Fellow Wine Lovers,
Yesterday, whilst Alex was out picking up his daughter from school, he left his Amazon Wish list page open:
Fruit or Flowers
Linen, Silk or Nylon
It’s fascinating what can be learnt about one’s business partner or is it perhaps worrying. Aware that it’s our Christmas Party coming up, I hadn’t expected to make a costume quite as elaborate as that which he seemed to be planning; maybe I hadn’t read the invitation closely enough?
On his return, I decided to confront him, or ‘out’ him, as I believe the vernacular goes…
Once his spluttering indignation had subsided and I had reminded him that if he is going to leave his computer open in a shop then people might well read it, he took great pleasure in reminding me that next Wednesday is our 4th Birthday as Park Vintners and that whilst trying to find an appropriate gift for the occasion, a website in the US had made these suggestions for fourth wedding anniversary gifts, which is kind of like a birthday but not really.
We did agree that we still need an explanation as to why anyone would give, or want to receive Nylon as a present?
Anyway, the point of this entire preamble is that we are about to be FOUR! We’ve come a long way baby since those frozen, snowy days in 2010. We’ve seen Yummy Lounge, Wine Rack and Bunting come and go; we await eagerly the arrival of Saucer & Cup (which is currently trading at the same level as Estella); we are still wowed on a daily basis by the range in the Co-op; and we are, as yet, unclear as to what the formula is for hairdresser super-saturation. Best coffee on the street – Cake Parlour. Best Source of local gossip – George from Strands. Best Wine Merchant – we do hope so!
So I told Alex, ‘the only way to celebrate such milestones is not with topaz, nylon or appliances but with bubbles and Bollinger bubbles to be precise’ and I continued ‘they’re turning on the Christmas lights and doing carols at the church on Saturday so, in essence, this is what we should do: have Bollinger open for tasting all day and also open some of the delicious wines from Domaine Treloar that were showing so fabulously on Wednesday evening. You choose a white to sample and we’ll be on for a good, fun day. Now shut your computer down and starting stocking my shelves please.’
He chose to follow my advice, put his laptop away and selected Tamboerskloof Viognier 2013 – £17.99 from Stellenbosch and a wine that really floats both our boats. If we add the Bollinger NV – £45 (or £33 per bottle if you buy six) we have whites covered.
The reds from Domaine Treloar that we will be opening are as follows:
Le Ciel Vide 2011, Côtes du Roussillon – £10.49 an unoaked red made from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan. It is the most approachable of their red wines with crunchy forest fruits and an earthy, smoky character that’d be great with a sausage casserole.
One Block Grenache 2011, Côtes Catalanes – £11.99. Since we listed this it has rapidly become a firm favourite. Mostly Grenache but with a small splash of Lledoner Pelut (not permitted in the AOC hence the Côtes Catalanes tag) this has lovely dark brambly fruit. Wayne loved it with some Merguez sausages and it would appear the team at jancisrobinson.com are regular guzzlers too; Richard Hemming certainly seemed to like it: “Dark chocolate – much blacker fruit than expected. Furry tannin, really aromatic and scented. Much more nuance than the typical voluminous Grenaches.”
Three Peaks 2011, Côtes du Roussillon – £12.99
“50% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre. Rich aniseed and liquorice character on the nose, with a really charming violet scent. Very fine tannins, fresh acid. Chocolate and spice. Dry tannins that would support ten years of bottle ageing easily.”
Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com 17+ Drink 2013-2023
Motus 2011, Côtes du Roussillon – £16.99
“Based on Mourvèdre. Wow – creamy and sweet and soft, with gorgeous fruit purity. American oak aged (preferred to French to give a sweeter element and preserve the fruit). Long and fine. Smooth and succulent texture. Lovely tension between the tannin and acid.”
Richard Hemming, JancisRobinson.com 17.5 Drink 2014-2016
Definitely worth giving us a visit this weekend!
A number of you have signed up for, or signed up other people for our Wine School in January. We have attached details to this email but suffice to say if you want to learn how to survive the wine list/supermarket aisle/dinner with your boss scenario then this is the course for you. Six weeks of sniffing, swirling, supping and possibly even spitting 60 different wines will give you a fantastic grounding in all things vinous. It costs £150 per person and will definitely make the opening months of the New Year far more palatable!
It’s the time of year when we are welcoming new wines into the shop on a fairly regular basis – recent arrivals from Burgundy include whites from Domaine Jacques Prieur Meursault ‘Clos de Mazeray’ 2010 – £49.00, Etienne Sauzet Chassagne Montrachet ‘Les Encégnières 2011 – £52.00 and a red from Domaine J. Cacheux & Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges ‘Au Bas de Combe’ 2009 – £36.99.
Oh, and another we received, just in time for Thanksgiving, is Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – £13.99 from Livermore, California a fabulous stablemate to the ever popular Morning Fog Chardonnay.
Regular readers will be used to us trawling through the newspapers looking for quirky items at which to point our derision. This week we refrained – there is so much sadness, death, murder and unpleasantness in the news, and even in sport right now, that I don’t think any of us need further reminders.
Hope to see you tomorrow for a glass of bubbles and a discussion of the gifting merits of Nylon!