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Hard To Find Wines

  • New Arrivals from Franschhoek!

    Our latest shipment of South African wines has arrived!

    We are excited to announce that, for the first time, outstanding quality wines from Stony Brook, Le Lude and Infinity Wines are available through Hard To Find Wines.

    We are also delighted to have received some gems from GlenWood including final stock of the Chardonnay Vigneron's Selection 2015. It's the last chance to buy this vintage so don't delay!

    STONY BROOK VINEYARDS

    An old world winemaking philosophy paired with an exploratory planting and assemblage strategy have allowed Stony Brook's winemaker, Craig McNaught to beautifully express the true terroir of their unique position in Franschhoek. Here are four of the wide range of small volume wines we have available from Stony Brook. For the full selection, click here.

    Ghost Gum Red 2014
    £30.00

    A bottle of Ghost Gum Red 2014

    The flagship Cabernet Sauvignon has a classic, lead pencil, cigar-box aroma immediately evident on the nose, followed by ripe, dark cherry and blackberry fruit. A rich oak component on the palate, with a lovely balance between acidity and firm tannins. The finish is long, clean and savoury. Great potential to be cellared and should impress well beyond 2030.

    Ghost Gum White 2016
    £15.99

    A bottle of Ghost Gum White 2016

    A Chardonnay/Semillon blend, pale gold in colour with glints of vibrant green. The Chardonnay offers fresh citrus and butterscotch on the nose, while the Semillon gives richness and a suggestion of honeycomb on the palate. The brightness and oak contact will allow this wine to age and change gracefully for up to 8 years from harvest. The Semillon will come to the fore as the wine matures.

    The Max 2014
    £16.99

    A bottle of The Max

    The nose offers dark fruit, wonderful cigar-box and caramelised blackberry aromas with a little red pepper, showcasing new-world fruit paired with old-world winemaking techniques. There is sweet, concentrated ripe red fruit on the palate, matched with big, well-integrated tannins and a bright, elegant finish.

    Ovidius Tempranillo 2014
    £30.00

    A bottle of Ovidius Tempranillo

    Only the second vintage of Tempranillo, showing wonderful complexity and aging potential. Ripe black cherries, with hints of cigar-box on the nose are followed by concentrated, rich dark fruit on the palate. There are multiple layers of complexity, with round, intense tannins balancing the natural acidity of the Tempranillo grape.

    LE LUDE

    Building on the dream of owners Nic and Ferda Barrow to produce the finest Cap Classique, Le Lude's winemaker Paul Gerber crafts naturally bottle-fermented Cap Classique that are becoming internationally renowned for finesse, elegance and refinement. For more information, click here.

    MCC Brut NV
    £29.99

    A bottle of Le Lude Brut

    The Brut 2012 is a classic blend of 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir. The wine is matured for a minimum of 36 months before being matured on the final cork for 6 months before release.

    MCC Rose NV
    £29.99

    A bottle of Le Lude Rose

    The Rosé 2012 is a classic blend of 35% Chardonnay and 65% Pinot Noir. The wine is also matured for a minimum of 36 months before being matured on the final cork for 6 months before release.

    INFINITY FIRST XI WINES

    What happens when four friends follow a vision to make a wine exemplified by non-negotiable standards of quality and craftsmanship that involves cricket legends Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Mike Hussey and Stephen Fleming? The answer is The First XI range of wines. Learn more of the story by clicking here.

    The Belter 2015
    £14.99

    A bottle of Infinity First XI Wine The Belter 2015

    An intriguing blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Grenache and Tannat. Silky soft on the palate with succulent tannins and notes of white pepper, red fruit, chocolate and cherry tobacco on the nose. This wine was matured in small French oak barrels for 15 months and all grapes used were handpicked.

    The Partnership 2015
    £19.99

    A bottle of Infinity First XI The Partnership 2015

    This Bordeaux style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz shows great concentration and length with pureness and focus on the palate. Red fruit driven with silky but present tannins shape. This multi-dimensional wine intrigues with every sip.

    The Centurion 2015
    £35.00

    A bottle of Infinity First XI Wines The Centurion 2015

    Aromas of cherry, red berry, white pepper and some spicy notes on the nose. Savoury-, spice- and fruit flavours complimented by freshness and subtle oaking on the palate. An irresistible, well-balanced red wine with bright, ruby-red hues.

    GLENWOOD

    A favourite amongst Hard To Find Wines' customers, GlenWood is a hidden gem of the Franschhoek valley. Creating award-winning wines that are carefully and passionately crafted, winemaker DP Burger seeks perfection in each wine. For more information on GlenWood, click here.

    Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016
    £10.99

    A bottle of GlenWood Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2015
    A typical Bordeaux white, richly textured, well balanced and refreshing. The Sauvignon Blanc delivers elegant passion fruit freshness which is laced together by the richness and weight of the Semillon grape.

    Vigneron's Selection Shiraz 2015
    ***BACK IN STOCK***
    £12.99

    A bottle of Glenwood Vigneron's Selection Shiraz 2015
    An opulent, full-bodied wine with supple, vibrant fruit and tannins. Spicy, white pepper, smoky aromas pervade a ripe, fruit-driven profile. Drink now or within the next 8 years.

    Vigneron's Selection Chardonnay 2015
    ***LAST CHANCE - FINAL STOCK***
    £17.99

    A bottle of GlenWood Vigneron's Selection Chardonnay 2015
    Barrel fermented with wild yeast, 12 months in new French oak barrels. Gentle oaked nose leading to a creamy buttery palate. Almonds and vanilla with a smoky peach and citrus finish.

  • Iconic South African wines, a Christmas selection

    For lovers of South African wine, here are those iconic South African wines that should be on your Christmas list! Make sure to order by midday on Thursday, 21 December 2017 for delivery before Christmas day (for UK mainland deliveries excluding the north of Scotland).

    HAUTE CABRIERE
    Pierre Jourdan Brut NV
    Franschhoek

    A bottle of Pierre Jourdan Brut by Haute Cabriere

    This 40/60 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blnd shows apple and lime crispness from the Chardonnay and depth with a hint of berry from Pinot Noir. The wine is produced using the traditional double fermentation method as utilised in Champagne to create wonderfully fine bubbles and mousse.

    We also stock Magnums which are ideal for Christmas celebrations.

    £10.99 - for a limited time only

    VERGENOEGD
    Runner Duck Red 2014

    Stellenbosch

    A bottle of Vergenoegd Runner Duck Red

    Dark plum red with a lively edge and a nose of dark fruits, plum and currants with some spice, complimented by a hint of pencil shavings. Smooth and balanced with blackberries, cherries and a hint of Christmas pudding on the palate. Some violet tones with soft tannins and balanced acids.

    Now £8.50 - was £9.99

    VERGENOEGD
    Runner Duck White 2017

    Stellenbosch

    A bottle of Vergenoegd Runner Duck White 2017

    100% Sauvignon Blanc, pale straw in colour with a greenish tint. Fresh grassy green apple on the nose with hints of pineapple and guava, followed by a soft citrus undertone. Smooth and mellow acid with green apple, lemon and pineapple finished by a lingering aftertaste.

    Now £8.50 - was £9.99

    VERGENOEGD
    Runner Duck Rose 2016

    Stellenbosch

    A bottle of Vergenoegd Runner Duck Rose 2016

    Brilliant pink with a slight orange tinge. Reminiscent of strawberries and ice cream, candy-floss and toffee apple. Complex fruit on the palate of strawberries, melon, banana and plum with a lingering aftertaste. Definitely a food wine.

    Now £8.50 - was £9.99

    RUPERT & ROTHSCHILD
    Baroness Nadine 2016
    Simondium

    A bottle of Rupert and Rothschild Baroness Nadine 2015

    100% Chardonnay aged for 11 months in new French oak barrels. Crisp lemon notes with subtle grapefruit tones, smooth and creamy flavours, followed by lingering macadamia nut undertones.

    £22.50

    KLEIN CONSTANTIA
    Sauvignon Blanc Metis 2014
    Constantia

    A bottle of Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc Metis 2014

    A highly regarded French Pouilly Fume style Sauvignon Blanc from one of Constantia's premium vineyards. An expressive, rich and energetic palate with unique savoury and mineral flavours. It finishes off with a burst of fresh acidity that it long and full.

    £19.99

    EAGLE'S NEST
    Merlot 2011
    Constantia

    A bottle of Eagles Nest Merlot 2011

    Gorgeous ripe berry fruit, complemented by nuanced baking spice and crushed pepper. The fruit is vibrant, complex and pleasantly focused by bright acidity. On the palate the delicious dark berry fruit of the nose is carried through to the taste buds.

    £16.99

    MEERLUST
    Rubicon 2014
    Stellenbosch

    A bottle of Meerlust Rubicon 2014

    With a deep intense purple colouration has a classic nose of violets, ripe plum and cedarwood. The wine currently shows a youthful intensity which will benefit from further ageing of up to 20 years. The palate is ripe with fresh dark fruits and a rounded full body.

    £21.49

    BUITENVERWACHTING
    Christine 2012
    Constantia

    buit_christine_web

    A Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Layers of deep fruit accompanied by tobacco and dark chocolate notes. Intense and full.

    £18.99

    DE KRANS
    Cape Tawny NV
    Calitzdorp

    A bottle of De Trans Tawny

    A copper-gold colour with flavours of coffee, toffee, hazelnut, cinnamon spice and hints of raisins. A good, long finish. Although averaging 8 years, a small amount of young wine is added to the final blend, which gives this a fresher taste and colour than most Tawnies of this age.

    £13.99

    Visit our website to view other iconic South African wines along with these, that you can enjoy this Christmas. Don't forget the cut off date for delivery before Christmas day is midday on Thursday, 21 December 2017.

    FB Last Orders cover

  • Christmas is Coming

    Are you wondering which wines you should serve with your Christmas meal? Hard To Find Wines is here to help you with a wide selection of wines perfect for Christmas celebrations. 

    Mark Davies has specifically picked the wines listed below as the perfect Christmas selection. The list includes sparkling wine, red wines, white wines and fortified wine.

    Sparkling Wine for Christmas

    Langlois Chateau Cremant de Loire Brut NV
    Loire, France - £14.49

    A bottle of Langlois Chateau Cremant de Loire Brut NV

    A light lemon colour with delicate bubbles. Quince and peaches on the nose with grapefruit and peach on the palate. Just a hint of honey. A blend of 60% Chenin Blanc, 20% Chardonnay and 20% Cabernet Franc.

    White Wines for Christmas

    Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2016
    Franschhoek, South Africa - from £9.99

    A bottle of Haute Cabriere's Chardonnay Pinot Noir

    Pioneer of this genre with it's 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir blend. Just a hint of a sweetish impression thanks to ripe fruit and smooth richness from extended lees-ageing. Still soft and supple and incredibly easy drinking.

    Bladen Little Angel Sauvignon Blanc 2016
    Marlborough, New Zealand - £12.99

    littleang-sb16-web2

    Zingy tropical fruit flavours with a long finish. Fresh scented gooseberry nose with hints of lemon zest. Medium bodied and not overpowering, lively acidity and fresh fruit flavours.

    Red Wines for Christmas

    GlenWood Chardonnay Vigneron's Selection 2015
    Franschhoek, South Africa - £18.99

    glen_vs_ch_web

    Barrel fermented with wild yeast, 12 months in new French oak barrels. Gentle oaked nose leading to a creamy buttery palate. Almonds and vanilla with a smoky peach and citrus finish.

    Vinedos Real Rubio Rioja Crianza 2014
    Rioja, Spain - £12.99

    A bottle of Real Rubio Rioja

    Classic Rioja Crianza from the boutique bodega of Real Rubio. Aged in oak barrels for 18 months, this wine is leagues above supermarket Riojas. Brambly dark red fruits are coupled with subtle oak flavours of cigar box. Drinking now but will still improve in the bottle for the next few years.

    Te Hera Kiritea Pinot Noir 2012
    Martinborough, New Zealand - £12.99

    A bottle of Te Hera Kiritea Pinot Noir 2012

    Only a very limited quantity of this premium handcrafted Pinot Noir are produced. With redcurrant and a hint of ripened strawberries and eucalyptus on the nose and vibrant fruit on the palate, this Pinot Noir is followed by layers of dark cherry and tobacco. Fine, elegant and with just enough acidity and tannins to balance against the berry flavours.

    Chateau Musar Hochar Pere et Fils 2013
    Bekaa Valley, Lebanon - £13.99

    A bottle of Chauteau Musar Hochar Pere et Fils

    Rich red berry flavours and dark fruits, layered with an austere vegetal quality synonymous with Musar. Very much old world in style, with restrained flavours and a dignified dryness. Not too heavy, perfect as a stand alone wine or with most meat dishes.

    Fortified Wine for Christmas

    De Krans Cape Ruby NV
    Calitzdorp, South Africa - £11.49

    A bottle of De Krans Cape Ruby NV

    This ruby puts many LBVs to shame. This SA port type wine has a proper port taste with rich flavours of cherries, ripe plum fruit and hints of chocolate and spice.

    Of course, there are many other options on the Hard To Find Wines website to delight any wine enthusiast! So why not pop over to our selection of wines right now and make your Christmas wine selection today!

    Please note that last orders for delivery before Christmas need to be placed by midday on Thursday, 21 December 2017.

  • Three must-do Franschhoek wine experiences

    If you are due to visit Cape Town for your holiday, make sure you include a trip to Franschhoek to experience some of the Cape Wineland's best wine estates.

    Franschhoek is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and is situated 46 miles outside of Cape Town, surrounded by mountains and vineyards. The name Franschhoek means French Corner and is the area the French Hugenots settled when they arrived in South Africa in 1688. Still today, the town retains its French heritage and is a wonderfully picturesque place to spend time with plenty of accommodation options available to visitors.

    Here are three wine-related experiences we recommend while you are in Franschhoek this year.

    Haute Cabriere

    Haute Cabriere is a firm favourite with our clients and you cannot spend time in Cape Town without a visit to this wine estate with its striking stone cellar and tasting room.

    Haute Cabriere relaunched its menus for this South African summer season, introducing a tapas style and oyster menu to the tasting room and also extending its opening hours in the restaurant and tasting room. You can read more about these changes in our blog post here.

    A photo of a couple enjoying wine tasting outside at Haute Cabriere in Franschhoek

    Haute Cabriere boasts a wonderful view of the Franschhoek valley and is the ideal spot for summer sundowners on the terrace outside the tasting room that will remain with you once you return to the UK. Guided cellar tours are offered Monday to Saturday and are followed by a sabrage display and wine tasting, so make sure you book before arrival as they tend to get quite busy, particularly on the weekends.

    GlenWood

    A photo showing GlenWood's Tasting Room and vineyards

    GlenWood has relaunched its restaurant concept this season, offering a unique food and wine pairing experience in an intimate setting that seats at most 20 guests. Each guest experiences six of GlenWood's award-winning wines along with a tasting palette of six paired dishes comprised primarily of locally produced products. Guests select their lunch main course and accompanying wine from this tasting palette.

    This wine estate is a hidden gem, located two or three kilometers down a dirt road in the secluded Robertsvlei Valley in Franschhoek. It is well worth the detour to visit GlenWood, as the peace and tranquility, together with the wonderful panorama to be seen from the tasting room and restaurant whilst enjoying the estate's wines, are not to be missed.

    Make sure you book in advance for the restaurant due to the limited seating.

    Le Lude

    Photo showing the cork Agrafe style of a bottle of Le Lude MCC wine

    Le Lude is a new offering through Hard To Find Wines with their Méthode Cap Classique wines arriving imminently in the UK, just in time for Christmas and New Year's celebrations. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts to learn when they will be available on our website. If you would like to pre-order, call our sales line on 01746 389 749.

    Specialising in Cap Classique sparkling wines, Le Lude is a newcomer to the Franschhoek wine scene with its first harvest having taken place in 2012 and producing only the traditional Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes for its sparkling wines.

    Le Lude is the first South African winery to produce Agrafe bottle-fermented sparkling wine. The Agrafe method ferments wine under cork instead of crown cap.

    Not only does Le Lude produce exceptional MCC wines, it also boasts a great restaurant that we highly recommend you visit: the Orangerie. Under the direction of chef Nicolene Barrow, the Orangerie offers a tasting menu, an a la carte menu and a high tea menu.

    Don't forget...

    Once you have experienced these excellent wines during your visit to Franschhoek, place your order either through the vineyard for delivery by Hard To Find Wines in the UK, or visit our website to place your order.

  • Thanksgiving Wines

    Harvest celebrations are held the world over, in both religious and secular circles. Probably the most well-known harvest celebrations in Western countries include Thanksgiving Day in Canada and the USA and Harvest Festivals in the UK.

    Thanksgiving in the USA

    Thanksgiving takes place in the USA on the fourth Thursday of November. The festivities that led to modern celebrations in the USA can be traced back to a 1621 harvest celebration at Plymouth in today's Massachusetts and were introduced as a federal holiday by President Roosevelt in 1942.

    Traditional activities include family dinners, parades (such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, held annually since 1924), charitable endeavours, religious thanksgiving services, big sporting events (for example, American football and basketball) and the unique event of Turkey Pardoning. Each year, the President of the United States is presented with two live turkeys. At least one of the turkeys, sometimes both, are pardoned from becoming Thanksgiving dinner and taken to a farm to live out the rest of their life.

    The usual foods enjoyed during Thanksgiving include roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, corn, autumn vegetables such as pumpkin, and pumpkin pie.

    Thanksgiving in Canada

    Thanksgiving in Canada takes place on the second Monday in October. While no firm evidence exists to confirm the details of the first Canadian Thanksgiving celebration, many believe that is occurred in 1578. The origins can be traced to harvest celebrations of French settlers in the 17th century. Today's celebrations are strongly influenced by elements of US Thanksgiving and by immigrants in the 1700s from Ireland, Scotland and Germany.

    The same foods as those enjoyed in the USA, such as turkey, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, are served. Other foods, such as baked ham and apple pie are common, as well as salmon and wild game.

    Harvest Festivals in the United Kingdom

    Fruit and vegetables on a table with a cornucopia

    While the traditional Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving had no official date in the United Kingdom, it was traditionally held on the Sunday nearest the harvest moon occurring closest to autumn equinox. Harvest Thanksgiving in Britain has pagan roots but is now often seen as a Christian festival, celebrated by churches and schools in late September or early October.

    The festival is celebrated with singing, praying and giving thanks for the harvest. Collections of food take place which are then donated to charities to help those in need.

    Wine pairings with Thanksgiving meals

    Whilst Harvest Festivals do not traditionally involve meals like their cousins across the pond, more and more people are celebrating Thanksgiving in the UK, be they US or Canadian expats or others who enjoy the idea behind Thanksgiving.

    So, we've had a look at which wines you should consider serving at any upcoming Thanksgiving festivities you may have planned. While traditionally, Zinfandel and Beaujolais Nouveau have been wines served with US Thanksgiving meals, here are a few alternatives to consider:

    Aperitif - Rosé or Blanc de Noirs Champagne

    Perfect as a pre-Thanksgiving aperitif, Rosé or Blanc de Noirs Sparkling wines are bold enough to pair with a main course as well.

    Our recommendation: Lanzerac MCC Blanc de Blancs NV - £19.99

    Turkey - Pinot Noir

    Pinot Noir works well with white and dark turkey meat, cranberry sauce and creamy dishes such as mashed potatoes.

    Our recommendation: Porters Pinot Noir 2006 - £39.99

    Ham - Amarone della Valpolicella

    If ham is featuring as your main dish this year, Amarone's rich cherry and chocolately flavours will complement the sweetness of the ham. A moderate acidity acts to cleanse the palate which is ideal when serving rich meats and gravy.

    Our recommendation: Zenato Amarone Classico Della Valpolicella Doc 2011 - £48.00

    Venison - Shiraz

    Shiraz pairs well with venison due to it's spicy, gamier flavours, particularly if the venison is served in a casserole. Another good choice would be a Pinot Noir.

    Our recommendation: Kilikanoon Killerman's Run Shiraz 2014 - £13.99

    Tofu - Sauvignon Blanc

    Tofu has no significant flavour of its own, so pairing will mainly be down to how the tofu is served, prepared or its accompaniments. One tofu dish often served as a vegetarian option to replace turkey is tofurky. It is often very salty, so a Sauvignon Blanc with a crisp acidity will do well. Otherwise, if uncertain, another good option would be a Pinot Noir or a Sparkling wine.

    Our recommendation: Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - £12.79

    In short

    If you want to select only one or two wines for your Thanksgiving celebration, we recommend a Pinot Noir and a Sparkling wine. Overall, Pinot Noir pairs well with most light and dark meats and a variety of dishes. And of course, who can enjoy a celebratory meal without Sparkling wine!

    A caution for vegans

    Not all wines are vegan. Whilst at first it may seem that being made from grapes and yeast, wines should be vegan, there is a winemaking process involved that introduces non-vegan elements. The process is called fining and is used to clarify wine. When selecting wines, choose those that are unfined and unfiltered. That way you can be sure that no animal products were used in the production of the wine.

  • Autumn Wines for Autumn Times

    The weather in the UK is turning chilly, nights are getting longer and with the first light fall of snow hitting Scotland just this past weekend, we are most definitely in the midst of autumn. While the harvest festivals and bonfire night let us know that we are nearly in winter, we are not quite there yet. So sometimes when it comes to wine, we can feel a bit uncertain as to which wines are the best options for these cooler, but not yet deep-of-winter, evenings and the various autumn celebrations.

    While you could drink any wine you personally prefer at any time of the year, if you want to pair your wines with seasonal produce and seasonally inspired dishes, then picking wines that suit the season would be a good idea.

    Naturally, in spring and summer, we tend to drink more rosés and whites, particularly the lighter, aromatic and crisp wines that compliment the warmer weather. But which wines are autumn wines?

    Red wines

    Red wine choices for autumn include light- and medium-bodied reds such as Merlot, Rioja and Pinot Noir, which pair very well with slightly heavier food that we tend to prefer in Autumn. Pair a Merlot or Rioja with a beef stew, shepherds pie or a lasagne. Pinot Noir is a versatile wine, pairing well with most meats, mushroom risotto and beef wellington.

    Hard To Find Wines has a wide selection of light- and medium-bodied reds to choose from for your autumn wines. Here are a few you might want to consider.

    Muratie Merlot 2006

    muratie_merlot

    Deep intense ruby red to inky black. A combination of plums and chocolate come to the fore followed by blackcurrants and dark chocolate on the palate. The full intense assortment of flavours provides a feast for the palate. The wine has lots of body, yet subtle with well integrated oak giving it a lasting finish.

    Vinedos Real Rubio Rioja Crianza 2011

    A bottle of Vinedos Real Rubio Rioja Crianza 2011

    The graciano grape combined with the classic tempranillo produces a wine with lively colours and solid acidity. On the nose, the French cask mingles with the red berries and vanilla. Potent in the mouth, long on the palate with pleasant, ripe tannin which completes the harmony of the wine.

    Te Hera Kiritea Pinot Noir 2012

    A bottle of Te Hera Kiritea Pinot Noir 2012

    A handcrafted Pinot Noir from Te Hera located in the Martinborough region of New Zealand. Only a very limited quantity of this premium Pinot Noir are produced. With redcurrant and a hint of ripened strawberries and eucalyptus on the nose and vibrant fruit on the palate, this Pinot Noir is followed by layers of dark cherry and tobacco. Fine, elegant and with just enough acidity and tannins to balance against the berry flavours.

    Other good autumnal reds include softer red blends and cabernet franc.

    White wines

    Oaked Chardonnay is an excellent white wine choice for autumn and it pairs really well with butternut ravioli, roast chicken and dishes with rich, creamy sauces. Another great white autumn wine is Viognier. Viognier may be full-bodied like Chardonnay but it has distinctly different aromas and tastes and it pairs with Moroccan food, root vegetables and pork with a fruity sauce.

    Hard To Find Wines' selection of autumnal whites include the following:

    GlenWood Chardonnay Vigneron's Selection 2015

    A bottle of GlenWood Vigneron's Selection Chardonnay 2015

    Produced from top quality 26-year-old vines and expertly barrel oaked to obtain a winderfully rich and creamy wooded wine, this GlenWood Chardonnay is barrel fermented with wild yeast for 12 months in new French oak barrels. A gentle oaked nose leading to a creamy, buttery palate and almonds and vanilla with a smoky peach and citrus finish.

    Mellasat Viognier 2014

    A bottle of Mellasat Viognier 2014

    Made using 100% Viognier, the grapes for this wine were picked at optimal ripeness, with the resulting juice barrel fermented and matured for 8 months. The nose undoubtedly shows beautiful floral and orange blossom aromas, with peach and apricot flavours on the palate.

    The four seasons option

    And if you really can't decide between all these options, you can always opt for the most versatile wine that fits all seasons equally well: Champagne and other sparkling wines such as South Africa's Method Cap Classique.

    Here are a couple to tempt you:

    Pierre Jourdan Brut NV

    A bottle of Pierre Jourdan Brut by Haute Cabriere

    This 40/60 Pinot Noir/Chardonnay blend shows apple and lime crispness from the Chardonnay and depth with a hint of berry from Pinot Noir. The wine is produced using the traditional double fermentation method as utilised in Champagne to create wonderfully fine bubbles and mousse.

    Gaston Chiquet Selection Cuvee Champagne NV

    A bottle of Gaston Chiquet Cuvee Champagne NV

    With aromas of fresh apricots and plums on the nose, and fruit, minerality and floral top notes on the palate, this excellent Champagne from vineyards around Dizy is blended 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir.

    Of course, there are many other options on the Hard To Find Wines website to delight any wine enthusiast! So why not pop over to our selection of wines right now and make your autumn wines selection today!

  • A History of Lebanese Wines

    Lebanese wines have been produced in the Bekaa Valley for 6,000 years and Lebanon has evolved into a significant wine-making region in modern days! Despite ongoing conflicts in the region, Lebanon produces of about 600,000 cases of wine annually.

    Wines of ancient and modern times

    Evidence from Rome shows that 2,000 years before Alexander the Great, the Phoenicians, the ancestors of the Lebanese, cultivated and domesticated the vine and produced wine. Wines from Lebanon were exported to Egypt around 2,500 BC and also introduced to Greece and Italy.

    From intact cargoes of wine discovered on sunken Phoenician ships, the wines appears to have been protected from oxidation by a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin.Wine played an important part in many of the religions of the day, including the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian religions.

    The Christian Bible makes mention of wines from the region, and Cana, where Christ attended a wedding and turned water into wine, is near the southern Lebanese port of Tyre. Baalbek was originally devoted to the Phoenician fertility god Baal but is also home to the remains of a temple dedicated to the Roman god of wine, Bacchus.

    A photo of the Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek in Lebanon

    Lebanese wine production declined in modern times after Lebanon became part of the Caliphate, however due to community laws it was allowed among Christians for religious reasons. The Christians also developed an aniseed flavoured spirit reminiscent of Ouzo, called Arack.

    Continue Reading

  • Haute Cabriere Launches New Summer Menus

    Haute Cabriere, an iconic Franschhoek wine farm and a favourite stop on many of our clients' visits to South Africa, has released their 2017 summer menus. To complement the new menus and the beautiful setting of their location, Haute Cabriere will be extending their Tasting Room and Restaurant opening hours from 1 November.

    “With summer approaching it only makes sense to make this beautiful setting available for longer, and extend our food and wine offering,” comments Marketing Manager Lientjie McLachlan.

    New tasting room tapas and oyster menu for summer

    The Tasting Room will extend its hours 1 November 2017, and will be open from Mondays to Saturdays and Public Holidays from 10am to 6pm and Sundays from 11am to 4pm.

    A tapas-style, small plates menu has been introduced at the Tasting Room as a perfect accompaniment to the range of Haute Cabriere wines and Méthode Cap Classiques. 

    Various plates of tapas style food from Haute Cabriere's Tasting Room summer menus with Haute Cabriere's Pierre Jourdan Brut and other wines

    The small plates menu will be served on the terrace from 11am to 6pm Monday to Saturday during the South African summer season to allow guests to linger a little longer while taking in views of the valley.

    Restaurant dining now open seven days a week

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  • Chateau Musar: Wines with History Part 2

    Our post last week focussed on Chateau Musar's signature wines, Chateau Musar Red, White and Rosé. This week, we will learn more about their other ranges: Hochar Père et Fils Red and Musar Jeune Red, White and Rosé.

    Hochar Père et Fils Red

    Hochar Père et Fils Red is made over four years from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Grenache harvested from a single vineyard. Like Chateau Musar Red, the blend reflects the character of the specific vintage. With rich red berry flavours and dark fruits, Hochar Père et Fils Red is very much an old world style wine with restrained flavours and a dignified dryness.

    Hochar Père et Fils Reds are not fined or filtered. The wines are suitable for vegans as they have not come into contact with any animal proteins, often used in the fining process. Their rich texture means they are likely to produce deposits in bottle which requires that the wine be decanted, at least one hour before drinking.

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  • Chateau Musar: Wines with History Part 1

    In a previous post, we followed Chateau Musar's history and took a look at their vineyards and winery. In this post, we take a look at the range of wines created originally in 1930, the Chateau Musar Red, White and Rosé.

    Chateau Musar - the top of the range

    Chateau Musar Red

    Chateau Musar Red 2009

    Released seven years after harvest, Chateau Musar Reds are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. They are always aromatic with persistent fruit flavours, presenting plums, damsons, cranberries, cherries, figs and dates. Each vintage will differ depending on the qualities of the dominant varietal, but will remain unmistakably Chateau Musar.

    As the wines age over decades, they acquire tawny hues and mellow notes. The cellars still hold bottles from the 1950s.

    Chateau Musar Reds are neither fined nor filtered and are richly-textured. In vintages over a decade old, they are likely to ‘throw a crust’, or develop sediment and will require careful decanting.

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