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CARTE DES VINS
Green nettles lime zest. Picked early, fermented cold, in stainless steel, and bottled early. You should be drinking 2014 or 2015, except Greywacke Wild Sauvignon. It does not improve with age.
Marlborough, New Zealand
Tin Pot Hut Sauvignon Blanc £23.95
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc £23.95
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc ½ bottle 37.5cl £12.95
Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc £30.95
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc £44.90
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Trinity Hill Sauvignon Blanc £23.95
Domaine de Bellevue Pouilly Fumé £29.95
Raphael Midoir’s Sancerre £29.95
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 £32.95
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels, New Zealand £33.95
Collezione Privata 2013 Chardonnay, Tuscany – oaked £54.95
Domaine Laroche Saint Martin Chablis, Burgundy, France – unoaked steely minerality £32.95
Château de Chaintré Pouilly Fuissé – 10% of wine is oaked £35.95
Muscadet winter spent on its lees no oak
Chateau de L’Oiseliniere Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine, France £22.95
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 discernable taste, produced on the Venetian plains. They will never darken the Cellar.
Alpha Zeta Pinot Grigio, Italy £19.95
Tin Pot Hut Pinot Gris, New Zealand £24.50
Cave de Hunawihr Pinot Gris, Alsace, France £24.50
Franz Haas Pinot Grigio, Alto-Adige, Italy £28.50
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.
Kamptal Riesling, Austria £27.95
Axel Pauly’s The Purist Riesling, Germany £28.50
Plantagenet Great Southern Riesling, Australia £31.95
Franz Haas Manna Schweizer, Alto-Adige, Italy £44.95
(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 £24.95
Made from a blend of 80% Viura and 20% Malvaria, this modern white Rioja combines a purity of fruit with a subtle use of French oak (3 months). It is light in colour with hints of green.
Izadi Rioja Bianco £25.95
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 £23.50
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 £27.75
Blank Canvas, Marlborough, New Zealand £27.95
Great with Pate and some cheeses, not with Chicken or Fish. Gewurtz means spice in German and it’s home is Alsace.
Cave de Hunawihr Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France £23.50
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 Deux Mer 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. The right bank uses Merlot anywhere from 60 to 100% with the remainder being Cab Sav. 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 (left bank) £44.95
Lies on the border of Pauillac and Saint-Julien next to Chateau Latour
Chateau des Landes 2011 (right bank) £44.95
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.
Closerie de Vaudieu 2011 Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France £39.95
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 £23.95
Ego Cotes du Roussillon-Villages , 15% ABV, Biodynamic £29.95
Izadi only uses the best vines in Alavesa, the pre eminent area in Rioja, Izadi Reserva uses 45 year old Tempranillo vines, hand-picked. 18 months in French oak and highly aromatic. Intense red fruits, elegant and balanced.
Izadi Reserva, Rioja £24.95
Izadi El Regalo single vineyard planted 1930, 100% Tempranillo. Manual harvest, sorting table selection. Alcoholic fermentation in French oak vats and then malolactic in French oak barrels. 20 months ageing in French oak barrels ‘a petite grain’. Intense, bright, ruby colour, high aromatic complexity. Velvety and beautifully structured.
El Regalo £49.95
29 hectares of the finest vineyards, at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria, planted between 1945 and 1954 is owned by a number of Spain’s top restauranteurs, so if you want the Rioja that is served in Michelin starred restaurants, very modern in style, not the old heavily oaked, rough, heavy wine, that for me, gave Riojas a bad name. Try this elegant, fresh, yet intense, berried fruit wine with light toasted notes. It has been oaked for 12 months in new French oak and is a wine of great structure, poise, balance and length.
Orben 2010, Rioja £42.95
Malpuesta (which means badly placed due to poor planting in Basque speak). Very low yield old vines. Voluptuous. Fruit forward and so, so complex. Your whole mouth is full of flavour.
RIBERO DEL DUERO
Finca Villacreces was until early this century one of Peter Sisseck’s main suppliers of grapes. Peter Sisseck’s, a world renowned winemaker, markets his wines under his nickname ‘Pingus’. The last ‘Flor de Pingus’ (not his top wine at all) I saw was €750. It now produces its own wines and we stock all 3 which are all highly rated by Robert Parker.
Described by Robert Parker, the god of wine tasters, as the hidden jewel in Ribera del Duero, which is the most expensive area for Spanish wines, Villacreces is part of the golden mile with its neighbours Vega Sicilia and Pingus. Pruno was developed by the team at Villacreces with the intention of making a Rib. D. that could be enjoyed earlier than their icon wines (Villacreces and Nebro, see below). Deep black cherry colour, red fruits, not too much oak. A fruity, pleasant, well structured wine.
Villacreces is 86% Tempranillo, 10% Cab Sav and 4% Merlot. It comes from a selection of low yield plots on the estate. Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel, Malolactic fermentation in oak VATS and French oak barrels. 16 month ageing in new French oak barrels. Inky purple, bouquet of mocha, expresso, toast, graphite and wild blueberries or blueberry liqueur. Full bodied, full flavoured, plush wine with spicy black fruits. Complex, balanced, long after taste with smoky hints.
Nebro 2004 (ours are 91-100 out of 1000 produced). 100% Tempranillo. Very low yield single vineyard and then not every year, produced as the Villacreces above. Opaque purple, layer upon layer of spicy black fruits, well concealed tannins and a soft toasted aftertaste.
Other Spanish Wines
Pesquera, Rib D £45.00
Pago de Carraovejas, Rib D £47.50
Flor de Vetus, Toro £23.95
Cuatro Pasos, Galicia £21.50
Cien y Pico – 100 & something being the age of the Garnacha vines, Manchuela £23.50
Cien y Pico Knights Errant, Manchuela £37.95
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 ‘La Vinyeta Vella’ (Ancient Vineyard) £59.99
L’Expressio del Priorat £39.95
Da Vinci Chianti Riserva, Italy £26.95
Rosso di Montalcino, Tuscany £29.95
Isole e Olena £42.95
Exciting progress over the last few years, led by American Mark Shannon who learnt wine making with Louis Roederer in California.
‘Prima Mano’ Primitivo, Italy £27.75
Valpolicella grape. Light and cherryish or burly Amarone (grapes dried on slats).
Alpha Zeta Valpolicella, Italy £19.95
Alpha Zeta Amarone, Italy £44.95
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.
Famiglia Bianchi, Malbec £23.95
Kaiken Ultra, Malbec £25.75
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 it wins all the awards, 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, all different in character but retaining the bright, juicy red berry, vanilla, soft finish. The Blank Canvas is oaked.
Dandelion Vineyards Shiraz/Riesling £23.50
Dandelion Vineyards Shiraz £23.75
Dandelion Vineyards Shiraz ½ bottle 37.5cl £13.95
Dandelion Vineyards Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz £74.95
S C Pannell Grenache Shiraz Touriga £32.50
Jester Cabernet Sauvignon £26.95
Jester Shiraz £26.95
Mitolo G.A.M Shiraz £51.95
Mitolo The Angela Shiraz £40.95
Mitolo Serpico Cabernet Sauvignon £68.95
Trinity Hill Syrah, best enjoyed young £25.95
Redfin Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon £19.95
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, Central Otago £34.95
Stopbanks Pinot Noir, New Zealand £21.95
Blank Canvas Pinot Noir , New Zealand £38.95
Montes Alpha Pinot Noir, Chile £22.95
Glen Carlou, South Africa £23.50
A Mano Rosato, Puglia, Italy £19.95
Cotes de Provence le Village, France £19.95
CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING WINE
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
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
ENGLISH SPARKLING WINE
Jenkyn Place 75cl Brut £35.95
Jenkyn Place 75cl Rose £35.95
Nyetimber 75cl £44.95
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
Please see the front of this Wine List for our Scavi & Ray Prosecco range.
Raphael Midoire Doux (made with Sauvignon Blanc) 37.5cl £19.95
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.
Greywacke Late Harvest Riesling 10cl £8.50 37.5cl £32.95
The grapes are harvested two months later than normal and this produces an elegant wine, starting with an exotic scent going through a silky, textural sweet wine to a lingering finish.
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.