Author Archives: presswineservices

An English Wine Table: Tasting notes

Tasting notes from the English Wine Table at the Goods Shed, Canterbury, 31st of May 2013.

Limney ‘Blanc de Blanc’, Kent 2007, £19.75

The Limney Blanc de Blanc, sadly one of the few remaining bottles, showed a lean, green apple fruit lifted by some yeasty notes, very clean and fresh, despite its age. The palate was still youthful, with a vibrant mousse, and fresh character. The apple notes came through on the palate , the wine has a clean, light character with a medium finish. It is certainly one of the better ‘non-champagne varietal fizzes produced.


Ambriel, Redfold Vineyard, Sussex, £27.50

Ambriel has a fine brioche nose with ripe citrus characters which follow through onto a dry, crisp, flavoursome palate. The mousse is fine and persistent , the lemon notes are  pure and ripe, and lead to a citrus fresh finish. There is a maturing character to the wine which can be drunk with great pleasure now but will round out marvelously over the next 2 to 4 years.

Pilgrim’s Harvest, Barnsole Vineyard, Kent 2010, £10.50

Made from Huxelrebbe this wine showed intense aromatics of muscat and ripe peach with a catty edge. Many on the table loved its fresh character with the touch of sweetness balancing the crisp acidity. Certainly an English wine for warm summer days in the garden.

Throwley Reserve, Faversham, Kent 2008, £10.80

This is a mature Ortega wine and has a fairly neutral character but showed some pear and cobnut aromas. On the palate it is dry and broad, not too old, but clean and crisp. Its more neutral character puts one in mind of a Chablis; mineral and pure, a perfect foil for white fish.

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Darnibole Bacchus, Camel Valley, Cornwall, 2010, £17.00

Bob Lindo’s single vineyard Bacchus is still vibrant, showing that herbal, grassy note so typical of Bacchus. The palate is flavoursome and long with a linear style. The slate soils of the vineyard show through in the crystalline manner of the wine.

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Gribble Bridge Rose, Biddenden, Kent 2011, £9.90

The Biddenden rosé was well received at the Table with red cherry and berry fruits, a light, moreish palate, and its clean and fresh style. Sometimes a well made simple wine, well balanced and sapid is all that one requires and this wine achieves these objectives well.

Gribble Bridge Red, Biddenden, Kent, £9.90

The two reds were both from the dornfelder grape. But each showed a different style. The Biddenden wine was light, with flavours of wild strawberry and a touch of spice. The tannins were light and it had a Beaujolais freshness and style.

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Canterbury Choice Red Reserve, Barnsole Vineyard, Kent 2010, £12.50

The Dornfelder from Barnsole has more weight and heft. The fruit more in line with cranberry and dark spices. The body feels slightly fuller and the tannins offer texture and grip. And the closest French style would be that of Cabernet Franc from the Loire. The table was split, some prefer the lighter Biddenden others the grip of Barnsole, especially after the second mouthful and some fine Ashmore Cheese.



Westgate Hall Wine Challenge, 20th April

I am delighted to help the Westgate Community Trust raise funds for the refurbishment of the Westgate Hall. We will be holding an event on the 20th of April. It iss short notice, I know, but I thought you’d like to know there are a few tickets available. It promises to be a great night of fun, food and wine.

The Challenge involves tasting six wines, in teams of 5 or 6 people, and answering some questions about the the wines (with some clues and advice from me). The most successful team will win a selection of wines. There is also a delicious light supper produced by Patrick Williams (of Patrick’s Kitchen, from the Goods Shed).

The Westgate Hall Wine Challenge is on the 20th of April, at 7pm at the Westgate Hall,  Canterbury. Tickets are £25 and will help raise much needed funds for the refurbishment of the Hall. You can book as teams of 5 or 6 or individually (we can help make up tables). To book please send an email to the or call 07912626433.

Here is a bit more information about the Westgate Community Trust and what they are trying to achieve:

“About three years ago the Westgate Hall, a 100-year old large Drill Hall in the centre of Canterbury that is used for community events, dancing, fairs, giving blood, concerts,  meetings, etc. was threatened with demolition due to budget cuts. A group of local people got together and formed the Westgate Community Trust, a charity that have managed to give this big building a new future as a community hall and a digital cinema, by forming a partnership with Curzon Cinemas. They are about to sign the lease for the building now and are getting ready to do a major refurbishment of the building, which needs a new roof, new windows, doors, etc.

Canterbury is a great city, attracting so many visitors from all over the world, yet local people can often feel that there is little for them in the city, and few opportunities to engage in social activities and hobbies. The Westgate Hall will be run as a centre for people of all ages Canterbury to meet, learn and play. And it will be a venue for local businesses to hold events.”


Dinner at Samphire Whitstable

It has been a long time since I worked with David Hart, ex of the Fitz at Goodneston and the Goods Shed (amongst) others, and also with George Lister, but I am very happy to report that we will be combining on a fabulous wine dine at Samphire in Whitstable. The date is Thursday May 16th, arrive 7.15 pm for an aperitif and we aim to start serving the dishes at 7.30 pm.

The tickets are £55 per person and will include a glass of each wine with each course, additional glasses will be available at £3.00 per glass.  The menu and wines to be served are listed below. If you are interested please apply directly to Samphire on 01227 770075.


Salad of peas, broad beans, cured ham and poached egg

Comenge Verdejo, Rueda, Spain 2012

Poached Sea trout with Jersey Royals, Kentish Asparagus and hollandaise

Domaine Villargeau, Coteaux du Giennois, 2011

Roast and braised Monkshill farm lamb with shallot puree, cherry tomatoes and rosemary

Biberius Crianza, Ribera del Duero, 2009

Cheesemakers of Canterbury Brie with a truffled walnut salad

Domaine Vieux College, Fixin, Les Recilles, 2009

Rhubarb tart with elderflower ice cream

Ancienne Cure, Monbazillac, 2010

Wine notes from the Central Italian wine dinner at the Sportsman, March 7th

The Sportsman, Seasalter

 Central Italian Dinner March 7th


‘Miolo’ Brut Villa Cresptori, Franciacorta NVOkay , so it is not from the region but it is a delicious, fresh sparkling wine made in the Method Traditionelle. There is a light bready, yeasty note to the wine which also appears on the palate along with a touch of ripe lemon and brioche. The wine is dry, with a fine mousse, and fresh without the austerity of Champagne but retains an uplifting freshness reminiscent of its upland origin.

Smoked cod deep fried breaded balls with an intense blanched parsley purée.

Oysters fresh and baked

Belissario, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011

Delightful crisp and gently aromatic white with a light to medium body and long fresh finish. The wine was wonderful match for both forms of the oyster.


Pigeon Rissotto

Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2010

A black cherry fruited wine with focus on fruit and a light yet sustained tannic underbelly. Slightly overwhelmed by the risotto but fine on its own.

Fattoria le Terrazze, Rosso Conero 2008

Another expression of the Montepulciano grape but this time with more body and tannic structure. The fruit was dark berry, chocolate and leather. Its depth and spice a fine partner for the risotto.


Sea bream with smoked seabream roe sauce

Vesevo Greco di Tufa, Campania 2011

A pleasing, medium bodied wine with good breadth and freshness but lacking the mineral core to partner the fish.

Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010

A fine example of the style with a silky texture and some savoury, nutty notes to counterbalance the ripe pear fruit. A good partner for the bream with the extra weight and depth required.


Ox Cheek

Fontodi, Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2008

A stylish, Chianti offering good density and concentration with flavours and aromas of dried herbs, cherries and cedar. Long and powerful, still in need of a couple of years to mellow and integrate.

Isole e Olena, Cepparello, Tuscany 2006 

Terrific wine with fine, complex and sensual aromatics giving an array of dried red fruits, spices, herbs and sweet leather. The characters evolved in the glass yielding up further aromatic notes. The palate was clean, bright and intense. The fine tannins were in harmony with the elegant fruit, acidity. This is a very well balanced wine, drinking exceptionally well now and with a good 8 years ahead of it. And the closure is a stelvin!


Sportoletti, Vina Fidellia Rosso, Umbria 2005

Served as an amuse bouche this was a powerful , dense, tannin driven wine supported by dark black fruits and a hint of mint. A sort of St Estephe of Italy. Really well done and just getting into its stride. I first tried this wine 2 years ago and found it too tannic, time seems to have worked its spell.


Tea Junket with Pina Colada Ice Cream

Selvapiano, Vin Santo 2005

Not the perfect match by any stretch of the imagination but the wine performed very well. The aromatics are of honey, caramel and dried figs and dates, there is a touch, just a touch, of oxidation to bring complexity. The palate is intensely flavoured and very sweet and lush but is cut by a fine fresh acid and delivers a long harmonious finish.

Wines and Prices


‘Miolo’ Brut Villa Cresptori, Franciacorta NV 18.00
Belissario, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011 9.25
Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2010 9.00
Fattoria le Terrazze, Rosso Conero 2008 17.25
Vesevo Greco di Tufa, Campania 2011 13.90
Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010 15.99
Fontodi, Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2009 19.50
Isole e Olena, Ceperello, Tuscany 2006  59.00
Sportoletti, Vina Fidellia Rosso, Umbria 2005 28.00
Selvapiano, Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina 2004 34.70

Spring Dinner at the Goods Shed

A great night of food and wine at Rafael’s Restaurant at the Goods Shed, with Rafa choosing some seasonal dishes of interest and quality. I have selected some terrific wines to partner to dishes including some new wines imported directly from Spain. The menu is to be found below.

Spring Dinner

 Rafael’s Restaurant

Thursday 21st March


Franciacorta Brut


Comenge, Rueda Verdjo,2012


Confit Rabbit

Biberius Crianza, Ribero del Duero 2009


Turbot with Roasted Chicken wings

Bucci , Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore, 2010

Domaine Vieux College, Marsannay Blanc 2010


Rhubarb Dessert Platter

A Mano Aleatico di Puglia Passito, Puglia 2009


The dinner, including wines, coffee or tea, costs £55 and tickets can be purchased by emailing me on or phoning 07778 640381. It promises to be a great evening, starting with aperitifs from 7.15 pm and going to the table at 7.30 pm. We aim to finish at around 10.30 pm.

The wines have been carefully selected to give interest and quality and to partner the dishes. Whilst each wine is fascinating and offers a taste treat, I am particularly looking forward to  the exceptional Aleatico di Puglia Passito, made from semi dried Aleatico grapes, which has an extraordinary character of sweet ripe fruit and sour cherry acidity.

Places are limited so if you would like to attend please let me know soon.

A central Italy wine dinner at the Sporstsman, 7th March

There are a few tickets available for this Thursday’s central Italy wine dinner at the Sportsman, Seasalter, in collaboration with Chef Stephen Harris. The evening will consist of a selection of snacks followed by a four course dinner with two wines served with each course, and an additional two wines of special interest will be introduced during the meal. Coffee and tea is served at the end of the dinner.

We will be tasting some fine central Tuscan wines including: Verdicchio del Matellica, Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi by Bucci, traditional and textured. Fontodi’s Chianti Classico, Cepperallo from Isole e Olena, and Sportoletti’s big red from Umbria.

Tickets £ 87.50/head. Aperitif from 7pm to sit down at the table for 7.30 pm. Carriages best booked for 10.45 p.m.

To book contact Clive on or telephone 07778 640381.


Moorish Meze and Wine Tasting at the Forge Bistro, Canterbury

On the 1st March Marleen from the Forge Bistro, in Canterbury, will create a number of dishes of Moorish style and Clive Barlow has been challenged to find wines to match them.

It promises to be a fascinating mix of spices and flavours with 6 courses and a wine to partner each. The menu is below, showing a vegetarian option with each meat dish.The cost is terrific value at £35.00.



Mini chicken skewers with Baharat spices and Muhammara dip (roasted red peppers, walnuts, pomegranate molasses)

Hummus with pomegranates

Zaalak (spicy Moroccan aubergine and tomato salad)

Pitta crisps


  1. Tunisian fishcakes (turmeric,cumin,coriander,Harissa,ginger) served with a Harissa and ginger mayo dip
  2. Prawn tagine with saffron, ginger and fennel -Tagine bil kimroun- (Vegetable tagine with saffron, ginger and olives)
  3. Chicken tagine with preserved lemon and olives (Falafels with tomato jam)
  4. Lamb Shawarma in pitta pockets -pepercorns-cloves-cardomom-fenugreek-fennel seeds-cumin seeds-ginger-cinnamon-paprika- (Haloumi in spicy Chraimel sauce)


Tunisian filo cigars -almonds, pistache, honey-

Morocan Fruit compote with orange flower water


Call the Forge Bistro on 01227 788 022 to book your place! £35 per head. Starts 7:30pm

The Forge Bistro is at 61 Dover Street, Canterbury, CT1 3HD.

Wine notes from the Wine Table Tasting, 25th January 2013

Domaine La Croix Gratiot, Picpoul de Pinet 2011, £ 8.25
Bright clean, citrus notes on nose with a touch of minerality and apple. A broad, clean mouthwateringly fresh palate, with some depth. Good quality Picpoul crying out for seafood.


Comenge Verdejo, Rueda, 2012, £9.90
Very youthful and aromatic wine showing pears, grapefruit and pineapple with a good intensity. Lively crisp and dry palate, more grapefruit flavours, decent finish and depth. A fine example of modern Rueda Verdejo.


Domaine Antugnac, Terres Amoureuses, Limoux 2010, £11.75
This is a subtle Chardonnay giving gentle oat and ripe lemon aromas. The palate is long and discrete, sustained. Very well balanced and harmonious it has a shy/coy character.

Mas Cal Demoura, ‘l’Etincelle’, IGP d’Herault 2011, £18.90
A lively apricot and floral nose with a touch of weight and complexity, certainly showing some
depth. The palate is broad and fresh with good depth and mouth feel. Yellow fruits dominate but there is a pleasing spice and quince complexity.

Calmel and J Joseph, St Chinian, 2010, £9.90
Lifted aromatics of black olive tapenade, pepper and black fruit jelly lead to a mid weight savoury palate. Well balanced and juicy fruit, with fine tannins giving a gentle dusty texture.

Biberius Crianza , Ribera del Duero, 2009, £12.50
Mature nose offering mocha, dark fruits and plums. The palate has a good depth of fleshy ripe fruit balanced by plentiful mellow tannins and oak spice, Long finish, classy wine. Got the vote of best value wine and a bit of an ‘ooh la la’ moment!


Chateau la Negly, ‘La Falaise’ , La Clape 2010, £19.00
Powerful on nose and palate with a warm Mediterranean feel giving ripe fruits of red berries, figs and cherry accompanied by garrigue herb and spice. Rich warming palate; plenty of concentration in this wine with sustained fruit finish.

wine table 25 jan

Domaine Hortus, Grand Cuvée Rouge, Pic St Loup 2010, £20.50
Restraint and harmony are the calling cards of this elegant layered wine. It has savoury and fruit notes with a fine gentle tannic mesh giving support. It really shines with food.

Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, ‘Domus Maximus’, 2008, £27.00
A handsome, deeply coloured masculine wine. It has a Pauillac character of black fruits, cedar, and pepper enveloping a firm, erect tannic core. Lush, dense fruit, great depth and a long poised finish. Drinking well now but has several years ahead of it.


Wine list for the 25th of January, mostly Languedoc, Wine Table

Opening up the reds for tonight’s (mostly) Languedoc Wine Table; the Hortus’s Grand Cuvée and la Neglys, ‘La Falaise’ are going to be stunning!

We will be tasting:

Domaine La Croix Gratiot, Picpoul de Pinet 2011 £8.25
Comenge Verdejo, Rueda, 2012 £9.90
Domaine Antugnac, Terres Amoureuses, Limoux 2010 £11.75
Mas Cal Demoura, ‘l’Etincelle’, IGP d’Herault 2011 £18.90
Calmel and J Joseph, St Chinian, 2010 £9.90
Biberius Crianza , Ribera del Duero, 2009 £12.50
Chateau la Negly, ‘La Falaise’, La Clape 2010 £ 19.00
Domaine Hortus, Grand Cuvée Rouge, Pic St Loup 2010 £20.50
Domaine Massamier La Mignarde, ‘Domus Maximus’, 2008 £27.00


Wine tables and Sportsman dinners from Press Wine Services

I am currently in Krems, Austria trying to learn the terroir of the different regions of Kremstal and Wachau, such is the life of the hard pressed wine merchant! But , I thought you might like to know of a few events we are planning in the spring of 2013.

In addition to our One Day wine course (3rd of February) we are also running a number of Wine Tables at the Goods Shed, Canterbury,  and wine dinners at The Sportsman, Seasalter. The Tables are quite informal and are a great opportunity to try some wonderful wines and share them with like minded people. This year we will put on one a month and provide light, but satisifying tapas style dishes and the Tables will have a theme running through them.

The Sportsman dinners are terrific evenings of fine food and wine. Stephen Harris always produces a memorable range of dishes many of which are created solely for the Wine Dinners.

The Wine Table

Once a month Press Wine Services will be running a ‘Wine Table’ evening at which a selection of 8 wines will be opened and tasted. Corks will be drawn and the first wine poured at 7 pm; we aim to serve the final wine at 8.30pm. There will also be a range of tapas style dishes during the evening

The dates are as follows

Friday 25th January: Languedoc wines will dominate this tasting, with a selection of some of the finest wines from the region including Domaine Hortus and La Negly.

Friday 15th Februaryan opportunity to explore the wines of northern Italy. So as well as wines from the sensual Nebbiolo grape we will taste those from the Veneto region and Fruili.

Friday 22nd March: blended beauties will be at the forefront of this evening’s event. Bordeaux and the southern Rhone will be shown as well as intereting creatures from further abroad!

Friday 26th April: Recent finds and favourites will feature in this tasting show should be an exciting night of discovery.

Places are limited to a dozen guests so please book as soon as possible. The cost is £ 15 per person, payable with your booking.

More details about the wines to be tasted will posted here as we approach the dates so do keep looking.

            Sportsman Dinners

Chef Stephen Harris will create a number of dishes according to the season and, if he thinks it appropriate, to match the wines of the region. Each evening will consist of an aperitif with a selection of snacks followed by a four course dinner with two wines served with each course, and an additional two wines of special interest will be introduced during the meal. Coffee and tea is served at the end of the dinner. Carriages best booked for 10.45 p.m.

Thursday March 7th – Central Italy: Tuscany, Abruzzo, Umbria, Lazio

Thursday March 28thLanguedoc Roussillon

Thursday April 25thDouro and Duero: Ribera del Duero, Toro, Rueda, Cigales, Douro

Thursday May 30th Riesling and Pinot Noir from around the world.

Tickets £ 87.50/head. Aperitif from 7pm to sit down at the table for 7.30 pm

Thank you for your support and all the best for 2013,