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Hard To Find Wines

  • De Krans Award Winning Wines!

    >Dekrans Logo

    De Krans Wine Cellar, situated in Calitzdorp, has received a 5 star rating for its Cape Vintage Reserve 2011 in the latest edition of the authoritative and internationally recognized 2014 Platter's South African Wine Guide, due for release this month. This is the ninth consecutive year that De Krans has been awarded a 5 star rating for its award-winning fortified wines, reaffirming their position as one of the fortified leaders in the industry. A total of 7 434 wines were judged by a panel of esteemed judges who selected 80 wines for the prestigious 5 star rating.

     

    Other fortified wines within the De Krans portfolio also did extremely well in the same guide with the De Krans Cape Vintage 2012, Cape Tawny Port and White Muscadel 2013 each receiving 4½ stars. De Krans’ latest flagship red wine, the Tritonia 2011, Touriga Nacional 2012, Cape Ruby and Reserve Muscat 2011 each received an impressive 4 stars, with the Garden Route Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (also produced by De Krans) also receiving 4 stars.

    The De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 2011 is produced in the traditional style using the Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barocca and Tinta Roriz port cultivars. This rich full bodied fortified wine has excellent maturation potential, similar to the De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve 1993 which was sold at this year’s Nederburg Auction for a record price of R7 000 (£500) for six bottles. Winemaker and co-owner Boets Nel describes this flagship offering as having a vibrant plum colour, with dense aromas of prune, spice and tobacco.  A fleshy, chewy mouthful of flavours, showing tannic grip, concentrated red fruit nuances, and a firm structure ensuring considerable longevity. Savour this premium fortified wine on its own, or serve with stronger cheeses.

  • Boekenhoutskloof Chocolate Block 2012 @ £20.49

    The Chocolate Block

    Over the past few months we have been busy extending our range of wines, with new additions from New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

    One of the new limited addition wines of incredible fame is The Chocolate Block produced at the Boekenhoutskloof Estate in Franschhoek. With only around 1700 barrels produced of this wine each year, it inevitably becomes in very short supply towards the end of each vintage.

    As the name suggests, The Chocolate Block ouzes flavours of Mocha and Chocolate, along with succulent blackberries and hints of spice. The blend of 5 different grape varieties is made up of predominantly Syrah making this a smooth full bodied wine with full mouth feel and an explosion of rich flavours.

    Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2007 is available to buy here at £20.49 per bottle, and as always at Hard to Find Wines your order can be made up of any mix and quantities of wines, so pop a bottle in your basket and give it a whirl!

  • No 1 Family Estate, the story....

    No1 Family Estate

    New Zealand methode traditionelle specialist and Champagne-maker, Daniel Le Brun, launched his wholly family-owned wine producing business in July 1999, utilising the same processes perfected by his Champagne-making family in France over the last 12 generations.

    The winery has been set up with state of the art processing equipment, imported from Champagne.  Marketer and Champagne-maker Adele and Daniel Le Brun, and their children Virginie and Remy own the company.  Virginie is an actress and also engaged in marketing the wine and Remy has worked in both Winery and Cellar Door.

    This venture is dedicated solely to the production of only methode traditionelle.  The five methodes produced at N° 1 Family Estate are Cuvée N° 1, a non-vintage blanc de blancs (100% chardonnay), No 1 Rosé a non-vintage, 100% Pinot Noir, Cuvée Number 8, a non-vintage blend, Reserve Cuvée 10, a limited edition, and when appropriate three vintage blends created in only the finest years, namely Cuvée Remy 2007, Cuvée Virginie 2006 and released for the first time in October 2012, Cuvee Adele 2009.  Production will remain focused and will always be a limited edition, thereby allowing attention to detail and use of only top quality grapes.

    In the past our winemaker has won a record number of awards for methode champenoise and numerous overseas accolades awards, including Sparkling Wine of the Year, Winestate Wine of the Year Awards in Australia in 2007.  For Cuvée No 1 – Gold Medal Mundusvini International Wine Awards 2010 Germany, Blue Gold Trophy Sydney International Wine Competition 2009, Gold Medal Tri Nations Wine Challenge 2009, Sparkling Wine Trophy in the Boutique Wine Packaging Awards 2008, Trophy and Gold Medal in Winewise Small Vigneron Awards, Australia, 2007. Trophy for Best Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine in 2001 at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the United Kingdom, 5 stars and a TOP FIVE rating in Winestate Magazine in 2004 and a Blue Gold in the 2009 Sydney Top 100.  Cuvée Number 8 has received the New Zealand Sparkling Trophy at the International Wine Awards, London 2012, Trophy for Bottle Fermented Sparkling Wine of the Year Runner-Up from Winestate Wine of the Year Awards, Australia and was awarded 5 stars, a TOP TEN rating, and was the highest placed New Zealand methode in Cuisine magazine in 2003. Reserve Cuvée No 10 96 Points in Gourmet Traveller Wine in 2009. In 1999 Cuvée Virginie 1999 awarded 96 points and the top scoring NZ Methode by Bob Campbell MW in Gourmet Traveller Wine Summer 2004. The 2006 Vintage won Blue Gold at Sydney Top 100 2011.  Cuvée Remy 2007 came first in a Top 20 French Champagnes/New Zealand Methode Traditionelles in December 2012, beating Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004.

    Born in the village of Monthelon in France’s Champagne region, our winemaker came to New Zealand in 1975 looking for land suitable to develop into methode champenoise vineyards.  A 12th generation Champagne-maker Daniel Le Brun’s family have been producing Champagne since 1648, and still do to this day.  Father Rene, brother Jean-Claude and sister Isabel all produce under their own labels.

    In July 1996 our winemaker was awarded France’s highest non-military medal, the National Order of Merit in recognition of his services to France and her people, and again in 2002 he was awarded the Order of Merit for services to agriculture. He is not the first member of his family to be decorated by a French government.  His grandfather Nestor Le Brun was awarded France’s highest military medal for valour.

    At the N° 1 Family Estate, the traditional method of Champagne production is followed, starting with the hand harvesting of the grapes in March at 19 brix.  They are then whole bunch pressed in our especially imported Champagne Vaselin press with an extraction rate of 650 litres per tonne.

    The juice is settled for 15 hours before racking off. Inoculated with yeast imported from the Institut d'oenologique in Epernay (incidentally our winemaker was the first to import Champagne yeast into the Southern Hemisphere).  The first fermentation is then underway at a controlled temperature of 17°. The fermented wine is then racked off at total dryness. Depending on seasonal conditions a partial malo lactic fermentation is undertaken when added softness and roundness are required.

    Thereafter cold stabilisation takes place to soften the acids a little more.

    At springtime the art of the Champagne-maker is brought into play... BLENDING!  This is the true craft of a master champagne maker.  N° 1 is usually 80% of the current vintage blended with 20% of the previous vintage; of course, this creates consistency in non-vintage methodes. When the blending is satisfactorily completed the assemblage, or "prise de mousse" takes place. The wine is bottled with the addition of yeast and sugar at 2gm of sugar per litre of wine.

    The wine is then stacked row upon row in our temperature controlled cellar to undergo the "second fermentation", and, as the sugar is consumed by the yeast the "bubble is born!” The cool dark conditions must be consistent to achieve a fine bead or bubble.

    For 2 years the wine rests on its lees in the cool dark conditions, where the sediment formed by the second fermentation comes to rest on the side of the bottle. This is removed by remuage, or riddling as we say, in especially imported gyro pallets, once again, Daniel Le Brun, our winemaker was the first to import these technological wonders from his homeland, Champagne.

    When riddling is complete the sediment is resting against the cap of the inverted bottle. The neck of the bottle is then frozen (using yet another specialised machine introduced to NZ by our winemaker) and degorgement, or disgorging, frees the sediment, the wine is topped up with wine of the same lot.  A touch of sweetness to the bone dry wine is added with liqueur d’expedition, the bottle is capped, labelled and there you are! 

  • Jamie Goode from Wineanorak.com reviews our wines

    As one of the most respected wine bloggers, Jamie Goode has been informing wine lovers for well over 10 years with his regular blogs and reviews at www.wineanorak.com

    Last month he sampled three of our top Australian and New Zealand Wines including:

    Oakridge 864 Chardonnay 2008 Yarra Valley, Australia From the Van der Meulen vineyard, dry grown, near Seville, cropped at 5 tons/hectare on red volcanic soils. There’s a mineral, spice and matchstick edge to the precise pear and white peach nose. The palate is complex, powerful and quite mineral with fig, toast and nut complexity as well as lively citrus fruit. Complex and fine, this is quite amazing. 95/100

    Remarkable Pinot Noir 2007 Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand A single-vineyard Pinot Noir that spends 15 months in French oak, named after the Remarkables mountain range. Lovely ripe, perfumed nose of damson, plum and cherry, with some warm herbal notes. The palate is ripe but fresh with lovely vivid cherry and plum fruit, as well as meaty spicy notes and good acidity. Tingly acid finish. 93/100

    Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2006 Central Otago, New Zealand 11 months in French Oak. Bright black cherry, blackberry and spice nose with some herby notes. The palate shows ripe black fruits with warm spiciness, nice structure and good acidity. Sweet and approachable with some warmth. 92/100

    To read more from Jamie visit www.wineanorak.com

  • OZ...Awful at cricket, but great at quality wines under £6!

    Woolloomooloo Chardonnay and Woollomooloo Shiraz both £5.99, are produced by Gapsted Wines in Victoria, South Eastern Australia. These wines offer fantastic value for money for everyday drinking whilst watching the remainder of the cricket, with the Ashes already safely retained by the outstanding England cricket boys!

    The name pronounced Wu-Lu-Mu-Lu, is from an Aboriginal spirit which roamed the Victorian Alps.

    The Woolloomooloo Chardonnay is a fresh balanced white with a medium length and pleasant mouth feel, while the Woolloomooloo Shiraz shows a warmth on the nose and flavoursome spice and pepper on the palate ideal for barbeques.

  • Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2012

    After a long wait the boat has landed! The last of the Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2012 vintage from Franschhoek is now with us and selling quickly!

    After managing to secure the last of the 2012, the new Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2013 is now available in South Africa and will be winging its way to us over the next few weeks.

    Still one of only a handful of still white wines utilising the Champagne style 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir blend of grape varietals, the Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir remains a firm favourite both in South Africa and here in the UK. It's popularity is certainly rooted in the wine's versatility making it both ideal as a stand alone white wine as well as excellently pairing with lighter food dishes and seafood in particular.

    The Pinot Noir element to the wine adds not only a hint of blushness to the colouration of the wine, but also a depth of flavour making this wine so unique.

    2012 Haute Cabriere Chardonnay Pinot Noir priced from just £9.99 at Hard to Find Wines.

  • Vilafonte Wines at Hard to Find Wines

    Vilafonte

    A vineyard of just 40 acres situated at the foot of the Simonsberg Mountains in Paarl, Vilafonte is making serious headway in becoming a cult wine in South Africa.

    With just two wines, the Vilafonte Series M and Vilafonte Series C, both are expertly blended from the finest grapes to produce stunningly luxurious New World Red Blends. Priced at £29.99 and £39.99 respectively, both will improve with bottle age over the coming decade and possibly longer, so do not be surprised if these wines (the 2009 vintage being particularly good!) hit the heady heights over £100+ in coming years.

    Drinking well now, but squirrel a couple of bottles away and you could be enjoying the same wines as a Russian Oligarch in 2020!

    Available at Hard to Find Wines now.

  • Waterstone Bridge Reserve Australian Wines Now Available

    Waterstone Bridge
    From the Victorian Alps Winery in South Australia located between Melbourne and Canberra, comes the Waterstone Bridge range of wines. The first wines were produced in 1999 and have been going from strength to strength ever since.

    The Waterstone Bridge range includes single varietal Chardonnay, Merlot and Shiraz all available at £7.49 at Hard to Find Wines.

    The wines are available to purchase on our website and if you wish to find out more about these or any of our other Australian wines call us on 01746 389749.

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