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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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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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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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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Beyra Branco 2015

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

Apologies to people who are tiring of hearing me bang on about how brilliant Portuguese wines are but there’s just one more I have to sneak in. I talked about the Beyra Tinto a couple of weeks ago and today I’d like to highlight their white counterpart, Beyra Branco. I’m brief summary, the vineyards sit at 700m, very close to the Spanish border and south of the Douro, Rui Madeira is single-handedly reviving a region’s reputation. Intense fruitiness, minerality and freshness of the altitude wines. This 2012 won the Decanter World Wine Awards Trophy for Best Portuguese White under £15. The striking zesty and green-fruit character in Beyra Branco do make it an excellent and high quality introduction to Portugal for people who enjoy aromatic dry whites. Mineral and citrus fruitiness, grapefruit, hints of nettle and white flowers, very fresh and light on the palate, revealing the altitude of the vineyards. The soul of this wine lies in the unique...
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Domaine Pignier Cremant du Jura

IN: WINE OF THE WEEK COLUMN

I absolutely love good sparkling wine and it was only a few weeks ago that we were at a tasting and discovered possibly the finest example that we’ve ever tasted. Domaine Pignier Cremant du Jura (£20). The quality of this wine was extraordinary and as we probed further into why this wine was so good the evidence was clear. We tasted many Champagnes two or three times the price of this that would embarrass themselves if they were to be found side by side in a taste off. The grower clearly values the importance of the work they do in our vines and carry out constant and advanced research into biodynamic viticulture. Being the only wine growers in the village, they are ideally placed to tend our vines organically and preserve the numerous strains of wild yeast present in the environment. With grapes of such high quality, there can be no question of excessive intervention in the cellar and follow...
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