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Wines on Tasting at Weybridge 25th Feb

Saturday, 25 February 2017 09:08:44 Europe/London

The Morning after the Night Before

As the last bits of furniture are put back downstairs and the dishwasher is reloaded we are slowly reassembling the shop in Weybridge after another successful Pop Up restaurant. Already we are looking forward to the next one, which is going to be a bit special. Entitled ‘The Battle of the Rhones’ we are looking at the North/South divide in the Rhone Valley.

 

Epic wines from Hermitage in the North presented by the Incredible Yann Chave (worth coming just meet this megastar of the wine world!) and from the southern Rhone, specifically Châteauneuf-du-Pape, wines being represented by the equally brilliant Lafond Roc-Epine.

 

This will be a phenomenal night not to be missed! There are a few places left so don’t delay in contacting us at the shop to book your place. Of course, all these great wines will be accompanied by some equally great food prepare by our Chef Max McKenzie.

 

In the meantime, we are planning a ‘Looney’ weekend at the shop….

All the way from California and the Smoking Loon winery, we are delighted to welcome back onto our shelves two of our (and your) favourites.

 

2014 Smoking Loon, Old Vine Zinfandel   £15.99

This opens with complex aromas of, plum, and blackberry cobbler. On the palate, black raspberry and cinnamon dominate. In the background, coconut and vanilla indicate the presence of American oak aging. Well-balanced with soft tannins, this Zinfandel will complement a variety of dishes but pairs particularly well with grilled meat. Enjoy this wine with lamb, hamburgers with caramelized onion or rib eye steak.

 

2014 Smoking Loon, Viognier   £15.99

Starts with explosive aromas of apricot, honey and mango fruit salad. Flavours of peach, watermelon and lime zest marry to make a wonderfully complex wine that ends with controlled dryness and acidity. This wine finishes with endless, palate-saturating fruit, which complement a variety of foods to create an instant favourite. Try pairing with steamed clams, shrimp with coconut rice or a piece of delectable lemon meringue pie! Serve slightly chilled to preserve the fruit characteristic of the wine.

 

Do pop into the shop over the weekend and taste them, and to make it easier we are offering you the chance to get a mixed case at £150/Mixed Dozen or  (£12.50/bt)

 

And £10 when you buy a mixed 24 bottles!

Posted By Jez Greenspan

Wines on tasting at Vineking, East Molesey, 25th February

Friday, 24 February 2017 20:23:27 Europe/London

EM wines, also 25th February

So in the shop today we are celebrating the arrival of The Smoking Loon. I’ve always said the world could do with more Californian wine – big, soft, whack-it-on-the-bbq and glug styles, as well as the more serious and pocket-intensive efforts from Napa and Washington. Today however is the chance to try something slightly less manically priced; if not less manic in demeanour:

2014 Smoking Loon Viognier £15.99/Bt, £6/glass AND ONLY £12.50/bottle by the case!

A gloriously exuberant apricot, honey and mango fruit salad of a wine, with plenty of upfront desire and crispy end notes. Brash, unashamed and lovely – and stunning stuff!

2014 Smoking Loon Zinfandel £15.99/Bt £6/glass AND ONLY £12.50/bottle by the case!

A classic American softie – shedloads of black raspberries hoicked up by spicy cinnamon and calmed down with a full-on oaking. Just begging for ribeye steak and some caramelized onions!

4 bottles

However yesterday….

... was the short-heralded but long-anticipated tasting for Alemany I Corrió or as you and I usually know them – the quite seriously talented winemakers of Principia Mathematica. And as I am writing this little intro before the tasting itself, no, I don’t know yet why this most handsome of Xarel-lo’s is named after Newton’s little scribble. In a spirit of intrepid intellectual discovery I make it my very mission to discover this fact this very eve…..er - and drink some seriously good Spanish wine, obviously!

Twelve hours later….

Right, well – that was a brilliant yet far-too-short tasting. As half of our number ducked out due to the stormy weather which made it a select group for Laurent to talk to. First was a quick chat on how Alemany I Corrió got going and how a Breton winemaker came to be working in Cava country. The answer? He met his wife while working in Burgundy and they eventually decided to settle on her father’s land…. in Penedes. Which wasn’t expected. What was even less expected was to say – the first vintage they produced was literally knocked up in a tank handbuilt by her father. This really epitomised something which Laurent was at pains to point out throughout the whole tasting – this is a very small, family-run operation which produces great wines by intelligence, feeling and downright backbreaking work by the family members, rather than by a corporation of labourers.

And to answer my question above – Laurent names his wines as the mood takes him. Principia Mathematica is named for a mate of his who is a science and maths teacher, who he was presenting an award to, in (quote) “An underground place in Barcelona.” Congratulations – I definitely think having a wine named in your honour is how teachers should be treated! Anyway – onto the wines!

2015 Principia Mathematica £20.99 or 2 for £40

Produced from Xarel-lo grapes originally destined for the cava of the region, this delightfully light and crisp wine manages somehow to wrap itself in the body of a white Burgundy. This isn’t a surprise as both Laurent and Irene spent time training in Dijon. However, no white Burgundy has this sense of effervescent crisp apple-saline body or the effortless charming length of the endnote. This is a stunning lighter wine which should be enjoyed as an aperitif to watching the clouds scudding across a fresh spring day.

2014 2014 Cargol Treu Vi £23.99

From a much older plantation 350m up the slope of the mountainside. The extra length comes from the limestone rocks prevalent under the vineyard, the stones echoing the granny-smith textures of the Xarel-lo perfectly. Long, dense, white stone-fruit with an elegance borne only by the lingering touches of its full-flavour and by virtually no weight at all, this echoes its little brother with its Burgundian hints but really goes off in another direction. The sheer glossiness of the finish on this superb wine enthralled, causing a brief pause round the table. Unlike the Principia Mathematica, Cargol Treu Vi demands something to go with it, the clean acidity as effective a palate-cleanser as I have enjoyed.

2014 Pas Curtei £20.99, 2 for £40, £7.00 a glass

60% Merlot, 20% Carignan and 20% Cabernet. Pas Curtei could be regarded as their most commercial wine – a fine, rich Merlot body with such well-integrated soft tannin that you would swear it had at least five years bottle-ageing. It doesn’t – and only a little time in oak as well. From my notes: “wonderful expressive/explosive mouthfeel, delicate soft plum.” Soft plum? That’s not a phrase I would often use – the best way to describe this would be like sinking into a very soft plum velvet feather cushion. This opulent, powerful and relaxed wine is as near-perfect a low £20 bottle as any on the shelves.

2007 Sot Lefriec £52.99

I approached this wine with some trepidation. Being more than double the price of the other wines, I was expecting to hear a story of a vineyard on a 90 degree slope infested by man-eating mountain goats or a vine so old it had confused Quixote, but after how good the others were I was more or less willing to be led anywhere.

Actually the story was much simpler. This is simply a very, very fine wine. It has a lot more new oak than the other wines (50%) but Laurent was upfront – he prices it at that level because that is what he believes it is worth.

And I more than agree. This knocks the spots off Bordeaux at the same price. Taking it’s cue firmly from the most classic styles of Pomerol, the intense nose of black cherries, cedarwood,  is underpinned by a load of fruit, a plump, full-bodied mouthfeel and silky tannins. I would put my cards on the table and say clearly this is one not to be missed!

Overall, this tasting reinforced my love of seeing small, interesting vineyards up close. Laurent was a very interesting speaker – articulate, interesting and detailed. He had that rarest of abilities, that of bringing the understanding of his listeners up closer to his level than talking down to them. An excellent evening!

 

Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

Wines on tasting at Vineking, Weybridge, 25th February

Friday, 24 February 2017 18:46:30 Europe/London

Weybridge wines on tasting, 25th February 2017

The Morning after the Night Before

As the last bits of furniture are put back downstairs and the dishwasher is reloaded we are slowly reassembling the shop in Weybridge after another successful Pop Up restaurant. Already we are looking forward to the next one, which is going to be a bit special. Entitled ‘The Battle of the Rhones’ we are looking at the North/South divide in the Rhone Valley.

Epic wines from Hermitage in the North presented by the Incredible Yann Chave (worth coming just to meet this megastar of the wine world!) and from the southern Rhone, specifically Châteauneuf-du-Pape, wines being represented by the equally brilliant Lafond Roc-Epine. 

This will be a phenomenal night not to be missed! There are a few places left so don’t delay in contacting us at the shop to book your place. Of course, all these great wines will be accompanied by some equally great food prepared by our Chef Max McKenzie.

 

In the meantime, we are planning a ‘Looney’ weekend at the shop….

All the way from California and the Smoking Loon winery, we are delighted to welcome back onto our shelves two of our (and your) favourites.

2014 Smoking Loon, Old Vine Zinfandel   £15.99

This opens with complex aromas of plum and blackberry cobbler. On the palate, black raspberry and cinnamon dominate. In the background, coconut and vanilla indicate the presence of American oak ageing. Well-balanced with soft tannins, this Zinfandel will complement a variety of dishes but pairs particularly well with grilled meat. Enjoy this wine with lamb, hamburgers with caramelized onion or rib eye steak.

 

2014 Smoking Loon, Viognier   £15.99

Starts with explosive aromas of apricot, honey and mango fruit salad. Flavours of peach, watermelon and lime zest marry to make a wonderfully complex wine that ends with controlled dryness and acidity. This wine finishes with endless, palate-saturating fruit, which complement a variety of foods to create an instant favourite. Try pairing with steamed clams, shrimp with coconut rice or a piece of delectable lemon meringue pie! Serve slightly chilled to preserve the fruit characteristic of the wine.

 

Do pop into the shop over the weekend and taste them and to make it easier we are offering you the chance to get a mixed case at£150/Mixed Dozen or  (£12.50/bt)

 

 

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Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

Wine on tasting in West Road 25.02.17

Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:36:56 Europe/London

Check out these two beauties for tasting this weekend, we have had a Doris Day of it so far this week so while we baton down the hatches we will need something to enjoy and pass the time.
 
R1 tasting
 
An old favourite of mine is the Felino Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 from Argentina made by the one and only Paul Hobbs, previously the winemaker at the iconic Opus One in California so he knows a thing or two about producing great Cabernet.  The altitude at which the grapes are grown helps to create a freshness in these wines while still offering cassis fruit, spice, ripe, velvety tannins and a persistent finish.
£16.99 p/b 
 
My offering on the white is a personal favourite.  You may never pick this up off the shelf on the strength of its label however what lies within is magical.  The Holden Manz Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2015 Franschoek demonstrates how the South Africans excel at white wines with beautifully integrated spicy oak character.  An hommage to great white burgundy.
£26.99 p/b, £135 for 6 and 12 for £240 
Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

Wines on Tasting in Church Street 25.02.17

Thursday, 23 February 2017 14:19:23 Europe/London

Bottles for tasting at Church Street, 25th February 2017

 

 

 

Loons by the dozen in Church Street this week!

 

The Smoking Loon wines are crafted on a very simple premise: good wine doesn't need to take itself so seriously, and given the Vineking motto is “great wines, no nonsense” it seemed like fate when they became available for an amazing case deal.

 

Smoking Loon's full-bodied wines embody the independent, bohemian spirit of our California, delivering wines of distinctive quality and value that are wholly without pretence.

 So, whilst Storm Doris rages around the country, why not treat yourself to a dozen bottles and hunker down in front of the fire basking smugly in your purchase!

Both of these wines are £15.99 a bottle. But why not mix them in our fabulous case deal: £150/Mixed Dozen (£12.50/bt)

 

Or as we like to say, go big or go home with the double dozen: £240/Mixed Two Dozen (£10/bt!!!)

 

The Smoking Loon Old Vine Zinfandel opens with bold aromas of boysenberry, black cherry and a bevy of vanilla nuances. On the palate, this wine is fruit-driven with flavors of pomegranate, black cherry, fresh cranberry and nutmeg. The finish lingers with layers of cherry-lemonade and toasted cedar. Well-balanced with soft tannins, this Zinfandel will complement a variety of dishes due to its bright, refreshing acidity.

 

The Smoking Loon Viognier displays explosive aromas of apricot, honey and mango fruit salad. Flavors of peach, melon and lime zest marry to make a wonderfully complex wine that closes with controlled dryness and acidity. This wine finishes with endless, palate-saturating fruit, which complement a variety of foods to create an instant favorite. Serve slightly chilled to preserve the fruit characteristic of the wine.

Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

Burg 2015 En Primeur - The Last Hurrah

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 06:19:10 Europe/London

Domaine Yves Boyer-Martenot - Finite Stocks Case Size Case Price In Bond No Cases Left
Bourgogne Aligoté 12 £110.00 8
Bourgogne Blanc 12 £165.00 8
Meursault Fernand Boyer 6 £160.00 7
Meursault L’Ormeau 6 £177.50 5
Meursault Genevrieres 6 £299.50 6
       
Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot - Good Stocks      
White      
Bourgogne Chardonnay Les Grands Champs 12 £145.00 10
Chassagne-Montrachet 6 £177.50 5
Puligny-Montrachet Les Noyers Bret 6 £180.00 5
Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes 6 £262.50 5
       
Domaine Saumaize-Michelin - Good Stocks      
Mâcon Villages 12 £145.00 10
Mâcon Vergisson La Roche 12 £155.00 10
Saint Veran 12 £150.00 10
Saint Veran Les Crèches 12 £165.00 5
Pouilly Fuisse 12 £185.00 10
Pouilly Fuissé Pentacrine 12 £200.00 7
Pouilly Fuisse Vigne Blanche 12 £215.00 5
Pouilly Fuisse Clos sur la Roche 6 £117.50 8
Pouilly Fuisse les Ronchevats 6 £112.50 4
Pouilly Fuisse Maréchaude 6 £117.50 2
Pouilly Fuisse Courtelongs 6 £120.00 5
Pouilly Fuisse les Haut des Crays 6 £122.50 5
       
Domaine Bertrand Ambroise      
White      
Bourgogne Aligoté 12 £99.00 10
Lettre d'Eloïse Coteaux Bourguignons 12 £95.00 10
Bourgogne Chardonnay 12 £145.00 10
Hautes Côtes de Nuits blanc 12 £165.00 5
Corton Charlemagne 6 £600.00 5
Red      
Lettre d'Eloise Coteaux Bourguignons rouge 12 £100.00 20
Bourgogne Pinot Noir 12 £125.00 10
Côte de Nuits Villages 12 £250.00 2
Gevrey Chambertin 6 £190.00 5
Nuits St Georges 6 £167.50 8
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les Vaucrains 6 £315.00 6
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru En Rue de Chaux 6 £282.50 3
Beaune 1er Cru Tuvilains 6 £162.50 9
Vougeot 1er Cru Les Cras 6 £282.50 3
Corton Grand Cru Le Rognet 6 £310.00 6
       
Château de Chamirey - Good Stocks      
White      
Château de Chamirey Mercurey blanc 12 £220.00 20
Mercurey "En Pierrelet" 6 £137.50 20
Château de Chamirey Mercurey 1er Cru La Mission Monopole Blanc 6 £175.00 20
Red      
Château de Chamirey Mercurey rouge 12 £220.00 10
Château de Chamirey Mercurey 1er Cru Les Ruelles Rouge 6 £167.50 10
Château de Chamirey Mercurey 1er Cru Clos du Roi Rouge 6 £167.50 10
       
Domaine de la Ferté - Good Stocks      
Red      
Givry Rouge 12 £225.00 10
Givry 1er Cru Clos de Mortières 6 £125.00 10
Givry 1er Cru Servoisine 6 £137.50 10
       
Domaine de la Garenne -  Good Stocks      
White      
Mâcon-Azé 12 £160.00 10
       
Domaine Henri Gouges - Finite Stocks      
Nuits-Saint-Georges 6 £207.50 3
       
Domaine Heresztyn-Mazzini - Finite Stocks      
Red      
Bourgogne Pinot Noir 12 £189.00 2
Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 6 £215.00 5
Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Les Songes 6 £232.50 4
Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Champonnets 6 £325.00 1
Clos Saint Denis 6 £710.00 1
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Posted in Offers By Jez Greenspan

Wine on tasting in Weybridge 18.02.17

Friday, 17 February 2017 18:37:20 Europe/London

I have picked 2 wines from our rather groovy new stacks.

 

From the Chardonnay stack, the rather delicious:

 weybridge

2014 Hawksdrift Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand  £19.99

 

A lovely rich fruited polished style that has a bit of a Burgundian nod.

 

From the Grenache/Shiraz Blend Stach (Admittedly not the snappiest named stack but heyho!) the sensational:

 Weybs 2

2012 Faugeres, Domaine de la Sarabande £15.99/bt

 

Coming from from my friends Paul and Isla down in the wilds ofFaugeres.  Blackfruit, spice and with a complexity of soils that gives this wine such an interesting character - got a great review from the Wine Advocate too.

 

Exhibiting red fruits, spice-box, licorice and cured meats, the 2012 Faugères Tradition checks in as a mix of 60% Grenache, 25% Carignan and 15% Syrah that was brought up in 60% stainless steel and 40% in neutral barrels. It has lots to love, with medium-bodied depth and richness, smoking purity of fruit and a gorgeous texture that carries through the finish. It too will drink nicely for at least 4-5 years. 91/100 The Wine Advocate

 

Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

Wine on tasting in West Road 18.02.17

Friday, 17 February 2017 14:53:04 Europe/London

 

R1 tasting

2014 Hells Heights Sauvignon Blanc Banghoek South Africa                            £11.99     6 for £60

There's Sancerre and then there's Marlbrough and somewhere in between is South African Sauvignon Blanc.  The care and attention that goes into the production of this wine is second to none.   This wine manages to balance toasty oak and spicy tropical fruit beautifully

 

2015 Leone De Castris Medaglione Primitivo Italy                                                         £12.99   2 for £25

I love the wines from the heel of Italy as they exemplify the warmth of the region.  This primitivo is soft, smooth and easy drinking and great wine for the money.  As satisfying to drink on its own or with a pasta ragu.

 

Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

Wine on tasting in East Molesey 18.02.17

Friday, 17 February 2017 12:23:33 Europe/London

EM wine on tasting
One of those weeks which roll past like a bowling ball. Lots of you are planning events for the summer, which is lovely – Max has been firing menu’s at me like some early form of cuisine-based machine-gun! Never fear though – plenty of time left. Do you have a party over the summer you would like to make sparkle with the VK? Email us at eastmolesey@thevineking.com if so!
What else? Well, a whole host of new items instore and some very exciting offers coming out. For all of those of you who have enjoyed the Hoopes wines on the winebar you can now see they are on the offer! And some sensibly-priced Zin as well – isn’t that something to make the heart sing? Well, mine does, being the Californiphile that I am….
 
Finally, after a long period of writing and shouting at international trade missions for various maps:
 
The Vineking Guide to Wine
Baffled by a supermarket wall of wine? Want to learn a little more about what is in your glass? Well this is for you! Come along to eleven sessions looking at the great regions of the world Each session covers a different region and their famous wines, assessing one grape against another and looking at questions of why some grapes are grown in some regions and not in others. Learn to pick out what you like from what you don’t and what is the real value and quality on the shelf, all delivered in a  light-hearted, convivial couple of hours!
 
Tickets:
£85 Golden Ticket – this special discounted ticket allows you to come to as many of the nights as you like – a perfect gift for someone looking to increase their wine knowledge!
£10 pp. Perfect if you want to focus on a particular region you haven’t explored before.
Each session is 7.30pm – 9.30pm.
 
Dates:
Thursday 2nd March – Introduction – What Is Wine?
Thursday 23rd March – Location, Location, Location – why does it matter?
Thursday 27th April – Chile – Wines with altitude.
Thursday  11th May – France – why does France dominate wine?
Thursday 1st June – South Africa – Will we all be springboks soon?
Thursday 29th June – New Zealand – Style Icon or this seasons’ fashion?
Thursday 7th July – Italy – One nation, 3,000 grapes – The highlights.
Thursday 3rd August – Australia – Not just the home of the big and bold!
Thursday 24th August – Spain – Life beyond Rioja!
Thursday 14th September – Argentina – Red, white and South American estate
Thursday 5th October – Continental Europe – Riesling, Gewurztraminer and  - shock, horror, reds!
 
 
 
2015 The Scoundrel Shiraz, £14.99 or 2 for £26
A big rich thick Shiraz made by a mate of ours over in Cambridge, who shoots down to Barossa and sorts out this little gem with Rolf Binder and Magpie Estates. This is a huge oldstyley polished pepper blackcurrant cassis shiraz, made to commit blitzkrieg on your tastebuds and thrill the senses. An absolute hit at our Butchery demonstration last week, and rocking ever since!
 
2015 Domaine Bonnet Huteau Muscadet - Les Gautronnieres, £14.99 or 2 for £26
Mineral with crisp hard fruit, this is a real palette-cleanser of a wine, a delight to the senses in every fashion. Also a bit of a crowd-pleaser – this will suit all palettes!
Posted in Wines on Tasting By Jez Greenspan

A visit to The Gin Kitchen

Monday, 6 February 2017 18:11:48 Europe/London

Be careful what you wish for! 

After customers kept appearing in our Church Street shop raving about a new gin made in teeny tiny batches in Dorking we knew we had to investigate, and that's how we found ourselves in a beer garden on South Street in Dorking at 10.30am tasting 85% proof spirits! 

Gutsy Monkey Bottle

The team from The Gin Kitchen haven't been distilling for long, but are already gaining an exceptional reputation. The brainchild of Helen and Kate - who figured that they drank so much gin they might as well start making it - this product is clearly the result of a a great deal of hard work to source exactly the right blend and style of botanticals to produce an extremely complex high quality gin unlike any we've ever tasted. In fact, Rebecca, our resident gin lush, has even proclaimed it "the best gin I've tasted in years!"

Steeping botanicalsGutsy Monkey, their winter gin,  is full bodied with a lovely silky texture in the mouth and a blend of aromatics that delicately combines both citrus and spice. One of the things that makes their product stand out is the use of fresh ingredients in the distilation. Thyme, lime zest and ginger are combined with the grain spirit that has already been steeping with allspice and juniper.

Heads of gin

A gentle steam distilation is used to make sure the subtle flavours aren't burnt off, and deciding when to capture the "hearts" of the process (the best bits that actually make it into your bottle) is trickly and all done by taste and smell by their trusty still guardian Jamie. He is there throughout the whole process keeping a stearn eye on "Dinky Dragondale" their bespoke copper still that was hand crafted in Portugal. 

Servicing the still

We had the honour of visiting the team in the Gin Kitchen while they were making the Vineking batch! That's right our very own batch of gin marked with a distinct batch code that you'll only find in our stores. 

Gutsy Monkey Team

We also had the chance to hear about all their plans for the future, and whilst the donkey riding across India to harvest botanicals direct from the plants might be a little way off yet, their newest products are already in testing and their summer gin isn't too far away. 

We'll have little tipples on tasting for you in store this weekend and you can pick up your very own bottle of the Vineking batch - what number bottle will you choose? 

 

 

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Posted By Jez Greenspan
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