The new Champion of English Sparkling wine

Launch offer – Digby Brut Reserve 2009
World Champion English Sparkling Wine Trophy CSWWC 2014

If I had a pound for every time somebody has mentioned the idea that English sparkling wines can rival the wines of Champagne I’d be drinking Dom Perignon regularly!

Digby Fine English logoUnfortunately my tasting experience is that very few of them regularly reach this level and some don’t even aim for it. There certainly are world class English Sparkling wines and the potential is undeniable – the guys from Digby are realising this potential in bucket loads and I will genuinely be drinking this wine in preference to lesser Grande Marque Champagnes. Continue reading

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The other side of 2013 – Sauternes & Barsac

The campaign to sell 2013 Bordeaux wines en-primeur was the most disastrous for 20 years, and possibly longer, but one group with more to be upset about than most are the producers of Sauternes. The damp conditions that blighted red wine production instead proved perfect for producers of Sauternes and Barsac production. The onset of botrytis at the start of October saw healthy grapes develop botrytis quickly – a set of circumstances that ensure the wines retain superb acidity, clean flavours and some nice minerality without overly high alcohol.

The wines made in Sauternes and Barsac in 2013 were generally clean, fresh and balanced wines that will age superbly yet have been priced to mitigate a disastrous en-primeur campaign shaped by the disappointing performance of the region’s red wines. For this reason we thought we should highlight one of the finest Barsacs of the vintage, Château Doisy Daëne. Continue reading

Posted in Bordeaux, En primeur prices, Sauternes, Tasting notes, Tasting notes, Vintage Report | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Glen Eldon Dry Bore Shiraz – Barossa’s best kept secret?

When choosing wines to accompany a summer barbeque you need to select wines with sufficient power and richness to stand up to big meat and smoke flavours in an outdoor environment, on these scores you can’t go far wrong with a classic Barossa Shiraz. Huge all engulfing black fruit is the regional style here with earthy, leather and spice complexity, supported by big but smooth tannins, buckets of warmth and richness and a long cedar and red fruit finish – these are muscular uncompromising wines.

Glen Eldon Dry Bore ShirazIn terms of Barossa winemaking pedigree, Glen Eldon’s Richard Sheedy’s is as good as it gets. Before setting up Glen Eldon in 1997, Richard worked at St Hallets and was then winemaker and general manager at Elderton. Much of the approach used in building the reputation of these two classic Barossa producers shine forth from Glen Eldon’s wines. Superb quality fruit from warm sites in the valley floor (Tanunda) is intelligently combined with batches from cooler sites in the Barossa Ranges (Springton, Mt McKenzie and Mt Pleasant) giving both richness and balance.

Winemaking takes place in traditional open fermenters with heading down boards and the wines age for up to 2 years in a combination of French and American oak. The quality of these wines is unquestionably high, their style is typically Barossa with big dense fruit, perfumed oak, plenty of warming richness.

These are excellent wines, but are not well known beyond their region of origin, so to tempt you to give them a go we thought we’d give you a little encouragement – so for August and September we are offering Glen Eldon’s 2002 and 2003 Shirazes at HALF PRICE! These wines are both fully mature and will make perfect partners for the juicy steaks that slide from your grill! Continue reading

Posted in Australia, Barossa, Offers, Tasting notes | Tagged , , , , ,

En Primeur 2013 – the story so far…

LATEST RELEASES – 14th April 2014

Two recent releases from of Bordeaux are both top second growth wines. The two wines are from different ends of the Medoc but also take diametrically different approaches to pricing. St Estephe’s Cos d’Estournel is undoubtedly one of the most impressive wines made on the Medoc in 2013. Rauzan-Segla from Margaux, however, is arguably one of the best buys of the campaign so far at just £370 per dozen in bond. 

The Cos d’Estournel 2013 is a well-made wine – ripe, focused, balanced, well-structured and long, but its price at just over £70 a bottle in-bond ex VAT is quite full and the estate’s 2007 can be found easily on the market significantly cheaper. Rauzan-Segla on the other hand is by far the cheapest vintage of this wine available, demonstrating a 10% cut on top of the massive price slash they delivered for the price of their 2012. This estate has also produced a very sound wine, yet has understood where prices need to be to make people want to buy them! 

Quantities are limited so please let us know your requirements as soon as possible.
Cos d’Estournel, 2eme Grand Cru Classé, Saint-Estèphe            £850 IB case x 12 bottles

Cos d'EstournelI like the focus on the nose. It is not powerful but it is intense and very well defined with blackberry and cassis notes unfolding in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, a crisp level of acidity and overall, a somewhat relaxed feel, a nonchalant Cos d’Estournel that has accepted the growing season for what it is. It is actually cut from a similar cloth to the Montrose this year, although I find a little more persistency coming through towards the finish. This is a decent Cos d’Estournel that will need 4 to 6 years in bottle.    Neal Martin, 91-93/100

Rauzan-Segla, 2eme Grand Cru Classé, Margaux            £370 IB case x 12 bottles

RAUZAN_SEGLA_250The grand vin has a fine bouquet, not complex but clean and fresh with redcurrant and raspberry fruit, nicely integrated oak. It needs a little more delineation although it does appear to gain clarity with encouragement. The palate is medium-bodied with chewy tannins, perhaps a little more rustic than usual but with good weight. Fine red fruit, linear and masculine, this deserves two or three years in bottle after release.
Neal Martin, 89-91/100

Price per case of 12 bottles in bond, offered subject to availability.
These wines will be shipped in Spring 2015

Summary of wine prices released so far

Pontet Canet, Lynch- Bages, Pichon Baron, Cos d’Estournel, Rauzan-Segla,Smith Haut Lafitte, Gazin, Petit Village, Prieuré Lichine, Chasse Spleen, Angludet…

With the wines above released already, Bordeaux 2013 primeurs are clearly well underway, but without much of the usual hype from the merchants. The wines released so far are doubtless good wines, as is confirmed by their reasonable Wine Spectator scores, but perhaps for this reason there seems to have been a reluctance to slash release prices to the extent the market had hoped for. Pichon-Baron has shown the biggest price drop so far, opening almost 17% below their 2012 price. I am sure these are very sound wines and, we will happily secure them for you if you wish to buy, but if you want a dramatic price reduction you might be better off reading on to the bottom of the email.

Notable releases so far

Lynch-Bages – £560 per case

Finally the Bordelais have given us something from the 2013 vintage we can get excited about, the Caze family offering Lynch-Bages at a price where we can offer it to you for less than £600 a case, this is at least 10% cheaper than any other vintages of Lynch-Bages currently on the market. This revered 5th growth from Pauillac – often regarded as one of the Super Seconds – has made a classic, cassis-styled Pauillac with good fruit, fine structure and great elegance.

LynchBages_250A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine has a deep colour, and a lovely balance between rich dark fruit aromas, cedar notes and fresh acidity. The palate displays plentiful rich cassis and is of medium to full body, the flavours last well on a clean finish.             Wine Spectator 92-95/100

We are offering this over-achiever at a very good price – just £560 in bond

If you have any particular requirements please do drop us an email and we can look out for them for you!

Wine Spectator score Price per dozen
Ch Pontet Canet, 5eme Cru Classe Pauillac 89-92 £660.00
Ch Pichon Longueville Baron, 2eme Cru Classe Pauillac 88-91 £606.00
Ch Lynch-Bages, 5eme Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac 92-95 £560.00
Ch Smith Haut Lafitte Rouge, Cru Classe Pessac-Leognan 89-92 £435.00
Ch Gazin, Pomerol £430.00
Ch Petit Village, Pomerol 86-89 £419.00
Ch Prieure Lichine, 4eme Cru Classe Margaux £240.00
Ch Gloria, St Julien 87-90 £229.00
Ch Chasse Spleen, Moulis en Medoc 86-89 £189.00
Ch d’Angludet, Margaux £159.00
Ch Beaumont, Haut Medoc £90.00


Price is per case of 12 bottles in bond, offered subject to availability.

For those considering a first step into Bordeaux en primeur, we have prepared a brief guide here. If you need any guidance I am happy to explain any part of the process, please call me or email

Posted in Bordeaux, En Primeur, En primeur prices, Haut-Médoc, Margaux, Médoc, Pauillac, Pessac-Léognan, Pomerol, Saint-Émilion, Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Julien, Tasting notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Aussie Wines to Seek Out and Enjoy!

Australian vineyard scene with caravan

The Caravan of Dreams, early days at Tatiarra (image copyright Tatiarra)

Australian wines have come a long way since the Monty Python team ridiculed them as wines “to be laid down and avoided!” For the last 25 years much of Australia’s wine industry has become best known for routinely making technically-correct, mass-market, branded wines meeting popular price points – however there has also been a growing movement of smaller, high-quality producers crafting fine wines that reflect their Australian heritage and their origins in the country’s traditional quality growing areas. Renowned regions like the Barossa, Mclaren Vale, the Clarendon Hills, Langhorne Creek, Padthaway and Heathcote are home to numerous producers lovingly tending low yielding old vines and using traditional techniques to produce concentrated Shirazes and Cabernets with a stylistic generosity rarely found elsewhere.

At Coe Vintners we have managed to secure a large parcel of mature (mostly from the 2002-2006 vintages) Australian classic reds. We are now offering them at prices we are confident are very sharp.

Below you will find a list of the wines available, I would draw your attention to the right hand column detailing the points out of 100 given to the wines by leading American wine critic Robert Parker. Identifying stand-out wines from this glittering line up is nigh on impossible so a brief background to the regions and the wineries follows in its place!


Located 60 km northeast of Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s oldest fine wine regions. The region’s high sunshine hours and dry climate make it ideal for the production of rich, ripe, full-bodied reds form varieties such as Shiraz and Grenache.

Glen Eldon is a family owned and operated winery established by Mary and Richard Sheedy in 1997. Previously Richard had been Winemaker at Elderton having worked at St Hallett before that. Glen Eldon is a premium winery specialising in regional wines typical of the Barossa region.

Kaesler The Kaesler family settled in the Barossa Valley in the 1840’s, planting vines in Nuriootpa in 1893. In the last half of the twentieth century the Kaesler vineyards were divided between the family and sold off, however its current owners have gradually reassembled the property. Today Kaesler remains privately owned and produces wines from their own ancient, dry grown-vineyards, including several acres of Shiraz from those original plantings.

Rolf Binder Formerly the Veritas Winery it was renamed in 2005 to honour Rolf Binder, its former owner and the winemaker for half a century. Rolf’s son and daughter now make the wines but are determined to maintain its boutique nature and “hands-on” approach to winemaking.

Torbreck LogoTorbreck is arguably the doyen of Barossa Shiraz producers. This stellar winery owes its rise to stardom to the skill of founder Dave Powell who demonstrated an almost magical ability to source fruit from ancient vineyards and then to restrain its power, crafting it into elegant, concentrated wines with tremendous ageing potential. The Runrig, the Factor and the Descendant on the attached list are all starting to drink now, but have good long futures ahead of them. Please note the large format bottles available.

Viking Wines is a tiny (approximately 2000 cases a year) boutique winery making classic Barossa Valley Reds. Swedish owner Thord Soderstrom and his wife Charmaine start with superb dry-farmed, old-vine fruit and apply traditional winemaking practices to produce brilliant-value examples of typical Barossa Reds.

Click here to see the Barossa wines available – will take time to load as there are many!


Ten kilometres northeast of McLaren Vale and 250 metres higher above sea level, Clarendon enjoys longer, milder and slightly more consistent ripening conditions. Growers here pick 2 to 3 weeks after those in the McLaren Vale and, producing wines with slightly more elegance and structure.

 Clarendon Hills is the archetypal Australian boutique winery. Founded in 1990 by self-taught winemaker Roman Bratasiuk. Roman employs ancient, low yielding vines to produce high class, single vineyard wines to convey both place and varietal expression. Clarendon and its surrounding districts provide him with both varied soils and locations, and plentiful marvellous old vineyards.

Click here to see the Clarendon wines available

 McLaren Vale

The McLaren Vale wine region, in the north-west of the Fleurieu Peninsula, is approximately 35 kilometres south of Adelaide. Here high sunshine hours allow rich, full-bodied styles of wine to be made, but cooling sea breezes allow the wines to retain good structure and elegance.

Fox Creek Wines logoFox Creek grew from a small vineyard planted by a group of doctors and their families. Current owners Jim and Helen Watts bought the 32 hectare property in 1984, ignoring advice not to plant in the property’s black clay soils, they applied modern viticultural techniques and were soon producing high quality fruit and award winning wines.

Kay Brothers The oldest family-owned winery in McLaren Vale, Kay Brothers are still producing traditional red wines in the same location where in 1891 by Fred and Herbert Kay first planted 12 acres of Shiraz vines.

Click here to see the McLaren Vale wines available

Langhorne Creek

The historic Langhorne Creek lies a couple of hours drive south of Adelaide. The region produces elegant Cabernets and well-structured Shiraz with a characteristic earthy undertone. The region has its own approach to irrigation, with the locals annually encouraging the river Bremer to flood the vineyards. Its fruit lies at the heart of many classic Australian blends.

Killibinbin is a brand owned by Guy and Liz Adams who produce the wine from fruit grown on their Metala Vineyard. The highly renowned Metala Vineyard was first planted in 1891. Today there are 750 acres of vines, some of which are up to 120 years old.

Click here to see the Langhorne Creek wines available


Padthaway lies in the heart of the Limestone Coast Region in the South East of South Australia. The valley has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers with cool nights that assist flavour ripening. Winters are reasonably cold and normally fairly wet. Vineyards were first established here in 1963 and many of the major Australian wine companies source much of their fruit from the region.

Henry's Drive Wines logoHenry’s Drive the Longbottom family planted vines here in 1992. Proprietor Kim Longbottom, a New Zealander from Marlborough, established the winery with husband Mark, making their first wine in 1998. Tragically Mark died ten years later and today Kim continues building the business in line with the principles they shared – that the wines should reflect Padthaway’s regionality and the individual character of each vineyard.  Click here to see the Henry’s Drive wines currently available


Heathcote’s ancient, deep, red, friable Cambrian soils are for producing Shiraz. These excellent soils combine with a climate that is lightly cooled by altitude allowing fruit to attain an attractive balance even with relatively high alcohol levels.

tatiarra Caravan of  Dream labelTatiarra is a specialist, niche producer making wines solely from Shiraz, in the premium Heathcote region in Central Victoria. Winemaker Ben Riggs has made these wines with the intention of them having the ability to age for up to 20 years!

Click here to see the Tatiarra wines currently available

Posted in Australia, Barossa, Clarendon Hills, Heathcote, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, Padthaway | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2011 Vintage Port – A Brilliant Opportunity

One last bite at the Cherry – In a year when the 2012 Claret en primeur campaign failed to engage wine lovers, people did manage to get excited about the 2011 Ports that were released on sale, for delivery at the end of this year. With prices that are generally within the reach of mere mortals and quality that puts many of these wines on a par with the ambrosia of the Gods, these are well worth stocking up on. Our offer of these wines comes decidedly late but they are so good we couldn’t do anything other than give you one last chance to buy at these en primeur prices*. Continue reading

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The Zind Humbrecht Files – Vintage reports 1996 to 2013

Critics all over the world have praised the quality of the wines from this domaine – Robert Parker has rated the Humbrecht wines as “Outstanding” and in the opinion of Clive Coates MW, one of the most influential British wine writers, is that Zind-Humbrecht is “One of the greatest domaines in Alsace”.

Each year Olivier Humbrecht produces a detailed vintage report with tasting notes of each of the wines. These are very informative, with individual notes on the character of the wine,  useful descriptions of the vineyard, how the wines developed in the cellar, suggested drinking window, technical analysis and more. Continue reading

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A Vintage Year – 2011 Burmester Port en primeur

Most Port producers have declared that they will release a 2011 Vintage, the first to be universally declared since 2007. The quality is excellent, showing great fruit purity, yet built for the long term as the fine quality tannins are silky and well integrated – indeed some have already compared 2011 to the highly acclaimed 1963 vintage.

Producers have expressed delight in the unique combination of freshness, power and complexity of the 2011 vintage:

“The wines are full, with deep colour and marked by irreproachable freshness and complexity. These are powerful wines that are seductive while young, but mostly present a remarkable evolution potential—they will make history.”
Pedro Sá, Burmester master blender

Burmester is one of the oldest shippers of ports to the United Kingdom with a history dating back to 1750. Despite its long heritage and reputation for quality, Burmester is considered by many as one of the greatest undiscovered producers of Port.

In 2011 Burmester Vintage Port shows amazing purity, elegance and finesse, it has been released at a fraction of the price of other equally well established Port houses and therefore offers exceptional value for money. Continue reading

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En Primeur 2012 – Vieux Chateau Certan – under £1000 a case

This beautiful small estate in the heart of Pomerol consistently crafts one of Bordeaux’s most elegant wines and again in 2012 Vieux Chateau Certan excelled, producing one of the vintage’s most beautiful wines. The estate benefits from a high proportion of Cabernet Franc in its blend, giving elegance and perfume. The wine is highly sought after – the trouble however is that it Vieux Chateau Certan is scarcer than the proverbial excreta of the favourite equine accessory in a posh Victorian child’s nursery! Continue reading

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En Primeur 2012 – Léoville-Las-Cases 2012 – cheapest vintage on the market

Arguably one of the best, if not the finest wines made in St.-Julien in 2012, certainly this is one of Robert Parker’s potential top scorers of the vintage. The brief price comparison in the table below shows this not only to be the cheapest Léoville-Las-Cases currently on the market but to offer a rough equivalent in quality or above compared to those vintages whose prices are is near it. We only have a very small allocation of this wine so if you would like to secure  a case please contact us as soon as possible. Continue reading

Posted in Bordeaux, En Primeur, En primeur prices, Saint-Julien, Tasting notes | Tagged , , , ,