Our New House Wine
We have enjoyed working with the Vintner since September 2010, which coincidently is when they started trading. Owner Tom Gilbey, who is kept in check by his brilliant team based in Chelsea, focuses on sourcing great wines from all over the world. Supplying Quod, Gee’s and the Old Parsonage, we are confident that when he recommends a wine you will like it. As you can imagine we, or rather you, get through a lot of wine. In light of this, Tom very kindly invited us, along with the top brass at Sophie’s steakhouse to visit the Foncailleau winery in Southern France where our house wine is produced. The plan was to blend our own house wine.
Arriving in sunny Toulouse we proceeded towards the Foncailleau winery about twenty minutes outside the imposing fort city of Carcassonne. After a brief tour of the impressive winery, it was time for lunch; a proper French lunch with meats, cheeses and wine. Imagining that this might be as much work as would be required was misguided.
Ushered into a small tasting room full of barrel samples, pipettes and test tubes our brief was to make a house wine that had great fruit, showed character and would marry itself seamlessly with food, but most importantly needed to be delicious all by itself. With access to many different grape varieties, 7 red, 7 white and 5 rose, the possible combinations were daunting, even for seasoned drinkers. So, as past great employees of Foncailleau watched from photographs on the wall and under the steady gaze of the cellar master we tasted and discarded 5 grapes varieties rather unceremoniously and in record time.
And then the alchemy started, our on-hand expert Delphine patiently pulled out pipettes and measuring jugs, and we started blending grape varieties together. Beginning to feel that we had all missed our calling and that Chateau Latour may have missed out on some fine employees, we were all agreed that we were getting the best results from just two grape varieties together for all of our 3 lines…
The finalists in the whites were Grenache Blanc & Ugni Blanc, in the rosé – Grenache Rosé and Cinsault, and Syrah & Grenache for the red, so clearly we all were liking the Grenache! 80% of this 20% of that, 65% of this 35% of that, well, you get the picture…
We spent about 4 hours, and tasted probably 150 different blends before we were all agreed on the right juice.
Le Chene Blanc 2011 – 85% Grenache Blanc, 15% Ugni Blanc
Ripe & round with some lovely peach character, light acidity and refreshing citrus notes
Le Chene Rosé 2011 – 90% Cinsault, 10% Grenache Rosé
Beautiful pink colour – charming structure raspberries & strawberries from the Cinsault.
Le Chene Rouge 2011 – 70% Syrah, 30% Grenache
Elegance, spice and dark berries from the Syrah, warmth & red fruit from the Grenache
I am sure you will appreciate all of the effort that was put in on your behalf and that you enjoy these wines as much as we do. Thank you to the Vintner www.thevintner.com