Les Terres du Roy Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge
This Côtes du Rhône is ruby red in colour and has an enticing nose that is ripe and concentrated, full of jammy dark fruits. It is supple, rich yet balanced with crisp acidity and a finish that is dominated by peppery notes and preserved fruits.
60% Grenache/Garnacha , 30% Syrah/Shiraz, 5% Carignano/Carignan, 5% Mourvèdre
Dominique Morel, Beaujolais-Villages
Dominique's philisophy is to make wines that he likes to drink. Sourced from parcels of old bush-vines, his Beaujolais-Villages has plenty of fruit and a rounded mouthfeel. It encapsulates the approachable style of Beaujolais-Villages.
The vineyards face south west and cover 12 hectares. The Beaujolais-Villages is sourced from densely planted bush vines, which seem to give a degree of bramble-fruit potency more akin to the region's Cru wines. The average age of these goblet-trained vines is 45 years with an average yield of 50 - 55 hectolitres per hectare. Soils here are poor, stony and granitic, accounting for the perfume and finesse so characteristic of the good wines of this region. The grapes are all hand harvested.
Pre-fermentation maceration of the whole bunches was followed by semi-carbonic maceration. Dominique allowed the temperature to rise for a couple of hours only, which helped with the extraction of colour, aroma and tannins. Then, after chilling, the fermentation took place over seven to eight days. Minimum handling techniques were employed and the wine stayed in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks after fermentation.
At its best, Beaujolais is a deeply pleasurable wine and Morel's wines encapsulate this style better than most. Dominique Morel has 12 hectares of vineyard in Beaujolais and Fleurie. The vines are up to 70 years old, something that accounts for the intensity of his wines. To sum up his philosophy, Morel says: "I make wines that I like to drink, with lots of fruit, good colour and a rounded mouth-feel''.
Matthieu Barret, `Petit Ours` Côtes-du-Rhône Rouge
100% Syrah/Shiraz. The ‘Petit Ours’ (little bear), is 100% Syrah sourced from organically farmed vineyards and worked using biodynamic methods, in keeping with Matthieu’s philosophy.
The wine has a very expressive nose with layers of blackberry and black cherry fruit. The palate has smooth and well-integrated tannins with juicy black fruit and a touch of black pepper on the finish.
The grapes were hand-harvested and de-stemmed before fermentation with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats. After about 15 days, the wine was lightly pressed and aged for eight months in concrete vats to preserve its freshness and purity of fruit.
All the grapes were hand harvested. In 2018, whole bunches were placed in stainless steel vats and underwent semi-carbonic maceration for one day. Following this, the grapes were pressed in a traditional wooden, vertical press. Frédéric follows a policy of minimal intervention in his winemaking and uses only natural yeasts. Fermentation took place in concrete tanks, where the wine aged for six months prior to bottling.
Matthieu Barret of Domaine du Coulet also works with trusted growers who share similar viticultural and winemaking principles to produce a range of négociant wines from the Northern and Southern Rhône. The concept is light-hearted, as shown by the joyful bear on the label (“a self-portrait”, jokes the short and stocky Barret), with wines intended to be more approachable in their youth.
2018 Pinot Noir Jean-Claude Boisset, "Les Ursulines", Bourgogne
100% Pinot Noir. Bright ruby red in colour with pronounced aromas of wild strawberry and raspberry with hints of black pepper. On the palate, flavours of juicy red fruits and sweet spice are well-balanced with bright, lifted acidity and round, silky tannins. An excellent value Red Burgundy.
The fruit for this wine comes from old vines, mostly from the Côte de Nuits, which ensures that the quality of the blend is far higher than that of a standard Bourgogne. The vineyard management here is stringent and uses specific techniques to control yields, guaranteeing good concentration of flavours in the grapes. These techniques include debudding, cluster thinning, little or no use of fertiliser and environmentally-friendly vine protection.
The grapes were hand harvested and collected into small 20kg crates. Sorting took place in the vineyards and then again at the winery. Grapes were 100% destemmed but not crushed, then gravity-fed into vats. Maceration lasted a total of 24 days including one week cold maceration at 12°C to develop aroma and good colour. Fermentation took place with indigenous yeasts with infrequent punching down of the cap. The wine was aged on lees for eight months in lightly toasted French oak barrels (15% new) before being lightly filtered and bottled.
Jean-Claude Boisset was radically transformed with the arrival in 2002 of viniculteur Grégory Patriat, one of the best viticulturalists/winemakers of his generation in Burgundy. Grégory had spent the previous three years working in the vineyards at Domaine Leroy and still spends a great deal of his time in the vineyards, paying his growers by the hectare in order to ensure low yields. He also prefers to work with organic growers, as he finds they produce better fruit. Unlike other Burgundian négociants, Grégory specialises in making wines from 'lieu-dits' or tiny plots of vines, something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines.
Chateau Coudray-Montpensier Chinon
This Cabernet Franc has a deep, dark red colour. On the nose, it has bright aromas of pure black fruit with a hint of vanilla. The palate is refreshing with bright acidity and subtle, round tannins, with blackcurrant notes on the finish.
100% Cabernet Franc
Chateau de Pierreux Brouilly
This wine is very aromatic, full of morello cherries, blackcurrants and sweet spices. The palate is complex, revealing flavours of wild strawberry and violet with medium body and soft tannins.
Situated in the heart of Brouilly, the magnificent Château de Pierreux was built during the Renaissance. Intense purple colour, this wine has aromas of blackcurrant, redcurrant and blueberry.
Boulevard Napoleon `L`Aberadou` Pur Cinsault de Schistes IGP Pays d'Hérault
Named after the street the winery is located on in the village of La Livinière, Minervois, Boulevard Napoléon is the partnership between restaurant owner Trevor Gulliver and winemaker Benjamin Darnault. Seeing the potential in the vineyards located by his holiday home, Trevor started making the wines and then showed them to his other partner, chef Fergus Henderson, who was more than impressed, as were we! Each wine is a classic expression of the varietal grown on the dry, stony slopes of the south of France - yet they retain a vibrancy and definition that marks them out from the crowd.
Frederic Berne Beaujolais Beaujolais Lantignié `Pierre Bleue`
Frédéric Berne's Beaujolais Lantignié `Pierre Bleue` is a lovely deep purple in the glass. On the nose it is fragrant with perfumes of blueberries, black cherry and fruit compote. On the palate, the tannins are soft and ripe, Flavours of bramble fruit and violets are concentrated and well balanced with a lifted acidity.
La Croix Gratiot Pinot Noir Les Zazous
This wine is bright ruby in the glass, and has an elegant aromatic nose with notes of red cherries, plum and a hint of cinnamon. It is full bodied, the palate has fine, silky tannins and finishes with lingering cherry flavours.
100% Pinot Noir
Dominique Morel Fleurie
This wine has fragrant violet and red fruit aromas on the nose and a palate bursting with bright fruit and supple tannins. It is an elegant wine with a long, persistent finish.
Blanville Merlot Pays d'Oc
Ruby red in colour, the nose boasts aromas of fresh red cherry and plum. On the palate the tannins are ripe and plush, complimented by flavours of juicy red fruits and liquorice. The wine has a well-balanced acidity and a smooth finish.
The vineyards of Haut Blanville enjoy a warm dry climate, moderated by sea breezes giving freshness and vibrancy to the wine. Ripe with plush, juicy red fruit, this is a deliciously approachable Merlot.
Chateau Larose Perganson Haut Medoc
Situated on the border of Pauillac and Saint-Julien, this Cru Bourgeois from Chateau Larose Perganson rivals the Classified growths of the Medoc. A classic Bordeaux blend, it has a bouquet of black berries and subtle spice, from the French oak ageing.
This wine is intense ruby in colour with crimson hues. The nose shows hints of black berries with spicier notes coming to the fore. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with polished elegant tannins, great structure and a very long finish.
58% Cabernet Sauvignon , 40% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot
Chateau Balac, Haut Medoc
A wonderful Cru Bourgeois Superior Haut Medoc Bordeaux. A blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon & 20% Cabernet Franc.
We were lucky enough to visit Chateau Balac back in 2018 and were so impressed with their wines we just had to have them in our store!
Les Vignes de L'Eglise, Merlot/Grenache IGP Pays d'Oc
This wine is cherry red in colour, with fresh, perfumed aromas of ripe plum and cherries. It is smooth on the palate with medium to full body and integrated supple tannins. Juicy, easy to drink, with a touch of spice on the fruit-driven finish. A great everyday or House wine!