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Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • Alan's wine of the Week

    Fontanafredda, Barolo di Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2011

    Fontanafredda, Barolo di Serrulunga

    Deep red with ruby highlights, this superb Barolo has a clear-cut, intense nose with overtones of vanilla, spices, withered roses and underbrush. The palate is dry, but soft, full bodied, velvety and well balanced, and is engagingly complex throughout the lengthy finish. Showing great personality.

    Was £31.00
    Now £27.28

    Free delivery on orders over £100 | Save 10% on 12 bottles | Save 5% on 6 bottles
    Prices are valid until 31.03.16

  • Alan's Wine of the Week

    Negroamaro del Salento, Varvaglione 2014

    Negroamaro del Salento

    Ruby red with shades of purple; the nose has fascinating scents of wild berries. The palate is marked by vanilla with a long lingering finish and a velvety texture.

    Was £11.50
    Now £10.12

    Free delivery on orders over £100 | Save 10% on 12 bottles | Save 5% on 6 bottles
    Prices are valid until 31.03.16

  • Roaring success for London’s biggest ever wine pop-up

    London's biggest ever wine pop-upGreat Western Wine don’t do small; they aren’t shy and retiring wallflowers.  No, they’re bold, passionate, and out there – so the maverick idea of hosting ‘London’s biggest ever wine pop-up’ was met with rallying cries and a determination to create a superb, interactive wine event… which they did, with bells and whistles on top!

    It was a brilliant idea. Take one big, almost cavernous, whitewashed space, in this case, the Old Truman Brewery, nestled close to Shoreditch and Hoxton in London’s trendy East End; stir in 400 wines, 80 wine producers, a superb menu of miniature street food, a DJ mixing the decks with a cool, urban vibe, and then throw in almost 500 guests and wine lovers – a recipe for success.

    I’ve been to more wine tastings than I’ve had hot dinners over the years, but this was something different.  It captured the spirit of what wine is becoming, and the role it should play in the zeitgeist of our fascination with food and wine.  It was as exciting as going to a food pop up.  The event moved the traditional ‘wine tasting’ format a million miles from the stuffy ‘white tablecloth’ tasting format, to a cool, urban positioning, perfectly poised in the trendiest part of the capital, with rough-hewn, wooden wine booths, a plethora of bottles, and a bunch of winemakers, who were more than thrilled to get the opportunity to chat to their guests.

    People circulated, enjoying the richness of the range of wines on offer; I chatted to a few, some of whom may read this – the enthusiasm, the knowledge and the passion about wine was second to none. From Champagne, through to Italy, from Argentina to South Africa, guests were fascinated.

    And for me, the most exciting part was seeing the reaction of the wine producers – they toil month after month, to craft wines of which they are proud, and which they represent with passion.  But because of location, they don’t often get to meet the people who buy, drink and enjoy their wines. And when they do, this is where stories begin…. On both sides.  Wherever I looked wine producers were chatting, or at least smiling and communicating with guests, however great the language barrier, and the excitement and enthusiasm was palpable.

    Viña Falernia, Syrah Reserva, Elqui ValleyWith over 80 producers there, it was difficult to catch up with more than a few, but all were proud as peacocks of having the opportunity to showcase their wines, and loved the night. Exuberant Italian winemaker Giorgio Flessati, who moved to Chile and conquered the desesrt to create Viña Falernia, the most northern winery in Chile, chatted passionately to fans of his wines, and they loved him, and the wines even more.  The Falernia Syrah Reserva 2011, which was on show, is simply a gorgeous blanket of voluptuous richness, depth and spicy fruit, punching well above its weight.

    Planeta, AlastroLeading Sicilian wine producer Planeta was also showcasing new vintages and new styles of wine, with glamorous owner Francesca Planeta in place to beguile guests with stories of Sicilian vinous treasures – for me the newly-repackaged Alastro Bianco, full of rich, fleshy Mediterranean fruit, yet shot through with a core of pure citrus freshness was spot on; Negro’s delicious soft, light, and gently fruity Birbet Brachetto offered the perfect touch of the forthcoming summer, whilst  perennial Tuscan favourite Fattoria dei Barbi continued to impress with its fabulously good value Brusco dei Barbi, which outshines many top Tuscans time and time again , at a fraction of the price.

    It was a multinational event; celebrated sommelier, turned winemaker Franck Massard enthused about his passion and projects for small ventures in Spain, and his new vineyard in the wild and rugged Priorat. Small Champagne family grower, De Gobillard, quietly, but proudly, introduced their showstopping, dreamy 2009 vintage Gobillard Vintage Champagne 2009  Booth after booth, there was excitement, there were great wines, and best of all, there were lots of people talking about wine and having fun.

    For those slightly overwhelmed by the enormity of the event, the Great Western Wine team had even provided a quick-fix solution – a few ‘themed’ tables, where they had selected a bespoke few, of which they were particularly proud, and which all told a story – ‘Drinking outside the box’, ‘Skinted and minted’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’ to name but three. Wines for everyone, whatever the brief and budget.

    In summary, brilliant, with a capital B. Great Western Wine proved that wine isn’t over-complicated, isn’t scary, it fits our lifestyle just as much as the next food trend does.  All I want to know is when and where the next one is.

    By Angela Mount


  • Alan's Wine of the Week

     Fattoria dei Barbi, Brusco dei Barbi 2014

    Alan's Wine of the Week - Fattoria dei Barbi

    Lovely, classic 'Italian wine' aromas of mulberry and dried cherry with touches of hay, espresso, vanilla and cream. Delicious - light, summery texture yet with layered, complex flavours of summer fruits.

    Was £11.50
    Now £10.12

    Free delivery on orders over £100 | Save 10% on 12 bottles | Save 5% on 6 bottles
    Prices are valid until 31.03.16

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