Wine Tastings

Christmas Wines

21st November

Our nest tasting is on Wednesday 21st November at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor.

There have been many discussions about the perfect partners for Christmas dinner from Pinot Noir for goose, claret for beef and white burgundy for turkey. However no wine has the ability to cope with the vast flavours of say meat, sprouts parsnips,cranberry sauce etc. So I would recommend that you drink your favourite wine and get on with it.

Our first wine is an old favourite Tabali Viognier from Chile. This is a delight to drink. Then a steely flinty Sancerre, Domaine Roblin Sancerre‘Terres Blanches,’ showing how well Sauvignon can perform in the Loire. Completely off the beaten track is a Rhone blend from northern Portugal, Quinta do Pinto Grande Escolha. It is so concentrated with mango, peach and apricot, and honey and almond notes

  

In reds, we start with super fruity Cabernet  from California’s Central Valley It has a lengthy name Showdown ‘Man with the Ax’ Cabernet Sauvignon. It is Boutinot`s first venture into making wine in the USA.

We follow this with an old favourite Tres Picos from Borja. This tremendous old vine Garnacha never fails to disappoint and is highly rated by the wine critics. One of my favourite grapes is Touriga Nacional from Portuga. This wine, Quinta do Pinto Touriga Nacional Reserva has the ability to match duck or beef.. Our last red is the powerhouse  Emiliana Coyam, a blend of Syrah (45%), Carmenère (35%), Cabernet Sauvignon (8%), Mourvèdre (%), Malbec (4%) and Petit Verdot (3%). This is a perfect match with red meats.

     

Our last wine is the incredilbe sweet Pedro Ximinez from Jerez. This mahogany coloured wine is the perfect match for Christmas pudding

All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 21st November at 8.00pm, in the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £15 and should be reserved by contacting us.

Next Tastings

5th December Wines of the Year.

Provisional dates 2019

30th Jan

20th Feb

20th March

1st April

1st may

Around New Zealand

31/10/18

New Zealand’s wine industry is one of the youngest in the world, but the ‘can-do’ attitude of our pioneering winemakers and growers puts in place a solid base for our innovative, world-class industry to flourish

Their wine regions extend 1,600km (1000 miles) from sub-tropical Northland (36° S) down to Central Otago (46° S), home to the world’s most southerly vineyards ( that means coolest). We have selected 3 regions to compare and contrast. The coolest part is Central Otago on the southern Island which is renowned for making excellent Pinot Noirs. We travel north up to the slighly warmer Marlborough region which is the hallmark of classic Sauvignon blancs. Then onto the warmer region of the North Island of Hawkes Bay, where many red grapes flourish.

We start our tasting with 2 Sauvignon blancs from Marlborough, a new wine Te Merio ( mermaid) is a venture away from the sweeter styles that have been swamping the market. The second is Greywacke owned by the iconic Kevin Judd who was the winemaker at Cloudy bay for 25 years, before venturing out on his own. Then we go further south to Central Otago to try a Maude Pinot Gris which has relished this cooler climate. Our last white is an Albarino from Hawkes bay.

In reds, we start with a Syrah from Trinty Hill in Hawkes bay and wefollow this with a Sileni the triangle Merlot aslo from Hawkes bay.

Then we finish with 2 Pinots Noirs which are regarded as some of the best in the world. We show Moko from Marlborough and a Maude from central Otago .

All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 31st October at 8.00pm, in the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £12 and should be reserved.

Next Tastings

7th November winter wines

21st November Xmas wines

5th December Wines of the Year

 

 

 

 

Spain

17/09/18

Spain still offers excellent value for money on their wines. I recently attended some trade tastings and the main grumble that there was nothing under £10 that you could bet excited about. This poor value is due to a combination of factors from the 2017 harvest being reduced by a third and sterling exchange rate down by 25%. However Spain has worked hard to try offset some of these costs without affecting quality. Four of the wines we are showing excelled at Wines of Spain awards.

Our first white is Catalan Eagle, a blend of Garnacha, Viognier and Roussanne. This organic wine has flavours of flavours of pear and melon with firm minerality. We will show a white Rioja from the Viura grape. This wine is aged according to the typical white Rioja method: 4 months in American oak followed by 6 months in bottle prior to release. We will also show another white from Catalunya based on 40 year old Garnacha vines, Brisa de Verano (Breeze of Summer).

We start with a most striking label of an old vine Garnacha Honoro Vera from Calatayud. The best vineyards are situated high on the hillsides, where, despite the poor gravelly soil, the old gnarled vines produced the finest grapes possible in this arid and desolate region. We will also show the sister of the Catalan white which is appropriately called Catalan Eagle red. A blend of Garnacha, Cariñena and Syrah – with the remaining 15% made up from Cabernet Sauvignon. A month’s contact with oak staves gives a touch of vanilla and added complexity. Following this will be another award winning wine from Ribera del Duero, Pinna Fidelis. An appealing juicy, smoky, modern Ribera del Duero. We have shown Barbazul before but they have now launched their Especial This single vinyard wine is fermented in French Allier oak vats then aged for six months in new French Allier oak barriques with 2 rackings before being bottled Extremely good.

Volver is a wine, that I have been wanting to show for some time but Robert Parker gave a previous vintage 92 points and a rave review. It has been completely sold out. Made from 100% Tempranillo that was grown in the Finca Los Juncares vineyard near Albacete, that was planted in 1957! An incredible, full-bodied wine that has notes of toast, blackberry and cassis on the palate. We now have a little stock. The wine is fabulous and a great advert for the La Manchuela region.

These wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 17th October at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor Road starting at 8.00pm. Places are £12 and must be reserved.

New Wines

19th September

Our next tasting is on Wednesday 19th September at 8.00pm. It will be held at the Moor Club,  Heaton Moor, Stockport .

This is a real mixed bag of wines that reflect changing fashions and evolving tastes. A huge range of countries Hungary,S. Africa,Greece, Sardinia,Argentina,Chile Australia and France.

In whites, we start with Hungary and a lean, mineral Furmint which is deliciously drinkable. Furmint is also the base for the very sweet dessert wine Tokay. I went to Santorini in 1973, but did not take to the local wine Assyrtiko ( being young and ignorant ), however this wine from the mainland is now level with the best wines from Santorini which I have now found much more interesting.

Finally we go to S. Africa for a Sauvignon blanc from Cers Plateau. We tried recently its stable mate the Callender Peak Chardonnay which was brilliant. This is also French cuttings planted straight into the soil ie using its original french rootstock and fortunatel phylloxera has not been able to climb and access this remote area.A fresh almost limey acidity contributes to the wine’s length and gives balance to the creamy texture of the barrel fermented component.

In reds, we travel to Chile for a Pinot Noir from the cooler eastern Andean side of the Maule valley. Aged for a total of 5 months in French oak barrels (30% of which were new, and 70% of which were second and third use). This aging give the Pinot a little more body.Then we have 2 grenaches , the first from the barossa valley is a wild yeast fermented wine that is a natural partner for lamb dishes. The second is from Sardinia and confusingly they call the grape Cannonau.

Malbec is improving by blending it with other grape varieties and this bend with Cabernet Franc is very good.Winemaker Santiago Mayorga has used some of the best Uco valley Malbec fruit (60%) and blended it with the increasingly popular Cabernet Franc (40%) from the Agrelo region. The wine has spent eight months in second and third fill oak, marking the biggest change Santiago has made; fruit expression over oak.we finish with a powerhouse from Cahors. 5 hectares of sustainably-managed vines averaging 60 years’ age contribute a great deal of character to this hefty wine. Green harvesting and thinning help to lower yields to 30hl/ha. The resulting crop is fermented at 30 degrees and vatted for a month before ageing in oak casks for 18 months, 60 – 70% of which is new oak.

 All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 19th September at 8.00pm in the Moor Club. Places are £12 and must be reserved by contacting us


Malaysian dinner at Pokusevski`s

8th August

Our next tasting is on Wednesday 8th August at 8.30pm for 8.45 start. It will be held at Pokusevski`s, 13 Shaw Rd, Heaton Moor, Stockport . Places are limited and have to be reserved by contacting us and not Pokusevski.

Jim Kohr has selected the following menu. A Mixed tempura of vegetables…. capiscum,beans, sweet potato and broccoli served with pickled ginger, wasabe and soy.

Beef rendang disguised as a crispy spring roll, topped with sambal and pickles.

Rempah chicken…… Boneless curry battered chicken with sticky soy, sambal and pickles.

Salt pepper fish with stir fry garlic, onion and chilli topping.

Nasi goreng, Mee Goreng and fries to accompany

We have selected 2 whites and 2 reds to match the various dishes.

There is an unusual wine from New Zealand, an Albarino. A viticulturist thought the climate and soils were similar to that of Northern Spain and it was trialled and proved to be a success. The winemaker has named it after the man who urged him to plant the vines. Its called “The Advocate” Intense aromatics with layers of peach, nectarine and citrus fruit, combined with a hint of spice. Elegantly structured, with a finely balanced acidity leading to a long finish.We follow this with a white blend from South Africa. “Tea Leaf’” hails from the uniqueness of the vineyards where the grapes from these wines grow; amongst South Africa’s native rooibos (red tea) plants that grow wild amongst vines, protected from removal and yet to be successfully cultivated anywhere else in the world. In the infancy of winemaking, the juice from these grapes are almost grey in colour and hints of green-tea aromas waft around the cellar as the grapes are crushed and pumped into tank.

In reds we have a classic Beaujolais, Le Quartier du Cru Beaujolais, Fleurie. This very easy drinkng red, has  higher acidty but lower tannin levels can happily be matched with a huge range of foods .The last wines is a Montepulciano d`Abruzzo.Vibrant aromas of ripe black fruit, backed by toasty notes and hints of dark chocolate and spicy oak.

This will be a great combination of Malaysian dishes and our wines. Places will be in demand and  should be reserved immediately to avoid disappointment. The cost of the dinner and wines will be £38 per person.

Should anyone have a dietary need please let us know on booking.

Next Tastings

9th September New wines

17th October Spain

31st October New Zealand

7th November winter wines

21st November Xmas wines

5th December Wines of the Year

Summer & BBQ Wines

4th July

Our next tasting will be on Wednesday 4th July at the Moor Club at 8.00pm. 
The unusual heat wave we are having changes our lifestyle. We change our eating habits from having BBQ's and salads to not wanting heavier stodgier dishes. Also our taste in wines adapt to match. 

Our first wine is a Sauvignon Blanc from S. Africa, from the Silver Myn stable of wines produced by Zorgvliet. This is a great value wine for drinking al fresco.There is a new Gavi del Gavi.The 18ha Santa Seraffa estate is situated in the prized Gavi del Comune di Gavi zone which surrounds the town of Gavi itself (rather than the satellite villages)  The third white is one of our favourites the Domaine de Vedilhan Serica, made with barrel Fermented Viognier. This will happily partner dishes from charcoaled meats to lighter fish dishes and will handle some spice. 

In reds, we start with a light red, made with carefully selected Frappato grapes, an organic wine that can be chilled and even eat with fish. Then  we taste the fine Silver myn Argentum. This Bordeaux blend of grapes offers a juicy fruity,easy style of drinking at a very reasonable price. We follow this with a French Malbec from the south of France. Then we go to the other side of the world and have a New Zealand Pinot Noir from the Scottish Jealous Sisters house. We finish with a great Chianti that we re-discovered on our trip there. Uggiano Chianti reserva Il Fagiano. This wine has great complexity and is far too good for a BBQ 
  
All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 4th July, at 8.00pm in the Moor Club. Places are £12 and should be reserved by contacting us.

Other tasting dates

8th August Malaysian dinner

19th September New wines

17th October Spain

31st October New Zealand

7th November winter wines

21st November Xmas wines

5th December Wines of the Year

South Africa

 20th June

Our next tasting is on the blossoming wines of South Africa on Wednesday 20th June.

South Africa is often described as straddling the line between old world and new world, producing wines that can be ripe and fruity as well as elegantly balanced. They do not have the full richness of the The New World but they do have a natural acidity that gives the wine a more European style

There have been increasing education in S. Africa to improve its viticulture and vinification. Farmers who used to grow grapes just to sell to the local co-op are now taking more of an interest and improving the quality of their grapes. So, better wines are being made from other areas besides Stellenbosch with Franchoek, Paarl and Swartland to the fore.The landscape with its mountain ranges and coastline are visually dramatic, but also deeply influence the wines being made.

We start with some of these new wines. Revenant – one that returns after death or a long absence. There is a renaissance taking place across South Africa’s winelands. A greater dedication to the importance of discovering and caring for appropriate vineyard sites and a return to the traditional, more natural ways of making wine. Revenant celebrates this re-birth.

 We follow this with Chrome Semillon, 100% Semillon from a block of old scrubby bush vines in Franschhoek planted from 1930. The texture and flavour comes from the poor soil and the character of old bush vine plantings. The wine is unfiltered, pure and bright. Despite its Franschhoek heritage, it is registered as W.O. Coastal Region.

.A wine to reflect the role of Chenin Blanc in South Africa. Chenin’s versatility of style thrives in the Cape and is a natural blackboard for the region’s terroir. The name ‘On Reflection’ is intended to capture this particular, classic style as a portrait of the cultivar in the Coastal Region.

The next wine is an absolute stunner, a Callender Peak Chardonnay from an unheard of region. The remote cul-de-sac, Witzenberg Valley, which is home to these unusual vines is flanked on one side by the Great Winterhoek range of mountains – the name itself suggesting the extreme winters and imposing mountainous landscape. The terrain is unforgivingly harsh and rocky, with snowfalls on the peaks each winter .

A blend of Sauvignon and Chenin. One of the best rosés we have tried is this Cape Coral made from the Mourvedre grape. It is a rival to the best roses of Provencal.

Cinsault has bewilderingly been overlooked in the Cape for too long.This wine shows Boutinots latest purchasein S.A. they descibe it as this.The thing about owning a mountain is the fact that it’s a piece of the earth’s mantle. Wildeberg is Boutinot South Africa’s home, our hearth, our fire place … and we are quite clearly stuck on the side of the earth’s crust here on this magnificent mountain in Franschhoek. Wildeberg is belittlingly dramatic in scale and it is this scale that we try to apply to this small, pretty wine. The label pays homage to the unique, ever-shifting soils and slopes of South Africa’s Cape mountains, formed over aeons of geological time.

We have shown a few wines from the Dry Lands winery and now is their Resolve Pinotage. The Bush vine  flourishes in Perdeberg’s unirrigated vineyards with blue-black fruit, juicy structure and bursting aromatics being a testament to the viticulture.

One red which we have shown beofre but it seems to improve each year is the Circle of Life. It tells the story of Waterkloof: a conventionally farmed amphitheatre of windswept vineyards with vast, untapped potential which, over ten years, was transformed into a living, breathing, biodynamic farm that is now revealing its true self in the wines.

 Finally. the best red I have drank this year is the Vuurberg. To me it has perfect balance, weight of fruit and you could drink it with anything. This wine is excellent. Vuurberg (pronounced ‘Feer-berg’, translated to ‘Fire Mountain’) is a tiny garage-style winery and the quality is outstanding

All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 20th June  at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £12 and must be reserved by contacting us.

 Other tasting dates

8th August Malaysian dinner

19th September New wines

17th October Spain

31st October New Zealand

7th November winter wines

21st November Xmas wines

5th December Wines of the Year

 

 

Italy

16th May

Our next tasting is based on the wines of Italy but concentrating on Sicily and Chianti, which are places we plan to visit next year. This tasting will be on Wednesday 16th May, at 8.00pm at the Moor Club ,Heaton Moor.

Tim Atkin wrote Sicily isn’t a region, the locals will tell you: it’s a continent with its own history, language and customs, a sense of difference that is proudly, even willfully, maintained. Trapani is closer to Tunis than it is to Naples. So close, in fact, that you can see Africa on a clear day and feel the dry heat of whispering Saharan winds. Sicily is Italy’s Andalusia, a region on the fringe of Europe, looking south as much as north, physically and culturally detached from the rest of the country. More details on http://www.timatkin.com/corktalk?578#.Wt8uc5ch270

Historically, wines of Sicily were famous from Homer`s Odyssey to Roman periods to Nelson discovering Marsala in the !8th century and then deterioration rapidly set in the 1960 ies with growers aiming for quantity. It was the wine lake of Italy, only bottling under 20 % of the wine it made. Also more poor white than red.. Salvation came in the hands of Diego Planeta who planted over a 100 different wine varieties… some successful some not!

The biggest difference now, is the new concentration on red wines and with new white varieties being planted the future of Sicilian wines looks very bright.

Tuscany has always had good reviews for its Sangiovese based Chianti`s etc. However clever winemaking is refining the assertive Sangiovese grape.. We even have one wine that is 85% Sangiovese with the rest being Syrah!

We start with an organic wine from Sicily using the Catarrato grape. We go north to Piemonte for a new Gavi. The Battistine Bricco Gavi is made from the estates oldest and best vines ( bricco meaning the crest or crown of a hill ). The Cortese grape is then barrel fermented and left on its lees to gain extra flavour. Back to Sicily for the third white grown in the foothills of Mount Etna at a height of 700 metres which ensures along growing season. The grapes are not picked till October. The more exciting Carricante is only grown in this region.

In reds we commence with Chianti and the winery Uggiano has been determined to improve their wines and they have successfully paired Sangiovese with some oak aged Syrah. This has not met with the approval of the authorities who insist it on being classed as table wine (IGT). A wine that does meet the Chianti regulations is their reserva Roccialta. A fresh, youthful style with nice dept of fruit.

We return to Sicily for their grape that excels there, Nero d`avola. It is one of Sicily’s oldest indigenous grapes – its name derives from ‘coming down from Avola’ – Avola being a small town in south-east Sicily. It is found throughout the island, but south-east Sicily is the grape’s original home and where the best vineyards are located. Feudo Maccari can be found here, in the Noto area near Avola .

Then, back up north to another pioneering wine a Barbera that has undergone “Passito” treatment. The bottle has received a red handkerchief around its neck to commemorate the Italian resistance fighters. This wine is a rediscovery of the old tradition of using partially-dried grapes to add richness and concentration . Following the traditional passito technique – a portion of ripe Barbera grapes (around 20%), left on the vine for nearly a month after the main harvest to sun dry, were blended with fresh Barbera grapes before fermentation. This sweetens, enriches and softens the resulting acidity. The last red is from Sicily. The fine, complex reds from Etna are well established as among Italy’s finest. The combination of the etherial characters of the Nerello Mascalese grape and cool, high altitude vineyards on poor volcanic soils gives wines a freshness and delicacy unique in southern Italy.

All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 16th May  at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £12 and must be reserved by contacting us.

Wines of the Year

21/03/18

Our next tasting is on Wednesday 21st March on  wines of the year . It will be held in the Moor Club starting at 8.00pm. Places will be £12.

We have had a difficult task trying to reduce our selection of wines to 8.. So this year I am putting my head on the block by trying to predict what the wines of the year will be.

We start with the fairy tale chateau of Chenonceaux. This chateau is surrounded by Pierre Chainier Sauvignon vines. He has made a classic Sauvignon that favours comparison with its Sancerre neighbour. We tasted a very rare wine, a Semillon from Argentina, The nose is remarkably aromatic and there are of flavours of peach and apricot, honey and banana, because its oak aging . This is a powerful wine. Our third white comes from Swartland, S. Africa, abarrel fermented chardonnay. This is the oldest registered property in the area dating back to 1704. The winemaker has used a careful amount of oak to bring out the best of this stunning wine.

In reds Borsao who make Tres Picos have brought out a wine called Bole. Based mainly on Garnacha with Syrah to support and 3 months oak ageing. Staying in Spain but heading to the north west to Bierzo. Two brothers, Brothers Daniel and Gonzalo Amigo returned to their roots to establish Bodegas Madai, recovering their grandparents’ vineyards . The 100% Mencia grapes are sourced from old vines (over 80 years of age). The wine spends 6 months on its lees.

Moving up a gear or two is a Pinot Noir from Hungary. We tasted this wine and the first thought was “ Must show this”. Fragrant sandalwood and herbal medicinal notes follow through into cherry, wild strawberry, raspberry and pepper spice aromas. Gentle characters of leather and tobacco also add complexity to this intriguing Pinot. Moderate tannins with good body. The long aging in oak barrels gives this wine a velvety and round finish making it very moreish.

Now in top gear we have the powerful brother of the Swartland Chardonnay, Joseph`s Legacy. It is a powerful blend of 52% Shiraz, 20% Petit Verdot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec and 5% Mourvedre . The depth of flavours and complexity make this a sheer joy to drink.

We finish off with a single vineyard Malbec, by Cadus in the newish appelation Uco valley. Cadus is a perfectly formed winery near Tupungato, in the shadow of the Andes Mountains, within the Uco Valley. This high altitude region has quickly built a reputation as the home of premium Malbecs. This has rich concentrated peppery fruit supported by 100% ageing in French oak casks of high quality for 18 months. A grand wine for rich casseroles

 Value Wines  21/02/18
Our next tasting is on Wednesday 21st February on value wines . It will be held in the Moor Club starting at 8.00pm. Places will be £10.

Trying to select wines for this value tasting has been extremely difficult. This is due to two severe problems… climatic changes and currency rates. Some people blame Trump and Brexit!

It is normal for 1 or 2 countries to have poor vintages but never before has practically every wine producing region  suffered from spring frosts, cold wet springs, then drought conditions (causing forest fires) then humid conditions inviting disease . The only country to declare a better crop was S. Africa despite their drought conditions.

Abbi Moreno wrote this

Spain; has only seen a 15% decrease in volume, it’s better in the South, and worse in the North. So Rioja has seen a 25% increase in prices on the back of a 30% reduction in yield.

Ribera del Duero produced 55 million kg, compared to 144 million kg in 2016, with many wineries 40-70% down.

Italy; one of the smallest and earliest harvests on record. A 23% reduction on the large 2016 vintage (40M hl forecasted vs 54M hl in 2016) means Italy’s shortage is the most acute in Europe.

France; total yield down 19% from 2016 at 36.7mhl – the smallest harvest since 1945.

The wines we will be showing are a Grillo from Sicily. A honeyed, floral and spicy nose with hints of ginger and stone fruit, offering fantastic value. We have managed to obtain 2 whites that are bin ends. The first is Etnico from Chile.  This organic wine from the Casablanca valley is mainly Chardonnay with a little viognier and sauvignon. Perfect with Asian and Thai food, any highly spiced dishes or a delicious aperitif. The second is a single vineyard Macon Charnay. Single-vineyard Mâcon with real elegance and typicity

In reds we have selected 6 wines which we consider to be excellent drinking and offering value for money. We start with a Portuguese Dao which has recently been improved with the addition of Touriga Nacional. There are now aromas of plum, black fruit, mocha and a hint of dark chocolate. Then 2  wines from S. Africa offering great drinking, the False Bay Pinotage and inky black Silver myn Argentum based on Bordeaux grapes. One grape that tends to be overlooked is the red Zinfandel as much of the grapes grown are now used to make a sweetish rose. The red though packs a punch. Aromas of vanilla, cracked black pepper and dark damson fruit. On the palate this wine is round and fleshy, beautifully balanced and packed full with robust red fruit flavours and a lick of oak.

We finish with our last 2 wines coming from Spain. The first from Toro is Cien de Toro Roble.The grapes are from 50-60 year old dry farmed bush vines, grown around 700m above sea level. The grapes are then harvested in early October. ‘Cien’ relates to the 100 days (3 months) that the wine is aged in American oak.The last wine is one of our favourites the Juan Gil 4 mes. This Monastrell  dense, black, chewy wine never fails to please

 

 

 

1 2016 Ca di Ponti Grillo, £6.95
2 2014 Etnico Chardonnay Casablanca Limited £6.95
3 2015 Clos Saint Pierre Mâcon-Charnay, Limited £8.95
4 2013/4 Alianca Dao, Portugal £8.50
5 2014 False Bay Bushvine Pinotage £7.50
6 2016 Silver Myn Argentum £7.95
7 2016 Burlesque ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel £8.95
8 2014 Cien Tinta de Toro Roble £9.50
9 2016 Juan Gil Yellow Label Monastrell £9.95

We have an assortment of wines left over from tastings. They are over £10 retail and we offer a box of 6 for £50

Similar to above but all wines are over £12 and we offer 6 for £60

 

 

Wines of Chile

17th Jan.

2017 looks like it has been a poor year for most people with the exception of Trump. Unfortunately it has been a disastrous year for the wine industry with record low vintages around the world. Practically every wine producing country has had severe problems from drought, cold spring, heavy rain, heatwave and forest fires.

A huge amount of wine has been lost in Europe.

Italy, France and Spain are the world’s biggest three wine producing nations and these three expected to register declines of 23%, 19% and 15% respectively on last year, to 39.3, 36.7 and 33.5 million hectolitres. This shortfall is more that the total amount of wine produced by Chile and Argentina. There is one conclusion from this … ..prices will rise . And as for exchange rates. All I can say is that 13 years ago 1 Euro would return 66p
and now it is 89p and as for the US dollar, admittedly I have gone back to 1981 but 1 dollar was worth 42p and now it returns74p or to reverse it in 2004 £1 was €1.45 and now its €1.12 and the £1 in 1981 was $2.4 and now $1.36. We obviously have a strong stable currency.

Our next tasting is on Wednesday 17th January on wines from Chile. It will be held in the Moor Club starting at 8.00pm. Places will be £12.

Chile produces some great value wines especially with varietals at the bottom end of the market. We shall show 2 differing Sauvignon blancs and a blend of grapes that show how Chile is moving forward.

Most of the wines we will be showing are organic. It takes 3 years of using no fertilisers, pesticide or fungicides before a vineyard can be classed as organic. One wine we enjoyed was a Pinot Noir from the Colchagua valley which has now been classified as organic. The wine that is unique to Chile is Carmenere. I t was originally grown in Bordeaux where it was a sickly child always suffering from Mildew (oidium) and when Phylloxera destryoyed the vineyards the growers decided not to replace it. However some had eascaped to Chile and it thrived in the warmer drier and windier conditions

One of the most interesting vines in Chile is Syrah and it has taken to its new surroundings with great affection. We shall show 2 , one from the Colchagua vallety and other further north from the Limari Valley.

We finish with a top class Cabernet Sauvignon that is a multi award winning wine with great character and length

All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 17th January at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £12 and must be reserved by contacting us.

Other tasting dates

 

Feb 21st Value and Bin ends

March 21st France

18th April Wines of the year

16th May Italy

CHRISTMAS WINES 2017

1 2016 False Bay Wild Yeast Chenin Blanc £6.95

2 2016 The Straits’ Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough £11.95

3 2015 Domaine des Perserons Saint-Véran £12.95

4 2016 Domaine Pontbriand, Pays de Vaucluse £7.95

5 2015 Tabalí Reserva Especial Pinot Noir £10.95

6 2012 D’Annona Barbera d’Asti Superiore £14.95

7 2013 Cuvée Papale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge £19.95

8 2004 Krohn colheita £17.95

£15 -£25 wines

08/11/17

1 2014 Pierre Bourée, Bourgogne Blanc £15.95

2 2016 Prà Monte Grande Soave Classico £18.95

3 2014 Keith Tulloch Field of Mars Semillon £19.95

4 2013 Il Faggeto Pietra del Diavolo £15.95

5 2015 Super Nanny Pinot Noir £23.95

6 2013 Clos de la Cure, St Émilion Grand Cru £22.95

7 2014 Château Fabre Gasparets, Corbière £15.95

8 2013 Dominio de Atauta £24.95

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Warmers

Monday 23rd October

The first time ever we have our tasting on a Monday. This is due to the Moor Club having a duplicate booking that evening.

We have picked a fine selection of wines that will compliment the heavier richer foods that we associate with cold wintry days. Having written that, this day will probably be the hottest day in October.

Egri Csillag This is a new wine from Hungary, besides being unpronounceable it has some very complicates rules for the composition of the allowed grapes ie The wine is to be blended from at least four grape types, all of which must exceed 5% respectively but the wine of no single type may exceed 50%.

The use of one of the Carpathian Basin types – e.g. Woodcutter, Furmint, Linden Leaf, Irsai Olivér, Királyleányka, Leányka, Olaszrizling, Zefír, Zenit, Zengő – is obligatory, and, in the blend, the percentage of these types must reach 50 either alone or combined, with the blending percentage of the wine of Muscat types (e.g. Woodcutter, Irsai Olivér, Muscat Ottonel, Sárga Muskotály, Zefír) not exceeding 30% either respectively or combined.

With the above rules abided by, the use of other non-Carpathian Basin types (e.g. Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Rheinriesling, Riesling-Szilváni) is permitted.To simpify this particular wine is made from the following 30% Olaszrizling- Nagytálya-Maklár Öreg-hegy,30 % Leányka- Demjén Farkashegy, 20 % Szürkebarát- Noszvaj, Nagyfai and 20 % Chardonnay-Noszvaj, Nyilasmár. The wine is worth trying.

We then try a new vintage of a Sauvignon blanc from Il Cascinone, Piemonte thats quite classy, . Subtle, creamy textures combine with crisp grapefruit flavours on the palate – all balanced by zesty acidity.

The last white is a new vintage of the S. African Tea Leaf Chenin blanc.The name ‘Tea Leaf’ was given to this wine for two reasons. The first refers the uniqueness of the vineyard where the main grapes are sourced… a lost block of 70-year-old, ungrafted, bush vine Chenin Blanc, 750m above sea level in the Piekenierskloof region of the far north Western Cape. This single rocky slope is also home to South Africa’s highest rated Grenache block and grows amongst the regions indigenous rooibos tea plants. Because rooibos cannot be cultivated and only grows wild, where it does grow, even it that be in the middle of your ancient Chenin block where the vines vie for nutrition in these harsh mountain soils, you have to let it be.

In reds, we start with a Bonarda from Lombardy. Aromas of ripe cherry lead to a vibrant palate of sweet plum fruit and pure black cherry notes balanced by fresh acidity and youthful tannins. and notes of black pepper. This is a delightful wine elegant but with surprising power.

We have a new wine from California “The Man with the Ax”, Born out of the fact that wherever you go in America, Cabernet is ‘King’. The label reflects American card game and casino culture. The ‘Man with the Ax’ is the Poker nickname for the King of Diamonds. .

Wines we have always enjoyed are those of the Rhone. This Cotes du Rhone Villages is an equal blend of Grenache and Syrah and seems to have more power due to the weight of the Syrah. Its pretty good.

Another wine we have always liked is from the Barossa Valley, The Three Monkeys. This new vintage is even better.Lovely and ripe, medium to full bodied with juicy plum and raspberry on the palate also, with black cherry, spice and a lick of creamy oak. Carrying on with new vintages another that is showing so well is the organic Novas Gran Reserva from Chile. This blend of Carmenere and Cabernet is cracking.

Finally we finish on a full powered wine that is a thousand times better than the label. Clovella Mataro/Grenache.The wine is deliciously soft, dark,voluptuous and headily perfumed with sultry spices, yet light on its feet and alarmingly more-ish. With only 600 cases ever possible from this tiny block, it is a wine and a project to savour.

This mixture of 3 whites and 6 reds will be available to taste on Monday 23rd October at 8.00pm,

in the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £12 and should be reserved by contacting us.

2nd August

As Monty Python said “ and now for something different”. We are showing an unusual selection of wines from either not so well known regions or obscure grapes.

Our first wines is from the Alsace and is a blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Sylvaner. This is a delicious wine that will go well with Chinese and aromatic pork dishes. Staying in France we venture to the almost opposite diagonal, Gascony. This is a little treasure, made mainly from Gros Manseng which gives a wine with flavours of pineapple, quince, apricot and melon, with a squeeze of pink grapefruit – an exotic fruit salad! Our last white is called Underworld (nothing to do with Coronation St). This wine based on white Grenache is the latest exciting wine to come out of S.Africa and it`s a good example of why this grape variety is in high demand.

In reds, Pinot Noir is excelling itself in Chile, provided it is grown in the right conditions. This is, and the vineyard is near the El Descabezado volcano (little Devil).We head to the coastal region of Tuscany hwere they have been working hard to soften the sometimes aggressiveness of Sangiovese. In this case they have blended 20% Alicante Bouschet giving a fuller but softer wine.

In Andalucia it was regarded as near on impossible to make decent red wines. However Millionaire Vincente found a site near Arcos de la Frontera. This particular site was chosen for it’s sandy clay, chalky soils and microclimate, with the marked variation between day and night temperatures ideal for high quality red wine and his entry level wine is Barbazul (Bluebeard). This powerful wine based on Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, will stand up to fat steaks, rich peppery sauces and all manner of big meats.

The last but one wine is a real find from Sicily, Il Passo. Made from a blend of 60% Nerello Mascalese and 40% Nero d`Avola. As soon as the grapes were ripe, the canes were cut and the grapes allowed to dry naturally in the hot Sicilian sun. When they had lost about 30% of their weight, the grapes were then harvested, pressed and underwent a long maceration on the skins. The wine was then aged for six months in barrique before bottling.

The last wine needs little introduction, Chateau Musar. This unique Lebanese legend was established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar at the tender age of 20. His inspiration was both the 6,000-year winemaking history of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The red grapes – cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan – are grown on mature, low-yielding vines for extra concentration. Chateau Musar has been described by many as one of the great wines of the world, and it is certainly eccentric and intriguing in style. It is a wine that needs time in bottle and is usually kept in vats for several years by the Hochars before being released for sale.

All these wines will be available for tasting on Wednesday 2nd August  at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor. Places are £12 and should be reserved by contacting us

Winter warmers

23/10/17

1 2016 Kovács Nimród Egri Csillag , Hungary            £8.95

2 2016 Il Cascinone Sauvignon, Piemonte       £8.50

3 2015 The Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc                 £11.95

3b 2014 The Tea Leaf Chenin Blanc               £7.95

4 2016 The Rude Mechanicals Three Monkeys           £9.95

5 2015  Showdown ‘Man with the Ax’                         £8.95

6 2016 Castel del Lupo ‘La Gioiosa’                £10.50

7 2015 Domaine La Decelle Valréas Rhone    £10.95

8 2014 Novas Gran Reserva                            £9.95

9 2015 Clovella Mataro Grenache, Barossa     £13.95

Off the Beaten track

02/08/17

1 2016 Joyau Gros Manseng Chardonnay                  £8.50

2  N.v  Turckheim Edelzwicker                                  £8.95

3 2016 The Underworld Grenache Blanc                   £9.50

4 2015 El Infiernillo Pinot Noir                                  £8.95

5 2016 Molinillo Malbec                                             £8.95

6 2015 Les Grandes Gardes Arbois                            £16.95

7 2014 Il Passo,Vigneti Zabu                                     £11.95

8 2006 Chateau Musar                                                £24.95

 

Summer Wines

19th July

1 2016 La Lisse Soie d’Ivoire Chenin            £7.95 smooth silky light dry white
2 2016 A Mano Bianco                £9.95  richer aromatic from Puglia
3 2016 Ontanon Tempranillo Blanco            £10.95 fantastic tasty white variant of the red Tempranillo
4 2016 Valencay                    £11.95 very stylish Loire with an nunusual blend of Sauvignon and Chardonnay
5 2016 A Mano Rosato                £9.95 great pale colour with gentle fruit abd easy drinking.
6 2016 Primordial Soup Red                £6.50 fantastic cheap red with flavour
7 2015 Les Volets Malbec                £7.50 good sturdy red ideal for BBQs
8 2014/5 Silver Myn Argentum            £7.50 dense black Bordeaux style that will keep. Very good
9 2015 Juan Gil Label Monastrell             £9.50 luscious red from Jumilla Does not matter if you burn the food this will make up for it

 

 

Wines of Portugal

07/06/17

2016 Terra Franca branco,                 £7.95 soft light off dry wine
2 2015 Casa Ferreirinha, Planalto Branco,         £8.95 more substantial white
3 2016 Duque de Viseu Branco             £8.95 great  flavours that will handle fish and white meats
4 2015 Herdade do Peso, Sossego             £8.95 stylsh white well balanced and will improve with keeping
5 2015 Terra Franca tinto                 £7.95 good value easy drinking red
6 2015 Casa Ferreirinha, Papa Figo tinto         £10.50 Lovely red witha rare bird the GoldenOriole on the label
7 2014 Herdade do Peso, Trinca Bolotas         £10.95 Full fruity red great drinking
8 2013 Azamor, Selected Vines             £12.50 Wine of the evening from Alantejo . Complex
9 2011 Azamor, Petit Verdot              £16.95 Huge wine that needs keeping

Australia

10th May

Times are changing?

1 2016 Sixty Clicks Sauv Blanc         £7.95 off dry pleasant slurping wine at 12.5% abv
2 2016 The Rude Mechanicals ‘Ephemera’     £9.95 delightful aromatic, peachy wine good with light spicy food or afternoon drinjing
3 2015 The Next Big Thing Chardonnay     £9.95 Surprisingly good, great smooth mouthful, rounded and soft on the palate almost elegant, nothing like the Oz chardonnays of old
4 2016 Sixty Clicks Shiraz Mataro        £7.95 Good light red BBQ wine  with high alcohol of 14%
5 2016 The Mixed Thing Grenache        £9.95 super fruity red like a turbo charged Beaujolais, good chilled A real summer red,
6 2015 Black Craft Shiraz,            £11.50 Good typical leathery Shiraz  great with food, not sweet or jammy
7 2015 Knock Knock Shiraz            £13.95 Super duper intense Shiraz after almost 2 years oak aging will age another 10+ years
8 2013 Rabbit’s Foot Mourvèdre        £14.50 Wine of the evening great depth,intensity but harmonious , drinking well now but will keep another 7+ years.

 

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 Other tasting dates

7th June Portugal

19th July Summer wines

2nd August off the beaten track

13th Sept Spain

25th October Winter Warmers

8th November £15 wines

22nd November Xmas wines

4th December Bubbles

Around Italy

26th April

1 2015 Bottega Vinai Trentino Sauvignon Blanc £9.95 fresh clea Loire style zesty Sauvignon
2 2015 Villa Raiano Falanghina £11.95 Reemerging grape with longerijng aftertaste.
3 2015Villa Raiano Fiano di Avellino £12.95More weight and flavours best white of the evening
4 2015 Leccio Monferrato Chiaretto £8.95Delicate pale colour but with great fruit flavours from the Barbera
5 2016 Castel del Lupo Pinot Nero £10.95 (Organic )Delicious turbo charged Beaujoloais style. Good chilled
6 2015 Bottega Vinai Trentino Merlot £10.95 super Bordeaux style aged in barriques, not soft and plummy. Very good
7 2014 Villa Raiano Aglianico £12.95  Come back in 7 years, Huge wine with matching tannins that desperately cry out for food
8 2012 Uggiano Brunello di Montalcino £25.95 Absolute sheer class Delightful

 

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Wines of Iberia

15th March

Our next tasting was to be solely Spain but we tried some whites from Northern Portugal and just had to fit them in the list of wines.

We thought that 3 wines stood out and they all come from the same winery. A dry Vinho Verde, a Loureiro and an Alvarhino ( same as the Spanish Albarino). In 2003, Bernardo Lencastre, who will be the Fifth Baron in the family, took over the property with his siblings, revitalized the vineyards and started making Vinho Verde and planted new vineyards with Lourteiro and Alvarhino vines . Obviously these will be a perfect foil for fish and even better with our hot summer to come?

In reds we have a mixed bag. We start with a Rioja, hand-selected Rioja from the La Bascula winemaking team of Bruce Jack and Ed Adams MW who have selected 25% Garnacha to support the Tempranillo. They have called their company La Bascula.The term means weighing scales, and represents the balance between indigenous Spanish varieties and modern winemaking. The philosophy is small volumes and really high quality. The wines are made to truly represent excellent value for money . The next wine is new. Juan Gil have been making the best Monastrells in Jumilla for years. They have now turned their attention to another grape, Merlot which has received their usual winemaking techniques, full of fruit and supported by oak aging. Moving up a gear or two, we venture to south of Barcelona and a wine area that surrounds the mountainous Priorat region, is Montsant. This wine is 80% Carinena and 20 % Garnacha or in Catalan Carinyena-Garnatxa. This has been called poor mans Priorat but they are producing pretty good solid wines.

Another firm that produces fine wines is Borsao and now they have also switched to another grape which is growing successfully in this hot/cold region. At first I could not understand or even pronounce the name Zarihs and I thought how stupid to give a wine an name no-one can say. Then I saw the bottle. They planted the vines 18 years ago and have been waiting for the vines to really mature and its impressive. Finally we head into an obscure region NW of Madrid, Villanueva de Campean , 30km south of Zamora, Bodegas Triton own more than 40 different parcels of vines – some dating as far back as 1940. Some of their vineyards fall under DO Toro, but the one grape they are very proud of is Prieto Picudo. This is a Powerful and intriguing red which will happily partner hefty meat dishes.

1 2016 Vila Nova Vinho Verde £7.95 dry zesty spritzy wine

2 2016 Vila Nove Alvarinho    £10.50 more weight would partner fish happily

3 2015 Quinta da Pinot Branco £12.95 warmer stronger whirte

4 2013 The Charge Rioja £9.95 great fruity drinking

5 2015 Laya, Almansa £9.95 massive warming red

7 2014 Mineral de Montsant £13.95 complex stylish red with good finish

8 2013 Borsao Zarihs £15.95  powerhouse  rich red from the Tres Picos stable

9 2014 Tridente Prieto Picudo £21.95. Classy stylish big wine that will age forever.

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Wines of the Year tasting 15/02/17

1 2014 Etnico Chardonnay,            £6.95 super organic white just right not too heavy rich but gentle drinking

2 2015 Circumstance Sauvignon            £10.50 very dry crisp sauvignon excellent with food

3 2009 Rijk`s Touch of Oak Chenin        £9.95 Just showing a sign of age but still very graceful

4 2013 Uggiano Chianti Riserva            £10.95  Surprising open Sangiovese good rounded fruit.

5 2013 Pierre Fine Grenat Grenache        £8.95 a mini Chateauneuf and no one could believe the price

6 2015 Tres Picos, Borja                £13.95 Ansolute powerhouse, rich smooth and no problem wit sleep after this

7 2012 Rijk`s Touch of Oak Pinotage        £10.95 Stylish silky Pinotage… many remarked it was the best Pinotage rthey has tasted

8 2015 Black Craft Shiraz, Barossa,        £11.50 Great old fashioned leathery Shiraz, no subtlety but balanced by its power and weight

 

 

 

 

 

Value Wines

18th January 2017

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Places are £10 and have to be booked in advance. All these wines will be available for tasting at the Moor Club, Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor (next to the Elizabethan) starting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 18th January.


Christmas Wines

30th November

We have to say that this selection of wines is one of our best. There is a wine for every occasion. In whites we have a zesty Sauvignon blanc, a rich Chablis and a Verdejo that shames many a burgundy. In reds we have mighty powerhouse of Malves, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon,Mourcedre and Priorat.

We start with a Novas Gran Reserva Sauvignon blanc from Chile. This has a dry finish with notes of grapefruit and clementine! We found a really tasty Chablis from a small family concern who were named Wine Producer of the year in 2013. This Domaine la Motte is impressive. Even more impressive is Niades, An extraordinary barrel-fermented wine from ancient, pre-phylloxera vines. This makes many a burgundy look simple. Sheer class.

We have a mighty five reds… Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet sauvignon, Mourvedre and Priorat. The Argerntine Malbec,Altos Las Hormigas, is based at high altitude 1000 metres. The climate here is semi-desert with hot days and cool nights .The wine is supple and juicy, with soft but structured tannins and a pleasant finish.

We show a new vintage of this the South African Syrah, Wandering Beeste from Swartland. The genius winemaker Donovan Rall has turned out another stunner. This wine last year sold out in 3 months.

We have always enjoyed Tabali wines from Chile . There is a new Cabernet Sauvignon from a new vineyard that they recently purchased.In winemaker Felipe Muller’s words, “This wine comes from a top 5 Chilean Cabernet vineyard”. Pure Class.

We showed a wine in January Ardiles Priorat as they were changing the style of wine and had a new winemaker. It was very good then but the new style is even better.

To finish we have a wine that I have been wanting to show all year and could never find the right platform. It is Cline Cellars Ancient Vines Mourvedre, from Oakley California .Distinct and luscious. Flavours of dark plum and chocolate lead to a hint of oak and a smooth finish. A blockbuster of a wine, not for the feint hearted.

Due to the higher costs of the wine. Places are £15 and have to be booked in advance. All these wines will be available for tasting at the Moor Club Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor (next to the Elizabethan) starting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 30th November.

 

 

Bubbles

7th December

When we have staged these sparkling wine tastings in the past, we have always concentrated on showing a broad range of wines from all over the world. This year we are concentrating on the two countries that make the most, namely Italy and France.

 You may be surprised to learn that the country turning out the most sparkling wine is Italy. Sales of Prosecco show no stopping. It produces a great drink at a reasonable price. However France holds the upper hand with the luxury end, Champagne. Sales of Champagne are steady if not falling in places.

Both areas produce over 30 million bottles but France has limited production of other sparkling wines like Saumur, Limoux, Gaillac and Cremant de Bourgogne. Italy has other popular wines from Asti Spumante, Lambrusco and its hidden gem Franciacorta. The latter has only been exported to the UK over the last 20 years and in a very quiet way.

We visited Franciacorta in Lombardia. It is a landlocked region surrounded by mountains. Lakes Garda, Iseo and Como temper the climate. Lombardia is Italy’s largest and most populated region.  It is most famous for its leading city, Milan, a sleek urban center that is one of the world’s fashion capitals. Franciacorta makes the finest sparkling wines in Italy . It has mainly been drunk in Italy but over the last few years an export campaign has been founded with great success in Japan , a very difficult market to enter. The vines bear more flavoursome fruit due to lower yields (25% less) and a warmer climate enabling better ripening ( over 300 miles further south then champagne)

These wines are well worth trying we found them to be exceedingly good and very fine..

We shall show A Prosecco and its pink colleague ( Prosecco can only be white). We follow this with a Blanquette du Limoux ,which the French claim to be the original sparkling wine. Then we shall show 3 wines from Franciacorta, made by the Family Gatti , under the Ferghettina label. They are all vintage wines and the first is called Saten, meaning softer and smooth being slightly less fizzy than most sparkling wines. Then we try their flagship wines the Milledi and Rose,These come in a striking square based bottle. We will then compare with 2 champagnes from the Lallier house a white and a rose.

 

 

Due to the higher costs of the wine. Places are £15 and have to be booked in advance. All these wines will be available for tasting at the Moor Club Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor (next to the Elizabethan) starting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 7th December.

Other tasting dates

2017

18th January Value wines

15th Feb Wines of the Year

15th March tba

26th April tba

11th May tba

31st May tba

More of Italy

9th November

 

1 2015 Feudo Maccari Grillo                £9.95 Rich flavoursome white best white of the evening

2 2015 Paccamorra Inzolia                £9.50 clean fresh zesty Inzolia

3 2015 Gambellara Classico                £9.50 Garganega grapes outside the Soave area make a very stylish flavoursome wine

4 2015 Feudo Maccari Nero d`Avola            £9.95 big bold juicy wine unoaked but hefty

5 2014 Rive Barbera, Piemonte            £12.50 stylish classy red

6 2014 Feudo Maccari Saia                £17.95 magnificent wine worth every penny Huge.

7 2014 Capitel del Crosara Ripasso            £13.50 great super smooth ripasso

8 2013 Amarone Satinato, Montresor            £21.95 rich raisiny concentrated wine,

 

 

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Amarone/Port

23rd November

When we were in Italy we really enjoyed their Amarones and were surprised to find that most Italians drank them with cheese at the end of the meal. We thought it would be a good idea to compare and contrast these wines with Ports. We will show 3 of each. The Moor Club will allow you to bring some cheese or something similar to accommodate these stronger wines. This tasting will start at 8.00pm on Wednesday 23rd November.

Amarone wines are some of the most intriguing wines from Verona, Italy. Made in an unusual style, they have a unique character and heady richness that is hard to surpass. The unique method that is used is to harvest very ripe Valpolicella grapes and then to let them sit and air dry on mats for extended periods of time. This process is known as appassimento which basically reduces the grapes into raisins. The grapes slowly dry out, the water within evaporating, leaving concentrated dense raisins with very high sugar content. The main grapes used in Valpolicella are Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, however some others are used in small amounts around 1% like the perfumed sweet Oseleta. We shall show 3 Amarones from different vineyards

Amarones have a very powerful, full bodied, ripe and alcoholic personality. They tend to have over 15% alcohol, although they are not fortified like port, which tends to be closer to 20%. Also like port, they have very ripe, raisiny flavours although they are not technically sweet. They are full bodied, rich in flavour and texture and with age can develop rich meaty and leathery aromas.

Port is a fortified wine. Fortified wines are made by adding a proportion of grape spirit, or brandy, to the wine  This means that the wine retains some of the natural sweetness of the grape, making it rich, round and smooth on the palate. The grapes, mainly of indigenous varieties such as the Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa or Tinta Barroca, are grown on the steep rocky hillsides bordering the Douro River and its tributaries.

We shall show 3 styles of port young ruby, an aged tawny and a vintage port.

So do bring something to nibble. Due to the higher costs of the wine. Places are £15 and have to be booked in advance. Also as I will have to decant the wines I will need to know the exact number attending. All these wines will be available for tasting at the Moor Club Heaton Moor Rd, Heaton Moor (next to the Elizabethan) starting at 8.00pm on Wednesday 23rd November.

colombaipra-amarcap-amarrio-tortocolheita-2001k-2003

 

 

Other tasting dates

 

30th Nov Xmas wines

7th Dec Bubbles

Around Spain

26/10/16

The wines of Spain are already at a high level and amazingly they are still improving. The wines are frantically trying to keep pace with their restaurants. Recently Michelin put 3 Spanish restaurants in their worlds top 10 and 7 in the top 40. Their wines and restaurant prices are amazing value. We were bemused to hear that a Michelin restaurant near Bilbao says he has customers who fly in from London, Paris etc to have lunch and then return, as its so much cheaper than their respective countries.

The wines offer equally good value. We start off with a most reliable winery, Borsao, that has always produced super value wines with good quality. This D.O. Borja is well known for their Garnacha based wines like Tres Picos. They have turned their attention to the whites wines which were based on the Viura grape which they call Macabeo in this region. They have added a a little Chardonnay which has really filled out this wine. We then go to the north west of Spain to Rias Baixas. This area known for its Albarino has 2 other local grape Loureiro and Treixadura. So a wine has been made using all 3 grape varieties and they have named it Mas que dos ( more than two). The addition of these 2 other grapes has lowered the acidity and made it much more approachable. The last white,Ca N’Estruc Idoia Blanc , is a complex, intriguing white blend from vineyards just a stone’s throw from Barcelona. Produced from Xarel-lo, Garnacha Blanca and Chardonnay grapes then aged for 5 months in new French oak .

In reds even more exciting changes. A syrah grown in the Carinena region offers a pleasant relatively light (for Syrah) red wine.

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An area we tend to overlook because of its popularity and relatively poor value is Rioja. At a recent trade tasting we found some delightful wines from this area at reasonable prices for their quality. Ontanon Crianza is subtle and elegant but also powerful and dense with a natural fruit and mineral extract that is just not the norm in this region. Very long on the palate, the natural sense of fruit expression deepens with air and it continues to perform at a high level for 2-3 days in an open bottle…. This ranks right up there as one of the best crianzas.

Staying with Rioja, our favourite winery is Valenciso and they have just released a new red, Laderas de Cabama which is from a younger,single vineyard. By younger we mean 30 years old. It could be classed as a reserva but the owners want the freedom not to be tied to the minimum 12 month aging period as they feel that in some years it could be detrimental to the fruit.

Then we move on to Rioja`s neighbour Ribera del Duero. We found this wine in Malaga and thought we had to show it to our customers. It`s called Pruno and is a forward drinking Tempranillo with a little Cabernet Sauvignon. It`s pretty good. This wine was described by Robert Parker A “The best spanish wine under 20 $ by Robert Parker” comes from Villacreces property, placed in the hearth of Ribera del Duero, over poor soils, close to the fabulous Duero River.

We finish with a powerhouse from Utiel Requena, made byBodegas Hispano+Suizes. We have shown their Bobos Bobal before and now Bobal is supported by the international grapes Petit Verdot,Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Shiraz.

1 2015 Borsao Seleccion Blanc            £7.95 pretty good the little Chardonnay has filled out this wine
2 2015 Mas que  2,                 £9.95 Elegant stylish Albarino blended with Loureiro and treixadura. Good fish wine
3 2013 Ca N`Estruc Idiola            £13.95   Big bold Catalan Xarello.Chardonnay and Garnache blan aged in oak to give reasonable Burgundian style
4 2015 Pazo de Monterrey            £9.95 Mencia from rias Baixas, light fruity good alternative to Beaujolais
5 2015 El Circo Syrah,                £7.95 This modern co-op has pioneered withSyrah giving a gentle Rhone style but with soft tannins
6 2012 Ontanon crianza                £8.95 Great drinking crianza from Quel Ruija baja, Super.
7 2012 Laderas de Cabama,            £12.50 Chunky, dark rich great fruit but dominated by fine tannins. Great in 18 months
8 2014 Pruno, Finca Villacreces,          £14.95 Parker gave the previous vintage 93 points. It sold out quickly. This desperately needs a few more months. Situated between Pesquera and Pingus
9 2012 Bassus “Finca Casilla Herrera        £21.95.Wine of the night. a giant luscious fruit deep brooding wine incredibly smooth for so much power.

Italy – Puglia

5th October

We tasted the wines from this region and cannot but admire the way they have improved. So much in fact, that this July we travelled to Brindisi and wandered around the southern edge of Puglia. It was so good we are taking some customers there in May and we can`t wait!

Ten years ago there was a hotchpot of wines, if you wanted , jammy or thin oxidised red wine then look no further than Puglia. Now some of the best value in Italian wine come from this sunny, dry region. Most Puglian wine is red, full-bodied and will pair well with a wide variety of foods . However the whites which used to resemble vinegar are now fast improving

Puglian wine is the product of a diverse landscape. Half of Italy’s olive oil is produced in the dry heat of Puglia. The warm climate and fertile soil make it easy to grow almost anything. We we were reminded of Andalucia many times, in the laid back attitude of the people and their lifestyle. The big difference is that Puglia is surrounded by water on three sides allowing cool breezes off the Meditteranean to moderate vineyard temperatures.

The two most popular red wines from Puglia are Negroamaro and Primitivo

Primitivo: Primitivo is a dark-skinned grape known for producing inky, tannic wines . The word Primitivo doesn’t mean primitive in Italian, but actually means early ripening. This means that the wines are big, luscious and full of fruit. It is also known as Zinfandel, Crljenak Kastelanski, Pribidrag, Tribidrag, Kratosija . It is due to the popularity of Zinfandel that has saved the Primitivo grape. Manduria is claimed to be the best area for Primitivo. Wines from Manduria have high alcohol, plum and spice, like Zinfandel, but because of different growing soils and climate, the fruit character is less jammy, the structure more akin to old world wines, with rustic notes of earth and spice, as well as tamed fruit flavours

Negroamaro . Traditionally all Negroamaro wines were called Salice Salento. It is a region is named after the Salento Peninsula located on the backside of the heel of Italy’s “boot” that extends into the ocean. The Negroamaro grape, which in Italian means “black bitter.” Dry red wine made from Negroamaro has flavours of ripe plum, baked raspberries, and spice-cabinet notes like anise, allspice and cinnamon. Even though Negroamaro is full bodied it is not too tannic or acidic, and instead lt has great rich fruit which makes it easy to drink, especially alongside meatballs or pizza.

There is another local grape that has some character. A rare and ancient red Puglian variety, Susumaniello was used mostly as a blending component until a few years ago. The name means ‘little donkey’ in local dialect, from the enormous load the vines bear when young, although others say that it is so called because it is stubborn and difficult to manage! The sandy vineyards are high up on the hillside, dry farmed and are over 30 years old.

The whites are made from a blend of grapes the I Muri is an equal blend of Malvasia/ Verdeca and Chardonnay, whilst the A Mano uses 60% Fiano Minutolo, 30% Falanghina and 10% Greco .

 

This tasting will be held on Wednesday 5h October at the Moor suite, Heaton Moor. It starts at 8.00pm and places are £10 and must be reserved by contacting us.

 Other tasting dates

 26th Oct Spain

9th Nov Italy 2

23rd Port tasting

30th Nov Xmas wines

7th Dec Bubbles

Wines of New Zealand

10/08/16

New Zealand Wine tasting

Due to the sudden closure of Kro bar we have had to move across Heaton moor rd to the Moor suite (next to the Elizabethan) on Wednesday10th August.

All these wines will be available to taste on Tuesday 10th August at the Moor suite Heaton Moor. Places are £10 and should be reserved by contacting us.

 

Look forward to seeing you for a great tasting.

 

 

Other tasting dates

The great sherry & tapas tasting

NZ Wine Regions

 

The Cloud Factory Sauvignon Blanc, MarlboroughCatalina Sounds Sauvignon BlancJealous Sisters Pinot GrisSileni Cellar Selection Chardonnay, Hawke's BayNanny Goat Pinot NoirSileni Cellar Selection Syrah, Hawke's Bay

 

Wines of Waterkloof with Louis Boutinot

12/07/16

We are sure that we have mentioned that Paul Boutinot having secured the partial sale of his business, commenced scouring the world for a vineyard to buy. After10 years of searching, he found the site that ticked off all his needs and wishes in South Africa. It was on the edge of the Stellenbosch area heading to the coast and the most important factor was that it had the ability to make fine wines with natural balance.

The location of Waterkloof is pretty impressive, with a dramatically modern winery perched on the top of a hill (the Schapenberg). We’re on the outer fringes of Stellenbosch here, in Somerset West, on the boundary of the Helderberg, looking out to False Bay, which is just 4 km away. It’s a windy place here, with the sea breezes blowing in pretty consistently .

The winds also keep the vines healthy deterring pests and aerating the bunches of grapes. Paul is a great believer in using minimum intervention to make his wines. He has adopted bio dynamic methods …. some are just plain common sense. He uses carthorses to plough and work the vineyards ( to cultivate a field a tractor travels at 4km per hour,a horse at 3.8km per hour).

There is/was a wide spread problem with an insect, the mealy bug, causing leaf roll virus which basically prevents the vine from fully ripening the grapes. This leaves a greeness and bitterness especially in the red wines. For many years people have always said that S. Africa produced better whites than reds. However Paul looked at the problem of the mealy bug and found that 2 of its natural predators. They brought back wasps and ladybirds, the natural enemies of mealy bugs. Initially, mealy bug levels had been at 800-900 per block. This was brought down to 40 or 50 .

Waterkloof have also set up fynbos corridors around the farm, linking areas of native vegetation in order to provide a better habitat to encourage bio diversity. Cover cropping is employed on a four year cycle, and then weeds are allowed to grow on their own accord .

He has a worm farm used to break down cardboard and then eventually returned to the vineyard.

The new winery was built winery at the top of the hill thus enabling a gravity process to be used making for a more gentle wine making process.

All this attention to detail in the vineyards is also applied to the wine making and the resulting wines are fresh, clean and pure. Ironically there are some die hard South Africans who think this is a fault and prefer the more bitter taste as that is more normal? Flavour.

Paul`s son Louis has selected 8 wines to show their virtues on Tuesday 12th July at Kro Bar Heaton Moor. Places are £10 and should be reserved by contacting us.

The wines are

Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre 2015

Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2014/15

Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc 2015

Circle of Life White 2012

Seriously Cool Cinsault 2015

Circle of Life red 2012

Circumstance Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Circumstance Syrah 2012
Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvèdre RoséCircumstance Sauvignon BlancSeriously Cool Chenin BlancCircle of Life White

Seriously Cool CinsaultCircle of Life RedCircumstance Cabernet SauvignonCircumstance Syrah

The first wine is a pale but a really flavoursome rose, followed by a stunning Sauvignon blanc , The seriously Cool Chenin has to be one of the best wines

coming out of S. Africa. The blend of grapes that form the Circle of Life create unique wines. The Cinsault may be pale but is full of flavour, the Cabernet and Syrah are deep serious wines

As most of you know, these are high quality wines with excellent value and Louis is as passionate about the wines as his father.

Look forward to seeing you for a great tasting.

Other dates

9th AugustNew Zealand

13th Sept Italy

4th Oct Chunky wines

25th Oct Spain

8th Nov tba

22nd Port tasting

29th Nov Xmas wines

6th Dec Bubbles
Recent Tastings

1 2014 La Fleur Solitaire  blanc                                    £8.95 soft aromatic wine with ther help of the Viognier

2 2015 Domaine Chante Cigale L’Apostrophe  £10.50 more weighty white with along finish

3 2015 Les Cerisiers Rose                                            £7.95 Delightful pale rose with surprising gentle body.

4 2013 Les Coteaux Rhone villages                              £8.95 A new vintage showing soft silky fruit Great drinking.

5 2012 La Cote Sauvage Cairanne                               £12.95 Smooth powerful wine matching the th Chateauneuf but much much cheaper

6 2013 Domaine Haut Marone Gigondas                      £14.95 Gutsy wine with the addition of oak ageing

7 2013 Les Coteaux Schisteau Seguret             £12.95 Stylish cru wine

8 2012 Domaine Chante Cigale rouge.              £21.95 Wine lives up to its name deep dense and suave.

Chile

1 2015 Adobe  Gewürztraminer            £7.95
2 2014 Tabalí Viognier                £8.95
3 2013 Tabalí Talinay  Chardonnay        £14.95
4 2014 El Viejo  Pinot Noir            £7.95
5 2013 Tabalí Talinay  Pinot Noir        £14.95
6 2013Tabalí R Cabernet Sauvignon        £9.95
7 2013 Novas  Car/Cab.Sauv            £9.95
8 2012 Emiliana Coyam                 £17.95

My Wines of the Year

1 2014 Diez Siglos Verdejo                 £7.50    Easy drinking Sauvignon blanc style wine

2 2014 Pallio di San Floriano  Classico            £9.95  Classy elegant Italian drink by itsels or with most risottoes or seafood.

3 2015 La Bascula Catalan Eagle             £9.95   Ripe melon ang mando flavours from this Garnacha blanco based wine

4 2014 Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc,            £10.95   Fantastic S.African white, great weight and length. Very fine.

5 2012 Sassaiolo Rosso Piceno                 £7.95  Previous vintage was great this has not flourished yet.

6 2013 Pierre Fine Grenat,  Vieilles Vignes         £8.95 Great plummy fruit with some body and a tad New World style.

7 2013 Aliança Bairrada Reserva ,            £7.50 Great value Portuguese gentle tannins, good fruit would go well with belly pork

8 2012 Dehesa de Luna                     £9.95 For me the star of the evening, Blend of Cabernet Tempranillo and Alicante gave a really complex wine.

9 2009 Quinta da Terrugem                £14.95 Lovely old fashioned wine making, great length and body Super food wine.

Value Wines

19/01/16

1 2015 Percheron Chenin/Viognier                 £6.95 Super drinking white, soft fruit, dry and easy drinking
2 2013 Wishbone Semillon/Sauvignon     £8.95        £7.50 reduced to a new label. this was a great buy.
3 2011 Maso Toresella Chardonnay        £17.95        £10.95 Fantastic reductuction due to a new vintage coming into stock. this would shame many a burgundy
4 2014 Domaine de L’Olibet ‘Les Proses’             £7.95 lovely fruity red
5 2012 Novas G R Garnacha Syrah        £9.95        £6.95 fantastic buy, wine of the evening
6 2014 Silvermyn Argentum S. Africa            £7.50 stylish comloex Bordeaux blend that will keep 5 years
7 2009 Castell del Remei Oda Tinto         £15.50        £9.95 holding up well for its age.
8 2009 Domaine Bertrand-Bergé Fitou    £15.95        £9.95 rich gutsy powerful Languedoc red.
value-graph-mar14

The graph above shows the exponential rise in value as you spend more. The figures quoted will vary a little from merchant to merchant and from wine to wine, and will of course change as costs and duty fluctuate. We show the breakdown for a £4.95 bottle even though we no longer sell wine at this price. Hopefully the graph illustrates why!
29th March           Blind Tasting

 

Wines at Yara

1 2014 Alasia Arneis, Piemonte
2 2014 Peacock Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc
3 2014 Caparrone Pecorino, Abruzzo
4 2014 Aliança Foral, Douro
5 2012 Dom. La Haute Marone ‘Le Torrent du Trignon’, Sablet
6 2012 Erythros Papagiannakos, Attika

France

13/10/15

1 2014 Clos Bagatelle Aux Quatre Vents Blanc

2 2014 Chateau Lamothe-VincentIntense

3 2014 Les Volets, Chardonnay

4 2014 Macon Charnay, Reserve Personelle

5 2013 Domaine de Vedilhan Syrah

6 2013 Boutinot ‘Les Coteaux’, Côtes du Rhône

7 2011 Château Fabre Gasparets, Corbières-Boutenac

8 2010 Les Caleches de Lanessan

Italy 29/09/15

12014 Teraazze de la Luna Nosiola, Trentino
2 2014 Fontanino Riesling, Piemonte
3 2014 Caparrone Pecorino , Abruzzo
4 2014 Pallio de San Floriano, Marche
5 2013 OSA Maremma Rosso, Tuscany
6 2012 I Muri Negroamaro, Puglia
7 2014 Gran Maestro Appassimento Puglia
8 2010 Villa Raiano Taurasi, Campania

S. Africa

2015 False Bay Sauvignon £6.95 lovely fresh sauvignon with good length

2013 Hells heights Sauvignon £9.95 Had wanted to show the 2014 as this was a little tired

2015 Percheron Chenin/Viognier £6.50 great soft easy drinking, super.

2014 Seriously Cool Chenin £10.95 great depth of flavours that power on, just a baby now, will get better and better

2014 Percheron Shiraz/Mourvedre £6,50. perfect Monday night wine, good easy fruit and easy on the pocket

2012 Peacock Syrah £8.95 Showing a bit if style, more refined that an Australian shiraz , again very good value

2010 Circumstance Syrah £17.95. Although 5 years old this is only now softening. Huge fruit, firm tannins that with rich meat are excellent. Will improve for another 5 years

2008 Zorgvliet Cabernet Sauvignon £15.95 Cool, elegant mountain Cabernet aged for 2 years in oak, will match Roast beef, venison, duck confit. Super.

Wines of Spain

1 2014 Diez Siglos Verdejo                 £7.50 easy drinking fresh dry slightly zesty white making a change from Sauvignon blanc
2 2014 Naia                            £10.95 single vineyard hand picked grapes  make a high quality complex wine that will be very happy with fish and light meat dishes
2014 Orballo Albariño                     £9.95 only 12%ABV but great flavours and depth to partner seafood.
4 2013 Manon                         £7.50  striking label with easy appealing fruit
5 2013 Luna Lunera                      £7.95farmyard nose but fortunately good fruit and finish.
6 2012 Mano a Mano                     £9.95 more depth and good weight of flavours
7 2012 Dehesa de Luna                     £9.95 star of the night, striking fruit flavours and complexity  a good keeper.
8 2011 Venta La Ossa                     £16.95 from 60+ year old vines. Incredibly smooth.. very fine

New Wines

14th July

1 2014 Waterkloof Circumstance sauvignon.                £10.50 Fantastic rich depth was called The Pouilly Fume of Stellenbosch

2 2014 Papagiannakos Kalogeri Malagouzia             £11.95  £10.95 Unusual rare grape malagouzia that offered deep floral elderflower bouquet with gentle fruit and good length

3 2014 Nicosia Etna Bianco                                             £10.95. Powerful strong food wine will happily match swordfish

4 2013 Colla Langhe Riesling                   £13.95    £11.50 An unusual choice for a vine in Piemonte but the Arneis struggles on these soils whilst Riesling thrives. A good keeper much drier than its Eurpean neighbours.

5 2010 Monaci Copertino Rosso                                     £8.95 farmyard nose but opens out into rounf fruity Negroamaro at its best.

6  2012 Nicosia Etna Rosso                                             £10.95 A Sicicilian red that is best served chilled and will cope with fish – like a good beaujolais village wine.

7 2013 Zorgvliet Silvermyn Argentum                           £7.50 Deep almost black colour, vibrant fruit grom a Bordeaux blend with Petit verdot for extra flavour. Fantastic value.

8 2010 Rasteau ‘Les Banquettes Escarpées’                    £12.95 Sheers class. 80% Grenache with Syrah aged for 2 years in barrel form a complex wine that will be a delight with lamb shanks.

Summer Wines

1 2014 Domaine de L’Olibet ‘Les Cabrides’ Viognier , Languedoc £7.95 gentle aroatic white – easy drinking

2 2014 Caparrone Pecorino , Abruzzo £8.95 Tasty wine with good acidity and length. would match BBQ food well

3 2011 Cave de Turckheim ‘Marnes et Calcaires’ Riesling £10.95 maturing nicely with atouch of kerosene on the nose. very dry not typical of most german rieslings

4 2014 El Tesoro Bobal Rosado Utiel requena, Spain £6.95 lovely light rose colour dry and gentle slurping in hot weather

5 2011 Sassaiolo Rosso Piceno, Marche £7.95 the wine of the night, smooth little tannin but rich fruit and length

6 2013 Pablo y Walter Malbec, Mendoza. £ 7.95 Bright cheerful wine showing  a jazzy Latin approach

7 2013 Tabalí Reserva Especial Pinot Noir, Chile £10.50 Classy stylish Pinot Noir from the coolest part of Chile

8 2013 Feria et Fetes Catalan France £8.95 stylish but chunky wood aged grenache – great value

9 2013 Magpie Estate ‘The Mixed Thing’ Australia £9.95

Good mixture of grapes from the barossa. pure fruit and great for burgers and lamb chops

 South Africa 12/05/15

1 2014 Cape heights sauvignon            £6.50 Good easy drinking Sauvignon,just off dry great value.

2 2014 Sauvignon Circumstance            £9.95 Zesty, dry full flavoured wine, the Pouilly Fume of S.Africa

3 2012 Circle of life, Waterkloof            £13.95 blend of Sauvignon, Chenin Rich full flavoured wine. Super of matching lightly spiced dishes

4 2010 Simone Zorgvliet                £18.95 heavily oaked Semillon/Sauvignon blend will take roast meat dinners.

5 2013 Pinotage,                      £6.95 plummy lightly earthy wine super value.

6 2011 Merlot Peacock Ridge                £8.95 Lovely depth of fruit and knocks spots off most clarets up to the 315 mark

7 2012 Cabernet Franc Zorgvliet            £14.95 Fantastic keeper this overlooked grape produces apowerhouse of a wine that will match steak etc.

8 2006 Shiraz Rijk`s, Tulbagh             £17.95 Sheer classy Shiraz, this is drinking superbly and will match venison

£20 wines        22nd April

1 2012 Menetou Salon Morogues Pelle            £17.95 Fantastic flavours from the flinty soil, great complexity for  sauvignon and will improve as well.
2 2013 Greco di Tufo                 £18.95 Surprising wine, huge rasping acidity that makes this wine demand food. great length.
3 2011 Naiades Verdejo,                 £19.95 Rich complex wine from 10 year old vines, mostly pre phylloxera
4 2012 El Hombre Bala,                 £19.95. Unusual madrid wine fromold parcels of garnacha, pale colour but a great finish.
5 2010 Bressia Profundo                £19.95. The star of the night This Malbec blend froma small boutique winery is just sheer class. Lovely weight balance and length
6 2010 Dominio Atauta                £23.95 Powerful wine that needs time to blossom, will besuper ina couple of years.
7 2011 Yangarra Shiraz                £21.95 Classic mclaren Vale Shiraz from non irrigated vineyards.
8 2012 St Joseph ” Esprit de Granit        £19.95 100% Shiraz that shows good complexity and agaun needs alittle time to mature.

Portugal 7th April

1 2013 Bairrada Branco, Bairrada £7.50 thin
2 2013 Quinta da Garrida, Dao £7.95 less thin
3 2012 Beyra Quartz,Beira     £10.95 ok
4 2011 Bairrada Resrva tinto, Bairrada £7.50 ripe fruit and some tannins sold well
5 2011 Quinta da Garrida Reserva, Dao £9.50 good body little smokey needs time
6 2013 Alabastro, Alantejo £7.95 super almost the best wine fruit and new world style
7 2013 Ciconia, Alantejo £8.95  little lighter and gentler but drank very well
8 2009 Quinta da Terrugem, Alantejo £14,95 despite theprice the best selling wine. Rich heavy and great length very stylish
9 2009 Bairrada Baga, Bairrada £16.95 great nose, but some heavy tannins masking fruit needs a couple of years to open out

Wines of the year

10/02/15

1 2013 Aux Quatre Vents Blanc Herault£8.95
2 2014 ‘Seriously Cool’ Chenin Blanc, S.Africa   £10.95
3 2012 Valenciso Blanco , Rioja £15.95
4 2012 Boutinot ‘Les Coteaux’, Rhône Villages £8.95
5 2011 Bottega  Lagrein Dunkel Trentino £9.95
6 2011 Mano a Mano Tempranillo, La Mancha £9.95
7 2013 Rude Mechanicals ‘Three Monkeys’, S. Australia £10.95
8 2010 Vuurberg Red, Stellenbosch £19.95

Value Wines

13/01/15

1 2014 Percheron Chenin/Viognier            £6.95

2 2013 Mon Vieux Sauvignon                £6.95

3 2013 Tabali Viognier                    £8.95

4 2012 Les Volets Chardonnay                £7.95

5 2013 Domaine Bresquieres                 £7.95

6 2013 Nero d`Avola, Ca di Ponte            £6.25

7 2013 Adobe Carmenere                £7.95

8 2012 Capitel del Crosara Ripasso            £12.95

9 2011 Boutinot Cairanne                £10.95

 

Bubbles

02/12/14

1 2011 Extra Brut de L’Ormarine Piquepoul            £13.50 great sparkler from the south of france
2 N.V. Lunetta Prosecco                     £8.95 simple easy drinking wine
3 N.V.  ‘La Battistina’ Gavi                     £ 9.95 bit more flavour and dpth than the prosecco
4 N.V La Vida al Camp Cava Rosé                £14.95 delicious stylish pale rose from spain
5 N.V Rosé Royal Pinot Noir     1.5L £22.95 or 75cl     £10.50 full flavoured Pinot Noir wine at great value
6 2010 Ferghettina Franciacorta Rosé            £23.95 fantastic presentationwith asquare bottle base and the iwne is as  good
7 N.V  Désiré Petit ‘DP’ Crémant du Jura            £16.95 rich creamy and elegant wine from this little known area.
8 N.V.  Lallier Grand Cru Grande Réserve            £24.95 Richer flavours from this grand cru.
9 2005 Lallier Grand Cru Vintage         £39.95        £33.95   this vintage wine will keep 5 + years rich more intense and will partner food happily

Xmas Wines

25th November

1 Sileni “The Straits” Sauvignon    £9.95     This new Zealand, marlborough sauvignon showed well adn has more character than the average Kiwi Sauvignon and a good price.

2 Kloster Erbach Crescentia                £15.95 Stunning German riesling with incredible finish. A keeper and agood match for Thai dishes

3 Pierre Bourgogne Blanc                £15.95 . Lovely oaky Chardonnay opening out into rich complex white burgundy

4 Classic Oloroso                    £12.95 First taste felt strange but on second tich nutty aromas flourished and would make great partner with casseroles andsoups and nuts.

5 Valpolicella Morandina                £11.95 deceptively light wine with soft tannins gentle rounded fruit and a surprisingly long finish

6 Seriously Cool Cinsault                £13.95 A suggestion that this can be served chilled. Great with duck,lamb and spicy charcuterie

7 Ontanon gran reserva Rioja           £19.95 This 2001 is just beginning to show its age of 13 years, but still a powerful wine.

8 Cairanne les Six                    £14.95 The star of the night Rich smoothand complex. Perfect with lamb but would match any roast meal

9 Krohn Colheita 2001                £15.95 This vintage tawny is less sweet than LBv ports but all the better for that. Great drinking

Winter Warmers

4/11/14

1  2013 Quinta da Garrida, £7.95dry deep coploured Dao white. great length
2 21013 Signos de Origen, £9.95 Big rich opulent oak aged Chardonnay wuth 3 other grapes
3 2014 seriously Cool Chenin £9.95 Incredibly young ,but already bags of flavour gentle honeyed fruit with a great finish Excellent.
4 2012 Le Coteaux, Rhone £8.95 Fabulous easy drinking with some complexity
5 2011 Alasia Barbaresco £9.95 Robust wine that demands meat.
6 2009 Guelbenzu  £9.95 Powerful wine from near Navarra that will happily partner sturdy dishes
7 2011 Don Nicanor Malbec £10.95 Great lenght and powr crying out for steak. delicious.
8 1997 Bairrada Garrafeira £24.95 This magnum has hardly aged still a bright red with now soft tanning and a lovely finish. Very good.

Around Spain 14/10/14

1 Catalan Eagle £9.95 lovely aromatic wine made mainly from the white Garnacha grape  by the La Bascula team of a winemaker and amaster of Wine.

2 Vetiver Rioja £8.95 Fuller flavoured wine that will happily partner shellfood and fish dishes.

3 Capricho £13.95 Unusual aromatic wine with great floral nose and slight spritz. Will partner seafood and white meat dishes.

4 Juan Gil 4 meses £8.95 Rich dark aromatic wine from the monastrell grape offering delicious drinking witj a very deceptive 155 abv

5 Pasion de Bobal £9.95 Unusual grape variety grown at altitude near Valencia.

6 Mesoneros de Castilla £9.95 classy Ribera del Duero f, great price.still young will partner red meats.

7 Ardiles Priorat £16.95 stunning wine from this 7 year old wine that is just beginning to drink superbly Really complex and will keep a few more years.

8 Juan Gil 18 meses. £21.95 Monastrell from 60 year old vines supported by cabernet give great intensity and complexity to this incredibly young wine. Will keep 10+ years.

France

30/09/14

1 AuxQuatre Vents Blanc £8.95 stunning blend from Languedoc great drinking.

2 Clos Bagatelle £12.95 classic St Chinian white with long finish.

3 Savennieres £14.95 Delicious honeyed Chenin blanc from the loire with a long dry finish JGreat with fish, white meats and slightly spicy dishes.

4 Feria et Fetes Grenache. £7.95Great label, looks Spanish but it is french catalan Huge fruit with a smooth15%abv.

5 Mas Barau Cabernet franc £7.95 This cabernet has enjoyed the warmth of the South end of the Rhone valley. Great drinking wine.

6 Aux Quatre Rouge £7.95 More appealing red with softer fruit.7 Clos Bagatelle £10.50 Stylish St Chinian red from local grapes will benefit from keeping a couple of years.

8 Boutinot Cairanne les Six £14.95 Stunning classy wine from 6 grape varieties. Everyone relished and bought this wine. Superb

 

 

S.Africa & Australia

1a 2014 Percheron Chenin/Viognier £6.75 Lovely light aromatic soft wine

1 2013 Epemera Viognier/Pinot gris, Aust £9.95 well made aromatic wine
2 2013 Quickies Sauvignon Blanc, Aust £12.95 Good for an ossie sauvignon and incredible label
3 2012 Zorgvliet Sauvignon, S.A £3 off abottle at £10.50 make this a fabulous alternative to sancerre. great minerality
4  2013 Tea leaf Chenin, S.A £11.95 super mixture of rich honeyed friut with a long dry finish. perfect with thai or chinese dishes
5  2012 Argentum, S.A £7.95 hit of the night. this Bordeaux blend backed by Petit verdot gives adense wine great with big robust menus.
6  2013 Passion has red lips, Aust £12.95 Shiraz and cbernet blend makes astriking wine
7  2012 Black Craft Shiraz, Austr. Magnificent old style Shiraz, nothing soft and sweet, robust leathery fruit  gives way to great Ossie drinking.
8 2013 Wandering Beeste Syrah, S.A £12.95 More stylish refined Syrah will age well.

Northern Italy15th July 20114

1 2013 Gewurztraminer Bottega Vinai ,Trentino great apoeritif, much drier than normal Gewurztraminer, vines grown in the original home “Traminer” £9.95
2 2013 Nosiola, Terrazz de Luna, Trentino Nosiola will be the new cult grape, used to make Vino Santo and now makes a rich aromatic white at great value. £7.95
3 2013 Pra Soave “Otto” Soave New Vintage of this Soave Classico, but he has used a screw cap and the DOCG council says he cant call it Classico, even though it is the same wine as previous vintages. Good weighty dry white £11.95
4 2012 Riesling Colla, Piemonte. Another refreshing dry style of wine. This Riesling is still young and needs time to really develop. The previous vintage has now matured and is great , as this will be. £13.95
5 2012 Dolcetto d`Asti, Alasia, Piemonte lovely soft gentle fruit reminscent of agood Beaujolais Village. Could be chilled £7.95
6 2011 Barbera Il Cascinone, Piemonte. The most popular wine of the evening, thick dark fruit, 12 months wood ageing create a lovely robust wine at unbeleivable value. £7.95
7 2012 Nebbiolo Martinenga, Piemonte Practically a de classified Barbaresco offering gentle easy going fruit ready for drinking £18.95
8 2011 Nebbiolo Colla, Piemonte Lovely people make lovely wines. This family are so entusiastic and their care and attention show in this very stylish Nebbiolo.£14.95
9 2009 Barolo Alasia, Piemonte. This has to be the best value barolo in the U.K. Great fruit, firm ripe tannins balance with good acidity will make agreat partner for roast dinners and game. £15.50

12th Nov. Alsace Rhone & Languedoc

Cave Tradition Pinot Blanc,Alsace £8.50 Appeals to a broad range, perfect aperitif or with light nibbles – very versatile.

Reserve Pinot Gris, Alsace £9.95 Richer heavier style than first wine. This Pinot Gris/Grigio has so much more flavour than its Italian rivals

Vieille Vignes Riesling, Alsace £9.95 this 2008 vintage was great. Old 35 vines have produced the text book fry riesling. Excellent

Serica Viognier, Languedoc £9.95 Recently bottled this wine will show its full flavours over the next few months

Pasquiers Grenache, Languedoc £6.50100%Grenache showing ripe rich alcoholic fruit

Les Coteaux Rhone Villages £8.95 smooth stylish wine offering super value

Cairanne Rhone Villages £12.95Unfortunately too young to be showing well, but acomplex wine that needs a couple of years

Seguret Rhone Villages £11.95 Magnificent wine complex and drinking superbly

Dignite Syrah, Languedoc £9.95 knocks spots off most Aussies at this price. very stylish

 

 

6th August

We showed wines from 2 new estates, a Sileni from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, and Lauca from Maule Valley Chile.

Sileni Pinot Gris £9.95 Delightful aromatic Pinot Gris that resembles an Alsace wine and surprising only 11.5% ABV

Sileni Chardonnay £9.95 Gentle unwooded fruit supported by lingering acidity

Lauca Chardonnay £7.95 typical new World Chardonnay, powerful fruit but a good price.

Lauca Noir £10.95 Gentle Pinot Noir resembling a good Beaujolais.

Lauca Pinot Noir reserve £9.95 Odd nose but good body and finish.

Lauca Carignan £9.95 the buy of the evening, broody densy balck wine with great depth of body. Super.

Lauca Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva £13.95 Another dense wine with 14 months of oak ageing. great with big meat dishes.

Lauca Cabernet, Carmenere / Shiraz £13.95 Stylish big wine the unusual blend of the 3 grapes works well. Great with casseroles.

16th July Thai Dinner

We had a memorable dinner at the Phad Thai restaurant in Reddish. The meal was outstanding with the 3 starters and 3 main courses offering a perfect example of the fragrant and delicate flavours of Thai cuisine, also supported by delicious hot spices..

TheAlsace Turckhein Reserve Pinot Gris,£9.95  was probably the best match overall.

Then a Dom Riesling Trocken, Mosel £10.95 showed well but the spices may have been too much for this wine

Emiliana Pinot Noir reserve £7.95 did not cope well with the dishes.

The Bardolno San Lorenzo was a real surprise and partnered most of the dishes very well. It also coped easily with being chilled

Ewe finished off with a slightly fizzy Moscato d`Asti that was a refreshing finish to the meal even if was only 5%ABV

2nd July 2013

Vouvray Sec Cher Et Tendre £8.95  rich rounded mouthful of hoeyed Chenin Blanc

Pallio Floriano Verdicchio £9.95 Classic Verdicchio from this award winning wine.

Signos Origen Chardonnay/Viognier £11.95 Powerful blend of Chardonnay and white Rhone grapes. Excellent

Cervoles Blanc £19.95 Absolute class. It made the other wines look simple, definitely a Rolls Royce of the wine world.

Cdr Rhone Villages Coteaux Boutinot £8.95 Consistent reliable Rhone red, makes for great easy drinking.

Guelbenzu Azul £10.95 This Tempranillo supported by some Cabernet Sauvignon has given it more muscle and weight.

Bairrada Reserve £6.95 Fantastic drinking bargain

Berola , Borja £14.95 Mainly Garnacha and a little Syrah combine to form a smooth supple red.

Zorgvliet Petit Verdot £14.95 Black. dense powerful wine. Will keep decades. Great length

11th June 2013 Summer & BBQ wines

1 2012 Moscato Secco £6.95 a soft aromatic wine good as an aperitif or with spicy food.

2 2012 Torre de Menagem £9.95 Vinho Verde crisp fresh vinho verde with gently spritz..bring on the hot weather.

3 2012 The charge Verdejo / Viura £9.95 a lightly oaked wine with good depth of fruit and character. Very good

4 2011 Sancerre Silex, P.Girard £15.95 How proper Sancerre should taste. Great depth and minerality. Magnificent

5 2012 Les Cerisier Rhone Rose £8.50 Lovely soft onion skin colour, dry gentle wine… again bring on the warm weather

6 2012 Pedrera Monastrell£6.95 This is their entry level Monastrell but still offering power and a great match for the BBQ dishes.

7 2011 Domaine Belles Granges Syrah £8.95 a refined elegant Syrah that gets better and better as you get further and further down the bottle.

8 2011 Bairrada Reserve Alianca £6.95 the star of the evening It had fruit, balance depth and along finish. People were pricing this wine as over £10

9 2012 Pablo y Walter Malbec £9.95pallio A very young Malbec that is beginning to show very well. an Incredible label

14th May South Africa

Our last tasting was stunning. The progress shown by these new wines was outstanding and our customers said it was one of the best tastings that they had attended. The last wine the Vuurberg red,  even at £19 was truly outstanding and well worth the money. The wines we tasted were..

1 2012 Cape Heights Chardonnay £6.25

2 2012 Silvermyn Sauvignon Blanc £8.95

3 2012 Mon Vieux “Hells Heights” £10.95

4 2012 Mon Vieux Aquifer Semillon £10.95

5 2012 Secateurs Blanc £11.50

6 2012 Cape Heights Merlot £6.25

7 2011 False Bay Pinotage £6.95

8 2010 Silvermyn Argentum £8.95

9 2011 Mon Vieux Syrah/Tannat £9.95

10 2010 Vuurberg Red £18.95

9th April Piemonte

 

Vendemmia Roncaglie 027

We compared 2 wineries, one a small family business Poderi Colla and a modern co-operative Araldica, where we shall look at their top range of wines under the Alasia label.

The local Arneis grape showed really well. The 2 contrasting Rieslings one  soft and very approachable, the other very assertive but capable of aging 10 to 15 years. The range of Nebbiolos were good but the oldest showed how well Nebbiolo ages.

1 2011 Campo Fiorito Chardonnay £7.95

2 2011 Alasia Roero Arneis £9.50

3 2011 Fontanino Riesling £7.95

4 2011 Colla Langhe Riesling £13.95

5 2009 Crocera Barbera £7.95

6 2009 Barbaresco  Corsini £10.95

7 2007 Alasia Langhe Nebbiolo £9.50

8 2010 Colla Nebbiolo £14.95

8 wines were available for tasting at Kro bar, Heaton Moor,Stockport on Tuesday 9th April at 8.00pm. Places were £10 and should be reserved by contacting JBW.

 

 

colla map

Other dates

14th May South Africa

11th June France

2nd July Summer Wines

       

PREVIOUS WINE TASTING SESSIONS:

ontanon reservaAt our last tasting we showed wines from 2 wineries Ontanon  and Valenciso. They were really fine and are a good example of the forward progress of winemaking in Rioja.

You can find information on the different age categories and regions in Rioja on their website – uk.riojawine.com. The wines shown were

1 2011 Artesa Viura                                                                                         £6.95

2 2009 Ontanon Vetiver                                                                                   £8.95

3 2011 Valenciso Blanco                                                                                 £15.95

4 2010 Artesa Organic                                                                                     £7.95

5 2009 Ontanon Crianza                                                                                 £9.95

6 2009 The Charge, la Bascula                                                                      £9.95

7 2004 Ontanon reserve                                                                                £13.95

8 2006 Valenciso Reserva                                                                              £19.95

9 2001 Ontanon Gran Reserva                                                                    £21.95

Friday 1st March – Ash TearoomsStockport

The old Ash Public House on Manchester Road is now owned by Classic Celebration Cakes, They have renamed it as the Ash Tearooms They have supplied the last five royal wedding cakes, We enclose their flyer.

On Friday 1st March, 8pm – 10pm, they hosted a Wine Tasting Evening with John Booth . Six wines had been especially chosen by John to compliment the Spanish canapes that Michael, their Chef, prepared on the evening. Another very enjoyable and successful evening.

Monday 25th February

This tasting was a dinner with Nepalese food at the Yeti`s Retreat on Monday 25th February.

The Yetis' RetreatThis restaurant opened a just over a year ago and has gone from strength to strength. It is now rated in the top 5 restaurants in the Stockport area.

Nepalese dishes tend not to be as hot as Indian but are more fragrant by the use of ginger and corriander. This makes it a little easier to match wines with the dishes. Depending on the courses, whites have to gentle fruit with good acidity. Reds have to have good fruit with no tannins as these will react strongly with the spices.

We showed in whites; an aromatic Sauvignon, a delightful Chenin blanc from Southaabadenhorst Africa Jancis Robinson wrote about this wine – ‘A fabulous bargain. Very fresh, floral and honeyed with masses of intensity and flavour (presumably because of the age of the vines) but with a satisfyingly dry finish. Over delivers in the most delightful way. Then a Viognier from Australia. In reds, a Portuguese Dao followed by a Pinot Noir and finishing with a Valpolicella Ripasso.

The meal started with