Provence Rose In Store, Summer Surely Approaching!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Unfortunately, we need to start this week’s missive with some bag news….

The single-use carrier bag charge, which has seen a 95% cut in plastic bag sales in major supermarkets since 2015, will be increased from 5p to 10 and extended to all businesses in England from 21 May to help drive down sales further.

Thus read the DEFRA press release of 7th May, titled “10p plastic bag charge to come into force on 21 May” and it’s all pretty straight forward I think, which is great because, apart from this announcement we haven’t heard anything from Merton or anyone else who should be enforcing this.  The way we understand it is that, as of today, we need to charge 10p if you’d like a plastic bag to carry home your purchases.  We then keep a record of how many bags we sell and on these sales make an equivalent donation to charity – ideally an environmental one they suggest – we’ll let you know once we decide, although I imagine it might change on a monthly basis…. perhaps we should start with re-planting the trees at the Ford dealership on Plough Lane?

So that’s the bag news, now the bad news.

Summer is cancelled. 

We know this for two reasons.  Firstly, when we asked Anthony in Saucer & Cup when the sun was going to shine he told us ‘not until I tell it to’ and, given the dark scowl he gave, it didn’t feel like soon.  More significant is reason #2: we received our first pallet of the 2020 Chateau de L’Aumerade ‘Cuvée Marie-Christine’ Provence Rosé Cru Classé yesterday and since we put it in the window and on the floor we have had scattered showers and unseasonably high winds…

We can only apologise for our actions.

However, as you are all well experienced in the foibles of the great British summer no doubt, we reckon you’ll all stiffen your upper lips and drink rosé in spite of the weather, so here’s a bit of info about the winery:

The Château de l’Aumérade is a 400 year old estate located in in the heart of Provence. Originally belonging to the Aumerat family, the traditional Mas property dates back to the Renaissance period.  In 1594, the Duke of Sully, Henry VI’s finance minister, presented the Château with a Mulberry tree and some Plane trees for their luxurious gardens, as thanks for supplying the Royal Court.

In 1930, a young Henri Fabre senior and his wife Charlotte, fell in love with the Château de l’Aumérade, with its 300 hectares of estate vineyards and purchased it from the Aumerat family.  The Château was designated as a Cru Classé when the Provence appellation was created in 1955, a system classifying the wine estate rather than the vineyard area.  It is one of 18 that still remain in the designation.  The Château is currently run by Henri Fabre junior and his sister Marie-Christine.

A lovely pale salmon colour, it is indeed cracking stuff with delicate red berry fruits, slightly floral and an impressively long finish.  We think it is the perfect wine for summer, great with all manner of food, or just with the Sunday papers, a deck chair and either a parasol or an umbrella!

A single bottle is £15.99 but now we are allowed to have friends over and all that jazz, why not treat yourself to six bottles for £80?

Any good news Wayne, I hear you ask?

Well, kids, not really.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there isn’t any good news, just that there isn’t really any news.  If we don’t talk about the headlines there isn’t so much around the edges to bring to the table, unless you want to talk about unscrupulous BBC behaviour 26 years ago or the veiled threat that we won’t be fully unlocking in June.  Either which way, it doesn’t make for pretty reading and often is just causes annoyance.

Leicester won the FA Cup – as a neutral it wasn’t the most exciting game but it was a cup winning goal, so praise where praise is due.  Tottenham are having a spectacular late season implosion the like of which all Arsenal fans have dreamt of – and Harry Kane wants to leave – who knew?!  In real sport, further watching of the Giro d’Italia has taught us that it rains as much in Tuscany and Umbria as it does here and, more importantly, that Grand Tour cyclists can lose their balance (and lose face) going round a greasy bend just as easily as someone cycling home from the pub after a couple of pints!

No huge news in the world of wine either – the Bordeaux en-primeur campaign continues with less fanfare than in previous years – is this still the best way to sell the vintage or should it be re-vamped?  Or, as the top wines become more exclusive and expensive is it perhaps time for us all to put our pounds in someone else’s pockets?  Not sure but I do know that Tim Atkin just gave his first 100 point score to a wine from Argentina this week…

I think that’s it really for this week now.  We are both praying for rain under the premise that never before have our prayers been answered, so just be prepared for a heatwave – you heard it here first!


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