Meerlust Red 2014

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

I’ve never done a wine of the year but now seems a fairly obvious time to announce what we feel is pound for pound the best wine we’ve come across in 2017. We’ve tasted some incredible wines and it all started with our trip to South Africa at the beginning of year where we were exposed to a whole new world joyousness.  There’s little doubt for me that any other country is producing value for money that comes anything close to what is coming out of South Africa and the quality pretty much across the board is utterly jaw-dropping and none more so than from legendary Stellenbosch producer Meerlust Estate. This beautiful farm offers a fantastic example of what South Africa has to offer wine lovers. Established in 1693 and family owned for eight generations of the Myburgh family. Meerlust do both single varietal wines (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) but are best known for their renowned Bordeaux...
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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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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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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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Montanar Organic Verdejo

IN: WINEWINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

The one good thing about January and February is the fun time we have buzzing around and getting to as many tastings as we possibly can in order to keep tabs on things and fine tune the range for the upcoming season. People are really upping their game with improvements and quality just about everywhere for all to behold. I really didn’t expect a white wine from La Mancha in Spain to make quite such an impression on me but wow you’ve just got to give this one a go and even better, it’s only a tenner!! Montanar Verdejo. Montañar means ‘mountainous’, and the winery takes its name from the Serrania de Cuenca  mountain range in Castilla-La Mancha. The wines come from the family run winery established by the three Parra brothers (Francisco, Javier and Luis) in 1993. The brothers had the foresight to move to organic and then biodynamic viticulture early on. All of the grapes are grown both organically...
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Five superb New World wines to try in 2016

IN: TRAVELSWINE

A New Year, a fresh start, right? So why not leap into 2016 enjoying the future of wine as we know it. We predict 2016 to be the year of big reds, especially New World offerings. New World wines, for those who may not know, come from countries that were once colonies, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile. They tend to have much hotter climates than Old World Wine origins, and this tends to give the produce a much fuller body, creating much bolder fruit flavours. Unlike their Old World counterparts, New World wines have no strict rules or regulations imposed on them. Wine makers are free to experiment in any which way they please, making the wine more varied and exciting! Here are our top 5 New World Wines to look out for in 2016 Snapper Rock Pinot Noir Snapper Rock is a beautiful drink, perfect for any evening. It is a bright garnet colour with...
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Things that will definitely happen on Christmas Day…

IN: EVENTSHOW TONEWSVODKAWHISKYWINE

Christmas is a day devoted to stereotypes and clichés, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. From eating the Christmas dinner to gathering round the TV, Christmas is a time when families reunite and settle down into the classic traditions that occur once every year. Here are 20 things that are more than likely to happen on your Christmas day. The ‘emergency chairs’ once again make an appearance as the extended family have joined your six-seater dining table, but somehow you all squeeze in… even if there is a height difference. The contents of those crackers you buy every year will still be just as bad…but you still buy them. The period just after eating dinner when the adults are cleaning up, the kids are running wild with their new toys and the elders are…fast asleep on the sofa. That ‘special’ bottle of single malt whisky that dad has kept on the highest shelf, not to be opened...
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Boozy gifts for that special person

IN: EVENTSGINHOW TOVODKAWHISKYWINE

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re still struggling to find that perfect gift for a certain someone, we might have just saved your bacon! Buying someone a simple bottle of wine may seem a little bland for someone who means much more so we have carefully selected what we think are the best gifts for people who appreciate a little tipple. Stocking Filler – Lockett Bros coasters If you’re looking for something unique yet still conventional our range of coasters may be the gift for your friends and family. Like the top of a whisky cask, these coasters will fit perfectly in a Christmas stocking. In three different styles, you can choose from the Bass, Craigleith or Fidra design. Couple gift – Whisky Stave tea light holder Couples can be the hardest people to buy for. They may not have similar tastes, making it even harder to buy just one present which is never a good thing!...
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