Archive for May, 2013

Emilio Valerio Laderas de Montejurra, Château Fourcas-Dupré 2004, Listrac-Médoc, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

A week in sport and the national teams are getting it in the neck. The boys with the long trousers who spanked the Kiwis 2-0 in the series are being criticised for not being aggressive enough, whilst the boys in the short trousers are being criticised for just being rubbish. I have to say I think the guys in shorts were rubbish, Brazil have little to worry about. The World Cup in 2015 will be the exciting one for an Englishman.

More importantly this weekend is all about tops and tails, and which nose crosses the line first. Derby Day is upon us and we’ve studied the form, stuck pins in the list, and discussed the merits of wearing a shirt with yellow and red chevrons. Conclusions at the end!

The transfer window springs open to a ridiculous amount of gossip, rumour and nonsense with Monaco rumoured to be spending £100m (that’s two nights takings at the casino surely!), Manchester United and Manchester City bidding £25m for Fabregas in a bizarre job-share arrangement, whilst Arsenal scouts have been spotted at several under 14 tournaments trying to bag a bargain.

Should there be a transfer window for managers?

Wines in printNot that we like to blow our own trumpets but…(toot toot)

Fresh from having one of our wines featured in one national newspaper, we were chuffed to note another one, no name check for us this time though:

2004 Château Fourcas-Dupré, Listrac-Médoc, France    £ 21.49 

‘With so much rich, mature, truffley, meaty fruit on board, it will be hard not to crack open this lesser Listrac claret now, from a well-regarded property, because it is drinking so deliciously and would be perfect with the new season’s Welsh, or Dorset, rosy-pink roast lamb.

Yet Listracs take longer to mature than most and as 2004 is a good ‘classic’ claret vintage, according to the Bordelais, this one has three or four more years of life in it yet. Claret purists who like their game well-hung and their red Bordeaux extra perfumed, cedary and silky, should hang on to this until 2017.’   Jane MacQuitty, the Times, 25th May, 2013

Tasting this weekend

It’s been a tough week at the museums, grandparents have been run ragged, and that nice couple at number 32 has been happy to play volleyball over the fence with the kids despite having all those boxes to unpack.

It surely must be time to taste some wine. This week we’ve chosen:

False Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Western Cape, South Africa – £8.29 is tasty, and comes from somewhere that sounds like it may get some sunshine.

Emilio Valerio Laderas de Montejurra 2010, Navarra, Spain – £12.39 is basically 1/3 each of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. We found it fruity and easy drinking but with complexity too.

So come and have a sip slurp and gargle and tell us what you think. It’ll be Wayne pouring this week as Alex is waving sticks at a white ball in a sand pit.

Finally, as promised for those of you who follow our distinctly average racing tips we ruled out Dawn Approach because he’s so well favoured. We’re going each way on Ruler Of The World. Follow us at your own risk, but rest assured, neither of us will be wearing a shirt with yellow and red chevrons!

Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Wayne & Alex

I want my salt to have geographical reference as to which sea it originates.

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As I sit here, gazing across the Park Vintners estate, watching the red plumed Royal Mail van going about its daily tasks on Melrose Avenue, listening to the gentle twitter of scaffolders crowding around the feeding table at Manuel’s The Baker, drowsing to the reassuring buzz of diesel vans flitting up and down Arthur Road, I reflect that there is very little not to like about British summertime in London.  As shards of dull, grey light flood the front of the shop and the cooling North Easterly wafts through the door, keeping the temperature easily within single figures, it seems to me there is nowhere else I would rather be right now…

For sure.

Doom and Gloom

But it’s not all doom and gloom.  At long last the EU has addressed the malevolent trend that is ‘dipping oil’ in restaurants and bars.  For too long we have had to put up with generous restaurateurs, often Italian, offering us a basket of bread and with it a little bowl of virgin olive oil and perhaps a little balsamic dropped in there too.  Take the bread, dip, sprinkle some salt on it and eat.  Disgusting, but fortunately now this sort of behaviour will be stopped as the busy Brussels bureaucrats have demanded oil be served in tamper proof glass bottles, to maintain authenticity.

But is this enough?

I want my salt to have geographical reference to which sea it originates.  Clearly the balsamic should be from Modena, that’s fine, but what of the bread, I hear you cry.  Well I personally will only be happy once I am cutting it myself at the table with an approved knife on an EU sanctioned board.  Or perhaps I should bring my own from home.  Or perhaps I should just stay at home and avoid any risk of contamination from ‘food’.

We thank you, Brussels.

This weekend we greet the second May Bank Holiday (as a result we’ll be shut on Monday, dozing in the hammock) , we welcome the Germans to Wembley on Saturday night for the Champions League Final and we have local golf at Wentworth.  The second Test against New Zealand starts again today and please, no-one call it an ‘Ashes Warm-Up’ because firstly that sounds a bit weird and most likely illegal, and secondly it could be seen as disrespectful to our honoured guests…

Something for the long weekend….

So, as we now move swiftly away from summer and more towards the wintery red season, we would like to remind you all that our delicious Chateau de L’Aumerade Rose Cru Classé 2012 (12.99) from Provence has a six bottle discount of 10% – six being the universally recognised quantity required for a Bank Holiday weekend.  To refresh your palates we will have a bottle open this weekend, from sundowners on Friday until late on Saturday and we’ll happily carry the box to your car for you!

We’ll also pour out a bottle of red, as is our wont, and this week the lucky fella is Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda 2012 (10.99).  Bonarda is a grape variety brought to Argentina by Italian settlers at the beginning of the 20th century and is now the 2nd most planted variety. It produces lighter wines than Malbec with a juicy succulence and freshness without giving up on richness. This one has a lovely raspberry fruit character that sets off its soft tannins beautifully.

Pop by and see us anytime but don’t forget to bring us some sunshine!

Alex & Wayne

Star Wars vs Doctor Who

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I was wondering how to open this week’s email when I came across the headline “Star Wars and Doctor Who fans clash at Norwich convention”. It would appear that police were called to the 4th Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention at the University of East Anglia. Luckily no lightsabres were drawn and a police spokesman said “The two rival groups were spoken to and advised to keep out of each other’s way.”

Elsewhere, it’s a goodbye to David Beckham who is hanging up his boots now his beard has gone a bit grey. Never mind Becks there’s always a kickabout on Sunday afternoons down the rec.

The first test against the Kiwi’s has started at Lords. albeit a bit slowly.

The hunt for the last place in Champions League should be decided on Sunday, although there is a slight chance that an algebraic equation may be triggered that could result in Rule C14 being invoked and a play off between Chelsea and Arsenal!

For those who like their sport with two wheels rather than two goals the race for the pink jersey is still on in Italy with Nibali still “in the pink”. Sir Bradley, still battling his chest infection, sadly has withdrawn from the race. Mark Cavendish is still the man to beat in a sprint though, and so far they ain’t managing it (100 wins)!

Windmill Market

Alex had a great day out last weekend, he spent much of last Saturday meeting, greeting and pouring at Windmill Market. It’s held on the 2nd Saturday of each month at St Mark’s Church in Wimbledon (which is between the Library and the Alexandra pub).

The next one is 8th June and we’ll be there again with a selection of our wines and Rocky Head beers, so tell all your chums.

Do you follow us on Twitter? Are you our Facebook Friend?

You’ll find us @parkvintners

Join the conversation…

En Primeur Bordeaux 2012

We’ve been asked a few times what we think. I’ll stress that up to this point we’ve tasted none at all. We have spoken to a few chums with black teeth (hello Clive!) and understand the quality is pretty decent given the summer’s weather. Sadly, the pricing by most estates is somewhat higher than the market expects, which leaves little rhyme or reason for you or I to stump up the cash now.

If you do have a bit of cash burning a hole in your pocket with “Drinking: Destination Bordeaux” written on it come and have a chat with us about some older vintages. There is considerably more value there than in 2012 futures, we think.

London Wine Fair

Many of you have asked us how we go about buying wine and we’ve told you about attending various tastings and fairs in London.

Well there’s one next week so we’ll be sacrificing ourselves in the usual manner, we’re even going to try tweeting about some of the things we taste. It’ll be Wayne’s taste buds and tweety thumbs on Monday and Alex’s on Tuesday.

Tasting This Weekend

Given the time of year I was wondering about a Beaujolais and maybe our Provence rosé  but having just looked at the weather forecast I’ve decided upon Alpataco Malbec (£11.49). The wine hails from the Neuquén Valley in Patagonia, Argentina. Named after the Mapudungun word for drafty, the region has warm summers, cool nights and frequent breezes. All this conspires to give us a long ripening season with good flavour richness but also elegant freshness in the wines. Come and give it a taste and tell us what you think!

In the white corner we’ll head for the Pfalz in Germany, for it is from there that Reichsrat Von Buhl’s Riesling Trocken (£14.99) hails. Crisp, deliciously vibrant and drier than this week’s weather we think it’s high time you all had a gargle!


Wayne & Alex

Wedding Gift, Wine & Cheese, Giro d’Italia

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

 Fergie Headlines

… Premiership football team in shock as successful 71 year old man retires.

 … David Beckham pays tribute to 71 year old Ferguson hairdryer: “Without whom I’d have to have had a crewcut!”

 … David Moyes is Ferguson’s natural heir.

 Pink Shirt Update

The Maglia Rosa (pink shirt) is awarded to the person leading the Giro d’Italia. So far Mark Cavendish has worn it (indeed has won two out of six stages) and local boy Luca Paolini is currently wearing it. We’ve had a hilltop finish in a town called Matera that looked so beautiful we shall investigate it for possible future holidays, and tomorrow is the all-important Time Trial. Over to you Wiggo you have 34 seconds to pull back.

 Wedding Gifts

Going to a wedding over the next couple of months?

 Stuck for a gift for the lucky couple?

 We can help you with this. I attach details of a case of wine that costs £100- we regularly put together this kind of thing, with tasting notes too. If you think it’d make the perfect gift for your chums (we certainly do!) come and see us. If you don’t leave it until you’re on the way to the venue we may even be able to customise some tasting notes for you!

 A Massive Thanks

 What can we say?

 We are positively chuffed with the response to our request to VOTE FOR US. We’ve been stopped in the street, accosted in the Co-op, and emailed from all over, by people telling us they have voted.

If you are clueless as to what I’m talking about, last year we entered Time & Leisure’s Food and Drink Awards for Best Local Wine Retailer thinking we’d get our name mentioned in a local magazine. But, thanks to you lovely people, we won it!

 We now feel honour bound to defend the position, so please tell all your friends that we are nice chaps and sell the odd bottle of wine.

 Or tell them we’re odd chaps that sell a nice bottle of wine.

 Most importantly though please tell them to VOTE FOR US, just as soon as you have voted yourself with this link…

 Or you can text Time03703 to 81400 which is charged at 50p plus the one standard network rate text.

 Cheese & Wine

 23rd May is now SOLD OUT

20th June we can squeeze in 2 more people

18th July the world is your oyster. 8pm cost is £15 as usual…

 Taste this Weekend

 Given all the chat about Giro d’Italia and the fact that as far as we can see we’ve never opened a bottle with you all we shall start proceedings with Cantina Tramin Pinot Grigio (£13.99). This is the real deal from Alto Adige not one of those “can’t believe it’s not water” efforts you find all too often.

On the red front we will have a look at Oyster Shack Merlot (£6.99) a great everyday all-rounder happy with your Monday mushroom risotto or Tuesday Toulouse sausages!

Cheese & Wine Tasting,Brezza Barbera d’Alba Santa Rosalia, Allez Allez Sir Bradley

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week a judge in Spain decided that the 211 bags of blood & plasma seized in the Operation Puerto doping case should be destroyed. Whilst we appreciate that doping was not illegal in Spain when the bags were seized, we are amazed that the Spanish court feels unable to co-operate with either WADA or even the Spanish anti-doping agency. Surely this alone must rule Madrid out of hosting the 2020 Olympics? Is an all German Champions League Final connected, we wonder?

Elsewhere a 16.5 m high Rubber Duck floated into Hong Kong yesterday…

Cheese & Wine Tasting

Following the success of last week’s event we thought we’d follow on with another one. We choose four cheeses, put six wines alongside them and discuss the merits (or otherwise) of the choice. Our next evening is Thursday 23rd May here at the shop 8pm start. £15 buys your place at the table and you can call us on 020 8944 5224 to book.

Oh look at us!

The sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed we got a brief mention in last Saturday’s Victoria Moore column in The Daily Telegraph…

Brezza Barbera d’Alba Santa Rosalia 2010 Piemonte, Italy (13.5%, Park Vintners, SW19, £19.29)

One of the Brezza wines as raved about in my column this week. These reds are as gentle as chiffon, and the tannin that gives them bones and structures feels as if it has been hand-stitched with a tiny, fine-pointed needle. The barbera would light up any evening. I might nibble at some prosciutto or have a simple risotto Milanese to keep hunger pangs away.”

Bank Holiday Weekend

We have checked several weather pages on the interweb and all of them seem to agree there will be a circular orangey thing in the sky. This can mean only one thing…

Cycling season is amongst us.

The Giro d’Italia starts Saturday with Sir Bradley battling to be the first Brit to win the “Maglia Rosa”. He’s up against it though with 2012 winner Ryder Hesjedal and local hero Vincenzo Nibali both keen to wear pink too.

With all this in mind we shall have on the tasting table…

Cuvée Jean-Paul Rosé – £7.29 a deliciously elegant pink form the Gascony region of France.

Brezza Barbera d’Alba Santa Rosalia 2010 – £19.29 is Italian, elegant and apparently well regarded in press circles.

We shall be closed on Bank Holiday Monday.

Finally, it is with a heavy heart that we report news that The Spice Girls musical will be closing in June, clearly not “Viva Forever”. You have but a few weeks left to ‘Spice Up Your Life’.

Allez Allez

Wayne & Alex