Monday, 31 January 2011

On the road with Nigel

Had a good afternoon last Thursday with Keir Meikle proprietor of the excellent Navy Inn in Penzance tasting our way though a raft of new wine ideas for 2011. Lots of the samples came from our friends at Stratfords. Three Chardonnays from Columbia Crest, Washington State – Two Vines, Grand Estate and Horse Heaven Hills showed varying levels of complexity with the latter two showing judicious use of oak. I liked them all but HHH had the best balance. Well made oaked Chardonnay is a delight to go back to when you get a bit bored with the plethora of rediscovered grape varieties that it is our wont to get behind.

Toso Malbec Ros̩ was a bit of handful Рeverybody loved it. Tried it again today, still good but Henry hated it. Rosedale Barossa Shiraz 2008 was popular however I found it a bit too much of a fruit bomb for yours truly. Dined at Samphire, Falmouth on Friday

Samphire Restaurant

Friday, 28 January 2011

Recent tastings with Mike

Food & wine matching seminar

Mike was over in Newquay earlier this week doing a food and wine matching workshop with students at Newquay for Excellence Training. After taking them through an exercise in how we taste generally and then how to taste wine specifically, they were introduced to four characteristically defined wines.

Chateau Peyruchet, a Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux: clean and refreshing with green apple freshness in the mouth. Lightly floral and fruity on the nose. Really worked with the soft goat’s cheese we ate.
Wombat Hill Classic Reserve Chardonnay from S.E. Australia. Lush vanilla oak nicely balanced by a rush of citric fruit. Some weight in here, but not overpowering.

Domaine Astruc Pinot Noir, Languedoc. Grown in the Limoux foothills, this wine shows off Pinot Noir very well, almost unexpectedly given the southern aspect of the vineyards, but the protection from the Pyrenees keeps the area a bit cooler. Light tannins are hardly evident in the juicy mouthful where red berry fruits dominate the palate. Very good with prawns and chilli dipping sauce.

Vina Herminia Preferido, a semi-crianza from Rioja, was used to demonstrate the effect of American oak on red wines. The 8 month aging imparts just enough robust wood flavours to show how it works without overpowering the freshness of the grapes.

All of these wines are available in our shop.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Nigel's Musings

Enjoyed some fabulous Henschke Keyneton Estate 2004 at the Trengilly Wartha Inn this week, it went really well with haggis, neeps & tatties for Burns night celebrations - no joke. A bottle of Fermoy Estate Merlot at the same venue was a bit disappointing, it's definitely now in decline.

Off to the Gweek Inn on Saturday to present their wines at their gourmet evening. Showing some 1999 Monbazillac which should be fun.

Henschke Keyneton Estate 2004 & Monbazillac both currently available in the shop.

Tipple of the Month

There are some nice parts to chilly wintry days; the sunsets as you drive down to Penzance of an evening have been absolutely stunning of late. Immense pink skies that almost take your breath away, a really good pick-me-up to the end of any bad day.

To also help with those winter blues, we suggest a roaring fire combined with a good glass of red. Currently tasting very good is the El Primero Graciano.

Graciano is one of the minor grapes of Rioja. Minor is a bit misleading since all great blended wines such Claret, Champagne and many Super Tuscans rely on them to provide structure, colour, texture or complexity to the main players like Tempranillo, Cabernet, etc.

This 100% Graciano from Navarra is blood rich and dripping with deep black, smoky fruit over layers of ripe tannins. Perfect with roast lamb or any game dishes.

Currently in the shop at £7.00 a bottle or a case of 12 for £79.75.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

New Years Resolutions...

..did you have any? Have they gone out the window now or is your willpower proving resilient? A few groaning belts and 'I will never overindulge on mince pies again' could be heard at the start of the year in the office but otherwise everybody seems to be quite fresh faced.

It was a positive end to 2010 with the experiment of a wine grotto in the warehouse proving a success.

For the run up to the festive period we had a bit of a tidy up in the warehouse and opened it up as part of the retail shop space, offering more party wines and lots of offers that you don't normally see in the shop.

It went down well with all our regular customers and combined with an advert in the local press pulled in lots of new faces. So much so that we are now thinking of keeping this space as part of the shop with regular offers, promotions & tastings happening across the year.
If you haven't been in yet, pop up and see us, we would love to see you. Let us know your feedback on the new grotto space.