English wines are on a roll - this year it is estimated that another two million vines will be planted. England’s vineyards have doubled in size in the past 8 years and tripled since 2000. There are currently 7,000 acres under vine across 164 wineries and a record breaking 15.6 million bottles were produced in 2018, 130% higher than the previous year’s crop in 2017 and far exceeding the previous record of 6.3m bottles in 2014.
This year, New Zealand is celebrating 200 years since the country’s first vines took root. In September 1819, Yorkshire man and Christian missionary Samuel Marsden planted 100 vines in New Zealand’s far north but it would take a long time for a true wine industry to flourish.
As the wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy compete for the title of most in-demand fine wines in the world, with ever-increasing prices the result of this rivalry, there is still a classic region in France where one can find outstanding value for money at every rung of the quality ladder– the Rhône Valley.
Dry White Bordeaux is one of the wine world’s most exciting, yet regularly overlooked wine styles. Having been blessed with the opportunity to taste extensively in the region on numerous occasions, the Mr.Wheeler team always returns to the UK full of excitement about the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion blends enjoyed during their travels.
At the end of January the Mr.Wheeler team were treated to an extensive blind tasting of Red Bordeaux with an upper budget of £15 a bottle from our current portfolio. The aim? To understand the true value of our wines in the glass, to spot strengths, weaknesses and to understand the true depth of our offering. Unbeknownst to us, our Buyer, Ben Godfrey, introduced a “ringer” to the tasting. We’re extremely pleased he did!
Few varieties are more keenly debated than Chardonnay. There is an army of people who will avoid a wine labelled as Chardonnay at all costs, and those who argue that it is the finest white grape available. What is for certain is that it is one of the most versatile grape varieties, and this versatility has been both the reason for its rise and the reason why so many have been put off it.