Another treat for you! Usually we feature our normal wines but sometimes we need something from the other end of the scale. Troplong Mondot is here, and it is a thing of true beauty.

Originally part of the De Sèze estate in the 18th century, the vineyard situated on the crest of Mondot included what is today Pavie. By the mid-19th century, the Mondot family had acquired a great portion of the land, and in 1936 it came into the ownership of Alexandre Valette. Historically not a widely known winery, it has had success in recent years, considered by many to some extent attributable to the château's collaboration with Michel Rolland. Between 1993 and 1994 the wines at Troplong-Mondot were made by 2012 Food and Wine Magazine Winemaker of the Year Aaron Pott.

Chateau Troplong Mondot, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe 1989 @ £219.95
If ever a wine should be garlanded with a tag that says "Don't Go Near For Ten Years" then this is it. The nose takes an hour to reluctantly open after decanting with black cherries, cassis, a touch of black coffee (none of the ginger elements of last time.) The palate is full-bodied, extremely tannic and surly, though smooth in texture. Black chrries, cassis and iodine: this is going to turn into one decadent wine but my God, just give it 5-6 hours decanting or leave it in your cellar for a few years. Drink 2015-2030+. (Tasted 2008)

There are very very limited numbers of these so if it sounds like a piece of you then you know who to see!

We've always had a liking for wines from Alpha Zeta. A very consistent winemaker to say the least! Over time we've had a good number of their wines and they're always fantastic! Our current selection hosts three of their bottles so we thought a little look into them might be nice!

Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, the aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.


The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, helping to moderate the climate and enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress helping to produce superior quality fruit.


Alpha Zeta 'A' Amarone DOCG 2014 @ £26.95 - Buy it here!
Perfumes are of dried cherries and blueberries, with notes of spiced autumn fruit compote. A powerful but modern wine with a lovely balance of ripe tannins and spiced, savoury cherry fruit character. Grilled meat, especially venison or ‘tagliata’ of beef, will bring out the best in this wine. Also great with game dishes, or even a hunk of quality hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano.

Alpha Zeta 'R' Ripasso Superiore 2015 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!
Ruby red in colour, with a concentrated perfume of red and black cherries, with the ripasso adding a dried cherry intensity. Full-bodied on the palate, with a lovely balance between opulent cherry-pie character and supple structure. Good length with a mouthwatering bitter-cherry twist on the finish.

Alpha Zeta 'P' Pinot Grigio Terrapieno 2016 @ £11.95 - Buy it here!
A single vineyard Pinot Grigio with great intensity and balance. It has lifted aromas of pear and bread crust, classic for Pinot Grigio from this region. The nose gives way to lovely weight and a silky texture on the palate, with hints of delicate spice and biscuits. The wine finishes dry with zesty acidity to maintain freshness and an impressive length.


Maybe some more on the cards in the future... These guys are absolutely brilliant! Cheers!

We all hear of horror stories within the wine world, it’s something we all pray never happens to us or anyone we know.........

Imagine having your eyes set on a vintage, a loved one’s birth year or even just a beautiful classic Bordeaux from a momentous year. A phone call to your local wine merchants pays off and they say they can get you a case, so you settle up and think everything is well…

Then the weeks go by and no sign of your wine. Calls, emails, visits are made, as weeks, months and years go by, if you're lucky a bottle or two trickle in. Then you get the news you didn't want, they've gone bust. You face a battle for your losses, along with many others who have fallen into the same trap as you, hoping for some retribution at the end of the tunnel. You’d think it couldn’t get much worse wouldn’t you?

This case isn't exactly recent news, being reported in January 2016. However, word is now out, that shines a burning light on the shenanigans of US law. Whilst we don't pretend to be fluent with UK law (and forever hope we won’t have to be), this is a tale of an American wine merchant, a Ponzi scheme and  “ladies of the night”, so absurd, that you would think a double-edged sword of this nature is something only to be found in Hollywood.

Initially, we read with sadness about the 4000 or so clients of Premier Cru Wines, in California USA, who were left high and dry by the company, when it filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Some of these customers had spent upwards of $500,000 without ever receiving their wines. Then we read with intrigue, when the case went to court and the full scale of fraudulent activity was made public. We read with shock and, dare I say it, a little titillation, when stories of ‘paid for services’ racked up debts of $900,000 (yes you read that correctly, nearly $1m!). Finally we read, satisfied that justice was being done, when the person responsible was sentenced to a lengthy custodial term (albeit reduced on basis of making the authorities aware of being blackmailed for an additional $200,000 by one of the ladies that provided said ‘services’).

Yet now we read in horror, as some of those that suffered are now, themselves, being subjected to lawsuits, from the legal teams in charge of recouping missing funds. Many are being asked to pay back 80% of the money or wines they managed to claw back from Premier Cru Wines. 'Why?' I hear you all asking. Why would a person who bought wines in good faith, who had to fight like hell to get those wines delivered, in many cases not have all the wines delivered, who was already looking at big losses, then be the target of the US legal system?

Simply put, because they managed to take delivery of some of their missing wines within the 90-day period before the filing was made. According to US law, this makes these poor people liable to the creditors of the company!

We just hope that eventually common sense prevails but we fear it won’t. US laws are no different to any other laws around the world… a mine field. One thing is for certain, the only winners in this mess will be the lawyers themselves, who will be billing by the hour, as they call, email and write words on fancy letter headed paper.

As we say here in the UK..... it's so ridiculous, you couldn't make it up!


If you’re a big fan of everything to do with wine then you probably saw The Wine Show on Channel 5 on Friday. If not, they spent a good bit of time talking about one of our favourite grape varieties Malbec. From explaining it’s backstory to having a good-old tasting session, they did it all and gave everyone a good look into what this awesome grape variety is all about. Just like we’re about to…

Malbec is most commonly considered an Argentinian grape variety and although that is possibly the most correct way of looking at it nowadays that wasn’t always the case. Malbec actually has its origins in France and is one of the 6 grape varieties allowed in red Bordeaux. Called Auxerrois or Côt Noir in Cahors, Malbec in Bordeaux and Pressac in other places around France it clearly has some significant roots here.

Back in Argentina Malbec is truly in the spotlight. This grape transformed Argentina, bringing wealth and jobs as it spread out across the country and quickly became one the most loved wines in the world. As of 2003 there were 50,000 acres of Malbec throughout Argentina with a good amount of it concentrating in Mendoza in the regions of Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. These vineyards are much higher than many people would expect, sitting between 800m and 1500m above sea level which makes them an entirely different beast to that which you would find in France.

The difference between the two regions is absolutely astounding. The altitude in Mendoza gives a heavier skin to the grape, making the wines bigger and bolder with soft tannin and gorgeous dark fruits such as plum and blackcurrant. In France Malbec has a number of styles but the most common are that of Bordeaux where they are similar to a merlot with lower acidity and softer tannins where as in Cahors the grape displays much more tannic wines with more phenolic compounds which contribute to colour.

We have a couple of Argentinian Malbecs for you to have a look at, all of which are available to taste…

Colome Estate Malbec 2015 @ £18.95 - Buy it here
Deep bright red with a magenta hue. Aromas of black and red fruits including blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries and cherries, with touches of violet floral notes and hints of spices and minerals. Fresh and fruity on the palate with muscular structure and round, velvety tannins. A fine, delicate yet lengthy finish.

Chakana Ayni Malbec 2015 @ £21.95 - Buy it here!
This gorgeous Argentinian juice has a ripe, opulent nose, with notes of prunes, peaches, dark cherries, damsons and musky flo
wery blossom. The palate is full-bodied, with some warm notes of very ripe fruit flavours lending to those round, saturated tannins. A huge, tasty, hedonistic Malbec.



Like a gift from the heavens! Brand new into the shop and one of the oldest bottles we've ever had. I think most people can say they've heard of this one...

The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild. Despite the market prices for their vineyard's wines equalling that of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild was excluded from First Great Growth status, an act that Baron Philippe de Rothschild referred to as "the monstrous injustice".[citation needed] It is widely believed[weasel words] that the exception was made because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership.

In 1973, Mouton was elevated to "first growth" status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner, the only change in the original 1855 classification (excepting the 1856 addition of Château Cantemerle). This prompted a change of motto: previously, the motto of the wine was Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis. ("First, I cannot be. Second, I do not deign to be. Mouton I am."), and it was changed to Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change. ("First, I am. Second, I used to be. Mouton does not change.")

Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1978 @ £150 - Buy it here!

A deep garnet core with tawny rim. The bouquet displays good intensity, cohesive, earthy, leathery but well defined and gaining potency. The palate is medium-bodied with some attractive decayed black cedar-infused leafy fruit with tobacco and a touch of graphite. Good persistency towards the slightly bitter finish with touches of soy and pain grille.

Only 3 bottles of this hanging around and there won't be anymore! Cheers!

Now if you're looking for a wine you should know we can always have a look around for you. With loads of links to companies around the globe we can always give it a go. But one company link has given us a wine which we get asked about all the time. The Primitivo di Manduria.

Masca del Tacco Primitivo di Manduria 2015 @ £12.95
This wine is red with violet highlights. Bouquet of Jam and ripe red fruit with hints of cinnamon. Full bodied, complex and generous on the palate.

Easily one of the highest rates and most sought after wines we have. Come and see what all the fuss is about! Cheers!