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Monthly Archives: January 2013

  • Enter our wine cocktail competition

    (entries to the competition closed on 7 February 2013)

    We're very excited to announce our Wine Cocktails competition is now open. If you've always fancied showing your mixing skills and have some original ideas about using wine in cocktail creation, this is for you. The winner gets to fly to Sicily to sample the bar culture in Palermo and the vineyards of the mighty Planeta. How do I enter? Simples! Go to where you'll find an online form, and these six wines listed.

    1. Yealands Black Label Riesling, Marlborough, New Zealand Refreshing and racy with lemon and lime characters. 2. Mount Langi Ghiran Billi Billi Shiraz, Victoria, Australia A rich and full-flavoured Aussie Shiraz with great structure. 3. Planeta La Segreta Rosso, Menfi, Italy Incredibly palate-friendly red with juicy red fruits, strawberries and spice. 4. Ferrari Maximum Rosé Brut, Trento, Italy Boasting fragrant berry fruits and balsamic notes, with luxurious bubbles. 5. Hopler Eiswein Pinot Noir, Burgenland, Austria Fabulous amber-coloured sweet wine with flavours of dates and caramel. 6. Leyda Chardonnay Reserva, Leyda Valley, Chile Fruit-driven, unoaked style with tropical fruit and an unctuous texture.

    Choose two of the wines as the base for two cocktails - one using wine as the only alcohol in the drink, the other which can use spirits of your choice. Send the form in and we'll contact you to send you samples of the wines you've chosen - so that you can practice / experiment with your recipes. Then on February 26th the finalists will assemble at our Annual Tasting the Saatchi Gallery in London. You'll be given a slot in which to prepare both your cocktails under the eye of the judges - who include the legendary Peter Dorelli.

    If you're looking for inspiration, here's a simple but very effective cocktail which our own mixologist Paul has been wowing customers with - the Shiraz Cobbler: Shiraz: Mount Langi Ghiran, Billi Billi Shiraz

    75ml Shiraz 25ml Fresh Lime Juice 20ml Sugar Syrup 4 Mint Leaves 6 Basil Leaves 4 Black Cherries

    Method: Muddle last 5 ingredients into glass, add crushed ice, add Shiraz and swizzle

    Glass: Fish bowl red wine glass

    Garnish: Sprig of mint and basil together, a black cherry and straw

    Voilà! You can see some of the action, and what people thought of our last Wine Cocktail competition - in Edinburgh last July, here: (entries to the competition closed on 7 February 2013)

  • Very sherry

    Harriet has been down in deepest Jerez blending wines for our latest exciting launch...

    Nothing seems to spark a debate more in this company than Sherry. In recent years, it has been consumed by 2 polar opposite sherry stereotypes: 1) The uncool, Bristol Cream loving grannies or 2) The wine yuppie elite. This, I’m delighted to announce, is all changing as London (others soon to follow) welcomes the arrival of the 2nd generation SHERRY REVOLUTION. The beginning of the boom can be traced back to March 2010, when London got its first Sherry bar – Bar Pepito, a homage to Andalusia. First the wine industry came in their droves, but soon the general public, having heard the buzz, arrived in search of a new drinking experience. Its success seems to have spurred others to follow.

    As a self-proclaimed Sherry freak, and with the Enotria Spanish portfolio going from strength to strength I decided the time was ripe to get some on the list. Of course, it’s not just to boost my personal staff sale collection, a healthy and growing portion of the salesforce have been nagging me for quite some time now! Having met boutique Jerez producer Sanchez Romate and tasted through their range at the The Great Sherry Tasting last year, I was confident that this was the perfect partner for Enotria. Earlier this week, I finally made it down to Jerez to select the wines from the soleras and discuss the launch.

    Jerez lies in the South-West hot coastal corner of Spain and it is a beautiful town, adorned with cobbled streets, old churches, trendy-yet-traditional bars and with hundreds of orange trees lining every street. Sanchez Romate was founded back in 1881 and it’s one of the few boutique Bodegas who still operate from their existing building in the centre of the town. The extremely underrated, quality wines produced here are all fortified to varying degrees with a variety of styles being produced, from the bone-dry to the unctuously sweet. We’ve come up with an exclusive own-label range – selected BY Enotria FOR Enotria – 3 classic, competitively priced, quality styles which appeal to the modern palate (sorry grannies). Here are my notes:

    FINO – pale straw in colour with intense yet delicate aromas of fresh bread and almonds. The palate is light, fresh and bone-dry AMONTILLADO - amber in colour with complex, intense, saline aromas of hazlenuts and bitter almonds. Bone-dry and goes on... and on...and on... PX - deep ebony with dense aromas of raisins, dates and honey. The palate is unctuous and complex with a long, candied fruit finish.

    Sherry is appearing on all sorts of restaurant lists, not just Spanish ones – and it’s no wonder why. It’s all about food with sherry, and each style can transform a multitude of different dishes. Here are some examples...

    Fino nuts, olives, shellfish (crab, cockles, langoustines), cured meats, sushi, garlicky snails, baked fish, clams in a white wine sauce... Amontillado grilled asparagus, baby artichokes, smoked fish, pork belly, mushroom risotto, beef consommé, chicken satay, pecorino PX blue cheese, vanilla ice-cream (poured on top!), dark chocolate, dried fruits, Christmas Pudding...

    The official launch of the wines takes place at our Annual Tasting.


    Posted by Harriet

  • Fire in Clare Valley

    Dave Palmer of Skillogalee emails this report of last week's forest fires in the Clare Valley in South Australia.

    "Unfortunately that fire was us – but fortunately huge volunteer firefighting resources were brought to bear and there were no casualties and very little serious damage to property. It started on New Years Day at Mitchells next door when we had a restaurant full of hungry, thirsty diners. We had to evacuate customers and staff real quick and then go and fight the fires. We were really lucky the wind was not strong but the fire has scorched a few vines down the front below the restaurant and has burnt the entire hill you look at from the cellar door verandah. We’ve lost some irrigation lines and drippers and some fences and a few vineyard trellis posts. The two cottages on the hill were saved only because there were two fixed wing water bombers and one helicopter also dropping water.

    "The fires have been burning in tree stumps and trunks for the past 5 days now – it’s only just been declared safe to enter the area because of trees falling across the road and the potential for new fires to start with forecast temps of 42 degrees and winds of up to 55 kph. The conditions were not quite that bad here (worse fires elsewhere now, including Tasmania!) – so all in all an anxious time but a relatively happy outcome – we can start trading again tomorrow and only a very small proportion of the vines are affected."

  • Hold the front page!

    Fantastic effort for Trinity Hill's Trinity Syrah / Merlot / Cabernet Franc as it poses on the cover of this month's Decanter magazine for a piece about 'New World Wines under £15 you'll really want to try'. Other Enotria stalwarts mentioned in the piece include Yealands Pinot Noir, Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Syrah and J Lohr's Los Osos Merlot. Bravo!

  • Vina Leyda scores in Wine Advocate

    "This is how Chilean Pinot Noir should be" The Wine Advocate has just released a host of reviews of Chilean wines by Neal Martin, with excellent news for Vina Leyda. Leyda claimed the highest scores for both Pinot Noir and Syrah from Chile, both with 92 points. Here are just three of Neal's notes and scores from his recent visit to Chile:

    2011 Leyda Pinot Noir Lot 21 – 92 points “The 2011 Lot 21 Pinot Noir comes from specially selected rows in the Cahuil vineyard (Oregon clone) from limestone soils and sees 10% new oak. It has an elegant nose with pure red cherries, wild strawberry and minerals. It is extremely well defined and Vosne-like in style. The palate is well balanced with fine tannins, shimmering red berry fruit mixed with crushed stone and citrus peel. It is extremely well focused and penetrating, with a lively, sophisticated finish. This is how Chilean Pinot Noir should be.”

    2011 Leyda Pinot Noir Cahuil Vineyard – 91 points “The 2011 Cahuil Pinot Noir comes from a northwest-facing vineyard planted in red clay soils. The nose is clean and pure with brambly red fruit, a hint of damson and blueberry with fine underlying minerality. The palate is medium-bodied with firm, tensile tannins supporting crisp, dark berry, spicy Pinot fruit. It is well balanced, clean and expressive with the judicious oak neatly complementing the fruit profile. This is a well made, Burgundy-like Pinot Noir from Leyda.”

    2010 Leyda Syrah Reserva – 90 points “The 2010 Syrah Reserva has an uncomplicated, slightly reductive bouquet that opens nicely with aeration. The palate has a well defined entry with vibrant red berries and white pepper that leads to an elegant, poised finish. This reminds me of some of South Africa’s fine Rhone blends.”

    Full notes and scores by Neal Martin are available on The Wine Advocate (Subscription required)

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