Militants continue their Destruction

Militants claiming allegiance to an activist winemaker group in southern France have flooded the streets of a port town in Languedoc after smashing open a merchant's wine vats.

Balaclava-clad wine terrorists attacked the Biron merchant in Sete overnight, local media reported.

They cracked open five vats, sending wine gushing into the nearby streets of the port town. Sete is around 20 minutes by car from Montpellier in Languedoc-Roussillon.

Miliants claimed allegiance to the activist winemaker group CRAV, short for Regional Action Committee of Winemakers and sometimes known just as CAV.

It follows an arson attack on offices owned by the Vinadeis wine group. And it shows that anger over imports of Spanish wine has hit breaking point.

Emergency services arrived on the scene in Sete to contain the spread of wine and stop it from flooding nearby carparks. No one is believed to have been injured.

One CRAV representative told France 3 television in Languedoc, ‘Why did we do it? Because we are never listened to.’

He repeated an oft-cited allegation by the group that some Spanish wine entering France had come from South America. There is no proof.


English wine hits Liv-Ex

Fine wine trading platform Liv-ex has recorded its first trade in English wine as more collectors stray from the norms in the secondary market.

Liv-ex said that a six-bottle case of Nyetimber’s Classic Cuvée 2010 had traded on the exchange on Monday 1 August for £120.

It plays into the rising profile of English wines in general and adds to a trend for wines from less heralded parts of the world gaining a foothold in the fine wine market.

But, it remains early days for English wine and the Nyetimber wine purchased on Liv-ex is still available at several retailers.

In the UK, Berry Bros & Rudd this week stocked it for a retail price £26.95 per bottle, Waitrose Cellar was selling it for £31.99 and Majestic was selling the same wine for the equivalent of £36.99.

In 2010, Bordeaux accounted for more than 95% of trading on Liv-ex.

But that figure has now fallen below 75% as a number of regions have grown in significance: most notably, Burgundy, Champagne, Italy and the Rhône.

‘Although these groups represent the majority of activity, wines from around the world regularly trade on the exchange,’ said Liv-ex. ‘This year, the fine wine market has seen activity from New Zealand, Lebanon and Chile, among others.’

Other regions that have traded on Liv-ex this year include: the US, Australia, Spain, Port, the South of France, Alsace, Germany, the Loire, Cognac, Argentina and South Africa.

Earlier this year, Stephen Skelton MW, a renowned English wine industry consultant and regional chair for the UK at the Decanter World Wine Awards, said many English sparkling wines were still undervalued compared to their Champagne equivalents.

Money going into English wine has so far been directed at producers, rather than the wines themselves.


A Change in Rioja

Many Rioja producers are becoming frustrated with the lack of awareness of quality structure in the region, and feel confined by the awareness of barrel ageing terms as an indication of quality above all else. Javier Galarreta, President, Founder and CEO of Areax, has submitted new proposals to the Consejo in an attempt to clearly define Rioja quality.

Crianza, reserva and gran reserva are three of the most recognised terms on a label of Rioja. These represent minimal barrel ageing requirements, but for many consumers the ultimate quality of the wine. This is a bugbear for many of Rioja’s top wineries, especially if they wish to create terroir driven wines with less use of oak that will trump many Gran Reserva’s in quality. Their wine-lovering consumers will only see Rioja Crianza.

Javier Galarreta, President, Founder and CEO of Areax, has submitted new proposals to the Consejo in an attempt to clearly define Rioja quality.

Galaretta’s ideas are a hybrid of new world labelling and Burgundian classification. They centralise around awareness of the “sub-zones” of Rioja Alavesa, Alta, Baja – terms already in use on labels, and then two further layers of “municipality” then “vineyard”.  All bound by ‘age of vines, location of winery, limits on and rules for yields in vineyard and winemaking age of barrels’.



Good afternoon wine lovers !

On this very fine day we want to introduce you one of the gems from our collection :

Domaine de L'Arlot, 1999 1er Cru Nuits Saint Georges, Magnum (1.5L) at £139.95

In Burgundy the monopoly (single estate vineyard) defines a unit of land, a terroir which has been perfectly defined for centuries and which is owned by a single proprietor. The Clos des Forêts Saint Georges covers a surface of 7.20 hectares, all in one piece. It is a unique terroir in a privileged location which right from its origin has made one of the greatest Nuits Saint Georges wines.

With its well-defined character, this wine perfectly illustrates the identity of the Nuits Saint Georges vineyard. Complex aromas of blackcurrant mingled with spicy blackberry are revealed on the nose with, depending on the vintage, darker notes of liquorice and leather. The well-built mouth affirms itself with density and strength around a tight structure with rich, well-wrapped tannins. It becomes increasingly seductive over time, which comes from the elegance, intensity and purity of the fruit. 

Come and get it or order at!


Guidalberto, Sassicaia 2nd growth, 2012 Magnum (1.5L) at £71.95

Sassicaia is a trail-blazing Tuscan wine made, largely from Cabernet Sauvignon, originally by Mario Incisa della Rochetta at the Tenuta (domaine) San Guido near Bolgheri and one of the first Italian reds made in the image of fine red bordeaux. In 1994 sassicaia was granted its own DOC as an official subzone of Bolgheri, the only wine from a single estate in Italy to enjoy this privilege.

Guidalberto, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and is the 'little brother' to the winery's celebrated Sassicaia, from three vineyard sites surrounding Bolgheri. The varieties are vinified separately before blending and maturation in French and American oak. The wine has an intense violet colour and a soft and rounded fruit profile, and can be enjoyed immediately or over the next 3-4 years.

The 2012 Guidalberto (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) impresses for the approachable, yet intriguing, delivery of fruit. The style is fruit-forward and ripe, yet the wine is not banal. There’s a fluidity to the bouquet that brings it to cherry and blackberry with soft tones of leather and tobacco woven deep within. The mouthfeel is voluptuous and rich without feeling heavy or flat. The 2012 vintage shows good energy and verve, with a long flavor trail of chocolate and toasted espresso that leaves a favorable mark.

Come and get it or order it at!

Cheers !

Today we focus on real excellence from Saint Julien

Chateau Moulin Riche, Saint Julien, 2009, Magnum (1,5 lt) @ £72

Chateau Moulin Riche, Saint Julien, 2009, Imperiale (6 lt) @ £350

Chateau Leoville-Poyferre, Saint Julien, 1892 @ £274,95

The history of Chateau Moulin Riche in the modern era has its beginnings in 1920, when the estate was purchased by the Cuvelier family.

By the time they purchased Chateau Moulin Riche in the Saint Julien appellation, they already owned vineyards in the Medoc including, Chateau Le Crock in St. Estephe , which they purchased in 1903. They were also the owners of Chateau Camensac in the Haut Medoc appellation and mot importantly Chateau Leoville Poyferre.

While Chateau Moulin Riche was bottled and sold as its own, unique brand, until quite recently, that was not the case. The wine was really thought of as the unofficial second wine of Chateau Leoville Poyferre. That changed with the legendary 2009 vintage In that year, it was decided that Moulin Riche would be produced from its own specific vineyard parcels. Even though the logo continues to look quite similar to Leoville Poyferre, which helps customers identify with the Cuvelier family wines, since 2009, it has continued to gain popularity as its own brand.

The 21 hectare, Left Bank vineyard of Chateau Moulin Riche has a terroir of gravel based soils. The Saint Julien vineyard is planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon , 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot . To produce the wine of Chateau Moulin Riche, vinification takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation occurs in vat. The wine is then aged in a combination of new and used, French oak barrels for between 18 to 20 months before bottling. On average, close to 10,000 cases of Moulin Riche are produced each vintage.

Come and get them !

Cheers !

Good afternoon wine lovers,

Our weekly selection is ready to be tasted here at Grand Cru. This week a new entry among the whites and two spicy reds to be enjoyed for the last few more barbecues this summer !

Don't forget they're all 10% off !

NEW ENTRY Saint Veran, Nicolas Potel, 2012 at £11.95

This is a Macon appellation, a neighbour of the renowned Pouilly Fuissé. It is harvested in eight districts, including Saint Véran and Solutré-Pouilly. This is a lively, fresh, vigorous wine. Good acidity and nice texture make of this wine a perfect companion of fish based dishes … a fresh seabass cooked in garlic garlic butter would just be awesome ! Serve it at 12° in order to fully enjoy this beautiful white Burgundy.

Tormenta Chile, Organic Sauvignon blanc, 2014 at £8.95 

A wine of massive aromatic intensity and character, exploding with tropical notes (passion fruit and mango) with citric and woolly hints. On the palate the wine has a crisp but full-bodied mouth-feel giving way to more layers of flavour such as of passion fruit, lime, gooseberry and grapefruit. The finish is very long and velvety. Outstanding.

Crozes-Hermitage, Colombo & fils, 2012 at £13.95

With grapes picked only from the Rhône's beautiful soils packed with rich alluvial deposits. 100% Syrah, traditionally vinified and aged in oak for a minimum of 12 months to produce an interesting and complex wine with good tannic structure, flavours of black plum and blackcurrant fruits complimented by a drop of cherry with a slight, but attractive earthiness. 

Solanera vinas viejas, Familia castano, 2013 at £11.95 

A beautiful dark shiny red colour, it displays notes of graphite, acacia flowers, black raspberries, blueberries and blackcurrants. Full-bodied and intense on the palate with silky sweet tannins. Stunningly pure and textured.



Cheers !

Good afternoon wine lovers !

We start off the week uncorking a very fine bottle of white from our special selection.

The bottle we want to focus on today is Chapoutier's single-vineyard bottling of white St-Joseph, Les Granits.

St Joseph is the second-largest appellation in the Northern Rhône and over 90 percent of the wine is red – made exclusively from the Syrah grape; the whites are typically a blend of Marsanne and Roussanne.

Michelle Chapoutier is a big fan of Marsanne grape that in this case gives us a very big wine with a lovely honey-and-herbs as well of course as lots of body and relatively low acid.

Wine advocate Robert Parker rated this wine in 2011 with an excellent 96/100 score : "The 2009 St.-Joseph Les Granits Blanc boasts notes of liquid rocks intermixed with subtle smoke, buttered citrus, nectarine and orange marmalade. This full-bodied, dry, extraordinarily textured, pure, statuesque white will provide immense pleasure over the next 10-12 years"

This is a fully mature white ready to be cracked and enjoyed … So what are you waiting for come and treat yourself !

And don't forget this month we are running a competition which will give you the chance to win a case of wine worth £60 or a wine tasting evening for two !

Cheers !