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.
5th December Wines of the Year.
Provisional dates 2019
Around New Zealand
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.
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.
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
Summer & BBQ Wines
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
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
Value Wines 21/02/18
Wines of Chile
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Wines of Iberia
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.
18th January 2017
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.
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.
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.
More of Italy
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,
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.
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
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
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
Wines of Waterkloof with Louis Boutinot
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
14th May South Africa
11th June France
2nd July Summer Wines
PREVIOUS WINE TASTING SESSIONS:
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 Tearooms – Stockport
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.
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 South 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