Leave the Chardonnay and the Cab Sav on the shelves this Christmas and try a few grape varieties drank by those in the know.
One of the most versatile grape varieties in the world, grown from Germany to New Zealand. Riesling can be bone dry or sticky sweet and anything in-between, full of citrus fruit flavours and a touch of spice, it’s great with food. If you like it, try Rieslings from the Claire Valley or Eden Valley in South Australia; for something with a touch more sweetness try a German Riesling, the Zeppelin Riesling on our list is a perfect example of this or for a dryer style, try the Pewsey Vale.
Another versatile grape grown all over the world but particularly prominent in South Africa and one of the white varieties grown in the Loire Valley. Expect green apples and fresh herb flavours. Vouvray has a luxurious quality and a Demi sec such as the ’La forcine’ from our list is a fantastic choice if you are in the mood for something not too dry.
Originating in Central Italy Sangiovese has now spread as far as the New World wine producers of Australia’s Victoria. This food-friendly variety produces medium bodied wines with earthy tones and slight dark cherry flavours. It’s one of the grapes used in the Chianti blend but stands up tremendously on its own.
Traditionally used in Bordeaux to blend with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot it’s so much more than just a blending grape. The subtle flavours in this grape make it such a pleasure to drink. It is also widely grown in the Loire Valley and produces a light fruit driven wine much softer than its big brother Cabernet Sauvignon.
'Wurzig', meaning “spicy” in German, sums up this grape perfectly. For the best example look for wines from Alsace on the French and German border. These wines have an incredible amount of fruit and spice flavour which sets them apart from any other variety. Perfect with Asian food and desserts.
Blog by James Thewlis.
2013 a wine review - From our Christmas Gift Guide
Dear friends and wine lovers,
In these times price is such an important factor in what we do that it is easy to forget about hand crafted wines that are made with history, understanding and passion. At Frazier’s we have excellent storage and financial capacity that enables us to buy wines that we will not sell today for consumption tonight, but wines that will sell in future for consumption at that special event that means as much to you as it did to the wine maker when he made them. Whether it is that Friday night, dinner with long lost friends, or just the two of you, or the family at Christmas, we at Frazier’s have the right wines for you.
The world of wine has so much to offer and we bring it to you. Many of our wines are hand selected from our preferred suppliers who have been in the wine business for generations. It is often said that a good producer (who has wine in his soul) will produce a better wine in a bad year than a also-rans will produce in a good year. I feel that we are like that and so we offer a no quibble guarantee to the quality of our wines. If you are not happy you will get a full refund.
Be it a fresh zingy Riesling from Germany, low in alcohol and perfect alfresco, a Chardonnay from Burgundy which attract high prices, but the right wines can, as I am freshly reminded, be so exquisite, with the buttery vanilla and intense finish that roll on and on, that match those creamy dishes so well.
Sauvignons with some oak ageing particularly from Bordeaux are on form in recent years and will bring pleasure to any table and there are good value light ones (unoaked) from the southern hemisphere to the cracking Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs (MSB) from New Zealand that bring a freshness and intensity of aroma that are simply divine, 2013 being a standout vintage for these wines.
Bordeaux reds mainly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have made their greatest (ever?) wines in 2009 and 2010 and anything from a reliable source will be great. But here you really need to look for something with eight to ten years in the bottle and the 2003’s and 2004’s are a real treat and the softer (more Merlot) St. Emilion’s of 2005 and 2006 are coming into their own.
Australia has some fantastic and exciting wines. The Shirazs and Cabernets from Coonawarra are world class and we are just buying more and more particularly the outstanding 2010 vintage. They need time but buy now and put them away and you will be more that justly rewarded. Cool climate areas such as Eden Valley are producing some great Rieslings. And the next big thing is going to be Chardonnay from Tasmania!
Wine making in the last decade has come on so many leaps and bounds, with the flow of techniques around the world and the investment of the last decade, that it has never been a better time to be a wine drinker.
Rates of return
As any financial salesman will tell you the key to the success of an investment is the rate of return.
What they don’t tell you is the damage their annual fees have to that rate of return, so much so the government has moved the financial industry to declare their fees upfront and remove the annual commission that erodes the value of the investment.
Storage Charges have a similar effect on the cost of wine ownership as well.
At Frazier’s we have the lowest storage charges by some margin, this is not down to the latest technology, it is simply by using cellars deep underground that require no heating or cooling to keep your and our wines in the perfect environment. Over the course of the maturation of a Claret (10 – 20 Years) or Port (20 – 50 Years) these cost savings are quite enormous.
Cost of ownership for 10 years of 1 case of wine to drink
Cost of ownership for 20 years of 1 case of wine for investment
As you can see from the table above some of our competitors are charging only few pounds more per annum and yet this can lead to an increase in ownership cost of over 10% for a single case of wine while it matures.
So it is as important if not more in wine ownership and investment to pay as good a rate for your storage as you do initially for your wine.
For further details please do not hesitate to contact the team on 0121 704 3415.
Launch of Dom Perignon 2004 @ the Abbey of Hautvillers.
Just on the train back from a tasting of the Dourthe wines in London.
They had some excellent back vintages on taste Y’Quem ‘96 (simply stunning), Cannon ‘07 (Much better than you would expect and already in its drinking window) and Domaine de Chevalier ‘06 ( A cracking wine but keep it in your cellar).
But I was there for a vertical of Essence de Douerthe, a blend of the best parcels of wine from all their estates in a limited production of some 6000 bottles a year.
The wines were great, each an expression of the vintage as they can select wines from the best plots and blend from the finished wines.
The outstanding wine was by far the 2000 which was singing and drinking brilliantly. The 09 as you would expect is outstanding but needs plenty of time.
No wine was made in ‘07 or ‘11 but they will be making one in ‘12 which tells you as much history of the bordeaux vintages as you need to know for the last 5 vintages!