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

JN Wine Blog

Five Reasons for buying Soalheiro this week

1) The weather is halfway decent and a delicious and refreshing glass of something chilled to cool you down will transport you to your happy place.  These wines tick all the boxes and what’s more, Soalheiro means ‘sunny place’.  It’s a sign, clearly...

2) The Alvarinho won the Regional Trophy in Decanter Magazine World Wine Awards published this month.  That is a serious endorsement.

3) The quality is superb.  This is a small, family-run winery in northern Portugal and Luis (son and winemaker) is verging on the fanatical, but in a very good way and it feels great to support such passionate and dedicated people.  Soalheiro wines could be considered to be meditations on the Alvarinho grape which is a very good thing indeed.

4) Soalheiro wines offer something to suit every palate (with the exception of die hard red wine fans who don’t drink white at all).  From fizzy to full bodied and all the shades in between, Luis has created something to fit the bill.    

5) There is 15% off for one week only.

Soalheiro Espumante Alvarinho 2013

Soalheiro Espumante Alvarinho 2013 Pk6

Bottle Price £16.99 / €28.50 - 15% Discount £14.44 / €24.23

Not at all like Prosecco, this is very dry and crisp with beautiful purity of fruit. 

Soalheiro Allo 2014

Soalheiro Allo 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £9.95 / €14.95 - 15% Discount  £8.46 / €12.71

Alvarinho’s little sister.  A blend of Loureiro and Alvarinho this has a really beautiful nose, very aromatic and pretty.  The Loureiro plumps out the Alvarinho and gives it a bit more ripe fruitiness.  Utterly charming.

Soalheiro Alvarinho 2014

Soalheiro Alvarinho 2014 Pk6

Bottle Price: £12.99 / €18.99 - 15% Discount £11.04 / €16.14

Also available in magnum.

The trophy winner.  Here’s what the world’s best wine magazine had to say:

“A definite step up from the norm, with its enticing nose interwoven with stones, sea salt, nectarine, banana and tropical fruits.  The mouth kicks off with a full and intense attack of floral fruit and spice, spreading across the palate before gliding into a deliciously fresh finish. A wonderful wine.” (Decanter Magazine, World Wine Awards 2015).

Soalheiro Reserva 2012 

Soalheiro Reserva 2012 Pk3

Bottle Price: £23.50 / €31.50 - 15% Discount £19.98 / €26.78

A barrel aged Alvarinho giving the wine extra body, fullness and richness and a more savoury character.  Fantastic with roast chicken or a match made in heaven with pulled pork.






Much Loved - Rustenberg

South Africa is having something of a moment in the sun.  Things have come a long way since the vast swathe of Swartland steen and the bulk wines they used to specialise in.  These days winemakers are focussing on quality and putting their energy into matching grape varieties to vineyard sites.  Lower yields, improvements in winemaking and the boundless enthusiasm from well-travelled and well-educated winemakers is moving the wine scene here in a very positive direction.  Jump in now and take advantage of some fabulous wines that offer really great value for money. 

Rustenberg is in Stellenbosch which is long regarded as South Africa’s prime vineyard land.  Winemaking at this estate dates back to 1682 when a German man, Roelof Pasman, recognised its winegrowing potential.  Since then, the estate has seen its fair share of changes including being divided in two and was sadly neglected at times.  John X Merriman (later to become President of the Cape) bought part of the estate in the 1800s and his brother in law bought the other part and the two undertook some major renovations and improvements.  These days the two estates are again united under the custodianship of the Barlow family who have been running the estate for over 70 years.  The philosophy is simple, to make “quality wines true to the style of the estate and the brand.”

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2014

Rustenberg Chardonnay 2014 Pk6

Rustenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Pk6

Rustenberg John X Merriman 2012 Pk6

Rustenberg Shiraz 2012 Pk6

Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Pk6

Rustenberg Straw Wine 2012 Pk6 37.5cls



Just in - Kate Radburnd

New Zealand has a fantastic reputation for top quality, varietal wines and this Kate Radburnd range encapsulates that singularity in a very approachable and easy to drink way.

Varietal wines are made from a sinfle grape variety to fully express the unique character of the grape. The wines are all deliciously ripe and fruity, extremely well made and accomplished in their simplicity. They're more aromatically focussed, and isn't that what we all love about a glass of wine? The simple act of pouring a glass of wine and savouring the aromas inanticipation of the flavour is one of life's little pleasures.

Kate is a leading figure in the NZ winemaking scene and one of the first to plant in the now famous Gimblett Gravels district in Hawkes Bay where the winery is based. In making this range of wines, they source fruit from different recions whose climates best suitthe various grape varieties and allow them to fully express their varietal character.

Pask Kate Radburnd Pinot Gris 2014

Pask Kate Radburnd Pinot Gris 2014

Bottle Price - £10.95 / €15.95 Case Bottle Price - £9.86 / €14.36

Pask Kate Radburnd Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Pask Kate Radburnd Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Bottle Price - £10.95 / €15.95 Case Bottle Price - £9.86 / €14.36

Pask Kate Radburnd Chardonnay 2014

Pask Kate Radburnd Chardonnay 2014

Bottle Price - £10.95 / €15.95 Case Bottle Price - £9.86 / €14.36

Pask Kate Radburnd Pinot Noir 2013

Pask Kate Radburnd Pinot Noir 2013

Bottle Price - £12.50 / €17.99 Case Bottle Price - £11.25 / €16.19

Pask Small Batch Cab Sauv 2013

Pask Small Batch Cab Sauv 2013 Pk6

Bottle Price - £15.95 / €22.50 Case Bottle Price - £14.36 / €20.25





L’Etoile: a star is born.

As owners of the stellar Chateau Pavie Macquin and Vieux Chateau Certan, the Thienpont’s family reputation goes before them. So when they decided to make their own wine sourcing grapes from neighbouring vineyards in Lalande de Pomerol, the wine world took heed. On our recent trip to the En Primeur week in Bordeaux we made a point of hunting it down and enjoyed a bottle on our last night in the bistro on St Emilion’s pretty little Place. 

Now, after a long week tasting young Claret, it takes something pretty special to ignite the jaded taste buds but L’Etoile 2012, we all agreed, did the trick. The nose has raspberry and dark chocolate with notes of tobacco and spice. The palate has an alluring, rich, fleshy feel with great depth of fruit and smoky licorice notes. The wine is from the 2012 Vintage which was justifiably praised on the Right Bank. It is drinking well now but will last another 3 – 4 years. We were lucky enough to secure a small parcel of the wine, don’t miss this opportunity to snap some up even if you squirrel it away for the cooler months.

L'Etoile 2012

Single bottle price £23.50 / €32.75

Buy 6 bottles for £123.30 (£20.55 per bottle) / €171.90 ( €28.65 per bottle )

Buy 12 bottles for £239.88 (£19.99 per bottle) / €333.60 ( €27.80 per bottle )

The Thienpont tasting is always a most welcome, relaxed affair, a chance to take a step back from the frantic pace of the Union des grands crus tastings.

So it was a pleasant surprise when Bernadette and Nicolas presented us with a glass of their new Bordeaux Rosé named after the famous Pyla sand dune which is reputedly the highest in Europe. The “pins” refers to the pine trees which have such an important role in the Bordeaux region in shielding the vineyards from the prevailing westerly, salty breezes which blow in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Pins du Pyla Rosé 2014

Pins Du Pyla Rose 2014

Bottle Price £9.95 / €15.95 - Case Price Per Bottle - £8.96 / €14.36

Magnum Bottle Price Magnum Bottle Price £21.95 / €33.75  - Case Price Per Bottle - £19.76 / €30.38


Very pale and Provençal-looking in terms of colour. Made from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it has all the qualities we look for in a summer rosé: youth, freshness and summer berry fruit with a zesty, crisp, clean structure. Dry in style – would be a perfect match for barbecued prawns or chicken.




Award Winning Sparkling Wines Announced!

The 2015 International Wine Challenge winners have just been announced and these sparkling wines are newly adorned with their medals.

JN Sparkling - Commended

J N Sparkling N V

£11.99 / €22.99 Case Price £10.79 / €20.69

Made especially for us at JN by Bouvet-Ladubay, the second oldest producer of sparkling wine in Saumur. The company works with over 120 local growers, who produce grapes with the guidance of Bouvet-Ladubay oenologists. As fresh and delicate as a spring morning, dry and really quite sophisticated.

J N Sparkling Rosé NV - Commended

J N Sparkling Rose N V

£12.50 / €23.95 Case Price £11.25 / €21.56

Another suprb value sparkling wine from the Loire Valley. This has a delicate strawberry/raspberry flavour and is remarkably easy to drink....

Forget Brimont 1er Cru NV Champagne - Bronze Medal

Forget Brimont Pk6

£24.95 / €39.50 Case Price £22.46 / €35.55

'Refined, lively nose with attractive sweet apple, lemon fruit. Nice toastiness and lovely finish'

Forget Brimont 1er Cru NV Rosé Champagne - Bronze Medal

Forget Brimont Rose Pk6

£27.95 / €41.99 Case Price £25.16 / €37.79

'Restrained strawberry aromas. Medium to light weight with good acidity'