Cellar Cal Pla
The Rise of Cal Pla
In the southwestern corner of Priorat, Cellar Cal Pla can be found in the village of Porrera. It is the largest village and is considered to be more temperate than other villages in the area, due to its location in the valley, carved out by the Cortiella river and the advantage of having of north-facing vineyards sites.
Cal Pla is owned by Joan Sangenís who is descended from eight generations of local farmers who cultivated various crops in Porrera. His family first started making wine in 1814 and until 1996, they sold their wines in bulk to the residents of the village. In 1988 Joan’s parents, who both still tend to the family’s vines, purchased Mas d’En Compte which gave them scope for expansion. The Mas ( an old farmhouse) came with a ancient, ruined house in the village which they renovated with the intention of estate bottling their wines. Whilst Joan finished his studies in Oenology, his parents undertook the huge task of restoring the vineyards which were in disrepair. They brought the old vines back to life and planted new ones with the aim of establishing Cellar Cal Pla.
The family work with 20 hectares of vines around Porrera, where they vary in age, from 15 to 80 years old. The oldest vines are in the Mas d’En Cacador vineyard which produce Garnacha and Carignan. These vines could be described as the ‘grand cru’ of Porrera. Due to the location of the vineyards (terraces) and a steep incline for some of them, farming is hard work but the the warm, dry climate lends itself to farming organically. Indigenous varieties are mostly grown here, such as Garnacha Blanca, Xarel lo, Picapoll Blanca, Macabeu and Moscatel for the whites as well as Carignan and Garnacha for the reds. The estate also grows Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grapes are harvested by hand. Whites see a short pre-fermentation maceration on the skins before pressing and fermentation is carried out in stainless steel tanks followed by ageing in new French oak barrels. The reds which are also fermented in tank, are macerated for longer, lasting over 30 days. Once the primary fermentation is complete the wines are aged in concrete or French oak barrels and foudres.
We have five wines from Cellar Cal Pla and we urge you to try them. They are very typical of the Priorat region and vary in style. You can find all five wines in our online shop.
It’s a Gin thing…
There is no denying that there is an explosion of Gin on the market. It can sometimes be a bit confusing trying to decide what to buy with such an amazing choice. We don’t often advertise the fact that we stock spirits but we do have some smaller unique producers. We don’t just have any old Gin. They happen to be from small independent batch distillers from three far flung corners of the UK and we have decided to put them on offer.
To find out more, follow the link here.
Last of the Summer Wines
Our Late Summer Offer is out now!
You can view the offer here – Late Summer Offer 2018
An Urban Winery
We are really excited about about our new Cinsault ‘Turbigo’. We were sceptical of course. A winery in the centre of Paris? Grapes that are grown in the Rhone? The unconventional nature of it was what made us curious though and of course, all preconceptions were thrown out of the window upon tasting it.
Jancis Robinson has written a great article about Les Vignerons Parisiens here.
Get in touch with the office – 01875 595 100 or e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org to find out prices.
A B I T O F B A C K G R O U N D
Since 1808, Champagne Henriot, is one of the last independent and family-owned houses in Champagne. For seven generations, the family has always pursued excellence. Grapes are selected from only the very best vineyards, maintained a focus on the purity of Chardonnay and have aged every bottle far longer than the legal minimum in order to ensure each cuvée has an opportunity to evoke its full expression.
The wines have never been better under the watchful eye of cellar master Laurent Fresnet who has won the International Wine Challenge “Sparkling Winemaker of the Year” award for two successive years, in 2015 and again in 2016. Now they have won again- just this week – winning the trophy for most conisistent Champagne over 5 years!
Throughout the year Maison Henriot relies on close and faithful partnerships with grape growers, whilst maintaining involvement in every stage of production. Wines from all vineyards, crus and parcels are separated in order to respect the specific characteristics of the villages and to allow a complete aromatic palette for the assemblage. The musts are then transported to the Henriot cuverie where Chef de Cave Laurent Fresnet attentively monitors each stage of fermentation.
To faithfully reproduce Henriot’s house style every year, the non-vintage Brut may contain up to 50 different crus in a cleverly orchestrated balance with an average of 30% reserve wines.
You can buy Henriot Souverain Brut NV and Henriot Brut Rose NV from our online shop
As always, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at the office, if you wish more info and prices.
E-mail – email@example.com or phone – 01875 595 100
Summer at de Burgh
Summer really is here… We can hardly believe it! We are actually having some consistently good weather. All the more reason to drink some stunning wines. We have handpicked a fantastic small selection but please do not hesitate to get in touch for our full list. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for the Summer Offer
As always, you can buy online or contacting us at the office.
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Chateau Moulin Haut-Laroque
With the imminent arrival of the newest addition to our portfolio, we thought we would put together a little bit more information on Chateau Moulin Haut-Laroque. We are really excited about this fantastic mature Bordeaux from the Fronsac area and believe the 2002 to be an absolute bargain. To pre-order, please contact the office – 01875 595 100 or email – email@example.com. We are shipping this direct from Bordeaux and expect it to be popular, so don’t miss out.
The Chateau has longevity in producing wine. The oldest bottles in the family cellars are from 1890! The Herve family have been in charge of the estate since 1977 and Jean-Noël & Dominique Hervé are the ones who made Ch. Moulin Haut-Laroque famous around the world. Jean-Noël Hervé is even defined as the last samurai into the japanese manga “The drops of God” .
In 2012 Thomas Herve took over the day to day handling of Moulin Haut-Laroque. He is determined to run the Chateau as a dynamic family business and keep things boutique. He is passionate about the wine trade and producing fantastic wines for those who appreciate great Bordeaux.
The vineyards are spread over 16 hectares in Fronsac with 65% Merlot, 20% Cabernet France, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec- which happens to be at least 100 years old! The vines are on average 40 years old which gives real concentration of fruit.
The winery has really benefited from investment to create a modern space for excellent winemaking. Once the grapes are all picked manually, each bunch is removed by a picker and then sent by a carrier to a mobile table for an initial examination so as to keep only the best grapes. Depending on the year, this operation can involve between 25 and 50 people. On reaching the vat-room, the grapes are tipped on to a sorting table for elimination of all those considered to be imperfect. The stems are then removed to leave only the grapes proper which then move down a long, vibrating table where 6 to 8 people continue the sorting to keep only the very best. To avoid damage from pumping into long pipes, the grapes are fed into the vats directly by gravity.
The wine is aged for 15 or 18 months in barrel, with 35% new wood. Limestone soils- which are prevalent on the right bank of the river in Bordeaux, can give an idiosyncratic character to Merlot dominated wines. It gives structure, firm definition and enhances the fruit which is concentrated and expressive.
Earthy, with a hint of sweet spice, this wine is hearty in all the right ways. The tannin is well integrated and the black fruits are still fresh. It would be perfect with a charcuterie board, cheeseboard, stews or a steak….
Moulin Haut Laroque is here!! Due to popular demand, there is now limited stock. If you wish some before it has all gone, please go to our website or e-mail the office.
A Taste of Spring
We have chosen some wines fit for a Spring Taste! – BROWSE OFFER
The team have been busy of late, tasting lots of treats and we are pleased to have have some fantastic new additions to our list for Spring. The most noteworthy being, a new Sancerre by Henry Natter, a juicy Montepulciano d’Abruzzo by Fratelli Barba and a white from Priorat by Cal Pla. We of course, haven’t forgotten about the old favourites too! The Aldonia Rioja Vendimia is a great value Rioja and was written up by revered wine journalist Jancis Robinson who waxed lyrically about all of the Aldonia wines and in particular, the Vendimia.
Our Spring offer is just a mere snapshot of what we have in our portfolio. Please get in touch if you would like a full list.
The wine trade is all about celebrating excellent winemakers but what about strong influential female winemakers? Sybille Kuntz is just that. She is one of the many excellent winemakers/vineyard owners in the world, leading the charge in a predominantly male industry. In Germany however, she is still one of the very few female winemakers in the Mosel. Because of this, Sybille had to stick to her guns and forge her own path when she took over her father’s vineyard in the late 1980s. She had to be bold and more ambitious than all of her competitors. She has always been very much ‘hands on’ and very good vineyard management has been the key to her success. Modern vine training was implemented and canopy management was integral in extracting as much flavour from her grapes.
One of the first things she did was to start producing dry Rieslings, when the market was greedy for sweet wines and in 1990, she started using practising organic viticulture. In 2011, Sybille applied for certification. She then went on to use biodynamic methods (eventually receiving certification in 2016) and continued to make her interpretation of the best dry Mosel wines. Judging by Sybille’s accompishments now, we would say that her wines are not only modern, fresh and clean but we should also acknowledge the simple label designs on the bottles. This was a marked leap away from the stuffy Riesling labels that can quite rightly, sometimes bamboozle buyers, trying to negotiate the German quality control wine classification.
As soon as Sybille’s wine were brought to our attention, we could not get enough of them. It would be fair to say that we had not been as excited about German wines until we tried them. The marketing and quality of the wines are outstanding.
For those who are not familiar with the ‘dry’ levels of Riesling, here is a quick breakdown –
Qualitätswein means a wine of superior quality. Kuntz’s quality wine is a blend of her single vineyard sites in Kues, Kardinalsberg and Weisenstein. This Riesling Qualitätswein is picked at the beginning of harvest and is a fantastic entry level wine. It is crisp, fresh and a great balance of acidity.
Kabinett is mainly from old vines from the steep vineyards in the Paul valley, a side valley formed by the River Mosel some thirty-five thousand years ago. Today it is part of the single vineyard site Lieser Schlossberg. In earlier centuries a ‘Kabinett’ was a very good Riesling stored in a separate ‘cabinet’ of the wine cellar or room. It is basically the German equivalent to a Reserve wine because it is of superior quality.
Spätlese is also vinified dry and, as the German designation indicates, is picked late at harvest. Only the best grapes with the longest ripening period on the vine will be selected for the Spätlese from Niederberg-Helden. Due to a later harvest Spatlese is richer and fuller bodied with a residual sweetness.
For more information/tasting notes/prices on these wines, please contact our office – 01875 595 100 or drop us a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.