The July edition of the drinks business includes a sobering analysis by Paul Symington of Symington Family Estates of the challenges facing Port producers in which, among other things, he predicts that the cost of Port will increase by at least 9.5% early next year (a knock on effect of the rise in the cost of the brandy spirit used to fortify Port – Symington says it will cost at least 60% more this year).
So it’s not just because of our terrible summer weather that I’m flagging the fine Vintage Ports in Bibendum’s summer sale upfront: a case (12 bottles) of Graham 2000 is down to £510 from £549.80 (bottle price £42.50), while a case of Cockburn 1963 – a much esteemed vintage – is down from £1,189.75 to £1,045.80 (bottle price £87.16). And Port fans may also be interested to know that both Graham and Cockburn have recently revamped their lodges, the latter – Gaia’s largest lodge – being open to the public for the first time.
As for table wines, there are some excellent Australian wines to be snapped up, most notably Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Fragrant with fine tannins, freshness, fabulous fruit purity and subtle cedary oak it blew me away when it was released a couple of years ago and bagged Cabernet of The Year in Campbell Mattinson and Gary Walsh’s The Big Red Wine Book 2010/11 (click here for more on this wine). The price of a six bottle case of this beaut has been slashed from £262.87 to £157.92 (bottle price: £26.33) and, for those on a more modest budget, Howard Park Leston Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 offers plenty of (refined) bang for buck down from £121.75 to £77.40 for a six bottle case (bottle price £12.90). Incidentally, Howard Park have recently launched a new website www.burchfamilywines.com.au where you can find out more about their wines.
As for Aussie white wines, I love the single vineyard Knappstein Ackland Riesling from Clare Valley. The 2010 vintage is down from £85.90 to £57.90 (bottle Price: £9.66) for a six bottle case.
Click here for full details of Bibendum’s summer sale which ends on 23 July.