Seasonal Wine Selection
Sauvignon/Gros Manseng – Cotes de Gascogne
This is a blend of 60% Sauvignon and 40% Gros Manseng grown in the silex soils of Gascony. Both the bouquet and palate have intense notes of exotic and citrus fruits, with a streak of minerality and freshness. This elegant and harmonious wine is perfect for drinking as an aperitif or to accompany a wide variety of foods, especially fish and seafood dishes.
Pinot Blanc Tradition
Domaine Sipp Mack
The Domaine Sipp Mack is now totally organic and the wines are suitable for vegans. Pinot Blanc is the least aromatic of the Alsace grape varieties and is known in the wine trade as the chameleon as it will go with anything. Open, fresh nose of acacia flowers. Smooth, floral mouth. Gourmand with clean, fresh acidity.
Domaine du Bicheron
The vineyards of Mâcon-Péronne can be found in the heart of the Mâcon Villages appellation, the village borders the Pouilly-Fuissé and Saint-Véran appellations to the south and Viré-Clessé to the east so it obviously originates from a fine pedigree. Sometimes the wines of the Maconnais can be a little dilute but this example is perfect with plenty of flavour and aroma. White blossom dominates the nose with hawthorn blossom especially. The palate is fresh, vibrant and full of fruit with a good clip of acidity to make it refreshing. It is great to drink by itself or with food and the typical local dishes of charcuterie, fish, poultry and pork make wonderful partners.
Fuente Milano, Spain
Pale yellow in colour with green highlights, this is a crisp and dry white wine with bright fruit aromas and flavours. Some herbal notes are to be found on the palate with plenty of stone fruit nuances too. This wine represents great value for money and is easy to drink by itself or with a wide variety of fish and seafood.
Grillo di Sicilia
Cantina LaMura, Siciliy
This organic and vegan wine was produced in the volcanic soils of Sicily and therefore there is a good layer of minerality supporting the bright fruit flavours and aromas. The abundance of sunshine
in Sicily together with the sea breezes and low rainfall combine to make ideal grape-growing conditions: there are no problems with ripening grapes and there is very little disease, so the grapes
have always been virtually organic, with the minimum of treatments. The result is consistently excellent quality grapes from which excellent wines can be made. It has a distinct, characterful bouquet. The palate has hints of citrus and tropical fruits and it is mouth-filling with excellent balancing acidity. Ideally drunk chilled, on its own or with appetisers.
Indaba Wines, South Africa
Bruwer Raats who makes this wine is an absolute genius with Chenin Blanc. Only about 5% of the wine is matured in oak, a touch that gives a little bit of width on the palate without interfering with the fine, pure fruit flavours. Indaba Chenin Blanc grapes were sourced from select vineyard sites in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Swartland, characterised by soils of Table Mountain sandstone, decomposed Dolomite granite and shale. More than half of the vines are low-yielding dry farmed bush vines, with an average age of 20+ years. Indaba’s fresh, easy-drinking style offers vibrant flavours of honeyed pear, golden delicious apple and luscious tropical fruit. Lively peppery notes and an underlying mineral character shine through on the finish. Ideal with or without food.
Tin Cottage by Bladen, New Zealand
Tin Cottage refers back to the caravan that Dave and Christine McDonald lived in when they were searching for their dream; a wine estate in the then undiscovered area of Marlborough. This is actually made from fruit harvested from vineyards that they rent and tend on a long term contract. This superb NZ Sauvignon has a bright, pale straw yellow colour with tinges of green. The nose
is tight at first then it opens to generous helpings of gooseberries, fresh herbs and passionfruit. The palate is super concentrated and as well as the passionfruit and gooseberry there are elements of tropical fruit interwoven through the wine. It is long and lingering in the finish.
Glenelly Glass Collection, South Africa
The Glenelly Glass Collection is named after May-Eliane de Lencquesaing’s collection of nearly 1,000 rare pieces of glass, dating from 50BC to today, from the Middle East, Syria, Lebanon, Rome, Prague, Venice, Germany, England, Sweden, France and the USA. Glass and wine have lot in common: they both come from poor material and poor soils, and through man’s talent and genius they become works of art. The grapes for the Glenelly Glass Collection Chardonnay were lightly crushed and gently pressed and the juice was transferred to two stainless steel fermenters where it underwent a spontaneous fermentation thanks to wild yeasts. The wine was not allowed to go through malolactic fermentation but it was left on its lees until bottling took place. has a bright and brilliant colour with a slightly green hue. The wine has complex aromas of citrus, lime zest, marmalade and melon. On the palate, there is a beautiful, rounded, comforting texture with wonderful length, intense fruit complexity and a minerally, oyster shell finish. South African Chablis.
Pinot Noir Rosé Les Carisannes
With much of the style of its illustrious cousin, the Pinot Noir for this Henry Brochard Les Carisannes Pinot Noir Rosé is grown in vineyards located in the commune of Bannay very close to the Sancerre appellation. It is a very pleasant and refreshing wine with a nose of strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant aromas and a palate of red fruits, bright acidity and a touch of gentle tannin. This is ideal to drink either by itself or with dishes such as poached salmon, prawns or chicken.
Although the Santiago family, owners of Señorío de Arana and Viña del Oja, have been growing grapes in the Rioja region for over one hundred years, the bodega was only founded in the 1970s. Señorío De Arana owns around 100 hectares of vines in the villages of Labastida and San Vicente de la Sonsierra; the former is in the Rioja Alavesa and the latter is just across the River Ebro in the Rioja Alta. The Santiago family utilises all of its knowledge of its vineyards lying in the lee of the Cantabria Sierra, and benefits from its long experience of growing Tempranillo which thrives in Rioja’s chalky, silty soils. Situated under the slopes of Monte Toloño on the banks of the River Ebro, the Viña Del Oja winery sees state-of- the-art technology in the bodega combined with a deep understanding of traditional winemaking, guaranteeing the quality of their wines. A fresh and vibrant blend of 50% Red Grenache and 50% Viura that has a bright rose colour, a nose of bright berry fruit with some floral hints and an expansive palate with red berries dominant that persist in the long and refreshing finish.
Bodegas Sierra Cantabria
Sierra Cantabria are now regarded as one of the finest producers of Rioja and this is their introduction to just what is possible with a little care and attention to detail. To begin with, they use the finest quality Tempranillo, grown in their own vineyards and carefully selected so only the finest best fruit makes it to the fermenting vats. After fermentation it is aged in barrel, long enough to add the tell tale aromas and flavours of classic Rioja but without the burden of excessive wood aromas and flavours. They back-blend a small percentage of older wine to ensure the wine has a constant taste as in a non-vintage Champagne. All in all it’s a great bottle of wine. Sierra Cantabria Rioja Seleccion is ruby red with lighter violet shades at the edge of the glass. Raspberry and blackberry fruit on the nose, with coffee, toast and vanilla notes adding intensity. The palate is well structured with a pleasing balance of tannin, alcohol and acidity. The fruit is in harmony with the characteristics of a brief period oak ageing, manifesting itself in the form of spice, toasted coffee and woody notes. The finish is fruity and gently toasty.
Rendez-vous Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon
Situated in the foothills of the Massif Central in Languedoc-Roussillon, Château Viranel lies at the heart of the Saint-Chinian appellation. One of the most influential features of the property that contributes to the incredible quality of wines is the unique microclimate. This, combined with the estate’s chalky soils, gives ideal conditions for the cultivation of wine grapes. Overlooking the Valley of the Orb, the southern exposure of Château Viranel’s vineyards ensures they receive the maximum amount of sunlight, allowing the grapes to ripen both steadily and completely. Vinification at Château Viranel is really traditional – the family has been making wine here for several generations and the history of the property can be traced back to 1551 – yet they use one technique for the reds that we had not encountered before. It’s called délèstages (rack and return): rather than just pumping the fermenting juice taken from the bottom of the tank over the top of the cap of grape solids, they empty the vat of all juice and then return all of the must over the cap. This has the effect of fully breaking up the cap instead of the wine gently finding the same old path back to the bottom of the vat, thus ensuring maximum extraction not only of colour but of soft tannins and wonderful flavours. Château Viranel’s fifty fifty blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon is made entirely in stainless steel to preserve its bright, crunchy red fruit character. Rendez-Vous shows attractive, sappy aromas of ripe red fruits. On the palate, Rendez-Vous is light-bodied, with snappy acidity, soft tannins and an elegant herbaceous note – not dissimilar to a Loire red such as Chinon. A lovely wine and very refreshing.
If you want to know what good Beaujolais should taste like, try this. A first class example of a much maligned wine. Hearty and very fruity, it is at home with almost any red meat or poultry dish. The vineyards that grow the Gamay grapes used for this Beaujolais Villages are contiguous with the vineyards of Morgon and similarly their soils are a granite substrate covered by a sandy topsoil. The vines are pruned in the traditional goblet style and Didier practices sustainable viticulture, avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides. All of the grapes are hand harvested to keep the bunches whole so that the fermentation can be started using the typical carbonic maceration technique. Each area of vines is harvested separately and the grapes are vinified in their own cement tanks, allowing the parcels to express their distinct terroir before being carefully blended into the best possible final wine. This wine is without doubt from one of the great producers of the region, and this easy drinking yet surprisingly substantial Beaujolais-Villages does exactly what it says on the tin! It is beautifully balanced, with delicious black cherry fruit, fine, smooth tannins and refreshing acidity that brings the palate to life. Just the thing for quaffing with some poultry or charcuterie. The only problem is one bottle leads to another!
Merlot “Il Puro”
Fantastic Merlot character at a very affordable price. As usual, Astoria have produced a wine that screams of the grape variety, that is perfectly balanced and is soft and silky to drink. The presentation is top class too! Astoria Il Puro Merlot has intense aromas of red berries and spice that give into a full and generous palate with supple structure. The finish is long and elegant and the complete wine shows bags of typical plummy, berry, Merlot character.
Malbec Tonel 46 Reserve
Finding a Malbec of true class isn’t easy these days. Many are stuffed full of American oak to give big vanilla aromas while others are simply dilute and characterless. This is proper Malbec with just the right balance between fruit and oak, a full and generous palate and all at an affordable price. High quality Malbec grown in three cool, dry, high altitude vineyards is fermented in new French oak for 8 months giving a rich yet well-rounded wine. If you want to know what Argentinian Malbec should be like, just try this. It’s got the Malbec hallmark running right through it! Bodega Toneles Tonel 46 Reserve Malbec is a big wine of great refinement and culture. It starts with full-on aromas of black fruit, tinged with hints of vanilla. The palate is luscious and generously filled with rich blackcurrant notes. The finish is full yet soft, with ripe and supple tannins countering the dark berry flavours.
Made by Anthony Murphy of Trentham Estate, this Murphy Vineyards Big Rivers Shiraz offers both great value and style. The grape selection and winemaking practices aim to highlight the fruit flavours with these wines. Murphy Vineyards Big Rivers Shiraz is deep red in colour with cherry, cassis, mocha and mint aromas. These aromas follow onto the palate to compliment flavours of white pepper, sweet plum and spice. With the faintest hint of oak adding complexity and its long, rich finish, this wine is truly a delight.
Old Vines Zinfandel
Scotto Wines, Lodi
Originating from one of the oldest and most distinctive Zinfandel growing regions in California, the Scotto Family Cellars Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel showcases beautifully the character of this storied region. The vineyard is located just to the east of the city of Lodi, where the warm days are tempered by the cooling evening breezed emanating from the San Joaquin Delta. This makes for a longer growing season and ultimately for a more complex and engaging wine. Hand picked and gently crushed to release the full bounty of flavour from the fruit of 50 year old vines, this Zinfandel was fermented on its skin for 9 days. After fermentation, the Zinfandel was pressed into four year old French oak barrels and aged for 22 months to showcase the fruit. It exhibits aromatics of blueberry pie, cola, cherry and black liquorice. It is rich, juicy and alluring on the palate with flavours of ripe red summer berries, pomegranate, cranberry, and hints of cinnamon and pepper. The long and delicious finish is worthy of the history and work that has gone into those old vines all these many years.
Darling Cellars Chocoholic Pinotage is made from the fruit of vines grown in the deep, decomposed granite soils of the slopes of the Darling Hills, where the warmth of the afternoon sun is tempered by cooling Atlantic breezes. A portion of the wine spent 8-12 months in contact with oak, adding complexity and layers of flavour. It gives a vibrant display of fresh fruit and flavours that includes Turkish delight, chocolate, red and black cherries, vanilla, red plum and oak. Seductively smooth, sensually soft, subtly sweet, mouthfillingly moreish and unashamedly addictive. This is a delicious and elegant wine that delights the palate with lovely dark plum flavours, soft tannins, lingering notes of toasty oak and a fresh acidity as an accompaniment.
A blend of 57% Parellada, 25% Macabeo and 18% Xarel.lo, Parés Baltà Cava Brut is a fresh and dynamic Cava of the highest quality. Just as you’d expect from Parés Baltà. The secret is growing the Parellada grapes in the Finca Les Torres vineyard at an altitude of 616m, in the foothills of the Ancosa Mountains. The vines are also 50 years old and are naturally low yielding of high quality fruit. Macabeo brings the fruit and Xarel.lo provides the body, and together they complete this organic Cava. The Parés Baltà Cava Brut sees no oak ageing so it’s fresh as a daisy, but there is a delicious complexity derived from the 18 months it spends on its lees. Pares Balta Cava Brut is a deliciously dry, sparkling wine made in the Champagne method yet with plenty of bright, soft fruit flavours. It has a medley of white peach, apple, pear, melon and lime fruit on the nose, with a gentle creamy smokiness from the time this Cava spent on its lees. Rich flavours of apple, honeydew, peach and mineral notes on its fruit-forward and nicely balanced palate, with a clean, tropical fruit infused finish.
Prosecco di Treviso “Butterfly”
This Prosecco is top notch and so stylishly presented too. Grown on the Polegato family property of Tenuta Val de Brun, this 100% Glera (what used to be called Prosecco) comes from hand harvested grapes that firstly underwent an alcoholic fermentation by indigenous yeasts, followed by the fermentation “di spuma” where the bubbles are formed. This was done at a low temperature to ensure a smooth and consistent effervescence. Butterfly Prosecco Di Treviso Extra Dry is delightfully aromatic, with fine floral notes on the bouquet. The clean, crisp palate has just a faint hint of richness (Astoria Butterfly’s classification is Extra Dry, just a touch riper than Brut) to help carry the refined fruit flavours and the delicious, mouth-watering finish.