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...
>> Read More

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....
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More

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,...
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More

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...
>> Read More