive to us in the UK. So after a 6 month hiatus, it’s back, and tasting better than ever. (Knowing me I’ve probably under ordered again so will no doubt run out, you’d think 100 six packs might be enough). With its high altitude and cold climate, Orange is one of the few wine growing areas in Australia suitable for the production of truly classy, classic style sparkling wine. Grown at 930 metres above sea level, the ripening temperatures are similar to that of the...
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Carn Mor Strictly Limited Williamson 6yo – 46%

IN: MALT OF THE MONTH COLUMNWHISKY

East Lothian locals and visitors from all over the world swarm to Lockett Brothers of North Berwick every year and upon arrival will discover an incredible array of fine wines and in my opinion one of the best handpicked ranges of malt whisky in Scotland. I first met Chris Lockett in 2012 when I visited the shop to flog my wares, unfortunately I chose the day when Bradley Wiggins was marching to a gold medal in the Olympic time trial. Those of you who know Chris will know there is one thing he loves more than whisky and wine and that is cycling! Thankfully our Carn Mor malts were tasty enough to catch his attention that day and I am delighted that we have worked with Chris and Graham at Lockett Bros ever since. It is a privilege for me to work with such masters of their trade and I am proud that our whiskies grace the shelves of this...
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The Liberator ‘Francophile’ Syrah

IN: TRAVELSWINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

It’s lovely that regulars to the shop are beginning to recognise and appreciate the series of Liberator Wines within our South Africa section. No one in the world knows more about the South African wine scene than our friend Rick Kelly, aka ‘The Liberator’. It is the belief of Rick that beyond the periphery of South Africa’s conventional vineyard regions lie great vinous treasures, resigned to anonymity ; forgotten, abandoned or simply undiscovered. So it’s therefore up to our intrepid Cape Crusader to seek them out and ‘Liberate’ these precious parcels. Mainly released as small batch limited bottlings or ‘Episodes’ with some as small as a single barrel (such as recent release Episode 14 ‘The Wendy House’ Chenin Blanc). Episode 7 ‘Swartland Revolution’ has been incredibly popular and there’s still some left of this brilliant Cinsault Cabernet blend but my current Wine of the Week is a Liberator that’s neither an Episode or a Special Release but one that is...
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Lavradores de Feitoria Douro Tinto

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

So it turns out that the Lavradores de Feitoria producer in the Portuguese Douro region has been selected in an exclusive list by the prestigious Wine Spectator Magazine as one of the ’30 World Wineries to discover’. Errrr, I could have told you that ten years ago. Still, what an incredible scoop for them and the only Portuguese producer to feature. According to Wine Spectator, the quality of the wines in the Douro valley grew in the last two decades, but the financial success did not always followed that reality. That was why Lavradores de Feitoria was born, in 2000, with the attempt to bring some financial stability to the small producers and viticulturists of the region. I’m not long back from a week on the Ardnamuchan peninsula with the extended family. Surprisingly we all got on like a house on fire with highlights including a trip to the Ardnamurchan Distillery, seeing Otters and Sea Eagles, and drinking lots of...
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Kilchoman Sanaig

IN: CYCLINGMALT OF THE MONTH COLUMNTRAVELSWHISKY

Perfect time for a Malt of the Month column having just returned from a three day cycle adventure around Kintyre, Islay and Arran visiting many of the great distilleries. Having visited ten distilleries and tasting around forty whiskies the tricky thing now is to pick my number one from the trip. A Bowmore 18yo Single Sherry Cask was pretty special, as was the Cask Strength Lagavulin 12yo but it was from the tiny family owned farm distillery at Kilchoman that had the resounding winner. After visiting six distilleries on day 1 and plenty more drams in the Port Charlotte hotel that evening the next morning involved a gentle peddle over the hill from Bruichladdich to Kilchoman where we were greeted with the greatest bacon roll I’ve ever had followed shortly by a sensational tour and a glass of new make spirit. Everything about this place makes me smile and it wasn’t the whisky that left me with a warm fuzzy...
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Redman Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

I’ve been to many wine regions around the world and most in Australia however the Coonawarra region in South Australia close to the border with Victoria is one of the few that I have not made it to. We were very close during our adventures in 2000/01 but back then all we cared about was surfing and beer. Some Aussie pals of mine in North Berwick introduced me to the Redman Wines a few years back but it was only until recently that they were made available with in the UK. The Redmans have been making wine in this special little area for over 100 years, second only to John Riddoch who first planted vines here in 1890. When you say Coonawarra, you automatically think Cabernet Sauvignon, it really is a region that is synonymous with Cabernet and in Redman Wines you’re really looking at some of the best in the world. Wouldn’t it be cool if Daniel Redman, the...
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Lukas Van Loggerenberg ‘Break a Leg’ Rosé 2016

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

This particular wine should in fact be titled ‘Wine of the Year’ in my book. For us this is one of the most eagerly anticipated wines in a HECK of a long time. The winemaker’s name is Lukas Van Loggerenberg, a name that will mean nothing to anyone but murmurings are already spreading and quotes from one particular journalist describes him as South Africa’s new superstar and the most exciting discovery of 2017. So imagine our excitement when we have an appointment with him on our travels through South Africa in January. After getting lost in the back roads around Stellenbosch we eventually stumbled across Lukas and his shed on top of a remote hill. This instantly likeable, humble winemaker (with a grape press made out of parts of a vacuum cleaner) has thrown all he has in the world to start up on his own with this 2016 vintage being his first release. His wines are compelling, pure, precise,...
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DeMorgenzon Garden Rosé

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

My wine choice for this week is a Rosé and the grapes (Syrah and Grenache) for this wine have received some slightly unusual attention. The lovely owners Wendy and Hilton Applebaum have strategically placed speakers throughout the vineyards and cellars believe that the effects of sound and music have positive effects on plant growth. Seriously, I’m not joking around, it was only a few weeks ago that we were wandering around the property on our visit to DeMorgenzon in Stellenbosch and yes, sure enough we were enjoying the sounds of Mozart, Bach and Handel. Well, whatever you think about this eccentric idea in viticulture, you’ve got to admire their quirkiness and conviction in this technique. I love it and I’m sold on the idea. It certainly makes me smile every time I think about it or taste it. The colour is perfectly beautiful bright pale pink. The nose is soft and gently voluminous with delicate aroma of stonefruits, red berryfruits and...
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Benromach 10yo

IN: MALT OF THE MONTH COLUMNWHISKY

Located in Forres on the western fringes of the Speyside region lies one of our favourite and treasured little distilleries. The Benromach distillery – like many others – was mothballed in the whisky crisis of the early 1980’s. In 1993 it was picked up by one of the most renowned independent bottlers, Gordon & MacPhail. Production restarted some five years later. Since then they’ve been working hard on branding and promotion, with good-looking bottles and interesting releases. While the distillery is still not running on its maximum capacity, there’s a clear progression and lots of expressions are available: this Benromach 10 Year Old, a few oldies, a peated version, an organic version and several wine finishes. They’ve really hit their straps now and are now the most important Speyside distillers of choice for us. This might seem like a strange call with the abundance of heavyweights coming out of this region but trust me, consider this, you won’t be disappointed. Benromach 10 matures in a...
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