THE WINE MERCHANT. An independent magazine for independent retailers Issue 73, September 2018
Dog of the Month: Chester Chesters, Abergavenny
THIS MONTH 3 BACCHUS Younger wine drinkers are probably your best customers
4 comings & GOINGS
Yet more store openings in Chester and Bath
8 tried & TESTED
You can never have too much Cabernet Franc
18 bristol round table
David Gower did the honours for his former England teammate John Morris when the latter’s newly-extended wine shop in Derbyshire celebrated its opening night. Full story on page 13.
Ruthless Corks Out plans to open more branches Corks Out will continue on the expansion trail despite the surprise departure of founder Ruth Yates. Operations director Richard Wood, whose
father Ian has held a majority stake in the
business since 2013, says the company has not set itself a specific target for new sites to add to the five it already operates in north west England.
“Ideally we would like to open a store every
12 months if possible, but we’re not going
to risk going with somewhere that’s not an acceptable location,” he says.
“We’ve got a number of different sites in
mind. They’re obviously in the north west and
we’re not looking to branch out into city centres – Manchester, Liverpool, those kinds of areas.
It will be very much the suburbs of Manchester and places similar to those we already have.”
Wood says that the recent range review was
“really paying dividends” as customers explore new wines from Austria and Eastern Europe. “We’ve actually seen a bounce in our retail
sales, which is great, but our focus is also on
the bar side of things, and the corporate and the wholesale side which we’re very much committed to as well,” he says.
The website, which contributes in the region Continues page 2
So you’ve won an award. Did it bring you extra sales?
26 urchin wines
Margate’s biggest attraction since Benbom Brothers
32 david williams
What happens when a winemaker goes sleazy?
34 cobblers to corkage The perils of explaining why it costs more to drink a wine on the premises
38 make a date
The tasting season continues for another month
43 supplier Bulletin
Essential updates from agents and suppliers
Don’t discount the threat from Aldi Encouraging news emerges from Wine Intelligence’s latest breakdown of consumer habits in the UK market – though the research also underlines the threat being posed by Aldi and Lidl. Wine Intelligence divides the wine-
buying public into six segments. The most lucrative of these – and the most relevant to indies – are labelled Adventurous Explorers and Generation Treaters.
Adventurous Explorers are typically
high-spending middle-aged consumers, with the highest level of wine expertise
of any of the groups. Generation Treaters, typically young urbanites whose
likely to buy from specialist shops than is the case with average consumers, with a
third of them reporting sourcing wine from this channel over the previous month.
The best news for independents comes
Corks Out stays on expansion trail From page 1
from the Generation Treaters, who are
of £700,000 towards Corks Out turnover, is
– indeed 45% are regular customers in
competition and low margins in the online
almost twice as likely as the average wine
drinker to buy wine from a specialist shop such stores.
But the fact remains that their retail
channel of choice is the supermarkets –
and they are almost as likely to buy wine from a discounter, supermarket website or convenience store as they are from a specialist.
The explosion in new stores for Aldi
and Lidl has been a thorn in the side of
UK supermarkets for several years, but
the chains’ high-profile wine deals have also become an irritant for specialist merchants.
Aldi, which now has almost 800 UK
stores, recently launched an orange
natural wine for £5.99. Lidl, which employs Richard Bampfield MW as a consultant,
has just over 700 branches and invested in a cinematic TV ad for its St-Emilion Grand Cru to emphasise its vinous credentials.
likely to get more investment within 18 to 24 months but Wood acknowledges fierce wine market, a situation he predicts will soon be exacerbated by Amazon.
The company is generating enough cash
to fund its expansion organically, Wood says, but he does not rule out seeking
extra investment if the right opportunities become available.
Ruth Yates has retained her minority
stake in the business but is no longer a
Corks Out employee, stepping down as chief executive at the same time as her
husband Richard and daughter Hayley also left their roles.
Yates intends to focus on consultancy
and charity work and says she has no plans to return to retail.
Wood says: “It’s a big change for the
company but also an exciting one. For the moment it’s business as usual, especially with the shadow of Christmas looming.”
enthusiasm for wine is not always matched by their knowledge, are the most valuable segment of all, and the most frequent imbibers.
According to Wine Intelligence, just
23% of wine drinkers make regular wine
purchases at a specialist shop – which for the purposes of the research includes the likes of Majestic and Oddbins as well as independents.
That compares to 85% who buy wine
regularly from supermarkets and 39% who make purchases at the discounters.
Adventurous Explorers buy from all
three of these channels more regularly than
Young, urban wine drinkers are the most loyal customers for specialist merchants
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 2
© Olly / stockadobe.com
the average. But they are markedly more
“Our Man with the Facts” Bottles of bespoke gin work out at less than £20 for merchants to buy
The gin distillery that comes to you A number of merchants now sell their own bespoke gin. A few have gone one step further and actually made the stuff outside their shop with the help of a mobile distillery. According to Cosmo Caddy of Devon
Distillery, the Still on the Move concept he developed last year has gone “bonkers”, thanks partly to wine trade clients
including Vineyards of Sherborne, Morrish & Banham in Dorchester, Totnes Wine
Company and Kingsbridge Wine Room booking his services.
The 100-litre still is fitted to a 1960s
VW minibus. “We roll up outside a shop or
restaurant and either they have nominated someone to work out their botanical blend or we guide them through it ourselves,” Caddy explains.
“Gin-making is relatively straightforward.
You start with a neutral alcohol, which we put into the base of the still at about 43%.
You heat it up and the alcohol vapour then passes through your botanicals and they
grab the flavour and infuse. You cool that
vapour back down and then that is your
gin, albeit at about 85% or 90% which you cut with water.
“Sometimes people bring their own
botanicals – it could be something that’s local to the area and as long as it’s legal
and not poisonous we can put it into the
gin. We’ve had chuckleberries – they’re like a pink gooseberry – and various different
seaweeds. Sea buckthorn has gone in and someone recently brought some banana skins along, which is fine if you like bananas.”
He adds: “The minimum that we do is 20
litres which is 27 bottles, but generally it’s 100 litres which is 140 bottles. That’s the
most efficient way of doing it. It works out that we charge £19.93 a bottle plus VAT
to come out to someone and make it and
sometimes there’s mileage on top of that.” The process takes up to six hours and
although Caddy is not claiming to be
putting on a show, he and his team are happy to chat to wine shop customers during less busy moments.
Merchants can either ask Caddy’s team
to supply labels or design their own. The standard back label takes care of all the legalities.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 3
• The number of trade marks issued
for spirits and liqueurs in the UK rose by 41% to 2,210 last year, according to legal firm RPC. Over the past five years the number of trade marks issued for spirits has increased by 84%, largely driven by the gin boom.
• The grape variety with the highest
number of clones is Pinot Noir, with some authorities suggesting there
may be as many as 1,000 variants. The variety is genetically unstable and is
capable of producing shoots with very different characteristics to others on the same vine.
• When pyhlloxera ravaged French
vineyards in the 1880s and 1890s, up to a sixth of the country’s wines were made by adding hot water and sugar to imported raisins, sometimes with added colouring.
• Vin de Tahiti in French Polynesia is thought to be the world’s most
remote winery, being 2,000 miles from New Zealand. The business produces
white and rosé wines from Muscat de Hambourg and Carignan.
Chester’s latest indie is a natural fit Mistral Wine Bar & Shop is opening in Chester’s historic Rows shopping district. Business partners Paul Caputo and Patrick Barker have refurbished a former hair salon to create a bar with seating for 35 people. “We’re going for a modern look: a marble
bar and table tops with whites and greys,” says Caputo. “We haven’t gone down the
old oak, rustic feel – there’s lots of copper and metal.”
The shop will list 250 wines, a handful
of which Caputo and Barker have imported themselves, but the majority will be from
Shelves at Wine Down effectively serve as the restaurant’s wine list
UK importers including Vine Trail, Lea &
always done business here are starting
but we’ll focus on low-intervention wines
trying to re-energise the city centre and
Sandeman, Flint and Bancroft.
Caputo says that the range is “a real mix,
– organic, biodynamic and some ultranatural wines”.
He adds: “A lot of those are French or
Italian – from what we’ve ordered so far there’s not a huge New World selection.
We’ll have a by-the-glass offering of around 10 to 12 wines and they’ll change as often as we can.”
Caputo is confident that the locals are
ready for the natural and biodynamic
wine revolution. “Chester is a university town and there’s a growing university
population and an increasing interest in
“I was with The Wine Cellar, here in
to retire and there’s a new generation of
Douglas, for 15 years and, prior to that, I
repurpose some of these big national
Pagendam Pratt before that,” she says.
independent business people who are brands that have essentially failed.
“As a shopping destination, it probably
lost a lot of business to the retail parks.
But the independent sector of cafés, coffee shops and bars is coming together to
create a go-to destination that certainly five years ago wasn’t here.”
Douglas wine shop joins with eaterie
was with Moreno Wines for six years and
had four years with [Yorkshire merchant] “My father started selling wine when I
was just five and, when I finished school, I
took a year out which I spent working with one of his suppliers in the Mosel Valley in Germany. That was 34 years ago – and I
still visit there every year to bring back my annual supply of Riesling.”
Farm shop invests in wine specialism
Anne Harrison has joined forces with
The award-winning farm shop at
chef Roy Macfarlane to open Wine Down
Lincoln’s Doddington Hall is currently
at Macfarlane’s in Douglas on the Isle of
undergoing a huge expansion
programme to include a wine shop.
indies call it home, including Corks Out,
serve as the wine list: customers can select
seasonal food, including produce from the
selection of wine by the glass and Harrison
seems a natural progression.
ethical food and the slow food movement.
Hopefully our concept ties in with that,” he The city has proved to be increasingly
popular with the wine trade. A number of
Chester Beer & Wine, Tanners, Whitmore & White and Covino.
Caputo says his business hopes to “add
value” to the mix with its on-premise
offering. He adds: “Chester is changing.
The older generation of people who have
The shelves of wine on display effectively
any wine from the shelf to enjoy with
their meal or to take away. There is also a has sourced some smaller tasting glasses so diners can enjoy a different wine with each dish.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 4
With a reputation for providing quality
Hall’s kitchen garden and beef from the
estate-reared Lincolnshire Red Cattle, wine Sarah Hall, the farm shop manager,
says the retail space will be increased by
a third. “We’re extending our selection of
Adeline Mangevine Hasty despatches from the frontline of wine retailing as creating a wine shop with a dedicated tasting area,” she says.
Recruitment is under way for a “wine
ambassador” to advise customers and a
series of wine tasting events is also in the pipeline, along with the launch of a wine club within the next year.
Wines come mainly from Enotria&Coe.
Relocation allows Taylor to tinker
Taylors Fine Wine in Kingston upon Thames has relocated, giving owner Andrew Taylor the opportunity to indulge in a little “tinkering”. “I treated it like a re-brand in a way,” he
says. “I thought, OK, I’m moving to a better location – think about what’s worked well and what hasn’t worked so well and just kick things off again.
“There’s no real risk of my losing any
of my existing customers because I’m just 50 yards down the road. I’ve gone a little bigger on craft beers, but it’s a work in progress.”
For the second time in 12 years Taylor’s
lease was up for renewal, and he took the opportunity to take on a premises on a
more prominent part of the same street.
“The original shop served me well, but
it was in a slightly secondary position,” he says.
“I’m now on the main parade, by the
zebra crossing and in full view.”
ow many units do you drink
each week?” asks the doctor,
peering over her glasses in a
way that already looks disapproving.
Do I lie? She’ll double it anyway. She’ll
probably also double it if I tell the truth. Scary. So I opt for being just a little
economical with the truth. You see, I
have had a couple of weeks off the booze. A couple of very, very long weeks. So
technically, when I tell her that I stick to
government guidelines, I’m not telling an outright lie – if you average it out over the last month.
Avoiding wine when you are
surrounded by bottles of delicious
liquid is tough. So much variety, so many different grapes, countries, regions,
styles and tastes. People who drink wine just to get buzzed are missing out. Yet
getting buzzed is unavoidable if you love the stuff. Therefore, much as I hate all
those holier-than-thou organised months of abstinence – and the impact on my
bottom line – I concede that a bit of time off is essential.
My fortnight of abstinence is easy
at first. All those Seedlip and tonics, all
those fancy garnishes and chunks of ice,
clink clink clink. Except that I’m downing four or five a night. No wonder my
waistband soon starts to feel tight. I try
some zero-alcohol beer. Yeah, I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
On day five, I decide that going to
the cinema after work would be a good distraction activity. Except that I am so distracted by the glow of everyone’s
phones during the screening, I barely
remember what we saw. I also won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
On day six, we have the prospect of
New shop is 50 yards from the previous site
dinner with friends in the trade. I call
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 5
them to break the news and to my shock – and delight – they decide on a dry
dinner party in support. Mr Mangevine is not a happy bunny, though. They
normally serve some serious kit. Instead, we spend the night drinking palatable
faux gronis talking about the wines we could have drunk with tonight’s food.
On day seven, Mr M slopes off to the
pub. I mope, drink tea and plan which
tastings I won’t be going to in the coming week. On day eight, a Monday, I decide
A fortnight of abstinence could be just what the doctor ordered – but Mr M isn’t happy it’s time to be more positive. I call in a slew of samples of achingly-hip non-
alcoholic adult sodas. That’ll keep me
busy for the rest of the week. And it does: I weed out the sugary, the weird and
the feral and eventually come up with a handful that are reasonably tasty and I can promote come Stoptober.
Eventually, my two weeks is up and
I am proud of the fact that I REALLY
HAVEN’T THOUGHT ABOUT DRINKING WINE AT ALL. I celebrate my amazing willpower drinking some spenny Burgundies. I feel so bad the next
have to take a few more
days off just to recover.
© Suteren Studio / stockadobe.com
locally-sourced beers and spirits as well
Whitmore & White in hunt for buyer After a fairly breathless expansion programme which has seen its estate swell to four branches, Whitmore & White is on the market for an asking price of just under £300,000. The business, established in 2014 by Joe
Whittick, operates hybrid shops/wine cafés in West Kirby and Frodsham, and stores in Heswall and Chester.
The company has 14 staff and a turnover
of £678,129, and Whittick believes a
new owner could help it realise its true potential.
If a buyer can be found, Whittick plans
to devote more time to his partner’s fastgrowing building firm.
“We basically just decided that if we
wanted to have any kind of life, one or
other of the businesses probably needs to be under somebody else’s management,”
he says. “We’ve just stretched ourselves a little bit too far.
“Whitmore & White has so much
potential and there are so many things we
The original Beckford store in Tisbury, Wiltshire
“I think it could do with a slightly bigger
management structure and somebody
who could give it more time and a bit more money and take it to the next level.”
Bath time for the Beckford boys Beckford Bottle Shop is about to open
the local council. “It’s a listed building in a World Heritage Site so there have been a
few hurdles,” says Gardner. “It’s taken a bit
longer than we thought, but it’s an exciting opportunity.”
Former Beckford shareholder Kent
Barker has sold his stake in the business to fellow directors after an amicable
departure and is now preparing a new wine retailing venture of his own.
haven’t exploited – things like wholesale
its second branch, and is the latest
more you could be doing if you just had
in mid October. “It’s essentially two sites,”
business, Australian Wines Online, is still
since we opened. The first one in Heswall
bistro – we’re still struggling with the
partnership with Pete Thompson, says:
second unit will essentially be a copy-and-
business. Eighteen months ago we put in a
“We’ve employed Liam Steevenson MW
“It’s very different because as a retail
and lots of other avenues. It becomes so
merchant to try its luck in Bath.
explains managing director Tim Gardner.
wording – but essentially serving tasty
“Australian Wines Online has been going
paste of the original Tisbury [Wiltshire]
new website and I’ve been spending time
as our consultant. We’ve known him for
business you meet people and build up a
frustrating after a while – there’s so much “We’ve expanded the business every year
is quite established now, West Kirby is
just coming up to its second birthday and Chester’s only a few months old. There’s still some way to go in terms of where those stores need to get to.
“I think everyone’s admitting the same
thing right now – it’s not easy on the high
street and it’s a lot of work to make it work properly.
“We’re testing the water to see what
happens. If nothing comes of it, we’ll just continue as we are.
The Saville Row premises is due to open “The corner site will be a tapas bar/
• After 15 years of trading, Wine Buffs in Warrington has closed, but its online
Brian Marshall, who ran Wine Buffs in
British charcuterie and cheeses. The
for 15 years so it’s a well-established
optimising it, and we’ve shown growth.
ages, we take a lot of his wines and he’s
relationship. Online you really don’t build up
internet business is “more profitable and a
always been a good friend to the Bottle
Shop. It’s a natural development of that
The freehold of the Bath site is owned by
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 6
a relationship with anybody.” However, Marshall admits that the new lot less hassle.”
Taste this year's top 100 Rioja wines, selected by an expert panel chaired by Tim Atkin MW and Sarah Jane Evans MW
Italian Wine Extravaganza TUESDAY 23 OCTOBER 2018 - 11AM TO 4PM BOCCA DI LUPO 12 ARCHER STREET LONDON W1D 7BB Join us for an exclusive food and wine event at the prestigious Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo in London. Hosted by the wine producers themselves, guests will be treated to a selection of ‘cicchetti’ to match some of our best Italian wines. Put the date in your diary now as space is very limited. Register your interest with firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 7
9th October 11am - 5pm Banking Hall 14 Cornhill London EC3V 3ND
tried & Tested Tenuta Perano Frescobaldi Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
Pietradolce Etna Rosato 2017
This was like one of those dogs that walks off when
northern slopes of Mount Etna at 700m above sea
The fruit here is all Nerello Mascalese, from the stony
you stroke it – aloof, indifferent, not ready to play. Next
day, it was still suspicious of our advances, but sweeter natured and less frigid. We’ve arranged to meet again
this time next year because we sense progress is being made, and that our efforts will be richly rewarded. RRP: £33.49
level. It’s one of the more characterful rosés that came our way this summer, with enjoyable layers of flavour that combined stuff like marzipan, orange peel, stone fruit and raspberries, along with a flinty mineral dimension, as befits its rocky origins. RRP: £16.50
Hallgarten (01582 722538)
Armit Wines (020 7908 0600)
Aldwick Bacchus 2016
Benegas Cabernet Franc 2015
It’s all sold out now and admittedly it’s the wrong time
Cabernet Franc is gaining momentum in Mendoza,
Somerset producer. Steve Brooksbank’s creation is a
this one did split opinion hereabouts. But there’s also
of year for something so fresh and delicate, but it’s
worth keeping an eye out for newer vintages from this
lovely example of a variety that can be a genuine calling card for English wine: cool, understated and simple, with the fragrance of a spring meadow. RRP: £12.95
where it attains a juiciness rarely found in the Loire.
Not everyone wants that level of fruity sweetness, and a characteristic savoury bell pepper note, and a gentle leafy bitterness on the finish that rounds proceedings off nicely.
Las Bodegas (01435 874772)
Aldwick Court Farm (01934 864404) aldwickcourtfarm.co.uk
Yalumba The Scribbler Cabernet/Shiraz 2014
Ponte del Diavolo Grave Del Friuli Pinot Grigio 2017
Conceived as an earlier-drinking version of The
Those of us who practice an almost religious avoidance
wouldn’t be too offended if you told them you simply
insipid. There’s a decent zip to this one, a warm waft
Signature, this is too good to be labelled as a mere
quaffer, but equally you get the impression its creators
thought it was “nice”. Apply the thumbscrews and we’d pick out friendly flavours of plum, leather and mint. RRP: £15.99
Fells (01442 870900)
of Pinot Grigio need to check in on progress every
now and then, and here’s an example that’s far from
of patisserie and a nutty depth, making it a perfectly serviceable party wine. RRP: £10.99
Liberty Wines (020 7720 5350)
Josten & Klein Heimat Riesling 2016
Château Coudray-Montpensier Chinon 2016
Josten and Klein got tired of selling their respective
Joan of Arc once stayed in this 14th-century castle,
of sweetness here could easily have signalled one of
price. There’s a firm acidity underpinning the cherry
families’ grapes to the local co-op in Ahr and so set about creating their own venture. The initial burst those one-glass-is-plenty Rieslings, but the fruit is marshalled admirably by a prickly, zesty acidity. RRP: £16
Raymond Reynolds (020 7720 5350) libertywines.co.uk
which is a fun fact that this bright and breezy Chinon
doesn’t really need as a selling point, especially at this and blackcurrant fruit, a whiff of antique wardrobes, and a finish suggesting spices and coffee. RRP: £13.99
Liberty Wines (020 7720 5350) libertywines.co.uk
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 8
bits & BOBs FAVOURITE
THINGS Camilla Wood
Somerset Wine Company Castle Cary Favourite wine on my list I’d have to stay loyal to my adopted Marche roots where I have a home and say Villa Angela Pecorino by Velenosi – a direct import of ours. This is a rounded, fuller bodied style of Pecorino with a gorgeous lemon balm and honeysuckle nose, stone fruits on palate, racy minerality and a classic bitter almond finish. It captures for me the exciting diversity of Italian whites. I’m a massive Verdicchio fan too – one of the few whites which has incredible ageability.
Winemakers in the drought-affected Hunter Valley are preparing to begin culling kangaroos. Kangaroos in the valley are running out
of food, and could soon become a threat to
Frankenstein grapes on the way French wine scientists have come up with four revolutionary supergrape
the region’s vineyards come bud burst in
varieties they say are impervious to rot
application to the State Government to hire
grown creations, which mix grape genes
his crop to kangaroos last year. “If there’s
wine for future generations.
and thus require almost no pesticides.
from around the world, could lead to
Growers in Pokolbin are considering an Bruce Tyrrell lost around 80 tonnes of
nothing else to eat they will find what they can and that’s likely to be vines,” he said. The Drinks Business, August 17
Favourite wine and food match
But purists have warned that the lab-
dumbed-down, low-grade “Frankenstein” Scientists at the National Institute of
Agronomical Research have permission to
grow four varieties of resistant grape called Araban, Floreal, Voltis and Vidoc which will lead to wine being bottled by 2020.
I recently had supper with cook/food writer
The Telegraph, August 4
and friend Lucas Hollweg who cooks incredible flavour-laden peasant food. We had a sublime
American wine growth is in the can
rich fish stew with fennel and orange, and a huge blob of aioli, which I paired with a barrelfermented Chinon Blanc, Silice by M Plouzeau – the elegance and complexity of this Chenin complemented beautifully the delicacy and
Canned wine is booming in the US, with
intensity of the flavours in the stew.
year-on-year sales currently up 43% as consumers become more open-minded
Favourite wine trip
to alternative packaging for wine.
It has to be a Wine Merchant magazine trip to Tejo in Portugal last summer with a cracking
Boxed wine is also enjoying its moment
load of merchants. The people, wines,
in the sun in the US, with sales up 7% on
enormous quantities of food and side-splitting
last year, while overall wine sales at retail
banter will live long in the memory. We bonded
in the US are flat at $3.3bn.
over a particular sparkling wine called Monge – come on, please, someone import it!
Favourite wine trade person
Kangaroo cull to protect Hunter crop
The Drinks Business, August 15 Who, me?
The best thing about this trade is the
camaraderie and support. In no particular order,
Johnny Paterson from Bancroft, Ned from Alliance, Carl Rostrup of ABS, Duncan Pilbeam of Babylonstoren, Guy Smith of Smith & Evans …
Favourite wine shop Shaftesbury Wines, the tiny but veritable treasure trove of great wines and quirky finds owned by another wine trade classic good bloke, David Perry.
The Wine Merchant is circulated to the owners of the UK’s 887 specialist independent wine shops. When we launched in 2012 there were 660 of them, but we don’t take credit for the boom. The magazine is edited by Graham Holter. Printed in Sussex by East Print. © Graham Holter Ltd 2018 Registered in England: No 6441762
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 10
VAT 943 8771 82
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 11
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 12
John Morris (top left) took on the former Derbyshire bank in the spring
Gower happy to see pal’s wine venture is flying England Test cricketer-turned-wine broker John Morris has opened a shop called Bradmans Wine Cellar in the Derbyshire village of Duffield. “I work for [fine wine investment firm] Vin-X and consequently I have access to all this
lovely stuff and I wanted an office to show
what we are doing,” he says. “The old bank in the village where I live became available and we took it on.”
Since opening in May, Morris
has been given the opportunity of
acquiring a further portion of the
building, which meant applying
for change of use from A1 to A4 – and while he was about it he applied for the licence to allow use of the garden too.
Permission was granted and Morris marked the occasion with
an official opening attended by his old cricketing pal David Gower. The pair were each fined £1,000 in 1991 for flying biplanes low over an England warm-up match in Queensland.
The shop, named after Australian cricket legend Don Bradman,
is set on a high street with several watering holes. “If you’re
coming to Duffield you can have a nice drink and a bite to eat, all
within 60 yards of each other,” says Morris, whose county career included spells at Derbyshire, Durham and Nottinghamshire.
The dedicated tasting room has already played host to Taittinger
and there are plans for an Italian night in October.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 13
things they don’t show you on winery visits
‘Don’t drink the dimethyl!’
Visiting most wineries, you get the impression that nothing disreputable ever happens in the winemaking process. But slip a truth drug into the host’s espresso and a different picture may emerge
THE STASH OF CITRIC ACID
THE MYSTERIOUS PALLETS WITH CHESHUNT ADDRESS LABELS ON THEM
THE VIALS OF OAK EXTRACT
“We try to pick grapes on time but it’s not easy and quite often they’re a bit cooked and flabby
“As a family company ourselves we absolutely
to hold you firmly by the arms first in case the
by the time we get them to the winery. Yes, we
only sell wines to small, like-minded, specialist
smell knocks you backwards into that stack of
know that tartaric acid is what we’re
merchants, and would only countenance a
ornamental barrels. We did
meant to be using, but have you seen
massive contract with Tesco that completely
use oak chips for a while,
the price of that stuff? Sure, citric
undermines those relationships
but these bad boys are so
acid may be against the rules, but at
if it helps us invest further
much easier to hide. We
least it doesn’t leave scary deposits
in reinforcing our artisanal
get the stuff from the home
brew shop in town.”
THE WHITEBOARD WITH THE SCRIBBLED HEADING ‘M.O.G. 2018’
THE BOTTLES OF DIMETHYL DICARBONATE
“Weather round these parts can be a little unpredictable at harvest time and if I’m honest
“It’s amazing what turns up on the sorting table
wine. Here, take a swig. Ha, I was only joking –
we have been known to get the crop in before
and this year the prize went to the lady who found
that stuff is poisonous! Well, for the first half-hour
it’s really ripe. Either that or we lose track of how
the thumb. But we also had some birds, a frog
it is, anyway, before it hydrolyses. Then it’s
much citric acid we’ve chucked into the tank.
and an iPhone, plus what looked like a note from
absolutely fine. Though I do sometimes wonder if
in the bottle.”
THE SACKS OF CHALK
Thank god for calcium carbonate! Not
the public health department.
sure why people get worked up by it
But that got shredded by the
– I’m always reading glowing reviews
mechanical picker, so we don’t
about chalky-tasting wines.”
know what it said.”
“Take a sniff of this but get two of your friends
“This is what we use to sterilise and stabilise the
that’s what gives people the headaches.”
THE QUEUE OF LORRIES WAITING TO UNLOAD
THE MEGA PURPLE REPOSITORY “You think our wines are naturally this colour? You
THOSE SPECIAL WINES FOR THE VERY SPECIAL GUEST
“One day we’ll get that regional grant to expand
think that we can guarantee that kind of flavour
“Please don’t open those bottles over there, with
our grape reception area but until that happens
consistency from vintage to vintage without a
the same labels as these ones we’re tasting over
it’s one in, one out – and you have to bear in mind
little help from a sugar-rich grape concentrate?
here. We’ve got a reviewer from a very important
that a siesta is all part of our culture here. So yes,
Next you’ll be telling me
magazine arriving tomorrow and those are his
it might take a few hours before we unload those
that wrestling isn’t fixed.
samples. Yes, of course it’s
grapes, but then spontaneous
What are they teaching
exactly the same wine, and
open-air fermentation is quite
you people on the Diploma
only a cynic would say we’ve
the thing these days.”
course these days?”
blended in a back vintage.”
THE SHANTY TOWN OF MIGRANT PICKERS
HUMAN SEDIMENT FROM THE LAGARE
“This is where our loyal workforce is based, just
“Foot-treading grapes is the only way to get
THE SLICED GREEN PEPPERS AND CANS OF PEACHES
behind the cesspit and where you can see those
that really authentic flavour in our wines and
bare wires on the pole next to the generator. We
yes, it may have something to do with the
think they’re pretty happy working 14-hour days, but to be honest not many of them speak the language
curly black hairs, toenails, Band-Aids and verucca pads that get mulched up with the grapes. Don’t knock it – that
so we can’t be sure. We
stuff seems to have made a huge
dock them a day’s pay if
difference to the grappa that we
they blunt the secateurs.”
make here, too.”
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 14
“We’re healthy eaters here and you certainly work up an appetite making Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Some of the guys eat on the hoof and yes, technically it’s possible that some of their lunch might obey the laws of gravity during batonnage. Hell, we’re not trying to fight against nature here.”
A lot to admire in Villa Maria Abe Salt, who has taken on the chief executive role at Villa Maria from Sir George Fistonich, argues there’s plenty for indies to get their teeth into in an award-winning range
be Salt, the newly-installed chief
communication of the stories and places
he spoke to The Wine Merchant, on
that’s being done by the Hawke’s Bay
behind the wines. He mentions the work
executive at Villa Maria was, when
Winegrowers Association in developing
a whirlwind tour of distributors in Europe
a unified message for the region and the
and beyond. He’d arrived in London by way
wines being made there, noting that it’s
of Moscow and Amsterdam and was hot-
helpful not just for Villa Maria but for
footing it to Ireland after saying hello to a
all producers. The hope is that a similar
few London independents.
strategy will be in place across every region.
Salt began his career in investment
banking before an opportunity at Treasury Wine Estates in 2012 drew him into the world of wine.
There he was global head of strategy, a
wide-reaching role that included placing brands on the shelves of Australia’s
Abe Salt: boutique wines suit indies
Salt goes on to talk about the importance
independents. “The strategy was the
of independents in encouraging customer
much a brand-by-brand, market-by-market
wines, from different varieties.
premiumisation of the brands … very approach,” he says.
“We saw that the independents
represented an opportunity to build our
brands, particularly with those that were smaller, more boutique.”
He acknowledges that the success
came down to being able to offer
exclusivity with the smaller brands, at the same time as securing spots
for the bigger names, like Penfolds,
experimentation with other, more premium He is keen to emphasise the breadth of
the Villa Maria range, citing the 28 different
Salt has taken over the reins of a business that has, for the fourth year running,
been named as the World’s Most Admired New Zealand Wine Brand by Drinks
International. It is an impressive innings
given that it judges not just on quality but
also on how successfully the wines meet the tastes of the target audience, as well as on the marketing and packaging.
Why does Salt think Villa Maria has such
varietals it includes and the range of prices, all
a strong track record? “I think it comes
wines. He identifies the Villa Maria Cellar
founder] who is so passionate. His hobby
the way to top-of-the-range, single-vineyard
Selection Grenache, Cellar Selection Albariño
and the Single Vineyard Southern Clays
Sauvignon Blanc as all being top choices for independents.
Salt describes the Esk Valley, Left
down to Sir George [Fistonich, Villa Maria’s and his work are wine and his passion has
rubbed off on the staff, many of whom have
worked at the company for a very long time and who are very loyal to him.”
Will Villa Maria win for a fifth time? You
because of their customer appeal.
Field and Vidal brands – all part of
wouldn’t bet against it. Sir George and Villa
when targeting the UK independents
“perfectly suited to the independents”.
new talent and encouraging the team to
Does he plan to use this model
now that he is at Villa Maria?
Salt points out that for distributor
Hatch Mansfield, Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc is the topselling line in the independent
sector, and argues there is clearly a
demand for the indies to meet. “It’s
the Villa Maria portfolio – as being He talks about these wines as
being a “small wine story within a
bigger company. They are boutique, handcrafted wines, with dedicated
winemakers.” He’s equally enthusiastic about the company’s range of
Chardonnay wines whose praises, he
Maria have a history of taking on exciting
experiment and to continue their training. The winemakers are given plenty of scope
to try new varieties and this is supported by Villa Maria’s own nursery. Everything about Villa Maria shouts quality, consistency and innovation. Salt has a gem to work with.
a quality wine that scores fantastically …
says, “aren’t being sung enough”.
Feature sponsored by Villa Maria Distributed in the UK by Hatch Mansfield
sophisticated consumer,” he says.
of the range will come down to effective
it’s not made for grocery, it’s made for the
Salt knows that the successful selling
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 15
wine merchant lunch
Devaux is in the detail for Parisot in his pursuit of the perfect Champagne
ichel Parisot compares his job
to that of a perfumier. His task is to blend together wines from 80
parcels from across Champagne in pursuit of the particular style he wants.
It sounds complicated, but in fact that’s
a simplification. Parisot, who became Chef de Cave in 1999, has a pioneering style,
involving myriad ageing techniques that
include solera systems and extended lees
management. He also has a fascination for
oak. The matrix of possibilities open to him is pretty much infinite. And yet Parisot’s nose, and palate, always lead him to the results he’s aiming for. No wonder that
Krug’s Eric Lebel has called Devaux “the
Devaux’s distinctive bottle shape makes it a stand-out wine on shelves
The growers are held to strict guidelines
Krug of the Côte des Bar”.
over and above the appellation rules to
generations of widows for more than a
based in the Côte des Bar, Champagne’s
Devaux itself has an unusual story.
Founded in 1846 and run by three
century, it is now controlled by a collective of growers who, by definition, have total control of their own vineyards.
focus on sustainability; some use organic and biodynamic principles The house is
Pinot Noir heartland, where the grapes are in huge demand among top producers.
Parisot recently led a London tasting for
independent merchants and sommeliers.
First up was Grande Réserve NV, which
showcases the house’s Pinot expertise.
The variety, making up 69% of the blend, contributes richness and a long finish,
but the Chardonnay element – with fruit
sourced from the Côte des Bar as well as
the fine chalky soils of the Côte des Blancs – injects liveliness and elegance. Like all
the wines in the Devaux range, it is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Reserve wines are an important part of
Michel Parisot: a pioneering style
Parisot’s thinking, in this case making up
20% of the blend. “The majority of this is aged in big barrels and is in fact blends
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 16
from the preceding year,” he says. “You have more complexity because the Chardonnay and the Pinot Noir age together in the big barrels. It makes the wine longer on the
palate.” Lees ageing for 36 months adds to the wine’s rounded complexity.
Next came Cuvée D, a multi-vintage
Champagne, again a blend of Pinot Noir
and Chardonnay, aged for five years. This is the flagship wine of the Devaux range,
made with fruit sourced from sustainablyfarmed parcels.
Here, Parisot’s solera system is in full
effect. The blend comprises 40% reserve
wines (50% for the magnum), a quarter of
which are from two perpetual soleras. The remaining reserve wines are aged in oak. “It’s very interesting with the soleras,”
Parisot says. “You are topping up with new flavours, but you also have old flavours.”
All Collection D wines use only the first
quarter of the press to obtain the finest juice: the “coeur de cuvée”.
in association with Ultra D NV is the lowest dosage NV in
the Devaux range, with just 2g/l. Zero
THE BURNING QUESTION
Do you have a horror story about couriers? are basically indestructible but �weOuronceboxes had some returned with the contents
dosage is not a concept that Parisot finds
interesting. “For me, a quality Champagne
broken. My boss lost his temper a bit with the courier and to prove his point, filled another box with 12 bottles of wine and threw it down the stairs to demonstrate how impossible it would be to break the bottles. Jason here once sent a case of wine to his parents and although it was smashed in transit, the courier still delivered the broken glass and juice, in a big plastic bag.
has to stay on the palate for a long time,”
he says. “Even if your wine is very beautiful
it’s always shorter on the palate if you don’t have the sugars. So even if it’s a very small
amount of sugar, we always have dosage.”
D Millésimé 2008 is a 50-50 Pinot Noir/
Beata Ramsay Theatre of Wine, Greenwich
Chardonnay blend with a dosage of just 6g/l. Although it was one of the stars of
the tasting, it was almost never made at
all, thanks to a rainy growing season and
a worrying lack of fruit maturity. It looked like a non-vintage year.
“But two weeks before the harvest the
weather changed absolutely,” says Parisot.
“It is often like that in Champagne. We had
a lot of sun, and we achieved a good level of acidity with a beautiful maturity. The 2008 is one of the best vintages I know.”
behalf of one customer I sent the same �Oncase of top-class white Burgundy to five recipients. One case made it to its destination in Cornwall and the other four apparently all got broken in transit. I asked if I could have the tops back – that’s part of the deal so I can sort it out with insurers – and I never received anything. It’s happened on three other occasions, including with one very nice case of claret.
Hannah Wilkins Vineyards of Sherborne, Dorset
The Devaux Vintage 2005 is supplied in
magnum. “This is a curiosity for us because
off a case of wine at £35 a bottle and �theI sent courier got back to me to say that because
we’re in the Côte des Bar, where you have a large majority of Pinot Noir, and here is
one bottle broke, they had to destroy the whole package. The argument was that it was standard procedure. We use the bottle-shock packaging and we’ve tested it by chucking a bottle out of the top-floor flat of the building above us. That’s a 20ft drop and it survived, so it should withstand even the most clueless box-handler.
a bottle with a majority of Chardonnay,” says Parisot. “We don’t make this every year, only when the year is very good
for Chardonnay, and we only make it in
magnums, on lees for 10 years. It’s always
Peter Wood St Andrews Wine Company, Fife
very fresh, and very elegant.”
The tasting showcased Parisot’s body
of work, but he’s keen to give credit to
the growers, who can see the benefits of waiting for full maturity in their grapes. “We were one of the first companies
to work like that, and now more and
more companies talk about going to the
vineyards and tasting the grapes,” he says. “When you work like that, there are no
differences between winemakers and wine growers.”
• Devaux is imported by Liberty Wines. Call 020 7720 5350 for more information or visit
I have had numerous horror stories over the years of lost �packages – and when you try and claim for them, they suddenly turn up. I have friends with a wine shop in Cornwall and they won’t use the same courier as me because they get terrible service,§ so it’s obviously all about your regional depot and how that works, and there are certain areas of the country where parcels are likely to get broken. It really is variable.
Cat Brandwood Toscanaccio, Winchester
Champagne Gosset The oldest wine house in Champagne: Äy 1584
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 17
bristol round table
Awards bring few rewards Are retail awards worth entering and what are the benefits of winning? Coverage of our Bristol Round Table, arranged in partnership with Santa Rita Estates, continues on that very subject
here are so many retail awards these days that it seems that most wine merchants have won a gong of some description, either on a national or a local level.
Awards have become an important revenue stream for
publishers at a time when trade advertising is in decline. But do they have any benefits for the merchants who enter them?
Yannick Loué, whose Le Vignoble business in Plymouth launched
six years ago, was initially encouraged to enter as many awards as
he could. “And actually it was good – we won two or three,” he says. “I wondered what it was going to bring me. I thought it was
going to bring me a lot more sales. It did bring some exposure, but it was exposure within the trade, which in some ways is OK but it
isn’t OK the next day when you receive about 10 phone calls from people trying to sell you wine. I didn’t enter awards to receive that.”
Was there no local benefit at all? “We didn’t really see it – maybe
we’re in the wrong part of the country. I don’t know.”
But the dubious advantages of being a winner are not the only
reason that Loué has become disillusioned with awards. He also has doubts about the integrity of the judging process.
“What I’ve seen with awards is it’s more about who you know,”
“When you look through the list of winners, every year it’s
London … an hour from London … an hour and a half from London … two hours from London, they were lucky … an hour from London … London … London … London.”
Loué says he was only once visited face-to-face by an awards
judge. A judge from another competition visited anonymously and left a business card on a shelf. “I thought that was very bad,” he says.
Loué also believes that many of the winners earn their victories
on the back of exaggerated claims. “I’ve seen people who win:
most of the time their wine list is fake, their entry is fake, so do they really deserve it?
“You read that some people say they’ve got 1,000 wines, and
then you look at the size of their shop. How do they do it?”
Having entered all the awards open to him, in the second year of
opening Loué decided to stop, not least because of the energy that had to be diverted into the entry process.
“It takes a lot of time and puts pressure on the staff, and
pressure on keeping your website up to date,” he says. “It’s no joke, all the information that they need. Basically you feed them with stats and you do their work. They’re taking one of your staff to
feed them statistics, that’s purely what it’s about. And you have to pay, some of the time.”
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 18
in association with santa rita estates
Maybe small is beautiful, especially when there’s no entry fee Kelli Coxhead of The Wine Shop in Winscombe is another indie who has given up on awards. “I haven’t got time to enter and to be honest it really doesn’t matter because nobody really cares and actually you’re paying for [the organisers] to have a night out – it’s your entry fee that pays for the gala dinner,” she says. “We did one, the Off Licence News newcomer in the first year we opened, because we thought: well, what the hell – we’re new.” She ended up winning, but didn’t capitalise on the victory. “I didn’t put it in the local paper,”
she admits. “I’m rubbish at self-publicity.” Darren Willis at Grape & Grind in Bristol admits he is equally reticent about looking for media exposure, though he has not yet found the time to enter awards. “I’ve been nudged by a few of my suppliers to do it and when the entry time has come I’ve always been away or busy,” he says. “My wife used to work in a company that put on awards and they were just a money-making exercise and a bit of a con.” Coxhead adds: “We had a local one that basically wanted your database. They email all your
customers to encourage them to vote. We were competing against other wine shops within our area. “We completely took our eye off the ball because we were so obsessed with Facebook, Twitter and emailing out and it was just like: why on earth were we doing that? It was just a waste of time. After that we decided that we’re never doing awards again because it’s not for me. They don’t give two hoots about my business.” Gemma Welden of The Jolly Vintner in Tiverton says that although the bigger industry awards
may be rather trade-facing, smaller local alternatives can have benefits. She explains: “I entered some awards by default this year – a Devon retail awards – because I was nominated for something and it cost me absolutely nothing. “It was all driven through social media. I basically shared a Facebook post and it went crazy. My customers loved it and were sharing it. I got engagement numbers up by hundreds and hundreds of people. “I didn’t win, sadly, but it didn’t cost me anything and people were coming into the shop mentioning it and asking about it. People were sharing online and saying they’d voted, so from an engagement perspective that © Brian Jackson / stockadobe.com
worked really well for me.”
• Round Table coverage continues overleaf
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 19
the wine merchant BRISTOL round table
Do wine journalists pay enough attention to independent wine merchants?
in association with santa rita estates Graham Holter, The Wine Merchant: Are people who shop at wine merchants reading newspaper recommendations? Darren Willis, Grape & Grind: If people read a regular
newspaper and they’re interested in food and drink then they will cast their eye over them. The journalist I speak to quite often, I do think she gets quite a lot of pressure to include more wines that are available in multiples – and I think that’s regrettable.
Fitz Spencer, The Honky Tonk Wine Library/Walker &
Gemma Welden, The Jolly Vintner: I remember Rick Stein did a programme when he talked about Marsala and the next day five
people came into the shop asking me for Marsala because they’d seen it on TV. So I definitely think there’s a power in terms of television programmes and reviews and that kind of thing.
And there’s no reason why the journalists shouldn’t be going to
tastings outside the supermarket tastings. I get customers who
Wodehouse: Whether it’s writing, or customer support or service – when it comes to the true south west, the only time they want to know down here is in the summer.
There’s not anyone shouting about the fantastic shops and the
produce that we do in the south west. When I pick up a magazine a good 70% of that is outside the south west, yet we’ve got some amazing off-licences in the region – I look after a few of them
– and they’re great at what they do. But they’re not getting the
free coverage they should get compared to their counterparts in London or even Manchester.
Gemma: I think the onus is on us to go out and get that coverage. Pay Exeter Living to do an article, because that’s how it works.
Fitz: It shouldn’t be like that because people are knocking on the
doors of places in Manchester to write something on them. So why isn’t it happening down here?
Kelli Coxhead, The Wine Shop, Winscombe: Because they want us to pay. We’re the same with the Mendip Times in our area; it’s Journalists hard at work, researching whether Plymouth actually exists
bring me in clippings of The Times and ask if I have so-and-so …
a glossy magazine. It’s £500 a month, just ridiculous amounts of
money, and for me that’s just not going to happen. I don’t get any return from that. It’s not worth it.
Darren: Those glossies – I’m not completely convinced by them.
and it’s so difficult. It’s great when customers say, ‘OK, you might
We do a bit with some of them but I’m never quite sure where I
“available in your local independent” in an article would be really
advertorial-led and the content just drops off a cliff.
not have this, but can you find me an alternative?’ So I think my customers do pay attention to these things. To be able to have helpful.
Manny Doidge, Santa Rita Estates: We get contacted by a lot
of journalists and quite often they only want to know about the
wines that are in the supermarkets. But we do try our best to filter in, on some of their websites and at consumer events, wines in independents.
am with them. They look very pretty. They start out with the best intentions and then as time goes on they become more and more One of the criticisms that was relayed to me by a journalist for
a broadsheet was that indies aren’t very good at contacting them.
We think they are a bit scary but actually they are open to hearing from us and if we’ve got some wines that we like and can talk
about and get them tasting, we should be actively contacting them. They’ve got the multiples onto them all the time and we, more often than not, never approach them.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 20
Özge Kaymaz, winemaker at Şarköy
Six independents took part in a #walkwithchapoutier promotion last month, with tastings devoted to Chapoutier wines. This is their verdict on how they performed …
Schieferkopf Saint Jacques Riesling 2013 Bernardvillé, Alsace RRP £21.50
Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Rouge 2016, Roussillon RRP £18.60
“This is going down really well,” says Nat
“When people come in for Languedoc wines they
we’ve put on before have been about the zesty
front of them,” says Nat Carpentier of Dalling &
Carpentier of Dalling & Co in Kings Langley.
usually don’t spend more than £12 and it’s great
“It’s surprisingly intense. A lot of the Rieslings
lemon-and-lime thing; this is more tropical, with a bit of pineapple flavour, and it’s all malolactic
apparently. It’s got a surprisingly good body; it’s
very round. It’s been something to show off. The fruit on this one is something that’s caught out the regulars.”
M. Chapoutier St Peray Blanc Les Tanneurs 2016 (Marsanne) RRP £20
to be able to put something more premium in
Co. “Even though it’s big and 15% it’s surprisingly approachable and fresh; it’s not over-extracted or jammy. But it’s suitably complex and you feel like
you’re getting your money’s worth, which is why it works for us. When people try it, they understand the price point.”
Dos Lusiadas Pinteivera 2013, Douro Valley RRP £20
Mégane Petinay of Le Vignoble in Bath says
According to Tom Butler of Corks Out, this is a “very
don’t know the grape variety, but people loved this
says: “It is quite big and bold, but very fruity at the
the wine was a popular choice in the summer
sunshine. “People can be a bit scared when they
wine,” she says. “It’s fruity, but dry, and people took to it straight way. It’s got a nice roundness to it and it’s quite well balanced.” Tom Butler of the Corks
Out branch in Stockton Heath adds: “This is something a
little bit different and it’s challenged people. It’s very dry and it has a light nuttiness to it as well.”
good expression of the region – it’s quite a heavy red with black fruits”. Mégane Petinay of Le Vignoble
same time. Douro wine is usually full of spices and
jammy fruit. This one has freshness as well and isn’t that heavy, and it sold straight away. I had no idea
they had vineyards in Portugal. All the Chapoutier wines are
made in the same style and you feel they’re coming from the same philosophy, but they’ve all got their own identity.”
M. Chapoutier La Combe Pilate Viognier 2016, Rhône RRP £17
M. Chapoutier Saint Joseph Deschants Rouge 2015, Rhône RRP £23
“This wine is not necessarily everyone’s first
Peter Creek, director of Sheldon’s Wine Cellars in
Bennett, sales and marketing executive of Saxtys
sold it for years, we had a few newcomers to this
choice to try, but has definitely won people over and has come out on top overall,” says Lucy
Secret Bottle Shop in Hereford. “The soft apricot,
peach and honey flavours seem to be what makes
this a favourite and although the wine is complex,
it makes for very easy drinking. Definitely one we would
recommend to customers after some excellent reactions.”
Shipston on Stour in Warwickshire, says: “Although
this wine was already established with us, and we’d one. It’s more floral on the nose than the previous
vintage; it’s still a youngish wine so there’s a bit of
an attack there and good red fruit and just a hint of
spice coming through at the end of the palate. It’s gone down very well.”
Feature sponsored by Mentzendorff. For more information visit www.chapoutier.com or www.mentzendorff.co.uk Telephone 020 7840 3600
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 22
The Wines of New Zealand Rebecca Gibb MW The Infinite Ideas Classic Wine Library, £30
ew Zealand’s winemaking history has been a stop-start affair. As long ago as 1845 it was noted
that German settlers were achieving great
through the system … Sauvignon in
need to swing back a little. Whether casual
justifiably felt they had struck gold.
though their fickleness is already becoming
primary colours”. The world fell in love with it and New Zealand’s vignerons That Marlborough style, dialled
up to 11 and packed with flamboyant
Zealand. But with the novelty factor now
long worn off, and consumers seeking out
for New Zealand to go through the gears a little quicker – for example with less
intervention in the vineyards and more
bottle age on some of its whites as well as its reds.
were not allowed to open on Sundays until
You sense that she would like to fast-
as recently as 1989.
forward 30 years to see just how much
Yet by the 1960s and 1970s wine culture
progress will have been achieved and how
was beginning to get going in New Zealand,
much potential realised. Will New Zealand
with investors turning their attention away Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. Producers
The author lived in New Zealand for six years
interested in still wines.
subtler, less brash qualities in their wines,
of fruit. Producers were paying too much
over-oaked, sunshine-in-a-glass Aussie
receivership and a government-sponsored vine-pull got underway, with hybrids such as Müller-Thurgau the principal losers. Then Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
entered the global stage, described by
Hugh Johnson as “a hundred-amp shock
Gibb’s enthusiastic and cheerfully
opinionated survey of New Zealand’s
Indeed she sometimes hints at impatience
alcohol after 8pm, even with meals. They
were two of the big names forced into
yeasts, barrel fermentation and lees ageing.
her Kiwi husband), but never nepotism.
6pm until 1967 and hotels could not serve
war was sparked. Villa Maria and Delegats
hand-picking, whole-bunch pressing, wild
(she spent six years living there with
industry. Drinking-up time in pubs stood at
rates were at a record high, and a price
“more refined, texturally interesting”
with many of its characters and innovators
hardly encouraged newcomers to the wine
for grapes that exceeded demand, interest
if we care to look for it, in the form of
regions suggests first-name chumminess
temperance-influenced legislation that
problem to worry about: an oversupply
As far as Sauvignon is concerned, Gibb
wines, owing their qualities variously to
reminiscent of Um Bongo) has proved to
But viticulture was slow to take hold,
By the mid-1980s there was a new
Pinot Grigio and Prosecco.
be the gift that keeps on giving for New
flavours (Gibb describes her first sip as
and the 20th century was blighted by
Sherry, Port and Madeira became more
apparent to those with money invested in
argues that the future has already arrived,
was predicted for wine exports.
that had obsessed over imitations of
way is another matter, at least for now,
gooseberry, passion fruit and asparagus
things with their vines, and a bright future
from Auckland and towards Gisborne,
supermarket shoppers feel quite the same
New Zealand needs to work hard to prove
it’s not just a one-trick pony. Parallels with Chardonnay are hard to ignore and there is a sense, at least in the specialist end of the UK market, that the pendulum may
at last hit its stride or will there be more
bumps in the road? Much will depend on
the decisions made by the people that Gibb describes so astutely – and there are big
questions to be asked about the succession planning of many of them. But nature has already provided the raw materials for
New Zealand to take its place among the world’s best.
Gibb’s enthusiastic and cheerfully opinionated survey suggests first-name chumminess, but never nepotism THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 23
© goir / stockadobe.com
cheese retailing news
Take your pick from almost 800 varieties in the UK
Why more and more wine merchants are saying cheese
heese and wine is a combination that is proving lucrative
for an increasing number of independent merchants. Just as consumers are seeking out more sophisticated drinks,
there has also been a boom in artisanal food sales, which means the choice of British cheeses has probably never been wider.
It’s estimated that there are 787 varieties of cheese on sale in
the UK. The Specialist Cheesemakers Association reports that
there are 195 artisanal cheese producers, meaning that just about every retailer can tap into local specialities.
The UK cheese market as a whole is worth an estimated £5.5bn,
according to Statista, and has registered steady and consistent growth for more than a decade.
Tapping into this market can seem daunting but wine merchants
that have taken the plunge usually find that, following some
rudimentary education, cheese can be an almost instant earner.
Lizzy Parrott, from premium Australian wine supplier Fine Wine
Partners, is an Associate of the Academy of Cheese and has over 10 years’ experience working with and selling the product.
“When it comes to cheese and wine pairing it is always
encouraging to have some simple guidelines to follow,” she says.
“However, trying new things often yields some great new matches. Some of my recent favourite discoveries are a deliciously creamy goat curd with a vibrant, red-berried House of Arras sparkling
Rosé, and Brillat Savarin with either Croser Vintage or House of Arras Grand Vintage.
“A complex, fuller-bodied Riesling like St Hallett’s Barossa
Riesling really brings out the creamy butterscotch flavours of Montgomery Cheddar.”
Lizzy is touring the UK as part of a roadshow organised by Fine
Wine Partners and The Wine Merchant to share her expertise and tempt merchants to enter the cheese market.
“We all experience taste so differently and while Port and
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 24
in association with Stilton may remain a classic for some, I hope to spark a new appreciation of the many ways cheese and wine can work together,” she says.
The roadshow will visit London, Winchester, Manchester,
Edinburgh, Cambridge and Gillingham in Dorset.
Lizzy recommends working with producers that are based
as locally as possible. “They are so much more engaged with
BR I N GI N G YOU T HE WOR LD ’S MO ST ICO N I C W I NE S
working with wine retailers and can offer samples and training sessions – there is a real plethora of opportunities there,” she
says. “It’s not a case of saying, ‘here’s the cheese, now bye-bye –
you’re on your own’. There are some fantastic companies looking to work closely with customers.”
The Cheese Academy recently introduced cheese qualifications, not dissimilar to those offered by the WSET, starting at Level 1
and proceeding to Level 4 – at which point successful students become Masters of Cheese.
Cheese Academy director Tracey Colley says: “We love the
science and the romance of cheese and we try to bring the
two together on the courses so you get an introduction to it
all, very much like you do with wine. You get the history, the
cheesemaking science and the facts behind milk production.
“We are all working in the industry together and already we
are seeing the benefits of wine collaborating with cheese. The
people who are really into the wine love
USER FRIENDLY WEBSITE
bringing the cheese element in as well.”
Topics included in the roadshows will
be covered in a series of articles in The
Wine Merchant over the coming months. The Christmas opportunity will be a
major theme: Lizzy will have plenty of tips and information about putting together
festive cheese boards, and the opportunity for selling drunken cheeses, which have been washed in wines and spirits.
“Cheese is a crafted product that is
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2018 JAN MAR MAY JUL SEPT NOV
every bit as complex and rooted in history as wine,” she says.
“By taking merchants through the fundamental principles of
cheesemaking and cheese tasting, and matching some delicious examples with wines from producers such as Petaluma, St
Hallett, Stonier, Grant Burge and House of Arras, we hope to
give retailers the confidence to really capitalise on the cheese opportunity.”
• For more information about the premium Australian wines in the Fine Wine Partners range email email@example.com or
buy or sell your wines at
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 25
Tel : (+44) 1738 245 576
merchant profile: urchin wines
Minnie-Mae Stott and Orson Warr, July 2018
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 26
Artistic licence “Hybrid” doesn’t do justice to Urchin Wines. Part wine shop, part deli, part wine bar, part gallery, part live music venue … and now it’s planning to serve food too. Is there nothing that Orson Warr and Minnie-Mae Stott can’t bolt on to their young Margate business?
hen the media waxes lyrical about Margate it’s not
necessarily the Cliftonville bit that is being referred
to. This is the part of town where people actually live,
not the bit that attracts journalists and film crews in pursuit of Tracy Emin.
Orson Warr and Minnie-Mae Stott set up shop here in March
2017, as London exiles who had previously run a pop-up wine
merchant’s at Resort Studios in the town. “We quickly discovered that everyone was gagging for somewhere here in Cliftonville,” says Minnie-Mae, “and because we had the licence to do so we
What was your first impression of Margate? Minnie-Mae: It was really exciting when we first came here. For
me it really reminded me of Hackney about 20 years ago, which is where I was brought up. It felt a bit like home: raw and exciting,
and there was lots of art stuff going on. It had a really great vibe.
Orson: There’s always lots going on and it felt very new and fresh and something we wanted to be a part of.
There’s huge development going on. The Old Town has been
long established whereas Cliftonville had been left behind – I
thought we’d do wine by the glass too and it just picked up.
“I worked as a textile designer and did the PR for the company
too so when we set up the pop-up, that was what I was bringing to the table.”
As for Orson: “I worked in fashion retail but had a really big
passion for wine. I got more and more interested in how wine is
made and how it gets to the table, so I looked up WSET and got up to Level 3.
“I was basically the only person on the course not in the trade.
It was great and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. It gave me
the licence to marry the one thing I really knew about, which was retail, and my big passion, which was wine.
“We kept on visiting friends in Margate and I realised you
couldn’t get a decent bottle of wine here at all. So we thought we’d
mean a year ago you could not buy a coffee on this street, and now
exists on the fringes of any largeish town, with a shopfront that,
and gentrification – it’s got to keep its soul. I think for us it was
start a business.”
The shop sits on the kind of busy but decidedly un-arty road that
from a distance, hints only vaguely at the treasures within. Some
of these are wine. There’s also a wall devoted to paintings by local artists; chairs and sofas to relax in; deli items to salivate to. You can literally go to Urchin and get the T-shirt. There’s a lot going
on, but still enough space for musicians to choose their preferred corner for a Sunday night gig.
there’s four coffee shops.
Minnie-Mae: It’s about finding that balance between regeneration really important to have exhibitions of local artists, Margate born and bred, who haven’t had a chance to put on an exhibition. They are people we have got to know through living here.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 27
Continues page 28
merchant profile: urchin wines
The shop is in a residential area, not the touristy Old Town
A hamper created for new parents, based on bitter experience
ours so it’s really interesting how the two things work. And it
From page 27
Was the gallery always part of the business plan or did that evolve because the shop lent itself to it? Orson: When we were in Resort Studios the space above us was an artists’ studio, and we were in a space almost as big as this.
One day we went up to them and said, “would you guys be up for putting some of your art on the walls? You can sell it.”
So people did put their art on the walls and it really worked.
really makes sense – you’re in here having a glass of wine and of course you want to look at something.
Orson: What we’ve quickly learnt as we are finding our feet is that the business is different elements coming together to call itself Urchin Wines.
If it were just a wine shop, it wouldn’t survive. If it were just a
bar, it wouldn’t survive, and if it were just an exhibition space, it wouldn’t survive.
All those different elements contribute. If we dedicated the
‘If it were just a wine shop, or just an exhibition space, it wouldn’t survive’ What we noticed most was it gave a platform to artists who were
whole of that wall [currently devoted to art] to gin and beer it
Minnie-Mae: We’re in the process of installing a little kitchen.
nervous about putting on a solo exhibition. We took that idea and
grew it organically and turned our shop into a monthly exhibition Minnie-Mae: We take a 25% commission and a piece of art from
each artist. Often artists prefer to give a piece of art than a bigger percentage of commission. It works really well, and it’s got a
whole new crowd in here who have become good customers of
would be a waste of space – it really would be. But we want to start bringing in food.
We’re kicking off with a pop-up lasagne to go hand in hand with Margate Pride in August – it’s called Between the Sheets. We’ll
have a different chef or pop-up food company coming in every month.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 28
Minnie-Mae has a background in textile design – Orson worked in fashion retail
Is there a particular reason for the name? Minnie-Mae: We agonised for ages over what to call it, and we
wrote down a million names. Because we were by the sea we were thinking of things in the sea then bizarrely, after we’d settled on
£45, but in a restaurant that would be £80 or £100, so it’s making things like that affordable. It works.
Tell me a bit about the wine range.
the name, we found out my grandma used to have a clothing shop
Orson: There are a few that have been with us and stuck around.
Had you seen anywhere like this before?
25% of the order has to be new stock.
called Urchin. So it was a nice coincidence.
Orson: We’d seen elements of it. I remember going to a wine shop in Paris – it was a bit like this but there was less wine to buy off the shelf. It was more drinking in.
If you’ve got a wine that you really love and believe in but it’s
We work with small-batch producers and we only buy six or 12
bottles – or less. So it does turn over. When we buy wine at least
Minnie-Mae: We have to have tried absolutely everything and liked it and think it’s worthy of the price point to sell it.
How many wines do you have on the shelf at any one time?
not selling off the shelf, if you do it by the glass so people can try
Orson: I would guess around 60. I try to keep it compact because
Is everything available by the glass here?
to have an in-depth knowledge of each bottle.
it, I bet you a million pounds it sells out by the end of the week.
Orson: No. Usually once it runs out I’ll grab another bottle and put it on by the glass or we have a theme for a week or a month.
Sometimes it will be a house wine and sometimes it will be
something that’s not really affordable to have on by the glass, but
we put it on because we want to promote it. We never go above £5 for a glass.
Minnie-Mae: We do £5 corkage on a bottle. I remember someone
coming in and we had Nyetimber at £40 so you can drink that in at
it’s me on the shop floor and I want to know that I know all the
wines. I’m still relatively new in the business so I want to be able Does your taste dictate the range of wines you have? Minnie-Mae: You think, “OK, I’m not a fan of that but I know a number of customers who will be”.
Orson: You might taste something that’s not your palate but then you think of five or six clients who’d be into it.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 29
Continues page 30
merchant profile: urchin wines
From page 29
wine, it’s definitely going to have different flavours in it.
We work with people who practice organically, and sustainably.
Minnie-Mae: I think there is so much emphasis on vegan and
foodie culture – caring about what you eat. But people will then go out at the weekend and drink shit with all the chemicals in,
and you think: actually, you care about what you’re eating but not about what you’re drinking.
Where do you stand on natural wines? Is it a phrase you use? Orson: We have some natural wines and we do have requests for it. Minnie-Mae: I think it’s a phrase you can’t not use because among the broader public it’s the chosen phrase of how to describe a certain wine.
Orson: It’s about educating the customer to know what to expect
when they open that bottle. It’s not going to be traditional-tasting
Minnie-Mae: And that was one of the reasons for us doing by-theglass in the first place. It was to get people into those unusual wines.
Orson: If you’re selling something for £30 and it’s going to taste
completely different to how you expect, it would get your back up. But if you can taste it for a fiver …
Minnie-Mae: We are very careful to describe what to expect when they buy something like that. When I first tried unfiltered wine, I was like: what the hell!
Orson: We’re still in the situation where every single bottle of wine we sell, we’re selling the story behind it, and particularly so with natural wine.
If someone came in and wanted a bottle of Argentinian Malbec, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a bottle of Prosecco, have you got that kind of stuff? Orson: I haven’t got a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc but I have a Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc. For people who have only shopped in Tesco or Sainsbury’s, if I start talking about Sancerre, they get more and more interested and I bet you they come in for another bottle.
A lot of people come in and it’s about having an option they may
not have realised. I know from my parents, they buy the same wine all the time, and we want to educate people’s palates.
What would be in the range if you were being self-indulgent? Orson: Burgundy Pinot Noir, but I can’t afford it.
Do you manage to get to London tastings or do suppliers come to you? How do you find out about new wines? Orson: Unfortunately we are having to go to London to tastings
‘The whole idea of Urchin is that we want people to feel like they’re coming into our home, lounging around the table’
although some people do come and see us. It’s just about keeping our eyes out and seeing what’s on the menu at restaurants.
Instagram is a great one because you get the sommeliers posting images of wine that you may not have tried.
How big a deal is social media for you here? Orson: Massive. We wouldn’t survive without it. Mainly Instagram
and Twitter – the wine industry is huge on Twitter. Minnie-Mae is a social media expert and she can post a picture of the wine and we’ll usually go through it quite quickly if she’s done that. How big a contribution does online make?
Orson: We’d definitely like to have a bit more from it. We have
a huge problem with couriers, which I think everyone has. We
deliver locally for free and we’ve just launched a beach delivery so
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 30
The team recently recruited a new member
we can get a hamper to you on the beach.
and to have a deli counter – it’s the next natural progression.
brilliant for the beach – you can stick it in a carrier bag of ice.
Looking back over your first year and a bit, is there anything
Minnie-Mae: With crisps, bits and bobs, wine, beer and optional chips from our local chippie. The bag wine is popular and it’s
We would like to be able to import direct and have our house
red, white and rosé with our branding on.
How often do you put on the musical events?
about your working and trading here that differs from your
Minnie-Mae: We’ve got Adamski playing next week. It’s kind of
beautiful and other local bands coming in to try out stuff before
exhibitions have also been a real bonus – it’s a key part of our
random – we try to at least twice a month have a live gig on a
Orson: A big positive was, because we have the space, we can do
they go on tour. It’s all really informal – they might just be standing
Sunday. We’ve had a West African musician play who is absolutely up there with their guitar. It’s a free gig so people can just come
along and enjoy the music with their kids. We’ve got poetry on at the end of the month.
The whole idea of Urchin is that we want people to feel a bit like
they’re coming into our home and lounging around the kitchen table. We want it to feel homely. What are you planning next?
Minnie-Mae: Phase two was always to bring in the food element
local deli products and that’s been a huge boost. More events and On the negative side: price sensitivity. Unfortunately we
can’t afford to get in the wines that I’ve always aspired to sell.
Everything needs a real push by myself or Minnie to get it through the till.
The sweet spot is about £15. If you stick the word “Bordeaux”
on it people are more likely to spend £20 or £25, so it’s about
educating the customers, putting interesting things on by the glass. The next stage is to keep customers in for longer by doing food.
It’s going to be a big part of the future of Urchin.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 31
Can you taste immorality? When a winemaker is linked to the harrassment of their staff, it’s impossible to view their wines in quite the same way again. And maybe we should be ready for more revelations that could change our views about wines we previously admired
t’s happened to us all at some point this me-too year: the
much easier said than done. Once we’ve got the sleazy details
The process tends to follow a pattern, with which, as a long-
Or to use a concrete example: once you’ve learned about John
dispiriting sensation of losing faith in a favourite artist, and the moral contortions that follow.
term lover of the films of Woody Allen (the early, funny ones at any rate), I was already all too familiar. First, denial: there’s no way
they did that. Then, downgrading: was what they did really all that bad? And finally, acceptance and the weasally attempt to escape
the consequences thereof: OK, so they’re not the person I thought they were, but can I still carry on watching/reading/listening to their work?
It’s the third part of this process that is perhaps the most
interesting. It’s the greyest, most debatable area, based as it is on
an argument that has raged for as long as art has been made – and about which I still feel deeply conflicted.
It would be nice, or at least make our lives easier, if we had the
moral certainty of Oscar Wilde, whose advice would surely have
been to put the sleazy
behaviour of the stars of House of Cards,
Transparent, or Annie Hall to one side and focus on what’s on
screen. Wilde was a
and libertarian, firm
in his conviction that, “There is no such
thing as an immoral
book. Books are well written or badly
written. That is it!” In reality, that’s
of the artist’s wrongdoing in our heads, it’s very hard to stop
looking for signs of their mouldy morality in everything they do.
Lennon’s abusive treatment of first wife Cynthia Lennon, it’s hard
(impossible) to listen to The Beatles’ jaunty Run for Your Life (“You better run for your life if you can, little girl/ Hide your head in the sand, little girl / Catch you with another man / That’s the end’a little girl”) in quite the same way again.
Wine hasn’t presented us with too many me-too moments so
far, although that’s in no way a reason for complacency. That very few scandals have emerged in the wine business is more likely
explained by the fact that wine people have nothing like the same public profile as musicians, actors and film stars – and therefore
offer less of an incentive for the press to dig into their lives – than it does with their exceptional moral rectitude. It’s also, sadly, the
case that the wine trade (and wine press) have a tendency towards discretion to the point of incuriosity (and, therefore, complicity) when it comes to the issues brought so vividly to our attention post-Weinstein.
Either way, it took until June this year for a shocking wine-
industry story to emerge with the potential to create a Kevin
Spacey-like moral quandary for wine lovers. It concerned one of Canada’s best winemakers, Norman Hardie, who was accused of a history of sexual harassment of employees at his British
Columbia winery dating back several years and including dozens of examples. More importantly, Hardie accepted the truth of one of the allegations (forcing an employee to kiss him on their first day of work) and apologised, in a letter to The Globe & Mail, the Canadian newspaper which had published the allegations, for
running a workplace that “was as not as professional as it should
have been, and I realize that it made some people uncomfortable.”
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 32
David Williams is wine critic for The Observer
I have no doubt that the Hardie allegations are the tip of the iceberg in what can be a profoundly sexist industry Oscar Wilde may well have concluded that wines are either well made or badly made, with no moral dimension
It should go without saying that the most important
Of course, from a purely aesthetic standpoint, it’s absurd to
consequence of this story is the effect on the people involved. But,
suggest that we can taste the bad morals of a winemaker in their
few years now, the quality of his Pinots and Chardonnays opening
of morality; but that’s a whole other story). It’s much easier to
looking at it entirely selfishly, it was a hugely dispiriting piece of news. I have been following the progress of Hardie’s wines for a
my eyes to the potential in a country that I’d previously not really
considered as a serious wine producer. And the inevitable question followed: could I ever drink his wines again?
My answer, incidentally, was no. But I have no doubt that the
Hardie allegations are the tip of the iceberg in what is still – let’s face it – a profoundly sexist industry in many parts of the world.
The wine trade as a whole could do a lot more to make it easier for
winery employees to call out instances of harassment and abuse of power wherever and whenever they emerge. But the issue of how far matters of morality should intrude on our drinking applies beyond cases of sexual harassment.
wine (unless we consider various matters of vinous subterfuge,
from the use of Mega Purple to chemical pesticides, to be matters separate a wine from its maker than a book from its author, or a
song from its composer or performer. Tasted blind, there’s nothing “in” the wine to remind us of any defects in their character.
Ultimately, however, it seems to me such considerations are
irrelevant. When we do discover some unpleasant facts about a
wine producer we love, whether that’s bullying, fraud, racism, the serial maltreatment of farm labourers, or, yes, sexual harassment,
shouldn’t we put our own selfish interests aside and boycott their
output? In principle, yes, I think we should. But, if I’m honest, that won’t make life any easier the next time I’m forced to put those convictions to the test.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 33
Uncork the opportunity
In the second part of our series in partnership with Enomatic UK, exploring the practicalities, challenges and benefits of going the hybrid route, we look at the thorny issue of the pricing differential between wines to drink in, and wines to take home
corkage causes concern Most wine merchants offering onpremise sales have corkage anecdotes. Even when the charge is as low as £5, there are inevitably customers who question why they are paying extra to consume a wine at a table. At this point it’s customary to explain
the economics of staffing, heating, lighting, water, rent, rates and so on. These are the
brutal business realities of running a wine bar, and spelling these out to customers has the potential to spoil the mood.
But the fact remains that corkage usually
half the price it is in the restaurant.
Take a bottle of wine with a trade price of
confusion and resentment, and instead flag
represents the best drinking-in value that consumers are likely to find.
£25. According to sources contacted by The Wine Merchant, upscale restaurants would typically look to price that wine at around £83 – add VAT and that brings the price paid by the punter to around £100.
An independent wine shop working on
margins of around 35% would be listing
the same wine for around £46. Even a £10 corkage charge would mean the wine was
being served on the premises for less than
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 34
Some merchants avoid the term
“corkage” as it has the potential to cause up a “drink-in price” alongside the retail price.
Jake Crimmin at Barrique Wines in
Lytham is one of many merchants who
creates a separate list of wines that are
only available to drink in-store, to bypass the need to explain higher prices. The wines are listed on a blackboard and
actually yield higher margins than his wines sold with corkage applied.
case study: Tivoli Wines, Cheltenham
customers when actually you’re giving
customers better-quality wine at a cheaper
David Dodd has four Enomatic machines at his Tivoli Wines business in Cheltenham, dispensing 32 wines upstairs in his Wine Library area.
price, so I’m all for the machines.”
There’s another benefit: customers who
like what they taste in the Enomatic may well buy a bottle to take home.
“I would argue that something
like 7% to 10% of customers
Customers can buy a 25ml
who try wines upstairs will
sample, a 75ml sample or a
buy the bottle downstairs,”
125ml glass. The general
Dodd says. “Plus we’re
idea is to achieve a 40%
more confident about
to 70% gross profit on
all those wines. Some are
samples from suppliers; others are wines that have divided opinion among the team
David Dodd, Tivoli Wines
and are being put to the
consumer test. A handful might be wines
from the retail range that are in need of a little sales boost.
wines because we know that if they don’t sell in three to
six months we can put them in the machines and they’ll
move that way.”
“In terms of the profitability of it I could
case study: oak n4, lonDon
“We break even on 20 customer
display a drink-in and a drink-out
pretty much pay off one machine every 15 to 18 months,” says Dodd.
All 180 wines in the Oak N4 range
we get 70 or 80 card sales per week I think
Owner Cameron McKeown says this has
transactions on the machine per week. If
price based on a flat £10 corkage.
we could generate something like £80k to
never created any problems with his
that means that he receives samples worth
is a bit annoying, because why would I
Dodd has struck a deal with suppliers
3% of his sales of their wines. With one company the deal is 6%, in return for 10% increased
“Some merchants do a percentage, which sit in and drink a wine if it’s going to
cost me £30 more than taking it away?” he says.
“Also, if we’ve got some
spend with the business
bin-ends or wines that we
over the coming year.
are going to no longer stock,
Dodd is aware of criticism
we put a little red sticker on
of dispense machines but
insists they are working well
for Tivoli, and for his customers. “With our pricing you can
get a glass of Greywacke
Cameron McKeown Oak N4
Sauvignon Blanc for around £6,” he says.
“If you go to the boozer two doors down
I think their entry-level Sauvignon Blanc, which we could probably buy for a fiver, is £7.80. So you can’t say it’s ripping off
the tag and we don’t charge
corkage for them. It’s a little
special offer to incentivise
people to drink a bottle on the premises.”
By-the-glass sales offer the best margins
and account for about 60% of turnover, with the remaining sales split equally between bottles sold to drink in and bottles sold to take away.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 35
Put quality wines on dispense – and help educate your customers “Corkage” is increasingly becoming a dirty word and the merchants see the push-back from customers. Some of the issue can be avoided when you have better quality wines on dispense: customers try different things, and the business sees the profits and waste elimination – afforded by the ability to preserve for up to 21 days and dispense by the sample or glass, also adding the USP and a bit of a unique experience for the customers. David Dodd at Tivoli is making the machines pay for themselves with his particular business model. It’s a win for him, but also for his customers – a higher-quality wine available by the glass, translating for him into bottle sales. With this comes an element of wine education: customers trying things with a sample that they may not usually consider, leading to broader knowledge and perpetuation of the wine culture. Every business is different, but we recommend keeping the offerings interesting, listening to customers’ preferences (monitor best sellers), and determine the sweet spot in pricing of the measures. Social media is huge as we all know – keep it interesting, tell customers what’s on offer, Tweet about special events, offerings or happy hour opportunities, and it all translates into a fluid and dynamic business model. As Cameron says, wines sold by the glass for him account for about 60% of turnover, so best to store and serve them properly, eliminate wastage and take advantage of the preservation factor with the Enomatic virtual bartender. Sally McGill Commercial director, Enomatic UK
Philip Poulter and David Tilyard are busy selling to independent merchants and wholesaler contacts. They have picked a selection of highlights from the Seckford Agencies New World range, including some new Chilean and Argentinian producers. Seckford are thrilled to have been awarded IWC Small Agent of the Year 2018 and also IWC South African Specialist Merchant 2018.
Bird in Hand Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Adelaide Hills, Australia RRP £13.95 - £14.95 A great 2018 Sauvignon Blanc showing minerality and restraint from a cool-climate Adelaide Hills site. This release follows the success of the 2017 vintage in Winestate magazine’s Wine of the Year Awards, when it was named as best Sauvignon Blanc. It was the first time that an Australian Sauvignon Blanc had beaten its counterparts from New Zealand.
Bremerton Tamblyn 2015 Langhorne Creek, Australia RRP £13.50 -£14.50 Such a stylish wine … and great value too. It’s a wonderful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec and Merlot which has lift, bright fruit and delicious freshness. Made by sisters Becs and Lucy in Langhorne Creek, and named for their Cornish ancestors.
Pikes Traditionale Riesling 2016 Clare Valley, Australia RRP £17.75 - £18.75 The top-selling premium Riesling in Australia, this is a stunning wine. It was the 2017 winner of IWC Gold and Trophies for Best Australian Riesling and also Best Clare Valley Riesling. With its classic lime notes and slate-like minerality, it’s great with all seafood and white meats … and the winery assures us it’s fantastic with Gruyère cheese too.
Milton Park Chardonnay 2017 South Eastern Australia RRP £9.25 - £9.95
Glenelly Estate Reserve 2012 Stellenbosch, South Africa RRP £16.75 - £17.75
Kaapzicht Skuinsberg Cinsault 2017 Stellenbosch, South Africa RRP £16.95 - £17.75
A perfect example of “user-friendly” Australian Chardonnay. Made by sixthgeneration winemakers with fruit sourced from their own – and selected – south east Australian vineyards, this Chardonnay has a consistent unoaked style with a soft creamy palate – and is just 12.5% alcohol. A winner in the 2018 Wine Merchant Top 100.
Glenelly Estate is the brainchild of May de Lencquesaing, International Wine Challenge Personality of the Year 2017. Wildfermented with Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Merlot, this is the signature wine of the estate, showing rich spicy plum and blackberry flavours with quality oak integration. Tim Atkin 94 pts.
Skuinsberg Cinsault was planted in 1991 on the steepest slope on Kaapzicht: hence the name Skuinsberg, meaning steep hill. (These hills have claimed quite a few tractors over the past 40 years!) Just pure old bush-vine Cinsault with character, and made with lots of love. The inaugural vintage, 2015, won Platter 5*. This is a wine to watch and covet.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 36
Get in touch with Seckford Agencies firstname.lastname@example.org 07766 491412 email@example.com 07799 661859 Office number 01206 231188 firstname.lastname@example.org www.seckfordagencies.co.uk Stellenbosch Reserve Ou Hoofgebou Cabernet 2015 Stellenbosch, South Africa RRP £18.15 - £19.25 The name Ou Hoofgebou honours Stellenbosch University, which was built in the bicentenary celebration year of Stellenbosch in 1879. Showing dark ripe fruit and savoury notes, the wine’s subtle aniseed undertone creates an intriguing finish. A classic Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon, made by the winemaking team at Rust en Vrede to Jean Engelbrecht’s exacting standards. 5* Platter.
Escarpment Pinot Noir 2015 Martinborough, New Zealand RRP £22.35 - £23.95 Perfume, elegant savoury black fruit flavours and balancing tannins are all hallmarks of this exceptional Pinot Noir, which comes from an ideal vintage. Larry McKenna, the owner and winemaker, is known as one of the Martinborough masterminds who first saw the potential for Pinot Noir in this region way back in the 1980s. Wine Spectator 93 pts.
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir ‘Blondie’ 2018 Central Otago, New Zealand RRP £24.25 - £26.25 Blondie - a blanc de noir from Pinot Noir - is becoming a cult wine in New Zealand with the winery selling out on release every year. The 2018 vintage arrives in UK at the end of September, and is available to taste at the New Zealand New Release Tasting on October 30. Stunningly pale in colour, with a delicious texture, it’s Reese Witherspoon’s favourite New Zealand wine.
Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir 2017 Leyda, Chile RRP £12.95 - £13.95
Estampa, Reserva Malbec/Syrah 2017 Colchagua, Chile RRP £10.95 - £11.95
Belhara, Amayan Malbec 2017 Mendoza, Uco Valley, Argentina RRP £9.95 - £10.95
Kalfu is a capsule range of cool-climate wines produced by Vina Ventisquero. They come from its Terrazas vineyard in Leyda, just 7km from the Pacific Ocean (from the vineyard, you can actually see the ships arriving at San Antonio port). Elegant, with black cherry and savoury notes. Taste more at SITT on September 24 and 26.
We have searched hard to find a good partner in Chile and we love these Estampa wines. This Malbec/Syrah blend hits the spot with aromas of black fruits such as plums and blackberries, and a refreshing palate offering ripe tannins with structure and balance. Estampa Estate is renowned for its innovation and experimental approach to winemaking, and has gained a loyal following for its skilfully-produced blends. The wines are on taste at the Wines of Chile event on September 25.
Belhara Estate vineyards are located in the high altitude of Mendoza’s prestigious Uco Valley. Winemaker and owner Stephen Paul Huse trained at the University of Bordeaux, gaining experience at Châteaux Margaux and MoutonRothschild, as well as in the Napa Valley. His wines are fabulously expressive and wonderful value. More on taste at SITT London/Leeds.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 37
make a date
Thorman Hunt Autumn Tasting Thorman Hunt will be showcasing a seasonal selection of its favourite wines, including new agencies. To RSVP, email Vanessa@thormanhunt.
Wednesday, September 19
Cras and Domaine Saint Cyr.
“blindingly delicious, textural whites”.
new arrivals from Restless River and Adi
expression, and As Sortes, which offers a
step-up in quality. FMV describes them as
Other Spanish agencies include Raventós
I Blanc of Penedes, Domaines Lupier of
Navarra and Grand Recosind in Costa Brava. RSVP to Sophie McLean: email sophie.
Tuesday, October 2
67 Pall Mall
London SW1Y 5ES
London SE1 9DD
Swig will be launching the new vintages
and wines from Duncan Savage, two
Badenhorst’s single-vineyard wines.
The company will also be introducing
the wines of Peter Vinding Diers of
Montecarrubo, biodynamic Champagne producer Brocard Pierre, Nuno Aguiar
de Morais Vaz’s Portugal Boutique Wine
Company and Little Beauty, a new project
from the neighbours of Dog Point – owned by Fleur McCree and made by former
Cloudy Bay winemaker Eveline Fraser.
Spain: Tradition with a twist
Swig meets Uncharted Wines
FMV will be showcasing its Spanish
For the first time in London, Swig and
32a Gerrard Street
portfolio and highlighting some of the
Uncharted Wines are joining forces to
London W1D 6JA
pioneering winemaking taking place in
present their 2018 portfolio tastings.
the country. A recent addition is Rafael Palacios from
northern Spain, who works with over 20
tiny parcels scattered around the region,
with vines ranging up to almost 100 years © poliki / stockadobe.com
Louro do Bolo, his lighter, entry-level
in age. He currently makes two wines:
Uncharted will be showing more than 40
wines on keg from the producers including Le Grappin, the BLANKbottle Winery and Cosimo Maria Masini. In bottle, there will
be new imports from the single-site wines of Jean-Baptiste Souillard, Domaine de la
Tuesday, October 2 China Exchange
Vignerons de Nature A tasting of organic and biodynamic wines presented by Dudley Craig Wines. On show will be wines from Champagne
Vincent Couche, Domaine Louis Chenu,
Domaine Duseigneur, Château les Croisille, Domaine Charly Thévenet, Domaine
Jean-Paul Thévenet, Domaine Eric Thill,
Domaine des Ronces, Domaine du Cellier des Cray, Domaine Les 4 Vents, Château
de la Selve, Domaine Turenne, Domaine Nicolas Mariotti, Mas des Caprices, Le
Ballon, Domaine M&S Bouchet, Domaine Bonnet Huteau, Domaine de L’R and Domaine François Le Saint.
For more information contact Richard
Dudley Craig: email email@example.com. Tuesday, October 2
Downstairs at Noizé 39 Whitfield Street Vineyards in Getaria, Gipuzkoa, in Spain’s Basque country
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 38
London W1T 2SF
make a date
Vindependents Portfolio Tasting The merchant-owned collective will present a range of around 300 wines at this year’s flagship tasting. These will represent a huge range of
countries and regions including Argentina, Austria, Australia, Alsace, Beaujolais,
Bordeaux, Burgundy, Jura, Jurancon, Loire, Rhône, Provence, Pfalz, Rheinhessen,
Veneto, Piedmont, Tuscany, Sicily, Alto
Adige, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, California and Oregon.
Some names to look out for include
Sottano from Mendoza, Ecker-Eckhof from Wagram, Holden Manz from Franschhoek and Marco Abella from Priorat.
For more information about the
annual tasting or Vindependents
membership, contact Tim Carlisle at tim@ vindependents.co.uk. Tuesday, October 2 Cecil Sharp House 2 Regent’s Park Road Camden Town London NW1 7AY
There’s more to Western Australia than just Margaret River
Western Australia Rioja 10x10 Tasting Tasting
Moldovan Wine Tasting
The event features a selection of
Masters of Wine Tim Atkin and Sarah
A walk-around tasting of Moldovan
Western Australian wineries and their
Jane Evans have curated a selection
wines imported to the UK by Novus BH
winemakers, representing regions such
of 100 Rioja wines, divided into 10
as Pemberton, Perth Hills, Manjimup
categories, based on a blind-tasting
and Great Southern as well as the
selection which they co-chaired.
famous Margaret River. Registration is essential. Contact Sally
Janssen at Sally@wago.co.uk.
RSVP to Lowri Robjohn: lowri.robjohn@
Tuesday, October 9
Thursday, October 4
The Australian High Commission
London WC2B 4LG
London EC3V 3ND
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 39
Wineries include Chateau Vartely,
Cricova, Fautor, Poiana, Salcuta and Timbrus. The tasting will include a
masterclass led by Caroline Gilby MW.
For more information contact Alison
Mann: firstname.lastname@example.org. Wednesday, October 10
Central London Location
make a date © sofacreations / stockadobe.com
Château de Beaucastel & Famille Perrin En Primeur 2017 A vintage 2017 en primeur tasting encompassing the various terroirs of the southern Rhône from Cairanne to Chateauneuf-du-Pape. RSVP to Andrew Bayley: abayley@
Thursday, October 11 The Pickering Cellar Berry Bros & Rudd 3 St James’s Street London SW1A 1EG
Bodegas Riojanas Tasting This will be the first independent wine tasting in London for Bodegas Riojanas and all the wines in its portfolio will be on show. RSVP to Dave Roles: email daveroles@
bodegasriojanas.com. Monday, October 15
Westminster Kingsway College Victoria Centre 76 Vincent Square London SW1P 2PD
Get on your bike to the Get it On tasting on October 25
Established in 1973, the Union des
Grands Crus de Bordeaux is a collective
representation in the UK market. Contact Caroline Tanner: email caroline.
of 133 top châteaux from the most
Sauternes and Barsac, Saint Emilion and
prestigious appellations in the Gironde: the Médoc, Graves and Pessac-Léognan,
Thursday, October 25
32a Gerrard Street
contact Sue Glasgow: email sue@ spearcommunications.co.uk.
Lebanese Wine Tasting
RHS Lindley Hall
Explore Lebanon’s huge diversity of
styles and grapes, discover the latest
London SW1P 2PB
blends and varietals and meet the
For more information about this
year’s event or to register to attend,
Tuesday, October 16
Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux Wines of Germany ‘Get it On’ Tasting
Around 114 members of the Union
des Grands Crus de Bordeaux will be
This annual event is an opportunity
showing the 2016 vintage at the group’s
for buyers to taste a selection of
annual London tasting.
German wines that currently have no
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 40
London W1D 6JA
producers from regions such as the Bekaa Valley, the northern district of Batroun and Mount Lebanon. Contact Madeleine Waters: email
email@example.com. Thursday, October 25
London venue to be confirmed
WINE MERCHANT small ads New Zealand New Release Tasting
To advertise your product or service call 01323 871836 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A self-pour tasting of recently-released 2018 vintage wines as well as newly-released wines from previous vintages. RSVP to Sarah Shepherd: email email@example.com.
Tuesday, October 30 The Penthouse New Zealand House 80 Haymarket
© Alena Yakusheva / stockadobe.com
London SW1Y 4TE
The UK’s most advanced and reliable wine dispense system • 30 day preservation technology • Card & cloud app-based payments • Increase your sales and margins by oﬀering “Try before You Buy” For further information, please contact: WineEmotion UK Tel: 01635 282230 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.wineemotionuk.com
There’ll be wines from Wellington to boot
Clark Foyster Wines Oxford Tasting Wines from an eclectic portfolio, including many from Austria, France, Portugal, Greece and Australia, will be on show. For more information contact Benedicte Lacour: email
email@example.com. Tuesday, October 30
Trinity College Oxford Broad Street Oxford OX1 3BH
Supplier of wine boxes and literature • 12 Bottle mailing boxes with dividers from £1.69p each • 6 Bottle mailing boxes with dividers from £0.98p each • 12 Bottle carrier boxes with dividers from £0.99p each Prices are subject to VAT • Delivery not included
01323 728338 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.eastprint.co.uk
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 41
LOUIS LATOUR AGENCIES
Wakefield Wines and Matthew Jukes’ Best 100 Family-owned and operated wine producer Wakefield makes multi-layered wines to suit a variety of tastes and pockets whilst never compromising on quality.
Once again noted Australian wine expert Matthew Jukes has included wines from
12-14 Denman Street London W1D 7HJ
Wakefield in his 2018-19 Best 100 Australian Wines Classification.
0207 409 7276
2017 Estate Riesling, Clare Valley
and it shows that this vintage was a winner in Clare too. Absurdly affordable and
“This nervy estate-level wine is Clare’s reposte to Eden Valley’s terrific 2017s incredibly exciting on the palate.”
2015 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon, Clare Valley/Coonawarra
“The Jaraman label strikes again … this is a wickedly enticing wine with hedgerow fruit and a sheen which one only usually finds on icon cuvées.” 2015 St Andrews Shiraz, Clare Valley
“Incredibly indulgent and with a sumptuous texture and decadent finish, there is
something going on at Wakefield which makes these wines seriously attractive and I have to say that it is probably Adam [Eggins, chief winemaker]!” For more information please call 020 7409 7276 or email
email@example.com www.louislatour.co.uk www.wakefieldwines.com
2016: A Vintage Year for Port
liberty wines 020 7720 5350
Luís Sottomayor, the head winemaker of the Sandeman and
is easy to see why the top critics are agreeing with him.
were some of the best Ports he’s ever made. When tasting them, it At Sandeman, the wines made today are good enough to be
every bit as famous as the image of the Don, surely one of the
most iconic images in the wine world. Sourced from the Quinta do
Seixo, the “superb” 2016 Vintage Port underlines this, achieving
the top score of 18.5 points from Richard Hemming MW on jancisrobinson.com.
Under Sogrape’s ownership, Offley has also thrived. Quality,
derived from the fact that their fruit now comes from the high-
altitude Quinta do Sairrão, has once again moved it up the ranks of Port producers. As a result, Portuguese expert Sarah Ahmed has
Offley Port houses, recently said of the 2016 vintage that they
LEN G E 2
MERCHANT OF THE YEAR
declared their 2016 Vintage Port “exceptional”.
At both these houses, the Vintage Ports sit alongside a range of
aged Tawnies that are renowned for their balance, complexity and
freshness. As we look towards the festive season, they are well worthy of your consideration.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 43
David Gleave MW
Santa Carolina at Love Wine, Love Chile – 25th September Ehrmanns will be showcasing independent-exclusive wines from Santa Carolina,
Unit 23, The Ivories 6-18 Northampton Street London N1 2HY 0203 227 0700 www.ehrmannswines.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org @ehrmannswines
one of Chile’s oldest wineries, at the Wines of Chile annual tasting this autumn. This includes Santa Carolina’s iconic Reserva range which has been given a lively new
look, to commemorate founder Luis Pereyra’s wife and legendary hostess Carolina.
The Reserva de Familia Cabernet Sauvignon was the first Chilean wine to gain
international recognition, winning gold in Paris in 1889. Today, the range offers excellent value wines which are concentrated and complex, with classic varietal definition. We will also be showing Herencia 2011, an icon of premium Chilean
winemaking and winner of the IWSC Carmenère trophy.
The Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2016 is the perfect winter sticky, with
aromas of honeysuckle, white blossom and apricot and refreshing acidity.
• Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot,
Carmenère, Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon – £11.99
• Reserva de Familia Chardonnay (Limarí), Cabernet Sauvignon (Maipo) & Carmenere (Rapel) – RRP £16.99 • Herencia Carmenère (Peumo) – RRP £75 • Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc – RRP £16.99 For further information, please contact Susannah.Taylor@ehrmanns.co.uk.
fine wine partners
Fine Wine Partners wins Importer of the Year at the 2018 Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards
Thomas Hardy House 2 Heath Road Weybridge KT13 8TB
Australia’s cool-climate elegant and utterly delicious sparkling wines have been making
three places and our portfolio accounting for half the top 10!
waves and turning heads. Tasmania’s House of Arras and Adelaide Hills’ Croser wines cleaned up at this year’s Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards, with Arras taking the top
Accolades for cool-climate wines aren’t limited to sparkling, with Stonier Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula receiving high praise in the press.
Please contact us if you would like to discover more
about Stonier, Arras or anything in our portfolio.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 44
OUR GUILTY PLEASURES ...
New Bank House 1 Brockenhurst Road Ascot Berkshire SL5 9DL 01344 871800 email@example.com www.hatchmansfield.com @hatchmansfield
Colombo & Fille Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Jean-Luc Colombo Côtes du Rhône Les Forots
A lively blend of Clairette, Roussanne and Bourboulenc with floral aromas and fresh citrus notes make this a popular, easy-drinking wine.
Sourced primarily from Jean-Luc’s vineyards in and around Cornas, with vines up to 60 years old, making this a significant cut above a generic Côtes du Rhône.
This October, Côtes du Rhône will run
If you would like to take part and benefit
social media, press and radio, reaching
contact Gersende Pommery at Sopexa
a promotional campaign that will be
from a tailored support or POS materials
over 5 million consumers and wine
promoted via a dedicated website,
to implement your own promotion, please
AWIN BARRATT SIEGEL WINE AGENCIES 28 Recreation Ground Road Stamford Lincolnshire PE9 1EW 01780 755810 firstname.lastname@example.org www.abswineagencies.co.uk
Come and say hello this autumn The autumn tasting season is upon us – do come along and meet the ABS team and some of our growers at the following events: 20th September: Wine Australia, Off the Vine Tasting, The Steel Yard, London Meet Troy Jones and Behn Payten, the team behind the award winning Payten & Jones wines.
24th & 26th September: SITT Autumn, London & Leeds With a focus on wines from Chile, Australia and Germany alongside some thoughts for Christmas.
25th September: Love Wine Love Chile Tasting, Oxo Tower, London Meet Meinhard Bloem, award-winning chief winemaker at Casas del Bosque.
For further information on any of the above events, please contact Lesley Gray: email@example.com
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 45
hallgarten Dallow Road Luton LU1 1UR 01582 722 538
Hallgarten has added two wines to its portfolio from
Chianti Classico region, at over 500 metres above sea level.
Frescobaldi’s first foray into the Chianti Classico region – Tenuta Perano. Situated in Gaiole, in the heart of the The vineyard is planted on a natural amphitheatre
profile, capturing the sunlight and amplifying it onto the vines, to produce characterful and complex wines with
intensely fruit-driven aromas and a great tannic structure. Tenuta Perano, Frescobaldi, Chianti Classico 2015
Tenuta Perano, Frescobaldi, Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
An intense and elegant Chianti Classico with floral aromas enhancing fruity notes of wild blackberry, raspberry and cherry. Complex, with a pleasant walnut note on the finish.
A superb expression of Chianti, this is complex and rich with hints of fine tobacco, through to a long and harmonious finish.
Famille Helfrich Wines
Famille Helfrich is the independent specialist arm of Les Grands Chais de
1, rue Division Leclerc, 67290 Petersbach, France
the leading producer and exporter of French wines and spirits.
firstname.lastname@example.org 07789 008540
the best terroir France has to
France ... yes, still a family – with real people! Joseph founded the company in 1979 with 5,000 fr and we have grown to become Don't let the size put you off, it has helped us create an independent portfolio of
over 400 wines and we now own over 45 domaines and châteaux across some of offer.
Having the infrastructure
allows us to consolidate all of our wines at one central
location in Alsace, where you
can either come and collect or we can deliver a single mixed pallet to you.
REMEMBER, we are a
producer, a family producer, not an agency as some people think.
Working with Famille Helfrich Wines gives you the ability as an independent to buy
direct from a producer from appellations all over France, with one delivery.
A perfect solution to help you grow and experiment with France and all it has to
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 46
supplier bulletin FMV Autumn Events
FMV 24-34 Ingate Place Battersea London SW8 3NS 020 7819 0360 @fieldsmorrisverdin @fmvwines
Come and taste our wine and spirits ranges at tastings in Manchester and Bristol.
In October join us at two unmissable events in conjunction with our broad range of
Spanish and South African producers – from the traditional to the more progressive. Manchester: Tuesday 25th September, 10am-4pm
The Refuge by Volta (The Principal Hotel), Oxford Street, Manchester M60 7HA Bristol: Tuesday 2nd October 10am-4pm Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3EH Spain: Tradition with a Twist
Tuesday 2nd October, 10.30am-4.30pm Glaziers Hall, London SE1 9DD
South Africa: Back to the Future Watch this space for details! To register your interest, email email@example.com or Sophie.McLean@fmv.co.uk.
buckingham schenk 68 Alpha Street South Slough SL1 1QX 01753 521336 firstname.lastname@example.org www.buckingham-schenk.co.uk
Love Wine, Love Chile! OXO 2, London, 25 September We’re delighted to be joining the ‘Love Wine, Love Chile’ tasting in London on 25 September with our friends from Garcés Silva.
Garcés Silva is a family-run winery based
in the Leyda Valley. The winery was one of
the early pioneers of the Leyda, having been instrumental in setting up irrigation in the area in the 1990s. Since then, it has been a flag bearer for this outstanding region,
producing internationally acclaimed wines and rapidly building a reputation for quality and authenticity around the world.
The lovely Anthony and Paulina from Garcés Silva will be over from Chile to present their
award-winning wines from the Amayna and Boya Ranges.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 47
marussia beverages 0207 724 5009 www.marussiabeverages.co.uk email@example.com MarussiaBeveragesUK
Marussia Beverages UK are importers and distributors of the finest spirits from around the world. Since 1984 we have been sourcing rare and wonderful premium spirits to share with you and your customers. Sample Bourbon, Scotch, Irish and world whiskies, unique
American and London dry gin, superb French and Italian liqueurs, premium rum from Barbados and the highest quality traditional brandy from Cognac and Armagnac. These are just a taste of the range of spirits we supply.
walker & Wodehouse 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR 0207 449 1665 firstname.lastname@example.org www.walkerwodehousewines.com
W&W Christmas Promotions – Starting October
W&W’s Christmas promotions exclusively for independent merchants will kick off in October. Look out for great deals on Champagne Palmer, Spier, Carmen, Catena, Bisol
and more plus brilliant prices on all the seasonal classics: Bordeaux, Chablis, Sancerre, Rioja and Port. Ask your Account Manager for more details.
New: Castello di Ama Chianti Classico A recent addition to the W&W portfolio, Tuscan’s Castello di Ama. The 2014 San Lorenzo bottling, part of the newly created Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG, is our pick
for autumn. Balanced, elegant and powerful, it is a superb
partner as we head into the game season. Ask your Account Manager for more details.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 48
enotria & COE 23 Cumberland Avenue London NW10 7RX www.enotriacoe.com
and wide. We’re excited to share with you the fruits of their endeavours, with a quartet of beguiling new estates from Australia, Italy, Greece and Chile.
Chaffey Bros, Australia: This is the exciting new face of winemaking in Australia.
Championing Riesling, Shiraz and Grenache from Eden and Barossa Valleys, Chaffey Bros work in the realm of minimal intervention, artisan, small-batch wines, and prioritise experimentation and quality.
Viña Mar, Chile: Head to the heart of the cool-climate Casablanca Valley
020 8961 5161
Our buyers travel the world to find the best and brightest from vinous communities far
and you’ll find the boutique Chilean winery, Viña Mar. Taking their name
from their biggest virtue, the sea, Viñamar blends modern and traditional
oenology practices to craft a collection of wines that are delicate and elegant, and whipped into line by an attractive complexity.
Kir-Yianni, Greece: One of the leading wine estates in Greece, innovation and quality hold fast as the twin pillars of Kir-Yianni’s philosophy. With
this new range we’re championing Greece’s indigenous grape varieties:
Xinomavro delivers structured, complex red wines, while their Assyrtiko whites are exceptionally fresh and mineral.
Brancaia, Italy: Brancaia is like a prodigal son to us (or us to them)! Many
years ago, we were the proud agents for this top Chianti Classico, before our
paths went in different ways. Over the years we’ve always harboured a soft spot for Brancaia, who today remain one of the top producers in their region.
mentzendorff The Woolyard 52 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3UD 020 7840 3600 email@example.com www.mentzendorff.co.uk
Walk with Chapoutier Chapoutier produces the most diverse and complex
wines found in the northern Rhône. But did you know the Chapoutier range stretches far beyond the Rhône with wines from Alsace to northern Portugal?
Michel Chapoutier’s winemaking genius across
Alsace, Rhone, Ardeche and the Douro Valley follows the ancient pilgrims’ trail, “El Camino de Santiago”.
The M. Chapoutier wines illustrate a wide range of
style and varieties, from steely Schieferkopf Alsace
Riesling to full-bodied Bila Haut Côtes-du-Roussillon Rouge to plummy Dos Lusíadas Touriga Nacional. Take a walk with Chapoutier and traverse the
quality terroir and explore the diversity of this famous producer.
For details and pricing please contact your account manager.
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 49
New wines from a new Argentinean appellation
14 Kennington Road London SE1 7BL
New Generation are delighted that Pyros wines will be available in the UK from
T: 020 7928 7300
appellation in Argentina, in the foothills of the Andes, 1,400 metres above sea level.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.newgenwines.com @newgenwines
September. The Pyros range is produced in the Pedernal Valley of San Juan Province; a new
The rugged, rock-bound and wild terrain offers a unique terroir for grape-growing
and is one of the few places in the world where flint and limestone occur naturally, a feature which imparts a
special texture to the tannins of the wine.
The range consists of four
wines: the Pyros Barrel
Selected Syrah, the Barrel
Selected Malbec, the Pyros
Single Vineyard Malbec and the Pyros Special Blend. The RRPs for these
wines range from £19.25 to £32.75.
berkmann wine cellarS 10-12 Brewery Road London N7 9NH email@example.com www.berkmann.co.uk London, South, Midlands, South West 020 7670 0972 North & Scotland 01423 357567
Katnook Odyssey 20th vintage release Katnook Odyssey Cabernet Sauvignon is one of 53 wines listed in the ‘Outstanding’ category of the Langton’s VI Classification of
Australian Wine, the pre-eminent list of fine wine in Australia. This November sees the release of the 20th vintage release of Odyssey and showcases the essence of Coonawarra. Odyssey is created
from small parcels of premium Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sourced from Katnook’s oldest terra rossa vineyards and selected for their richness and intense flavours. The 2013 vintage displays intense
regional and varietal fruit characters seamlessly combined with an array of oak maturation characters.
“Machine-harvested, crushed and destemmed, fermented in a mix
of open and closed fermenters, 5-10 days on skins, matured for 36 months in French (56% new) and used American oak. Obviously, oak leaves a footprint on the wine, but there is a wealth of blackcurrant/ cassis, bay leaf and spice to provide balance to a warm hearted, generous wine that can be enjoyed now or in 20+ years. An enduring part of the Coonawarra landscape since its first vintage in ‘91. Drink by 2037. 96 points.” James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2018, August 2017
THE WINE MERCHANT september 2018 50
Introducing Estampa and Kalfu from Chile and Belhara from Argentina at SITT London and Leeds
Old Barn Farm Harts Lane, Ardleigh Colchester CO7 7QQ
Estampa – founded in 2001 and focused on innovation and modern techniques,
cool-climate Colchagua sites – it’s taken us many years of sampling to find this
firstname.lastname@example.org @seckfordagency Seckford Agencies Ltd
creating premium blends from their own coastal cool-climate vineyards in Paradones and Marchigüe. Our team is really excited with this range from
price and quality combination, which are stylistically more Bordeaux than New World. Wines range in price on shelf from £9.95 to £56.
Kalfu – Meaning ‘Blue’ from the influence of the Pacific Ocean, produced by Vina Ventisquero: a range of six premium wines showing complexity from
longer, slower ripening as benefits their cooler coastal locations in Atacama Leyda and Casablanca. Tim Atkin regards Sumpai Syrah 2016 as one of his Chilean wines of the year, gaining 95pts. Ranging from £10.75 to £18.50. Belhara – Such an exciting find from premium vineyards in Altamira,
Gualtallary and Tupungato within the Uco Valley. These wines, produced by experienced European winemaker/owner Stephen Huse, from his own vineyards, have hugely
impressed all that have sampled them. Two levels of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon at £10.95 and £14.95; their premium Bordeaux blend ‘Gran Corte’ retails at £18.95.
richmond wine agencies The Links, Popham Close Hanworth Middlesex TW13 6JE 020 8744 5550 email@example.com
Biodynamic Rhône new arrivals New wines to the RWA portfolio this summer include a
biodynamic range from Domaine des Carabiniers in the Rhône Valley.
In the 14th century, the papal community lived in
Avignon (Palais des Papes) and the region was guarded by Italian mounted guards – the Carabinieri. Since
that time, the area has been known as Carabiniers.
Domaine des Carabiniers has been family-run for
four generations. The vineyard was developed at the
beginning of the 20th century by the Leperchois family.
Christian Leperchois built the current winery in the 60s. Now, Magali
and Fabien run the domaine, which converted to organic viticulture in 1997 and then to biodynamic in 2009. They vinify with natural yeasts, without the use of chemical products and with very low or zero-sulphur additions.
Tavel Rose ‘Lunar Apogé’ Domaine des Carabiniers 2017 Lirac ‘Lunar Apogé’ Domaine des Carabiniers 2017 Côtes Du Rhône ‘Sans Sulfite’ Domaine des Carabiniers 2017
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