Archive for January, 2011

Gold medal award for Domaine L’Enchantoir

We are proud to announce that one of our wines has been awarded a prestigious gold award at the Salon des Vins  des Loire 2011. Pierre and Brigitte’s Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame has beaten off stiff competition to scoop the award awarded today. We are pleased that their determination and expertise has been recognised and offer them our heartfelt congratulations. We are privileged to be able to sell this smooth medium bodied red wine to you. It’s our Domaine de L’Enchantoir, Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame 2009 at £14.05 per bottle available soon. To reserve your bottle email us today.

day 3 at our domaines. So far so good and its on to Saumur where……..

we called into Domaine du Vieux Pressoir. After a long discussion in the bureau we ‘retired’ firstly to the tasting room and compared the 2009 and new 2010 vintage Saumur Blanc . Again we are able to report that the new wines are bursting in fruit with a real citrus zing of lemons. Chenin has such a lingering finish that never seems to end. What a revelation.

We were privileged to be taken into the cellar to taste the chenin maturing slowly and gracefully in just fifteen 400 litre old oak barrels. If you want some then Bruno the winemaker will let us take the lot but we need your help by placing your orders quickly.

From then on to Domaine de L’Enchantoir our second Saumur vineyard on the south side of Le Puy Notre Dame. Like Vieux Pressoir, they also have a parcel on the flank of the hill under the Saumur Puy Notre Dame appellation. We are proud to present two of just 17 domaines that produce this unique and exclusive wine. As I write the bottle of 2009 is slowly being emptied of  the velvety smooth red nectar that we helped Pierre bottle yesterday. Thats what we are all about. You too can share in our enjoyment.  It really is an amazing experience whether its just buying and tasting some most incredible boutique wines, coming to one of our tasting events in the UK or venturing over the channel to get a first hand experience with one of our winemakers. GET IT ON.

day 2 at our domaines

Hubert Deffois at Chateau de Brossay was our first port of call yesterday morning in Anjou country. His selection of wines start with the Anjou rouge and blanc appellation. In addition Hubert also has Anjou Village AOC reds. The wines are still maturing in the vats and we tasted the 2010 vintage of his non AOC sauvignon blanc and chardonnay wines. Ben was impressed with the sauvignon and we are thinking of maybe including this vintage on our wine list. If we do we want your comments as Hubert has managed to develop a length on the palette which mirrors more that of the principle grape variety Chenin blanc. Sauvignon is not a maritime influenced weather fan and it is not grown very widely in the Anjou area, being more suited to the Touraine and of course the famous Sancerre wines. The summer of 2010 was particularly warm and dry with a less than normal westerly influence so perhaps that’s why we have a rare treat.

What we must not forget is Hubert’s real talent and that’s his red sparkling and sweet wines. You just have to buy some of his sparkling its so warm and mouth scrunchingly fruity. Your next dinner party starts here.

Hubert makes a selection of sweet wines from the the versatile Chenin. You can select from a light style to the real liquorice deep sweet Coteaux du Layon  Graine Nobles AOC made from the fully matured grapes with noble rot. We tasted the 2003 vintage. Deep yet  light on the palette.

Our afternoon was taken up helping Pierre Van Den Boom at L’Enchantoir with the bottling of the 2009 Saumur Puy Notre Dame. Karin and Simon have followed the progress of this wine from the early days of vinification in 2009, into the first part of 2010,with  regular tastings from the vat during 2010 together with our wine tour guests and finally to yesterday’s bottling. We tasted the last drops out of the vat (see pic) and can confirm that it has retained an amazing depth of flavour with no hint of tannins just utter blackcurrant fruit heaven. This is our prediction for the Grainger Fine Wine of 2011.

day 1 at our domaines

This week we are finalising our wines with the winemakers at the domaines, checking stocks and availability and making our final selection for the website. Delivery will be arranged  into the warehouse ready for the end of February.

First port of call on monday was winemaker Richard Desouche at Chateau de Chaintres. We sat in his office overlooking the walled vineyards. A beautiful winter scene of workmen pruning the vines whilst we beavered away in a cosy offices talking about the chateau wines and  tasting each wine to ensure you are not disappointed when your order arrives!

Afterwards we retired to the local restaurant for a well earned lunch. Its a tough job tasting wines! Hey but somebody has to do it. Richard is a great raconteur and, as its nearly the six nations,  Richard was at pains to point out that France will be champions this year. By the way Richard also has his own wines, a small parcel in Saumur Champigny, and we had to sample a bottle of the 2006 over a warm goats cheese starter, a roast poulet main and a soft merinque with creme francais. Heaven.

In the afternoon it was the turn of Francois Lethueil at Domaine de Saugourde in the Layon Valley a short hop from our French base Manoir de Gourin. We tasted the 2010 vintage Anjou rouge from the vat. We are of the opinion that our 2010 wines generally will be even better than the 2009, and that was a great year. Lots of sun and real concentration of the juice with small berries. The bad news is that we will have to wait for the new vintage Coteaux du Layon and Anjou Rouge until April. The good news is that it will be worth waiting for.

Le Troubadour

Had a quick lunch today with Simon and Ben to firm up our itineraries for our 10 days wine finding and tasting mission in France starting on Sunday. Just bread and cheese – how very french – and Simon opened a bottle of Roche Ville’s Le Troubadour. You may think rose does not go with cheese but this dry number (very cold from the depths of the fridge) was more than a match for the roquefort and extra strong mature cheddar. Almost half a bottle left which will pair perfectly with our chili and salsa (not the dance) tonight!

Surge in rose wine sales

It's a myth that rosé is a summer tipple. Everyone is catching on as to how good a rosé can be at any time. Sales of rosé wines saw a huge increase over the last year. Record quantities of ros é are being bought in colder months. Our dry Cabernet de Saumur from Chateau de Chaintres hits just the right notes with a curry and other spicey food.. mmm lovely!

Great News

We are live and raring to go.

Have a nose around our website and let us know what you think.

We're really pleased and reckon you will all be hotfooting to grab a fantastic case of wine

New Website Going Live Today

The new Grainger Fine Wines website will be going live later today. http://www.gfwines.co.uk