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Wine Tasters at Winemakers Club

Autumn is officially with us and it’s time to grab a glass or two to warm the cockles and enliven your tastebuds. The Partners in Vine return to regale you with tall tales of wines rocking the Mr Vine App, and what should be rolling into your wine drinking purview! Another month, another venue. The guys were really excited to head out to another fine, fine venue and put their tastebuds to work. Off to The Winemakers Club then, and their wonderful home under the Holborn Viaduct in London!

So whose wines were under the microscope this time? Back in the mix were Cadman Fine Wines and a new supplier to the table, WoodWinters Wines and Whiskies. Two very new suppliers proudly featured on the free App. As always, in no particular order – here’s a run down of the wines vying for the top 5:

Weighing in from WoodWinters:

And the Cadman collection:

You’ve probably already got it, because it’s free, but if not click here to download the Mr Vine App!

On your PC? Click on the wines above and you’ll be able to purchase them on your browser. Simple eh?

It’s also well worth mentioning that you can buy the 6 Cadman wines you see above as a mixed case, with free delivery – £20 off – for only £49.45! Search “cadman6mixed” on the App or click here if on your PC.

Pass the bottle opener, lets get going – what made the top 5?

5th Place

Domaine Baron Sauvignon Blanc Vielles Vignes (Old Vines) 2014 £8.99

A very worthy fifth place. This Sauvignon Blanc is a luscious and interesting break from the norm. Relatively ripe, fruity and opulent for a Loire Sauvignon. Fans of Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand will get it immediately. Plenty of grapefruit and green pepper with a hint of smoke, not the most subtle, but VERY enjoyable! Fruit driven Sauvignon Blanc is a really great pairing for Moules Marinères, and it just happens to be Mussel season at the moment.

4th Place

Le Fonti Sangiovese 2010 – £9.89

Two Sangioveses to bring to your attention this month, with this one perhaps not matching the brilliance of the Tenuta Mara (whoops, did we give something away?). Even so, this Le Fonti is a superb departure point for the beginner’s guide to Sangiovese – expressive cherry and herbal notes, crisp acidity, and an elegant lightness of touch. Not the most concentrated, but very very good for under a tenner!

3rd Place

Luigi Maffini ‘Kleos’ Aglianico 2012 – £14.00

Here’s another from expert winemaker Luigi Maffini, this time from the robust red Aglianico grape. With baked blackberry, blueberry and stewed plum fruits inlaid with cigar tobacco and cinnamon. In the mouth it has real presence and texture; full bodied, savoury and very dry. It’s a big black bull of a wine that needs hearty food to be best appreciated.

2nd Place

Tenuta Mara ‘Maramia’ 2012 – £41.00

The first vintage from this ambitious new biodynamic estate. Only making one wine, no expense is spared; they even serenade the Sangiovese vines with Mozart. Does it make a difference? Well it tastes superb so maybe! This is genuinely a fine wine that really speaks of its origin. A symphony of autumnal aromas like dried leaves and truffle spill from the glass, alongside red cherry and dark chocolate. It’s lively and tangy, robust yet refreshing, ethereal but long in flavour. A high price for sure, but this is delicious with real substance and interest.

1st Place

Luigi Maffini ‘Kratos’ Fiano IGP Paestum 2014 – £14.50

Luigi’s back. Some say the white Fiano grape will be the next big thing in the UK, and classic examples like this one show why. An intense and persistent wine, with no-nonsense apple, pear and apricot aromas and a herbal twang. Starting off subtle, but finishing with a fresh, dry, mineral edge and a burst of flavour. Drink it all night, and you won’t get bored!

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July Tasting at MASH

Here we go again, five expert panelists, 12 fantastic wines, and a new venue. This time the panel met in Brewer Street at MASH Steakhouse; their modern American-style setting is an awesome place to hold a tasting. Plus, they have an amazing wine list of their own you know!

mash bar

This time the panel were sent wines from Red Squirrel Wines and Cadman Fine Wines. So good was the selection that 3 wines received an honorary mention even though they did not place in the Top 5! A Partners in Vine first…

So in no particular order, here is a list of the wines tasted:

Cracking wines from Red Squirrel:

Cadman’s fine contribution:

Remember you can find these wines on the Mr Vine app, and buy them! Download the app here.

If you don’t yet have the app, fear not! You can click on the wines above and you’ll be taken to a purchase-point online.

Honorary mentions

Azienda Agricola Bruna ‘Maje’ Pigato 2014 – £13.50

Delicate, fresh and perfumed this is a lovely example of the rare Pigato grape. Silken in texture and perfectly balanced, this is a great alternative to Pinot Grigio.

Vega Tolosa ‘Icon’ Bobal 2013 – £53.94 as a case of 6

Bags of intense forest fruit flavour, this is a perky, juicy red that is easy to drink but has character and makes an impact. Fantastic value for money.

Vinteloper ‘Odeon’ Riesling 2013 – £24.99

Just over a thousand bottles were made of this compellingly interesting wine. Naturally beautiful aromas of mandarin, mirabelle plum and flowers. It’s not cheap, but this is brave winemaking resulting in a unique style that some drinkers will adore.

5th Place

La Torricella Barbera d’Alba 2011 – £15.99

Black cherry and cola on the nose, alongside coffee and cocoa – classic Barbera. Lovely concentration and a satin-soft, dry finish. A generous yet serious wine that’s just crying out for rigatoni with meatballs.

4th Place

Chateau Bel-Air La Royere 2008 – £19.35

Unpretentious, old school claret with much to love: ripe and fruity, with spicy cedar, tobacco and blackcurrant. This blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Malbec from Blaye has plenty to keep it going for another five years or so, but is at a lovely stage to drink now – harmonious and complex but still with youthful power. Bordeaux lovers will lap it up.

3rd Place

Auntsfield Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – £12.15

Smells of freshly cut grass, fresh gooseberry and guava but has a sense of restraint; the flavours are pronounced but the wine remains elegant. Lovely round texture, a long, concentrated finish and wet foliage freshness. Very well priced to boot. It’ll go perfectly with an Asian tuna dish with a touch of heat.

2nd Place

Fattoria Le Fonti Chianti Classico 2012 – £14.50

Mostly Sangiovese with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this Chianti is somewhere between modern and traditional in style. It has detailed cherry, herb and leather aromas alongside coffee bean and tobacco leaf. Bright, vibrant and expressive this wine has a lovely sense of harmony and warmth. Engaging the brain as well as the tongue!

1st Place

And the winner is…

Frank Bonville Blancs de Blanc NV – £26.09

This pure Chardonnay Champagne is grown on Grand Cru rated sites and the quality really shines through: brioche-scented exuberance, full and rich on the palate with a lovely soft fizz. Very easy drinking while keeping its class and character, this isn’t the driest Champagne but it’s beautifully balanced and could easily compete with many big brands. An impressive Champagne for the price, perfect for a special event or an indulgent evening with your other half!bonville winner

So there you have it, Champagne rocking it this time with some strong runners up!

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The Return to Number 10

Welcome back! The Partners in Vine liked 10 Greek Street so much that they went back for more, this time towards the end of June to try another 12 wines. Fresh from holding a live tasting at the Mr Vine Wine Theatre at the Taste of London in Regent’s Park, the team were eager to get stuck in to another smart collection, some from as far away as Argentina and Australasia, with a smattering of Europeans representing the Old World. 10 Greek Street 1 The wines were provided, as always, by two of Mr Vine’s excellent independent suppliers – this time it was the turn of Wine2drink and Wineman who sent some really lovely stuff!


The wines sent by Wineman are available on the Mr Vine App in cases of 12:

And here are the wines from Wine2drink:

Remember, these great bottles are available on the Mr Vine App, but you can also purchase them online by clicking on them.

5th Place

Domaine Des Cigalounes 2012 – £11.56 (per bottle in a case of 12)

After the two champion Liracs tasted last month, here’s another one that really hit the spot. A blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, this has blackberry, hung game and dense black cherry on the nose in abundance. It’s loaded with local garrigue (wild Mediterranean herb) character which provides a herbal lift to the ripe, potent fruit. A complete and delicious foodie wine that’s like having several courses all at once – drink with a hard French cheese like Comté or goat’s cheeses.

4th Place

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – £16.00

There are so many New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs on the market that these days it’s rare to find one that really stands out. This one however, made by Kevin Judd, former winemaker at Cloudy Bay, is exceptional. There’s vivid asparagus, cut grass, aloe and gooseberry flavour, but it’s not overblown like some of its compatriots. Fragrant, crisp, balanced and incredibly long, this is a very accomplished New Zealand Sauvignon. 

3rd Place

Mas de Daumas Reserve de Gassac Blanc 2011 – £9.75

A blend of 25% Viognier, 25% Chardonnay, 25% Petit Manseng, 15% Chenin Blanc and 10% of various other varieties from one of the Languedoc’s best producers. Aromas of fuzzy white peach and a heavy perfume of white flowers floats from the glass. It has a creamy, lush mouthfeel, impressive purity of fruit and a soft, floral, dry finish. Nicely balanced and refreshingly different. Great value for under a tenner. Give it a go with a mild, creamy curry – perhaps something South-East Asian.

2nd Place

Calusari Pinot Noir 2013 – £7.50

This is made by Cramele Recaş a winery in western Romania now owned by Bristolian Philip Cox. It has classic Pinot Noir character, plenty of ripe redcurrant and earthy cherry fruit. It’s lighter on its feet than many French Pinots at this price, and very easy to drink. An interesting find and a great reminder of the quality and value to be found in Romania. 

1st Place

Magpie Estate Riesling 2014 – £11.00

Great fruit purity – salt, lime and orange blossom – as well as a flinty character. Long, dry, lean and lip-smackingly fresh; a laser-sharp thirst-quencher. Good value too. It’s even got a beautiful label. Definitely one to drink all by itself!Winner Riesling

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Rhône Rules

Welcome to Tasting number three! If you’re a newcomer to this particular publication – this is what it’s all about in a nutshell. For the third Partners in Vine Panel Tasting the team met up in Soho and enjoyed the very cool surroundings of 10 Greek Street and some very pleasing wines.

After Mr Vine’s Events Manager Martina had carefully delivered the wine, there was no time to stand on ceremony and the panel got right down to what they do best.

As has become the format – here is your wine list. Separated by supplier, each product has a page from which you can purchase if you feel the panel have done enough to persuade your eager tastebuds, and if you’re behind the times and not using the free Mr Vine App!


Let’s start with some organic wines from Vinceremos:

And now for some perky picks from Nickolls & Perks:

As you can see, this week’s tasting represented the old world in a big way, while a solitary Malbec from Mendoza came along to represent Argentina and it didn’t just make up the numbers!

5th Place

Bodegas Parra Jimenez ‘Parra’ Verdejo 2013 – £6.99

Verde-who? This white grape is native to Spain and makes pungent, herbal styles of wine with loads of personality. You can trek through the tropics with this bottle: guava, greengage and pithy grapefruit are all in there eager to please you at a fun, sunny BBQ.  A delightful party wine that’s a shoe-in for lovers of Sauvignon Blanc.

4th Place

Caligiore Malbec 2013 – £10.49

Malbec is the trendy red to drink around the £10-£15 mark at the moment, and there’s a lot of samey stuff out there, but this isn’t one of them. It has layers of dark chocolate, concentrated blueberry, succulent plum and coffee bean flavour. A wine to cosy up with that’s crying out for steak – it’s a muscular Malbec that would gladly accompany a juicy ribeye. 

3rd Place

Domaine Bourdon Saint Veran 2011 – £12.60

Lots of attractive, gentle apricot and peach here – there’s a touch of honey and caramel too but thankfully it hasn’t been clobbered by oak. It has a lovely, silky, rounded mouthfeel and impressive intensity of flavour. A lot of wine for the money, which is relatively rare when it comes to white Burgundy. Why not pan fry some Sea Bass for a perfect match to this elegant wine.

2nd Place

Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine Lirac Rouge 2011 – £11.30

This is a wine in a deep red smoking jacket! A generously flavoursome Rhône blend from a reliable producer: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan. Rich and intense with forest berries, cigar tobacco and hung game notes. It really won the panel over; it’s hearty without being heavy. 

1st Place

Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine Lirac Blanc 2013 – £11.30

A peachy mélange of three much underrated white grapes from the Rhône: Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. More ripe stone fruit flavours like apricot and nectarine in the mouth give it a lovely lush texture. This would work well with a fairly rich dish like a full, creamy fish pie. Although it’s deliciously drinkable by itself. Plenty of impact but perfectly balanced – a very successful blend. 

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