The sun is trying to force it's way out through the clouds today. Something sunny is in order to go with it! This lovely Riesling from New Zealand should fit very nicely indeed.

"The French oak barrels may be new but the original concrete cellars are little changed since the 1930s.

Walk straight ahead and you’ll see another gate, behind which lies a treasure trove, a bottled inventory of all the wines produced at this Estate since its new era began in 1987.

And what a collection it is. Each bottle holds a memory of vineyards, of nature, of people, of ideas and innovation. Each with its own unique tale adds to the story of Esk Valley Estate as it lives and breathes today, a contradiction of past and present, of trial and error, of craft and technology.

Is it the people who make this place special, or is it the place that makes the people special? It’s hard to answer. What is known is that this little valley with its special microclimate and its panoramic views over the Pacific Ocean is a special place to make wine."

Esk Valley Marlborough Riesling 2015 @ £11.95 - Buy it here!

This is a dry style of Riesling which is versatile and suited to a wide variety of food matches or as an aperitif. It has classic Marlborough Riesling characters of peach, citrus and honey with a long refreshing finish. 

 

Sound good? Come and grab some! Cheers!

 

This one is a little bit out of the ordinary! Made from 100% cabernet franc, it doesn't fit the usual bill for the Loire valley. Let's have a bit of a read...

The impressive Château Coudray-Montpensier, located in Chinon, has a rich history that dates to the heart of the Middle Ages (1090 AD). The castle was built during the 14th century and was owned by a succession of nobility. In 1492, during the Hundred Years’ War, Joan of Arc stayed in the castle’s tower. She was waiting for an audience with King Charles VII of France to organise an attack against the English to relieve the French troops at the siege of Orléans. After various owners during the 19th and 20th centuries, the property was eventually acquired by Dr. Christian Feray in 2005, who undertook major restorations to transform it into a cultural and gastronomic landmark.


Chateau Coudray-Montpensier Chinon 2016 @ £12.95 - Buy it here!

With robust aromas of black fruit and vanilla, the wine is refreshing with bright acidity and subtle, round tannins, with blackcurrant and spice on the finish.

Absolutely gorgeous. And available to taste too! I'll be seeing you soon I think... cheers!

We thought a lovely simple picture would be the best way to show off this wine. Another one of our really special bottles. Cos d'Estournel is a Chateau that everyone should know about...

The name Cos (with the S pronounced) refers to a "hill of pebbles" in Gascon dialect and the name Cos d'Estournel was given in 1810 by Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel.

The estate has changed hands several times during its history, starting in 1852 when it was purchased by the English banker Charles Cecil Martyns. In 1869, it was sold to the Spanish Errazu family only to be sold again 20 years later in 1889 to the Bordeaux-based Hostein family. Through his marriage to Marie-Thérèse Hostein, Louis-Victor Charmolue, who also owned Château Montrose, gained control of Cos d'Estournel in 1894. In Finally in 1917, it was sold to Fernand Ginestet.

The château has remained in the Ginestet family since then, becoming in 1970 part of Domaines Prats, the combined holdings of the Ginestet and Prats families, and controlled by Bruno Prats.

Chateau Cos d'Estournel, Saint-Estèphe 1982 @ £425

This 1982 is still displaying a beautiful deep ruby/purple hue as well as a stunning set of aromatics consisting of blue and black fruits, loamy earth, flowers, licorice, and spice box. The wine is medium to full-bodied with sweet tannins, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and a silky finish. It appears to have hit full maturity, but it can easily be held in a cold cellar for another 10+ years.

Score: 95 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (183), June 2009

Even Robert Parker thinks it's the nuts! Obviously not much to go around so if you like the sound of this then come and grab one. Cheers!

The rain today in London is crazy! What ever shall we do to brighten up the day? How about something white from sunny Portugal?

Altano is produced by the Symington family, known for their long and distinguished history of producing premium Vintage Ports in the Douro, under such labels as Grahams, Warres, Dows and Quinta do Vesuvio. As a natural extension of their interest in and dedication to making Port, the Symingtons began producing Douro DOC table wines seriously in 1999, applying their skill and expertise to ensure that the results reflect their tradition of making the worlds finest wines. Today seven members of the Symington family are involved in the business, personally managing all aspects of winemaking from the vineyard to the final bottling of the wines.



Symington Family, Altano Duoro Branco 2016 @ £9.95 - Buy it here!

From grapes sourced at high altitude, including Moscatel that adds aroma and an exotic twist, this delicious wine from the Symington stable has a limey zing, lovely mineral notes and a clean refreshing finish.

Don't let the rain get you down, this wine is here to lend a shoulder. Cheers!

It's time again for one of our shop favourites to come and say hello. And when some of the grapes come from the highest vineyard in the world you know this one is going to be special...

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.

The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley has a positive impact on the quality of the grapes as the more exposed the grapes are to the sun's ultraviolet rays, the better they are able to generate a thicker and darker skin to protect themselves. This leads to more colour and concentration of flavour building up in the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. A large difference (20°C) between day and night aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically. Fruit for the Estate Malbec comes from vineyards at three different altitudes; La Brava Estate at 1,700 metres, Colomé Estate at 2,300 and El Arenal Estate at 2,600 metres.

Calchaquí Valley enjoyed excellent conditions in 2015. The growing season was good without any frost and no disease development. During maturation, rainfall was low with lots of sunshine but not too much heat. This resulted in very good yields as well as good maturity, without any over-ripe characters. A very well balanced vintage.

Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were hand sorted twice to ensure no green material or imperfect fruit entered the must. Fermentation was slow due to the altitude (lower oxygen) and followed by an extended maceration period of 25-30 days to extract good levels of colour and tannin. Malolactic fermentation occurred half in barrel and half in stainless steel tank. The wine aged for 15 months in French oak barrels of which 20% was new, 80% second fill.


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.

We cannot get away from this stuff. It's just too enticing! Come and grab a couple. Cheers!

A lovely sunny day needs something equally as lovely. Ever tried saké?

Sakes have been made by the family-owned Tosa brewery since 1877. It is currently run by Muneki Matusmoto (of the sixth generation) who still uses the original brewery 138 years later. It is situated in the beautiful mountainous region called Tosa Ryohoku in the Kochi prefecture. The name of their range, ‘Keigetsu’, is a Japanese term which describes the beautiful evening scene created when the moon hangs over Katsurahama shore.

Keigetsu Tokubetsu Junmai Sake @ £25.95 - Buy it here!
The ‘Aikawahomare’ Tokubetsu Junmai is made from Hinohikari rice from the Aikawa region polished to 60%. The nose leads with honeydew melon and sweet chestnut paste. The palate is round and silky with yellow peach on the finish, and is true to its ‘tokubetsu’ (‘special’) designation

Keigetsu Junmai Daiginjo Sake @ £30.95 - Buy it here!
The Junmai Daiginjo is made from Gin no Yume rice with a 45% polish. It has soft and delicate aromas of lychee and rose which continue onto the palate. It is dry but wonderfully balanced and has great purity on the finish.

Hand-picked and both absolutely amazing. Come and give them a go. Cheers!