As soon as someone anew knows I am a Wine Merchant, they say “how wonderful it must be to drink wine all day…”. Not exactly. There are some bonuses, admittedly, albeit occasionally. This week, the bastion of the Whigs and the Dilettanti Society, Brooks Club on St-James’s, presumably looked down upon by the somewhat more polished Whites opposite. Then to Merchant Taylor’s Hall, a shilling’s throw from the Bank of England. Yesterday, Cavendish Square…today St-Vincent Square. Yet for every wine that I feel might just merit your attention, I must try at least nineteen that don’t make the grade, nineteen that strips the enamel from my teeth, nineteen which sear but not soar. This week alone, not even halfway through and even being ruthless in my selection I have indulged wines from Champagne; Burgundy; The Rhône; Ventoux; Madiran; the Jura; Switzerland; Beaujolais; The Loire; Languedoc; Ribera-del-Duero; New Zealand; The Lebanon; California; Portugal; Italy but how many of note to put before thee? Three, maximum. One of which is that elusive thing, a good Beaujolais Cru. From the cheap bubble-gum flavours at the lower end to finer more complex examples at the top end, which fine though that they are, start to mimic Burgundy which kind of defeats the purpose of a Beaujolais Cru. The next issue is that 2015 was such a substantial, rich and fruity Vintage that much of the Fleurie; Beaujolais; Moulin-à-Vent etc., that I tried was simply over-the-top. Sensational often but not Beaujolais as we know them. Thus hedging my bets with consecutive vintages for this old School Brouilly:
A top Beaujolais Cru:
Brouilly 2015 Château Des Tours at £ 14.50 per Bottle
This is super clean, fresh, smooth red fruits with a touch of richness which works in its own right as sheer entertainment.
Brouilly 2014 Château Des Tours at £ 14.50 per Bottle
The 2014 however is that more traditional, textbook Brouilly with cooler fruits, and that Gamay brittleness in the best sense of the word.
These will be both in on Friday.
One of the other successes was an old-fashioned, pale, rustic, honest Sancerre Rouge by André Dezat & Fils. Might feature in next week’s e-mail but also on the shelf this Friday. The final of this triumvirate of winners is from the Loire. We almost instantly sold-out of that cult wine, ChâteauRougeard from Saumur-Champigny and its ticket price (£ 75-150 a bottle) amplifies and reiterates that cult status. However, yesterday I came across another Cabernet-Franc, from Chinon, which is a little east along the Loire from Saumur. Stylistically this is a dead-ringer for the Rougeard and if lacking that ethereal level it is still an intriguing comparison at a far more modest £ 25.00. So for those few who appreciate Loire Cabernet-Franc but also the texture of say Northern Rhône, this will be worth a venture. This is also scheduled to land on the shop floor on Friday.
Though Christmas is a ways away we are boosting our stock of Magnums & Double Magnumsand Bordeaux led, obviously, we have some new Magnums of St-Julien; Margaux; Graves and Double Magnums of Margaux; Pauillac & St-Estèphe in or due in.