Tasting Notes

BYO Podcast Episodes

12 March 2018 by Alex

Our podcast ‘Bring Your Own’ is going from strength to strength with a great new episode every month. In order to keep you up to date with everything that’s happening in the world of BYO we have created this treasure trove of episodes, below you will find links to all available episodes on YouTube starting with the most recent. Check back here monthly for your latest update!

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New Arrivals!

6 March 2018 by Alex

The early part of the year is always a time for fresh starts and new approaches, and we at The Good Wine Shop are no exception. Don’t worry though, we won’t be throwing the baby out with the bath water and getting rid of all your old favourites, we will mostly just be adding great new wines that deserve everyone’s attention! With that in mind we thought now would be a good time to bring your attention to a selection of new bottles that have just hit the shelves. Click the wine name to view.

Petit Sios, Costers del Segre, Spain, 2016

petit sios landscape

 

 

 

This white from the Costers del Segre region in Catalunya is based on 60% Viognier with Chardonnay and Muscat. Although made from full bodied and aromatic grapes, this is surprisingly crisp and shows good minerality. The fruit here is mostly white peach and apricot with some tropical nuances.

Cailloux du Paradis Quartz, Loire Valley, France, 2015

Quartz Landscape

 

 

 

An intensely mineral Sauvignon Blanc, with stoney, flinty flavours that make it worthy of its name. Although the polar opposite style to a stereotypical ‘New World’ Sauvignon, there is still plenty of zesty lemon and grapefruit flavour here. In many ways better than a lot of Sancerres or Pouilly-Fumes at this price.

Pax ‘Buddha’s Dharma’ Chenin Blanc, Mendocino County, USA, 2015

Pax BUddha Landscape

 

 

 

Made from vines over 70 years of age, this is a rich, dense, creamy Chenin Blanc with a mouth-coating texture. Notes of ripe apricot, white flowers and honey abound on the nose. Great with any creamy fish or chicken dish.

Chanin Wine Co, Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, California, USA, 2015

Chanin_Bien_NacidoChard Landscape

 

 

 

The Chanin Wine Co. crafts wines from various vineyards in Santa Barbara county that are intended to express the best characteristics of their individual site. The wines emphasise balance and complexity without excessive alcohol. The Bien Nacido Chardonnay is wonderfully nutty, with ripe lemon fruit and salty mineral touches. Aged in oak for 15 months but only 10% of this is new. Lots of Californian Chardonnays claim to be restrained and elegant, but this truly embodies these qualities in a seemingly effortless manner.

Jean Vesselle, Pur B3 Grand Cru, Brut Nature, Bouzy, Champagne, France, 2012

Jean Vesselle B3 Landscape

 

 

 

An unusual 100% Chardonnay wine from the Grand Cru village of Bouzy, which is best known for its Pinot Noir. This wine is a chance to see the quality of a pure Chardonnay Champagne grown on these prestigious soils. Rich and textured yet mineral.

Alfredo Maestro, Vina Almate, Tinto, Castilla Y Leon, Spain, 2016

almate Landscape

 

 

 

Alfredo Maestro is based in Ribera del Duero, and is passionate about finding and rehabilitating parcels of vines in the Castilla y Leon region too, one of which forms the basis for this great value red. Alfredo works organically, and with no additions in the winery except a minimum of sulphur at bottling. This is 100% Tempranillo with 80% whole clusters included, fermented with indigenous yeasts. The vineyards are located between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level, helping to give a lovely aromatic perfume to the wine alongside impressive concentration of flavour. A lot of wine for the money!

Stolpman Vineyards, La Cuadrilla, Ballard Canyon, USA, 2015

La Cuadrilla Landscape

 

 

 

Stolpman Vineyards’ La Cuadrilla stems from a novel and admirable concept: the vineyard workers tend a speicifc section of vines to form the basis of the cuvee. The result is then blended with some more fruit from the estate to ensure that production represents at least 10% of annual production. Stolpman then give all the profits from the wine to the vineyard workers directly. Not just a nice story, this wine is a delicious, spicy blend of 68% Syrah, 20% Grenache, 6% Petite Sirah, and 6% Sangiovese. Dense and structured, but ripe and drinkable.

Cailloux du Paradis Racines Rouge, Loire Valley, France, 2014

claude-courtois-racines-landscape

 

 

 

Winemaker Claude Courtois cultivates his small property in an obscure corner of the Loire valley. The red version of Racines is made from an undisclosed number of red varieties (Courtois is keen to emphasise the importance of viewing his wines as wholes rather than talking about the grape varieties contained within). Typically the majority of the wine is made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cot (the local name for Malbec). Very low intervention winemaking, with no added sulphur and everything done by hand. Perfumed and full of violet aromas on the nose, the palate has lots of crisp, crunchy ripe fruit along with a firm but subtle tannic structure.

Sato “Pisa Terrace” Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand, 2015

Sato Pinot

 

 

 

Brilliant ‘natural’ Pinot Noir from Central Otago in New Zealand, nothing is added to this wine than a tiny amount of sulphur when the wine is bottled. Yoshiaki and Kyoko Sato make only a tiny volume of wine in each vintage. Perfumed, pure fruit and delicious herbal nuances.

Tabarrini “Campo alla Cerqua” Sagrantino di Montefalco, Umbria, Italy, 2008

Tabarrini Campo Cerqua Landscape

 

 

 

The Campo alla Cerqua vineyard has loose, stony soils which – in contrast to the heavier clay of the Grimaldesco vineyard – give a wine of more elegance, minerality, and finesse. To enchance these characteristics the wine ages only in large oak barrels, mellowing the wine without imparting oaky flavours.

A Once in a Lifetime Tasting: Miani

23 February 2018 by Alex

Miani Corks

TDrops of Godhe term “icon” is often abused in the wine world, a designation too hastily assigned to any estate which receives the slightest acclaim. But when it comes to the wines of Miani, the label doesn’t quite do justice to the profound wines from the estate. Perhaps Miani’s inclusion in the wine-focused graphic novel series “Drops of God” delivers a more fitting tribute to these unique wines.

Enzo Cellar

Enzo Pontoni at work

Reclusive winemaker Enzo Pontoni in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region is truly one of the greatest in Italy. Unfortunately, his fiercely uncompromising approach to quality in the vineyards and cellars ensures that there is never enough wine to go around, but we have secured excellent allocations of a wide range of his wines this year. In order to give as many people as possible a chance to experience these beautiful creations we decided to host an unprecedented tasting in the Chiswick store showcasing a wide range of Enzo’s wines. Bruno Besa, an expert on Enzo’s wines who has been working with him for almost 20 years joined us for this tasting. Despite having visited Enzo in his winery almost every year for the last 20 years, Bruno remarked that he had never tasted so many Miani wines from bottle at once. We were lucky to have Bruno on hand to share an unparalleled level of insight into what makes these wines so special.

The Miani wines are becoming more sought after every year, and it is very unlikely that the opportunity to put on this tasting will ever arise again. We have a precious few Miani wines still in stock at the time of this article, click here to browse them online, although they may not be there for long!

Below are details of what we tasted on the night:

Sauvignon Zitelle Alto 2015 & Sauvignon Zitelle Cava – these two expressions of Sauvignon Blanc are from a single vineyard (‘Le Zitelle’ means spinsters in English) that Enzo acquired in 2006 and completely replanted – his grandfather had made some of the original plantings here many years ago so this site Miani Chardonnay Webhas a special place in Enzo’s heart. The vines are just becoming old enough to produce wines that live up to Enzo’s high standards and these are the first releases of Sauvignon Blanc from here. The Cava Sauvignon is from a section of very poor soils that give an extra-concentrated wine show very dense, exotic flavours and deep minerality. The Alto is more aromatic and expressive at the moment with great purity.

Ribolla Gialla Pettarin 2016 & Friulano Filip 2016 – these individual vineyard expressions of the two greatest Friulian white grapes are named after the families that farmed them in years past. These two wines are the most sought after whites in the Miani stable. The Ribolla is delicate, fresh, and floral but with impressive density and texture. The Friulano is an incredibly intense wine, with masses of structure for a white wine: everything is here from acidity and richness of texture to extremely intense exotic fruit and minerality.

Chardonnay Palis 2015 – a new wine from the 2015 vintage onwards, this rich but mineral single vineyard Chardonnay is a future classic. Compared to many other Chardonnays this has a wonderfully ethereal, delicate character – there’s an almost playful feel to the wine. At the same time there is a hint of seriousness and the promise of future development.

Miani Rosso 2013 – a blend of Merlot and Refosco from a spectacular vintage, the Refosco comes from younger vines in a new, very exciting Refosco vineyard which will be bottled separately in future vintages when the vines are mature. This shows a lot of the richness, brightness, and concentration of the two single vineyard Merlots but with some beguiling herbal and earthy character coming from the Refosco. This is a slightly lighter weight red for Miani, but no less enticing because of it.miani-rosso-web

Merlot “Filip” 2013 & Merlot “Buri” 2013 – this was a fascinating chance to compare these two monumental Merlots from two different vineyards in the same, excellent vintage. Buri is from the village of Buttrio and is structured and complex, while Filip originates in Rosazzo and is rounder and more generous in youth. The Filip showed as the lighter of the two wines but this is more of a testament to the sheer monolithic power and intensity of the Buri. Both wines show incredible brightness of fruit – a quality that could almost be described as ‘aromatic’. There is a truly amazing level of ripeness to all aspects of these wines which never strays into over-ripe, stewed, or ‘Porty’ territory. No wonder Antonio Galloni described the Buri as ‘one of the most profound expressions of Merlot on the planet’.

BYO Podcast – Episode Four: Pinot Noir

12 December 2017 by Alex

 

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Episode four of our monthly podcast focuses on the profound and capricious Pinot Noir grape. For the uninitiated, ‘Bring Your Own’ is a podcast and video web series (in conjunction with Bottled Films) about wine and the people who make it, made by the people who drink it. Each episode has a theme centred around a wine region or style, and takes the form of a free-flowing, informal, and educational conversation.

Today’s session takes a look at Pinot Noir and some of its most famous expressions in Champagne and Burgundy. We’ve gathered a group of wine lovers to share bottles from their own cellars and to chat about what makes the grape so interesting, and the wines so memorable. We were lucky to be hosted by the great team at Kitchen Table and Bubbledogs in Central London for the filming of this episode. Tucked in the back of Bubbledogs on Charlotte Street, Kitchen Table is one of the most exciting restaurants in London, led by owner/Chef James Knappett. You can find them online at www.kitchentablelondon.co.uk

Follow us on social media, @BYOPodcast and share or rate this episode.

Please subscribe to the podcast to make sure you catch all future episodes: here

Enjoy, follow and subscribe on social media @BYOPodcast.

You can now support the project through our new Patreon page, https://www.patreon.com/bringyourown

The Wines:

Champagne Jacquesson Dizy “Terres Rouge” Rose Extra Brut 2009
Ulysse Collin “Les Maillons” Blanc de Noirs 2012
Domaine Bizot Vosne-Romanee 2014
Domaine Claude Dugat Gevrey Chambertin 2009

Find our host and guests online:

Derek Morrison @DerekDecanted
The Good Wine Shop – www.thegoodwineshop.co.uk

Dan Roznov @ChampagneSpy www.vivino.com/users/champagnespywww.champagnefriends.ch Peter Crawford @Alavolee Alavolee – www.alavolee.com
Christina Rasmussen @ChristinaRasmussen_ www.christinarasmussen.co

BYO Podcast – Episode Three: South Africa

24 November 2017 by Alex

BYO Ep3 Img1

Episode three of our monthly podcast focuses on the ‘New Wave’ wines of South Africa. For the uninitiated, ‘Bring Your Own’ is a podcast and video web series (in conjunction with Bottled Films) about wine and the people who make it, made by the people who drink it. Each episode has a theme centred around a wine region or style, and takes the form of a free-flowing, informal, and educational conversation.

This episode we were really lucky to be hosted at Terroirs Wine Bar in Central London for the filming of this episode. Around the corner from Trafalgar Square, Terroirs is a must visit in London for any winelover. You can find them online at www.terroirswinebar.com.

Joining our own inimitable Derek Morrison this episode are Hannes Storm of Storm Wines (@stormwinessa https://www.stormwines.co.za/), writer/wine judge Treve Ring (@treve_ring http://treve.ca/), and Craig Wessels of Restless River Wines (@restlessriverRR www.restlessriver.com).

The wines tasted in this episode are:

Restless River “Ava Marie” Chardonnay 2015
Storm Wines “Moya’s” Pinot Noir 2014
Alheit “Radio Lazarus” Chenin Blanc 2012
Craven Wines Pinot Gris 2015
Keermont Vineyards Syrah 2014
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2013
(Click the links to find similar wines in stock with us)

Please click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and make sure you catch all future episodes, and consider rating and reviewing it if you like it!

Enjoy, follow and subscribe on social media @BYOPodcast. You can now support the project through our new Patreon page, https://www.patreon.com/bringyourown

BYO Podcast – Episode Two: Jura

9 October 2017 by Alex

BYO Podcast Jura

Our monthly podcast returns for its second epiosde. ‘Bring Your Own’ is a podcast and video web series (in conjunction with Bottled Films) about wine and the people who make it, made by the people who drink it. Each episode has a theme centred around a wine region or style, and takes the form of a free-flowing, informal, and educational conversation.

This second episode focuses on the Jura region of France. While the region is perhaps best known for Comté cheese and Louis Pasteur, it is also home to some of France’s most exciting wines, including the timeless and iconic Vin Jaunes. We gathered a group of fanatical Jura lovers to share bottles from their own cellars and to chat about what makes the regions wines and people so unique and captivating.

Joining our very own Derek Morrison are international wine exporter Alessio Guidi, Jura Wine Importer Doug Wregg from Les Caves de Pyrene, Heidi Nam Knudsen from Ottolenghi Restaurant Group, and David Clawson from The Remedy Wine Bar.

We were really lucky to be hosted by the great team at Kitchen Table and Bubbledogs in Central London for the filming of this episode.  Tucked in the back of Bubbledogs on Charlotte Street, Kitchen Table is one of the most exciting restaurants in London, led by owner/Chef James Knappett. You can find them online at www.kitchentablelondon.co.uk

Click the video below to watch on YouTube, or click the links to listen on iTunesStitcher, or Soundcloud. If you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing, and subscribing on your platform of choice. You can follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @BYOpodcast.

BYO Podcast – Episode One: Grower Champagne

9 October 2017 by Alex

Grower Champagne Podcast

You may have noticed that we launched our new podcast ‘Bring Your Own’ back in August. This monthly podcast and video web series (in conjunction with Bottled Films) is about wine and the people who make it, made by the people who drink it. Each episode has a theme centred around a wine region or style, and takes the form of a free-flowing, informal, and educational conversation.

The first episode focuses on “Grower Champagne”, wines made by the very same people who grow the grapes. Bringing their own are Derek Morrison from The Good Wine Shop, Sandia Chang, owner of Bubbledogs, Champagne enthusiast Peter Crawford, and David Clawson, owner of The Remedy wine bar.

Click the video below to watch on YouTube, or click the links to listen on iTunes, Stitcher, or Soundcloud. If you like the podcast, please consider rating, reviewing, and subscribing on your platform of choice. You can follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @BYOpodcast.

Producer Profile: the Champagnes of Marie Courtin

30 June 2017 by Alex

This month as part of our Grower Champagne Month celebrations, we were lucky enough to taste the full range of Marie Courtin Champagnes. This small Champagne producer is owned and run by Dominique Moreau, granddaughter of Marie Courtin who tended the vines herself when the men in the family were fighting in World War I, while many other families abandoned their vines altogether.

Dominique farms a tiny 2.5ha in the village of Polisot in the Cotes des Bar region of Champagne. After many years of being somewhat overlooked, these southerly terroirs (Polisot is closer to Chablis than to Reims, for example) are home to some of the most exciting Champagne growers of all. The Marie Courtin vineyards are planted almost entirely to Pinot Noir, with a miniscule 0.5ha of Chardonnay. The vines are farmed according to fully organic and biodynamic principles, an approach which – although on the rise – is still very rare in the region. The philosophy here has always been ‘one grape variety, one vineyard, one vintage’, in stark contrast to the emphasis placed on blending by the vast majority of producers in the region. The yields are kept very low in order to ensure perfectly ripe fruit and Dominque adds no sugar at bottling – all the Champagnes are Extra Brut.

These wines have a pure and uniquely vibrant character which has to be tasted to be truly understood and bear little relation to the mass-produced, heavily worked Champagnes one often encounters.

Marie Courtin Bottles

Resonance

From a vineyard with younger vines, this Pinot Noir is full of sweet spice character and bruised apples. The tension between generous texture, laser-like acidity, and stoney minerality creates an extremely moreish yet cerebral Champagne.

Eloquence

100% Chardonnay from Dominique’s tiny parcel. This shows more delicate structure than the Pinot-based wines, and some slightly more exotic notes of ginger. Driven by ripe green apples and citrus fruit, there is a refreshing, chalky texture here.

Efflorescence

Efflorescence is in many ways the flagship cuvee here. This is made from Pinot Noir vines that are around 40 years of age. Smoky and intensely flavoured, Efflorescence shows an intense red fruit character that is reinforced by the fuller body of the wine. The breadth of flavours and aromas here is impressive.

Concordance

Concordance is made from a special selection of grapes from the same vineyard as Efflorescence, and uses no additions of Sulphur at any point in the winemaking process. There is a real ethereal quality here, which is somehow more intense aromatically than the Efflorescence but also more elegantly structured on the palate. The same could be said about all the Champagnes from this address, but Concordance really feels like a living, breathing organism, changing slightly with every sip!

Introducing Rotie Cellars – Fine Rhone-Inspired Wines from Washington State

12 May 2017 by Alex

On Wednesday 28th of February from 7pm in Kew, we are offering an exclusive chance to taste the full Rotie Cellars range below. Tickets are £65 and can be purchased here.

Rotie Cellars Line-up

Winemaker Sean Boyd of Rotie Cellars set out in 2007 to make the best possible wines from Rhone varieties in Washington State. Sourcing fruit from his base in Walla Walla as well as the Rocks district, his mission statement is encapsulated in his ‘Old World Wines from New World Vines’ tag line. The aim is to make the wines with moderate alcohol and ripeness levels and to pay homage to his favourite Rhone valley wines. We found these wines to be a breath of fresh air in a world of North American wines dominated by California, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. In fact, we liked them so much that we decided to import them directly and become their sole representative in the UK.

Bottle-SouthernThe Southern Blend is inspired by the likes of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and contains a majority of Grenache alongside varying proportions of Syrah and Mourvedre. This is a bright, raspberry scented wine with hints of peppery spice and leather achieving a great balance between power and elegance.

The Northern Blend is a ‘savoury companion’ to the Southern, based on Syrah co-fermented with around 3% Viognier. The bold blackberry fruit and black pepper from the Syrah are enlivened by the aromatic florality of the Viognier giving way to a generous, silky texture.

The Southern White is made from 60% Viognier, 25% Marsanne, and 15% Roussanne, giving a richly textured white with loads of ripe fruit inspired by the rare, great white wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

The 100% Grenache Blanc is a lighter companion to the southern white – delightfully fresh with bright citrus aromas on the nose, followed by generous texture in the mouth and bags of flavour, especially  for a wine with just 11.2% abv!Rotie Cellars Southern White

The very limited production ‘Dre’ is made from 100% Mourvedre and is big and burly with intense, savoury aromatics giving way to an explosion of dark fruit on the palate.

‘Little G’ is a single vineyard Grenache and this site takes the longest to ripen of all Sean’s vineyards giving an extremely complex wine more reminiscent of an elegant Pinot Noir than the typical Grenache stereotype. Also extremely small production.

Rotie Cellars Vineyard

Producer Profile – Fabio Motta

1 November 2016 by Alex
Fabio Motta

Young winemaker Fabio Motta

After studying agriculture, Fabio Motta went to work at the Michele Satta winery in the beautiful Tuscan coastal area of Bolgheri. After working here for five years and marrying Michele’s daughter, Fabio acquired 4 hectares of his own vineyards. Planted to Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, these vineyards are now nearly 20 years old. Fabio believes that ‘a good wine grower lives and works close to the earth, humbly’, his role is as a facilitator, allowing the land, the weather, and the grapes to shape the wines. In an area like Bolgheri with its large, aristocratic estates, this approach is as refreshing as it is unusual.

Fabio Motta’s range includes two excellent ‘Super Tuscan’ reds, ‘Le Gonnare’ and ‘Pievi’:

Fabio Motta, ‘Le Gonnare’, Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy, 2013

Gonnare Bottle ShotThe clay rich soils of Fabio’s vineyards are particularly suited to Merlot. All grapes are destemmed before being fermented with wild yeasts. The wine then ages for 18 months in French barriques, one third of which are new. The wine ages for a further one year in bottle before release. This full and gutsy red incorporates 15% Syrah alongside the Merlot and shows enticing spicy, herby complexity with plenty of well-rounded tannin. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has recently awarded 96 points to this vintage of Le Gonnare – second only to Tenuta dell’Ornellaia’s Masseto (which carries a three-figure price tag!): “This is the first Bolgheri Superiore ever produced by young talent Fabio Motta. He used 85% Merlot and 15% Syrah to make his 2013 Bolgheri Superiore Le Gonnare. In terms of an inaugural wine, this red blend hits all the high marks. This is a delicious rendition that showcases the soft and elegant side of Merlot with the sassy spice and savory notes of Syrah at the back. Pretty mineral etchings give the wine definition and focus. The combination is beautiful. Only 3,500 bottles of this biodynamic wine are produced. Congratulations” – Monica Larner, the Wine Advocate, October 2016.

Fabio Motta, ‘Pievi’, Bolgheri Rosso IGT, Tuscany, Italy, 2013

FMotta PieviA blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Sangiovese. Fermentation of each variety is done separately with only natural yeast in 33 hl. oak barrels. The cap is pushed down manually twice a day and delestage is used to let the must breathe. Fermentation takes two weeks for each variety, after which time the wine is blended. Malolactic fermentation takes place in second and third year barriques. The wine is aged in barriques of the same age for 12 months before bottling without fining or filtration. Notes of fresh red fruits, interwoven with balsamic notes and a rich minerality. The tannins are ripe and silky and the balance between alcohol and acidity creates a fresh and fragrant mouth feel.

Make sure you try Fabio’s wines this winter, Le Gonnare in particular is bound to be even more sought after having received such critical acclaim!