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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Tom and the Peloton Ventoux Rouge

IN: CYCLINGWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

I doesn’t take much to get me excited about good wine but with such an abundance of good wine it’s important to come up with something clever and innovative (and perhaps with a link to cycling) to get me really going. So a small producer in the Ventoux called Domaine des Anges have not only created a brilliant wine but also a brilliant label paying homage to one of Britain’s greatest ever professional cyclists, Tommy Simpon who died a kilometre from the summit of Mont Ventoux on the 13th stage of the 1967 Tour de France. He was only 29 years old and this special and very limited release coincides with the 50th anniversary of his death. ‘Tom and the Peloton’ is a blend of 90 percent Syrah and 10 percent Grenache and offers lots of white pepper, cured meats, resinous herbs and sweet red and black fruits.  A memorial on the roadside close to where he died near the...
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Domaine de Corbillieres Sauvignon Blanc

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

The quality of Sauvignon Blanc coming out of the Touraine region of the Loire Valley continues to impress me, considerably more so than it’s rich neighbours up river in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. Founded in 1905, Domaine de Corbillieres has been in the Barbou family for four generations and is now run by Dominique and Véronique Barbou, who have 16 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc. In the words of Robert Parker, they have a ‘long-run track record for generating some of the consistently finest – not to mention best-value – Sauvignon Blancs on the planet’. A big call but actually one I would agree with after having followed closely the quality coming out of this Domaine for over ten years. The Domaine des Corbillières Sauvignon de Touraine (£12) is continually highly rated and shows exactly how good Loire Sauvignon Blanc can be, from both a quality and value point of view. A meticulous approach in the vineyard, low yields and full ripeness results in...
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Logan Weemala Pinot Noir

IN: EVENTSWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

I’ve genuinely lost count of the amount of times our Aussie winemaker friend Peter Logan has visited North Berwick, he just can’t get enough of it. This might actually be his tenth visit, but hey, what’s there not to love about East Lothian and North Berwick. He loves hanging out in the shop and chatting to customers who’ve enjoyed many of his wines over the years. So we’ll be adopting the usual format of opening loads of the Logan Wines and giving people the opportunity to taste the range and chat the man who put them together. One of those little beauties will be the Logan Weemala Pinot Noir 2015. The Weemala range is a little bit quirky and has attracted a loyal following for its restrained, elegant and excellent value for money wines. All of the wines in the Weemala series are comprised of fruit grown in Mudgee and Orange in Australia’s Central Ranges – like all Logan wines – they are...
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Kwaremont Beer

IN: CYCLINGNEWSTRAVELS

This is the first occasion that I’ve done a piece on a beer, strange seeing as we’re as enthusiastic about them as we are wine and whisky. We have an area dedicated craft producers, granted most are Scottish, however this piece is being allocated to one from the country whose name epitomizes beer production; Belgium. The Kwaremont is famous for being one of the most iconic stretches of road in world cycling. A steep 2.2km section of cobbles that comes towards the end of the 265km race of The Tour of Flanders. Imagine the excitement when I find myself on the Kwaremont for this year’s edition of the Tour of Flanders slurping on none other than Kwaremont beer watching the pros race past. So after weeks of messing around, a shipment of this brilliant Belgian beer has just arrived. Would it taste as good as on that wonderful spring day in the Flemish Ardennes?? OH YES!! It’s been a week and I...
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Carn Mor Stricly Limited Caol Ila 7yo

IN: MALT OF THE MONTH COLUMNWHISKY

Fans of good single malt whisky and visitors to the shop will be well aware of the quality of the Carn Mor Strictly Limited independent bottlings from Morrison and Mackay Whisky Merchants. The quality of their bottlings are always exceptionally high and it’s one of their latest releases that has got us all giggling with excitement and become a default recommendation for anyone looking for an interesting bottle of whisky- Carn Mor Strictly Limited Caol Ila 7yo (£40). You’re not dreaming, I promise this is for real. A Caol Ila bottling from only two bourbon hogsheads and for only £40!!! Another reason why you might not want to hang around is that this is a small batch bottling of which we received less than 50 bottles. Classic peaty Islay nose which I can guarantee will make you grin from ear to ear, however it’s on the palate where the real fun begins. Despite being packed with big bonfire smoke, it’s got the...
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Logan Apple Tree Flat Merlot

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

Judging by the amount of Logan Wines we have in the shop, I’ll forgive people for thinking the shop is called Logan Bros. Ever since his first visit to the shop back in 2004, Peter Logan has become one of my best buds in the wine world and after eight visits to the shop over the years he must be best buds with half of North Berwick. (he’s back 17/18th June). Once one of Australia’s best-kept secrets, the appeal of the NSW Central Ranges is now widely recognized and judging by the growth in popularity in his wines, more and more people are clearly enjoying Australia’s finest cool climate wines. Located on the north and west slopes of the Great Dividing Range, Orange is the highest wine region in Australia. Its altitude, cool weather and rich volcanic soils the perfect ingredients to produce elegant wines with delicacy and depth. Mudgee (Aboriginal for ‘Nest in the Hills’) is one of Australia’s oldest wine...
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Vesevo Falanghina

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

When I’m not thinking about booze, my mind tends to meander onto cycling and as the Giro d’italia (cycling’s Tour of Italy) enters it’s second week I thought it might be fun to focus on something Italian. As I write this, the Giro has just past though Campania, home to one of my all time favourite white wines, Vesevo Falanghina. It’s likely that I’ve written about this wine in the past but this only emphasizes my passion for it and the need I have to get the message across for everyone to at least try a bottle. The vineyards are situated between 450-550 metres above sea level and benefit from a cool breeze that blows off the Bay of Naples. This same breeze has, over the centuries, blown volcanic ash from Vesuvius inland, giving the soil here a volcanic character rich in minerals and trace elements. This lends a great depth of flavour to the grapes. Low temperature fermentation has retained the...
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Delheim Rose

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

Summer have not quite reached East Lothian but I still love this time of year mostly because it’s time to get out and enjoy the garden, scrub down the barbeque, sit back and enjoy some alfresco food and drink. What better way to get into the groove than a lovely glass of Rosé wine. It’s not something that I tend to drink much of outside the warmer months and there’s something quintessentially summer about Rosé. It’s funny how our taste changes with the seasons and a good thing too, life would be a bit dull if we ate and drank the same stuff all the time. We’ve been followers of Delheim wines for a few years now and enjoyed watching them improve immeasurably since discovering them at a tasting in London back in 2012. It’s a real community thing at Delheim as they look after all of their workers like members of their family – in total 13 families work...
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