Posts in Category "Wine Store News"
We can't call ourselves Bordeaux and Burgundy specialists, though I think our selection will grow as the company grows more generally, and once our online shop is (imminently) launched. Funnily enough the team love Burgundy, and whilst we probably have a more complex relationship with Bordeaux, it's certainly a region I have visited several times. Moreover we are doing brilliantly with our Bottle Apostle Graves 2005 (£15) made for us by Chateau du Seuil. So what are the snags to stocking Bordeaux and Burgundy?
Firstly there is the complex "open" market which means that well heeled individuals are often buying from the same sources as retailers, which means that outside of the very well established merchants with large buying power, there isn't much of a customer base to encourage us to dive in head first.
Claret might not be the go-to region for all of our groovy South Hackneyite wine lovers; Burgundy, and particularly Pinot Noir is a bit more hip. But there are still problems. The price rises over the last few years mean that we are pushing £40 for village wines (ie not Premier Crus) from the best locations (eg Gevrey Chambertin) and best producers. And this is generally for pretty young vintages too. It takes some effort to find much older than 2006 in reds, and similarly our Meursault spot on the list is empty whilst we find something younger than a 2008.
Bordeaux meanwhile suffers from being either a bit old school in some of our customers' minds, either in marketing terms or through being rather drier and savoury than some reds with more tannin and acidity. But perhaps the bigger barrier is placed in front of Chris and I as "professional" buyers: much of the Bordeaux that we get to taste is in general tastings where we are tasting wines from around the world. And if you try a Claret, then a Brunello di Montalcino, you can guess which is going to suffer by comparison. The trouble is that even we separate out the Bordeaux wines, I find that I'm always getting a question mark of "value for money" hanging over them - at all price levels. Of course the wines we do have are exceptions: the aforementioned "House Claret", 2004 Haut-Bages Liberal Pauillac (£34) etc. But we're running out of our excellent 1998 Chateau Bellefont-Belcier St Emilion Grand Cru (£38) and I'm struggling to find a worthy 2000 or 2001 to replace it.
But we keep battling; a recent lucky break with a private source landed us some Francois Parent Chambolle Musigny (£35) and Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens (£45) from the great 1999 vintage are drinking beautifully and do provide a wine experience worthy of the price tags. So keep your eyes open...
|Monday||21 Dec. 2009||10:00—21:00|
|Tuesday||22 Dec. 2009||10:00—21:00|
|Wednesday||23 Dec. 2009||10:00—21:00|
|Thursday||24 Dec. 2009||10:00—19:00|
|Friday||25 Dec. 2009||closed|
|Saturday||26 Dec. 2009||closed|
|Sunday||27 Dec. 2009||closed|
|Monday||28 Dec. 2009||closed|
|Tuesday||29 Dec. 2009||12:00—21:00|
|Wednesday||30 Dec. 2009||12:00—21:00|
|Thursday||31 Dec. 2009||12:00—21:00|
|Friday||1 Jan. 2010||closed|
|Saturday||2 Jan. 2010||10:00—20:00|
|Sunday||3 Jan. 2010||10:00—18:00|
Busy, busy, busy. Anyone would think it was nearly Christmas. Have been a little tardy with establishing the line up for this Wednesday’s Big One tasting at the shop (8pm £75pp, a few tickets left), so here’s a bit more information to get those last few spaces filled.
The line up will give us a nice range of styles, as well as being the best kit I can lay my hands on. The list is necessarily provisional as there may be a couple of cheeky “upgrades” if we fill the last few places.
We’ll probably kick off with Champagne: Gosset 1999 vintage (£59.50) is drinking beautifully. I have one white “in the bag” which is the 2006 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudesir from Christian Moreau (£32). This is just about as good as Chablis gets.
The reds will be equally epic. We have the 1995 Gran Reserva Rioja #890 from la Rioja Alta (£95). This is one of the top two or three Gran Reservas and it’s an excellent vintage. Customers have been swooning over its kid sibling the #904 (£34) so I think we should all have high expectations. We’ll also chuck in a Supertuscan but you will probably have to wait untill the night to find out which one – right now I can’t decide between the 2005 Solengo from Argiano in Montalcino, or the Ilatraia from Brancaia from the Tuscan coast. Something from Bordeaux or the Rhone will also make an appearance. From my own cellar (well, pantry) I’ll bring a mature bottle of D’Arenberg Dead Arm Shiraz from McLaren Vale as a “bonus wine”. Maybe a 2001 or 2002; maybe a ninetysomething.
We finish on a high (in several senses) with one of the great dessert wines; a 2007 Von Buhl Forster Pechstein Riesling Eiswein from Pfalz – a mere £135 per half bottle and 299g of sugar per litre.
Simple food (cheeses, cold meat, bread etc) will be served. if you’re not already signed up we hope you can join us!
Welcome to Bottle Apostle and a bit of preliminary waffle as I get used to this blogging lark. We opened our lovely shop in Lauriston Road, Victoria Park in July of this year, to lots of rejoicing amongst locals as well as compliments on the shopfit, designed by Sant Design with lots of lovely visuals by our graphic designer Andrew Fairhurst. Nearly 4 months on we still get students taking photos of our feature logo window for projects.
We stock around 350 wines plus a compact selection of beers and spirits. We don’t like to cram the shop full as we need space for buggies and prams! This means a wine really has to earn its position on the shelves. We shy away from the big brands and focus on the less familiar and hard to find.
We also have 4 shiny Enomatic sampling machines allowing us to have 32 wines available for sampling; just top up an “oyster card” with credit and away you go – samples cost from 35p to £15 for wines from £6 to £300. Weekly tutored wine events are held in our cellar, which are proving very popular. This week, for example, we are having a Fireworks Night-themed supper club (sold out); next week a Nebbiolo tasting. You can also hire our cellar / tasting room for private events.