BORDEAUX INSPIRED REDS
Bordeaux has had a hypnotic influence on the style of wines produced in many wine regions, and wine drinkers never tire of the classic Bordeaux style
This style group is dedicated to the finest renditions of the classic Bordeaux style from Europe and the New World. Rich, full-bodied Cabernets steeped in chocolate, mint, jammy berries, and juicy, plummy Merlots. Of course, with each winemaker and region comes different ideas, soils and climate, and there is a wealth of Bordeaux-based styles from which to choose.
CHAMPAGNE AND SPARKLING
Discover a fizzing flavour spectrum of sensuous sparklers, including biscuity and bready notes; grilled almonds; brioche; orange rind and even lemon oil!
Non-vintage blends form the mainstay of Champagne as grapes from one harvest rarely make a good wine, although exceptional years are sold as vintages. The phenomenon of blending grapes from different vintages has resulted in unique house styles - and here we seek out fashionable leading labels, and lesser-known (yet high quality) producers. But all that sparkles is not Champagne, and this style group also bubbles with carefully selected sparkling wines.
CRISP, FRESH WHITES
Crisp, fresh and mouthwatering, this style group is literally bursting with citrus zest, juicy fruits, minerality and vitality; a happy hunting ground for those wine drinkers searching for interesting and inspirational alternatives to the omnipresent Sauvignon Blanc style.
This scintillating selection represents the perfect opportunity to discover some rare and truly unique lip-smacking wines from lesser known grapes, regions and vineyards throughout Europe and the New World. Guaranteed to make your mouth water!
FRUITY & AROMATIC WHITES
Wines of refinement, subtlety and sensitivity find their niche here. Feminine, intricate and harmonious white wines that delight through delicate nuances such as peach; lychee; mango; honeysuckle; acacia, and blossom.
These intriguing fruity and aromatic whites yield from premium cool-climate wine-growing regions like Italy's Friuli and Alsace in France, requiring great winemaking skill and a deft touch in the cellar. They seduce before they have even been tasted - with heady, spicy, fruity aromas - and are guaranteed to woo those aficionados who revel in subtle seduction.
Lavish, fun-loving, expressive wines whose generosity reflects high quality pure fruits that literally explode in the mouth. Revel in juicy red fruits like raspberries, wild strawberries and red cherries, and bask in black fruit compotes of blackcurrant, plums and black cherry.
This style does not stand for tradition, fancy labels or prices, but as a rather bright and breezy attitude towards winemaking, and so wines of the New World will always feature here. As for Europe, top Class Beaujolais takes centre stage in France, while Spain and Italy also champion this accessible, great value, generous style. Eminently gluggable, what you get here is sheer hedonism in a glass.
LEFT BANK BORDEAUX
The left bank, undeniably, the most authoritative regional style in the world, refers to Bordeaux's appellations (on the left bank of the Gironde) - including Médoc greats from Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Graves and Margaux - doyens of authority. The likes of Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite, steeped in history and tradition and oozing class, as well as other relatively lesser known châteaux whose wines punch well above their growth status.
Left-bank Claret is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, reflected in their full-bodied, long-lived tannic style - richly concentrated, powerful wines with real backbone, and classic nuances of blackcurrant, cedar and spice.
Oak-aging is very much a skilled part of the winemaking process, and here we look to those skilled craftsmen from the traditional regions of Europe and boutique New World estates that produce wines of harmony and balance - where oak enhances a grape's natural characteristics - eschewing heavily wooded wines without a trace of varietal fruit, leaving you with a mouthful of splinters.
Pinot Noir is evocative and elegant in its youth with sensual sweet red and black summer fruits; developing gorgeous gamey, mushroom and earthy notes when mature.
Careful selection is the key to sourcing perfect Pinot, as this notoriously fickle grape is often too reluctant to reveal these trademark nuances. The grape's thin skin makes it highly susceptible to rot and fungus, and it is a real challenge for both winegrower and winemaker, who have to work intelligently to unravel its unique characteristics.
Discover elite growers from its native quality heartland, Burgundy's Côte de Nuits district, where it forges some of the finest reds unrivalled the world, to the richly fruity style of New Zealand's North Island.
RIGHT BANK BORDEAUX
Right Bank Claret refers to Bordeaux wine yielding from the right bank (or eastern side) of the Gironde estuary that flows through the world's finest wine region, including the famous districts of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, as well as lesser-known districts such as Fronsac, and the Côtes de Castillon, Bourg and Franc.
Merlot is the dominant grape variety in right-bank Bordeaux blends, which typically produces softer, less tannic, and more approachable reds than those of the left-bank - rich fruity reds with nuances of blackcurrant, plums, cassis and mint. This style group boasts luxury leading labels from Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, plus newly-emerging stars of the wine world that currently offer fantastic Bordeaux value-for-money.
Rosé is a serious wine style if you look past the less expensive end of the market. But you still needn’t pay a fortune to savour this often underrated style, which the French love. From southern France (the Ventoux and Provence) to southern England, we have some great styles on offer; concentrated, complex, yet elegant and fresh.
Powerful, earthy, rustic reds of complexity and subtlety, featuring animal notes including leather, meat and game; plant extracts such as Provencal garrigue, herbs and spices, and elements of wood smoke, coffee, chocolate and tar.
As well as these savoury notes and flavours, you will also discover piquant reds, whose distinct sappy, moreish nuances will tantalise your taste buds and keep you reaching for another glass.
SOFTER, RIPER WHITES
Gregarious whites that deliver pure hedonistic pleasure; creamy, nutty and even honeyed in texture, oozing nuances of white stone fruits (peaches and apricots).
Soft, rich and gluggable, there are a multitude of flavours on offer here with universal appeal, yet when you scratch beneath the surface of these gems, you will find a wealth of unique flavours derivative of diverse grape varieties, terroir and winemaking attitudes.
SOPHISTICATED SPICY REDS
Complex and sophisticated reds with a spice rack of infusions, including black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
As the adverts say size matters, but what matters more is balance. It's easy to make a big, spicy red, but it requires real skill to craft wines with real balance, harmony and sophistication.
SWEET & FORTIFIED
Richly textured, concentrated unctuous and even nutty are just some of the characteristics that apply to our delicious dessert wines.
We say 'dessert', but as you'll see, you do not necessarily need a sticky, sweet pud or a baked cheesecake to enjoy these wines. Salty blue cheese, high quality pâtés including foie gras, and lobster all work brilliantly well with certain sticky style wines.
We also have a fine selection of vintage ports from which to choose.
Premium Cognac and Armagnac are both distinct types of brandy from southwest France. Cognac is distilled twice (unlike Armagnac) and comes in a range of styles dependent upon the cru, producer style and the grade (oak aging). Armagnac's production is much smaller. A 'VS' Armagnac is a mix of several Armagnacs that have seen at least two years of aging in wood. For the VSOP, the aging is at least five years; and for XO, at least six.
As with wine, a sense of terroir is of utmost importance in whisky resulting in diverse and unique complex aromas and flavours of the spirit in the bottle; such as heather-clad hillsides, the degree of peat employed, the qualities of the water source, and even the diversity of the rock surrounding the distillery.