A £300 bottle of Claret on a school night?

Fellow Wine Lovers,

We don’t want to worry you but, with Christmas less than 3 months away, we currently have less than 10,000 bottles of wine in the shop.  This, of course, should be more than sufficient stock and we have plenty more in the warehouse; as a consequence, the message we want to get across to you is that there is no need to get into a bit of a PANIC and come to the shop to BUY so much more WINE than you have storage space for right NOW.

Another chap who is telling us that there is absolutely no need to panic buy, whilst subtly implying that actually perhaps it might just be worth popping an extra bottle or two in your bag is quoted as saying: “Best advice to everyone in the supply chain – from producers to distributors to customers and to consumers – would be to plan ahead and, where possible, purchase early, as it is certainly far more likely than at any other time in memory that favourite brands and products will not be available in the run-up to Christmas.”  Oh and the man who said this?  Andrew Hawes – Mentzendorff (UK Agent for Bollinger)

Last week Wayne wrote: ‘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.’  He also wrote a short piece about Bollinger and James Bond prior to the film release this week.  So, apparently there is a scene where Bond pops over to Q’s house for a spot of mid-week scran and grabs a large glass of red wine from the strategically placed centre screen bottle of Chateau Angélus – a very nice bit of extra promotional puff when times are tough for Hubert de Boüard!  More significantly for this writer, if a civil servant is drinking a £300 bottle of Claret on a school night, what does he drink at the weekend?  And who is paying for it?!

Sport took a tumble last week: both AFC Wimbledon and Tottenham lost to Arsenal and the Ryder Cup just proved that the European team wasn’t even close to the mob from the USA.  So we’ll move swiftly on from here.

On the home front, I have a bit of an unusual request.  Having children is great but there comes a point when, frankly, they need to leave home and do their own thing.  I have one of these in my house at the moment, studying for his A-levels, dreaming of going to University and breaking the parental shackles (although why any teenager would want to break the shackles of a parent who owns a wine shop beats me but, as the y say, horses for courses).

Anyway, this A-level student, let’s call him Joe, has to do some coursework for one of his subjects and part of this coursework involves a short survey to hopefully help him design a product.  The survey is quite simple and confidential – largely related to how you open your bottles of wine, how easy you find it and how you might improve your wine bottle opening experience.  If you can help with the survey and thus help with Joe’s A-level and then, as a direct consequence, help Joe escape the evil clutches of his parents, then the link is here:


The whole family thanks you!

Back in the shop, we are continuing to open bottles of wine on a Friday and Saturday and this seems to have been well received – a return to more normal times we feel.  This week we have decided to delve down under to New Zealand and Australia…

Mountford Liaison Riesling 2013, North Canterbury, New Zealand – £17.49 – the grapes were grown on the deep gravels of the Waipara Valley, hand selected and chilled over night before being whole bunch pressed.  That was ages ago though, this is a 2013 wine… we met the winemaker at Mountford a while back and he explained that they specialise in ageing wines in bottle before release, which is right up our street – we genuinely wish more would do that.  This has none of the petrol note you sometimes find with aged Riesling, there are just lovely fresh mango and apricot aromas mingled with dried fruit and honey.  To taste it’s off dry and soooo fresh with green apple fruit intensity, quince flavours and a citrus kick to balance, great length too – it’s almost mesmerising!

De Bortoli Heathcote Shiraz 2017, Victoria, Australia – £13.99 – we like the approach at De Bortoli, who always look for freshness and balance in their wines.  Heathcote is an up and coming region for Shiraz and the wines have an elegant, spicy quality, as opposed to the fruit soup you can sometimes end up with.  This has got spicy plum notes on the nose, whilst the palate is blackberry laden, with a touch of black pepper and spice and a nice dry finish.

So swing on by, taste some wine, perhaps do a survey to help the poor afflicted teenager and certainly admire the Bollinger 007 Limited Edition Millesime 2011 – we’ve all agreed it’s rather funky!

Until next time….

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