Did you know that our lovely government takes a large chunk of tax from the sale of a bottle of wine. Duty on still wine is £1.81 a bottle and then you add the VAT on the duty so thats £2.17. Then there’s the VAT at 20% on the overall price. So on a £5.00 bottle of wine thats £1.00. Now go and buy your wine at one of our well known supermarkets for £5.00. Before anything take off the £3.17 for duty and vat. That’s £1.83 left in the pot. The cost of a bottle, cork, label etc is 80p so we are left with something like a quid to cover the cost of label the grapes, making the wine, the bottling cost, the shipment cost, the distribution cost, the warehouse cost and the profit for all. I say the wine cost nothing. WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING I ASK? CRAP I’D SAY. What else costs nothing?
No better reason then to buy wine from Grainger Fine Wines where you know what you are getting for a very good price. Don’t be fooled by the big supermarkets. Generally their offers are for basic wines with no known provenance from big wine dealers who have little knowledge of what is in the wine because they buy wine from other people and stick it in a big tank all together and call it Chateau Sewerage or something more marketable.
Today we took four guests from Ireland and UK on a wine tour to Domaine de L’Enchantoir with Pierre Van Den Boom at the helm. Did the vineyard, cellar and chai and tasted the full range. They loved it and we ended up with a bootful of delicious wines. Pierre will be bottling the Saumur blanc from the vats soon and probably aging some in barrrels for his oaked cuvee. There are two vats of Saumur Puy Notre Dame still to be bottled. I
Our recent visit to see Pierre and Brigitte Van Den Boom allowed us to test the 2010 Saumur Blanc, Rouge and Puy Notre Dame in the vats. I will report separately on the barrel aged red and white wines.
Pierre has a traditional chai where you have to literally climb up old stairs to the top of the vats that are all in line and he then opens the top access hatch to be able to sample the wines. You have to be careful not to knock your head on the roof beams and keep clear of the empty open vats. There are no sampling taps on the side of the vats like the modern stainless steel. But hey that is all part of the fun and enjoyment of being closely involved with the wine making processes of all our winemakers. We climb those steps on a regular basis sometimes just with Pierre and sometimes with our wine tour guests.
The blanc came first in the line of vats. Its near right for bottling. The lees contact has allowed a more complex flavour to develop. Pierre also uses batonnage ( stirring of the lees in the wine to impart more flavour) by the use of a traditional stirring implement once a week. The wine has a clean and honied palette with good balance of sugar and acidity, and the finish is long on the fruit. This will turn out to be a good vintage.
Next in line the Saumur Puy Notre Dame vat. Both reds have been through malolactic fermentation and so the smoothness is there. Pierre has again created a sublimely structured wine with loads of fruit with strong cherries coupled with a good body with tannins resulting from the late harvesting. Last year he swept the board with his awards. I reckon it’ll be the same for the 2010 vintage. Any bets?
Saumur Rouge again has the fruits but probably slightly on the small fruits redcurrants and with a fresher palette. The terroir is different and this imparts smaller mineral notes in the wine. The geology is a deeper tuffeau (limestone) and a thicker layer of clay above. This is great news because it gives us the ability at Manoir de Gourin to pair these wines with different food for our wine tasting dinners.
All in all a very good visit. The 2010 vinatge will be as good as 2009. Two years on the trot. Great news for our customers.
We had a really thorough tasting of the 2010 vintage. Saumur Blanc, Saumur Rouge and Saumur Puy Notre Dame from the vats, and Cuvee Madelaine and Clos de Chavannes both 2009 which have been in oak barrels since vinification and storage when the wines were transferred in 2010. Pierre Van Den Boom continues to taste the wine regularly and will decide when the wine is right for bottling. It could be this year around September or next year. We will report on the tasting on the next blog. Keep your eyes peeled for the tasting report. 2010 is definitely as good as 2009 and maybe better. The wines a velvety smooth and certainly in advance of their progress in 2009. Its exciting stuff and we can report further accolades which means we will be struggling to get hold of enough wines. Get the orders in.