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Archive for September, 2013

When Hails Come to Town

September 18th, 2013

I feel like a teacher, but with longer holidays. It’s been a long time since the last article. In fact it has been nearly four months. I’d love to say I have been sitting in a hammock counting my money and drinking my wine, but I’ve been busy. I have lots of news.

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Much like The Nationalist, Red Nose Wine has gone through some changes. We moved in July to a customized Retail space in The Regal Centre on the David Road, beside Larry O Keeffe’s Furniture. We are delighted with the new digs and customer feedback has been hugely positive. We hope you’ll get a chance to come down and say hello.

Regal-Centre-Montage-Photo

The Regal Centre had a re-launch last weekend. We’ll plan an evening event closer to the season that is jolly but we won’t mention the C word yet. We’ve the B word to come first ( Budget ).

Now if I continue in this vein of blatant self promotion it will be another four months before I get another article, so I think I better start talking about wine, rather than the selling of wine. As the summer draws to an end, a line from an old poem came to me.

Last of the Summer Wine

The “last of the summer wine” has all been enjoyed but fear not for the Autumn wines are just bursting to be sampled. Though our summer is over, the last of its golden rays are still doing their best to hang on.

As summers go it was a wonderful vintage. Comparisons with the few that came before are also helping of course. 2010 was a great year in Bordeaux but is not as lauded as it might be as it came on the back of the wonderful 2009.

However 2013 wasn’t such a great summer for some winemakers. There is one scourge that comes along that frightens the life out of ever winemaker I know. A form of solid precipitation (hailstones) can destroy a year’s work in a matter of minutes. They can measure between 5 and 150mm in diameter and when they strike, the good life turns very sour indeed.

When Hail come to town

A great friend of Red Nose Wine in Bordeaux, Gavin Quinney of Chateau Bauduc recently went through a very traumatic visit from this most vicious of natural disasters. They were enjoying summer drinks with friends in the garden after completing all of the manual work on the vines. As he sipped Gavin looked west, and he didn’t like the look of the sky towards the Atlantic.

The warm and sunny evening had a chill to it and just before 8.30pm the wind picked up, and then as Bob Dylan might have once sang, ‘A Hard Rain’ started to fall. Now, Bob was talking about nuclear rain during the cold war, and Gavin was referring to real rain. However, as many of you know, I can never resist the chance to insert a Bob Dylan reference.

It’s an affliction that I suffer with. My eldest child was played Like A Rolling Stone whilst still in the delivery room. The child wasn’t 20 minutes old but I wanted the first song she heard to be a good one. Like I said, it’s an affliction.

Back in Bordeaux, the poor old Quinney family were watching in horror as the hail “came in low, from the side, propelled by fierce winds.” He wrote a 4 piece blog on it where he describes how “the hail had smashed into the grapes on all the west facing rows, splitting and bruising them. Leaves lay all about, with the little icy balls interspersed amongst them. Many leaves still on the vine looked bedraggled, some in tatters. Branches were pockmarked.”

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The next day they had a handle on the full extent of the damage and 50% of the crop was lost. This is bad news for Chateau Bauduc but some of their neighbours lost 100% of the crop. The storm had come in a straight line across from the West and battered everything in its path. Gavin said that “vineyards just 2.5kms west of Bauduc were hardly touched, while those some 2.5kms south of the Château were stripped bare.”

One neighbour had been hit for the 2nd time in three years and like many people ( including the Quinneys ) does not have insurance. It’s a bit like a racehorse – you can insure it but the price is just too prohibitive. Only about 15-20% of vineyards are insured.

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The reality of this hailstorm is that there will be much less ‘bulk’ wine to be sold to coops for supermarket wine but also, many of the smaller quality driven vineyards like Bauduc will have very little wine to sell, and it will be interesting to see how the price will be affected. In many cases the market dictates this and you need to make a certain amount of wine to get to a point where you cover costs.

Chateau Bauduc experienced hail in May 2009 and even though 80% of the crop was lost then compared to 50% this year, it is worse in 2013. The reason is that in 2009 it happened when the shoots were new and tender and very little work had been done. This year there had been a huge amount of work including lifting 100,000 vine branches, removing unwanted shoots and 5-6 rounds of mildew spraying. As any business knows, the cost of Sales is a very big part of the whole Gross Profit equation.

Photos courtesy of Gavin Quinney’s wonderful blog.

Don’t forget to log onto the blog at www.rednosewine.com/blog or follow the ranting on Twitter and then there is the Facebook Page.

For anyone who would like more information and can’t make it into the shop, please feel free to contact me at info@rednosewine.com

“Life is much too short to drink bad wine”

The Launch of the new Red Nose Wine – this weekend

September 11th, 2013

We are just over 2 months in our new premises at the Regal Centre and we are finally having a bit of a celebration. This weekend sees the official launch of The Regal Centre and all of the businesses are having promotions, demonstrations and we’ll surely be pouring some wine as well as giving some away.

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While the celebrations will be held over the whole weekend (including Sunday), we will be having the main thrust of ours on the Saturday. This will include 2 free wine classes. The word class is probably a bit generous as we will do 30 minute demonstrations but everyone who is there will get a glass in their hand, so its all good.

Free Wine Classes

The first class will start at 2pm and will concentrate on what constitutes a dry wine. When you mean you like a dry wine, is that what you really mean? The second class at 4pm will be more of an Old World versus New World challenge. We will compare similar style wines from both regions and allow you all to ‘taste the difference’.

All classes will have generous amounts of wine to test the theory so bring a driver or take the bus. Alternatively our new neighbour Larry O Keeffe can sell you a bed. In fact, we will have a lot of bottles open throughout the day and we might even dig out some cheese out of somewhere as well. Party on Wayne!

Both classes will start by going through the basics on how to taste ‘properly’ and will do the famous Jelly Bean test. These will be a taster for some wine classes we are planning to hold this Autumn so if you are thinking of doing one, this would be a good litmus test.

Special Offers

We will also have a range of offers including our Super 6 ( up to 20% off ), as well as a new Mix Case that we call ‘When I’m 64’. We are also doing a great in-house special on one of our perennial favorites Domaine des Anges. Up to 25% off.

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All people who attend the class of even just come and buy a bottle of wine over the weekend will get a free voucher ( €10 when you spend €50 ). And remember,

‘Life is much too short to drink bad wine”.

When I’m 64 – Quality Mixed Case

September 9th, 2013

When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now.

I was a Beatles fan from an early age and remember liking that song and laughing at how old someone would have to be when they’re 64 (I am aware that the answer is in the question). The trouble is its not so funny anymore as I approach 40.
Like many parents I sent kids back to school and took on all the emotion that goes with that. The cliche is true. It all goes by too quickly. So, this mix case is dedicated to the parents. With that in mind, we’ve tried to put in something really nice to help ease you back in. The NZ Sauvignon and the Rioja stand out for me.

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The name comes from the fact that this mix case is discounted back to €64 – The wines on offer include :

Ant Moore Sauvignon Blanc
Bozeto de Exopto Rioja
Casas de Herencia Red
Casas de Herencia White
Santa Alicia Sauvignon Blanc Reserva
Solonio Il Grottone ( Ripasso Style CabSab Syrah )

SurePrint-A1-Mix-Case-Back-to-School

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