Find out all the latest from Tanners HQ and what we we're up to in our cellar shops...
Those in the know have, for many years, followed Pol Roger’s Blanc de Blancs vintage champagne, laying down a few bottles now and then (it is only released in ‘great’ years like vintage Port) to create an even more satisfying, complex champagne.
Where others often fail in making interesting 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs champagnes, Pol Roger succeeds well, perhaps because they can source 70% of grapes from their own vineyards in top-rated sites in the villages of the Côte des Blancs. 2002 is a shining example, which showed well at its recent launch at Armourers' Hall in London. Patrice Noyelle, managing director of Pol Roger told me that:
“2002 was one of the very best vintages of the 2000s with a hot summer, some rain at the end of August before a mid-September harvest in perfect conditions. Average alcohols of 10.5% were high for Champagne.”
Speaking endearingly in the past tense, as French often do, he finished:
“Every time I tasted it, I loved it!”
For my part I thought it had lovely sweet fruit with a good lick of acidity, great richness and a mineral, steely grip. Long in the mouth, it is superb.
For comparison we drank the 1998, 1990, 1988, 1996 and 1986 with lunch, the 1996 being my favourite as it still had much of the sweetness of youth, while the older wines were fascinating champagnes to savour rather than drink in quantity. To a wine, however, each proved how wonderfully well these champagnes can age.
Sunday September 9th 2012 is a date that several members of Tanners staff have been dreading (or in a few odd cases - looking forward to) for some time now. A sober(ish) Duncan (from the Trade team) suggested at the 2011 Christmas party that a team of Tanners bods should run the Lake Vyrnwy half marathon and raise money for some local charities whilst we're at it.
Now, just days away, Duncan is beginning to wonder what wine they could celebrate with on safe completion of their thirteen mile run. Here are his suggestions so far...
The South African Stellar Winery produces organic wines, both a red and a white rather aptly named Running Duck (as we'll be running round a lake and may well be waddling by the end of it).
As this is Duncan's first half marathon, it will be his "Maiden Flight"... whose Chilean range includes a silky Pinot Noir, an über-crisp Riesling and a rather delicious Gewürztraminer.
But really there is only one wine that fits the bill & that is "Madiran" or Mad I Ran - a brilliant French wine which ironically enough is an excellent wine match with duck!
Staff from both Head Office at Wyle Cop in Shrewsbury & our branch in Hereford are competing. Both our Shrewsbury & Hereford branches have collection boxes where all donations will be gratefully received and divided between the team's nominated charities.
It’s been a busy twelve months for Tanners with Portugal...
Saint George’s Day (23rd April) is traditionally the day when a Port Vintage is declared, and we were one of the first to taste the superb examples from Taylor Fladgate – Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft all on top form, in fact probably our pick of the 2009 vintage now sadly mostly sold out. We followed up with a Lying Abroad Offer on the wonderful 2009 Douro red wines, which again went extremely well. The good value range from the Symington’s Altano winery and those of the Duorum project were well to the fore, as well as more established wines from Johnny Graham at Churchill Estates, Niepoort’s fabulous Burgundian styles and the ever-popular Quinta Vale D Maria.
In June, looking further south, we launched the Esporão Reservas from David Baverstock, genius winemaker in the Alentejo. David called in to Wyle Cop in the autumn on a visit over here, but the staff needed little extra incentive as they have become firm favourites in a very short space of time. A classy pair, warm and friendly with a lick of oak.
October saw the first ever ‘En Primeur’ Tasting of the Douro wines that we had earlier offered, with all the producers coming over for an extremely successful evening – Cristiano van Zeller (Quinta Vale D Maria) even managing to rope in a couple of local lady shopkeepers who happened to be passing as he arrived! 160 of our customers ‘grilled and swilled’, going away very content with their existing purchases, and adding more on the night.
All this activity was rewarded by an invitation from the Ambassador of Portugal, João de Vallera, to attend the Wines of Portugal Awards Dinner at the end of February. Duly suited and booted, I was delighted to receive on behalf of Tanners the Independent Merchant of 2012, just reward for James Tanner and John Melhuish who have championed them and the rest of the sales and marketing team here who have spread the word. Oz Clarke (Lifetime award), Olly Smith (Journalist of the Year), Jamie Goode, Julia Harding and Sarah Ahmed were among the staunch supporters gathered at the Embassy, as were friends from Waitrose and The Wine Society. It was a terrific evening; Charles Metcalfe got a medal that was almost as big as him, the wines were outstanding and the Ambassador as genial and amusing a host as you could wish to meet.
The icing on the cake for Portuguese wines at Tanners this year is the addition of the Tanners Douro Red to our own label selection. This wine exudes a lovely, juicy, black fruit character with herbs and peppery hints on the palate. Not only does it have plenty of depth but it's also wonderfully rounded and approachable and all for a bargain price of £7.90 a bottle.
A brilliant example of what the Douro can do - now available to buy online here!
This post was posted in Tanners News and was tagged with Alentejo, Altano, Churchill Estates, Croft, Douro, Esporão, Fonseca, Independent Merchant 2012, James Tanner, Jamie Goode, Julia Harding, Niepoort, Olly Smith, Oz Clarke, Portugal, Portuguese wine, Quinta Vale d Maria, Sarah Ahmed, Symington’s, Tanners Douro Red, Tanners Own Label Wines, Tanners Wines, Taylor Fladgate, Taylor's, Wines of Portugal Awards