A returning hero!

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Mulderbosch LogoWhen I first started working in Woodberrys there was one white wine that had a diehard cult following, Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc, but unfortunately within a short space of time the company importing the wine had folded, thanks to the Great Recession.  Over the years at trade shows we have tasted the wine, which is a good as the memory every time! We have left cards with people at stands, but it was only this year that someone came back to us, and now we are proud to announce the return of a hero.

Raise a glass to Mulderbosch Sauvignon and its stable partners. Since its founding in 1989, Mulderbosch Vineyards has widely been accepted as one of South Africa’s foremost wine producers. Since the first vintage in 1992, Mulderbosch has endeavored to represent innovation, flair and excellence producing quality wines from South Africa’s Stellenbosch and Western Cape winemaking regions.

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In a cool corner of Stellenbosch, some of South Africa’s best white wines – Chenin Blanc in particular, but also Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay – are produced by Adam Mason and his team. In recent years, the quality has been refined in special releases such as single-vineyard Chenins Blancs, while the label also produces a Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé made from grapes grown for the purpose (not left over from red winemaking), a noble-rot dessert wine and Bordeaux-style blends under its Faithful Hound label. See thee full range of Mulderbosch wines here.

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The Wonderful Wines of Kremstal

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There are 2,243 hectares of vineyards located around the town of Krems in Austria. The town and ints eponymous wine regionare located to the east of the Famous region of Wachau. As in Wachau the River Danube is very inmportant. Views of the region are dominated by the magnificent Stift Göttweig monastery. As a DAC Kremstal was only introduced in 2007 and applies only to two grape varieties the Austrian Gruner Veltliner, which is typical vibrant and spicy here and mineral rich Rieslings.Like the Wachau, Kremstal has its fair share of special climates: a cool, humid northern breeze flows from Waldviertel cooling the warm dry eastly winds from the steppes to the east. Along with the two varieties mentioned above Kremstal produces Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and supple, soft and expansive reds from grapes such as Zweigelt.

The wines of Weingut Muller need no introduction but below are 3 of our personal favs.

Muller Wines1) Muller ‘Bergkristall’ Gruner Veltliner 2012

Light green-yellow in the glass, opens up in the nose with a wide range of different fruit aromas including grapefruit but also tones of garden herbs and excellent minerals. The palate has a beautiful distinction and finesse, delicate nuances of apples and pears in the finish. A perfect companion to any hearty  white meat or pork dishes. Great with ‘Wiener Schnitzel’.

2) Muller Zeigelt Reserve 2011

Ruby and garnet colors in the glass, beautiful scents of cherries and fine spices develop in the nose, nice subtle oak tones, powerful and substantial on the palate; a wine with a good aging potential. This wine is well suited for a myriad of hearty meals such as beef, lamb, and game, or spicy pasta. It is also a fantastic wine to consume on its own by the glass.

3) Muller Chardonnay ‘Mugeln’ Reserve 2011

Medium yellow colour, ripe orchard and stone fruit on the nose. On the palate complex and powerful, already very harmonious, with lovely rounded stone fruit flavours complimented by fine toasted oak flavours on the finish. This wine is a match for the most hearty dishes especially those with butter and cream.

Australian Chardonnay is getting Cooler

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Chardonnay is a really flexible variety,  growing almost everywhere it’s planted. And for years it was trendy, with its particular tendency to enjoy the kiss of oak, and become big buttery over ripe monsters. Then the tide turned and suddenly all Chardonnay was tarred as bad, (except Chablis and other white Burgundies, they always escapes by not mentioning grape variety on their labels). But as with all fashions Chardonnay is on the way back up, its getting Cool again, and in more ways than one.

In Australia, these days the oak is applied more evenly and more justly, more sensibly but the standout wines are coming from cooler climates such as Adelaide Hills, Eden Valley, Margaret River, Mornington, Orange and even Tasmania. It is making a comeback and making an argument for itself as the queen of Aussie whites.  ‘Burgundian-style’ Chardonnays full of verve and energy can be found from many producers.

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The Fab Five

1) Apple Tree Flat Chardonnay 2011 Central Ranges, New South Wales €13.99

This delightful Chardonnay is packed with aromas of pear and lemon with a nicely structured palate of white peach, cashew and fig before leading into a persistent finish. It’s perfect everyday drinking at an affordable price.

2) O’Leary Walker Chardonnay 2010 Adelaide Hills, South Australia €19.95

This wine displays delicate stone fruit characters of white peach and nectarine, with subtle grapefruit aromas. Fine yet powerful with great fruit weight, intensity of flavours, richness and oak texture. Clean with finely balanced acid. The most Burgundian of the wines listed here.

3)Logan Chardonnay 2011 Orange, New South Wales €19.95

With Peter Logan’s it’s all in the detail. It starts with the wine, premium fruit picked at high altitudes in Orange, meticulously handled by Pete. Putting the cool back into cool climate this Chardonnay is perfumed with orange, pear and a touch of spicy oak. The flavours of peach and grapefruit vie for attention complexed by minerals. Textured and long it would pair brilliantly with rich, seafood dishes.

4) Hill Smith Estate Chardonnay 2010 Eden Valley, South Australia €19.95

On the nose, smoky wild yeast complexity and subtle notes of struck flint intertwine with aromas of white nectarine, grilled cashews and citrus blossom. Full flavoured and textural on the palate, with creamy white nougat, citrus zest and ripe quince and melon flavours. The richness is held in check by a restrained grapefruit acidity and a savoury finish.

5) Dalrymple Chardonnay 2011 Pipers River, Tasmania €36.95

A delicate Chablis styled Chardonnay. Brilliant very pale straw colour with slight greenish tinge around the edges and watery hue. The nose displays aromas of melon and spiced lemon and lime peel richness. Light to medium weight the palate exhibits elegant lemon confit with a spicy freshness drives through a clean fresh palate complexed with chalked, crushed stone texture. Finishing with a clean crisp finish.

 

Nick Walker Tasting

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OLW TASTING NOTESTasting note and info on the special red we finished the evening to follow. Sorry about the delay, we had a wine dinner the following friday and then the Hurling final!

The White Queen Of Limoux

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Limoux Vineyards with the Pyrenees in the background

La Butiniere ChardonnayThe “La Butinière” Chardonnay or the The Queen of Limoux white wines as the folks in Cave Anne De Joyeuse like to call her is made up exclusively of Chardonnay. The ” La Butinière” is produced from hillside vines over 20 years old.The unique conditions in Limoux, in the foothills of the Pyrenees  coupled with the vineyard cultivation, green harvesting, and low yields, mean only the best grapes are used to produce this exceptional wine. All grapes are harvested by hand, then transported in small containers, passed through the sorting table so that nothing but the very best grapes go to the press. After pressing the Juice is transferred to oak barrels for 10 to 12 months before it is bottled.

“La Butinière” Chardonnay is golden in colour with aromas of apricot, peach, grapefruit and brioche on the nose. Finely mineral in structure, it develops notes of vanilla and honey on the finish after a full palate of peach, apricot and grapefruit. Ideal as an aperitif with friends or with a number of dishes such as scallops, pan-fried prawns, chicken or prawn salads.

The ‘Original’ Limoux

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Cave Anne de Joyeuse was founded in 1929 to vinify the red wines of Limoux and the Upper Aude valley. The winegrowers, realising over time the exceptional quality of their terroir, started planting the first noble grape varieties Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in 1972. Thus, the Cave Anne de Joyeuse became the first and most important Southern French vineyard to commit 100% to individual site selection based on terroir. It lead to the establishment of its white wines as AOC Limoux White in 1989 and its red wines as AOC Limoux Red in 2004.

The Limoux wine region is located in the eastern foothills of the Pyrénées in southern France, south of the fortified city of Carcassonne. The classified vineyards are all in the Aude département, in the general vicinity of Limoux, west of the Corbières hills. The climate is dominated by the strong winds of the region. The Mediterranean climate of the region has more Atlantic influences than other Languedoc wine regions. The soil in the area is rocky with clay, sandstone and limestone, creating distinct terroir. Despite being located at a southerly latitude, the climate is cooler and moister than in most of the wine regions in southern France. Its location in the foothills of the Pyrénées allows the vineyards to be at a higher elevation, and planted in optimal locations on hillsides.

The ‘Original’ Line showcases some of the best varietal examples produced in Limoux, two delightful reds, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Malbec, and in the white what has become the signature grape of the region Chardonnay.  The Malbec is intense purple and ruby color, blackberry and violet notes on the nose, fruity in the mouth with soft tannins and flavors of ripe black fruits, vanilla, cocoa and plum. The wine is well-balanced with a long finish. A great wine with beef, BBQ, Osso Bucco or dark chocolate.

The Cabernet is a deep red to violet-purple shade. Elegant nose with red fruits aromas. On the palate, a frank, full-bodied wine. Over a wide range of black fruit and berries flavors where the black stands out in the final.  This Cabernet Sauvignon will accompany dishes like cassoulet or spicy dishes meat dishes.

The Chardonnay is matured 50% in steel and  50% in barrels a third of which are new oak. Shiny and bright wine, pale yellow colouring.
A nose of a beautiful aromatic intensity that combines notes of white flowers and citrus. On the palate, a pleasant and clean attack. Balance and aromatic power lead us on a fresh ending with finesse. Combines perfectly with all kinds of fish (monkfish with lemon dressing or spicy piri piri) but would also fit right in as an aperitif.

International Chardonnay Day May 23rd

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Right so to add more confusion to Sherry Day which runs for 5 days from 20th of May till the 25th, International Chardonnay Day falls on the 23rd smack dab in the middle of Sherry day! Why celebrate chardonnay? Well there are as many reasons as there are chardonnay wines. To Celebrate Chardonnay Day we’ll be hosting a tasting in the shop from 7pm to 8pm on Thursday 23rd May, all welcome to check out what we think are some great chardonnay wines from all over the globe.

Heres  our spiel on chardonnay.

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine. It originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now grown pretty much wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as a “rite of passage” and an easy entry into the international wine market.

The Chardonnay grape itself is pretty neutral in terms of flavour (many of the flavours commonly associated with the grape  coming from the way the winemaker treats it eg oak and from its terroir). It is  turned into loads of different styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, to New World un oaked styles with tropical fruit flavours to big oaky monsters, that when produced with care can be great food wines. Much of its bad reputation comes from cheap attempts at oaking using oak chips in place of proper barrel aging.

Chardonnay is a must for many sparkling wines around the world, especially Champagne, where many of the top wines are made solely from it Blanc des Blancs. A  trendy phase in the late 1980s and early 1990s gave way to a backlash – among most people thanks to the above mentioned cheap oak chip wines. Nonetheless, it remains one of the most widely planted grape varieties, second only to Airén among white wine grapes and planted in more wine regions than any other grape – including Cabernet Sauvignon.