Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Day – by Jason Busby

This year, with Christmas falling on a Sunday, I had to wait until the “proper” hour to start drinking and so Champagne was not the first drink of the day. Once the wrapping paper was removed by 6am and the children sent to make lunch, the first wine of the day was a cheeky Petit Chablis from my favourite Chablis producer Billaud-Simon. A 2006 I bought a few years ago and the last of the batch, so one to remember. Although young vines were used, this was better than any regular village Chablis I've had in any restaurant or used to sell at a previous job with a multiple retailer!

Friday, 23 December 2011

My Christmas wine choice, by Martin Wheatley

One of my favourite combinations at Christmas time is smoked fish and Champagne.  Every Christmas Eve it is becoming customary in my house to enjoy a simple meal, with a centrepiece of Gleneagles Paté. A combination of Smoked Salmon, Smoked Trout and Smoked Mackerel needs nothing more than savoury biscuits and good bread to really set the Christmas scene. Nothing showy, but very much in keeping with tradition for this day and certainly served with one eye firmly focused on the excesses of the gluttonous day to come! 

What will I be drinking this Christmas? By Johnny Paterson

This year it has been a really tough choice for us whether to have goose or turkey, and this year we are having turkey. Controversial as the old man will be muttering under his breath that this is an American invention, like coca cola...anyway the questions mount as I have had no time to plan what to have with this beast of a bird. So I have played it safe and gone into the depths of my small and decreasing cellar, to find something we can all enjoy… 

Thursday, 22 December 2011

2011 Harvest - Ribera del Duero

DO Ribera del Duero   

"In contrast to 2010, when some parts of the region experienced severe frost damage, there were fewer incidences of adverse weather for Ribera del Duero this year. However, there was some concern when hail and heavy rain struck the region during three separate incidences in May. The most serious of these hit the central Burgos area on May 11th.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Good Food and Wine Guide 2012 – Hay Shed Hill Five Star rating

The latest Good Wine Guide 2012 by Nick Stock has just hit our desk. As always Hay Shed Hill has done very well and has received a five star rating overall. Here are the results for the wines we stock:

Thursday, 15 December 2011

James Halliday's 12 wines of Christmas

Pitchfork Cabernet Merlot 2009 has today been chosen by James Halliday as one of his top 12 wines for Christmas:

“Pitchfork is Hay Shed Hill's second label, but the skill of Michael Kerrigan means you don't realise that if you simply taste the wine without investigating its antecedents. The fragrant red fruit bouquet has herbaceous rolled-leaf and cedar notes, the palate is lively and accessible, with plenty of stuffing providing a classic Margaret River ride. This is outstanding value for such quality, its controlled alcohol giving you the best of both worlds for consumption now or later - say 7 years.”

Rating 94 points. James Halliday

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Top 100 SA Wines' interview with David Nieuwoudt

In this year's Top 100 SA Wines competition, Cederberg received recognition for no less than 5 of their wines.
In this clip they discuss this high achievement as well as the terroir of the advantages of the highest vineyards in South Africa.


Friday, 9 December 2011

The first rule about Lunch Club....

With recent lunchtime extravagances weighing heavily upon our minds and our wallets, a small group of us here at Bancroft decided to make amends this week by starting up a little lunch club. The premise was simple – 3 people, each bringing in a pre-prepared lunch for the others one day this week, thus assuaging our collective guilt after an unnecessary (but delicious) lunch at Pizzaro last week. The absence of a microwave or any cooking equipment in our office kitchen meant the meals would have to be variations on the theme of ‘cold’.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

2011 Vintage report from De Stefani, Veneto

Decrease in the quantity produced, but extraordinary quality of the grapes, these are the features of the 2011 vintage.
The mild winter and the early start of the spring stimulated an early budding and all the subsequent phenological stages of the vines. In the Le Ronche and Pra’ Longo estates from April till June quite high temperatures and an extremely low quantity of rain have been recorded. The cooler temperature and the rainy period of July have brought back to a good natural balance to the vines.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

2011 Margaret River vintage report by Michael Kerrigan

The 2011 vintage in Margaret River, and across Western Australia in general, was remarkable if only for how completely different it was to the rest of Australia’s grape growing regions.  It has always been of some consternation to us in the West that the quality of Australian vintages is assessed on what happens in the middle and east of the country, with Western Australia so far away and influenced by completely independent weather systems we often experience vastly different conditions that shape the quality of our vintages and wines.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Our trip to the Rhône Valley to taste the 2010s

Last week, I was lucky enough to join the Bancroft team on our annual tasting trip to the Rhône Valley. We arrived at Gatwick bundled up in our winter thermals in anticipation of the near-arctic conditions promised by the famed ‘Mistral’ wind. However, we were soon stripping off layers as we stepped off the plane to be greeted by blue skies and warm sunshine, which was to last all week. With our collective disposition as sunny as the weather, we put our tasting hats on and set about sampling everything that the 2010 vintage had to offer...

Tukipo River Fat Duck Pinot gets top review

We are thrilled that the Tukipo River Fat Duck Pinot Noir 2009 has just been reviewed by well-renowned New Zealand wine journalist Yvonne Lorkin. You can find the review online on her website.

"In a word, jaw-dropping.  Roland Norman has created a wine exotically perfumed with cherrywood smoke, hedgerow fruits, lush, forest leaf litter and japonica.  I love the wild strawberry and rhubarb flavours and its silky, slippery mouthfeel.  It’s an absolutely sensational example and one I desperately wish they’d made more of. "

You can buy this wine online with Bancroft Wines for £24.57 per bottle

Friday, 2 December 2011

Christmas Wine Tasting

Bancroft’s Christmas wine tasting, which was held at our offices last night, confirmed just quite how good our Christmas offer is this year. We showed 13 wines and they were all tasting fantasticly well, with Anne-Claire Forest’s Pouilly-Fuissé being the most ordered white on the night, confirming the incredible value found from this producer. Michel Juillot’s Corton-Charlemagne 2007 was a serious Christmas treat for us all, as was the Château Léoville-Barton 1996.  A wonderful evening was had by all and it is comforting to know our guests will certainly be enjoying their Christmas wines in a few weeks time. Here is a summary of our Christmas offer:

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Keep the Cristal Popping!

There are few things in the vinous world which excite as much as a chilled glass of Champagne and when the chilled champagne in question harks from the house of Louis Roederer, one’s smile is noticeably broader. Last night we were treated to an evening in the presence of Mark Bingley MW of Maison Marques et Domaines Ltd, the UK agent for this prestigious house, together with five cuvees of Roederer Champagne to enjoy. Sometimes working in the wine trade can be a real slog.....  Honest!