A Snapshot of Burgundy
At the end of a bustling Padstow Summer at BinTwo I was rewarded with an unexpected trip to Beaune all thanks to our suppliers Hatch Mansfield, wine producers Maison Louis Jadot and Mike who generously gave up his place. Three days crammed full of winery and vineyard tours, tastings, great food and company, sheer hell as you can imagine!
What better first port of call than the Cadus Cooperage where the all important wine barrels are made. Watching the barrel makers at work you truly appreciate the skill and craftsmanship of this trade, an art from start to finish. For each barrel the origin and grain of the oak are carefully selected and are toasted according to requirements to impart tannins, aromas, flavours, structure and complexity to the wine.
Cadus Cooperage currently produces an astounding 30 thousand barrels a year. However despite the output there are concerns that this is a dying trade with a dwindling number of youngsters training to become barrel makers. We can only hope that the incentives and changes that Burgundy are currently implementing will keep this crucial profession alive.
Off to the vineyards
Here the complexity of Burgundy unfolded, a beautiful patchwork. As our guide showed us around Maison Jadot’s top vineyards producing the highest quality wine (Premier Cru and Grand Cru) I gained a true understanding of the myriad of this wine region. In Burgundy it is rare for a single vineyard to be owned by one person alone, a single site will be split into parcels owned and tended to by different wine producers and creating wines with individual style.
Burgundy’s vineyards spread over slopes whose soil properties, aspect, steepness and even aspects of climate can vary from one small area to the next. It is therefore no wonder that the Burgundian buzz-word is ‘Terroir’, one word encompassing all of these environmental elements, and that the aim of every Burgundian winemaker is to produce wines which express this terroir, the true origin of the fruit.
Photo: Vineyards in the Cote d’or, the golden slopes named after the golden leaves of the Chardonnay vines and the burnt red and orange of the Pinot noir.
Maison Jadot, founded in 1859, has grown to own 225 hectares of vines dispersed over this varied terrain and to produce wines which showcase Burgundy’s diversity. Such is the prestige and reputation of this region that today people pay a whopping 12 million euros per hectare for Premier Cru sites. With land at such a price, division of estates has no doubt been the cause of one or more family feuds in its time!
The Maison Jadot Winery
Stepping into the immense Maison Jadot winery, delicious jammy and yeasty aromas filled the air. With 2015 being an early harvest the grape-picking was completed by the 4th September and Jadot’s vast wooden and steel winemaking vats stood empty and ready for the next vintage. Whilst down in the cellars it was all happening, rows of barrels full of 2015 vintage were fermenting and ageing.
It was here that our tasting began first with the 2014 vintages, some ripe and tasty soon to be enjoyed whilst others ready for a few years rest before opening. Then later moving on to earlier vintages Meursault 2004, Gevrey- Chambertain 2007, Pommard 1995 to name a few. An education to say the least and an exciting challenge for my continually developing palate.
Domaine Ferret Pouilly Fuissé:
Visiting this Domaine was indeed the icing on the cake, not only for my love for this Pouilly Fuissé but for the natural beauty of the location and the inspiring story behind the Domaine. From the brow of the last hill before arriving at our destination the natural amphitheatre of Pouilly Fuisse opened out before us, a simply stunning panorama even on what was a grey and misty morning. An incredible terrain found to be one of the most varied in Burgundy with prominent rifts and slopes and a spectrum of soil types, across all of which we find the vineyards of Domaine Ferret, each parcel an ambassador of their unique terroir.
As for the history of Domaine Ferret it was the women of the Ferret family who were at the forefront of the Estate. Hardworking, passionate and determined, they developed their forward thinking winemaking methods including parcel vinification, bottling at the Domaine and maturation methods and consequently played an important role in developing the renown of the appellation of Pouilly Fuisse. Today the Domaine is owned by Louis Jadot with another female protagonist at the helm. Audrey Braccini continues the work of her predecessors with the same passion, diligence and dedication to excellence, the Ferret Pouilly Fuisse 2014 is testament to this, if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying this nectar pop in to BinTwo where you will find it by the glass!
Such a fabulous trip and insight, 3 Wineries, 15+ vineyards and 50 wines later and i had only just scratched the surface of the variety and complexity of Burgundy. An adventure to be continued…
For those as yet unfamiliar with Trevibban Mill, they are Cornwall’s newest vineyard and they’re right here on the outskirts of Padstow. We added some of their wines to our range late last year including the simply superb Black Ewe Pinot Noir. We love it and ambushed two of our Master of Wine friends with a blind tasting. Both were surprised to discover its origin declaring it the best English red they’d tasted.
With that endorsement ringing in our ears we’ve decided to add it to our terrace menu by the glass for 2016. To mark the event we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been invited to hold a wine club lunch at Trevibban Mill on Saturday 16th April. And very lucky we are too as by then Andy Appleton, the former Head Chef at Fifteen Cornwall, will have taken up residence to cook for us!
The day will start with a glass of the rather lovely Trevibban Mill fizz followed by a tour of the vineyard and winery. If the weather is kind to us we’ll stop by the lake and enjoy crab canapés with another glass of something splendid. We’ll then saunter back to the restaurant for a five course Italian themed lunch prepared by Andy with a wine flight to match.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it – wait until you see the venue and the setting! Cracking value too at just £45 per person!
Saturday 16th April. 1130am start. email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your places.
After our first highly successful cocktail night in December we’ve managed to persuade Mark Ramage from South Western Distillery to come back and mix things up for us again! Mark will be showing us what marvels can be achieved with Tarquin’s Gin, Cornish Pastis, a muddler, a mixer, and an energetic shake of his snake hips!
This time we’ll be featuring largely champagne style cocktails including the hugely popular classic French 75 that we started our last event with. It’s a mix of gin and champagne so a bit of a BinTwo signature drink really. We’ll also be introducing Tarquin’s new Navy Strength Gin so hold onto your socks people (it could be a good night to order a taxi).
The cost of the event is just £15 per head including two lovely cocktails and the format is much as before: You arrive…we put a French 75 in your hands…Mark mixes up some delicious tasters and tells you a bit about each cocktail…you choose your second cocktail and then, for those of you in party mode, we run a cocktail menu for the remainder of the evening.
It promises to be hugely entertaining…
Friday 11th March. 7pm until 9pm(ish). To book please email email@example.com
Mark from Chateau Civrac tells us about his step into the brave new world of producing a decent wine contained in a box.
When Hamish Anderson (writer and wine buyer for Tate) first approached me with the idea of creating this wine, I was unsure about the potential market for good quality wine in this type of packaging. However, I was convinced by the Eco arguments and so the first ‘posh bag in box’ concept was born combining an easy drinking red Bordeaux wine with ultra contemporary packaging and minimalist modern art. There is also no technical reason not to put a good quality wine in a box: shelf life is actually longer and the wine keeps far better after opening – up to 15 days in fact! As an added bonus there is a 30% weight saving and therefore associated reductions in transport costs and the packaging is cheaper too.
Indigo is packaged in a three-litre box and is on sale at BinTwo for just £30. The equivalent bottle price would be £40 so the overall effect of this packaging to the customer is better value wine which keeps much better once opened…what’s not to like!
So really with the bag in box packaging we just have a perception issue that needed to be confronted. With the support of Tate and the help of my old school friend and artist David Pearce we designed a new type of packaging that presented the wine in a more elegant contemporary fashion. The box depicts bobbing boats in a harbour and has been compared by some to the rather funky packaging used by Apple…we’re happy with that compliment!
I chose the name “Indigo” for the wine as a nod to my childhood, which was spent here on the Cornish coast. I like to choose unusual names for my wines and I grew up next to the sea so Indigo seemed a perfect fit. Cabernet has a fantastic blue bloom on it, so it’s also a nod to that.
Indigo blends soft plummy Merlot with rich Cabernet berries from my 2012 vintage. The wine is ready for immediate drinking and a juicy, easy-drinker it is too with aromas of cherry and blackcurrent and a light oak finish. At 12% abv it makes for a nice fresh red option for Spring which is just around the corner (honestly!)
Bin Delivered February Club Case Notes
Venturing into the unknown…
A selection of wines embracing lesser known grape varieties, appellations and winemaking techniques.
Cuvee Marie Jurançon Sec 2011, Jurançon, France. £13.50 2 bottles
When thinking of the wines from Southwest France don’t forget to explore Jurançon! In this small appellation almost touching the Pyrenees grape varieties Gros and Petit Manseng are king. Cuvee Marie is a blend of these varieties which exudes flavour: citrus, tropical fruits combine with herbal and floral notes. With aromatics rivalling Sauvignon Blanc, sumptuous body and texture this Jurançon sec is an appealing springtime white. One to enjoy with seasonal asparagus if you can wait!
Price with wine club discount: £12.15
El Porvenir Amauta Torrontes 2014, Valle de Cafayate, Argentina. £10.50 2 bottles
In the incredibly high and dry Cafayate Valley a small family-run winery continues to look to the future ‘El Porvenir’. At present their aim is to reduce the US oak influence and produce wines which reflect terroir (land, climate and aspect), whilst planting vines in ever-more hostile environments. Here Torrontes, the indigenous white grape, is hand harvested in 3 stages of ripeness delivering aroma and flavour complexity. Amauta Torrontes has a touch of the exotic: rose, lemon grass and sweet spice, ripe and fresh. Mouthwateringly good with salmon ceviche.
Price with wine club discount: £9.45
Pietas Vielles Vignes Carignan 2014, Pays D’Herault, France. £8.50 3 bottles
You’ve probably more commonly found Carignan accompanying grape varieties Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre to name a few. A challenging variety both in the vineyard, where it is slow to ripen and prone to disease, and in the winery, where due care is required to balance the acidity and tannin. ‘Pietas’ has risen to the challenge! Made from carefully selected, fully ripened fruit from low yielding 40 year old vines and vinified using modern techniques. Pietas is a medium bodied smooth Carignan with soft ripe fruit and a nice amount of the savoury, earthy character we associate with the variety. An impressive value red.
Price with wine club discount: £7.65
Montresor Valpolicella Ripasso ‘Capitel della Crosara’ 2013, Veneto, Italy. £14 2 bottles
Giorgio Montresor brings us a lipsmackingly good Valpolicella Ripasso, made from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes from his single vineyard ‘Capitel della Crosara’, fine and richly flavoured it rivals many a red in its class.
You are probably familiar with Valpolicella but Ripasso? The ‘Ripasso’ method imparts both depth and character to the Valpolicella, as the dried sugar-rich skins of grapes used to make Amarone are added to the young wine and re-fermentation occurs. Giorgio’s finishing touch is the careful ageing in French and American oak, giving us a bright, juicy wine with just the right measures of spice and vanilla. A truly tasty wine to beat the winter blues or to serve with roast lamb on Mother’s Day, mamma mia!
Price with wine club discount: £12.60
Bobal de Sanjuan Tinto 2013, Utiel-Requena, Spain. £9 2 bottles
Native to the Utiel-Requena region of Valencia, Bobal is a hardy variety withstanding the dry local climate, the extremes of the day and nighttime temperatures and cold winters. Where once Bobal was predominantly used in bulk wine production it is now being rediscovered to make quality single-variety wines. Bobal de SanJuan is a fine example of the evolution. An attractive aromatic red, freshness and crisp acidity is balanced by ripe red fruits and velvety tannins. Wonderful with Paella of course!
Price with wine club discount: £8.10
Chateau Civrac Late White 2012, Saussignac, France. £12 1 bottle
Cornishman Mark Hellyar’s new vintage Late White from the unsung wine region of Saussignac bordering Montbazillac certainly lives up to its predecessor’s expectations whilst carving out its own identity. This 2012 Semillon is a touch lighter than the previous vintage with an appealing freshness. Grapefruit marmalade and saffron layer the palate, luscious yet zesty it pairs nicely with Emily Scott’ s orange and almond pudding or, as i found, with traditional pancakes, drizzle at will!
Price with wine club discount: £10.80
Total cost of wines: £131.50
Bin Delivered price: £110 (£120 delivered nationally)
Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay, 2013 Adelaide Hills, Australia
With love in the air this month we thought it only apt to present this gem of a white in time for Valentines. Shaw & Smith was established in 1989 and comes from the heart of cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill. With the picture perfect Adelaide Hills as the backdrop, their passion and devotion to superior contemporary wines is truly unsurpassed.
This unctuous Chardonnay oozes lip smacking appeal with toasty buttery biscuit notes and a welcome freshness of lemon and peach. The M3 Chardonnay is a generous wine of great depth and concentration …. Become a ‘new romantic’ this February and trade your hearts and flowers for sexy style with satisfaction built right in!
Treat someone special (or yourself), £29.50 a bottle or £26.55 with our wine club discount.