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Perrin et Fils and Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape 2009 releases

Saturday, Oct. 23rd 2010

I was delighted to be invited to the pre-release tasting of the wines of Perrin et FIls and Château de Beaucastel 2009. It took place last week in the rather grand setting of the Grocer’s Hall in central London.

On show were a wide range of wines from Perrin along with the new vintages of the Beaucastel wines, both red and white and a few older vintages for comparison. So, temping stuff then…

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Posted by Paul | in New Wines and Products, Wine News, Wine Tasting Notes | Comments Off

Château La Tour Carnet 2000

Sunday, Sep. 19th 2010

La_Tour_Carnet_2000It was my Son’s Birthday today and to celebrate, I opened a bottle of Château La Tour Carnet 2000. Decanted about 90 minutes before drinking, the wine wasn’t showing a great deal of development. It was a deep ruby colour with only a very small garnet rim. After a bit of swirling, it opened up some surprisingly primary aromas of blackcurrant, bramble and Christmas spice. The palate exuded black fruit, lovely balanced vanilla and cinnamon spice and very well balanced, fine tannins.

Given its modest pricing, this has a good future ahead of it yet and I enjoyed it very much.

You’ll be pleased to hear my Son really enjoyed playing with all the toys he received too (and so did I…).

Posted by Paul | in Wine Knowledge, Wine Tasting Notes | Comments Off

Château d’Esclans – Côtes de Provence Visit Report

Sunday, Sep. 19th 2010

Esclans_LogoWhere does the rosé market go next? It’s undoubtedly a growth category, but one rosé is often very similar to another. And will the consumer ever pay more than £6 for a bottle? Well, this estate in Provence is challenging the general perception of rosé wine and trying to make the category a fine wine icon. But can they justify prices that would make the Bordelais blush (pun intended…)?

Well, read on to find out if Château d’Esclans is really producing the world’s finest rosés.

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Posted by Paul | in New Wines and Products, Wine Knowledge, Wine News, Wine Tasting Notes | Comments Off

Domaine Rabiega – Côtes de Provence

Sunday, Aug. 29th 2010

The Road to RabiegaDomaine Rabiega is situated in the heart Provence on the outskirts of  town of Dragugnan. Previously owned by Sweden’s Vin and Spirit, it is now in private hands and has ambitious plans to make serious red wines, using both grapes not widely planted in the local area such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Our report is from a visit in early August 2010.

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Posted by Paul | in New Wines and Products, Wine Tasting Notes | Comments Off

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the pricing of Bordeaux (‘09 that is…)

Thursday, Jul. 1st 2010

Figeac_1996Back in April, I enjoyed a very good tasting of Bordeaux 2009. Very good indeed in fact. So good I was worried about the prices. Well, here cometh the day and the prices and I’m still taking copious doses of oxygen. How can this be sustainable?

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Posted by Paul | in New Wines and Products, Uncategorized, Wine Comment, Wine News | Comments Off

Wine for the heart and wine for the mind

Wednesday, Jun. 23rd 2010
Strawberries and Moscato

Strawberries and Moscato

While in conversation with a wine supplier, it  struck me that maybe we (I?) think too much about wine and probably don’t enjoy it quite enough. Is wine a drink for the heart or for the mind? Or both?

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Posted by Paul | in Wine Comment, Wine Knowledge | Comments Off

New Website Software

Sunday, May. 30th 2010

We’ve updated the software that powers the website.

It’s brought a whole new set of features like:

  • Real-Time stock updates so you can see how many bottles are immediately available
  • Recently viewed products on the detailed information pages, so you can go back to other items of interest quickly
  • A simpler and quicker check out
  • Post code look up for both the Invoice and Delivery Addresses

It’s also got some very funky back room things that are going to make my life quite a lot easier too!

Why not go and have a look at the West Mount Wine website….

Posted by Paul | in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Ridge Vineyards New Releases – Tasting 21 April 2010

Thursday, Apr. 29th 2010

Ridge_Monte_BelloI had the pleasure of attending the pre-release tasting of the new vintages of Ridge Vineyards. Ridge certainly make some of my favourite wines, from the “modest” Zinfandel blends through to the truly world class Monte Bello.

Read on for more detail and tasting notes for each of the wines

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EU Health Commissioner confirms proposals are being developed to ban wine

Thursday, Apr. 1st 2010

In an interview today with France’s Le Figaro, Airf Lloop, the Dutch EU health Commissioner has confirmed that he is developing proposals to outlaw wine production, sale and consumption in the EU.

The surprise confirmation comes as a number of EU Governments are placing greater and greater restrictions on the sale and purchase of alcohol. The UK for example has seen a recent punitive increase in duty on wine and France has banned its first TV channel dedicated to wine. This is in addition to the vine removal programme already being pursued by the EU.

Lloop justified the move in the interview by saying that the estimated alcohol related healthcare spend across the EU amounted to €35bn whereas estimated tax revenues on alcohol sales was estimated at €27.3bn. “Economically it just doesn’t make sense. As a community, we’re spending much more on sorting out the problems caused by wine than we’re receiving in taxation. Given the current economic climate, something has to change”.

“We need to learn lessons from the successful prohibition period in the US, where alcohol consumption plummeted. Sure, there were some resulting crime issues, but these can be overcome”, Lloop continued.

When asked about the fate of the millions of grape growers across the EU, he said EU officials had been working with the main global commodity exchanges, such as Liffe and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on developing markets in Rectified Concentrated Grape Must (RCGM).  This would allow grape growers to sell their grape juice on the open market and gain great prices for RCGM, in some instances better than the returns on a bottle of wine. “I see RCGM being traded as successfully as Pork Bellies or Coffee. The exchanges are very excited about this.” said Lloop.

In outline, Lloop’s proposals amount to:

  • The production of wine to become illegal from 1st April 2012
  • All wine imports from outside the EU to be stopped on the same date
  • The sale and consumption of wine to become illegal from 1st April 2014
  • The development of a global RCGM market from 1st April 2011
  • EU transitional relief for grape growers and wine makers will continue until 1st April 2015

Lloop also confirmed that no decision has yet been made on the fate of other alcoholic drinks, but he expected similar proposals to be developed for these too. “Transitional markets are more difficult to develop for other raw materials, but we’re actively working on options” he confirmed.

So far, major wine producers have declined to comment and are awaiting further details from the Commissioner.

Lloop is expected to make a further announcement about this at 12:00 BST today.

Read the full Le Figaro interview with Arif Lloop.

Posted by Paul | in Alcohol & Society, Wine Comment, Wine News | Comments Off

I’ve been underblogging since Christmas

Sunday, Feb. 21st 2010

You’ll have noticed that things have been a little quiet on here since Christmas. Just been snowed under with all sorts of stuff. Still, you can follow what we’re doing by following us on West Mount Wine Twitter or by looking us up on Facebook.

It also makes a lot of sense to check our On-line Wine Merchant pages for great offers and fantastic wines for every occasion.

Or alternatively why not book a Wine Tasting Event where you can enjoy learning about wine in a fun and relaxed environment.

I promise we’ll be back blogging soon.

Posted by Paul | in Uncategorized | Comments Off

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