Tail End of January

Fellow Wine Lovers,

That I’m typing this suggests that we have successfully reached another Friday, and that most of the 4000 days of January are now behind us.  So, group hug, that’s quite an achievement.

We thought we’d start this week with the tale of Betty Brussel. Betty was born in Holland in 1924 and moved to Canada in 1959. Having learnt to swim as a child in the canals near Amsterdam, in her mid-60’s she took up competitive swimming when she decided to race in the British Columbia Senior Games. Last Saturday, she took more than 4 minutes off of the World Record 400 metres freestyle in the 100-104 year old age group. Not content to sit on her laurels, competing in five events in total, she also set new records for the 50 metres backstroke and 50 metres breaststroke. An impressive lady I’m sure you’ll agree.

Talking of impressive, Simon Clarke MP, who was in charge of Levelling up in Lettuce Liz’s government, has written an article suggesting that the Tory party is facing extinction at the next election. Apparently, Rishi Sunak is not the person to lead them into the next election and it is time for a new leader. Are we all dead keen to witness some more Tory energy focussed on choosing yet another new leader? They do, after all, seem to have an almost endless pool of top talent available.

Sadly for us, the MP’s themselves seem to think there are more important things to be getting on with. Apparently, war in the Middle East, war in Eastern Europe and interfering with Channel shipping really is more important.  Indeed Mr Clarke has been described somewhat disparagingly by his colleagues as:  “getting silly”,dangerous, reckless, selfish” and “throwing his teddies in the corner”. We’re guessing that’s a NO then Simon!

Across the pond, US democracy seems determined to continue to eat itself. Donald Trump has managed to find time between his court appearances to attend a couple of Republican Primary Nominations. He won both; Ron DeSantis withdrew from the race leaving just Nikki Haley in the way of him and the Republican nomination. I do sometimes wonder what on earth everyone is thinking!

Elsewhere in the world, after some off-piste commentary on Darts and Snooker we seem to be moving over to more familiar sports again. That said, I’m not entirely sure the first test in India has got off to the start England were hoping for. On the plus side, Six Nations Rugby starts next week and if you fancy a behind the scenes warm up I think the docuseries has just popped up on Netflix.

In wine news, hot on the coat tails of price rise reports comes news that Champagne shipments fell last year. It would appear the Champenois haven’t linked cause and correlation yet and are keen to push on with further price rises as mentioned in a previous message.

The Pope has declared that wine is “a gift from God” and “a true source of joy” for its consumers. A sentiment we can certainly get on board with, as have many Italian wine producers.

Because we’ve been around the block a few times and generally pay our bills in a timely fashion, we do occasionally get offered interesting things. We have today been offered such a thing by the agent for Chateau d’Esclans. There is a limited edition case available of two bottles each of their three estate wines for 2022. These are generally regarded as the crème de la crème of Provence rosé and I know one or two of you have ordered these wines from us in the past, so I thought we would put it out there. I have attached full details, there are only 180 cases are available in the UK and they are priced at £529.99 for the six pack. If you would you like one do come straight back to me and I’ll order it for you. 

Tasting This Weekend

We’ll start off in the white corner with a bottle of Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2021 (£17.99). The estate is still family owned and into the fifth generation. Back in 1912 Ernest Wente imported a selection of different Chardonnay cuttings from a vine nursery in Montpellier. He then selected those that showed the healthiest character and best flavours, before grafting the best two together. Ultimately he created what is known as the ‘Wente Clone’. These days around 75% of the Chardonnay plantings in California are of the Wente Clone.

The red corner belongs to Australia this week. Seppeltsfield Barossa Grenache 2022 (£25.99) will be raising its screwcap in a salute to today’s Australia Day. Seppeltsfield are regarded as true pioneers of the Australian wine industry, the estate was founded in 1851 by Joseph Seppelt. In 1888 they installed one of the world’s first gravity fed cellars which, following restoration is back in use today.

Both of these wines are delicious so do come and have a taste with us.

With that we’re done.       

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