Category Archives: Wine

New Wines for Spring – the verdict

Last week we presented a selection of new wines to our tasting group. Gathered in the waning heat of the hottest April day since 1949 it felt more like summer than the early days of spring so we were trying these wines with the great outdoors in mind – alfresco dining, BBQs and picnics. Let’s hope that glorious weather returns soon!

The Wines:

Monte Schiavo Pallio di San Floriano Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC £12.40

This was the perfect start – incredibly zesty and fresh this brought our hot and weary tasting group to life! ‘Tastes like it should be a sparkling wine’ perfect refreshment for a sunny afternoon.

Pieropan Soave Classico DOC £16

The favourite white of the evening – wonderfully elegant with a delightful rounded fruit that lingers through the almond finish. Under screw cap (controversially for Soave – Pieropan fought hard for the right to use the closure) this is a definite winner.

Curatolo Arini Zibibbo IGP £18.40

A bit of a wildcard – with its perfumes of rose or ‘turkish delight’ it’s a bold wine! The palate shows rich, ripe stone fruit with a surprisingly elegant finish. This wine was a bit of a hit for it’s uniqueness – we’ll have stock of this arriving in the next few weeks.

Terrazze della Luna Pinot Grigio Rosato Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT £9.30

Very pretty pink in colour and delicate on the nose, the palate shows a surprisingly intense array of red berry fruit. Crisp and dry on the finish this will be the perfect picnic partner when the sunshine arrives!

Montresor San Pietro Valpolicella DOP £11.80

A very fresh, crunchy cherry filled Valpolicella which slipped down rather easily with the group – for those really warm days this wine will be even better lightly chilled. The group were very keen (!) on both reds, but this one inched ahead slightly.

Vallone Susumaniello Salento Rosso IGP £12

This wine is shaping up to be our summer BBQ red – plump and ripe red berry fruit but with a balancing acidity on the finish to keep this wine fresh and vibrant. Susumaniello (that’s the grape) means ‘little donkey’ possibly due to the heavy load the vines bear (or possibly its stubbornness about where it grows…!)

Customer’s Choice tasting – the winners (part 1)

Customer Choice winners - reds

Just over a month ago a group of our trusted customers (I’m excluding you – man who commented only on the cheese….) sat down with six brand new red wines and decided which ones would become a permanent part of the Toscanaccio range.

In the end they picked four reds, chosen for their fruit character, drinkability (with and without the cheese!), structure, and of course their value for money.

The favourite of the evening was Louis M Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon at £13.70, it was described, oddly, as “like being embraced in a huge rabbit’s armpit (in a good way)” erm, ok. Moving on swiftly to what everyone else thought…. Sloe and Damson fruit on the nose, hints of clove and vanilla with a peppery note. The palate is rich and meaty with ripe, dark berry fruit, spicy oak, definitely one for some food.

Masseria Surani Ares Rosso at £10.20 was next – highly praised for its quality at the price. A highly expressive nose reminiscient of black forest gateaux with a bold palate of smooth hedgerow fruit with a structured finish (let it breathe) “right up my alley, get me 2!”

Bodegas Arraez Vivir Sin Dormir at £10.80 was the next hit, the name translates as ‘to live without sleep’ – it seemed apt that a customer had written “(I’d enjoy this) late night (at a) festival around a fire”. Aromas a-plenty of cherry, blackberry and raspberry. The palate is warming and spicy with rich, dark berry fruit and a note of vanilla on the finish.

Last but by no means least (there was a difference of only five points between this and the winner, it was still a full 10 points ahead of the wines which didn’t make it through) we have Rapaura Springs Pinot Noir at £14.50 – broad aromas of liqueur cherry, blackberry and liquorice with a fresh, cherry-laden palate “tons of fruit” and a delicious, baked fruit ripeness.

All of the wines are in stock – click on the product names to be taken to their pages for more info.

Our next wine tasting is Thursday 5th May and we’ll be trying some more new wines – so get over to our booking page now and be the first to try them!

New Arrivals – reds

New Arrivals - Reds

Last week, our trusted customer tasting panel sat down with six brand new red wines (almost, but let’s not delve into the mysteries of missing stock). The fate of these wines was in their hands – would they survive to become part of the permanent range?

There were four lucky survivors – praised for their structure, fruit character, drinkability and of course – well priced.

The favourite of the evening, inching into pole position by one point was Vesevo Aglianico at £12 liked for its smooth, jammy plum fruit, hints of spice mingling with winter fruit coulis. As one customer put it “I could drink a lot of this wine. Quickly”

Tufarello Nero di Troia, also at £12 was the next hit. Labelled as “interesting” and “like a box of chocolates” the sweet, ripe fruit with savoury, earthy undertones was an instant hit.

Cantina Goccia’s Nodo at £15.90 was the next hit – though the room became a little more divided over this one as it had a lot more poise and tannic structure which not everyone was a fan of. Spicy plum fruit on the nose and noticeably older then the other wines the palate had ripe cherry fruit and a touch of leather. Definitely a food wine – the general consensus was that it would be great with a roast. My favourite customer comment has to be “my mouth is happy”!

We had a little bit of a debate over Hecula Monastrell £9.50, it didn’t score as high as the others but it was felt that it had been rated unfairly originally. It has “more legs than a spider” and is rich and oaky with complex layers of rustic blackberry fruit, olives and black pepper.

Stock of all these wines is now available in store or online – click the name links to be taken directly to the product pages for more information.

If you’re interested in being on the panel for our Customer Choice – Whites tasting on 30th April then book your place now!

Winter Warmers Wine Tasting

Last Thursday we resumed our fortnightly tastings by delving into a selection of Winter Warming reds. Even though they’re easy to love when it’s cold outside we were surprised at just *how* well they went down!

The three sell outs of the evening were;

Guelbenzu Azul, Ribera del Queiles, Spain £11.80 – this is one of Thom’s favourite wines so we had to show it! An oaked Tempranillo blend this is ripe, rich and toasty, well liked for having a wonderful balance between old world style and new world body.

Varvaglione Negroamaro, Puglia, Italy £11 – proving rather popular at the moment with its super smooth, silky berry fruit. This caught many people out – assuming that it was new world! A great one to try to ease yourself into Italian reds.

Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shiraz, Australia £12.70 – a seriously good old vine Shiraz with concentrated fruit and fine tannic structure. New world but with lots of class were the comments from our tasters!

More stock of these wines will be in next week, get your pre-orders in now as we don’t expect them to stick around for long!

Click here for tickets to our next tasting on 5th March – six brand new reds, you decide if we stock them!