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Monthly Archives: December 2012

  • All that wine for Christmas

    Part of the fun for any wine lover at Christmas is choosing some special bottles to enjoy on the day. But what do the winemakers themselves choose? A quick straw poll of friendly vignerons revealed the following.

    Tamra Washington of Yealands has a veritable feast of Aussie wine to choose from as she spends Christmas on the Gold Coast with her partner Simon. Stellar names such as Yabby Lake, Jim Barry, Best's and Tyrell's should ensure a very festive occasion.

    Meanwhile down in Central Otago Quartz Reef winemaker (and Pinot fiend) Rudi Bauer has set aside Dupont-Tisserandot Gevrey-Chambertine Lavaux Saint-Jacques, Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2002 and many more Pinots, not to mention a fine bottle of Muller-Catoir / Pfalz Riesling 2011 “Burgergarten”. Prost, Rudi!

    Michele Bernetti of the mighty Umani Ronchi will be drinking a bottle of Sassicaia 2009, red wine of the year in Gambero Rosso, and said to be a fantastic vintage; as he says "despite it looking like an obvious choice, it is always nice to taste some very “classic” wine for Christmas!" Michele continues "Besides this, we have kept a magnum of UR’s Pelago 1994, our first vintage and Red Wine Trophy at IWC in 1997; my wife has always heard about how beautiful this wine was, and is complaining loudly, since she never tasted it before; I have to remedy this!"

    Finally our very own winemaker Owen Bird says he "always thinks of wines more as special due to the company they are with rather than the wines themselves." True enough, Owen. He will however be enjoying Franciacorta, Italian Pinot Nero (both made by his own fair hand) as well as Burkin-Wolf Pechstein Riesling, Pontet Canet 2005 and 1971 Heppenheimer Centgericht Spatlese to finish. "I think that should be enough" he says.

    Whatever you're enjoying this year, a rousing 'cheers!' to you.

  • What's that on the vat?

    Posted by Edgar

    I visited Domaine Brusset to taste the new vintage at the end of November.  Good colour and structure!  Here is a photograph of Vat number 30, with the analysis written in chalk on the front.  For the nerds amongst us, here are the notes deciphered:

    CAIR -                                       Cairanne AOC to be included in the Les Travers cuvée

    MCO2 -                                      Carbonic maceration

    12J -                                         Maceration for 12 days

    30 -                                           Vat number

    21/10 -                                      Date of racking

    64HL -                                       Capacity of the vat

    12.5 -                                        Alcohol level

    IC11 -                                        Colour index of 11 - Cairanne must have a legal minimum of 5

    Ip54 -                                        Polyphenol index 54 Cairanne must have a legal minimum of 45

    AL -                                           Lactic acid, ie malolactic fermentation has finished

    80% Carignan 20% Grenache  -      Will be further blended with other vats before Les Travers is finalised

    AV + Cave -                               Code for the origin for the fruit (name of vineyard)

    Ex3.1 > I3 G+P -                         Previous vats the wine was in

    Sout 1 -                                     Has been racked once, will be racked one or two more times

    +3g -                                        Residual sugars

    Caisses -                                    Hand harvested in 15kg containers

    posted by Edgar

  • New wines from Planeta

    The arrival of any new wine from Planeta, one of the wine world's most dynamic companies, is always greeted with enthusiasm. But when it is two new wines, and both made from grapes grown on the mystical slopes of Sicily's Mount Etna, these are untold riches indeed. Carricante Brut NV This unusual wine was, until quite recently, a contender for most exclusive listing in the world. Originally an experiment conducted by Alessio Planeta whilst waiting for his Carricante vines on Etna to mature, the wine was served only at Planeta's resort hotel in Menfi, La Foresteria. Such a hit was it with visitors that Planeta elected to extend its distribution, and we are the lucky recipients of a small parcel for the first time. Made by the 'classical method', where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, the Carricante gives it great elegance and vibrancy. This is a really well made fizz for any occasion, and the fact it comes from Europe's most active volcano only enhances its appeal. Next up, and no less exciting, is a Nerello Mascalese. This grape, which like Carricante is indigenous to the mountain, has a very interesting character, with some of the elusive beauty of Pinot Noir allied to the drying tannin found in Nebbiolo - plus something unique to Etna added to the mix. This wine, from young vines, is very much a 'work in progress' - rather like the Carricante, it will continue to evolve in future vintages. But this first edition, in its 'what it says on the label' packaging, is well worth investigation.

    The Planeta family recommend it as a pairing for pork belly with quince and wild mustard. Mmm.


    Browse all Planeta wines

  • Wise words on Oz

    We love this intro to an offer for Ben Glaetzer wines by Tom King at Great Western Wine

    "Remember the days when Sterling was strong, the Oz Dollar weak, and Australian wine offered irresistible value? Stop the regretful weeping into your miserable Vin de Table, because we're turning the clock back so you can buy the Glaetzer 2010 Bishop Shiraz at the same price as the 2006 vintage, way back in the mists of time.

    "Lest you think this is a shameless ploy to offload rubbish, 2010 is the vintage that I declared to be Ben Glaetzer's finest yet. Bishop is made from Barossa fruit, of vines up to 120 years old - and the quality shows. With marvellous purity, texture, balance and persistence of flavour, it is truly elegant."

  • Masters glory for Henriot & Jacquart

    A double dose of fantastic news from the Drinks Business' Champagne Masters competition. The Champagne Masters is a competition created and run by the drinks business and judged by leading wine experts. Almost 100 Champagnes were tasted and awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold medals according to how they fared. Those Champagnes that stood out as being outstanding received the ultimate accolade – the title of Champagne Master. In the £25 to £35 brut NV category, only two masters were awarded, one to Champagne Jacquart’s Brut Mosaïque, and the highly regarded Henriot Brut Souverain with its Chardonnay dominant blend. These two triumphed above grande marque names including Perrier-Jouet, Mumm and Lanson.

    Congratulations to both houses for this brilliant result. Full details here.

  • Enotria wins M&B supplier award

    The Enotria training team were celebrating collecting a Spear Award from Mitchells and Butlers, the UK's leading restaurant and bar operator. We were voted for a Spear (Supplier performance, evaluate and review) award for Special Recognition of Drinks Quality Category Support. This was in recognition of the brilliant work done by our training team, Lily, Beatriz and Julia, with All Bar One staff throughout 2012 - delivering almost 50 sessions of our wine training within a six week period. Enotria is the only wine supplier to M & B to win an award, one of seven given out on the day.. Pictured is Henry Boyes receiving the award from Rachel Evans, Drinks Quality Manager at Mitchells and Butlers.

    Rachel commented:

    "Enotria were fantastic in supporting us with direct, face to face contact with our teams. We’ve seen a 2% increase in our drinks quality scores, and more importantly, our guests are telling us how excited the Teams are to talk about our wines!"

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