Rioja -Piedmont - Bordeaux


Easy come, easy go. We have stocked Ridge Vineyards for many years and strived to show them in their best light which we consider to be, with a touch of bottle-age. Sadly a change of policy means that these wines are only available to Independent Merchants “En Primeur” and ageing stock will only go to restaurants. Upon release, I think these wines are just way to bruising to put on the shelf. Not quite as bad as when Krug and Dom Pérignon Magnums are held back only for nightclubs and not for discerning private customers like you but not exactly putting best foot forward either. Other favourites will also fall by the wayside. When we gun for mainstays like the Brande-Bergère 2010 which we loosely describe as “a £16 wine that drinks like £20”, then a few Centimes rise can I feel be justified. But if a wine jumps by 10% and the ensuing Vintage is simply not as good then time to say au revoir. Au revoir therefore to Swan’s Russian River Pinot Noir as I just don’t see the 2013 as being worth £ 35 or so. I’ll be sampling many more non-Burgundy Pinots in the next month or two. Fingers crossed.


We still have the classic 2004 Vintage La Rioja Alta “904” at £ 36.00. Having spotted the just released 2007 Vintage at £ 44.00 at Oddbins last night and though we’d be about 10% below that price, I am still mulling over whether we should pile in with the same vigour as the 1995 & 2001 & 2004 Vintages. Judgement deferred.


Not unlike the La Rioja Alta is another wonderfully old-fashioned, backward, characterful, Pinot Noir brittle like Barbaresco 2013 from Produttori di Barbaresco. If you want textbook Nebbiolo and or Piedmont, this is it. A few cases arrived today. A couple of years back we had the 2010 Vintage at £ 27.00 and though this will go on the shelf at £ 29.50 later today, with a firm nod to that historic price we will do that at £ 27.50 for any weekly e-mail readers.


Gentleman’s Claret” – traditionally this meant keeping a recognised Bordeaux for a benchmark twelve years before daring to touch. Well, bang on, this Friday we will have a fair smattering of 2005 Grand Cru Classé and top Cru Bourgeois, from Margaux, St-Julie, St-Estèphe, St-Émilion; Lalande-de-Pomerol; Haut-Médoc. From low £ 20’s to low £ 200’s. Currently out but another dozen cases of Château Brande-Bergère “Cuvée O’Byrne” 2010 back on the shop floor Friday.