Archives for posts with tag: wine blog

Many of you will be familiar with the fact that here at The Vintner we list just 100 wines, all ready for immediate drinking and tasting superb right now. This list changes seasonally as we publish both a Spring/Summer offering as well as an Autumn/Winter one. Typically we’ll change around 20% of our wines with each new list. Not only does this keep things fresh and interesting, it means our wines are constantly under scrutiny to make sure they’re absolutely the best out there and to ensure you’ll absolutely adore them.

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Last week saw oceans of sample wine descend upon Vintner HQ in the final selection stage of the process. These had made it onto the shortlist from 1000s tasted throughout the year by the team at winery visits and trade tastings across the globe. From Chenin Blanc to Vermentino and Cabernet Sauvignon to Zinfandel, this was a tasting of wines across all styles and price brackets with the purpose of finding some true gems to be delivering to you from October. There is not a single wine on our list that we wouldn’t stake our reputation on and to arrive at this point has involved some less than perfect examples of their kind but that’s what we’re here for – we taste the dross so you never have to!

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So, last week saw us tasting some 150 shortlisted wines to work our way down to 20 exciting newcomers. The dentists of South West London should be rubbing their hands together with glee as we sacrifice our pearly whites in the name of The Vintner 100 list but, in all seriousness (palate fatigue and black teeth aside), there are worse jobs in the world and there really is no better education in wine than simply tasting enormous amounts of it.

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Wines that really stood out for me and bottles I’m particularly excited about are Ocean Eight Pinot Noir 2012, Mornington Peninsula  which is in fact already available on our website – a seductive, smooth and full-flavoured Pinot Noir which is more generous and fruit forward than its Burgundian counterparts as well as the Soave Classico ‘Campo Vulcano’, I Campi – a fine and serious Soave with bags of ripe lemon & melon fruit with moreish minerality and a sense of class that seriously over delivers for the money, prepare the space in your fridges!

The Vintner 100 wine list will be printed by mid-October but keep your eyes on our website as new wines will be added (and available to buy) as and when they arrive in our warehouse.

Unfortunately, thanks to the likes of Blue Nun, German wines still suffer from a dodgy reputation in the UK. Wine drinkers who ‘know what they like’ haven’t forgotten about the horrors of the 70/80s and therefore avoid German wines like the plague. These people are really missing out!! If you haven’t tried anything German recently then I implore you to do so – expect wines full of vibrancy & character, there are some real gems out there.

Lovers of Mosel Riesling will already know about the excellent wines of Dr. Loosen. The group owns Villa Wolf, whose excellent Silvaner I tried this week. The Silvaner grape variety is readily overlooked by many who will pick a Riesling instead but it can offer great value due to it being ‘off the beaten track’ in terms of favourite German varietals.

Villa Wolf

Villa Wolf

The wine has bags of sharp green apples on the nose, if you closed your eyes you might think it was cider. The palate balances this out with lovely stone fruits and good acidity. With an ever so slight spritz, this would make a great aperitif and would be perfect on a warm summer afternoon if we’re lucky enough to have one of those this year!

Origin: Pfalz, Germany

Dominant Grape: Silvaner

Alcohol: 11.5%

Drinking window: Now

Drink with: Aperitif, Light salads.

Price: Around £9/btl

Getting older is hard for the best of us, but my birthday was made all the sweeter this year by having a bottle of Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2008 to hand.

Royal Tokaji

Just as with sweet wines from Sauternes, the grapes used to produce Tokaji are infected with the grey fungus, Botrytis Cinerea. Whilst this might sound rather revolting, the result is akin to nectar; these rot-infused grapes produce a deliciously sweet, opulent, high quality wine.

Tokaji, much like Burgundy, relies on a unique terroir impact on the characteristics of the wines. The area boasts rich volcanic soils which when combined with traditional Hungarian weather – hot, dry summers followed by damp, muggy autumns – create the perfect conditions for the furmint grape to flourish. Indeed, Tokaji is one of the world’s greatest wine producing regions.

Amber-gold and full bodied, this 2008 wine tasted of honeyed apricots, while its nose suggested an abundance of figs, honey and orange peel. Importantly, this sweetness was balanced with vibrant acidity making the wine fresh and approachable. An outstanding example of the style.

Origin: Hungary

Dominant Grape: Furmint

Alcohol: 11.5 %

Drinking window: 2014- 2020

Drink with: Nuts, Paté, Salty Blue Cheese, Fruit desserts

Price: Around £22 per 500ml bottle