An Army of Dads

Fellow Wine Lovers,

A special hello to all of you who are still at your desks – we salute you!  If you’re pulling a late one or working tomorrow, then we not only salute you but we also play you a short fanfare.  If you’re working on Sunday, then you’re perhaps a footballer or a cabbie (but definitely not a train or tube driver), or an emergency worker or a publican – either way, a crucial cog in the Christmas wheel and, for this, we salute you, play a fanfare and raise a toast!

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you will be fully aware that we’re almost there, Christmas is upon us and that this is the penultimate email of 2016.  Next week we’ll give a round-up of the year but right now we will try, probably unsuccessfully, to be succinct in our prose…

Don’t panic!

Lance Corporal Jones had it in nutshell.  There’s still time.  The shops are still open.  A great number of them will be open on Monday.  We are open now until 8pm today and then tomorrow from 10am until 5pm.  7 hours of opening on Christmas Eve, 8 hours left today – 15 hours.  Masses of time, masses.

You stupid boy!

Having said that, as we get closer to ground zero, to 5pm tomorrow, there will be less and less stock in the shop as boots get filled and wish-lists get ticked off.  Just because we had 12 bottles of Krohn’s 2007 LBV on Monday doesn’t mean we have any left today (we don’t, the last bottle left yesterday) but we have plenty of Krohn’s 2011 LBV – £18.99 to replace it – another stellar vintage.  Don’t miss out – if you know you want it, don’t get caught out!

However, if you’ve been fruitless in your search for the right gift for that special person, don’t forget that we still have spaces left on our Wine School that starts on Wednesday 25th January and takes place for 6 of the next 7 weeks, with a week off for half term.  6 weeks, 60 wines, £150 per person – a gift that keeps on giving!  Full details attached.

They don’t like it up ’em!

Taking time off from being bossy and impertinent, something that has caught our eye, and subsequently made it water uncontrollably, has been Burgundy.  This time of year we sell a lot of red and white from this delightful region, their wines being almost perfect foils for much of the favoured festive foods.  At this time of year we also get invitations to early January tastings of newly released vintages – this time it’ll be 2015 release.  Wayne had a scoot through the various offerings earlier in the week and unearthed some scary, to us at least, facts.

Firstly, the drinking windows seemed remarkably short for the majority of the wines on offer, which means these are not wines for investment.  Secondly, the prices.  Now, Burgundy hasn’t had a great time of late with some atrocious weather conditions and lower yielding vintages.  Triumphing over such adversity hasn’t been easy, but thanks to a combination of smaller production and higher pricing,  ‘drinking’ Burgundy has gone through the stratosphere whilst ‘collecting’ Burgundy is somewhere near Mars.

On our shelf currently – Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2012 (Tremblay) is £35.99 – the next release of Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir 2015 (Billaud) will be circling around £60.  Puligny Montrachet 2013 (Miolane) is on our shelves for £35.99 – whilst the next release – Puligny Montrachet 2015 (Chavy) is a nice round £50.  On the collecting side, Domaine Leflaive is releasing the debut vintage for their Saint-Véran under the Domaine’s label – this will be about £35 on the shelf – gulp!

We could go on but it’s not going to cheer anyone up – might be time to look elsewhere.

Don’t tell him, Pike!

We’ll be opening wine as usual today and tomorrow.  As it’s Christmas, it’s a bit of a lottery really – we’ve been asked for wine matches for Carp, Pike and Herring from those customers who celebrate on Christmas Eve and Turkey, Reindeer and Rib of Beef for the Christmas day celebrators.  It’s hard to choose just one wine for such a smorgasbord, so we often sit on the fence.  This week, having visited France and Italy over the last few weeks, we’ve decided from our safe position, legs astride the barrier, to look at the new world a bit more closely.

But not before we open some English Fizz.  ‘We never list new wines in December’ is our stock response to any of our reps who try it on in late November.  But then Louisa emailed us to let us know that the Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé Brut NV (£36.99) had just been awarded a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge, the place Alex slopes off to every six months for some intensive, blind-judging.  Anyway, we used to sell the Brut from these chaps, so asked for a sample, which we proceeded to taste with a group of willing tipplers at our Wine & Cheese tasting.  It was gorgeous, so we listed it, and thus broke our ‘no new wines in December’ rule.  Come and try it, I think you’ll understand why!

And then we’re off to New Zealand and the USA.  Neudorf Chardonnay 2014 (£26.99) coming from Nelson in the South Island, this is really quite stunning – elegant, concentrated and rich, much like Wayne.

From the USA, we have Domaine Drouhin Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2013 (£33.99) which is smooth, fruity, spicy with a little sultry smokiness, again, much like Wayne.  When we put on our Pinot Around The World And I Can’t Find My Favourite tasting earlier this year, this was the outright winner – no fence sitting there.

Port?  Why not.  Krohn’s 2011 LBV (£18.99) as mentioned above, will be opened and awaiting your glass, form an orderly queue.

Put that light out!

Not much more to add.  We’ll be here right up to the last knockings tomorrow – 5pm is our estimated turfing out time, although over the last six Christmas’ we have still had browsers in at 5.01… and then we’ll turn the lights back on next Thursday 29th December, just in time to write the next email!

So swing by, have a mince pie, some wine and port and let us wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


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