Fellow Wine Lovers,

What to make of it all, I don’t know and I have many, so many questions….

If the world hadn’t witnessed the Mason Mount/Ben Chilwell/Billy Gilmour on pitch hugathon, would they still have to have self-isolated?

How did Billy Gilmour get Covid?

Why do whole school classes have to self-isolate when there is a positive case in their bubble yet none of the Scotland team had to?  Could it be that the financial repercussions  of a whole team being forced to isolate are too great – let’s face it, even when Christian Eriksen almost died, the teams were back out on the pitch within a couple of hours and I’m sure there was plenty of supportive hugging between players in that interval…

We can’t be trusted to have a wedding party for 150 people in our back garden but, in 16 days, 100 times that number of people will be crammed into centre court for the Men’s Final.  Then, if it rains, well, that’ll be 15,000 people indoors and we all know how very well spaced out the seats are….

2,500 untested VIP’s at Wembley on 11th July yet no German fans allowed in for the match next Tuesday – double standards?

We still cannot get on a plane, even though we’re told 82% of adults have had the first dose and over 60% are double vacced – but does Europe want us?  And then, on the one hand you have the assertion that we implemented border restrictions too late whilst in the same breath there is a ‘real opportunity’ to travel this summer… hmmm, confused

We still have to wear masks, I think, don’t we?  Hard to tell in some places and definitely ambiguous in many places.  You go to pick up your takeaway coffee for example and you have to wear a mask for the minute you are in there but anyone sitting in there ‘working’ on the free Wi-Fi can sit for hours unmasked…

Answers to any of these questions gladly received – I have no axe to grind I’m just befuddled!

So, what else has been going on?  Well, this week we’ve celebrated Summer Solstice, we’ve celebrated the 5th anniversary of the Brexit referendum and we’ve sold a lot of champagne, rosé and beer – not sure if these sales are related to the aforementioned celebrations, I think they might be more weather and football related.  We’ve also had the most successful English Wine Week to date, with sales of the New Hall Pinot Noir far exceeding our expectations, which makes us smile.

In the outside world, a stark warning was given a few weeks back but I’m not sure how much it was reported outside the trade.  Basically we need to wean ourselves off Sauvignon Blanc, particularly those from Marlborough, New Zealand.  As we come to the end of the 2020 vintage we are faced with the prospect of the 2021 vintage being at least 20% smaller which, whilst it is being lauded as being of exceptional quality, will result in less wine on the shelves and at a higher price point.  We have just received the last of our stock of 2020 Greywacke and have already been told that when the 2021 lands in October it will be on allocation – let’s see what we get given! 

But that’s alright, I hear you say, we’ll just drink Sancerre instead.  Sadly not.  The frosts in early April affected approximately 80% of French vineyards, so unfortunately not so much Loire white will be seen from this vintage and, again, any we do see will be at a premium price.

Looking at the positives though, there is still plenty of great quality wine coming out of South Africa and South America so perhaps we should see this as an opportunity to move away from Sauvignon Blanc, as we did with Pinot Grigio a few years back, and embrace some new styles!

Oh, and whilst I’m spreading joyous tidings, the rumour is that supplies of Whispering Angel might also be slashed as the owners (LVMH) look to raid the US market and take a large chunk of the wine that was due for UK sales… as I say, it’s a rumour but from a certified source!

In other news, we have ample stocks of Château de L’Aumérade ‘Cuvée Marie-Christine’ 2020 Côtes de Provence Cru Classé (£15.99, or 6 for £80)!

At this point my colleague would usually start wittering on about sport, particularly cycling.  Suffice to say, the Tour de France starts this weekend and with the Tennis starting over the road on Monday you’ll have to start calling him Terry Two-Tellies as he tries to keep up with everything!

Finally, very sadly we suddenly lost a long-time friend and loyal supporter this week who will be very sorely missed by all of us – god bless you George, we raise a glass in your honour and to absent friends.


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