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.

Cheers!

 

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!

Another weekend has passed us by and we all begrudgingly head back into work. With the cold front that's hit us again we thought it would be a great chance to get some big reds out. Let's begin shall we?

Founded in 1890, La Rioja Alta is arguably the traditional Rioja bodega whose wines are most consistent, readily available, the most time and time again delicious.This is a tough to find bottling from La Rioja Alta. It consists of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Mazuelo. Wonderfully classic, with lovely fruit, some subtle earthy notes, and a more restrained, traditional style. This wine will surely age well for another decade or more. Arana, it is worth noting, is also a favorite amongst many of the crew over at La Rioja Alta.



Viña Arana Reserva 2009 @ £23.95

An award winning, rich, savoury, spicy, medium bodied red wine from Rioja. Tobacco, caramel, incense and spices on the nose with ripe dark fruits, vanilla and oak on the palate. Pair with charcuterie, red meats or medium to mature cheeses.

This has quickly become one of the most popular wines in the shop so why not come see what all the fuss is about?

Welcome back! We hope your weekend was as lovely and winey as it should have been. Another new one for you today, the Montes Alpha Pinot Noir...

Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim to produce the best wines in Chile from the best regions. We have long admired Montes and what they have done for Chilean wine over the past three decades. The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has gone from being a wine to being the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity . Viticulture is hands on and individual rather than mechanical and industrial. The result is a range of wines that offer superb value within the premium wine market - whether from Chile or anywhere else.

Montes Alpha Aconcagua Pinot Noir @ £13.95 - Buy it here!
Bright ruby red colour. The nose presents aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries, white pepper and a touch of violets. Medium-bodied, the palate has silky, smooth tannins, fresh and vibrant acidity, and shows well-integrated French oak. The long and perfumed finish is smooth and elegant.

A few of these available to buy but due to its screwcap we are unable to taste it! Either way, it's an absolute beauty so definitely worth a shot.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Finally we are past the Christmas break and everything can return back to normal. 

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our customers for making 2017 such an amazing year for us at Grand Cru Co. 2018 will be a big one too as our company continues to grow and expand into new territories. Watch this space for upcoming changes to what's going on!

Cheers and thanks again!