Wallaby, 007, Champagne & Tales of the Unexpected

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So what’s going on then? We see that the EU is pushing for universal phone chargers for all mobile phones (USB-C since you ask). This strikes us as a genius idea on environmental concerns at the very minimum but possibly about 15 years too late to have a real impact. 

Yesterday, the Bank of England said that they expect inflation to hit 4% yet elected to keep interest rates unchanged at 0.1%. For this commentator, words and actions seem completely opposed but what do we know, we’re just till jockeys in a wine shop.

In Aberdeenshire, a wallaby has escaped from petting zoo Waulkmill Menagerie just a day after arriving. All he has really done is what so many of us do when we arrive somewhere new – pop out through a hole in the fence for a stretch of the legs. Eddie, because that’s his name, was last seen outside a pub in New Deer heading north to Turriff.

As we touched upon last week, the 43rd Ryder Cup takes place this weekend at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. From the form book it definitely looks like it’s for the USA to lose but upsets do happen, so we’ll cross our fingers. Let’s just hope nobody accidently plays a Slazenger 7 on the 18th in error!

Derby County are in a bit of bother, administrators appointed, mandatory points deducted and now languishing at the bottom of the Championship on -2 points. Manager Wayne Rooney found out from a television report apparently. Sad old business all round it seems.

This week’s use of the Commons brain cell clearly wasn’t in either Kwasi Kwarteng’s or Rachel Maskell’s gift when they concurred that people in the north will be harder hit by rising fuel prices because it’s cold. They do say winter is coming, don’t they? Let’s hope we’re not embarking on a time of white walkers and dragons.

Whilst we’re on the subject of fiction did you see the news that Netflix has handed out a rather hefty golden ticket to Roald Dahl’s estate for the rights to his literary work. We’re hoping for a series or twenty of Tales of the Unexpected in the near future.

Now, if you can cast your mind’s back to 2015 there was a film that ended with the words “James Bond Will Be Back”. Well, after a rather lengthy delay the man on Her Majesty’s Secret Service is finally ready for us. He’s been delayed by a mission we can’t tell you about, we are unable to confirm who that chap watching the rugby was, or if he was spotted in Greece in July. What we can confirm is that the 25th James Bond film, “No Time To Die”, will finally hit cinemas next week. Autograph hunters, get yourselves down to the Albert Hall on Tuesday, otherwise we’ll be booking tickets to see it next week.

Champagne Bollinger has long been Mr. Bond’s fizz of choice and we thought it might be nice to celebrate the film’s release with a glass or two of something eminently suitable…

Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV (£48 or six bottles for £230 whilst stocks last). We’ve long been fans of this wine, we love that it is mostly Grand and Premier Cru grapes, that 60% of the Cuvée is Pinot Noir giving us that lovely richness. Flavours of pear brioche, a very fine mousse with a lovely finish to suit any MI6 agent. We like it particularly as an aperitif, but the Chef de Cave is rather fond of it with his sushi!

We also have a tiny number of the really rare…

Bollinger 007 Limited Edition Millesime 2011 (£200) – Limited to 1 per customer

To mark the release of the 25th instalment of the James Bond series, Bollinger has created a limited edition wine dedicated to 007, with a 2011 vintage inspired by the world of Bond.

The jet-black 75cl bottle is adorned with the number “25”, formed from the titles of the previous films, which are similarly etched on the glass of the wooden box.

The 2011 vintage, an atypical year, inspired the Chef de Cave to produce a unique champagne, created entirely from Pinot Noir from the Grand Cru village of Aÿ, where Champagne Bollinger was first established in 1829. This is the first time that both the vintage and village have been used exclusively by Bollinger to make a dedicated wine. The excellent 2011 harvest in Aÿ, produced complex, powerful and harmonious Pinot Noirs, fully expressed in this characterful wine.

On wine news, we have spoken about the St Émilion Grand Cru Classé system in the past and how it gets reviewed every ten years, and then the estates that get downgraded because their wine isn’t up to snuff get the lawyers in and sue all involved. We may have suggested that if they spent less money on lawyers and more on improving their wine they wouldn’t find themselves in that situation.  So, with that in mind, a French court case caught our eye. A case brought by the owners of three separate estates in relation to the 2012 classification accuses Hubert de Boüard, owner of Château Angélus, and Philippe Castéja, owner of Château Trotte Vieille, of allegedly rigging entry to the classification system, and their rankings within it, in order to unfairly inflate the price of their wines. The prosecution described it as someone passed the baccalaureate exam after writing the subjects himself.” If found guilty they could be facing a spell in the clink and a 500,000 euro fine.

With that bombshell, I think I need something in my glass. For white we’ll be opening Aromo Viognier 2020 (£9.99) –Maule is one of Chile’s traditional wine growing areas, just about 250km south of Santiago. There’s not a great deal of Viognier planted there but when you taste this you’ll wonder why. We really rate this wine and have been selling it for over 10 years now, one way or another as it is consistently great value, great quality with lovely peachy-apricot fruit characters and a nice crisp finish.  Ace with a creamy prawn pasta dish, or the local Ostiones a la Parmesana, clams in butter and parmesan!

Red wise we’re going with The Crusher Pinot Noir 2018 (£16.99). This hails from Napa in California and Oz Clark once famously said of it: “Bone Crusher, spine crusher, ball crusher – I don’t care which part of my body it crushes but these are just the kind of wines we want at our show.  The audience love them!” 

And with that we’re out!

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