The cynic amongst us is on holiday, so this is all probably nonsense….

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Right, that’s it, I’ve had enough, I’m leaving Europe, with or without you. 

Apparently, there was an online consultation that attracted an unprecedented 4.6 million responses last year, of which 84 per cent were in favour of a new legislation.  This then led to a vote amongst the EU lawmakers, where the darling MEPs voted 410 to 192 in favour of ending it, with 51 abstentions, (not sure where the other 98 members were, I’d have thought there would have been a three line whip for this), which means that, as of 2021, it’ll no longer be with us. 

Yep, Strasbourg has stolen our summertime. 

No more spring forward, fall backwards; no more 7 months of summer because that’s what the clocks tell us; no more cheeky extra hour in bed in late October; and frankly the alarming potential for the sun to rise in London at 3.45am and 3am in John O’Groats over solstice.  For me it’s purely a nostalgic thing, I’m not a farmer or a factory worker although a longer evening is more beneficial to our trade than a lighter early morning.  I’m sure I would get over it very quickly but, as one of my peers oft states, the EU just wants to homogenise everything and neutralise individuality – we kept our pints and our miles, let’s keep our changing clocks!

‘Right, that’s it, I’ve had enough, I’m leaving Europe, with or without you!’, thus spake my wife last night.

I don’t think we’d had a row or anything and in fact I’m not sure she was addressing me anyway as most of the vitriol seemed to be targeted at the Toshiba laptop in front of her.  It seems, and I’m giving you the edited/sanitised highlights here, that the EU has proposed putting speed limiters in all new cars from 2022.  Now, my wife, being of the country, has always had a close relationship with cars – if you couldn’t drive you couldn’t go out – so the prospect of Brussels meddling with her preferred form of transport certainly seemed to get her goat.  No more spinning along at 52mph on the A3, no more racing along at 73mph on the M3 – no more life in the fast lane for Mrs Park Vintners…. And she was incensed, big brother was mentioned and that crushing of independent spirit, all in the name of homogenisation, was once more aired.  I did mention that it wasn’t until 2022; it would only be on new cars (not a thing we usually get involved with); that the driver will be able to override the restrictor by just putting their foot down but, by this stage, the rant was in full sail.

And, with that, my wife brexited – anyone going to join her?

Back on planet wine, the eternally optimistic team at Majestic have finally let the mask slip – things are not as peachy at the wine warehouse as carefully spun annual figures would have had us believe. 

Hot on the heels of Oddbins facing a forced departure from the high street, Majestic announced it was going to close a portion of its stores and rebrand as Naked, the online side of the business.  “A dramatic and unexpected change in strategy” is how one analyst put it.  The cynic amongst us might suggest a bit of asset stripping by selling shop freeholds and then a sale of the retail business to Mike Ashley perhaps – in the meantime Naked remains online, as it was and always has been, but £70 million richer from when Majestic bought them 4 years ago and with their database too – clever.  However, the cynic amongst us is on holiday, so this is all probably nonsense….

Suffice to say, we don’t have an online presence so you’ll have to keep on popping in to visit us and, hopefully, we can make this chore less tedious at weekends by opening some wines for you to taste?

A few weeks back we mentioned new wines we had listed and old wines that had returned to the fold and we have been opening examples each week.  This week it is the turn of Domaine Treloar and Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel.

Domaine Treloar has been on the books for a number of years now and we have no doubt bored you before about Jonathan the Yorkshireman and the Rachel the Kiwi Lady responsible for these superstar wines down in the deep south of France?  Have we not?  Oh, okay then, here goes.  Their path into wine was rather unusual, after working in IT for 15 years; they were living almost next door to the World Trade Center when it was destroyed in 2001.

Having experienced that disaster at first hand, they decided to change direction, heading to Rachel’s native home of New Zealand where Jonathan studied oenology and viticulture at Lincoln University.  He graduated top of the class, and then worked as the Assistant Winemaker at Neudorf Vineyards for 2 years.  In 2006 they founded Domaine Treloar, where they do everything in both vineyard and winery themselves.

In 2013 they were chosen as the Coup de Coeur (Favourite) Roussillon producer by La Revue du Vin de France, the country’s most influential wine magazine.

La Terre Promise 2016 (£18.49) is a delicious white blend of Grenache Gris (50%), Macabeu (30%) and Carignan Blanc (20%).  A rich weighty white that’ll be delicious with some garlic and herb roasted chicken or Bouillabaisse if you have time, or on its own if you don’t!

Since we lost Emilio Moro from our shelves we have been kissing a lot of frogs in search of a new prince – meet Lecco Crianza 2014 – £19.29 – proper Ribera del Duero royalty.  Reading Wayne’s notes, he says:

Es un vino sensato, maduro y seguro de sí mismo. Se elabora a partir de viñedos de una cierta edad, de media superan los 30 años momento en el cual ya la viña por si misma empieza a reducir su producción de forma natural en pos de aumentar su calidad. Se seleccionan los suelos que nos aporten mayor elegancia y potencia tanto aromáticamente como en boca.

Estas viñas se vendimian en cajas de 15 kilos de forma manual y después de un estricto control analítico y de cata, así elegimos el momento de mayor expresión de cada viñedo. La elaboración se lleva a cabo por gravedad con el uso de los ovis y durante la cual se controla la temperatura de fermentación y maceración para dirigir la extracción. En total la maceración estará en torno a los 18 días.

El paso por barrica, gran parte de ellas nuevas, de roble francés en 70% y el resto en americano durante al menos 14 meses termina por realzar y acomplejar las características aromáticas y sensaciones en boca, guardando un buen equilibrio entre la expresión frutal de la tempranillo y los tostados y aromas del roble.

I think he likes it!?  14 months in oak, lovely and rounded, tasty tannins and a long and lovely finish –as he said at the outset, a self-assured wine! 

Right, that’s it from us… don’t forget to spring forward on Sunday morning whilst we’re still allowed to and be prepared for lots of silly pranks on Monday – you’ll thank me for reminding you!

¡Salud! as Wayne would say….

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