New Wine and The Same Old Whines

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Before I bore you with some unfunny ramblings on the state of things, a few points of admin relating to the coming week.

  • Monday 19th February – we will open late, ideally by 3pm, as we need to go to a trade tasting in town
  • Tuesday 20th February – same as Monday, different day, different tasting but same rules – we will open late, ideally by 3pm
  • Friday 23rd February – different rules, today we will be closing early.  It’s our annual trip up the hill to help out at the KCS quiz night, so in order to get this all set up, we will be closing at 5PM.

I imagine the Friday closing will have more significance to most of you and we can only offer our apologies in advance – sorry.

Anyway, back to the here and now, we are open.  Frankly, though, there have been points this week when we had to check that we had unlocked the door because it has been suspiciously quiet.  Valentine’s Day was the most muted we’ve seen in 10 years and we didn’t have a single person asking us for our recommendation for pancake friendly wine on Tuesday (Champagne or Cider, if you’re interested).  This means we’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts, ordering a decent amount of wine and even, at one point, contemplated giving something up for Lent, just to keep us occupied for 40 days.

Outside of Arthur Road, the world doesn’t seem to be much happier than it was last week.  We still have crisis in the Middle East, Russia is still trying to crush Ukraine, we’re in recession, the Labour party is making all the wrong headlines and, in America, people decide to take their guns to the Super Bowl victory parade, resulting in the death and injury of innocent people.

So, as has so often happened over the last few years, we’ll try to find our good news in the world of wine.  Not a lot to see here either, I can only assume everyone is on the slopes in La Thuile.  I did mention earlier that we’ve been buying wines this week and in fact have 7 new listings:

From France, we have changed our Picpoul de Pinet back to Chateau de La Mirande 2022 – £14.99, one of the stalwarts of the region, this is made from 100 year old vines and is crisp, dry with a lovely citrus and stonefruit character.

From Italy, we have two new whites.  A little while back, one of our travelling connoisseur customers was raving about a Lugana that he had tasted at a fancy dinner somewhere fancy.  This jogged our memory and reminded us that we also rather liked this wine but hadn’t seen it for a while.  Long story short, we found Cà dei Frati 2022 – £26.49 and put it on the shelf.  Aged on lees for half a year in stainless steel, this has a lovely elegant palate with hints of apricot, touches of minerality and a nice long finish – thanks for the steer, Francis!  We also found a very tasty Soave, completely by accident, Montresor Gran Guardia Classico 2022 – £12.79 which is fresh and light with hints of honeysuckle and a creamy nuttiness on the finish.

From South Africa, a proper crowd pleaser – Primordial Soup – £8.99.  Made predominantly with Chenin Blanc and Colombard and at only 11%, this was an immediate wine win for us.  An immediately attractive nose of fresh citrus and stone fruit with lightly floral notes lead onto a palate that is crisp and vibrant with ripe, fleshy, gently tropical fruit characters and a clean tangy finish.

Spain gave us a new ‘posh’ Albariño.  Granbazán Etiqueta Ambar 2022 – £25.79 has fresh, almost tropical aromas then stone fruit and citrus on the palate with a creamy texture, mineral notes, vibrant acidity and classic saline characters.  Quite ripe and complex in style with fresh balancing acidity and a classic saline character.

The USA gave us another crowd pleaser – Showdown Man with the Ax Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 – £12.99 which comes from California and rather stopped us in our tracks (we liked the label…. I know, even we fall for it!).  Ripe cherry and cassis fruit, with a soft, juicy, yet long finish, this would be fab with almost any red meat, especially served rare – it is from America after all!

Finally, not exactly a new listing but a wine that we have been storing to get a bit of age on it –  Famille Brunier Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2016 – £70.  In August 2018, Jeb Dunnuck ( gave it 97 points and wrote:  “…the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers a classic, gorgeous bouquet of black raspberries, currants, violets, salty minerality, nori (seaweed wrapper) and licorice.  Full-bodied, pure, incredibly elegant, with fine tannin, and a huge finish, this is classic Vieux Télégraphe all the way that has the balance to drink now.  Drink 2023-2043.”

So that’s our wine news, I think we’ll open the Montresor Gran Guardia Classico 2022 – £12.79 and the Showdown Man with the Ax Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 – £12.99 this weekend so you can let us know what you think!

No Six Nations tomorrow and I think Wayne is focusing on his own cycling rather than that of the professionals.  However, I did read that Twickenham Stadium has introduced alcohol-free areas for the two home Guinness Men’s Six Nations fixtures on a trial basis, based on supporters’ feedback.  This is no doubt great news for any of the gentleman choosing to wear brand new white Quba & Co sailing jackets to HQ and who then get a little bit tied up in knots when they stand up suddenly and spill your pint of Guinness on themselves!  Now, when they purchase their tickets, they can choose to be within an alcohol-free zone and thus avoid the risk of a beer wash and only run the risk of a J2O shower…

Not that any gentleman would ever buy a white Quba jacket….

That’s it from us, a reminder from the top of the email, late opening on Monday and Tuesday, early close on Friday, make a diary note!


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