Carte Des Vins
Green nettles lime zest. Picked early, fermented cold, in stainless steel, and bottled early. You should be drinking 2014 now, 2015 will be out soon. It does not improve with age.
So which to choose The Loire or Marlborough NZ? NZ is fruitier (gooseberries) and the Loire especially Sancerre more minerally. So personally NZ on its own and French with food. But hey you pays your money, enjoy whichever you choose.
MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND
Tin Pot Hut Sauvignon Blanc £22.95
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc ½ bottle 37.5cl £12.95, £22.95
Kim Crawford’s ‘Spitfire’ £25.60
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc £26.95
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc £34.95
HAWKES BAY, NEW ZEALAND
Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc £23.50
Domaine de Bellevue Pouilly Fumé £25.95
Raphael Midoir’s Sancerre £27.95
Quite a few people are ABC (Anything But Chardonnay), and it’s a shame, there are some really good Chardonnays out there and we’ve got 7of them. Chardonnay lends itself to oaking, but if you prefer stainless steel our Verse 1 is great. Muscadet is actually a sort of Chardonnay called Melon de Borgogne.
Verse 1, Western Australia – unoaked £22.50
Brookland Valley Estate, Margaret River – oaked for 8 months in French oak £28.50
Collezione Privata 2013 Chardonnay, Tuscany – oaked £47.50
Domaine Laroche Saint Martin Chablis, Burgundy, France £28.75
– unoaked crystalline purity, and steely minerality
Château de Chaintré Pouilly Fuissé – 10% of wine is oaked £30.95
Muscadet winter spent on its lees no oak
Château du Coing Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, France £19.25
Chateau de L’Oiseliniere Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, France £21.50
Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio (Same Clone)
Home is Alsace in NE France where it can produce complex, rich, beautiful wines. Pinot Grigio from North Italy can also produce great wines, like our Franz Haas, produced in the Alps just north of Lake Garda. Unfortunately there are too many over irrigated, high production Pinots that lack any intensity, produced on the Venetian plains. They will never darken the Cellar.
Tin Pot Hut Pinot Gris, New Zealand £23.60
Cave de Hunawihr Pinot Gris, Alsace, France £23.50
Franz Haas Pinot Grigio, Alto-Adige, Italy £25.95
My favourite white grape. Forget the sweet rubbish the Germans foisted on us in the 70s and 80s, they also used it to degrease VWs. All of our Rieslings are dry, infact, our German example is bone dry. The perfume on the nose is delightful, sometimes with green apples.
Peter Lehmann’s ‘Wigan’ Riesling, Australia £24.75
Kamptal Riesling, Austria £25.80
Axel Pauly’s The Purist Riesling, Germany £25.95
Cave de Hunawihr Grand Cru Riesling ‘Rosacker’, Alsace, France £28.85
Franz Haas Manna Schweizer, Alto-Adige, Italy £37.95
(50% Riesling, 20% Traminer, 20% barrel fermented Chardonnay and 10% barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc)
Other White Grapes
Spain’s most characterful grape, apricots, peach, with a lovely grapefruit acidity. Quite rare.
Martin Codax Albarino, Galicia, Spain £23.50
The white wine from the Northern Rhone.Soft in texture, pears and apricots.
Maison Nicolas Perrin Viognier £20.95
Le Canon Du Marechal Muscat Viognier £21.50
From Rueda next to Ribera del Duero, if you have resisted the urge to have Vina Sol when on holiday in Spain, and enjoyed the wine it will have been Verdejo. Fresh sharp, quite acidic. I love it.
Flor de Vetus Rueda Verdejo £21.25
The white wine of Austria, yes they also use Riesling very successfully but Gruner is their main grape and very good it can be to. I’m a fan of New Zealand winemaker Matt Thompson and his take on this grape in Marlborough is wonderful.
Kamptal Gruner Veltliner, Austria £25.50
Blank Canvas, Marlborough, New Zealand £25.99
Great with Pate and some cheeses, not with Chicken or Fish. Gewurtzraminer means spice in German and it’s home is Alsace.
Santa Digna, Spain £20.75
Cave de Hunawihr Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France £22.95
The only grape grown in Burgundy other than Chardonnay.
Domaine Perraud Bourgogne Aligote £22.75
Because red wines are very often blends, especially in France, our red section is divided into areas rather than grapes.
Bordeaux is divided into three main areas. The left bank, which is the area south west of The Gironde Estuary, the right bank which is the area to its North east across the Estuary, and Entre DeuxMer the area in between the Garonne and the Dordogne the two rivers which run into the estuary. The left bank uses a majority of Cabernet Sauvignon, often 60%, the remainder being Merlot. Cabernet Sauvignon are small thick skinned, dark blue grapes which have quite a lot of tannins. Merlot grapes are plumper and plumier. We have two wonderful examples.
Chateau Larose Perganson 2010 £39.95
Lies on the border of Pauillac and Saint-Julien next to Chateau Latour.
Chateau des Landes 2011 £39.95
Lussac Saint-Emilion is a small commune and this wine, the 2011 won in 2012 a gold medal from Concours de Bordeaux Vins D’ Aquitaine, so complex, with so much going on.
COTES DU RHÔNE
The most used grape in the Southern Rhone is Grenache with some Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan, and Mourvèdre. In fact up to 13 different grapes can be used.
Chateau de Bord Laudun 2012 £22.75
Closerie de Vaudieu 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France £32.95
20 years ago this area produced a lot of very undistinguished wine but now the wines can be exciting and very good value. Both of ours use old vines (in some cases over 100 years)of Syrah, Grenache Mouvedre and Carignan.
La Cuvee Mythique, France, 14% ABV £22.95
Ego Cotes du Roussillon-Villages , 15% ABV, Biodynamic £26.95
Wines made from the Sangiovese grape such as Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino can be outstanding, and our oaked Risverva Chianti and Marilisa Allegrini’s Rosso di Montalcino are great examples.
Da Vinci Chianti Riserva, Italy £24.95
Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany £29.95
Exciting progress over the last few years, led by American Mark Shannon who learnt wine making with Louis Roederer.
Imprint Primitivo Appassito, Italy £22.75
‘Prima Mano’ Primitivo, Italy £25.75
Valpolicella grape. Light and cherryish or burly Amarone (grapes dried on slats until dry).
Alpha Zeta Valpolicella, Italy £19.50
Amarone Valpolicella, Italy £33.95
Australia and New Zealand
Australia took the Syrah grape from the Northern Rhone where it is grown in a small area, changed its name to Shiraz and unleashed it on the world.
It can be absolutely outstanding as our Red Queen of Eden Valley demonstrates, but at a far more affordable price try either our Dandelion Vineyards from the Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale, the latter has 5% Riesling added, and I love it.
New Zealand produces Syrah, as they choose to call it, mainly in Hawkes Bay, and it is more subdued, more French.
Both countries make excellent Pinot Noir, but I prefer New Zealand’s and so we offer three, all different in character but retaining the bright, juicy red berry, vanilla, soft finish. The Blank Canvas is oaked.
Dandelion Vineyards Shiraz/Riesling £22.50
Dandelion Vineyards Shiraz ½ bottle 37.5cl £13.25 £22.75
Dandelion Vineyards Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz £55.75
Brookland Valley Cabernet Merlot, Margaret River £27.50
S C Pannell Grenache Shiraz Touriga £27.50
Jester Cabernet Sauvignon £24.25
Jester Shiraz £24.25
Mitolo G.A.M Shiraz £39.95
Mitolo The Angela £32.50
Mitolo Serpico £49.95
Trinity Hill Syrah, best enjoyed young £24.50
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah, hydroponic, small French oak barrells £29.95
The two best known areas are Rioja and Ribera del Duero, both areas main grape is Tempranillo, although it’s called Tinto del Pais or Tinto Fino in Rib. D., whose wines tend to be more expensive, in fact Vega Sicilia and Peter Sisseck’s Pingus can be thousands of Euros a bottle.
Right in the middle of these two is a vineyard called Villacreces where until the turn of the century their grapes were used by both neighbours. Along came Lalo Anton of Izadi fame who bought it and stated producing his own wines.
We’ve got all three, ‘cos I think Izadi Rioja Reserva is great and such good value, while Orben which comes from a single vineyard owned by 50 Michelin starred restaurants including the aforementioned Lalo is stunning.
Pruno 2011, Rib D £25.95
Nebro 2006. Rib D £145.00
Villacreces 2013, Rib D £38.75
Pesquera, Rib D £45.00
Pago de Carraovejas, Rib D £47.50
Flor de Vetus, Toro £23.95
Cuatro Pasos, Galicia £20.50
Cien y Pico – 100 & something being the age of the Garnacha vines, Manchuela £22.50
Cien y Pico Knights Errant, Manchuela £30.75
Izadi Reserva, Rioja £23.95
Orben 2010, Rioja £33.95
Tondonia 2003, Rioja £47.50
Slate quartzite, very old Garnacha vines (Grenache in French).
Small specialised area South West of Barcelona, if you have 5 minutes read Gonzo’s story about Priorat at the end of this Wine List.
Mas La Mola by Jordi Masdeu and Alessandro Marcheson £39.95
Mas la Mola ‘La VinyetaVella’ (Ancient Vineyard) £59.99
L’Expressio del Priorat £28.75
Think Argentina red and you think Malbec, which is known as Cahor or Cot on the Loire.
There is no doubt that Argentina suits this grape better than anywhere else.
A couple of years ago a winemaker on the Loire who is a personal friend said “Pete why don’t you buy my Cot?”
“Well” I ventured “In England people know it by the name Malbec, no one has heard of Cot.” He now labels it Malbec and the people around Tours, Blois, and Orléans are getting used to a ‘new’ wine.
We have three Argentinian Malbecs with the Kaiken Terroir Series containing a little Bonarda to add a floral character and the Petit Verdot some tannin, firmness and body. All of them are oaked.
Kaiken Terroir, Malbec, Bonarda and Petit Verdot £20.75
Famiglia Bianchi, Malbec £22.95
Kaiken Ultra, Malbec £24.75
Chile produces some good wines but a certain amount of discrimination is required. I think our choices below represents very good value.
Montes Alpha Pinot Noir £22.95
Clos des Fous Grillos Cantores (Cabernet Sauvignon) £22.90
We have given Pinot Noir it’s own heading as it is such a unique grape and quite a few people who would not describe themselves as red wine drinkers like the light, perfumed, tasty strawberry flavour.
Before you assume that it is just an easy drinking wine it can also produce stunning wines.
It buds and ripens early and is difficult to grow so it is not cheap.
Ours go from the light to the wines with so much going on such as Blank Canvas.
Rua Pinot Noir 2013 £29.50
Stopbanks Pinot Noir £20.65
Blank Canvas Pinot Noir £34.50
Sancerre Rouge £23.95
Montes Alpha Pinot Noir £22.95
THE ENGLISH INVENTED CHAMPAGNE.
The French claim that the monk Dom Perignon invented Champagne in the late 1690s. This claim is based on an anonymous document written in 1718. The author is most likely to have been M. Godinot, who judging by the complete disregard for the truth, was probably an ancestor of Alistair Campbell.
If we accept that the French did indeed have Champagne in 1698, they were at least 30 years after us. It could not have been earlier than that in Reims because they did not have either glass that could withstand the pressure, nor corks.
The French used wood fired glass, we had coal fired glass, and we had rediscovered cork, after both countries had lost it since the Romans. The French used wooden bungs wrapped in hemp, and bearing in mind that the pressure inside a bottle of Champagne is equal to that of a double decker bus tyre, it stood little or no chance, and little had left town.
What actually happened was the English imported still wine from the Reims area once fermentation had stopped due to the onset of winter in northern France.
The English re- bottled it in our coal fired bottles and put the corks in. In the warm English pubs/taverns the wine started fermenting again and bingo Champagne. Dom Perignon actually tried to take the bubbles out of Champagne.
A poem by Sir George Etheredge in 1676 puts the matter into perspective.
THE MAN OF MODE
To the Mall and the Park
Where we love till ’til tis dark,
Then sparkling Champaign
Puts an end to their reign,
It quickly recovers
Poor languishing lovers,
Makes us frolic and gay,
And drowns all sorrow,
But, Alas,We relapse again on the morrow.
Prior to that in 1662 Christopher Merret put forward to the Royal Society some observations, concerning sparkling wine. So the English had Champagne 6 years before Dom Pom even visited Reims, 30 years before the first sparkling wine, was produced in France, 80 years before the first Champagne House was established.
The EU in its wisdom has said only fizz produced in the Reims / Epernay area can be called Champagne, a word that they have misspelled, to describe a drink first made in England. So we will use the original word to describe our superb fizz; CHAMPAIGN.
The Champagne House of Devaux is synonymous with the history of Champagne. Founded in 1846 by the brothers Jules and Auguste Devaux, it was taken over by Madame Augusta Devaux, one of Champagne’s great characters, who ran the company with great energy and skill.
The leap forward in quality that she initiated led to the company being renamed Maison Veuve (widow) A. Devaux on her death. The Devaux Champagnes are full and expressive, yet elegant and refreshing, in style. Only the initial, lightly pressed juice (the cuvee) is used.
Devaux 20cl £14.95
Devaux 75cl £42.50
Not to be confused with Piper Heidsieck which is not in the same class, the original Champagne Charlie wins all the awards, in fact at a recent tasting it beat a £350 Dom Perignon much to the chagrin of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.
It is truly one of the great Champagnes. The winemaker Daniel Thibault who died in 2002 and his successor Régis Camus have between them won the International Wine Challenge a remarkable 13 times.
Charles Heidsieck Brut 75cl £54.95
Charles Heidsieck Rose 75cl £64.95
Veuve Clicquot 75cl £49.95
All champagnes are subject to availability.
Champaign (sic) (see previous page)
Jenkyn Place 75cl Brut and Rose £35.95
We have recently been introduced to this champaign, but rate it very highly.
The taste of apples and other fruit is very obvious on the palate.
A sparkling wine made in France but not in the Champagne region, although it can often be made in the same way and with the same grapes.
Domaine de Bellevue 75cl £25.75
Domaine de Bellevue Rose 75cl £25.75
Conti d’Arco Brut 75cl £19.95
The drink of St Marks Square, Venice
Freixenet 20cl £6.00
Raphael Midoire Doux (made with Sauvignon Blanc) 10cl £4.95
Semi-sweet, halfway between say a Sauternes and a Chablis.
Lovely with most desserts or blue cheese but again like a Sauternes not with any of our main meals.
Rivesaltes Ambre 1997 10cl £5.50 37.5cl £21.95
The Cazes family make their wines in a vast amphitheatre between The Pyrenees and the Mediterranean in Rivesaltes.
They farm organically and biodynamically and have done since 1997.
Since when they have found the vineyards are healthier, the vines are stronger with longer roots.This 1997 Ambre, to describe it’s colour, which has been oak aged for 15 years, has strong aromas reminiscent of dried fruit and candied citrus fruit peel.
No one can believe the price we are selling this at and nor will you after you have tried it!
Chateau Laville Sauternes 10cl – £6.95 – 37.5cl – £27.95
Chateau Laville is Jean-Christophe Barbe’s family property. He is also a Professor of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux and his list of famous students would fill this page. His particular area of expertise is ‘noble rot’ (botrytis cinerea for any ancient Romans reading this).
This is a mould which forms on the Semillion, Sauvignon, and Muscadelle grapes during the mild misty nights, and then increases during the warm days so the grape skins become brown and pulpy. You never taste the skins but the concentrated juice produces an intense smooth, very sweet, rich, flower scented, sublime golden liquid.Try with sweet desserts or blue cheese.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others?
A French word to denote the natural physical environment of the vine, taking into account the soil, climate, and the exposure to the sun.
AMOUNT OF WINE PRODUCED PER HECTARE
Less is better, so how close are the vines to one another. Irrigation is bad, you want the vine roots to go deep in search of water, that way more nutrients are sucked up.
CARE OF VINES AND THEN GRAPES
Careful pruning, then grapes should be hand picked and put into very shallow trays to avoid crushIng.
Grapes are sorted and de stemmed.
Oak ageing is expensive. New small barrels are more expensive than large old ones and they impart more oak into the wine.
Always make sure the wine is bottled where it is made. Not transported half way around the world and then bottled in England.
SINGLE VINEYARD, OWNERSHIP OF VINEYARD, OR BUYING IN FROM LOCAL GROWERS
None of these are bad but they do affect the price. Just as an example Frank Mitolo’s ‘Serpico’ Cab Sav. grown on a single vineyard is 3 or 4 times the price of his Jester Cab Sav. which comes from other parts of his estate. Or Michel Laroche’s Domaine Laroche in Chablis, which has 90 hectares of it’s own. His Petit Chablis and Chablis are very good wines but are made from grapes he buys in from local growers. The Cellar has wine from his St Martin vines which give unoaked crystalline purity and steely minerality.
NASTIES AND WATER ADDED TO WINE
Some wines have chemicals added to mask poor wine, acid if it’s not got enough natural acidity, for example. Sugar is sometimes added if there is not enough alcohol because the grapes didn’t have enough sugar naturally,and that can lead to pushing up the alcohol to 16% or17% and then adding water to bring it down to 12%. NEVER AT THE CELLAR.
There are of course other factors, such as if Robert Parker the excellent American wine writer and connoisseur raves about a wine the price can go up and you get Russian oligarchs paying thousands of dollars a bottle for Chatreau Petrus a very good Merlot from the right bank in Bordeaux. Good luck to the restaurant in New York and the commune in Pomerol, but in all honesty there are better wines at less money.