News, Expert Opinions and general chit chat from the world of wine

JN Wine Blog

For the love of Champagne!

This Valentines Day treat your loved one ( or yourself! ) to a bottle of Billecart Rosé or Blanc de Blanc and recieve a half bottle of Billecart Rosé absolutely free!

Billecart Salmon Rose Nv 

Billecart Salmon Rose Nv Pk6

Bottle Price: £54.99 / €77.99

This is one of the finest Rose Champagnes on the market. It has a delicate, elegant strawberry scented fruit, lemon and cream bubbles with a lingering finish. Memorably described by Observer Food Monthly as Little short of love in a glass.

"A composed fine and aromatic palate; very moreish. An exemplary definition of wine; full bodied and with depth. This regal champagne would be revered in any House." (La Revue Du Vin de France - Champagne, December 2010).

Billecart Salmon Blanc De Blancs Nv

Billecart Salmon Blanc De Blancs Nv Pk6

Bottle Price: £56.00 / €77.99

Wonderfully elegant and terribly desirable Champagne, this is rife with lemon meringue pie, brioche and sherbet aromas on the nose. The palate is filled with crisp citrus fruit flavours and complex yeasty notes.




Tasty Tasting with Luis from Soalheiro

In the hills of Melgaço lies one of the finest Alvarinho estates of all – Quinta de Soalheiro. Having fully converted to organic practices in recent years, the estate has been steadily building a reputation for producing the finest Alvarinhos in northern Portugal.

When Jim first met with João and his son Luis he was impressed by their skilled winemaking and the purity, elegance and quality of the wines they produce. Their success since arrival on our shores has been phenomenal; and here's your chance to try them for yourself.

Get your shopping done early and reward yourself with some good-humoured, informal, quality wine time. You never know - you might discover your new favourite wine.

Date: Saturday 30th April

Place: The Tasting Room, JN Wine, Crossgar

Price: £5 per person

Time: 2pm to 3pm

Tickets must be purchased in advance from James Nicholson Wine Merchant. Online or call 02844 830028

Art, Wine & Food Event

2016 Pourings From KC Fine Art and JN Wine

Kathryn Callaghan lives and works in Co Down and creates work inspired by the beautiful world around her. Her work is created with a honey-like mix of ink and gel, which is poured freestyle onto the image surface.  Free from pencil marks, she intends to evoke a sense of energy, life and beauty for each subject.

As mutual wine lovers JN were excited to hear that Kathryn wanted to paint a selection of wine bottles. Alongside this, JN has also commissioned Kathryn to design the new artwork for our JN Sparkling range. We are delighted with the results. The wine labels will go into production in early Spring.

To showcase Kathryn’s new exhibition including wine, wildlife and a preview of the new JN label we are hosting a relaxed evening of art, music wine and food. Start the evening with a glass of JN sparkling and follow on with a glass of each of the wines featured in Kathryn’s new collection. There will canapés available matched to each wine. JN staff will be on hand to talk you through the wines and food matches.

Date: Thursday 25th February

Time: 6:30 - 9.00pm

Place: JN Wine, Crossgar

Cost: £10pp

Tickets availiable in the shop, at or call 02844830091

All profits from ticket sales and 10% commission from all paintings sold throughout the exhibition will be donated to Youth Action.

James Nicholson is Vice Chair of Youth Action Northern Ireland. Youth Action has a 70 year history of making a significant difference to the lives of young people aged 10-25. They work with disadvantaged, excluded youth, living in areas of social/economic disadvantage, outside traditional opportunities and those deemed as vulnerable, supporting them as active and equal citizens whose voices are heard, respected and valued. They challenge inequalities in society and build resilience in young people to improve their life chances.

The exhibition will be open to the public 26th and 27th February during shop hours 10am-7pm.


Finding Ninot

Good Burgundy is like nothing else but following a few small harvests, we have seen prices rise to levels that puts it out of most people’s reach. This prompted us to look beyond the big names of the Cote d’Or and we set out on a quest to find a few dynamic young growers from the fringe area of the Chalonnaise. Lying to the north of the Maconnais and just south of the Cote de Beaune, this region offers both red and white wines from the traditional Burgundian grapes, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. While the wines of the Cote Chalonnaise may sometimes be described as more rustic, there is no doubt the villages of Rully, Givry and Mercurey offer excellent value for money and are perfect for those seeking earlier drinking Burgundy at an affordable price.

Our newest discovery is Domaine Ninot and their wines have the honour of being our first new arrivals of 2016. The Ninot family have had vineyards in Rully since the 14th Century, making wine and barrels for over 600 years. Young Errell and brother Flavien have recently taken over the reins after studying oenology and travelling to vineyards in other parts of the world.

The grapes are entirely hand-harvested for strict selection of only the best fruit. Even after the strict selection in the vineyard, Erell manually sorts the harvested grapes by hand, making sure only the best fruit is chosen for her winemaking. The vines average a stately 35 years old, bringing concentration and complexity to the wine. Erell raises her wines with skill and care, always taking care to preserve all the delicate aromatic elements that help make her wine such a stand-out.

We visited them last summer and are delighted to see their excellent wines reaching these shores for the first time. We hope you enjoy them!

Rully AC La Barre

Bottle Price: £16.95 / €24.50 Case Bottle Price:  £15.26 / €22.05

100% Chardonnay from the Cote Chalonnaise in Burgundy. Yield 45 hl / ha. 30 year old vines. Hand harvested, full malolactic fermentation. White flowers on the nose with fresh acidity and a round, pleasing texture.

Rully 1er Cru Gresigny

Bottle Price: £19.75 / €28.50 Case Bottle Price:  £17.78 / €25.65

100% Chardonnay from the Cote Chalonnaise. Yield 40hl / ha. Grapes all hand harvested on this small family estate. Full malolactic with a proportion undergoing fermentation in barrel. Yellow fruits such as apricot and peach feature on the nose. A rich white wine with plenty of character and yet not lacking in finesse.

Rully 1er Cru AC Marissou

Bottle Price: £19.95 / €28.99 Case Bottle Price:  £17.96 / €26.09

100% Pinot Noir from the Cote Chalonnaise in Burgundy, all hand harvested. Partly aged in oak. Red fruit on the nose with supple tannins and a long savoury finish. Drinking well now but can be kept a further 2 – 4 years.

Mercurey AC Vieilles Vignes 2014

Bottle Price: £18.50 / €26.50 Case Bottle Price: £16.65 / €23.85

100% Pinot Noir from this brother and sister team in Burgundy’s Cote Chalonnaise. The vines used for this wine  are over 70 years old and the yield a meagre 35 hectolitres per hectare. Cherry red in colour with notes of black and red berry fruit on the nose. A round and supple wine with a firm structure and fine tannins. Complex yet delicate. A good example of savoury red Burgundy at a very fair price.


Red letter wines (not necessarily red!)

Have you already got a special date pencilled into the new diary?

Maybe an engagement or is that big birthday is looming ever closer? Whether it’s an anniversary, reunion, next Christmas or just a long awaited get-together with friends, we will all be making plans for the future as we open our new diaries and calendars this January.

And one of the questions that comes to mind is – which wine should I choose to make the occasion extra-special. We would suggest you put a couple of special bottles away for sharing when the big day comes round and we want to give you a bit of help to choose those bottles:

For keeping up to a year.

Chablis 2014 is turning out to be a rather fine year for white Burgundy. The wines have crisp, vibrant acidity coupled with great intensity of fruit. Given a year’s ageing the wine will mellow just enough to retain their structure but gain an added dimension of elegance and texture.

Domaine Gueguen Chablis 2014

Domaine Gueguen Chablis 2014

Bottle Price: £14.95 / €21.50 Case Bottle Price: £13.46 / €19.35

Nathalie & Giles Fevre Chablis 2014

Nathalie & Giles Fevre Chablis 2014

Bottle Price: £15.95 / €22.99 Case Bottle Price: £14.36 / €20.69


For keeping 2-3 years

Cote Rotie is often out of most people’s price ranges but this well-made example is well worth the money coming as it does from one of the region’s most respected growers and from a vintage that is already showing very well in its youth. By 2017 this Northern Rhone classic will have rounded out to a silky, spicy and poised red wine. The oak will have integrated and will lend texture and depth, without diminishing the delightful aromatics brought to the wine by the 5% Viognier.

Cote Rotie Champin Le Seigneur 2012

Cote Rotie Champin Le Seigneur 2012

Bottle Price: £35.95 / €49.99 Case Bottle Price: £32.36 / €44.99

For keeping 5 years plus

2010 was a magnificent vintage in Bordeaux and one which will outlive most of us. Put a bottle of this mighty wine away for 5 years and it will reward you with a wonderful spectrum of complex flavours. Produced from 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it is typical of the solid, masculine Pauillac style; yet in this vintage it has a lively, spicy quality and rich, expressive notes of coffee and tobacco. By 2019 the tannins will have softened somewhat, retaining the wine’s structure but making it more approachable and balanced.

Batailley 2010

Batailley 2010

Bottle Price: £44.99 / €58.00 Case Bottle Price: £40.49 / €52.20