Compass Box Whisky & Cocktail Evening

16 June 2015 by Ben

Join us at The Good Wine Shop in Kew on Friday 26 June, for what promises to be a great evening of whisky, cocktails and fun!

Picture of wooden casks on fire as part of the toasting processOur host for the evening will be Herman Van Broekhuizen of Compass Box Whisky.

He will be guiding us through the fascinating world of whisky and the dynamic approach that Compass Box has brought to the art of blending over the last 15 years.

We will have the Compass Box range open to try on the night, giving you the opportunity to understand how different components in the production of scotch whisky translates into what you taste in the glass…but the fun doesn’t stop there!

Picture of a bottle of Hedonism whiskyHerman will be knocking up cocktails to order. He’ll demonstrate not only how versatile whisky can be but also how easy it is to reproduce these stunning drinks at home over the summer as you entertain friends and family!  From Mint Juleps to a Whisky Smash you’ll experience this spirit as you’ve never had it before.

This event is free to attend but we expect it to be very busy!  Therefore we kindly ask that you get in touch with us by email,  call us on 020 8940 4482 or sign up in store so that we know how many to expect!  We’ll be getting things started at 18:00 and will finish around 20:30 – we look forward to seeing you then!

P.S. Read our interview with Compass Box founder John Glaser

Picture of the compass box logo

Mark’s Mendoza Mission

3 June 2015 by Mark W

A buying trip to Argentina is the stuff of wine merchants’ dreams (along with happy customers and record sales), so I jumped at a recent opportunity to embark on just such an exciting adventure. The chance to seek out new wines from this well regarded part of South America, some of which have never been seen in the UK before, was too good to miss.

With over 1,500 wine producers in Argentina, only about a quarter of them export their wines which is a sad symptom of a volatile currency and weak economy for the last 20 years. However, those exports have driven Argentina’s reputation on the world stage for producing excellent wines.

The majority of Argentina’s wine is produced in the Mendoza province, which is in the west of the country tucked at the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Some 95% of wine produced in Mendoza is produced to the east of the region and is low quality, high volume output. The remaining 5% is from quality producers in Luján de Cuyo and to the south in Valley de Uco. These are where all the producers we met are based.

A photo of Mendoza vineyards with the Andes in the background

Mendoza is essentially a desert where anything green only survives thanks to the 17th century irrigation canals which were made by the Indians. The water supply, which is fiercely controlled by the local government, is the difference between success and failure for land owners. The water itself unsurprisingly comes from Andes. It is snow water which is trapped in reservoirs and distributed via the canals. Many of the vineyards use the old irrigation system via the canals, often only getting a “flood” of water twice a week for a few hours when the water is “turned on.” However, this is sufficient. More importantly this method means disease levels are low and therefore there are lots of original rootstock dating back up to 80 years, as phylloxera, the beast which wiped out so many vines in Europe in the 19th century, cannot survive such constant flooding.

Here’s a short video of the irrigation channels:

A photo of hail nets in a vineyardThe other major risk to crops is hail, so most of the top small producers now use hail nets to protect the vines. Hail destroying your hard earned crop can be devastating as those in Burgundy in France can verify in recent years.

There were hugely different philosophies at each of the wineries we visited over course of the seven day trip. We saw small and artisan producers pushing the boundaries as well as some more commercially focussed vineyards with large production but where quality was still the focus. Others worked as a negotiant-type businesses. They own no vineyards but buy most of their grapes on long term contracts with the local farmers.

Argentina produces wonderful wines and has built its reputation on blockbuster style wines which it does very well. However, there were signs on this trip that it is starting the process of reinventing itself and its wine styles. It is no longer all about big alcohol and big fruit; there are subtle and carefully made wines with great appeal to a wider audience which will help it to continue to grow its reputation in the UK.

Here is a brief selection of the producers whose wines impressed me. Unfortunately, one major thing I learnt on this trip is that getting wines back to the UK to sell to our lovely customers is not a quick process. Sadly therefore a number of the wines I tasted will not be in our shops until much later this year. However do read on for my top tips and five case deals on some of my favourites – all of them at 20% off:

Ojo de Vino, Agrelo, Mendoza
Owned by Swiss conceptual artist and musician Dieter Meier (remember Yello?), this organic winery has some very alluring wines with great silky fruit and in a typically rich Argentina style. They are also extremely smartly designed (as you might imagine) with striking labels. They are very drinkable wines at sensible prices. Throughout June 2015, save 20% with a special offer on a 12 bottle case of Puro Malbec, Dieter Meier, 2014 for £159 (a saving of £40)

Dominio del Plata – Susana Balbo
This iconic producer has tripled in size in the last 7 years and is very different to others in that she is effectively a negotiant operation with brands and bought in contracted fruit. Wines and blends therefore change quite often. Family succession is in place with son José and daughter Ana heavily involved in the business.

Described in the 2013 vintage by wine critic, Luis Gutiérrez, as “one of the Argentine wines you must drink before you die,” buy a 12 bottle case of Barrel Fermented Torrontes, Susana Balbo 2014  for £163 and save 20% or £40. We are also delighted to offer a 12 bottle case of Susana Balbo Signature Range Malbec 2013 for £235. This is also 20% off our list price, saving you £60. And a 12 bottle case of the brilliant Bordeaux-blend Ben Marco Expresivo 2013 is also available at a discounted price of £327 which saves you £81.

A photo of concrete eggsMichelini brothers, Vista Flores, Mendoza
These guys are ground breaking for Argentina as a result of their winemaking methods based on the simple, but locally uncharacteristic, principles of low intervention, natural yeasts and no acidification of their wines. This is unheard of in Argentina and viewed somewhat sceptically by some. The key identifiable difference is the low alcohol and freshness of their wines, early picking seems to be a key factor but these guys really are happy to push the boundaries & limits, one example being experimenting with egg shaped concrete fermenters, made by their Dad! They produce an amazing “orange” unfiltered Torrontes.

Benegas Estate, Agrelo, Mendoza
Frederico Benegas has the winemaking history of Argentina in his heart being the great-great-grandson of the man who first planted French vines in Argentina. The key to the great wines they produce is the very old vines across the estate, many are 60 to 80 years old. They make an amazing array of classy wines with bottle age, lovely balance and pure fruit. We have their Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and their 2006 Cabernet Franc available now.

Bodega Aniello, Rio Alta, Patagonia
The only wines we tasted from down in the cool south of the country during our trip but well worth the wait. These wines are fabulously good value for the quality and with noticeable stylistic differences to Mendoza wines. They have more restrained concentration and intensity of fruit, lighter but extremely drinkable wines with complexity.

My Mixed Mendoza case is also available. It contains with three bottles of Barrel Fermented Torrontes, Susana Balbo 2014; Susana Balbo Signature Range Malbec 2013; Ben Marco Expresivo 2013 and Puro Malbec, Dieter Meier, 2014. This costs just £221 a saving of £55.

All these case offers will end on 30 June 2015 or before if the limited stocks run out…so don’t delay!

Let’s be…Franc

2 May 2015 by Jackie

Because Cabernet Sauvignon has so much more of everything – body, tannin, alcohol, colour – it is often supposed to be superior, but here at TGWS, we have a very soft spot indeed for its more charming and aromatic parent, Cabernet Franc.


Here’s everything you need to know about the grape, where it can grow, how its made and blended well, so you too can fall in love with its charms!

Cabernet Franc tends to be grown to a limited extent wherever Cabernet Sauvignon is grown but we hope we’ll continue to see more Cabernet Franc-dominated wines – they are just so easy to drink.


It is mostly planted in the far northeast of Italy, particularly in Friuli, but it is also found in the wines of the Veneto (where it is known as Bordo), as part of some Chianti blends, even as far south as Puglia. Plantings of Cabernet Franc in Tuscany have been increasing in recent years, particularly in the Bolgheri and Maremma region where the grape is prized for the balance and elegance that it brings to blends.


Currently there are 500 hectares of Cabernet Franc planted around the Mendoza region and it’s being heralded as “the future” for Argentina with planting increasing rapidly each year. Lusher and fuller than a Loire red, but more airy and refined than the average Argentinian Malbec, some believe it’s going to be more successful to cultivate than Cab Sauv…watch this space!

South Africa:

Cabernet Franc has become a favourite of some of the country’s boutique wineries and acreage has slowly been increasing to nearly 1,000 ha by the mid 2000s.

Bruwer Raats is the pioneer of “fine” varietal bottlings in SA, although he has to struggle with his vines’ tendency to ripen – even individual bunches – very unevenly. Harvesting Cab Franc at peak ripeness is paramount. It’s grown in a variety of terroirs, and with great success on well-drained, medium-to-low potential soils containing chalk and limestone. It confirms the importance of choice of soils and shows that ripeness of Cabernet Franc is easily achievable in South Africa – excellent wines are possible!


In France, Cabernet Franc is found predominately in the Loire Valley and in the Libournais region of Bordeaux. As of 2000, it was the sixth most widely planted red grape variety in the country.

Bourgueil is an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) for Cab Franc in the Loire Valley region. It is situated on the right-bank of the river, which provides some climate moderation, to the west of Tours and on the edge of the better known Maine-et-Loire department. Also known as Cabernet Breton, up to 10% of the wine can also be made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Limestone soils produce wines with a dusky red hue, whereas those grown in siliceous soil take on a redcurrant shade. Bourgueil wines have a floral and fruity bouquet, which becomes earthy as the wine gets older. These wines age splendidly in the bottle, keeping for up to 20 years.

gayda figure libre

Cabernet Sauvignon has rarely made wines of real distinction in the Languedoc but Cabernet Franc instead has been making inroads there recently and several varietal versions of interest have arrived on the international marketplace in the last couple of years, especially from innovative estate, Domaine Gayda who we stock.

We’ll be opening some examples of Cab Franc in May across all 3 stores, so you can try them for yourself. We’ve also put together a delicious “introductory” case, highlighting 6 of our best examples of this grape from across the world and in various different styles. It’s available throughout May and costs £175 saving you £24.50.

Whiskey a Go Go

27 April 2015 by Dave

North America has a long and proud tradition of producing Whiskey brought to the new world by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland who sought to reproduce the “water of life” of their homeland.

While European Whiskey/Whisky is predominantly produced from barley, settlers in America were forced to use whatever was to hand resulting in distinctively different styles with very different flavour Elijah_Craig_12_Bottle_Shotprofiles. More often than not US whiskies are made with various different types of grain in the “mash”, more in keeping with the Irish tradition – but that is where the similarities end.

Bourbon is the name synonymous with US whiskey and is most likely derived from the name “Old Bourbon” a region in Kentucky rather than specifically with the now dry (and distillery-less) Bourbon County.  Where Bourbon appears on the label we can be pretty sure that at least 51% of the mash bill is maize with the balance made up of other grains and helping to determine the final character of the spirit.  The real alchemy takes place in the charred white oak barrels that the spirit is aged in order to impart colour and flavour.

Better quality examples however, like our current favourite whistle Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon10-Year-Bottle-transparent-smallare aged for 12 years in the heart of Whiskey country.  What better way to serve it than straight up with a beer back. Buy a bottle of Elijah Craig in May and we’ll throw in a couple of American craft brews to go with it for FREE.  If you prefer your drinks a little longer; from the classical cocktail bastion you could whip up a Manhattan or if you’re feeling frisky try a Blood and Sand with the scotch subbed for Bourbon.

Also note worthy is the newly arrived and rare even in America, Whistle Pig 100/100 Straight Rye Whisky from Vermont.  While 51% Rye is sufficient to call a whiskey Rye, the best are 100% Rye and in this case bottles at 100 proof hence 100/100.  Having been released in 2010 it quickly gained critical acclaim being awarded 96 points by Wine Enthusiast, the highest score ever given to a Rye Whisky.  Don’t take our word for it; we have samples available in our Chiswick and Esher shops.

Grenache – the unsung hero

28 February 2015 by Pippa

Welcome to the world of Grenache Noir – once the world’s most widely planted red grape, whose fame rested largely on its ability to beef up wines with its own high levels of alcohol – strength rather than subtlety if you will. Yet, in the hands of a skillful grower, and especially from very old bush vines, Grenache can give incredibly appealing, hedonistically soft and fruity wines.

Photo of Grenache vines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Grenache vines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Grenache – or more properly Garnacha, is Spanish in origin and spread north over the Pyrenees into the Roussillon when that region belonged to Spain in times past. It still dominates the Mediterranean, popping up in Sardinia as Cannonau, all along the Languedoc, in Spain’s north eastern vineyards and the southern Rhone, where it’s the backbone of all Cotes du Rhone blends and core of many a Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In the New World it thrives in Australia and California. It’s a heat-loving grape, but produces its finest and most long-lived wines in cooler vintages of warm regions when its trademark red fruit aromas retain fresh rather than jammy fruit character.

In our rush to embrace the seductive delights of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet and Malbec, Grenache has been over-looked. We aim to redress that omission and re-acquaint you with its pleasures. Over the weekend of March 6th, 7th and 8th, the Kew, Chiswick and Esher shops will have a fine selection of Grenache based wines open for you to try. We’ve also put together a specially selected case of 12 wines which show just how Grenache can be great. It’s available throughout March for £180 – a saving of £27.50.

And, in case you need any further encouragement to come along and join the Grenache party, we leave you with the great Oz Clarke’s description of the grape:

“Grenache is for me the wild, wild woman of wine, the sex on wheels,
the devil take the hindmost, the don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Grapes and Wines” 2008

Pink Fizz for February 14

11 February 2015 by Dave

It’s that time of year when shops are briefly filled to the gunwhales with all manner of pink, fluffy merchandise.  Here at The Good Wine Shop you’ll find nothing fluffy, but on the pink and fizzy front we can certainly help you.  Let me talk you through our selection…

Didier Gallimard owns 10 hectares of prime vineyards on the steep slopes around Les Riceys gallimard rosethe vines’ average 30 years in age . His rich exotic Rosé is produced in very limited quantities and has become a The Good Wine Shop favourite. Gallimard Rose shows strawberry fruit with a long, tingly finish. It is predominantly made from Pinot Noir with a dash of Chardonnay to give elegance and balance.

A relatively new arrival to our range, Champagne Gosset is the oldest wine producer in Champagne.  So old, in fact, that Pierre Gosset founded the company before Champagne, as we know it, had even been invented.  In the pink version of the Grand Reserve, malo-lactic fermentation is carefully avoided to preserve the fresh, naturally fruity aromas.

Krug RoseIt’s not all about Champagne however, as some of the best value sparklers come from other parts of the world.  Cuvee Emotion is a traditional method fizz from Limoux in south west France, pale pink in colour and packed with flavour.  Made from a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and a splash of Pinot Noir it puts many more expensive brands in the shade. Summer fruits and red berries leap from the glass and subtle savoury notes come through on the palate.

At the pinnacle of the Pink Champagne pyramid we find Dom Perignon Rose 1996 and Krug Rose jostling for position.  Whilst ‘the Dom’ is from the exceptional vintage of 1996, the Krug is blended from a myriad of reserve wines and considers itself to be “surpassing the very notion of vintage”.  Which is best?  There’s only one way to find out…

If you don’t feel like a full bottle we have a couple of half bottle options, perfect for a flute and a half each.  Moutard Rose is 100% Pinot Noir and perhaps a little too dark in colour to be considered trendy but perfect for those who prefer a fuller style.  Also available in halves (although I’ll be splashing out on a full bottle) is the iconic and ever popular Billecart-Salmon Rose.

All the shops will be popping open a bottle of something to try on Saturday 14 February so do swing by for a sip or two. Bring your loved one…and go on, buy them a bottle!



Tempranillo’s temptations

3 February 2015 by Pippa

Most of us think of Tempranillo as the great grape of Rioja, but take a look at a map of the world’s plantings of it and you might be surprised. Although it’s been the fourth most planted red grape worldwide since 2010, virtually all of it is in Spain. From the Basque country to Valencia and Castilla La Mancha to Extremadura, Spain’s map is stained red by its presence – as is almost all of Portugal.

Its dominance is quite recent. In a study into the worlds’ top ten grape varieties by the University of Adelaide published a couple of years ago, it doesn’t even figure in the 1990 list. Twenty years later Tempranillo’s bid for world dominance is well underway, even if there is very little outside its traditional Iberian stamping ground. There are bits and pieces elsewhere – typically through emigration from Spain – in Australia and South America.

Photo of a Tempranillo vine

So what’s the secret of Tempranillo’s appeal?
Tempranillo is versatile – tolerant of a wide spectrum of climate in the vineyard and in the hands of the winemaker amazingly biddable. Its sheer variety of style and price endears it to wine drinkers everywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you want to splash out on a splendid celebration bottle, or pick up a simple, fruity red for a mid–week supper, Tempranillo is doing it in a shop somewhere near you and at the price you want.

Sometimes this sheer abundance can prove confusing. How do you find the right Tempranillo for you? Even within the Rioja region there are three schools of thought – the Traditionalists, the Modernists and those on the fence. So here’s a rough guide to the differences:

Traditional Rioja
This is aged in American oak barrels and in bottle before being released for sale.There are three mandatory terms referring to the length of ageing:

  • Crianza – a minimum of a year in barrel and a year in bottle
  • Reserva- a minimum of a year in barrel and two years in bottle
  • Gran Reserva- a minimum of two years in barrel and three in bottle
A photo of Pedro Saez checking the vines at Urbina

Pedro Saez checks the vines at Urbina

If any of these appear on the bottle it means the wine must have been aged in accordance with the rule. The longer the ageing the lighter the wine will be. A traditional crianza like Bodegas Urbina 2007 will have a slightly browner colour and typical aromas of red fruit, leather and sweet spices from the oak.

Joven styles
Rioja that has either not been aged in oak at all or just had a brief stint in barrel to add a touch more complexity. This is a deliciously drinkable form of Rioja (or Ribera too) for those averse to the charms of oak and usually much cheaper since it won’t have been aged for long before being released for sale. Finca Manzanos from Rioja and La Planta from Ribera are good examples.

Modern Rioja
The grapes may be macerated before fermentation to achieve a darker colour and greater concentration of fruit, before being aged in French oak much of which may well be new. The result is a far denser, tighter, richer wine which will age very well but may or may not have any indication like Crianza or Reserva on the label. Finca del Bosque and Baigorri are good examples.

Those on the fence:
Bodegas like Finca Allende makes their wines in a traditional way but age them in French oak – as if they were making a traditonal Reserva but there is no indication on the label of ageing. The result is wines with greater depth of colour and intensity than traditional styles but that are not as deep and concentrated as modern ones. The style is finer, the oak less evident.

The best bet is to ask advice – the picture isn’t clear cut!

Ribera del Duero (Tempranillo is sometimes called Tinto del Pais here)
Ribera is a good two hours drive from Rioja further inland and higher. The climate here is fiercely hot in summer – it’s too far from the Atlantic’s cooling influence that Rioja enjoys. The wines are much richer, plusher and with dark fruit rather than strawberry flavours. If you enjoy the richness of South American reds or those of the Languedoc, Ribera’s wines may suit you better. Try Bodegas Arzuaga Crianza. A little further west is the emerging wine region of Toro. Their wines, such as Dominio Del Bendito el Primer, Paso ‘Silver’, are similar to Ribera.

A photo of a bottle of Finca Valona

Penedes: (Tempranillo here is called Ull de LLebre)
A cool region for Tempranillo and one that produces wines closer in style to New World Pinot Noir. The finest Tempranillo I’ve ever tasted outside Rioja came from a tiny estate here, from centenarian vines aged in old barrels – and from the great 2001 vintage.

Castilla La Mancha
Advances in viticulture and wine making here have raised the quality of wines in this hot region beyond all recognition. This is a great source of cheap, well made Tempranillo. Our Centelleo Tempranillo is a good example as is Finca Valona in a more refined classic style.

Tempranillo grows almost everywhere here! It’s very important in the Douro for both still wine and Port and is called Tinto Roriz. It features in the fabulous red wines of the Quinta de la Rosa estate, for example  Further south in the Alentejo, Tempranillo is called Aragonez – a tribute to its Spanish ancestry perhaps. It is most usually blended with other local grapes.

Whatever your taste in red it’s likely there’ll be a Tempranillo for you! To give you a chance to try the varying styles I’ve put together a Tempting Tempranillo Case of different 12 wines. This will be available throughout February and cost £170 (a saving of £41.75).

All three shops are celebrating Tempranillo with a free tasting over the weekend of 7 and 8 February. Just pop by to try!

n.b. Homepage image is courtesy of Wines from Rioja UK

January Sale

16 January 2015 by Sarah

Image of bottles with SALE written on themOur sale starts on Friday 16 January at 10am. This is a a great time to bag a bargain as we have 25% off some of our most popular wines…

Picture of Larose-TrintaudonWines on sale at all shops include:

Chateau Larose Trintaudon, Cru Bourgeios 2007 “A particularly successful 2007.” Jancis Robinson.
Was £19.00 now £14.25

Bourgogne Chardonnay, Domaine Henri Prudhon 2012
Was £14.50 now £10.88

Gavi di Gavi, Bric Sassi, Roberto Sarotto, Piedmont 2013
Was £13.50 now £10.13

Michel Torino Coleccion Malbec , Cafayate, Argentina 2013
Was £10.00 now £7.50

Each shop will also have a number of additional wines at 25% off. You’ll have to pop in (or call the shops) to discover what these are!

Sale prices only available in store – but you can call to arrange payment and delivery over the phone. Call Chiswick on 020 8994 8184; Esher on 01372 877272 and Kew on 020 8940 4482.

Fizz offers for New Year’s Eve

27 December 2014 by Sarah

We’ve got two offers to help you see in the New Year with fantastic fizz…We’re currently offering the Gallimard Vintage Champagne and Bianchi Brut NV on a six for five deal.

Photo of a bottle of Champagne GallimardChampagne Brut Prestige Gallimard Pere et Fils 2008
Extraordinary vintage grower Champagne from a small producer in a rich style that’s perfect for cold weather. Outstanding quality and value for money compared to the big name brands.
Normal price £192.00 for six; offer price £160.00

Bianchi Brut, Argentina, NV
Made using the traditional Champenois method of second fermentation in bottle, this is soft, gently fruity fizz with plenty of flavour. At half the price of most Champagne this is our party sparkler of choice.
Normal price £90.00 for six; offer price £75.00

If you’re yet to decide on the perfect sparkler for New Year’s Eve or simply need to stock up after the festive season why not take advantage of our special offer on two of our most popular sparkling wines?

A minimum purchase of six bottles is required to qualify for the offer price; the minimum quantity for free delivery is 12 bottles.

Please contact one of our shops to make your purchase:

Pinot Noir – Perfect for Autumn

1 November 2014 by Alex

As the days grow shorter and the temperature gets cooler, my wine tastes turn away from the light, fresh whites of summer, and while the depths of winter may be well suited to big, powerful, warming reds, Pinot Noir is by far my favourite Autumnal variety.

Image of Vosne Romanee vineyard

Image courtesy of Luca Sbardella via Flickr

Pinot Noir is perhaps the most intriguing red grape variety of all. Although capable of producing some of the most complex and long-lived wines in the world, it is an extremely difficult grape to grow and is equally challenging to the wine maker, requiring considerable skill and experience to produce wines that live up to the grape’s potential. Despite the sometimes fickle nature of the grape, it is perennially attractive to those that make wine all over the world, being found as far afield as Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and Romania, as well as its spiritual home in Burgundy’s Cote d’Or.

Bunch2aPart of the beauty of Pinot Noir is its ability to show different characteristics depending on the place in which it is grown, but what most wines from this variety share is pretty, ripe fruit character, medium to light body, and fine tannins. In cooler areas it tends towards developing hints of earthy, savoury character, while warmer climates accentuate the intense fruitiness and create a satiny smooth texture.

It is this diversity of styles that contributes to the enduring fascination with Pinot Noir, there really is always something new to discover!

A Pinot Noir Mixed Case

We’ve put together a case to show the many different sides of Pinot Noir, including two bottles each of the following six wines for the discounted price of £185.00 (RRP £221).

Calusari, Pinot Noir, Romania, 2013
This is the first Romanian wine that we’ve stocked at The Good Wine Shop and it has really wowed our customers. This is a strikingly aromatic Pinot Noir with violets and dried cherries on the nose but its real asset is a fantastically juicy, berry palate and a silky smooth, delicious finish. This is nice all on its own but will also work well with lighter style meat dishes.

La Vierge Pinot Noir, Hermanus, South Africa, 2011
This South African Pinot Noir comes from the cool Hemel-en-Aarde region and exudes elegance, class and drinkability. Though light in body, the bright, delicate red fruit flavours and haunting, perfumed aromas make this Heaven for any fan of the grape. Pair with roast salmon, duck or just good company.

Delinea 300 Pinot Noir, Sokol Blosser, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2010
Delinea 300 has aromas and flavours of red and black cherries, cassis, violets, truffle and mocha. The tannins are smooth and refined, with a medium-bodied structure and bright acidity which makes this wine approachable in its youth.

Estate Pinot Noir, Humberto Canale, Patagonia, Argentina, 2013
This wine has an attractive garnet colour. On the nose there are notes of spice and candied fruit with nuances of fresh red berries such as strawberries and cherries. Its ageing in oak is emphasised with a smoky vanilla aroma. In the mouth, it is delicate in body, with soft tannins and ripe red fruit flavour and a long persistent finish. The wine’s earthiness makes it a good partner for coq au vin or pork.

Clos Henri ‘Petit Clos’ Pinot Noir, Wairu Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2013
Malborough is of course known for its Sauvignon Blanc, but the climate is also well suited to Pinot Noir. Showing ripe, deep black fruit character and subtle smoky aromas on the nose, the palate is filled with luscious fruit and soft tannins. A moreish and easy-drinking style.

Mercurey 1er Cru Les Montaigus, Dureuil Janthial, Burgundy, France 2012
From the Burgundian village of Mercurey in the Cote Chalonnaise and grown on clay-limestone soils, this is a light and perfumed style of red Burgundy. Brimming with crunchy red cherry and sweet strawberry fruit, there is a hint of earthy, forest floor character that adds complexity and makes this a superbly food-friendly wine.