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    Made by flying winemaker Matt Thomson, this is a lively fruit driven wine full of red cherry flavours with a hint of vanilla all wrapped up with some crisp acidity that makes it such a good companion to a tasty tomato sauce.

    Alpha Zeta was set up by Matt Thomson & specialist Italian Wine Importer Liberty Wines in 1999 with the aim of producing modern fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona.

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    Incredibly attractive easy drinking red wine at a very affordable price is not easy to find. But this is all of those things and more. Lovely soft red fruit, simple easy tannins and a hint of spice combine to make this one of our customer’s favourites. Planning a party or a BBQ then you can’t go far wrong with this. If it’s a hot day then serve it lightly chilled and it will be even more refreshing.

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    From a relatively new co-operative set up in 2001 comes this attractive wine. Campo de Borja is a region to the South West of Rioja that produces some great value wines and also is starting to produce some great fine wines. Previous vintages have won lots of awards and this latest vintage should do so too.

    This is simply very drinkable it has ripe red fruit aromas with a distinct hint of sunshine. In the mouth it has sufficient grip to make it work with food but is also very enjoyable on its own. Charming drinkable and good company what more can you ask?

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    This is a delicious blend of 5 grape varieties put together by Wine Maker Stephen Donnelly who originally hales from Scotland but has made wine all over the world. Each individual varietal is vinified separately before ageing for 12 months in a mixture of Romanian and French Oak barrels and then being carefully blended. The wine has great colour, ripe full bodied fruit flavours and a complex finish. If you have never tasted a fine Romanian wine then this is a very good place to start.

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    From a modern winery in Sicily this is a brooding dark little number with charming ripe fruit and a bite of acidity that makes it perfect with a good pizza.On the nose it is bright red fruit but in the mouth it is medium weight with hints of chocolate and a nip of tanin.

    Set up in 2003, Adria Vini is a winemaking venture jointly owned by Boutinot and Araldica Vini Piemontesi, the leading co-operative in Piemonte. All areas of production, from grape selection through to vinification, maturation, blending and bottling are meticulously overseen by Araldica’s Claudio Manera and Lella Burdese. Working closely with growers and cooperatives, our aim is to produce a range of authentic, well-priced wines from local grape varieties. The mainstay of white wine production is Pinot Grigio, sourced from the Pavia region south of Milan, Friuli and the Veneto, with the addition of Prosecco, and Grillo and Catarratto wines from Sicily. The reds come from mature, low yielding vineyards in Sicily, Puglia and Abruzzo, the source of some of Europe’s most undervalued and characterful wines. Our most recent project has brought Cannonau and Vermentino from Sardinia to the portfolio.

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    Tilting at windmills should come easily to the four leads in this wine making odyssey as this superb bottle comes from Don Quixote’s La Mancha. There are many romantic stories in the wine world of why people choose to become involved in a project but here you have an Australian his Bulgarian wife, a Spaniard and an Italian who stepped in to save some ancient bush vines that were in danger of being grubbed up due to generous EU subsidies.

    The reason they chose to is the quality of the fruit produced by these gnarled old veterans. It produces a wine of wonderful depth and harmony. You can almost smell the sunshine. Chocolate, cinnamon and lush berry aromas wrapped up with saffron and spice. In the mouth deep blueberry fruit, textured velvet like tannins and a long complex finish mean that you will be hoping not to share this with anyone but a close and appreciative friend.


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    Four aspiring wine Knights and some bloody old vineyards,” is how Zar Brooks describes Cien y Pico…

    Tilting at windmills should come easily to the four leads in this wine making odyssey as this superb bottle comes from Don Quixote’s La Mancha. There are many romantic stories in the wine world of why people choose to become involved in a project but here you have an Australian Zar Brooks his Bulgarian wife Elena, a Spaniard Luis Juminez García and Italian Nicola Tucci who stepped in to save some ancient bush vines that were in danger of being grubbed up due to generous EU subsidies.

    The wine itself is full of intense aromas and succulent fruit. The wine is made using the ‘doble pasta’ method, whereby the crushed grapes are fermented over additional grape skins and pulp, to obtain a high extract, colour and tannin.

    Tannin may be present but it is no need for concern as it is beautifully integrated with the rich dark fruit flavours lending a necessary grip. There are hints of cocoa amongst the blueberries and bilberries and even a touch of lavender. This really is quite special and you may notice that our best selling wine on the website is also made by Zar and Elena but back in Australia at Dandelion Vineyards.

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    Take one very successful Wine Shipper with a passion for wine and a record for creating some very good wines. Allow him the funds, the time and the contacts to scour the world for a very good but as yet under recognised vineyard and you have the starting point to what I believe will become a very good range of wines.

    Paul Boutinot is the shipper he has in his lifetime built one of the UK’s leading wine shippers partially by working closely with the growers to develop wines that will sell. He is passionate about wine and Waterkloof Estate in Stellenbosch is his chance to put his accumulated knowledge into play.

    Circle of Life is the vineyards top cuvee and is blend of a wide variety of grapes the exact blend they keep to themselves. Waterkloof follow Bio-Dynamic practises working very closely with the land in order to get the best possible results. This wine has great charm. It’s a very modern international style of wine with well integrated ripe tannins, complex aromas and lovely dark fruit. I highly recommend it.

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    This comes in a very tall elegant bottle which should give some clue as to the style of wine inside being a wonderfully elegant and approachable wine. Feteasca Neagra means black maiden and the colour of the wine is rich and dark with soft almost feminine flavours and aromas. It works well with casseroles and spicy dishes.

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    The word dandelion comes from Dente de Lion meaning Lions Tooth.  This is a relatively new venture and what they have set out to do is showcase some of the best of Australia’s regions offering wines from the Barossa, Eden Vale and in this case Mclaren Vale.  The blend is a slightly unusual combination with the Shiraz being fermented over the 5% of Eden Vale Riesling. The Riesling lightens and perfumes the finished wine. So that on the nose there is a noticeable hint of tangy marmalade but in the mouth it is a glorious symphony of blueberries, mulberries and cake spice, wrapped up in sweet vanilla from the careful use of oak barrels.

    It has a lot of power but the tannins are smooth and it is a sheer delight to drink.  The bottle has a very informative back label which names the winemaker as Elena Brooks, the vignerons as Carl Lindnaur & Brad Rey but relegates Elena’s husband a famous winemaker in his own right to Typist!

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    Flamboyant Spanish Reds

    Normal Retail Price £105.88

    Special offer for this case £95.40 or £7.95 per bottle 


    Spain is one of the most exciting wine making countries on earth and was recently tipped by American Wine Guru Robert Parker to be the country to follow over the next few years. The case I have put together, reflects the modern sexy Penelope Cruz Spain it is full of luscious, rumbstious, downright naughtily drinkable wines. No dry dusty old red’s here.

    There are two bottles of each wine in the case

    Bodegas Borsao Tinto Garnacha, Campo de Borja 2012

    Bodegas Borsao is a co-operative established in 2001. It is situated in Campo de Borja a region to the south east of Rioja. This wine could hardly be more drinkable and has won numerous sommelier awards for being the perfect house wine.

    Borsao Selección Tinto, Campo de Borja 2012

    70% Garnacha, 20% Syrah, 10 % Tempranillo. Simply one of the most dangerously drinkable wines I sell it bursts with lovely ripe fruit. There is a hint of mocha and just enough grip to keep it

    Manon Tempranillo, Bodegas Mano a Mano, Alhambra 2010

    From a state of the art winery that harnesses both traditional techniques and modern methods to produce a wine of great elegance. Lovely ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit, supple smooth tannins and good length

    Bodegas Juan Gil Pedrera Monastrell , Jumilla 2012

    Monastrell is known as Mourvedre in France and it produces wines of great depth of colour and intense fruit as those who are familiar with the French versions might know. Here you get some chocolate notes along with the dark fruit and easy tannins.

    Pasión de Bobal, Bodegas Sierra Norte, Utiel Requina 2011

    Made from the unfamiliar Bobal grape this wine is as its name suggests a heaving torrent of vinous lust, spicy exotic fruit sprinkled with incense, soft silky tannins and come hither flavours that just will not say no. It will certainly spice up an evening!

    Urbina, Crianza Rioja 2006

    Well a Spanish selection would not be complete without a Rioja and this is a classic example of what people expect. All sunshine, baked fruit and leather notes, it is a blend of 95% Tempranillo with 5% Graciano & Mazuelo from 30 year old plus vines. Aged in American oak casks that leave a sweet touch of vanilla and it is undoubtedly the star of the case.

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    A Kaiken is a wild Goose that flies across the Andes in the way that the wine maker from Montes in Chile flies across the Andes to Argentina to make this delicious example of a very popular grape variety. Montes are a very successful producer in Chile making wines with great colour and intensity of fruit as is the case here and the reason why this wine is our best selling Malbec in store.

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    Les Oliviers Merlot Mourvedre

    From the warm vineyards of the Languedoc comes this absolute stormer of a wine. I love finding wines that I know I can just sit with a large glass of with a good book or zonked out in front of the TV and they will just evaporate. Perfect mid –week wine, screwtop bottle so those of you with will power can just enjoy a good glass and savour another the next night.

    I can do no better in describing this wine than use the shipper’s tasting notes.

    ‘A wine of real presence and character named after the olive groves, ‘oliviers’ that flourish around the sun-drenched vineyards of southern France.  Grapes come from two separate plots of Merlot and Mourvèdre to produce this lusciously fruity red wine with a slightly wild edge. The intense red berry fruit aromas are backed up by a touch of pepper. A supple palate with smooth integrated tannins, lead to a rich satisfying finish.’

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    The Argentines love nothing better than a good juicy steak and therefore specialise in wines that work brilliantly well with their favourite dish. Malbec is the most commonly grown red varietal because, as here, it produces deep dark wines bursting with dark berry fruit wrapped up with a hint of spice and soft smooth tanins. Nieto have previously won the award for best value Argentine Red for good reason as these wines completely over-deliver for the money.

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    Named in fond admiration of the vineyard manager a bear of a man who is famously scruffy and a local charmer. This is a single vineyard Shiraz where the fruit is carefully sorted to deliver a delicious full bodied wine with lots of colour and opulent fruit flavours. The alcohol level is kept to a sensible 14% giving a proper balance to the finished wine.

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    Pinteivera, Douro Valley, M Chapoutier, Portugal

    Michel Chpaoutier is a genius winemaker with the ego and intelligence to go with it.  He loves wine and the land from which it is produced and this fascination has led him to look at various other regions in the world away from his homeland of the Rhone Valley where he produces some of the worlds greatest wines.

    Hence we have a Chapoutier wine from the Douro Valley a region best known for Port but with an increasing reputation for table wines. Here as is often his wont in the Rhone he produces a single varietal wine made purely from the beautifuly scented deep coloured Touriga Nacional. Like many wines from this area it has notable tanin structure which is just starting to ease now but Michel once told me one of his winemaking secrets, that a wine with no fruit and too much tannin will never come round, so you can be sure that this will.

    Portugal is undergoing a renaissance of table wine making and if one of the worlds best wine makers has spotted this then surely this is a bottle worth trying to see what it is he knows.