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New Year, New Wines

Pippa Hayward

Posted on February 18 2022

One of the great joys of working with The Good Wine Shop is the constant stream of new wines landing on our shelves – never more so than at this time of the year.

It’s peak time for supplier tastings in London (there is no better city to live in if you love wine!) and each one brings the joy of a fresh discovery. 

We know many of our customers relish the chance to spread their vinous wings and try new stuff – and we like nothing better than connecting a curious customer with a delightful discovery. 

 

Sometimes the unexpected hides in plain sight… 

Domaine de Cebene, Brigitte Chevalier, Faugeres

 

Brigitte Chevalier’s Les Bancels from Faugeres, a region of the Languedoc often dismissed in the past for being too rustic to make good wine, is a reminder never to undervalue skilful winemaking in inhospitable places.

It’s a Syrah-dominant blend – the vines face north on schist in the mountains, slowing the ripening to perfect effect, balanced with Grenache and some Mourvedre. No oak is used and a gentle hand in the cellar steers clear of heavy extraction. Brigitte’s aim is to make a northern kind of wine in the warmth of the south – avoiding over-ripeness and anything that compromises the purity of her fruit. It’s a long way from Vin de Pays!

 

There is also the wilfully obscure...

Finca La Cayetana, Argentino, Uco Valley

 

We all adore unearthing the new, be it a grape, style or unknown region… When the Cayetana Wines from Argentina appeared just a few months ago, dressed in Burgundy style bottles complete with waxed tops, I was very pleased.

These pellucid wines from Pinot Noir and Syrah, aromatic, fresh and silky with such purity of fruit have been enthusing customers ever since. It’s a classic case of a familiar region  Uco Valley in Mendoza better known for hefty Malbecs, doing very unfamiliar things with familiar grapes – to great effect.

 

And the challenge of exploring a country you’ve overlooked

Joao Afonso, Cabecas do Reguengo, Portugal, Alentejo

 

Portugal is one such treasure trove of fantastic quality, grapes and regions just waiting to be discovered. It’s a country where winemaking is changing rapidly, in the hand of a new generation of growers and winemakers, focused on traditional grape varieties and regions – but in a much purer and expressive style. The Cabecas wines from the cool north-eastern corner of Alentejo epitomise this new trend. Old-terraced vines high on the slopes of the Serra de Sao Mamede, naturally fermented and aged in cement or older barrels.

Of course we could pen a blog piece a day on new arrivals – but whatever your resolutions for this year may have been, adding “I will try new wines” to the list is guaranteed to get you developing your wine drinking experience and discovering new grapes, new styles and new places.

 

Remember life is too short to drink bad wine!

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