BinThinking

Wine-Snob

Become a wine bore yourself..

“Exactly HOW did you become quite this boring Mike?” It’s an often asked question.  Sadly I have to reply that for me it comes naturally.  For those less gifted I’m afraid there’s no short-cut…you simply HAVE to put the requisite hours in to learn how to become anywhere near as tedious as I am.

So if you’re feeling ready to take your first baby steps towards coming a wine bore our good friends at Fifteen have opened up the opportunity for our wine club members to join in their Wine and Spirits Education Trust level 2 training.

 

Fortunately the course is being run by the highly entertaining and extremely knowledgable Gordon Lawrence – former sommelier at Fifteen, wine guru and all round good guy.  He’ll be able to cover off all you need to know about the world of wine in a friendly, informative and accessible style.  He knows nothing about being boring though – for that you’ll need to come back to the master.

The dates are:
20/2/2016
27/2/2016
5/3/2016
12/3/2016

It is essential for the candidates to attend every date. The day runs from 9.30am – 5.00pm (approx) and will be held in the restaurant at Fifteen Cornwall alongside our Fifteen staff.

The price of the course is £300 (including VAT)

Gordon has a 100% pass rate for his WSET courses and the split is as follows…

Pass 29%
Pass with merit 50%
Pass with distinction 21%

The course would suit anyone who’d like to learn more about wine but from a professional perspective this is what the course can deliver:

The WSET® Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits is intended for those who have little or no previous knowledge of the broad range of wines and spirits. It is suitable wherever a sound but simple level of product knowledge is required to underpin job skills and competencies for example, in the customer service and sales functions of the hospitality, retailing and wholesaling industries. It is also useful for those who have a serious interest in wine, and wish to broaden their knowledge in a structured way. Successful candidates will be able to interpret the labels of the major wines and spirits of the world and give basic guidance on appropriate selection and service, as well as understand the principles of wine tasting and evaluation.

If you’d like to sign up for the course please contact the lovely Claire Geach at Fifteen.

claireg@fifteencornwall.co.uk

01637 861000 ex:297

…until it’s an acceptable time to enjoy a glass of our fabulous wine.

Wines you’ve loved…

So there I was thinking about what I could add to our January newsletter to pad it out during our closure for maintenance.  It occurred to me that we often write about the wines we love and I wondered whether your favourites matched ours.

Trawling the very depths of my technical know how (pretty limited) I dove into our highly complex stock management programme (pretty impenetrable) to find the answers.  And here they are – your favourite wines of 2015.  So if you don’t trust our judgement on these matters then fear not!  The masses have spoken and they’ve given you a pretty clear steer about what they like.  Democracy may have its foundations firmly rooted in ancient Greece but I think we can all agree that the concept has reached its pinnacle here!

Perhaps unsurprisingly your favourites mirror our terrace wines.  What’s incredibly reassuring though is that those wines are our best sellers both in terms of wines served by the glass on the terrace and as bottles that are subsequently bought and taken home (phew!)

jacksonestate-sauvignon-20131. Jackson Estate Green Lip Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Malborough, New Zealand. £14.50

Your love affair with this zippy little number continues undiminished.  It’s a long term fixture on our terrace menu and, to be honest, I’ve often thought about swapping it out just for a change.  But I daren’t – nothing else comes close in terms of sales.  It is the undisputed King of the off sale and it kicks dust in the eyes of all challengers in terms of terrace sales.  And why not.. it’s a gem of a Sauvignon from seasoned winemaker John Stichbury at Jackson Estate.  All the juicy, gooseberry fruit you’ll ever need – in a tight, mineral wrapper.  Summer in a glass!

2. Picpoul de Pinet 2013, Duc De Morny, Languedoc, France.  £9.50

I think it’s the breadth of appeal, versatility and sheer value for money that have won our “house white” second place in your hearts.  Equally satisfying enjoyed on it’s own or with a nice, simple fish dish.

Tight, fresh, savoury white grown in the Languedoc close to the Mediterranean Sea; medium weight, lovely flavour and fairly dry.  Definitely a good party option as there’s nothing in this wine that’s likely to jar with anyone.

What’s not to love?

3.  Knightor Trevannion 2013, Cornwall. £17.50

Top markknightor-trevannion-2013s to team Knightor!  I guess that’s one of the beauty of serving wines by the glass – it gives folk the confidence to try something that they might otherwise overlook.  And overlook it you might well have done as the Trevannion is a rich, fragrant and aromatic blend of varieties unfamiliar to many – Siegerrebe, Schonburger and Pinot Gris. But those who have tried it have been rewarded with citrus and peach flavours, great texture and a lingering finish.

A fabulous wine that’s converted particularly well from sales by the glass to sales of bottles to take away.  It’s incredibly satisfying for us when we offer up something a little different and you embrace it.  Well done you!

4. Rimauresq Rosé Cru Classé 2013, Provence, France.  £13.50

Your love of rosé continued unabated in 2015 – no doubt helped by the long, warm summer and incredibly mild winter; we were still selling decent quantities of the Rimauresq out on the terrace right up until Christmas!  And why not – this classic provence rosé is equally at home as an aperitif or as a partner for smoked salmon as it is as a sunny day quaffer.  Experts (not me silly) predict that the thirst for decent rosé will grow in 2016.  Talk about being behind the curve!  You’ve all been in on the secret for some years now – there’s not much that screams “summer’s here!” than the dainty, fruity hit of a bone dry rosé!  Mouth-watering stuff and well deserving of a place in your top wine picks.

billecartsalmon-brutreserve5. Knightor Brut NV, Cornwall. £29.50

Adding this cracking English sparkling wine to the terrace menus was one of our first decisions on taking over BinTwo.  We loved it and the notion of giving a small, local producer some support held its own appeal.  No-one’s more delighted than us then to see this little belter claim fifth place.

It’s no over-statement to say that you’ve raved about it agreeing with our assessment that it’s an elegant little number showing just how good English sparkling wine is!  Light with a fine mousse, restrained fruit flavours, crisp yet soft acidity and a clean refreshing finish. Come on England!

6. Billecart-Salmon Brut NV, Champagne, France. £39.50

Delicate, fresh, so elegant: some would say peachy. Very classy and hopelessly easy to drink. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Meunier.  It comes as no surprise to us that this superb offering from one of the oldest (and still family owned) Champagne Houses still holds a dear place in your hearts – you have very good taste!

7.  Chateau Civrac 2008, Bordeaux, France. £12.50

Chateau_Civrac_Beth_Druce_23_uHvgz0mSa27j8Ak272jR-3319x1654.dm.crop_270_957_3319_1654_shnhWhoop! Whoop!  Well done Cornishman turned Bordeaux wine maker Mark Hellyar!  A well deserved placing for his 2008 (it made it onto my top six wines of the year too!)

The Civrac 2008 ended up on our terrace menu this year by very happy accident. Our planned introduction of Mark’s Indigo blend had to be deferred so Mark worked with us to provide the stunning 2008 at a price that enabled us to adopt it as our entry level terrace red. We’ve passed that reduction on to you which means that the 2008 is among the very best bang for your bucks in the shop! We tasted the 2008 a couple of years ago and it’s since then it’s really come into its own developing into a beautifully well aged wine. Middle-weight, bright dark fruit flavours with a savoury edge. Very smooth and very quaffable.

The feedback from customers has been great and the chance to try it on the terrace has pushed sales of this morandina-valpolicella-2013cracking wine up into the top dozen in the shop this year. A great wine at a great price, made by a winemaker we like working with and whose story we love – a wine that many of you seemed to love too.

8. Morandina Pra 2013, Valpolicella, Italy. £12.50

Graziano Pra is one clever Italian. He makes world-class Soave (à la Bourgogne Blanc) and then turns his hand to neighbouring Valpolicella. This is a very pretty un-oaked red, light, scented and beautifully fruity.  A fabulous option for a summer red that lends itself well to being served slightly chilled (the strawberry notes seem to jump up a notch)

9. Pouilly Fuissé 2013, Domain Ferret, Burgundy, France.  £23.50

I can’t lie, this is my favourite white on the menu at the moment – perhaps revealing my current love affair with richly-textured, buttery whites.  We tasted well over a dozen Poulliy Fuissés looking for that one wine that would make us all stop, sit up and share that “Oh My Gosh” look before selecting the Domain Ferret for the terrace menu.  It’s a wine that certainly rewarded our patience; a simply luscious burgundy. Fleshy, rich and with perfect balance.  It’s the most expensive white on the menu and perhaps it’s that (plus the dreaded “chardonnay” word) that ferret-puillyfuisse-2012pushed this stunning wine down to number nine.  But that said I’m delighted that so many of you tried it, loved it as I do, then bought a load to take home!  Be assured that you’ve joined those of us “in the know” and toast your excellent good-taste.

10. Clos du Val Zinfandel 2012, Napa Valley, USA. £23.50

Another experiment on the terrace menu for us this year – introducing a wine from the U.S of A to see what you’d make of it.  But what to choose…It had to be Napa Valley really and we settled on this mouth-wateringly luscious Californian Zinfandel. Perfectly balancing layers of flavour: ripe red cherries, sweet spice, vanilla and brambly notes. A powerful red, silky and bursting with fruit…you all loved it too; Clos du Val never fail to deliver!  It’s a cracking winery – their Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are all top notch too (which sets me thinking about the 2016 terrace menu…)


11. Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV, Champagne, France. £60.00

There’s no disguising sheer quality and this long-standing BinTwo favourite whispers “classy little number” from the Billecart-BrutRose_3006_Macro_NM_C_002moment the delicate mousse kisses your palate.  Quite simply it’s just plain lush! A rosé Champagne made by the ‘assemblage’ method. It’s very delicately salmon-pink but gives a fuller lick of red fruit on the palate.  Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier & Pinot Noir.  Treat yourself, become instantly more discerning and revel in the knowledge that you’ve just made a smart choice to imbibe something very, very special.

 

 

So I guess it’s perhaps unsurprising that our top off sales are those wines that you’ve been able to try on the terrace.  There are some other stand out wines that seem to sell themselves:  Camel Valley Brut and Camel Valley Brut Rosé leap out as ever popular big sellers and I had to check three times before I’d believe the quantity of Tarquin’s Gin you’ve bought this year.

What was reassuring (and rewarding) was seeing that once you exclude the terrace wines and the well known “so good they sell themselves” items, the wines that leap out in terms of sales are those that we’ve got behind.  Those are wines that we’ve found, tasted and loved.  Wines that usually have a great story behind them.  Wines that are honestly made by people who know their craft well.  When I look at what’s sold well I see the superb Rioja from Roda that Pete will have steered you to when you were looking for a decent Spanish red.  I see the Colonial Explorateur Shiraz that Kate will have picked out when you asked for a New World Shiraz that wasn’t too over-powering.  There’s the Piquepoul Extra Brut that I know Dee will have made a bee line for when you asked for a good value fizz.  Even the Kung Fu Girl Riesling that I’ll have told you that if if the shop was on fire I’d grab one on the way out of the door is in there.

So it seems that you trust us.  Which is great…thank you!  It gives us all a lot of confidence to carry on in the same manner in 2016 doing that thing that independent wine merchants do that big retailers can’t.  Search for some lovely stuff, throw in a smattering of the unusual, price it honestly, let you taste it, bring you the story and help you to find some wines you love.  Not a bad job really!

charles-smith-boom-boom-syrah-2012

Wine’s We Love…by Dee

 

Boom! Boom! Syrah 2013, Charles Smith, Washington State, USA.

So now we are well and truly in the depths of winter, and comforting luscious reds are a must, there isn’t a much better way to start the New Year with a ‘Bang’ than with this explosive offering from Washington State, USA.

about_img

Charles Smith – not your typical wine maker.

‘Boom Boom’ Syrah, is the product of Californian rock band manager, turned award winning wine maker Charles Smith, who started producing wine when he met a fellow Syrah-loving french winemaker whilst on a road trip. His philosophy is to focus on the way he believes people generally consume wine today: immediately.  So his wines are best for those who want to drink their wine now and not have to lay it down for years before enjoying it…works for me!

Boom Boom is 97% Syrah with 3% Viognier to help soften things up.  It is a full-bodied, fruit-forward, soft, medium-tannin wine. On the nose there are immediate earthy, herby aromas, followed with a delicious palate of dark cherry and tobacco, ending with a lingering spice and for me a little twist of bitter chocolate. This wine is very drinkable without food, but would be perfect with a hearty winter stew. One of those wine that makes the darker, colder, wetter months seem almost bearable!

£16.50 – just £14.85 with club discount.CharlesSmith_BoomBoom-syrah-liggande146x500

club-membership

Bin Delivered Club Case Notes January 2016

 

White Wines 

Château Civrac Wild White Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Côtes de Duras, France £10.00  2 bottles
This new vintage Wild White from Cornishman and Winemaker Mark Hellyar returns to a more traditional style of Sauvignon Blanc from South West France.  Compared to its predecessor the 2014 has less oak influence (only 5% barrel fermented), just enough to soften, add texture and a touch of vanilla. It’s certainly a racy white with plenty of fruit, grapefruit and fresh tropical fruits, pairing nicely with a tasty clam broth as we found at our October Prawn On The Lawn event. Thanks to Rick Toogood from (POTL) we even have the recipe: https://chateaucivrac.wordpress.com/2015/12/05recipe-match-1

Price with wine club discount: £9

Le Vieux Quartier Bourgogne Chardonnay 2013, Burgundy, France £13.50   2 bottles
On re-visiting this attractively priced white Burgundy over the Christmas holidays, I found that i was once again seduced by its fantastic flavour, ripe yellow stone fruits, pleasant nuttiness and moreish creamy texture. Le Vieux Quartier Chardonnay grapes are carefully selected from parcels around the Southern Côte d’Or and Beaune, then in the winery it is left on its lees for 10 months developing texture and supple character. In warmer months i would enjoy this with a lovely salmon fillet and hollandaise, however considering the persistent murky winter weather we are having i’d plump for a comforting creamy chicken casserole.
Price with wine club discount: £12.15

Diez Siglos Verdejo 2014, Rueda, Spain £8.00  2 bottles
In Rueda (170km ish North-west of Madrid) small to medium-sized grape growers have joined forces as the progressive ‘Diez Siglos’, sharing their expertise, their best vineyards and a new modern winery with the intention of upholding and developing Rueda’s wine-making. This, their elegant white made from 100% native grape variety Verdejo, harvested during the cool of the night to preserve the fresh and pure fruit character, is peachy and bright with body and balanced acidity. A must with shellfish.
Price with wine club discount: £7.20

Red Wines

Tim Adams Blueys Block Grenache 2011, Clare Valley, South Australia £11.50  2 bottles
Now that we are in the depths of winter it’s the perfect time to introduce you to this 100% Grenache from the same wine-producing family as our Tim Adams Riesling (in a previous 2015 case selection). A red to beat away the January blues! Richly fruity, soft and rounded. Dark fruits on the palate mingle with red berry aromas, spice and oak. In 1993 tough times in the vineyards due to shortage of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon prompted Tim to experiment with a neighbouring parcel of old vine Grenache.  And so he continues, what a lovely twist of fate!
Price with wine club discount: £10.35

Beronia Rioja Reserva 2011, Rioja, Spain £14.00  2 bottles 
A very pleasing Rioja Reserva which doesn’t break the bank.  Predominantly Tempranillo blended with a little Mazuelo (aka Carignan) and the indigenous variety Graciano, the latter varieties bring acidity and tannin, aromatics, spice and depth to the Tempranillo’s red fruits. Moreover Beronia’s interesting use of mixed-oak barrels (barrels with American oak body and French oak ends) for the 20 month maturation adds to the wines complexity. The result is a meaty Rioja with intense fruit, structure and freshness. Time to pop a shoulder of Lamb in the oven, a Sunday afternoon well-spent!
Price with wine club discount: £12.60

Barbera Ceppi Storici 2013, Piemonte, Italy £9.00 2 bottles
An old favourite from the Monferrato hills in the Northwest of Italy. True to form this red made from Barbera grapes grown on 40+ year old vines has all of the varietal characters we would hope for: layers of juicy cherry and plum fruit, savoury notes, spice and lively acidity. Using the varieties affinity for oak to add another layer, the wine is split between French oak barrels and Piemonte oak vats for 12 months ageing then blended and so soft oak tannins join the mix. Very approachable and enjoyable with Italian pasta, Spaghetti Bolognese perhaps.
Price with wine club discount: £8.10

Total cost of wines before wine club discount: £132
Bin Delivered price: £110 (£120 delivered nationally)

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Civrac 2006

Mike’s top six wines of 2015

As we wave a fond farewell to 2015, Mike reflects on a few of his favourite wines of the year.

“So what’s your favourite wine in the shop then?”  It’s a question I’m often asked and one I always struggle to answer.  My favourites tend to ebb and flow with the seasons, the weather, the food I feel like eating and the general mood I’m in.  I guess you could call me fickle.

So with the year drawing to a close I thought I’d give the question some proper consideration…and I still failed to come to a definitive conclusion by any objective measure.  Which of course leads me to the fertile territory of the subjective!  The answers came much more easily when I considered the question through the prism of my fondest memories of 2015 that involved wine in some way.

So here it is – nothing overly cerebral here.  Just half a dozen superb wines that I can heartily recommend to you – both for the quality of the wines and the memories they invoke.  Predictably perhaps, most are linked to our summer holiday in Bordeaux and Brittany.  You might find some of the choices surprising – I tend to take wines that I’ve not tried in while with us on holiday – I can convince myself that I’m sort of working that way.

Altair Sideral 2010, Chile – £17.50

20140901_203059

Wave running at Cap Ferret

After an epic drive to Bordeaux following a night on the ferry to Santander (I am not a good sailor) we arrived at our final destination – the simply stunning Cap Ferret in Bordeaux.  Our campsite was in a shaded forest providing a bit of respite from the searing heat and yet was only 15 minutes walk from an endless beach overlooking the Atlantic.  After setting up camp our much anticipated first meal was a sunset beach barbeque.  For me the Sideral will always be associated with watching Mary and Harry run from the breaking waves while Tom (then aged 18 months) snored gently in his pram beside me.  Aromas of charcoal and searing meat hung in the air, a few beach camp fires licked into life as the sun dipped beneath the horizon and a starscape free of light pollution slowly appeared.

I doubt that the Sideral will ever again taste quite as good as it did to me that night, but I’ve drunk it many times since and it never disappoints.  We tend to associate Chile with value but they make excellent mid price to high end wines too – the Sideral is a great example. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Camenere grapes conspire to produce a wine full of deep, black fruit flavours with an elegant toasty edge.  A lovely wine that would make a great match roast lamb or beef if you don’t have a barbeque on a remote, warm beach in your immediate future.

Fritz Willi Riesling 2012 – £11.50

20140901_185543I’m very fond of this offering from Mosel in Germany.  It’s the first wine that I felt like I “found” when we took over at BinTwo some two years ago now.  I remember thinking that this was a wine that could consign memories of Blue Nun and Black Tower to the history books and introduce an authentic, good-quality German offering to our shelves.  in technical terms it was a bit of a punt (and a more successful one that the unfairly maligned Retsina that I brought back from the same tasting).

I love it now as I loved it then.  Full of fresh, juicy pear flavours and the classic texture you’d hope for from a Riesling, this little cracker has an unexpected spritz on the palate and that hint of fizz is great fun.  It also makes for a clever pun explaining the “fritz” in the Fritz Willi.  Plus of course it’s got “Willi” in the name which is always good for a bit of schoolboy humour and we all know how I enjoy that.

The other happy association for me was introducing it to one of my oldest friends who was camping with us in Bordeaux.  He’s half German and tasting Fritz Willi proved a bit of a revelation for him.  I’d never before seen him enthuse about wine particularly but he immediately waxed lyrical about what an authentic German wine it was and how it opened up all manner of happy memories from his childhood and early teens in Germany.  It was a side of his life that he’d not shared before and I know a guy I thought I knew inside out a little better as a consequence.  Good wine shared with good friends.  A bit of food under the stars on a balmy evening.  Good conversation and happy memories.  What more can you expect from a wine.

Naiades 2010 – £21.00

As we casually strolled round yet another idyllic French market, Mary declared that she quite fancied Skate wings for supper.  “Nothing complicated” she chirped.  “Just keep it simple – maybe serve it with a beurre noix and some sautéed potatoes”.  From Mary’s casual assumption that I would whip this up a number of conclusions can be drawn including:

1. The default assumption in our household is that I will be cooking supper.

2. This assumption becomes a fixed reality when we are camping.

3. Mary has a touching degree of faith in my ability to whip up a “simple” meal on a single ring gas burner.

Never let it be said that I’m one to shy away from a challenge though.  With a little effort (and not a little swearing) a meal approximating her request was presented to the hungry mouths of the Boyne clan.  Any deficiencies in the cooking were offset by a simply stunning Spanish white – the Naiades 2010.  This elegant 100% verdejo was loaded with bright fruit flavours – melon, kiwi and grapefruit all helping to cut through the rich flesh of the skate and the (rather brown) beurre noix.  All that gentle acidity was held in check with a very long, very elegant finish.  One of those wines where the flavours keep developing on your palate long after the wine’s been quaffed.

Amarone Della Valpolicella 2010 – £42.00

IMG_0965 - Version 2We may own a wine shop but sneaking home a bottle of this luscious Italian red still represents a very rare treat in the Boyne household.  It was the priciest number in our summer holiday wine case and I guess it’s appropriate that we saved the best for last.  Our seven year old son Harry requested “surf and turf” barbeque for his final holiday meal (setting the bar high there lad but a good choice nonetheless).  As we hit the French market in Carnac for the final time – seemingly leaving with half a cow and the contents of the Mediterranean – I relished the fact that the little fella had unwittingly picked a menu that perfectly matched this finely-structured Italian Corvina blend laden with deep flavours of black fruits, a velvety texture and a lingering, complex finish.  I know it’s not a wine that most of us will drink regularly but you really ought to treat yourself sometime…because you’re worth it.

Lis Neris Pinot Grigio 2012 – £18.00

Now I know what you’re thinking…”Really? a Pinot Grigio in your top six?”  This is indeed a Pinot Grigio…but not as you know it.  Set aside thoughts of thin and unexciting “value” PGs – this beautiful little number is far from typical for the variety.  That’s apparent as soon as you pour it – the honey colour promises something with more flavour than you’d expect from a Pinot Grigio.  That’s backed up with loads of aroma, bold but smooth flavours of lychee and pink grapefruit, nicely balanced acidity and a lovely rich texture.  It’s a stunner and perhaps fills the territory somewhere between a Pinot Grigio and a Pinot Gris.  In any event it’s lovely and this sumptuous little Italian beauty deserved better treatment than we were able to give her.

She sticks in the memory as she was consumed in a motorway rest area somewhere between sunny, warm Bordeaux and windy, rainy Brittany.  We had to make an unplanned overnight stop in that grim little rest area due to the storm force headwinds that we were driving into.  With a very unlikely food match of sausage cassoulet (probably closer to sausage and bean stew to be honest) it was pretty much the only bright memory from that stage of our trip and was the
nectar that stopped me griping about relocating from sun-kissed Bordeaux to somewhere on roughly the same latitude as Dover.

I’m over it now…just.

Chateau Civrac 2008 – £12.50

Long term readers may recognise my fond memories of the time we spent at Châ20140831_181336teau Civrac with Cornishman turned Bordeaux winemaker Mark Hellyar & his wife Sarah. Many of you will know the story of how they rescued a neglected Château & vineyard near Bourg sur Gironde & you may have tasted their wines at BinTwo. Certainly it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of their work but visiting the vineyard really brought their inspiring story to life.

Winemaking, as I witnessed, is hard graft & the Hellyars are right in the thick of it. Their winery dates back to the late 18th century & remains largely unchanged. The early 20th century saw the addition of concrete storage tanks as used by Pétrus (fantastic for maintaining stable storage conditions) & Mark has grafted on the bare minimum of 21st century technology to improve electronic temperature & quality control. But otherwise their processes remain remarkably traditional – if a small scale, high quality, genuinely crafted product is your thing then look no further.

We love working with winemakers that we can get behind.  There’s something exciting about the feeling that you’ve discovered something that you think customers will love – something with a great story behind a great wine.  If it’s keenly priced then so much the better!  It sounds like a cliché but our relationship as the intermediary between wine-maker and you the customer is at its best when it feels like a genuine partnership and that’s the relationship we enjoy with the Civrac gang.

The Civrac 2008 ended up on our terrace menu this year by very happy accident.  Our planned introduction of Mark’s Indigo blend had to be deferred so Mark worked with us to provide the stunning 2008 at a price that enabled us to adopt it as our entry level terrace red.  We’ve passed that reduction on to you which means that the 2008 is among the very best bang for your bucks in the shop!  We tasted the 2008 a couple of years ago and it’s since then it’s really come into its own developing into a beautifully well aged wine.  Middle-weight, bright dark fruit flavours with a savoury edge.  Very smooth and very quaffable.

The feedback from customers has been great and the chance to try it on the terrace has pushed sales of this cracking wine up into the top dozen in the shop this year.  A great wine at a great price, made by a winemaker we like working with and whose story we love – a wine that many of you seemed to love too.  That, and my instinctive love of serendipity, is enough to win the Civrac 2008 a place in my top six wines of the year.