To all Hong Kong-based clients...
The next Seabrooks shipment to Crown Wine Cellars is due to close on 20th December and will arrive in the SAR on 26th January.
We have already been receiving numerous requests for wines to add to this boat: wines both from clients' cellars that are now ready to drink and top-up stock from Bowes Wine's stock list.
I have been securing some really interesting bits and pieces that you might like to think about if you find yourself short of the good stuff with which to celebrate the end of a dry January (should you engage in such things), or simply to sip after the year's turning whilst waiting for the weather to pick up. Some of these are available in quite limited quantities, but we will attempt to fill orders where possible.
Here are some ideas:
2014 Bourgogne Blanc, Jean Pascal - £120 a dozen
This is really pale in the glass, showing a hint of lime tinge. And the nose has fine purity, is fruity-clean, of melon with a hint of almond. Palate is nicely rich and lime structured with a firm core of juicy, lime-like acidity. This is long and upright and really crunchy. Superb value, as ever. - My note
2016 Furmint Stone Wine, Balla Geza, Romania - £54 per 6
N.B. This wine is made from one of the great grape varieties - Furmint - which, due to its connections to Tokaji, is generally thought of as Hungarian. This wine is made by a Hungarian, but in Transylvania i.e. old Hungary. Romgarian, then, perhaps.
There's a passing note of cold fermentation to the nose, but it doesn't dominate and allows other scents - of mint and stone fruit and a spicy rockiness - to emerge. There are some herbs hanging about, too. The palate is dry and rich with a core of powdered rock minerality. Fruit is of apple, but has a saline freshness. Very long, this, and gains in incisive grip. Fabulous - My note
2013 Flavus, Hermanos Sastre, Ribera del Duero, Spain - £108 a dozen
Old vines here add greatly to the depth and complexity of this wine. I mean, it's made from Palomino (i.e. the grape of sherry) for goodness sake, AKA Thompson's Seedless: a minor thing in the grand scheme, but oh la la, the rare things of which it is capable. This wine amalgamates citrus fruit and wisps of wild flowers. The palate is all about that lemon freshness and a lightly creamy texture, as well as a wealth of apple and white peach fruit. And then the push and intent at the back. Riveting. Thompson's founds his seeds! - My note
N.B. This next wine I have not tasted, but I have secured some for myself. When one of the pre-eminent UK authorities on Austrian wine tells me that 2013 is one of the finest Gruner Veltliner vintages he's ever tasted, that this wine is now drinking superbly and that Rosenberg has excelled itself in the hands of this staggeringly talented wine maker, it pays to listen!
2013 Gruner Veltliner Rosenberg, Weingut Bernard Ott - £174 per 6
"An alluringly musky and rose petal-like floral perfume mingles with scents of sweet pea, caramelized turnip and parsnip that come to the fore on a mouthwateringly savory, silky, almost creamy palate. It's a bit as though a Grüner Veltliner had been laced with Gewurztraminer. A tart-edged strawberry-rhubarb note emerges by way of counterpoint. Toasted grain, ginger and mouthwatering salinity of shrimp-shell reduction serve for stimulation in a long, buoyant, soothing finish. Of the three single-vineyard Ott bottlings, this gained the most between its showing immediately before bottling and its showing a year later, which is consistent with its history of slow bottle evolution." David Schildknecht on vinous.com
2014 Plaisir du Vin, Château Heritage, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - £51 per 6
The warmth of the Bekaa wraps itself around the nose of the taster, the scent coming across like a liqueur of orange-and-plum, slightly chocolaty fruit and adds a very domestic strawberry note later on. The palate up front is plush and full of rich sunshine-soaked fruit. But the whole effect comes into focus with a sudden lift of freshness and grip and tannin that adds welcome structure. I think Musar lovers will enjoy this enormously. - My note
2011 Crianza, Hermanos Sastre, Ribera del Duero, Spain - £174 a dozen
A simply fabulous nose engulfs the taster. This has complexity set to maximum, with aromas of blackberry and plum fruit intermingled with scents of rooty liquorice, dry spice and a liquid mineral note. This is no shrinking violet across the tongue either. A wine of density, but also precision, in the mouth. It is supported by superb structure of tannin and fresh grip...and then that fruit. It offers great purity of sloe and plum. It is also densely mineral. A really very long wine indeed. And a gorgeous thing, too. - My note
And of course, our exceptionally delicious house champagnes:
N.V. Brut, Champagne Larnaudie-Hirault - £105 per 6
A fresh mineral nose of chalk and very ripe Golden Delicious. There are notes of dry spice, smoke and hints of high-roast black coffee too. There is a creamy mousse on the palate that lends some structure, as does the piquant, almost peppery, minerality. Pear and apple fruit. A juicy, lemon grip drives through the palate coupled with that fine, chalk-dust minerality. A lovely wine, perfect as an aperitif or with food. Truly, a champagne perfect for all occasions! - My note
N.V. Brut Rosé, Champagne Larnaudie-Hirault - £117 per 6
Vigorous mousse rises briskly. Very cherryade colour (the wine is a blend of red and white wine). The nose is characterised by red fruits and nutty aromas: walnuts and salt and strawberry fruit. The fluff of the mousse hardens to a saline edge. A dry wine of good length, very mineral length at that. A beautifully balanced and energetic wine, showing a quantity of spice on both nose and palate.- My note
N.V. Blanc de Noirs, Champagne Larnaudie-Hirault - £126 per 6
Lovely rich nose with great spiciness to the ripe red and russet apple fruit. A lovely freshness here coupled with complexity - hints of white flowers. As it warms further, one finds dried flowers and powdered minerals. Really fresh and intense palate of great minerality and rapier, lemon freshness. Freshly sliced green apple that's been salted! Very fine pillowy mousse. Long, intense and lovely. Delicious! And drier-tasting than the Prestige from Champagne Larnaudie-Hirault. - My note
Email caspar[at]boweswine.co.uk to order any of the above.