Don't forget about this weeks offer! We thought we would offer you all a chance to get something fantastic without the huge price tag. One of our staff favourites is the amazing Pertuisane “Vieille Vignes” 2005. This monster will absolutely blow your socks off and we would like to give you 20% off for the next week!




Pertuisane “Vieille Vignes” 2005 @ £15.95 down to £12.75

From the Côtes Catalanes close to the Pyranees comes this beautiful Grenache. The vines used to create this powerful red are ancient, the youngest being over 60 years old. Huge, bold black fruit flavours and rich with minerality, this intense wine will taste amazing paired with slow-cooked beef.

This offer ends next Monday (04/08/2017) so don’t miss out! We here at GCC certainly won’t…

Thieves use Paris catacombs to steal fine wine

Thieves knocked through a wall of the Paris catacombs to break into a luxury apartment’s cellar and steal an estimated 250,000 euros-worth of vintage wines, French media has reported police as saying.

There are an estimated six million people buried in the Paris catacombs, part of a vast underground tunnel network stretching for several miles underneath the French capital. French media said that the thieves stole around 300 bottles of fine wine from the cellar of an apartment in the plush sixth arrondissement of Paris, near to the Le Jardin du Luxembourg. No specific wines were named.

Paris police said that they were investigating how the theft took place. Police speculated that such precision in the catacombs network would require significant research and planning by the culprits. Earlier this summer, two teenagers were lost in the Paris catacombs for three days.

Only two kilometres of the network is open to the public. The gates are locked at night, yet groups are known to find ways into the tunnels to hold illicit parties. Parisians began burying their dead underground in the 18th Century in response to overflowing graveyards. Some of the estimated six million dead met their end at the guillotine during the French Revolution and subsequent Terror period at the end of 18th Century.


Italy faces ‘one of smallest wine harvests for 60 years’

Spring frost and an extreme heatwave nicknamed 'Lucifer' are set to leave the world's two largest wine producing countries with their smallest harvest for decades, according to initial estimates. Italy and France face historically low harvests in 2017, but there is optimism for quality

Italian wine body Assoenologi estimated that Italy would see one of its smallest wine harvests for 60 years in 2017, down by 25% on last year and coming in at 41.1 million hectolitres. That’s still equivalent to nearly 5.5 billion bottles. Its main rival at the top of the world wine production league, France, is facing its smallest wine harvest since 1945, according to France AgriMer, an agency that works with both the industry and government.

Devastating spring frosts, isolated hailstorms and a heatwave known as ‘Lucifer’ have combined to curtail the 2017 wine harvest size in several regions in those countries. In Italy, Tuscany, Sicily, Puglia, Umbria and Abbruzzo have fared worse overall in terms of yields, down by at least 30% versus last year, with things looking slightly more optimistic in northern Italy.

Piedmont, Veneto, Friuli were collectively predicted to see a harvest 15% smaller than 2016, according to Assoenologi. But, weather is not known for distributing its wrath evenly and a fuller picture will emerge in the next couple of months. For those with enough fruit, the better weather during flowering in several areas and the long, warm summer across much of Europe mean that there is much more optimism around quality.

‘So far, for all varieties, the grapes are smaller than usual, and the first harvested vineyards made highly concentrated juice that shows a lot of balance and qualities,’ said Stefano Gagliardo, of Barolo producer Gianni Gagliardo. ‘Of course, we need to have all grapes in the cellar before saying the last word. But so far it seems we’re going to have small amounts of opulent wines.’

In France, Bordeaux’s Right Bank and parts of the Loire and Alsace were expected to be among the hardest hit in terms of yields.

There are specific concerns for small-scale producers, and especially those already reeling from losing grapes to frost and hail in 2016. In southern Rhône, where picking for white appellation wines began on 21 August, regional wine body Inter Rhône said quality levels should outshine a ‘relatively modest’ crop – despite previously reported difficulties with poor fruit set, known as coulure, in some areas. The Northern Rhône harvest was due to begin on 4 September, two weeks ahead of schedule. Early harvests can be beneficial, because it gives growers more time to play with.

Winemakers will be watching the skies over the next few weeks as they monitor the ripeness of their grapes.


Chinese wine lovers snub screwcap, for now

Data compiled by research company Wine Intelligence for its Landscapes 2016 and 2017 reports shows that natural cork remains dominant in the US, China and Germany, where 60% of survey respondents chose it as their most favourite closure.

The research was based on surveys of 1,000 adults who are regular wine drinkers, conducted in 2016 and 2017. Of all cork preferring nations, China was most sceptical towards screwcap. Almost one in three of those surveyed said they did not like buying wine with this closure.

James Wainscott, author of the report, said that China’s preference for cork was partly due to the historical strength of wines from traditional French regions, such as Bordeaux and Burgundy. ‘Natural cork is almost a given and is certainly expected for wines from these regions,’ he said. ‘Our data shows that China in particular views screwcap appropriate only for lower quality wines.

‘The first wave of wine drinkers in China went straight for Bordeaux and Burgundy, where screwcaps are practically an aberration. As a result, they’re much more comfortable with natural cork: 61% of upper-middle class imported wine drinkers like buying wine with this closure, while only 23% accept screwcaps.’ Even New World producers accustomed to screwcap tend to change their closures for the Chinese market.

However, Wine Intelligence predicted that the situation may change in China. ‘We anticipate that perceptions of screwcap will begin to change with time, particularly as China is importing more and more wine from countries who routinely bottle under screwcap, such as Australia and Chile,’ the report said.

‘Old World countries have practised bottling under cork for generations and change will come slowly. But if Australia and New Zealand have taught us anything, it is that perceptions can be changed: it just takes time, effort and real ambassadors for change to lead the charge.’ According to Wine Intelligence, preference towards a closure is determined by exposure.

‘A whole generation of regular wine drinkers have been raised on screwcaps in Australia and as a result we see much greater levels of acceptance,’ said Wainscott. Meanwhile, in the UK cork and screwcap are equally preferred, 41% and 40% expressed affinity for them respectively, which has not changed since 2014. Wine Intelligence had also a look at synthetic cork globally.

This type of closure seems less polarising, with an average 60% of respondents displaying a neutral attitude towards it. The US and China are two countries where the preference for this closure is most dominant. China was the only market surveyed where synthetic closures were more popular than screwcaps.

 

Chile is such a beautiful country. Absolutely everyone should go there at some point in their lives just to experience how amazing it really is. And it’s not just the scenery that is breath-taking, their wines are as well. We have a couple of great examples of what these guys are capable of…

Torres Tormenta Sauvignon Blanc 2015 @ £9.95

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.

Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2014 @ £14.95

A vibrant ruby red with bright violet nuances when the light hits it, the nose of the Wild Ferment Pinot Noir pours red fruit flavours of cherries, raspberries, and exotic fruits, along with notes of dill and tobacco against a floral backdrop. The palate backs up the red fruit flavours with light notes of toast and nuts such as hazelnuts to the mix.

Clos des Fous “Caquenina” 2013 @ £14.95

A dark ruby-red wine with violet tones and outstanding red and black fruit aromas. Black pepper, tea leaves and notes of graphite and violets come through on the palate, revealing a full-bodied wine. The wine is generous and silky with very fine tannins and excellent acidity which enhance the Cauquenina's liveliness and balance.

These ones are some of our absolute favourites and will be with us for a while but don’t wait too long as they do sell out quickly!

 

We thought we would offer you all a chance to get something fantastic without the huge price tag. One of our staff favourites is the amazing Pertuisane “Vieille Vignes” 2005. This monster will absolutely blow your socks off and we would like to give you 20% off for the next week!

Pertuisane “Vieille Vignes” 2005 @ £15.95 down to £12.75

From the Côtes Catalanes close to the Pyranees comes this beautiful Grenache. The vines used to create this powerful red are ancient, the youngest being over 60 years old. Huge, bold black fruit flavours and rich with minerality, this intense wine will taste amazing paired with slow-cooked beef.

This offer ends next Monday (04/08/2017) so don’t miss out! We here at GCC certainly won’t…

 

Lots of people make a bit of noise about Chardonnay and how it's not their thing. The thing is that is that is it one of the most versatile grapes around and has so many different styles it's hard to count! Shall we have a look at a few styles that feature Chardonnay?




Janisson Baradon "Tradition" Brut NV Champagne @ £19.95

Beautiful light yellow, almost straw colour. Big nose of fruity aromas with a gorgeous mousse on top. Stout and sharp mouth all at once. Pleasant and decorated with a fruity flavour coating the mouth. It is a characterful and lively wine that reflects its terroir, which will bring you back every time. A quality unbeatable for this price.

William Fevre Chablis 2014 @ £16.95

Bright pale yellow in colour. A heady nose of green, citrus fruit and flint. A truly delicious flavour of white peach and green apple with acidity in perfect balance creating attractive length. Intense and complex both at the nose and palate.

Nicolas Potel Bourgogne Chardonnay 2015 @ £9.95

This bold but classic citrus-led nose offers notes of blossoming acacia flowers and marzipan. Straightforward at first and nicely rounded on the palate, with a complex flavour of almond on the finish.

You can get an amazing difference between styles with Chardonnay and trust us when we say it's all about finding the one for you!

Welcome back to our World of Wine News. A brief look into a few things within the wine world which we found interesting...

Trump name-drops Virginia winery but exaggerates size

President Trump reminded journalists of the winery he acquired in 2011 when asked whether he intended to visit Charlottesville, Virginia following the recent deadly violence that erupted around a white supremacist rally and counter-demonstration.

According to transcripts of the press conference, Trump said, ‘I own a house in Charlottesville. Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville?

‘It is the winery.’ He added, ‘I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.’ The Trump winery itself has previously attempted to put some distance between its operations and the president.

Donald Trump did buy the winery in 2011, from Patricia Kluge, but it is currently run by his son, Eric Trump.

‘Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organisation or any of their affiliates,’ says a disclaimer on the Trump winery website.

Plus, it is debatable as to whether the winery could count as one of the largest in the US. Annual production has been estimated at around 36,000 nine-litre cases of wine per year, equivalent to 432,000 bottles.

While that means Trump winery is among the biggest in Virginia, figures released by industry publication Wine & Vines yesterday (15 August) show that hundreds of wineries were estimated to have a higher level of production.

The publication’s analysis, updated in July 2017, said that there were 65 US wineries producing more than half-a-million cases and a further 263 ‘medium’ wineries producing more than 50,000 cases annually.

California accounts for nearly 90% of US wine production.



Wine could help solve writer’s block, says study

For years, writers have claimed that there is a positive link between drinking and creativity. Now, researchers from the University of Graz might have found a scientific proof to back the anecdotal theory that wine can solve writer’s block.

A study published in Consciousness & Cognition by Dr Mathias Benedek examined the effects of ‘mild alcohol intoxication’ on creative cognition. The experiment saw 89 participants solve creativity-measuring tasks after beer consumption. Some of them were given alcoholic beer, while others drank alcohol-free one, which they could not distinguish.

Each participant from the alcohol-consuming group had to reach the level of mild intoxication, which meant the concentration of alcohol in blood of 0.03% – or 30mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood. That’s less than half the drink-drive limit in England, for example.

Then they had to complete a word association task, such as finding a link between seemingly unrelated words like ‘cottage’, ‘blue’ and ‘cake’.

The participants who drank alcohol proved to be more likely to guess that the correct answer was ‘cheese’.

The drinkers also performed slightly better in tasks measuring creative thinking, where they had to come up with as many creative uses as they could for common objects like swing or umbrella.

The study also found that alcohol consumption leads to limited ‘cognitive control’, which might be often a hurdle in solving creative tasks.

‘Alcohol may particularly play a role in mitigating fixation effects,’ said Dr Benedek in the journal article. ‘In creative problem solving, problems can often only be solved after a restructuring of the problem representation.’

‘When initial solution attempts get on the wrong track, this can cause blocks to immediate problem solving, which is known as mental fixation. Alcohol may reduce fixation effects by loosening the focus of attention.’

Dr Benedek cautioned that  the findings were not an invitation to drink excessively to boost creativity. ‘Beneficial effects are likely restricted to very modest amounts of alcohol, whereas excessive alcohol consumption typically impairs creative productivity,’ he said in the study write-up.



UK: Police uncover million-pound wine investment scam

City of London Police arrested three men on 3 August suspected of operating a ‘boiler room’ wine investment scam.

It is believed that investors, many of them elderly, have collectively lost more than £1 million in the scam, which the men were accused of running from a base on Fleet Street, central London. Police said that victims were cold called by salespeople offering them an opportunity to invest in fine wine and promising returns of between eight and 40%.

If proven, it is the latest in a series of fine wine investment scams uncovered in the UK in recent years. Potential investors were told to buy extra wine, because buyers were already in place for them to sell on to, police said.

It was not clear whether all three men arrested have been formally charged. A police spokesperson declined to comment further on the case when contacted on 10 August. ‘Boiler room’ is a term used to describe an outbound call centre selling investments over the phone, usually employing dishonest techniques.

‘Boiler rooms continue to be a major threat to individuals in this country and statistics show that those who are over 60 are particularly vulnerable to this type of crime,’ said Andrew Thompson, City of London Police detective inspector.

‘Fraudsters will do everything they can to manipulate potential victims and convince them that they are making genuine investments.’

The investigation into the case was launched after Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber reporting service, received complaints from the victims.

So far, 39 victims have contacted Action Fraud. Their combined, estimated losses total over £1 million.

The City of London Police said that it has been contacting victims of the bogus company.