A great one from the Rhone today! Southern too. This is one which we just had to get again and we're about to explain why...


Laurent and Julien Bréchet have long admired the potential of Lirac, in the Southern Rhône; when the owner of the Moulin des Chênes vineyard retired, they jumped at the chance to take over the vinegrowing there. Lirac lies to the west, across the river from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is a Rhône Cru, with a heritage of vinegrowing that is just as long, although with mixed fortunes compared to its easterly neighbour. Quality has been varied, but with the arrival of a younger generation of growers and more modern technology, the potential of Lirac has been realised. The Bréchet brothers have 16 hectares of vines in total there.

Conditions for Lirac are similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape: both are Mediterranean in climate with over 2500 hours of sunlight per year and a dry growing season that ensures consistently ripe, flavoursome wines.

Both have predominantly stony soils (Lirac also has the large pebbles or 'Galets Roulés' of its neighbour) supported by red clay underneath. The Mistral wind keeps the crop healthy and concentrates flavours in the berries.

Moulin des Chenes Lirac 2015 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!

Deep crimson in colour, with notes of strawberries and blackberries. On the palate, the wine has a velvety mouthfeel and fresh acidity. Redcurrant flavours continue through the mouthwatering finish.

This beauty will remain for a while but that doesn't mean you can wait! It moves incredibly fast. Cheers!

Snow! Snow in South London! It's a miracle! Our wine of the day is as golden as the sun reflecting off of the snow. A beautiful white rioja...

Izadi is based in Villabuena in the Rioja Alavesa, the highest part of Rioja. The hillside winery (whose precipitous slope allows for gravity assisted production) was founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Anton as a modern breakaway from the traditional style of wine produced by other members of his family. As his son Lalo, who now runs the estate, says: "the whole concept of Izadi really started around wanting to produce wine to satisfy the needs of our friends over a meal". Izadi produces modern, international wines that are true to their roots and a natural expression of the area.

The grapes for the Izadi wines are grown on 189 hectares of vineyard, all of which are either owned or leased on long term contracts, so Izadi have full control over production. Fruit for the Rioja Blanco comes from the Villabuena and Samaniego vineyards. All the vineyards have traditionally trained bush vines, a method which they believe gives better exposure of the grapes, leading to evenly ripe and matured fruit.

2016 harvest was characterised by its delayed progression, compared to the last 10 years. This delay was mainly due to low temperatures in spring. Early winter was very dry but the end of winter and beginning of spring saw some much needed rainfall, allowing for good vegetative growth of the vineyards before flowering. Little rainfall in summer meant berries were small in size but concentrated in flavour. Climatic conditions during the last stage of ripening produced grapes of extraordinary health, with an optimum balance between the technical and phenolic ripeness.


The grapes were hand harvested and then destemmed and softly crushed. The must was fermented in 100% new French (Bertomieu), fine grain oak casks, where it stayed for three months. Batonnage (lees stirring) took place daily for the first few weeks.

Izadi Rioja Blanco 2016 @ £12.95 - Buy it here!

The wine is straw yellow in colour with youthful tones. With succulent citrus and yellow stone fruit on both the nose and the palate, this well-balanced wine combines a richness and freshness frequently missing in white Rioja.

Loads of this in, our of the shop favourites for sure!

By a bit of luck we've managed to get a stonker of a bottle back into the shop. This Amarone went down an absolute treat the first time and we expect it to do the same again! Let's have a read...

The Torre del Falasco wines are the standard bearers of this co-operative, situated in the Valpantena, northeast of Verona. Known as the ’valley of god’ to the ancient Greeks, this area is well-known for its high quality red wines, due partly to the soils but also because of the cool breeze that blows down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites. Run by Luca Degani since 1995, the Cantina di Valpantena is now one of Italy’s best co-operatives, with 700 hectares of vineyard producing excellent quality fruit. Matt Thomson makes some of the Alpha Zeta wines here and has worked closely with them since 1999.

The grapes for the Amarone are grown on the steeply terraced hillside vineyards belonging to the co-op, where soils are chalky and poor.


The summer brought abnormally high temperatures and a prolonged absence of rainfall. A providential downpour on 17th July, with 25mm of rain, managed to restore water reserves and bring the vegetation back into a state of equilibrium. In addition, abundant and much-needed rainfall at the beginning of September - about 80mm - changed the macroclimate substantially, bringing with it significant differences in day and night-time temperatures that produced a wide range of aromas and helped to retain acidity.


Once picked, the grapes dried for at least four months in the Valpantena drying centre where temperature and humidity are controlled to ensure slow, even drying. During this period, the grapes lost 40% in weight. After drying, the grapes were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at between 18-22°C with maceration for 20 days. Once fermentation was complete, the wine matured in French oak barriques for 18 months before bottling.

Torre del Falasco Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 @ £28.95 - Buy it here!

Deep ruby in colour, this wine has aromas of plums, spice and dried fruit compôte, which give way to a solid tannin structure that supports the concentrated, dried-cherry fruit character. Long and spicy on the finish, with a bitter cherry-chocolate twist characteristic of good Amarone.

Come grab a few of this beautiful beast. We love it!

In honour of the weekend finally being here, we thought we would show off a wine which has finally returned to us after a long wait: The Colombo & Fille Côtes du Rhône Blanc! A rising star from the Rhône and one of the youngest from the region. Made in limited quantities by Laure Colombo, this boutique label is an inspired and personal story best told by Laure herself:

"Growing up in Cornas has not always been an easy thing! I would have loved to take the tube to go to school, to spend my Wednesday afternoons at the public gardens and to feed the pandas at the zoo before sunset.

My parents never pushed me to follow in their footsteps and become a winemaker like them. Instead, I chose to travel - maybe because of all those bottles from around the world! I travelled until one smoggy morning in New Delhi I realised that the magic potion from my childhood was taking hold! I was missing the vines and the cellar that were so familiar to me. It's when you are far away that the things that are so common become so precious! Without noticing it my roots were coming back.

Since that morning, the magical potion has invaded my entire person and the passion had become a reality. That is how Colombo & Fille was born! Nothing more."

Colombo & Fille Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2016 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!
A lively blend of Clairette, Roussanne and Bourboulenc from vineyards in the heart of Côtes du Rhône near Cairanne. Intense floral aromas, crisp, fresh citrus characters and a vibrant finish.

Come and grab a few. We're stoked to have it back!

Final case of this is in the shop! Don't miss your last chance to get your hands on a couple of bottles of this truly amazing chardonnay. Let's find out a bit more...

When La Crema was founded in 1979, the Russian River Valley had yet to establish itself as one of California’s most important regions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The first few vintages at La Crema were devoted to learning the intricacies of cold-climate viticulture and winemaking along with the task of procuring first-class vineyards for fruit.

In 1993 Jess Jackson bought La Crema and, with the help of winemaker Dan Goldfield, elevated the quality of the wines and enhanced the winery’s reputation as a top producer in California for Burgundian varieties. Over the intervening years, La Crema expanded its collection of vineyards to include some of the most esteemed sites in not just the Russian River Valley but also Sonoma Coast, Green Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Mendocino, Carneros and Monterey.

With the 2012 vintage, the winery ventured outside of California to acquire Pinot Noir from Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley. The unifying factors with all of these sites are their cool, windy climates and marine-based soils. The winery has also explored other varieties and is known for producing one of the finest Pinot Gris in the state.


La Crema’s vineyards are all harvested by hand. The winemaking techniques are primarily traditional to ensure that the wines are true to both the variety and the terroir. The Chardonnays are whole-cluster pressed and fermented and aged in French oak on the lees with bi-monthly battonage to add texture and complexity. The Pinot Noirs are cold soaked for five to eight days before fermentation in small, open-top fermenters and aging in a combination of new and used French oak barrels. As with the Chardonnay, La Crema’s Pinot Noirs are pure, accurate and reflective of their origin.

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 @ £21.95 - Buy it here!
This wine opens with layered aromas of vanilla, yellow plum, fresh peach blossom and ripe citrus. On the palate are flavors of locally grown Gravenstein apple framed by hints of sweet spice and shortbread. The end result is a broad, juicy, and beautifully balanced mouthfeel.

Only 12 bottles of this are available and it was wildly popular in the first place. Get down here and soon!

And we're back from quite a nice and relaxed weekend. On Friday we had one of our amazing wine tasting evenings and this time we focused ourselves on Australia. The brilliant people down-under are known to produce some amazing wines. These two, for example, are some of the absolute best on offer...

Robert Oatley Vineyards is the reincarnation of the Oatley family winemaking dynasty. Wine is 'in the blood' of the late founder Bob Oatley and his eldest son Sandy, leader of the family business founded upon a four decade passion for grape growing, wine making and marketing - the combination of which has seen the Oatley family rise to the top of the Australian winemaking scene. With interests spanning the world of competitive sailing, tourism, hospitality and of course, wine - the family produces wines both of immediate appeal and cellar-ability, with satisfying flavours over an elegant frame, under a variety of stylish labels including Robert Oatley, Wild Oats, Pocketwatch, Four in Hand, Montrose and Craigmoor.

Over forty years of nurturing grapevines and making wine has taught the Oatley family many lessons. Site selection is paramount, that 'sense of place', as where you choose to grow your grapes is vital to both style and quality. The Oatley approach is to overlay this philosophy with an outstanding team of grape growers and wine makers, using the best possible equipment, to allow them every chance of producing a winner. The task is clear: to craft wines that have varietal clarity, focus and which reflect their provenance - in a very modern fashion. Wines of character and integrity.

Director of Winemaking, acclaimed vigneron Larry Cherubino, achieves this via a myriad of vineyards across the length and breadth of Australia's wine regions. His winemaking team is lead from the Oatley's winery at Mudgee, with further on-location experts and facilities in Margaret River, McLaren Vale and Yarra Valley. Vineyards are tended as organically as possible and wines are made with minimal intervention, reflecting a dedication to sustainable grape growing and wine production practices.

Robert Oatley "Finisterre" Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula 2012 @ £21.95 - Buy it here!
An excellent Pinot Noir from the sought-after Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne. The grapes are hand pricked and sorted and matured for 9 months in French Oak. Crisp, ripe, rich red fruits with complex spicy and gamey notes and a silky body. 

Robert Oatley "Finisterre" Chardonnay, Margaret River 2015 @ £21.95 - Buy it here!
Reminiscent of a white Burgundy, this wine displays aromas of nectarine and lemon peel. The palate is rich and complex with citrus and melon fruit, minerality and finely integrated oak characters. 

Both of these are only available in small quantities so don't even think about waiting around!