Already a customer?

Monthly Archives: August 2012

  • Tremendous Trimbach

    Edgar is just back from Alsace... here's his report. "Patrick Pigny, Joe Wadhams, Cyriaque Lajoinie and I all partook of unbelievable wines and hospitality from our irrepressible host: Jean Trimbach. But what did we learn?

    1. In theory we already knew that Trimbach’s house style is about elegance and ease of matching to food. In practice, this tasting really helped illustrate the nuances. Trimbach elegance does not just mean dryness, but it is more about depth rather than superficiality meaning that the wines generally don’t explode with fruit aromas, but there is a lot of fruit in the background (NB forget cold fermentation temperatures, here we are around 21C). With the Rieslings, this means dryness, linearity, mouthwatering acidity and minerality. The Pinot Gris is never cloying, and more about texture than weight. As for those confusing Gewurz’s: it would be misleading to say that they do not explode with fruit, lychees and rose petals, because that’s what the variety does, but Trimbach avoids aromatic excess. It goes without saying that none of the wines has any overt wood influence (the wines are bottled in the spring after the harvest). 2. Not exploding with fruit, but having plenty in the background is perhaps what makes the wines incredibly good at ageing. We went for little walk into the Grand Cru Geisberg, which produces grapes for Frédéric Emile. A view of storks’ nests, gingerbread houses and geraniums spread out below us as we tasted a mini vertical of 1995 and 2008 Frédéric Emile. This wine just gets better and better. The fruit richness and depth take time. Another treat was a bottle of 1971 VT Gewurz, which happens to be my birth year. Probably ageing better than me. This ability to age makes it logical to drink the wines later and our current vintages of the classic range bear this out: Pinot Blanc 2008, Riesling just moved to 2010, Gewurz just about to move to 2010. 3. Ability to age is also about energy when young. The brightness of the acidity of all the 2010 wines really illustrates this. Like having a transfusion of your own blood. 4. Gewurztraminer and soft cheese (especially washed-rind) is sublime. We destruction tested this proposition with three cheeseboards in 24 hours – one of which had a line up of four different Munsters at different stages of maturity. I had never had a vertical of washed-rind cheese before, so this was a revelation which the Gewurz complemented to perfection. The softness of the cheese is matched by the unctuous texture of the wine and the aromatics work really well with the headiness of the Munster.

    The Tasting

    Pinot Blanc 2010 (Our current vintage is 2008) 70% Pinot Auxerrois. Pears on nose and bright 2010 acidity. Rounded. Harmonious.

    Pinot Blanc 2009 (Our current vintage is 2008) Mineral nose, with smoother acidity than 2010. Textured body.

    Pinot Noir Réserve 2010 (This is our current vintage) Bright colour and acidity (2010 again....). Light. No oak. Wild raspberries. Lunchtime wine, or pair with fish.

    Riesling 2010 (This is our current vintage) Riesling typicity on nose. High, bright acidity. Energy and minerality. Pink grapefruit. 12.8% alcohol. Jancis Robinson wrote: “Salivant! Pretty dry, firm and lip-smacking. Lots of confident sucky-stone character. Excellent. Long. 17/20”

    Riesling Réserve 2010 (moving to this vintage soon) 100% from old vines in Ribeauvillé. Dry, mineral, high, bright acidity. Very powerful structure. 13.0% alcohol. Unbelievable structure actually. Around 29 grammes / litre of dry extract and likely to age extremely well. This will be on my staff sales. Jancis Robinson wrote: “Big and smooth and a little less evolved than the regular 2010 Riesling that is such a bargain. It will presumably overtake the latter at some point. 17/20”

    Riesling Réserve Vieilles Vignes 2009 (will be offered on a pre-release basis to on-trade customers) Possibly the exception which proves the rule about above comments on style. In the Trimbach context this is super fruit-forward with quince, ripe pears and pineapple sweets. Smoother and rounder than the Réserve 2010. Mineral complexity. Dangerously easy to drink. Jancis Robinson wrote: “Quite evolved nose. Rich and flattering. Off dry. Complex. 17.5/20”

    Cuvée Frédéric Emile 2007 (moving to this vintage around January) Still very dry, tight and mineral but can sense that there is an underlying richness to the fruit which is not yet expressed (2007 was a warm, sunny vintage). Jancis Robinson wrote: “Mineral and dense and very very dry. Long. Austere. A very long intense end. 17.5/20”

    Cuvée Frédéric Emile 2006 (This is our current vintage) Completely different to the 2007. Darker colour presages botrytis notes leading to a wine which is already opening up. Creamy and rich with apples and custard, white truffles and orange skins. Delicious.

    Clos Sainte Hune 2007 (Moving around Spring 2013 - very limited availability although there will be some magnums and other formats - please ask us) Pine needles are the signature note for this 1.2 ha plot and this vintage has them in abundance. Creamy richness on nose and tight but complex palate with layers of lemons, washed stones and mirabelles. Bone dry palate, but with a beguiling sweetness to the fruit flavours. High acidity is very firm now, and indicates a good fifteen years before this wine hits its plateau.

    Clos Sainte Hune 2006 (This is our current vintage - very limited availability) Some botrytis notes on the nose. White mushrooms reminiscent of aged Champagne (Jean is a fan of Bollinger and Pol Roger, by the way). Complex custard apple and truffle flavours with softer acidity and texture than 2007. Very long. Jancis Robinson wrote: “Rich but bone dry. Some honey yet steely too. Mid gold. Big, confident. So much tucked in here. Impressive. 18/20”

    Cuvée Frédéric Emile 2002 (Available on special request only – please contact sales team) Medium lemon yellow with some hints of gold showing development. Picked a little earlier than usual as botrytis was beginning to spread with the result that the acidity is only now beginning to soften. Of the 7.5g/l total acidity, around one third was malic. Pear and cream aromas. Supremely balanced Jancis Robinson wrote: “Fine, dry. Elegant. Stones and chewy. Pungent. 18/20”

    Clos Sainte Hune 1996 (library vintage only) Golden colour with honeyed, oloroso notes on the nose. Very high acidity (even more malic than in 2002). Complex palate with fruit confits, smoke and heather. Impressive to see how the acidity mellows with age and integrates with the fruit flavours.

    Cuvée Frédéric Emile 1989 (library vintage only) Burnished gold colour. Creamy palate with a buttery brioche nose. Very complex and savoury with soy, peaches, honey and gingerbread. Dry but rich, round but linear (pretentious paradox, being carried away now).

    Pinot Gris Réserve 2009 (moving late spring 2013) Dry (but still 8g RS – adds texture rather than sweetness). Buttery and smoky. Exotic fruits on the palate.

    Pinot Gris Réserve 2008 (current vintage) 9g RS, dry. Fruit confit flavours with quince and mango. Fresh medium plus acidity and layered texture.

    Pinot Gris Réserve Personelle 2007 (currently on 2005, but moving to 2007 early 2013) Slightly off dry with 11 g RS and 6.7 g total acidity balanced by a rich full body. Layers of texture. A big wine. Jancis Robinson wrote: “Very complex and spiffy on the nose. Then quite rich and ripe on the palate. Lovely now. Very juicy. Lovely already! Quite tight acidity perhaps but I could lap it up very soon. Very focussed. Jean T says it will close down and the juiciness will disappear for a while. Big and bold. Very heady and charming. But still tightly laced too (tasted May 2009) 18”

    Gewurztraminer 2010 (moving to this vintage soon) Slightly off dry with 14g RS, 6.2 g total acidity and 14% alcohol balanced by the amazingly bright 2010 acidity. Lychees. Classic by name, classic by nature. Serious.

    Gewurztraminer Réserve 2007 (moving to this vintage autumn 2012) Ripe, fruity, soft and spicy. Less sugar than 2010 Classic but has palate perceives more sweetness as acidity is lower – 10g RS, 5.8 g total acidity and 14% alcohol. Aromatics softer and mellower than 2010 Classic’s lychees.

    Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre 2005 (current vintage) Super accomplished and rounded wine with depth of texture and fruit. Gingerbread, lychees, Jancis Robinson wrote: “Very correct floral nose with a firm backbone. Not a bad price for the age and purity! Refreshing dry finish. Well done! A mineral Gewurz that has not an ounce of flab but is utterly true to the varietal. Long and a challenge to food matches. Light, fresh cheese? Fiona Beckett suggests lobster and ginger with this. Foie gras. Tense. Long. 17.5”

    Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive 2007 (have previous vintages in stock) 72g RS , amazing legs. Mangos, pineapple, lemon and spun sugar with a hint of cumin. Deliciously rich. Jancis Robinson wrote: “Actually generally comes from Cuvée des Seigneurs Ribeauvillé but it doesn't say so on the label. At the moment not so eloquent on the nose. Very full and almost oily! Here the potential is close to 18% so it's close to SGN level of ripeness. Big and bold. Lush and round and like chewing a ripe peach. Long and just a hint of bacon fat. 18.5”

    Gewurztraminer Séléction de Grains Nobles 2001 (current vintage) Beautiful and complex. Deep gold colour with pastry, apricots, orange marmalade, figs and quince. Complex botrytis flavours. 100g RS and 13.7% alcohol.

    Gewurztraminer Séléction de Grains Nobles 2007 (available 2013) Livelier than 2001 (NB no SGN produced 2002-2006). Still very intense. Viscous but not at all heavy. Honey. Fresh flavours of tropical fruit and extremely ripe peaches. Strong botrytis notes. Still needs time. "


    Posted by Edgar

  • Scorching in Sicilia

    This just in from our man on the ground in Menfi, Enotria winemaker Owen Bird

    "This year we can sum things up as Caldo Torrido!

    Extreme heat means we are over 20% down on Chardonnay. At the same time, quality is very pleasing. No rot to speak of. The grapes have been the best I have seen in Sicily and we have fruit packed Nero d'avola coming in and I'm really happy with the Shiraz.

    It's a real year for Viognier as well.

    Night harvesting has really helped and we've seen a complete change in how things have worked. Grapes are coming in first thing in morning before it gets over 30 deg and during the day really only the lesser quality fruit and in small volumes. Majority of stuff now coming in at night and this has been a quality saviour.

    The decision seen as crazy by others to start on 3 august has paid off. The Pinot Grigio looks great and is really uniform in quality showing total varietal notes. Bringing the Savy in before it hit 11% has given us excellent results."

  • Enotria September Roadshow

    Enotria Roadshow offers much more than just 200 great wines

    In this record breaking year, we’re thrilled to be breaking records of our own as we hit the road once again with the biggest ever Enotria September Roadshow.

    This year an incredible 29 Enotria producers will be pouring over 200 wines as we visit the following cities:

    September 17 Glasgow September 18 Manchester September 19 Bath September 20 London

    The events will offer visitors much more than simple wine tastings. At each venue, we’ll also be showcasing

    Wine Cocktails - At each venue on the roadshow our resident cocktail expert Paul will be demonstrating how easy it is to include a wine cocktail in your list using some examples put together using classic grape varieties. A select number of guests will be able to assist Paul in creating these delicious drinks designed to work on any menu.

    Staff Training – Enotria’s trainers will be on hand to run through the basics of our leading staff training programme – Serving Wine with Confidence. You can try your hand at some simple training exercises designed to help staff engagement with wine.

    Wine List Design – our graphic design team will be in every city showing off their fantastic range of Wine List options, and even offering to take a look at your existing wine list to help with some design and layout tips.

    Online ordering – Visitors can have a quick and simple tour of Enotria’s new online capability – our main website and its mobile cousin which enables wine ordering wherever you are. Customer services staff will show guests how easy it is to use, and explain how their team backs it all up with first class service.

    Of course, the true stars of the show are the wine producers. This is an unmissable chance to meet such luminaries as Anne Trimbach, Sandro Mosele of Kooyong, John Hancock of Trinity Hill, and Andrew Gunn from Iona. Full list on our events pages.

    RSVP is to

  • Five go cycling to help Taylan’s Project

    A group of five riders will be embarking on a challenge to each cycle 700 miles in just 7 days, to raise money for Taylan's Project - Enotria's nominated charity for 2012. Taylan Rawlinson, the son of our colleague Andy, tragically died aged just 7 in 2009, and he is the inspiration behind Taylan's Project.

    Andy (pictured third from left) leads the team who'll be riding between the seven main universities that are carrying out vital brain tumour research at the end of August 2012. The team hope to raise £10,000, but just as importantly, to further raise the profile of Brain Tumour Research’s national £7m ‘Centres of Hope’ fundraising campaign. The five will start their ride in Glasgow on Saturday 25th August, visiting Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol and London, before being met by Professor Geoff Pilkington at the University of Portsmouth’s Centre of Excellence, when they cross the finishing line on Friday 31st August. The five riders, aged between 21 and 44, have never ridden together as a group before, and whilst none of them are novices, they all appreciate the size of the challenge that they are taking on. Planning and training have been underway for several months already but there is still plenty to do. As Andy explains: “We’ve plotted the journey, hopefully meticulously, in order to avoid busy roads but there’s no getting away from the fact that over the duration of the 700 miles, we’ll also have climbed a total of 6267 metres in height, the equivalent of riding three quarters the height of Mount Everest! Riding as a group will help, but we’re under no illusion that this is anything but a tough ask both physically and mentally. Some of our friends are turning out to ride with us on individual legs of the route and that’ll be a massive boost for us, and we’ll have a support vehicle following us, but we’re all determined that none of us will need it!”

    To sponsor the team or donate please visit their Justgiving Page

  • Online prize hits £5800

    To help celebrate the success of our athletes this summer, we have been offering all Enotria customers who order online the chance to win a cash prize. Every time the British team won a gold medal, Enotria added £200 into a prize fund. Thanks to the brilliant efforts of all the Team GB athletes in smashing previous gold medal totals, this has now reached 29 x 200 = £5800. A staggering sum - and it will be won! At the end of August, we will draw a winner who will receive the full cash fund accumulated over the Games. The good news is, you can still enter the draw! To enter the competition, simply order your wines online – via our website or our mobile website Every time an order is received you will automatically be entered into the prize draw – the more times you order online the more chances you have to win.**

    To sign up now for an online account, please call us now on 020 8961 5161

    * Prize fund is based on GBR Gold medals gained in London 2012 competition between 25 July and 12 August 2012. Draw is open from 1 July to 31 August 2012, the winner will be chosen at random and notified thereafter. **Maximum two entries per week into the prize draw fund during the competition. Enotria’s decision is final.

5 Item(s)