Twisted Nose Gin

Twisted Nose Gin – Small Batch Pot Distilled Winchester Dry Gin

Are you looking for a gin from Hampshire? Then look no further!

Twisted Nose Winchester Dry GinTwisted Nose Gin is made in Winchester, Hampshire by Paul Bowler. It was first released in May 2013, so it is a relative new-comer to the increasingly crowed UK gin scene. It does have a very good unique selling point. Well two, in fact. It is the only Gin made in Hampshire and it is the only Gin to use watercress as one of its botanicals.

As you may know, watercress grows locally around Winchester and the Meon Valley where the crystal clear chalk streams provide an ideal habitat. Watercress is from the genus Nasturtium (not to be confused with genus of flowering Nasturtiums which is actaully Trapaeolum). In Latin Nasturtium means “twisted nose” and is said to be named after the effect on ones nose after eating the spicy, peppery leaves. Hence Twisted Nose Gin.

The water used to make this gin is, of course, local New Forest Spring Water. Watercress is only one of 10 botanicals used to make Twisted Nose Gin.

Twisted Nose Gin Botanicals

Watercress – sourced from The Watercress Company, 3 miles to the north of Winchester

Juniper – Obviously, you can’t make gin without juniper berries

Coriander – crushed coriander seeds bring a citrus-y, spicy note

Pink Grapefruit Zest – adds richer citrus flavours than lemon or orange

Cassia Bark – adds cinnamon type character

Fennel Seed – for a sweet Anise flavour

Lavender – locally sourced from Long Barn Growers and Distillers near Arlesford

Orris – brings flowery and woody aromas

Angelica – remember the green, crystallised stuff people used to bung on the top of cakes, that is from the Angelica root. I am not sure what part of the plant goes into Twisted Nose Gin!

Liquorice – brings a touch of sweetness

Twisted Nose Gin is only made in very small batches of around 50 bottles. It is distilled in a traditional copper pot still, a descendent of the alembic still, used to make batches of spirits, unlike the continuous distillation of large, more commercial column stills. Pot stills produce a very fine grade of spirit. The botanicals are gently crushed, mixed and macerated pure, neutral spirit to release the oils that give the gin its characteristic flavours. The spirit and macerated botanicals are then re-distilled in the pot still and only the heart of the distillate is used for the final bottling.

Tasting Notes

Twisted Nose Gin has a good clear colour with a slightly blue-ish tinge.

Nose: The nose is spicy and peppery. There are floral notes, a big hit of citrus fruit and some more spicy coriander and anise (fennel) notes

Palate: The citrus really comes through on the palate with lots of pink grapefruit. There are more floral and fennel flavours.

Finish: Very nice, clear, dry finish with very good length.

If serving as a gin and tonic use a slice of pink grapefruit or pink grapefruit zest instead of lemon or lime as a garnish. If you are feeling playful you could also garnish with a sprig of watercress. Of course, it will be great in a Martini and recommend cocktails include a Salty Dog which is basically gin and grapefruit juice, which ties in nicely with the pink grapefruit used as a botanical.

Salty Dog Recipe

2 parts Twisted Nose Gin
5 parts Grapefruit juice, pink grapefruit juice would be good

Shake the vodka and grapefruit juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a salt-rimmed highball glass and serve straight up, without ice.

Visit the Twisted Nose Gin Website for more information.


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”.



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.

Portfolio Wine Tasting 2014

Fareham Wine Cellar Portfolio Wine Tasting 2014

Please click the link below to download the tasting brochure in PDF format.

Fareham Wine Cellar Portfolio Tasting Brochure 2014

You may or may not know that, at Fareham Wine Cellar, we hold a Portfolio wine tasting every other year – the good news is that it is this year and we are holding it on Wednesday October 22nd 2014.

Tickets are now available now at Fareham Wine Cellar. T: 01329 822733.

Please find the current details I have for details of the portfolio wine tasting below. I will add more details as we finalise them. There will be well over 150 wines and spirits available for tasting.

You can see some photos from 2012’s Portfolio Wine Tasting here.

I will update this as and when I can.

Fareham Wine Cellar
Portfolio Wine Tasting

Wednesday 22th October 2014
2.00pm until 7.30pm  

@ Lysses House Hotel
51 High Street, Fareham

Tickets £12.50 in advance only

Clive Wright, the chef at Lysses House Hotel, will produce a three course dinner menu for attendees of the portfolio wine tasting that wish to eat at Lysses House Hotel as he has in previous years. Details after the list of exhibitors below.


List of Exhibitors at Fareham Wine Cellar Portfolio Wine Tasting 2014


J B Audy – Nadège Sabras

J B Audy are owners of various Chateaux and Bordeaux shippers and negociants.

Awin Barrett and Siegel – Andrea Bulcock

Dr Loosen and Leitz from Germany, Simon Hackett, Philip Shaw and Walter Clappis from Australia, Jordan Estate from South Africa.

Berkmann Wine Cellars – Julian Rigotti

Selected Italian wines from Antinori and Masi, Lapostolle in Chile and many more.

Burridges of Arlington Street – Edward Burridge, Teresa Burridge and Pedro Urbina

A visit to the UK from Pedro Urbina of Urbina Rioja. A range of Spanish wines including Bodegas Tobelos, and Marius from Bodegas Piquera.

Champagne Forget Brimont – Eva Schubert

The full range of Champagne available from Forget Brimont.

Chateau de Cros – Julien Noel

A small, family-owned estate Loupiac which makes some fantastic dessert wines as well as Cote de Cadillac, Graves and Bordeaux AC.

Compass Box Whisky – Chris Maybin

Fine blended whiskies and blended malt whiskies from this interesting, small company with a unique perspective on whisky.

Domaine Jones – Katie Jones

Superb wines from the south of France including Katie’s Domaine Jones Red and White and her Fitou.

Eaux de Vie / Marussia Beverages – Scott Paine

Fine Spirit purveyors of Cognac, Armagnac, Spanish Brandy, whiskies from around the world (South Africa, Scotland, Sweden, Ireland, USA), and micro-distillerie gins and vodkas amongst other things.

J E Fells – Matthew Nutt

Symington Ports, Marc Bredif, Torres Family Wines from Spain, Chile and California, Guigal from France.

Hambledon Vineyard – Phil Kellett and Steve Lowrie

A full range of Hampshire Sparkling wines including Hambledon Vineyard, Mill Down and Meonhill.

Hatch Mansfield – James Wilson

Champagne Taittinger, Louis Jadot, Grant Burge, Villa Maria, Esk Valley.

Louis Latour – Richard Oldman

Not just Louis Latour wines – Craggy Range, Wakefield and others!

Maisons Marques et Domaines – Adam Baggott

Champagne Louis Roederer, Meerlust from Stellenbosch, Ramos Pinto from the Douro et al.

Moet Hennessy – Derek Langton

Famous names include Terrazas de Los Andes, Scotch from Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, Cape Mentelle and Champagne

Raymond Reynolds Ltd – Raymond Reynolds

Raymond is the UK’s number 1 supplier of Portuguese wines – Ports and wines from Niepoort, Madeira from Barbeito and wines from Luis Pato, Quinta das Maias, Quinta dos Roques and many more.


Lysses House Hotel Details and Post Wine Tasting Dinner Menu

£26.00 per person

To book a table, or if you have any further questions, please contact Lysses House on 01329 822622. Details below.

To Start

Pea and mint soup served with crispy croutons

A pulled pork terrine flavoured with star anise served with our own
chutney and olive oil toasts

Thinly sliced gravelax of salmon marinaded with beetroot
served with a lemon scented crème fraiche

Loosehanger mild goats cheese salad with sun blush tomatoes, crispy croutons,
toasted pine nuts and a honey and seed mustard dressing

Roast onion, pear and Stilton tart served with a tomato salsa

To Follow

Chicken breast roasted with a thyme scented butter set on a base of mashed potato wilted greens finished with a red wine and thyme sauce and Parmesan crackling

Fillet of cod wrapped in Parma ham baked in the oven, set on base of
crushed new potatoes flavoured with seed mustard served
with pan fried leeks and finished with a dill and cream sauce

Rump of lamb roasted until pink set on sweet potato purée served with
sugar snap peas and finished with a red wine and basil sauce

Pork tenderloin roasted in the oven served with sautéed potatoes,
and a wild mushroom, shallot, flat parsley and cream sauce

Beetroot flavoured risotto with roasted root vegetable topped with
deep fried parsnip crisps and a chive butter sauce

To Finish

Passion fruit curd tart topped with meringue

Banana Eton mess with whipped cream, nut brittle and finished with a fudge sauce

A fruit and nut flavoured milk chocolate brulée served with a crisp gingerbread biscuit

Sticky toffee pudding served with fudge sauce and ginger ice cream

Iced rhubarb parfait served with a coconut tuille biscuit

A selection of cheese and biscuits

Coffee and petit fours

The contact details for Lysses House Hotel, which is located three doors down from The Fareham Wine Cellar, are,

Lysses House Hotel & Richmond Restaurant
51 High Street
Hampshire PO16 7BQ, UK

T: 01329 822622

Jack Ratt Cider

Cider from the Lyme Bay Cider Co

We have recently decided to get into the swing of things and break our old rule of no ciders or beers for sale at Fareham Wine Cellar. Recently we have been supplying some fruit wine from Lyme Bay Winery and, noticing some ciders on their winelist, we decided to give the Jack Ratt Scrumpy Cider and Jack Ratt Vintage Dry Cider a go in the shop.

The Lyme Bay Winery

The Lyme Bay Winery is located in Axminster, Devon and is named after the stretch of English coastline between Portland and Start Bay easy to west. The area around Lyme Bay is part of a World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast, named for its Jurassic geology.

Jack Ratt Cider

Cider production at Lyme Bay is a careful mix of traditional methods and attitudes and modern equipment and production techniques to produce the best cider possible. Jack Ratt Cider is made using only the freshly pressed juice of locally grown, traditional cider apple varieties such as Dabinett, Kingston Black and Yarlington Mill.

Lyme Bay Cider is named Jack Ratt Cider after a famous 18th Century local smuggler called Jack Rattenbury who was known as the “Rob Roy of the West”. After a life at sea as a fisherman, pilot, seaman and smuggler, Rattenbury wrote the book Memoirs of s Smuggler.

Jack Ratt CiderJack Ratt Scrumpy Cider

The award-winning Scrumpy is a still, medium-bodied dry filtered cider bottled at 6%. It has a good, clear, orange-gold colour. On the nose there are tart apple notes with a hint of creaminess. The palate is tangy, with green apple and slight vanilla notes. Long, dryish finish. Drink with some mature hard cheeses like Sussex Charmer or Keen’s Cheddar.

Awarded Two-Star Gold at The Great Taste Awards
Awarded Silver at the ‘Taste of the West Awards’ 2012
Awarded Three-Star Gold at the Great Taste Awards 2009

Jack Ratt Vintage Dry Cider 2013

The Vintage Dry Jack Ratt Cider is a full bodied (fuller than the scrumpy), still, filtered cider bottles at 7.4%. It is a darker gold colour. The nose has apple notes with slight woody notes. The palate has good texture, with nice acidity, spicy notes and a good clean apple-y, mineral finish. Refreshing, dry finish. Try with a bowl of Moules Mariniere.

Awarded Three-Star Gold at the Great Taste Awards 2012

Jack Ratt Cider is suitable for Vegans.


Compass Box Whisky Tasting 16th April 2014

Compass Box Whisky Tutored Tasting

With Chris Maybin
Wednesday 16th April 2014
@ Lysses House Hotel, Fareham PO16 7BQ

On Wednesday 16th 2014 Chris Maybin from Compass Box Whisky kindly ventured out into the wilds of Hampshire to host a tasting of Compass Box Whiskies including their blended whisky, the Great King Street, their full Signature range and the “odd uncle” – a Scotch Whisky infusion called Orangerie. The tasting was well attended and everyone seemed to have had a good time, judging by comments received and tweets flying around! It was a very interesting and useful tasting – Chris gave a very good introduction to whisky and it various types, which I found very useful as a general refresher course, before moving on to the Compass Box whiskies themselves.

Looking back at my notes, a few things stick in mind from the evening.

Compass Box Gift Set

Compass Box Whisky Gift Set showing the colours of the different whiskies

1. All the Compass Box Whiskies have an average age of 10 to 12 years old apart from the Hedonism which has an average of 20 years old.

2. About 99% of whisky has caramel colouring added to it. The Compass Box whiskies are relatively pale because they have no colouring added. Obviously various barrels do add colour depending on the char or what their previous contents were but colouring is used because there is a psychological association that darker whisky is better and older. For example the Compass Box Hedonism is a light, pale golden colour but has an average age of over 20 years old.

3. The Compass Box Peat Monster has changed since I last tried it which, I admit, is

Chris Maybin from Compass Box Whisky

Chris Maybin juicing limes for the Mamie Taylor cocktail

going back a few years. It is now peatier than ever and the lead malt whisky is Laphroaig (it is a blend of Laphroaig 50%, Ledaig 30% and Ardmore 20%). From memory I think the lead malt used to be Caol Ila. I enjoyed this very much. Perhaps my favourite whisky of the evening.

4. The two most popular whiskies of the evening, in terms of bottles sold and a show of hands, were the Spice Tree and Hedonism.

5. The category Scotch Whisky Infusion was created for the Compass Box Orangerie – it is not a Whisky Liqueur because there is no sugar added. It is a blended whisky (perhaps Asyla) macerated with orange zest, cloves and cassia bark.

6. The Spice Tree and the Oak Cross are the same whisky with different oak ageing regimes. They are both a blend of three Highland malts – 60% Clynelish, 20% Dailuaine and 20% Teaninich. The Oak Cross is aged in a mix of first-fill Bourbon barrels and Compass Box Whisky’s prorietary “oak cross” barrels – casks made of American and new French oak heads – for around 6 months. The Spice Tree is aged in “oak cross” barrels with toasted new French oak heads (sourced from 195 year-old Vosges forests) for up to two and a half years.

7. The Mamie Taylor is a very nice cocktail!

Mamie Taylor Cocktail Recipe

2 oz. Compass Box Great King Street Artist’s Blend
Juice from half a lime (about half an oz.)
4 oz. Ginger Beer (Fever Tree is very good)

Squeeze the juice from half a lime into a highball glass half-filled with ice. Add the whisky and top with a good quality ginger beer. Stir briefly and garnish with some lime zest. One can also add a couple of drops of Angostura Bitters. The Mamie Taylor is named after an American actress, who is said to have invented the drink,  and was a very popular from the early part of the 20th century and predates its Soviet cousin, the Moscow Mule, by some 65 years!

Thanks, again, to Chris Maybin for a very enjoyable evening!


Related Compass Box Whisky Posts

Compass Box Whisky Tasting
Compass Box The Peat Monster

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New Wine Course In Hampshire

World of Wines Wine Course in Fareham, Hampshire

Daria Kenefeck who works, mainly in the office, at Fareham Wine Cellar has taught wine appreciation courses in the local area for a number of years. 2014 sees a change of venue for Daria’s wine class to Lysses House Hotel at 51 High Street in Fareham – that is just three doors down from Fareham Wine Cellar where we hold our portfolio wine tastings – there is one this year!

There are usually three wine courses per year running roughly during school term times on a Thursday evening. The wine course normally involves some wine education followed by a tasting, there are also various themed evenings, the occasional blind tasting and some guest speakers.

Please note you will need to take at least 5 wine tasting glasses and writing implements.

The first wine course starts on Thursday 9th January 2014 and places are limited, so please respond ASAP. Best method of contact is to telephone me or Daria 01329 822733.

2014 Wine Tasting Classes At Lysses House Hotel

with Daria Kenefeck

Here is all the information I have from Daria,

I have now managed to finalise the details for the wine classes for the forthcoming year to be held at Lysses House Hotel in Fareham.
Lysses House Hotel
51 High Street
PO16 7BQ
There is a car park behind the hotel, and should this be full for any reason, there is a public car park opposite which is free after 6.00 pm.

The room we are using is on the first floor, but there is a lift available.

If we can get a minimum of 15 people to sign up for the courses, I am able to keep the cost down to £7.00 per night (as opposed to £9.50 at St Vincent College, the previous venue) plus £6.00 per night for the wines.

World of Wines – Spring Wine Course 2014

The Spring course will run for 12 weeks, starting Thursday 9th January 2014 from 7.00 to 9.00 pm.There will be a break on 13th March, which means that we will have 9 classes before this date and 3 classes after this date.  The last date for this course will be 3rd April.

The cost for this course, code LHSP1412, will be £84.00 plus £72.00 for the wines.

There will then be a four week break.

World of Wines – Summer Wine Course 2014

The Summer course will run for 4 weeks, starting Thursday 8th May 2014 finishing on Thursday 29th May 2014.

The cost for this course, code LHSU144, will be £28.00 plus £24.00 for the wines.

We will then break till September.

World of Wines – Autumn Wine Course 2014

The Autumn course will run for 12 weeks starting on 11th September, finishing on Thursday 4th December 2014, with a break on 30th October.

Payment for the courses will become due on the first evening of each course and can be made via a bank transfer.


Payment for the wines can be made at the same time.  I am sorry but I will have to ask for the wine money for the complete wine course whether you attend all the classes or not, otherwise I am not able to budget across the course.  This is no different to the system we had at St Vincent.

You will need to bring a minimum of 5 glasses plus writing implements, as before.

I will need confirmation of attendance on the first course by Monday 6th January 2014.  This can be done via e-mail or telephone 01329 822733
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Louis Jadot 2012 En Primeur Wine Tasting

Louis Jadot 2012 En Primeur  Wine Tasting

Saturday 23rd November 2013

2pm until 5.30pm

@ Fareham Wine Cellar

Unfortunately we were unable to attend the Louis Jadot 2012 En Primeur wine tasting this year but, fortunately, we have been given some samples to try at Fareham Wine Cellar. We are going to try the samples and thought we would give our customers the opportunity to try the samples with us.

If you would like to try the samples with us, please just turn up between 2pm and 5.30pm on Saturday 23rd.

Sorry for the short notice on this, it was a surprise for me too!

Louis Jadot 2012 White Wines

Pouilly Fuissé Clos des Prouges, Domaine Ferret

Santenay Clos de Malte, Domaine Louis Jadot

Beaune Bressandes 1er Cru, Domaine Gagey

Chassagne Montrachet Chevenottes 1er Cru

Louis Jadot 2012 En Primeur White Wines

Louis Jadot 2012 Red Wines

Moulin A Vent Clos de Rochegres, Chateau des Jacques

Santenay Clos de Malte, Domaine Louis Jadot

Beaune Boucherottes 1er Cru Domaine des Heritiers Louis Jadot

Chambolle Musigny Les Drazeys, Domaine Gagey

Louis Jadot 2012 En Primeur Red Wines2012 was an interesting year for Burgundy. The first half of 2012 was quite disastrous, it was cold, wet and miserable and mildew and mould was prevalent in the vineyards. Flowering was late and there was a fair bit of hail damage. However, in the end, although 2012 is a very small harvest, the quality has turned out to be very good and some are saying the reds are better than good.

Please have a look at these very good articles from Clive Coates MW and Aubert de Villaine at Jancis Robinson’s website for more detailed information.

2012 Burgundy Report from Clive Coates MW

Burgundy 2012 – A difficult Birth from

Please see our current selection of Louis Jadot Wines here.

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Hambledon Vineyard Visit Part 1

I was lucky enough to visit Hambledon Vineyard on a very windy, and rainy, day in late October 2013. So, I don’t really have any great pictures of the vineyards and grapes etc. to share, but I do have some really interesting photographs of their brand new winery – currently, and I imagine for some time, the only 100% gravity fed winery in the UK. This sort of winery is unusual even in more traditional wine-making countries and I have only come across this twice on my travels – once at Quinta do Vallado in the Douro, Portugal and once at Tobelos Bodegas Y Vinedos in Rioja (admittedly not quite 100% gravity fed, but nearly!). What is clear from my visit is that the people behind Hambledon Vineyard are very serious indeed.

About Hambledon Vineyard

The small village of Hambledon is located in Hampshire some 15 miles north of Portsmouth (approximately 6.5 miles from Fareham Wine Cellar, as the crow flies!). It has two claims to fame, one of which is the slightly debatable title of the “Cradle of Cricket” (Hambledon Cricket Club dates back to 1750). Hambledon’s other claim to fame is not contested – it is the location of the oldest commercial vineyard in England.

View Larger Map

Hambledon Vineyard was established by wine-loving Francophile Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones. After researching the feasiblity of planting vines on the original, chalky, south-facing  slopes in front of his house, and after consultation with friends and connections at Champagne Pol Roger, the first vines were planted in 1952. A range of about half a dozen grape varieties were planted (mainly Germanic varieties including Seyval Blanc as I understand) on soils that are identical to the Kimmeridgian / Clay soils of Champagne and Burgundy. Soon the first English wines available to buy. Long-serving winemaker Bill Carcary joined the team in the mid-1960s and before long Hambledon Vineyard wines were flying the flag for English wines on the domestic market and were being sold in places as varied as the Houses of Parliament, UK embassies overseas and even on the QE2. The vineyard saw a good few decades of fame, success and expansion, however by the the time the vineyard had passed through successive owners by the 1990s, the vineyard was in a sad state of serious decline and there were only 4 acres of vine plantings left.

Hambledon Vineyard Renaissance

The second most important thing to happen at Hambledon, after it being established by by Salisbury-Jones in 1952, was the purchase by current owner Ian Kellett in 1999. Kellett, a former equity analyst and biochemist by training, arrived at the vineyard with the dream of owning his own winery and producing English wine. He soon realised that the still wines being produced were not particularly good. However, he persevered with Hambledon Vineyard, studied oenology at Plumpton College and undertook his own extensive research before concluding that the way forward for Hambledon Vineyard would be to concentrate on producing high quality English sparkling wine. By 2005 all of the old vines had been grubbed up and there was a 10 acre test planting of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties (the three main wine used in Champagne) using different clones and rootstocks to see which of the 27 combinations work best.

Hambledon Vineyard Chardonnay Vines

Hambledon Vineyard Chardonnay Vines

Since 2005 Kellett has created Hambledon Vineyard Plc and has implemented an innovative fundraising via an EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) which sees the appointment of two leading independent directors, one of whom is John Armit –  who has had a long career in the UK wine trade and will be familiar most in the trade. Their successful fundraising has allowed them to build an extremely hi-tech, 100% gravity fed, £2.5 million winery and to expand their vineyard plantings to some 50 acres. The planting and design of the winery has all been under the direction Hervé Jestin, former Chef de Cave at Champagne Duval Leroy who remains as the main consultant.

Hambledon Vineyard - Ian Kellett amongst Chardonnay Vines

Hambledon Vineyard – Ian Kellett amongst Chardonnay Vines

Speaking to, now managing director, Kellett, it would seem that Hambledon Vineyard is still looking to expand in the future to around 200 acres of vineyards with a target for production of three quarters of a million bottles per year (750,000 bottles). This has been hampered and slowed down by the very poor 2012 vintage – most English vineyards didn’t even bother to pick in 2012. Of course, this is a lot of wine, too much for the UK domestic market, and it is no surprise that Hambledon Vineyard plans to target two-thirds of their sales to overseas markets such as China, India and larger, cosmopolitan cities such as New York and Paris. Perhaps  the cricketing connection as the “cradle of cricket” could see natural links forged with cricket playing countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and, to a lesser extent, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Read more about the winery at Part 2.

For more information visit the Hambledon Vineyard website.

Buy Hambledon Vineyard wines at Fareham Wine Cellar and see more images at my Flickr set.

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Torres Wine Dinner with Cristina Torres

Torres Wine Dinner with Cristina Torres at Lysses House Hotel

On Wednesday 9th October 2013 we have another wine dinner, this time with Torres Wine at Lysses House Hotel, with Cristina Torres. Cristina Torres is the daughter of Marimar Torres, who founded the Californian Estate and niece of President and CEO Miguel A. Torres and will be presenting wines from Spain, Torres Chile and her mother’s wine estate, Marimar Torres, in California. There will be a pre-dinner wine tasting followed by a four course dinner with wine matched to each course.

If you wish to attend please book your places directly with the reception at Lysses House Hotel on 01329 822622. Lysses House Hotel is located three doors down from Fareham Wine Cellar in Fareham High Street (Map Link)

Please find more information about which Torres wine we will be showing, the menu and a bit more about Cristina Torres below.

Torres Wine Dinner at Lysses House Hotel

Wednesday 9th October 2013

Prompt Start at 7.30pm

Pre-Dinner Wine Tasting

Miguel Torres Chile Santa Digna Estelado Sparkling Rose, Maule ValleyTorres Cordillera Carignan

Torres Fransola Sauvignon Blanc, DO Penedes, Spain

Marimar Torres Don Miguel Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California

Miguel Torres Cordillera Carignan Special Reserve, Maule Valley


Dinner Menu and Wines

Pressed confit of duck terrine served with toasted brioche

Marimar Torres Don Miguel Pinot Noir Vineyard, Russian River Valley, California


Torres Celeste Ribera del DueroLamb rump, roasted until pink, set on a celeriac and potato mash with a mix broad beans, peas and French beans finished with a rich red wine sauce

Torres Celeste Crianza, DO Ribera del Duero, Spain


A selection of English cheese

Torres Gran Coronas Reserva, DO Penedes, Spain


A dark chocolate and caramel tart served with a raspberry sauce

Miguel Torres Chile Nectaria Vendimia Tardia (Late Harvest) Riesling


Coffee and Petit fours


Marimar Torres Estate Don Miguel Chardonnay Russian River

Marimar Torres Estate Don Miguel Chardonnay Russian River

Cristina Torres is the only daughter of Marimar Torres, who founded the Californian Estate and niece of President and CEO Miguel A. Torres, and has inherited the family love of vineyard and wines. Cristina has a degree in economics from Princeton University, has studied at the University of Melbourne and has gained valuable wine industry experience working at Champagne Pol Roger and Miguel Torres Chile. Cristina has worked as the Brand Ambassador for Marimar Estate receiving visitors and clients, coordinating and planning Club Marimar events, strategizing the marketing of wine distribution in collaboration with sales teams and promoting the wines throughout the United States. Cristina is currently spending some time working with John E Fells, Torres’ UK agents, to learn about the UK wine trade and to continue spreading the word about Torres wine, and Marimar Torres wines in particular.

For more information on the Torres family wines please visit,

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