Thursday, 19 March 2015

Spring Wine Offer 2015

Right then.  Some of you have done dry January and by the time you get this others will have nearly completed their Lenten deprivation.  By the beard of Zeus, some of you will have done both.  Eeeek.  Well done. Now that, surely, is enough flagellation for the time being.  Demonstrating considerable dedication to duty you have earned yourself a well-deserved, pretty enormous glass of wine.  I would suggest two - no, hang it, several - but the Joy Police may spot this and declare such a notion to be irresponsible.  So I won’t.

What’s it to be?  A fresh, lively white to cut the last of the winter dust?  Maybe a dark, fruit-filled red to ease down your Easter lamb or a subtle, white Rhône inspired smoothie for a free-range fowl?  Doubtless you’ve also been on a bloody diet for added torture; time to wave that off with a dish of savoury pasta and unhealthy gratings of cheese for which a keen, cleansing Italian red will touch the spot.  If you like the sound of any of that read on, for you will find all the wet part of it in the following offer.

There’s more to this offer than meets the eye.  Yes, the wines are delicious.  Yes, you get a bit of discount and yes, as ever you can slice it into reds only, whites only or mixed rations, all at the same very reasonable price.  However, for every dozen bought we will donate £8 to Cancer Campaign In Suffolk and for every half-dozen we will give them £4.  We trim your price and our margin; between us we will try to send a significant contribution to this valuable local cause. 

This is a great local charity that aims to help you, the population of Suffolk, regardless of gender, colour, creed or age and it deserves whatever support we can give.  If you would like to know more, tune into or email  or call them on 01473 211884.

If you need a box or two of wine this spring, choose one of these options – because you’re not just buying wine.

That’s the worthy bit; you’ll be thirsty now.

If you cannot make it to the shop we will be pleased to battle through “Gridlock Ipswich” to bring your wine to you.   Local deliveries are FREE for orders of £70 or more.  Delivery details may be found here.

The offer starts NOW and runs until May 30th 2015 and is available subject to stocks remaining unsold.  We will do our best to buy enough stock in advance to hold these prices for the full length of the offer, but reserve the right to make any adjustments should they become necessary.

Plan ahead: you have a long Easter weekend and two bank holidays in that period and it wouldn’t do to go dry!

For full details of delicious wines of real character at reduced prices, please click here.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Chateau l’Ermitage, Costieres de Nimes

We’ve stocked the ‘Tradition’ wines from Chateau l’Ermitage in Costieres de Nimes before, but the new vintages (tasted at a recent event in London) reminded us of just how good the wines from this property are.  If anything, the latest versions are even more impressive than their predecessors and we simply couldn’t resist!

The Château l’Ermitage estate is owned and run by the third generation of the Castillon family in the form of Michel, and his son Jerome.  Some sections of vineyard at Chateau l’Ermitage date back to the 12th Century, and the first cellars here were built in the early 1800s.  The soil is sandstone and the vineyards face south, towards the sea, with the sea breezes helping to mitigate the summer heat and retaining a freshness in the resulting wines.  The property is signed up to the Terra Vitis scheme which brings with it a commitment to safeguard the local environment – especially the vineyards - and a constant striving to make wines of true quality that have been crafted using natural methods that respect both Man and the land.  This is typical of many producers who follow an organic philosophy without embracing the formal restrictions of certified organic status.

Jerome Castillon of Chateau l'Ermitage

The appellation of Costieres de Nimes itself used to be part of the Languedoc but in the late 1990s the growers got together and requested to included as a sub-region of the Rhone Valley simply because their wines were closer in style to those of the Rhone than the wines of the Languedoc.  The French authorities took their time but the change was eventually effected in 2004.  Even though we are significantly south-west of Avignon here and nicely on the way to Montpellier you need to ‘think Rhone’….but with a gentle twist… !

Map of the Southern Rhone

We are now stocking 4 wines from Château l’Ermitage ; the fine trio of white, pink and red which will be accompanied by 50cl bottles of a splendid Muscat which is wonderfully fresh and pleasingly not-too-sweet.  We are sure it will win many friends !

The Château l’Ermitage Tradition Blanc is 60% Roussanne, 20% Viognier and 20% Grenache Blanc and has aromas of orange blossom with hints of peach, grapefruit and nectarine, all with a wonderful mineral edge.  It’s very clean and fresh and splendidly original.

The Château l’Ermitage Tradition Rose is 50% Grenache, with 25% each of Syrah and Mourvedre.  It is pale salmon pink in colour with a fresh berry nose.  A little fuller than Provence rose yet not as masculine as the roses from elsewhere in the Rhone Valley.  It is poised, elegant and mouthwatering.

The Château l’Ermitage Tradition Rouge is 40% each of Syrah and Mourvedre with 20% Grenache.  It is a hearty red with ripe tannins and plenty of red fruit flavours matched with a gentle savoury edge.  Yes it is youthful, but it is also very approachable.  It will keep if you wish, but it’s so attractive now that you may struggle to keep your hands off it…. We know we will !
Finally, 'Le Muscat' is 100% Muscat a Petit Grains which has its fermentation stopped by the addition of 7% grape spirit thus retaining a small percentage of natural, unfermented grape sugars.  It is wonderfully delicate though and, crucially, beautifully fresh, grapey and not too sweet.