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  1. Clos Bellane 'Les Echalas' Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas Rouge 2012

    Clos Bellane 'Les Echalas' Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas Rouge 2014

    £20.50

    £20.50

    It's well known that many indigenous people of the Rhone, like most mountain folk, are short and squat. To be born tall and thin is a boon, here; and from an early age these 'beanpoles' are singled out for specialist work, picking the higher grapes from the tops of the vines.

    Taking it's name from the French for pole, or stake, 'Éschalas' honours these gangly individuals, without whom those sun-filled grapes right at the top of the vine would never have made it into this belting Rhone blend. Honest...
  2. Le Bouquet de nos Vignes Rouge Red Wine

    Le Bouquet de nos Vignes Rouge 2016

    £7.75

    £7.75

    Marianne le Pétale was, without question, the most beautiful girl in La Vicomté. There was no doubt. Once she turned twenty she would be Flower Queen. Everyone agreed. It would be a travesty were she not. There was just one problem. Marianne had terrible Hay Fever*. And being Flower Queen meant being garlanded with blooms.

    Happily, a group of quick-thinking vignerons suggested a solution. Rather than gathering blossoms to celebrate Marian's investiture, they fashioned a wine. A wine bursting with fragrance, shimmering with deep berry colours and the violet tints of Marianne's eyes. A wine as vibrant and exuberant as the flowers that would otherwise have been presented. "Our bouquet", they commented, and winked, as the beautiful Marianne donned her crown.

    *That's why she was sometimes a bit sniffy.
  3. Libre Cours Rose 2016 Rosé Wine

    Libre Cours Rosé 2016

    £10.50

    £10.50

    "Libre Cours," roughly translates as free course. What's that about? Perhaps it captures the moment a waiter comes to your table and tells you the first course is on the house as the breadsticks were late and you think "gosh these guys have high standards, I thought the bread sticks were bang on time." Maybe it's the feeling that the journey is more important than the destination, like at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean when Jack sails off in no particular direction, saying, "now, bring me that horizon." You'd think someone who travels by water that often would understand you can't actually reach a horizon. Or maybe the translation is irrelevant and it's all about the refreshing notes of pink grapefruit and red berries, yeah that's probably it.
  4. Marvelous Red 2015 Red Wine

    Marvelous Red 2015

    £9.75

    £9.75

    Good jazz is all about balance. Blending. Just the right amount of this, just the right amount of that. It's also about taking a little creative risk now and then. Of course, that could mean things go wrong. But when things go right, wow! That just gets your feet tapping.

    Take this ensemble of Mediterranean varieties. Good soloists, all. But brought together under the baton of an inspired winemaker, well. You better get your dancing shoes. And, of course, creativity is nothing without structure. So, let the old bush vine Cinsault handle that, while the other players go to town. Cherry, rose petals and chalk. Music to the tongue!
  5. Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro 2012

    Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro 2012

    £24.00

    £24.00

    Penfolds take their red wines very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that there's hardly anything about the Bin 138 that isn't 'red'. Its deep, luscious colour is accompanied by distinctive aromas of raspberry, plum, red liquorice, dark red berries...even their name on the label is red!

    And it doesn't stop there. Hints of kirsch can be found on the palate along with maraschino cherries, accompanying white chocolate and mocha flavours. Medium to full-bodied, this delectable wine offers softened and rounded tannins.
  6. Tandem 'Casual' Garnacha Graciano Rosé 2016

    Tandem 'Casual' Garnacha Graciano Rosé 2016

    Now £9.00

    Was £10.00

    £9.00

    Hear the word 'tandem' and you'll think: two lovers (or maybe just good friends), pedalling together on a bicycle made for two. But in Spanish 'tandem' means "at last!" And while the winemaking team would love you to believe 'tandem' refers to the realisation (at last) of their dream to make such a chilled-out wine, it actually refers to the phrase often exclaimed at the end of the day when the bottle is finally lifted from the fridge.

    Casual, ha! These rose-flower aromas, clipped flavours of forest berries, and hints of sun-kissed red cherry don't happen by accident. It's exhausting, making something this perfectly laid back! Of course, enjoying it is far easier...
  7. Tandem 'Casual' Garnacha Red 2016 Red Wine

    Tandem 'Casual' Garnacha Red 2016

    £11.50

    £11.50

    Traditionally, Navarran winemakers wore formal clothing. Worsted trousers, thick cotton shirts, a waistcoat and jacket. Women or men! Given the blistering summers, it made work horrendous. Indeed, for decades, the wines of the region were recognisable through their slight briney edge, put down to the distant influence of Atlantic breezes by those unaware of the truth.

    The uncomfortable tradition persisted until one brutally hot year when levels of perspiration among the crew were such the wines this time were ruined. Disaster. But finally the old costume was abandoned. At the news, workers celebrated by cracking into a barrel of mountain Garnacha as vibrant and expressive as the clothes they were free to choose, at last! Or 'Tandem!' as they say in Spain. You can enjoy it wearing whatever you want!

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