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Weekly Digest

Our weekly newsletters with current thoughts on the world of wine as well as our wine pick of the week.

Tasting Season

Tastings are back in full swing and keeping us busy.  However, whilst these events are a perk of the job, not all of them, or the wines showcased, are wholeheartedly successful.  The recent Nebbiolo day held in London happened to coincide with a transport strike; as we had cycled there and inevitably had to cycle …

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Vietti Masseria Barbaresco DOCG

Burgundy Shortage

At around 10pm one evening in September we received a text message from a friend in the Côte de Beaune advising us to quickly stock up on both red and white Burgundy as the majority of the 2021 harvest was being devastated by pelting rain. As dramatic as it sounded at the time it was a worthwhile piece of advice to take. 2021 …

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Domaine Michel Lafarge Beaune Les Aigrots Blanc

Revisiting 2013

When new wines are released we find revisiting previous vintages and the predictions made at the time a valuable exercise. Particularly in vintages that were awkward or inconsistent.  2013 was a year most have chosen to forget, in part because it was such a difficult year for the majority of French wine regions. But there were …

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Brunello di Montalcino

Sassicaia vs. Ornellaia

The birth of the ‘Super Tuscan’ is a heavily debated subject and one that is not nearly as interesting as the wines themselves. The wines were given the nickname as they fell outside the Italian classification system – made using non-indigenous grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot they were experiments that gave …

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Bolgheri home of Sassicaia and Ornellaia

Claret

Good, old-fashioned claret is sometimes overlooked. In our haste to get to know all regions of the wine world we sometimes forget the beauty and simplicity of Bordeaux. The large, elaborate Chateaux with the vineyards spread out around them provide an area that is easy to get to grips with, and a myriad of wines …

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Chateau Figeac Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe B

Autumn Mixed Case

We have put together a selection of bottles to complement the weather and mood. Our Autumn Mixed Case includes six wines that provide a gentle transition from the fresh, summer wines we’ve been enjoying over the last few months to the richer, winter offerings. All are from well-regarded producers from a variety of regions that suit …

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Exploring Burgundy

Buying by the bottle is a much easier way of getting to know Burgundy especially given the abundance of producers and vineyards and the myriad of differences they create. 2011 Domaine Taupenot-Merme Morey Saint Denis La Riotte Premier Cru £55 per bottle  This is a delicate Morey Saint Denis that is light in weight with plenty of …

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Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Rouge

Summer Mixed Case

Over the years we have become fairly experienced in the art of holidaying in the UK: we have rented cottages in Scotland, pitched tents in Wales and fought hornets in a treehouse in Devon. And one thing we’ve learnt is to always pack the car with the essentials – good wine and a decent corkscrew. …

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2021 Summer Value Mixed Case

Chablis

Chablis has always offered the best value for white wines in Burgundy but finding the quality and style desired is a little harder.  Traditionally Chablis has been seen as a specific style of Chardonnay that is recognisable thanks to the notes of flint, seashell and green apple it produces. This is mostly attributed to the cooler …

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Billaud Simon Chablis Vaillons

Revisiting 2015

2015 is hailed as an exceptional vintage across Europe but there are a few pitfalls to watch out for. The summer was dry and hot with plenty of sunny days which for some was wonderful but for others a little trickier as it followed difficult spring weather or created droughts that put stress on the …

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Donna Olimpia Orizzonte

Easy Going Reds

It’s good to drink wine that challenges us and makes us think. But sometimes you just want something simple, easy going, and relaxing. Simplicity shouldn’t mean forgoing quality which makes these wines harder to find than you’d expect.  We have put together a list of red wines that offer the level of quality we appreciate whilst …

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Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT

Vintage Champagne

Non-Vintage champagne, which makes up the highest proportion of Champagne produced and sold, is made from a blend of the year’s harvest as well as a number of reserve wines. The most prestigious houses take great care in their non-vintage blend and use the finest reserves from a variety of vintages to produce a unique …

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Moet and Chandon Dom Perignon Champagne

Syrah

Although Syrah is native to the Rhone valley in France it is equally, if not more, famous as Shiraz in Australia.  The greater recognition of the word ‘Shiraz’ than ‘Syrah’ has been brushed aside because the French use appellation names, such as Hermitage, Côte Rôtie and Cornas, on their labels rather than the word ‘Syrah’ …

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Standish The Relic Shiraz-Viognier Barossa Valley

Revisiting 2009

2009 was the year French vineyards could do no wrong. The climate was spectacular and nearly all wine producing regions enjoyed a bumper year that was met with raptures by the critics and consumers. But with 12 years gone and the dust settled, where in France have the wines stood the test of time? And …

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2009 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac Premier Cru

Sauternes

Tastes and fashions have changed considerably since the 19th century. Our penchant for sweet wines that were so revered 150 years ago has waned as has as our desire for the rich, heavy dishes that accompanied them. Gone are the days of foie gras and a glass of Yquem to start off your evening meal.  When …

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Sauternes_Château_d'Yquem_01

The Bigger the Better

We like magnums. We could argue this is because wines age better in larger bottles and therefore offer longer drinking windows.  But ultimately it’s because magnums are just more fun.  The bigger the bottle, the more it adds to the event. 2014 Produttori Del Barbaresco Barbaresco DOCG £69 per magnum  Simple yet endlessly enjoyable. Arguably one …

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Produttori Del Barbaresco Magnum

Barolo

Getting to know Barolo is akin to getting to grips with Burgundy these days. Every inch of land in this small area in Piedmont seems to have been given up to the vine and the talk of soil composition, aspect, altitude, modern vs. traditional dominates any conversation on the region. The myriad of single vineyards …

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Giovanni Canonica Cavour Barolo DOCG

Revisiting 2006

Grapes are grown and wine is produced across the globe. Many regions share the same climatic conditions but the climate experienced and the subsequent quality of the wine produced each year will vary from one area to another, possibly even close neighbours. This may seem a simple and obvious point to make but there is …

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Chateauneuf du Pape

South African Reds

South Africa was never top of my list of wine regions: over exposure to cheap, average white wines in my early drinking days and several experiences with poorly made Pinotage that tasted vaguely like old, rubber tyres cemented my feelings on the region for a while.   A chance encounter with a Hamilton Russell Chardonnay made …

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South Africa https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

California – Judgement Of Paris

In honour of the late Steven Spurrier we have put together a list of Californian wines: some that featured in his famous 1976 Judgement of Paris tasting where they outperformed their French counterparts, and some that didn’t but certainly benefited from the event.  Spurrier played a key role in the development of New World wines and particularly those …

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Ridge Vineyards Monte Bello

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