Monday, 26 January 2009

Pruning Vines, Syrah.

This is a vineyard next to my office! It is owned by a chap called William Vidal. The vines are 25 years old. The top picture is 'pre haircut' whilst the bottom picture is a similar vine having been trimmed and pruned. This is a single guyot pruning system. There will be 5 eyes on the branch ready to develop foliage and fruit. There will also be an extra shoot for next years main stem. The vineyard is good quality and William is a good viticulturist and the grapes could qualify for Appellation Controlee Minervois. However these grapes will probably go in to one of the excellent Vin de Pays wines at Cave Les Trois Blasons.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

UK Wine Consumption to increase despite recession

This is an interesting report amongst all the doom and gloom being announced recently. Vinexpo have commissioned this report ahead of their big wine show in Bordeaux (June 21-25).
The interesting figures are the massive decline in French(-18%) wine consumption and the steady surge of Australian(+27%) wines in the UK.
These stats sometimes have to be treated the largest volume of wine is still controlled by the supermarket chains, and one big Australian promotion or one duff French harvest can obscure the figures. However it is encouraging to be optimistic that people will still regularly enjoy wine over the next few years! 1.62 billion bottles a year...Wow. A 12% rise in wine imports since 2003.
These stats also show that we have beaten Germany at something!!!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Oz and James Drink to Britain BBC2 tonight

These guys are fun. I have known Oz Clarke for over 15 years in the wine trade. He is always very chirpy and his knowledge and taste are exceptional...although sometimes he comes across as a bit geeky. James May is always good value. Having meandered around France and hit California they are now championing all types of drinks from Britain. Should be entertaining.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Wine Sale (Part 1)

Two Wines at the best ever prices:

Deep Woods Ivory 2006 (Semillon Sauvignon Blanc).
Normally sold at £8.95. Sale Price = £5.95 per bottle. (Case price = £71.40)
SAVE £36 per case.
A delightful fresh white blend with light alcohol (11.5%) and excellent fresh lime characters. Great as an aperitif or with salads, light white meats.

Deep Woods Ebony 2005 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot)
Normally sold at £8.95. Sale Price = £5.95 per bottle. (Case price = £71.40)
SAVE £36 per case.
A hearty rich blend of top quality grapes from Margaret River. This red has a great balance between intense spicy fruit and evident firm tannins. A wine to enjoy with grilled meats or deeper roasts.

We can arrange delivery anywhere in the UK. Costs will be advised when order confirmed.
Email to reserve your stock.
12 bottles minimum order.

Billy & Poppy on beach

Quality and pedigree on the right(Billy), and his mad French blonde bitch friend (Poppy). They are both great fun in their own way. We have had Billy since he was a puppy (13 years ago) and Poppy we picked up as a waif and stray from some friends near Pezenas. Having dogs is fun but also a responsibility . It does mean that Sue or I walk at least one hour every day.
This picture was taken on a beach near Agde on Boxing Day....there was nobody time to appreciate Mediterranean beaches!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Chateau de Cassan

One of the major differences between Bordeaux and the Languedoc are the smaller Chateaux!!! This may have something to do with the prosperity and the general wealth that oozes out of Bordeaux .....but this fantastic Abbaye/Chateau is situated just outside Roujan near Beziers. It dates from the 4th Century and has many links to the Bishops of Beziers as a religious centre.
It is called Chateau de Cassan and is available for weddings/parties launches etc etc.
We went to a fabulous Christmas market and gazed at the amazing architecture and wandered in the once splendid gardens.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Chateau Latour For Sale?

This is an interesting rumour that started last week in The Times.
Apparently Monsieur Pinault the multi millionaire owner of Ch. Latour in Pauillac has been hit hard by the credit crunch. Therefore he is trying to get rid of some of his assets pronto.
He also owns Christies auction house as well as the luxury goods brands Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Stella McCartney.
Monsieur Pinault bought Chateau Latour in 1993 for €83 million. He is now looking for €150-200 million......but in a realistic market surely this First Growth Chateau and part of France's heritage would fetch nearer €500 million.
The Chateau has 78 hectares in total. But the fruit for the 'Grand Vin' comes from some of the best vineyards in the World...the 47 hectares surrounding the Chateau known as L'Enclos.

Bernard Magrez, who already owns Chateau Pape Clement along with a host of other very smart Bordeaux properties is rumoured to be interested.

It will be very interesting to see if any more Bordeaux Chateaux become available on the market due to the current global financial situation.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Rose Tasting, London Feb 6th 2009

This wine tasting should be a fantastic opportunity to try a really classy selection of Rose wines from the South of France.

The Rose wine category has increased enormously over the last few years. Rose is a good half way house for choosing wines that are versatile and easy. We will be showing all sorts of styles at this tasting. There will be organic, biodynamic, lutte raissonne and all shades of pink available!

This is a trade tasting aimed at wine buyers and journalists. Click on the invite below to enlarge. Let me know directly if you can make it along.


Just a note to wish all customers and friends of Bella Wines a very Happy New Year.
This year will undoubtedly be challenging for business, however there will also be many positive opportunities for successful business ventures.
Although the UK and most of the World are having an economic slow down we still need to eat and drink!! Maybe we should drink less but drink better quality. Maybe we should look for better value wines from lesser known areas.
Bella Wines are very well placed to offer great value wines from emerging areas such as the South of France as well as cool climate areas such as Orange, New South Wales in Australia.
We firmly believe that you can have great fun with wine at all price levels. We want more people to be aware of the exciting wines that we have available. Therefore we have major plans to develop the business during 2009.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope to see more of our friends, family and customers during 2009.