Domaine Jones La Perle Rare Syrah

Domaine Jones La Perle Rare Syrah

I am sure that some of you will have been following the ups and downs of Katie Jones and Domaine Jones, a tiny wine estate in the Langeudoc Roussillon. The ups include some very high ratings for her wines from wine critics and good distribution in overseas markets all within just a few years establishing her fledging Domaine. The rather depressing low point was the sabotage of an entire vintage of Katie’s Domaine Jones Blanc whilst she was out of the country exhibiting at Prowein 2013 in Germany. Fortunately Katie employs the “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” approach to life and this led to a successful campaign for the Domaine’s survival via pre-sales of wine from Naked Wines’ Angels and with the Rescue Range of wines, made from grapes sourced from sympathethic local vineyard owners, including the Apres La Pluie Le Beau Temps Rosé. So, what did Katie do next?

Domaine Jones La Perle Rare Syrah

Domaine Jones Le Perle Rare Syrah LabelKatie has not been idle! The size of the Domaine has now increased to 11 hectares of vineyards, including some planted by her husband Jean Marc, from Katies’s initial purchase of a single 3.5 hectare vineyard in 2008. New vintages of the Domaine Jones Red, Domaine Jones Fitou and Domaine Jones Fitou have just been released as well as a very limited (600 bottles) single vineyard wine called Domaine Jones La Perle Rare Syrah. There is also a new limited edition white wine called La Perles de Jones Macabeu. The wine-making philosophy at Domaine Jones is to employ traditional, down–to-earth farming methods and innovative winemaking techniques to capture the characteristics of the terroir and the local area. Domaine Jones wines are only produced in very small quantities – this truly is boutique wine-making.

Domaine Jones La Perle Rare Syrah

So, La Perle Rare Syrah or The Rare Pearl. This is a new single vineyard 100% Syrah. Katie has recently acquired more vineyards in the village of Tuchan where her winery is located and many of Katie’s vineyards are planted with low yielding old vines with some up to 100 years old. They vineyards are planted with a mix of different grape varieties, co-planted in the same vineyard in place, which was a common way of planting in the early part of last century. However this wine is made from a single vineyard of Syrah grapes from Falandrin, near Tuchan, which was planted by Katie’s husband, Jean Marc, in 2009.

The vines were propagated from vine cuttings sourced from the Cote Rotie and the soil is a mixture of chalky clay and schist with good drainage and moisture retention. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermentation takes place in 2 open-topped 400 litre oak barrels. Destalking is done by hand and someone actually gets into the barrels to do the pigeage! After 10 days the wine is pressed and aged for 12 months in 2 new French oak barrels. Only 600 bottles produced.

Tasting Notes: La Perle Rare Syrah has buckets of spicy black fruit character on the nose. There are aromas of black raspberry, blackberry and spicy liquorice notes. There is also a background of smoky, toasty oak. The wine is full-bodied, black fruit flavours dominate the palate, yet La Perle Rare Syrah has a very elegant balance, good mouthfeel and a real freshness and purity of fruit Drink now, or cellar for 5 years plus, if you can wait that long!


Bordeaux Wine Dinner

Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux Wine Tasting & Dinner

On Wednesday 24th September 2014 The Old House Hotel in Wickham is hosting a Bordeaux Wine Evening. This will be 9 Course French Tasting Menu with a specially selected Bordeaux wine to complement each course. There will be a pre-dinner wine tasting and talk from Roy Gillingham of The Fareham Wine Cellar who will be showing some great new wines from Chateau du Cros, Chateau Haut Mayne and Chateau Clos Bourbon as well as a fantastic dessert wine from Loupiac – you can read more about these wines here.

Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux Wine Tasting & Dinner

Wednesday 24th September 2014

Prompt Start at 7.00pm

Head Chef – Andy Millard

£61.95 per person

Please see below for the wine and food menus.

Please note that if you have any inquiries or wish to make reservations etc. please do so with The Old House Hotel and not Fareham Wine Cellar.

The Old House Hotel
Wickham Square
PO17 5JG

T:  01329 835870
The Old House Hotel Twitter

The Old House Hotel Facebook

Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux Wine Tasting & Dinner

Prompt Start at 7.00pm

Pre-Dinner Tasting and Talk with Roy Gillingham

Amuse Bouche
Bon Bon de Morne Salée,Velouté de Pois
Salt Cod Bon Bon, Pea Veloute

Soupe aux Haricots Verts
French Green Bean Soup

2013 Chateau Haut Mayne Cuvée Mayne du Cros Graves Blanc AOC

Rillette de Confit de Canard, Croutons, Compote des Oignons Rouges
Confit Duck Rillette, Croutons, Red Onion Compote

2010 Chateau Clos Bourbon Cuvée La Rose Bourbon Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux

Fish Course
Moules Marinières
Mussels Mariniere

2012 Chateau Vrai Caillou Les Vignes de la Garène, Bordeaux AOC

Palate Cleanser
Sorbet de Citron et Lime
Lemon & Lime Sorbet

Carré d’Agneau Rôti, Minilégumes Grillés, Pommes de Terre Dauphinées, Jus Riche de Vin Rouge
Roast Rack of Lamb, Roasted Baby Vegetables, Dauphinoise Potatoes, Rich Red Wine Jus

2000 Chateau Garraud, Lalande de Pomerol AOC

Pre Dessert
Sélection des Fromages Français Classiques
Selection of Classic French Cheeses

2006 Chateau du Courlat Cuvée Jean-Baptiste, Lussac-Saint-Emilion AOC

Millefeuille de Pommes avec Crème Chantilly, Glace de Chocolat Blanc
Apple Millefeuille, Chantilly Cream, White Chocolate Ice Cream

2009 Château du Cros Loupiac AOC

Café et Petit Fours
Coffee & Petit Fours


Herdade do Mouchao

Mouchao Tinto is the flagship wine from historic Alentejo wine estate of Herdade do Mouchao. The estate can trace its beginnings back to the early part of the 19th century when Thomas Reynolds moved to the Alentejo from Oporto to begin working in the cork industry. His grandson John Reynolds eventually purchased the 900 hectare Herdade do Mouchao estate and farmed, not only cork, but grapes for making wine. However, the first estate wine sold as coming from Mouchao was not eventually sold for the first time until 1954. Eventually the Richardson family came into partnership with the Reynolds family and the estate was run by the two families until April 1974 when it was seized by the Portuguese military dictatorship and the Reynolds and Richardsons were evicted.

Following the 1974 revolution any wine made at Herdade do Mouchao was basically put into the local co-operative. Mouchao was returned to the Richardson and Reynolds families in 1986 but, due to neglect and mismanagement, the vineyards were not left in a great state and a programme of replanting was immediately begun. The Herdade de Mouchao winery is much as it was when it was built in the 1901, having survived the revolution relatively untouched and, in fact,only had electricity installed in 1991! At the winery can find a range of vats for wine storage and wine-making, the barrel hall and a distillery, completed in 1929, with both a pot and a column still.

Vineyards at Mouchao

Some 38 hectares of vineyards are under vine planted with predominantly Alicante Bouschet (from their own cuttings) and small quantities of Aragonés, Trincadeira, Moreto, Touriga Nacional and Syrah. There are some white grapes grown including Antao Vaz, Arinto and Perrum. The vines are trained in a modern style double trellising system and modern techniques such as spray inrrigation to prevent frost damage are used.

Alicante Bouschet

Alicante Bouschet is the result of a cross between Petit Bouschet and Grenache and is one of only a few red grapes that also have red flesh too. Such grapes are known as teinturier. Alicante Bouschet is most common in the south of France but can also be found in Spain, where it is known as Garnacha Tintorera, Italy, the USA and, of course, Portugal. Alicante Bouschet was most commonly used in red wine blends, where it was used to add colour, but today it is increasingly bottled as a single varietal wine and some say that the Alentejo region is where 100% Alicante Bouschet wines find their true expression. Since its introduction to Herdade de Mouchao in the early 19th century the grape has thrived on the clay soils on the flat, low ground near the winery.


Whilst the vineyard trellising and techniques are modern, wine-making is more traditional. Grapes are hand harvested into 20kg boxes and are received at the winery, lightly crushed without de-stalking and delivered down chutes to be foot trodden in one of 9 stone lagares with capacities of 6 to 8 thousand kilos. Foot-treading is done twice a day for period of 5 to 8 days, this encourages fermentation and optimum colour extraction. The wine is then racked off into wooden vats and barrels for secondary fermentation.

Mouchao Tinto 2007 LabelMouchao Tinto 2007

Mouchao Tinto, the estate’s main wine, is predominantly Alicante Bouschet, 80% or more, the rest being Trincadeira (perhaps more famously known as Tinta Amarela in the Douro, where it is used in Port production). It is aged for 24 months in large oak vats (known as foudres) and then aged for a further 24 to 36 months in the bottle prior to release for sale.

As well as Mouchao Tinto, the winery also produced red and white wines under the Dom Rafael and a red blend called Ponte das Canas. There is also a  wine made in exceptional vintages from the best parcels of Alicante de Bouschet called Herdade do Mouchão Tonel nº 3-4 and some red wine set aside for maturation for 10 years prior to release called Mouchao Colheitas Antigas. There are also a couple of Port-like fortified wines, brandies, estate honey and olive oils produced!

Mouchao Tinto 2007

Mouchao Tinto 2007 is a full, deep coloured red / garnet colour. On the nose there are aromas of blackcurrant, cassis, confit dark fruit and herbaceous, garrigue type notes. There are also some eucalyptus and black pepper characteristics. The palate is dominated by black fruit, spiciness and full, plump ripe red fruits too. The palate is a great combination of the concentration of the Alicante Bouschet and a certain elegance from the Tincadeira. A big powerful, intense red wine, well-structured with good tannin structure and the potential to age gracefully for many years.

As Richard Mayson writes in his encyclopedia, The Wines and Vineyards of Portugal, “Mouchao is undoubtedly one of Portugal’s most impressive red wines”.



Celler Cal Pla

Celler Cal Pla

Celler Cal Pla is based in the village of Porrera in the heart of the Priorat wine-growing region which itself is located in the south-west of Catalonia. Priorat is a designated as a Denomenacion de Origen Calificada (DOC), the highest category in Spanish wine law, and is one of only two regions granted this status, the other being Rioja. In Catalan it is known as Denominacio d’Origen Qualificada or DOQ, it is this that you will see on Priorat wine labels. Likewise Priorat is the Catalan spelling and Priorato is the Spanish spelling.

After previous generations of the Sangenis family had sold their grapes to the local cooperative, owner / oenologist Joan Sangenis decided, in 1995, to create Celler Cal Pla to vinify wines for himself. Joan Sangenis now owns some 80 hectares of south-facing vineyards, at altitudes of 300 to 400m, with an average age of 50 years or more which includes some small parcels of Carignan and Grenache which are over 100 years old. The oldest vineyards are located on very steep slopes which are known locally as “Costers.” There youngest vines around 15 to 20 years old.

The soils are typical of Priorat – the topsoil is composed of slate and quartz and often appears to be very dark grey or black in colour. The subsoil is a reddish slate  and quartz with very high mineral content – this is known as “Llicorella”. The combination of low-yielding old vines, a modern stainless steel winery and healthy maintenance of vineyards (no pesticides or chemicals) allows Joan Sangenis to produce some of the very best Priorat wines. Sangenis believes that a lot of the preparation for making quality wines is time spent in the vineyard and reckons he spends “10 months in the vineyards and 2 months in the winery”.

Joan Sangenis wines available at Fareham Wine Cellar.

Celler Cal Pla Mas D’en Compte Branco

Celler Cal Pla Mas D’en Compte Branco is one of only three white wines produced in the Priorat wine-growing region – the other tow are RAR blanc (Vins Singulars Scala Dei) and Lo Coster Blanc (Sangenís i Vaqué). Indeed, white wine production consist of only about 2% of total wine production in the region.

Celler Cal Pla Mas D’en Compte Branco is a blend of 60% Garnacha Blanca with 20% Picapoll, 10% Pansá and 10% Macabeo. Each grape variety is vinified separately. The wine is barrel-fermented in large 3000 litre oak barrels for 15 days on the skins and then each variety is aged on its lees in 80% new French Allier oak and 20% American oak barrels for 6 months. The wine is then blended prior to bottling and release.

Celler Cal Pla Mas D'En Compte BlancoTasting Notes

Celler Cal Pla Mas D’en Compte Branco is a very big and full white wine. It has a bright golden colour. The nose is very complex with aromas of apple, pineapple, apricot, floral notes combined with toasty, smoky oak notes from the new oak barrels. The palate is full, rich and textured with buttery, creamy notes, spice, peach, more tropical fruit and mineral toastiness. It is very well balanced with good acidity and a lingering finish. Think Spanish Burgundy!

The Mas D’en Compte Branco has been voted best white wine in Spain by the Spanish national newspaper El Pais as well as winning many other accolades.

Celler Cal Pla Tinto, Porrera, Priorat DOQ

Celler Cal Pla Tinto is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 45% Carinena and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon that is aged on its lees in 15% American and 85% French oak barrels (a mixture of 1 to 3 year old barrels). The grapes are sourced from vines with an average age of 10 to 20 years. Average production of 30,000 bottles per vintage.Celler Cal Pla Tinto Crianza

Tasting Notes

Celler Cal Pla Tinto is a good, clear, ruby red colour. The nose is rich and spicy with dark fruit (plum, damson, blackberry) and spicy, white pepper notes. The palate is rich and medium bodied with more dark fruit and spicy, liquorice notes, leathery tannins and a good, dry, lingering finish.


Chateau du Cros

Chateau du Cros and the Wines of Famille Boyer

Chateau du Cros is the main property of Famille Boyer and is located in the small Bordeaux appellation of Loupiac. The commune of Loupiac is located between Cadillac and Ste Croix de Mont on the right bank of the Garonne river directly opposite the famous sweet wine growing left bank appellations of Barsac and Sauternes.

Famille Boyer own a small collection of three petites chateaux – Chateau du Cros in Loupiac, Chateau Haut Mayne in Cérons and Chateau Clos Bourbon in Paillet. They produce 14 different wines across six different wine growing appellations. The Boyer family acquired Chateau de Cros in 1921 when Francois Thévenot bought the property from Comte de la Chassaige. The current director and winemaker is his great granddaughter Catherine d’Halluin Boyer, the 4th generation to run the family vineyards, taking over from her father, Michel Boyer, in 2004. She is ably assisted by her husband Thibault d’Halluin and her brother Henri.

The name Chateau du Cros is pronounced “Croz” and not “Cro” as one might expect. It was once owned by a Scotsman called Cross and sometime, long ago, lost an ‘s’. The name is pronounced “Croz” to reflect the original Cross and to differentiate the name from a local name for a type of mustard!

Chateau du Cros

The Cros vineyard is located in Loupiac 40kms to the south of Bordeaux and consists of some 60 hectares of vines surrounding the medieval Chateau du Cros. The medieval Chateau was inhabited until 1940 but was partly destroyed in World War 2 and has since fallen in ruin. The remains are perched atop a hill which is the highest point to view the Garonne in the Gironde. The family have a very rare, single plot of Semillon vines planted here that are 107 years old.

The soils here have a high proportion of limestone which helps to produce wines with good acidity. The vineyards are located only 80 metres from the Garonne River where it converges with the Cirons. The confluence of the two rivers creates a thermal shock resulting in very misty conditions from August through to October – the ideal conditions for the Botrytis Cinerea or Noble Rot that helps to concentrate the aromas and sweetness in the grapes for sweet wine production.

Loupiac is, of course, famous for its sweet wines and these are bottled as AOC Loupiac whilst other wines produced here are bottles as Bordeaux Rouge, Blanc and Rosé and Cotes de Bordeaux.

Chateau du Cros Sauvignon Bordeaux ACChateau du Cros Bordeaux Sauvignon Label

This wine is a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. In the 1970s, this particular wine was one of the first white Bordeaux Sauvignons to be aged on the lees, which is now normal practice. Aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes (2013 vintage)

The Chateau du Cros Sauvignon is delicate and aromatic with floral, citrus, cut grass aromas and good mineral character. The palate is bold with hints of melon, quince, herbaceous notes and lemon and lime. Well-structured with good acidity. A great aperitif and an ideal wine match for oysters and other seafood.

Chateau du Cros Loupiac AC

The Loupiac really is the star of the show here. It is a blend of 90% Semillon, 5% Sauvignon and 5% Muscadelle. The grapes are harvested by hand with a team of around 50 pickers making two to four selections depending on the vintage. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels, 30% of which are new.

Chateau du Cros Loupiac Full Bottle and Half BottleTasting Notes (2009)

Chateau du Cros Loupiac has a brilliant, light golden yellow colour. The nose is complex and aromatic with aromas of peach, apricot, citrus, acacia and a slight hint of toasty oak. The palate is very sweet but with good acidity so that the wine is not cloying. There are toasty oak notes from the barrel ageing but the palate is dominated by apricot and plum with some candied, honey character beginning to develop. It has a very long, lingering finish with great subtlety and elegance.

Chateau du Cros Loupiac can be kept for 15 to 30 years and develops much more candied, marmalade character as it ages. This makes a superb aperitif or dessert wine. It is traditionally served with foie gras or blue cheeses but can equally be served with roast chicken or desserts. A very versatile food wine.

Chateau du Cros Loupiac is also available in half-bottles.

Chateau Haut Mayne

The family own 18 hectares of vineyards 35kms to the south of Bordeaux in Cerons in the heart of the Graves region around Mayne d’Anis. These were bought by Michel Boyer in 1971. The vineyards here are characterised by the typical gravelly soils of Graves with large pebbles with sandy / limestone subsoil.

Wines produced here are bottled as Graves Blanc and Rouge and Graves Superieres.

Chateau Haut Mayne Cuvée Mayne du Cros Graves Blanc

This wine is a 50/50 blend of Semillon and Chateau Haut Mayne Cuvee Mayne du Cros Graves BlancSauvignon Blanc that is fermented in 30% new barrels. The wine is then aged in French oak barrels until the May / June following harvest followed by another 12 months in bottle prior to release.

Tasting Notes (2013 Vintage)

Cuvée Mayne du Cros Graves Blanc is a good, straw yellow colour. The nose has aromas of lemon-citrus, floral blossom, acacia and toasted notes. The palate is complex, full and round with a powerful and long finish. A great match for asparagus, fish dishes and goat’s cheese.


Chateau Clos Bourbon

Located in Paillet in the little known appellation of Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux this 18th century estate has been the personal property of Catherine and her husband Thibault since 1994. Located 30kms to the south of Bordeaux overlooking the Garonner, the entire vineyard is surrounded by a medieval stone wall. The vineyard is situated on a mound of clay / limestone soil. The 13 hectares of vines are 26 years old.

The wine produced here is bottled as AOC Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux (previously 1ere Cotes de Bordeaux).

Chateau Clos Bourbon Cuvée La Rose Bourbon Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux

This wine is a blend of 85% Merlot Chateau Clos Bourbon Cuvee La Rose Bourbon Labeland 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. After harvest the grapes undergo a pre-fermentation maceration. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel, followed by malolactic fermention, followed by 12 months ageing in oak barrels. Production around 22,000 bottles per vintage.

Tasting notes (2010 vintage)

Cuvée La Rose Bourbon is a good, clear purple / red colour. The nose is spicy with red fruit notes and a hint of oak. The medium-bodied palate is full of plummy red fruit and raspberries with some spicy, peppery notes. A well-structured, round and fruity wine with soft tannins and a touch of toasty oak on the finish. A great match for grilled meats or hard cheeses.

Champagne Taittinger FIFA & Adidas Brazuca Match Ball Draw

 Champagne Taittinger FIFA & Adidas Brazuca Match Ball Draw

Champagne Taittinger was the official Champagne of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brasil and, earlier this year, released a special limited edition World Cup souvenir bottle of Brut Réserve NV.

Designed to celebrate Taittinger’s association with the forthcoming tournament, the bottle and box have been designed using groundbreaking 3D print technology. The souvenir bottle is presented in an elegant white and gold gift box featuring hologram footballs. Read more here.

As part of the promotion of Champagne Taittinger during the 2014 World Cup, Fareham Wine Cellar had an official Adidas Brazuca Match Ball (worth £100) signed by the CEO of Taittinger, Pierre Emmanuel Taittinger, to give away to one lucky winner.

FIFA World Cup Brasil 2014 Offical Football 2 signed by the President of Champagne Taittinger, Pierre Emanuel Taittinger.

FIFA World Cup Brasil 2014 Offical Football signed by the President of Champagne Taittinger, Pierre Emanuel Taittinger.

The prize draw took place on Saturday 19th July 2014 with Roy Gillingham and the winner of the Riedel WSET Wine Educator of the Year 2013 Erica Dent of Enjoy Discovering Wine, our chosen neutral person to make the drawer

And here is a picture of the winner, local vicar Mike Terry, who won the Adidas Brazuca Match Ball.

Roy Gillingham and Mike Terry Taittinger Adidas Brazuca winnerIf you are wondering about the “Vicar of Doubly” comment, the Rev Mike Terry and his wife, the Rev Nicky-Sue Terry share the role of vicar at St Mary’s Church in Warsash. Find out more.

Amancaya Malbec Cabernet

Amancaya Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon

Amancaya is a joint venture between one of the foremost wine producers in Argentina, Nicolas Catena, and one of the most famous wine producers in the world, Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite), owners Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The Catena Rothschild joint venture came into being in 1998 with the idea of marrying not just Argentine and French wine-making and culture, but also the two most noble grapes from their respective regions – Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catena supply their knowledge of high altitude vineyards and the best terroirs for growing Malbec whilst the Rothschilds provide their expert knowledge learnt from decades of cultivation of Cabernet Sauvignon and the art of blending grape varieties to create a wine that is so much more than the sum of its parts.

The first wine to be released by Bodegas Caro (CAtena and ROthschild) was the super-premium Caro itself, a Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec blend (approximately 70/30 depending on the vintage), aged for 18 months in 60% new oak barrels, production 5,000 to 7,000 cases per vintage. The international success of Caro soon saw the release of Amancaya and its younger, fruitier sibling Aruma.

Amancaya Gran Reserva Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon

Made at the Bodegas Caro in the heart of the Amancaya Gran Reserva Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon labelMendoza wine-growing region, Amancaya is a  Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon blend which varies from  40% to 60% Malbec and 40% to 50% Cabernet Sauvignon depending on vintage. The grapes are sourced from vineyards from the wine-growing regions of Vistalba, La Consulta, Agrelo, Tupungato and Tunuyan – the vineyards are all at least 30 years old and are situated at altitudes of 800 to 1400 metres. After harvesting and vinification the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new.

Amancaya is a true expression of French and Argentinian collaboration, there is plenty of fruit and meatiness from the Malbec but the French oak and the Cabernet Sauvignon give the wine a somewhat firmer backbone than some other Argentinian wines. An Argentinian wine with a Bordeaux twist (a bit like the Chilean wine, Los Vascos, that Domaines Baron de Rothschild (Lafite) also produce). You know that Lafite will not put their name to just any old wine venture and the Amancaya Malbec Cabernet is a very good red wine that it really punches above its weight.

“Once again, Lafite Rothschild’s ‘Amancaya’ goes beyond the stereotype of succulent Argentinian Malbec with its ripe mid palate framed by the structure and length of Cabernet Sauvignon.” Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, 2010.

Amancaya Tasting Notes (2010 vintage)

The 2010 Amancaya is a blend of 65% Malbec and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose is dominated by dark fruit character (plums, dark cherries and blackberry) with some floral, violet notes and lifted red fruit (strawberry). The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and flavours of cassis, plums and spicy vanilla notes. The finish is smooth and silky with good length and purity. A very classy wine.

And why is it called Amancaya?

Amancaya is the name of the flower depicted on the label. It is found in the Mendoza wine-growing region and is used by native indian women to decorate their hair in the spring time.

Hampshire Wine Festival

Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival at Jenkyn Place

Sunday 13th July 2014

Last Sunday I made my way to Jenkyn Place Vineyard in the village of Bentley, Hampshire. The Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival is the first event of its kind put on by a group of six award-winning English wine producers who have joined forces to promote Hampshire Wine. The six producers involved are Cottonworth, Danebury Vineyards, Jenkyn Place, Hambledon, Hattingley Valley and Meonhill Wines who were all represented by winemakers, owners and other members of their teams.

Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival 2014Jenkyn Place provided a great venue, a marquee (there was only a little rain shower) with super views looking out over their vineyards and on to the surrounding Downs, a hog roast and some live music from local singer / songwriter Martha Paton. The marquee was located right at the end of the rows of vines and it was good to be able to have a close up look at the Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir vines.

I know the Meonhill and Hambledon Vineyard wines quite well but it was good to refresh the memory. The Hambledon Classic Cuvee Brut was brilliant as ever and the Meonhill Chardonnay Brut is a great Blanc de Blancs – fresh, clean and citrus-y with good mineral character. Of the other sparkling wines I tried (and let’s face it Hampshire Wine is going to be all about the sparkling wines) I particularly enjoyed the Cottonworth Blanc de Blancs, Jenkyn Place Brut Cuvee and Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvee. I am afraid I didn’t really take any tasting notes on the day, it was more a social than a working visit, but I look forward to tasting more sparkling Hampshire wine in future – they were all very good.

Hambledon Vineyard atVineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival at Jenkyn PlaceIn association with Hampshire Fare, there were also three or four food stalls including Jake’s Artisan Pies selling organic pork pies, a selection of Hampshire charcuterie from Parsonage Farm and gourmet marshmallows from the Belinda Clark Gourmet Confectionery. Being a more savoury sort of person, I drifted toward the pork pies, which were great, and the charcuterie which included a fantastic fennel and garlic salami. Judging by the fact that both stalls ran out of stock quite early I would say they had a very successful day and, I have to admit, I bought some of each to take home.

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It was a very enjoyable afternoon. I think some exhibitors were surprised by how many people turned up but I think, with the amazing quality of Hampshire wine being produced and this fact filtering out into the mainstream press, the event will only grow from here. I hope all the exhibitors thought it worthwhile – after all at this stage in the growth of Hampshire wine it is vital to get the message to the most people possible, and what better way then getting them to try the wines. More visitors and more pies and charcuterie next time please!

Hampshire Wine Festival 2014

Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc

Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc, Baron Edmond de Rothschild

Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc is a new(ish) joint venture between Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the owner of Château Clarke and Château des Laurets, as well as co-owner of the fantastic Champagne Barons de Rothschild and Terry Peabody, the owner of Craggy Range. Craggy Range was established by Terry Peabody and Steve Smith MW in 1997 and is one of the most prestigious wineries in New Zealand. Rimapere is the Maori word for “five arrows” which is the Rothschild family emblem and represented the five, entrepreneurial brothers who were the sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild.

Rimapere Vineyard

The vineyard was acquired by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild in 2012. It consists of some 25 hectares of vines located at very highly regarded sites in Rapaura in the heart of the Marlborough wine-growing region.The village of Rapaura is located to the northwest of Blenheim and the Wairau River flows past it to the north. The vineyards were planted in the early part of the 21st century and the soils are predominantly Omaka Stony Silt Loam soils. The warm climate and stony soils help to produce citrus-y lemon and grapefruit character and crisp acidity and mineral characters.

Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc Tasting Note

Pale golden yellow colour with some green hints. The intense nose has aromas of lemon, grapefruit and some green, gooseberry capsicum notes. The wine is quite mineral and shows great balance and freshness on the palate with good levels of acidity. A great food wine.

Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, Baron Edmond de RothschildPurchase Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc here.

Wine and Chocolate Pairing

Wine and Chocolate – a match made in heaven?

Matching wine and chocolate is a tricky thing to get right and it is not something that I have had a lot of experience with. However a new, local chocolatier was recently kind enough to give us some samples of his chocolates which got me thinking about wine and chocolate pairings. There are lots of variables to take into account – where the chocolate is sourced from, the percentage of cocoa solids, the recipe for the ganache and any flavourings used. I don’t intend to go into too much detail but think of this as a very basic guide to matching wine and chocolate.

About Winchester Cocoa Company

As I was saying, we have a new local chocolate company. Winchester Cocoa Company was founded by Chris Attewell and is based, you guessed it, in Winchester, Hampshire. I first met when Chris when he was trying to source some blackberry liqueur and tawny Port for making his chocolates he found Edmond Briottet Creme de Mure and Niepoort 10 Year Old (and Senior Tawny) Port on our website. Chris uses mainly local ingredients including fresh cream from a herd of Guernsey cows near Winchester, Summerdown Hampshire mint oil, teas from Char Teas in Winchester and Sloe Gin from the Wiltshire Liqueur Company. Obviously there are no cacao beans grown outside of the tropics, so chocolate is bought from from a Swiss company, called Felchlin, that sources all their cacao beans via “direct trade”, a policy that Chris describes as “one step up from Fairtrade”. This basically means that the suppliers are in direct contact with the cacao farmers and their agents and have maximum input into the quality of the product, issues of sustainability whilst all the time ensuring that the farmers receive fair prices for their crops.

Chocolates from Winchester CocoA Company

Winchester Cocoa Company Chocolates 1You can keep up to date with Chris at Twitter @chris_attewell. I will update this with his contact details at a later date! You will find my suggestions for matching Chris’ chocolates with wine and some general rules below. The Winchester Cocoa Company website is now live.

Basic Rules for Matching Wine and Chocolate

The main basic rule is that dry wines do not go with chocolate. However, the darker the chocolate, the more bitter and less sweet it will be and the better chance you will have of pairing the chocolate with a wine. Even so, if you are looking for a wine and chocolate match you will need a red wine at the sweeter end of the spectrum like an Amarone, sweetish Shiraz or something sweet and red (Merlot or Zinfandel) from California. The use of ganache (chocolate and cream mixed) provides a bit of fat content and can make a wine and chocolate pairing bit easier to come up with.

Dry wines will not work!

The best wine and chocolate matches can be found with dessert wines – this is because they are usually flavoursome enough and sweet enough to stand up to the sugar content of the chocolate (or chocolate dessert). To help pair dessert wine and chocolate, the best thing is to think of what fruit, dried fruit, nut or caramel goes well with chocolate and try and find these characteristics in the the dessert wines themselves.


1. Red fruits – rapsberries, plums, cherries.

You can find plenty of red fruit character in all sorts of red dessert wines – think Port (young LBV or Vintage), Maury, Banyuls, Aleatico and Recioto from Italy or Black Muscat from California. Don’t forget things like cherry brandy, Umeshu (a plum infused Sake) or sparkling shiraz which tends to have a good bit of sweetness to it.


2. Dried fruit and nuts – raisins, prunes, walnut.

These sort of flavours and aromas can be found in slightly oxidative dessert wines, those that have been aged in barrel for a period. Think sherries like Pedro Ximenez, Cream or a sweeter Amontillado but avoid the dryer styles. These nutty, caramel characteristics can also be found in Italy’s Vin Santo wines, Tawny Ports (and South African and Australian lookalikes) and Rutherglen Muscat.Niepoort 10 Year Old Tawny Port


3. Nutty and Caramel / Toffee notes.

These tend to be found again in barrel aged dessert wines like aged Tawny Ports, Sherry and Madeiras – more so in older examples.

Wine and Chocolate from the Winchester Cocoa Company

Here are my suggestions for some of Chris’ chocolates.

Sea Salt Liquid Caramel – A caramel made with fresh cream, butter, bourbon vanilla and Cornish sea salt – the salty / butterscotch flavours would match best with a sweet, white dessert wine, a lighter style with citrus notes and good acidity such as the Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling  or go for something a bit more complementary like a Pedro Ximenez Sherry or Medium sweet or rich Madeira. Alternative: Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro, Vino de Licor.Quady Elysium Black Muscat Red Dessert Wine

Raspberry, Lime and Mint – Raspberry jelly on a dark ganache flavoured with lime zest and Summerdown Hampshire Mint Oil – the mint is a tricky flavour to match with wine, but it was not overpowering. The raspberry and dark chocolate ganache are crying out for a sweet red dessert wine, consensus was the Quady Elysium from California would be a great match with its own raspberry and red fruit character. Alternative: Banyuls or Maury.

Pear and Spiced Port – Pear and vanilla jelly on a dark ganache flavoured with tawny port and delicately infused with spices – naturally I would match the Niepoort 10 Year Old Tawny Port (or Niepoort Senior Port) to emphasis the Port characters in the chocolate. Tawny put is often overlooked as a dessert wine but it is a great match for all sorts of chocolates, pudding and blue cheese! Alternative: Rutherglen Muscat.

Blackcurrant and Sloe Gin – Blackcurrant jelly on a dark ganache flavoured with Sloe Gin from the Wiltshire Liqueur Company – the gin flavours are a tricky match, so why not try this with some Sloe Gin itself. Alternatively something big, sweet and chunky would stand up to the gin and blackcurrant and we thought that, in this case a wine might work, perhaps the Tedeschi Amarone would work well. Aternative: Mas Amiel Vintage Maury AOC, Vin Doux Naturel 16.5%

Blackberry – Blackberry fruit and liqueur coulis on 72% dark chocolate ganache – this is the chocolate flavoured with Edmond Briottet Creme de Mure (blackberry liqueur) and would be great with a small glass of that. Alternatively this needs a sweet red wine or perhaps an Port, perhaps the Cline Late Harvest Mourvedre or a Ruby style Port this time (more red and black fruit character than a Tawny Port). Alternative: Niepoort Crusted Port (bottled 2011)

Raspberry – Dark Madagascan chocolate ganache flavoured with fresh raspberry puree – I think I would match this chocolate with the Quady Elysium again, for similar reasons to the Raspberry, Lime and Mint chocolate above.

Gooseberry and Elderflower – a gooseberry fruit coulis above a milk chocolate ganache flavoured with St Germain elderflower liqueur – there is a lot going on here but I think that the white fruit flavours and the milk chocolate ganache make this an ideal candidate for matching with a white wine, and we thought this would actually match well with a German Spatlese such as the Leitz Rudesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spatlese the floral character and a hint of sweetness should be quite complementary. Another thing that might actually work well here would be a sweet sparkling, maybe a Demi-Sec Champagne or Moscato d’Asti.

Sour Cherry and Pistachio – A morello cherry ganache above a pistachio and almond marzipan – so there are fruity and almond flavours in this chocolate. The cherry flavour was quite dominant and this would actually be great with some Cherry Heering or other cherry brandy. If I have to pick a dessert wine match for this chocolate it would be a Tawny Port to complement the nutty marzipan, probably the Niepoort Senior as before. Alternative: Grant Burge 10 Year Old Tawny, Barossa ValleyBarbeito Rainwater Madeira Reserva Medium Dry

Chai Vanilla – Milk chocolate ganache infused with bourbon vanilla and chai tea blend from Char Teas in Winchester – this was perhaps the favourite chocolate of the tasting, there are plenty of spicy cinnamon, ginger, pepper and other spices in here which I think would be great with a medium sweet Madeira with citrus, nutty and spicy notes, the Barbeito Rainwater Reserva Madeira Meio Seco (Medium Dry) would be a great match for this. Alternative:

Almond and Hazelnut Crunch – Almond and hazelnut milk chocolate praline with nut pieces and crunchy feuilletine wafers – probably my second favourite after the Chai Vanilla. This nutty confection really needs something equally nutty to stand up to it. I think this would be a great match with the Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Vin Santo with it slightly oxidised, nutty, raisined flavours or a good cream Sherry or Tawny Port. Alternative: La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti DOCG Bricco Quaglia

The main thing to remember is that no-one is right or wrong, but I hope these wine and chocolate pairings will give you some ideas. Perhaps do some experimenting of your own!

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