Our tastings were on Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November. We had an impressive selection of wines on tasting. Those who ordered obviously approved as this turned out to be one of our best tasting ever, with record orders. Thank you everybody who contributed to this! Just for your information, best sellers were: Pierre de Chanvigné Brut; Quincy Sauvignon; Chateau Pierrail Sauvignon; Isabel NZ Sauvignon; La Bastide Viognier; Candidato red; La Bastide Merlot, Syrah and Exubérance; Les Hauts de Naudon and Château Pierrail reds; Quiot’s Ventoux and the winner by a distance was Guillaman’s Cotes de Gascogne white which everybody seemed to like –especially the very keen price!

The 2015 Vintage

It is far too early to be able to give any details of this vintage, but it has received almost universal acclaim throughout Europe, so we should be looking at some very good wines in a year or so’s time. The only place where they had a problem was in Chablis where, just as they were about to harvest, an exceptionally heavy hail storm with hailstones the size of golf balls, laid waste to acres of ripe grapes.

Ports & Madeiras

The last Port vintage to be declared “Vintage” was 2011. However, for LBVs (Late Bottled Vintages) the quality has been very high with 2009, 10 & 11 very good years. As well as a fair selection of Reserve Ports and LBVs, we have various vintage ports here for Christmas – Taylor 1985; Graham 1997; Quinta de la Rosa 2009 and Dow, Graham and Quinta do Vesuvio 2011. On the Madeira front we have four sorts of Blandy’s Ten year-old Madeira – Sercial, Verdelho, Bual and Malmsey – ranging from bone dry to very sweet. They are in attractive 50cl bottles and would make a nice present.

Sherries

I love Sherry and so we have an enlarged selection of Sherries, once again ranging from the very dry to the very sweet Pedro Ximenez Sherries which are wonderful with Christmas pudding. Various producers are on our shelves – Lustau, Barbadillo, Dry Sack, Romate and Williams & Glyn.

Spirits

There is a good selection of quality spirits on our shelves. Several different artisan-made Cognacs; Armagnac; Calvados; Somerset Cider Brandy; Kirsch; Kummel; a selection of malt Whiskies; a variety of the new wave botanical gins; Sloe gin; Damson Gin; Damson Vodka etc. etc.