Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • Crystalline white to titillate the senses

    Inés Vinho Verde, Adega de Monção 2013

    The new vintage of or Vinho Verde prickles with excitement. It is a wonderful glass of wine, no two ways about it, from a top Portuguese white wine region. Made from Albarino, which you may have heard of, it's dry with mouth watering acidity and loads of citrus and peach fruit. Matthew Jukes like it too:

    Stunning, light, crystalline white to titillate the senses. This gorgeous Vinho Verde is citrusy, mouth-watering and bone dry. It is cracking value, too, and it will quench your thirst.”

    Matthew Jukes, Daily Mail

  • IWC 2014 Awards are out

    The International Wine Challenge 2014 results have been released this week and here at GWW we're celebrating because we actually have more than last year. Below is a selection of wines that have taken home the Gold and Silver medals.


    Unanime, La Mascota Estate 2009
    "Young brooding style, currently oaky, but also a wealth of berry and blackcurrant fruit, with a savoury tinge. Give it time to come out of its exuberant youth."

    Camel Valley, Cornwall Rose Brut 2012
    "Really individual English style in the best possible way. Characteristic aromas of hedgerows and apple orchards, leading to a focussed, well balanced palate and a pure, refreshing finish. Mouth-watering."

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  • La Barry Sauvignon, New Vintage

    La Barry Sauvignon Blanc, Meinert 2013

    A fantastic wine from Martin Meinert, which he has produced for his wife, Leigh Anne Berry, affectionately known as La Barry! With fruit sourced from the cooler Elgin region, this has an amazing rich aroma with hints of nettles, green gooseberry and citrus fruits, wonderfully fresh on the palate with a soft finish. This just landed 2013 vintage is a stunner!

    £11.75 reduced to... £11.00 +10% off 12 btl’s

  • New Reds on the Block

    By Angela Mount

    The new arrivals at Great Western Wine continue to swoop in, like the proverbial swallows returning to our shores for the summer.  Having enjoyed the new range of sparkling and white wines, it’s time to take a look at the recently -arrived reds on the shelves,

    There’s a  red wine to suit every possible taste and just about every pocket in the new line up, from northern France, to South Australia.  Here are my favourites, but the range goes far further and is worth exploring, both online and in the shop.

    Let’s start in the north, and head south.  First up is a delicious juicy, fresh, light, joyous red, GAMAY DE TOURAINE, DOMAINE DE PIERRE 2013, a new vintage, hot off the press from the Loire Valley, using the grape most traditionally grown in Beaujolais – the style isn’t dissimilar, yet there’s more punchy fruit, and bright, fresh herb- scented character; bright, breezy, eminently drinkable, and pretty much perfect served slightly chilled, on a summer’s day, with a plate of charcuterie, or a picnic ( this will be my red of choice for the inevitable sports day picnic).

    Moving southwards through France, the team have sniffed out a gorgeous new discovery from the southern Rhone, ARABESQUE DOMAINE DE MONTVAR, VACQUEYRAS 2011 – Southern Rhone wines are a particular favourite and this one doesn’t disappoint – soft, rich, and beckoning in its beguiling richness, it’s full of rich , super- ripe blackberry fruit, black pepper and cardamom spice and dark chocolate layers -  perfect with that barbecued  leg of lamb.


    With a quick flip south-eastwards, the next stop is Portugal, with a delicious new range from the southern Alentejo region, just south west of Lisbon.  This region produces consistently great wines, yet remains undervalued – PLANSEL SELECTA RESERVA 2012 is no exception – full of warm, velvety, plump black fruits, hints of mocha and cinnamon spice, and a deliciously soft, silky finish.  No harsh edges, just glorious fruit and would work beautifully with chargrilled steak and lightly spiced lamb steaks.


    Whizzing across to  the New World side of the Northern Hemisphere, there’s a cracking new signing from  Oregon, in the form of Omero Cellars, nestled in the quaintly named Willamette Valley.  OMERO PINOT NOIR WILLAMETTE VALLEY 2011 is a silky, sumptuouos mix of opulent red berry fruit, with wafts of ripe raspberries and a hint of toffee – a rich, full style of Pinot, plush and polished – and at under £20 a bargain for decent Oregon Pinot Noir.

    Heading southwards, to where the oceans meet, South Africa’s most southernly winery, STRANDVELD has an interesting range of reds to match its breezy, perky whites – my pick is THE NAVIGATOR 2011, a classic Rhone blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, with a dollop of scented, opulent Viognier. It’s bold and gutsy, with ripe black fruit flavours, yet with a restraint and freshness, which reflects the cool climate where they are located.

    Great Western have further strengthened their already- rich portfolio of Australian wines; firstly,  from Victoria, the quirkily named and labeled ARE YOU GAME? SHIRAZ 2012, produced by a game- obsessed producer named Matt Fowles. Predictably, this has been made specifically to go with all manner of game and I can see how it works. With 10% Tempranillo in the blend, which adds a hint of strawberry sweetness, it’s  a big, sassy red, full of violet, black pepper, fresh mint  and bruised blackberry fruit.

    Over in Western Australia, iconic producer Howard Park continues to make great red classics from Margaret River, with poise and elegance. There’s a range of wines called Miamup, with a very decent Cabernet Sauvignon, boasting a sweet core of curranty fruit, but my top choice from the line up was the classic single vineyard HOWARD PARK LESTON SHIRAZ 2009 – poised, polished and showing restrained power, it has an abundant richness, and complexity – a perfect example of the pinnacle of Margaret River reds.


    Finally, and fittingly, there’s a new red on the block, from one of South Australia’s finest winemakers, Ben Glaetzer.  HEARTLAND SPICE TRADER SHIRAZ 2012, from Langhorne Creek is  a gorgeously rich, bold, chocolate, mocha, spice and blackberry-infused explosion of aromas and flavours – exotic, intense, yet juicy, its concentration belies its price – amazing value and a dead cert for Summer barbecues.

  • Jerry Lohr Interview

    Excerpt taken from Decanter Magazines Blog - Full Link at the bottom

    Former NASA scientist Jerry Lohr has been the driving force behind the promotion of high-quality vineyards in Monterey County and Paso Robles, including his own J Lohr Vineyards label. Janice Fuhrman meets the tireless Californian pioneer

    Growing grapes is not rocket science. Making good wine from them is. As a former research scientist for NASA, Jerry Lohr, owner of California’s J Lohr Vineyards and Wines, may be the only vintner in the world who can claim to possess the necessary qualifications. Yet it is Lohr’s status as a pioneer in the central California coastal appellations of Monterey and Paso Robles that most define his career and his contributions to the American wine industry.

    ‘In this industry there were certainly other people before me who scouted things out,’ says Lohr. ‘People had been in the wine industry dating back to the early 1800s, but the pioneer is the one who settles.

    ‘Scouts go and camp and stay for a while, maybe even marry a local, but the pioneers are the ones who build a community. And I don’t mean to be immodest but I think that’s what I’ve done.’

    Lohr hails from hardy Scandinavians who settled in South Dakota in the 1800s.

    Settling for Lohr has meant buying and planting some 1,200ha (hectares) since the 1970s in Monterey, Paso Robles, Napa and other areas, and tending those vineyards. ‘There’s not an acre of land, of our vineyards around the state, that I have not run a tractor over,’ says Lohr. It also meant banding together with other vintners in the early days to help pull the inchoate industry together – a effort that continues today.

    Lohr is relatively soft-spoken for a man of his 1.9m stature and many ccomplishments: he is a former Rhodes scholar, holds a graduate degree from Stanford University, and ran a successful construction business developed at the same time as his winery. As a captain in the Air Force in the early 1960s, he was assigned to the NASA Ames Research Center for four years.

    For J. Lohr's full range, please click here


  • Rioja Reserva - IWC Gold Medel Winning

    Rioja ReservaVina Cerrada, 2007

    We've re-visted this wonderful, exceptional value Rioja after it was awarded a prestigious Gold Medal at the International Wine Challenge. A traditional style with wonderful acidity .

    "Deep raspberry, cloves, red plum, herbal and complex. Stewed prunes. Restraint but elegant and fine tannic finish." - IWC

    £14.95 +10% off 12 btl’s

  • Wine by the Glass Machine - Shop




    2011 The Adamastor, Strandveld

    £16.68 per 75cl bottle, £1.20 per 25ml sample

    2012 Mandelpfad Riesling Grosses Gewächs, Weingut Knipser

    £25.96 per 75cl bottle, £1.80 per 25ml sample

    2011 Meursault Les Narvaux, Domaine Jobard-Morey

    £34.00 per 75cl bottle, £2.20 per 25ml sample

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  • New kids on the block at Great Western Wine

    By Angela Mount

    With spring blossom and a sea of green leaves and shoots bringing a welcome cheer to gardens throughout the country, there’s also been a veritable spring feast of new buds, a riot of fresh colour and a happy sense of an exciting new season at Great Western Wine. The team has been quietly scurrying around over the last few months, sniffing out some superb new wines, which I had the opportunity to taste this week.

    There are over 40 new wines in the range, far too many for one blog piece; here are my favourite new fizzes and white wines – I’ll be writing about my pick of the reds next week. The great news is that there’s also 12% off many of these wines throughout May, so a good time, to try out something new. Click here to view the wines

    Let’s start with fizz; last month the team turned my view of Cava on its head by bringing in an absolute blinder of a wine, both in terms of what was in the bottle, and also with the wackiest, and coolest label I have seen in agesTORELLO BRUT RESERVA CAVA, SPECIAL EDITIONrich, complex and intriguing, it puts many more expensive sparkling wines in the shade, with its fine stream of bubbles,  delicious aromas and flavours of ripe, fleshy peaches and poached pears.  Look at for the equally eye-catching and edgy TORELLO MALVAREL- LO 2013, with its succulent, citrus freshness and warm, ripe fragrant stone fruit character.

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  • Sauvignon goes back to its roots

    Sauvignon de Touraine, Domaine de Pierre 2013

    "What's your favourite white wine?", "Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand stuff is the best and great value". Heard that before? Well we've just added to our list a new Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, Sauvignon's historic home before New Zealand made it famous again. It's serious in style with a hint of those aromatics that everybody has grown to love. It's also a snip of what you'd pay for Sancerre which brings it straight into battle with the Kiwi Sauvignons everyone loves. Let the fighting commence.

    £10.75 reduced to... £9.46 +10% off 12 btl’s

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