The London Distillery Company, Dodd’s Gin, Riesling and Regnie

Fellow Wine Lovers,

You get the feeling that some of the headlines this week are not going to disappear in a hurry.

Paul Downton’s removal of Kevin Pieterson from the England setup could well define his time as managing director of England Cricket – not sure anyone has ever made quite such a bold move on their first day in the job and it makes you wonder what he got up to on days two, three and four…

The weather, the sea, railways losing their footing, trees toppling, Somerset sinking – none of that’s changing in a hurry…

Winter Olympics has started, coverage is laughable compared to the Summer version, and if you’re very lucky you might just catch some snippets on the BBC…

Michael Laudrup gets his P45 and doesn’t really know why – I’m sure if he goes onto twitter there are plenty of trolls who could tell him…

From The Drinks Business: The first tranche of the 200,000-bottle production of Château Miraval 2013 is expected to go on sale at 9am (French time) Friday morning via the estate’s website, where those signed up to the waiting list will be given access to a six-bottle case.  For those of you who don’t know, this is a Rosé wine, sold on allocation – just happens to be owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie…

So anyway, yesterday we had a right treat – we went off to The London Distillery Company for a tour and an immersion in the world of small-production Gin and Whisky.  It’s located in an old dairy behind Ransome’s Dock near to Battersea Park.  I think we mentioned them before Christmas when we first listed the Gin but for anyone who missed it, here’s a reminder:

It is a little known fact that the inception of TLDC started long before Darren and Nick Taylor met in 2011, or when Andrew joined the Team in 2012. Really, the history of the company stretches all the way back to 1807, when a serial entrepreneur by the name of Ralph Dodd sent a prospectus to potential investors outlining his plans for a new distillery. Having grown tired of the pernicious quality of spirits being retailed at the time, establishing such a company, in his mind, was a necessity, a virtue and “a national good”.

The London Distillery Company as Ralph Dodd dreamt it over two hundred years ago was never fully realised. But his vision, to provide the British public with Genuine British Spirits of the best quality and without any adulteration, is a noble one that we at TLDC continue to champion today.

Yes indeed, here in south west London, on the wrong side of the river for many, we have our very own distillery.  The Whisky is still very much in its infancy but the Gin is definitely fully grown up.  Andrew MacLeod Smith, the head distiller gave us an hour and a half of his time, talked us through the botanicals (and why they chose particular ones), the process, the problems and pitfalls, and of course the success.  It was a fascinating experience, he is a superb advocate of his product and the location of the distillery is the stuff of fairytales (to my mind at least) – it’s a distillery, next door to a pub, next door to a pop-up ‘Street Kitchen’ and then across the courtyard (via the Table Tennis tables) you have McGuigan’s Gym – owned by Shane son of Barry, who was in attendance.  Brilliant, when can I move in!

All good things come to an end and we returned to Wimbledon Park, the whiff of juniper still strong in our noses, thoroughly enthused by what three people can achieve through dollops of hard work and buckets of self belief (and a helpful splash of crowd funding!)

The Gin is open here on our spirits tray, so if you want to taste what all the fuss is about then just say the word.  Dodd’s Gin (49.9%) – £37.50.

Don’t fret though, I haven’t forgotten, we are a wine shop and thus, of wine we must talk!  Everybody should be back on the wine boat now but if you feel unsure about where to recommence your wine odyssey then why not come and taste what we have open this weekend:

Reichsrat Von Buhl Riesling Trocken 2012 £13.99 – this is a rip-roaring world class Riesling.  Dry, with peachy aromas, a hint of flinty minerality yet still fleshy on the palate.  Really long, vibrant finish with a mere hint of grapefruit – brilliant.

Maison des Bulliats Regnie 2012 – £10.99 – We’ve been buying this wine for a few years now and it just seems to get better and better!  Soft fruit tannins, great structure and a great length.  Fred and Helen, who own the vineyard, live in Southfields so we’re keeping it local, sort of!

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