Despite Brexit, it’s full steam ahead at the Anglo/French alliance of Domaine du Grand Mayne, with our only immediate concerns relating to exchange rates and the impact on the price of wines in the UK.
For now we’ve decided to keep UK prices unchanged, making the wines even better value, and it’s also a great time to save some extra pennies (or euro’s!) by collecting from our Calais warehouse.
Visiting is great at any time of the year but there’s no better time to be there than during the harvest.
The Harvest Event is on the 24/25 of September, with long lunches, lively company and gourmet dinners. You can also really be involved in the production of this year’s wine.
Grape picking, tasting fresh pressed juice, discussing the impact of weather on the style of the wines, and all against a backdrop of long lunches, wine, great company and a Saturday night celebration of gourmet food and dancing under the moonlight! Click here to find out more.
The President of the Royal Choral Society is HRH The Duke of Kent who last year celebrated his eightieth birthday. It was decided to hold a concert to mark this and the many years of service that the Duke has put in on behalf of not just the Royal Choral Society but many other charities throughout the UK.
It was also thought that it would be a good idea to make it a party for the choir, their families and friends and choir supporters who faithfully attend our concerts – as a way of saying “thank you” for your support.
And so on 12 May in the Great Hall at Central Hall Westminster the choir entertained their guests to a delightful concert, preceded by a wonderful reception and followed by a further reception with delicious “puddings”. The wine flowed, even on Methodist premises, and it was of course supplied by Domaine du Grand Mayne with specially printed labels marking the occasion – and delicious it was too!
The team have had their challenges so far this year, and there’s no doubt that the bad weather during blossoming will result in a smaller harvest.
We’ve been luckier than many others though who have been really badly hit by the frost and hail. In the last few weeks the sun’s come out and its been very hot , and much of the vintage comes from the weather over the coming months. Whatever this year brings, we’ve got some fabulous wines from the 2015 vintage in tank and barrel to look forward to!
All the new bottlings of the unoaked varietal wines will provide you with some great summer drinking. The 2015 Sauvignon is ripe and pure, the Rosé is delicate, fresh and dry, whilst the 2014 Merlot Cabernet is luscious and soft.
But we’re also really fond of the 2014 Sauvignon. And if you want to grab a bargain we’ve reduced the price on the last few cases by €1 a bottle in Calais.
If the reserve wines are your thing, then you’ll find that the 2012 vintages of both white and red are drinking beautifully.
Click here to order.
The big relief in the vineyard last month was that we missed the devastating frosts that hit the Loire, Chablis, Macon and Burgundy. The damage a late frost can do is unrecoverable as it kills off the sprouting buds and with it, that year’s harvest. There’s a long way to go yet in 2016, but everyone’s been busy making sure that the whole vineyard, including the new vines planted last winter, are in great condition. Our fingers are firmly crossed for another great vintage.
Meanwhile, in the cellar Mathieu will be checking to see if racking (see below) is necessary, and getting ready to take the 2015 Reserve white out of barrel. Martin Meinert reckons that the Sauvignon from the limestone soils is the best he’s tasted from Grand Mayne, and the Sémillon is also excellent, so hopes for this wine are very high at this stage.
The 2014 Reserve white is also excellent, with balance and complexity.
Of the Reserve reds, the 2014 is about to be blended using some exceptional Merlot and Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 to follow is promising to be spectacular and amongst the very best in 30 years of Grand Mayne. Deeply concentrated Merlot, beautifully ripe Cabernet Franc and powerful and complex Cabernet Sauvignon will provide some fabulous ingredients for Mathieu and the team to weave some magic.
Racking: or soutirage is a traditional method in wine production of moving wine from one barrel to another using gravity rather than a pump. The process is repeated when the casks are moved to the second-year cellar. Soutirage was developed in the Bordeaux region of France in the 19th century at a time when there was no electricity to power pumps and many estates in the area still employ this labour-intensive method. During aging, the wine is decanted several times from barrel to barrel, with tiny amounts of oxygen softening tannins. The process also helps clarify and freshen the wine by removing the fine lees or sediment.
You’ll find Grand Mayne wines now in pretty well all of the local restaurants in Duras as well as an increasing number further afield like the Michelin starred La Tour des Vents near Bergerac where we’re often the only Duras wine on the list.
Closer to home you can order Grand Mayne at an ever increasing number of great restaurants and Gastro pubs.
List of restaurants serving Grand Mayne
Christmas! It is closer than you think – around eight weeks in fact. Are you ready? Presents wrapped? Tree ordered? Menus prepared? Wine bought?
Obviously we can’t help wrap the presents or trim the tree but we can help with the wine either as a gift or for your own enjoyment. No problem.
You could be buying some of our fantastic wines for as little as £4.25 per bottle if you fancy a quick trip to France! Choose from our range of fresh dry whites, pale pink rosés or succulent reds all produced by our wine maker Mathieu Crosnier and a small dedicated team in the rolling fields of the Côtes de Duras in France.
You can save duty on our award winning Sauvignons, our delicate perfumed Rosé or our soft juicy and smooth Cabernet Merlot by picking them up from our warehouse in Calais. Wines cost £3.70 less when you pop over the Channel to Calais. You get the same £3.70 saving on our Réserve Range of aged Sauvignon Semillion 2012 or Merlot Cabernet 2011 that come in at just £7.25 a bottle. And to get the party started, don’t forget our Sparkling Rosé – a Grand Mayne favourite fresh with fine bubble and a refreshing taste of strawberries priced in Calais at just £6.60 a bottle.
And there is no better time to travel now that the ferries and tunnel are off peak with ferry prices starting from as little as £35 each way (approx. 90 minutes) and tunnel prices from as little as £30 each way (approx. 35 minutes).
Why not make a day of it by having lunch at one of the many excellent restaurants in Calais. The top one on Trip Advisor at the moment is the Aquar ‘Aile which as well as first class cuisine has views over the beaches and out across the channel. For the full Travel Advisor top ten listing go here
There are also bargains to be had. Head for the village of Coquelles to visit Cité Europe and for designer bargains Marques Avenue Factory Outlet may be just the ticket. And finally stock up your larder French style with jams, meat, charcuterie and fresh seafood.
Check the prices for our whole range before ordering online and collecting from the very friendly family run English speaking Franglais Vins which is a short seven minute drive from the ferry terminal and only a two minute drive from the tunnel. They are open seven days a week and as well as stocking Domaine du Grand Mayne wines you can take the opportunity to stock up on beers and ciders.
But if none of this is for you then you can order now for free delivery to anywhere in the UK any of our wines starting at just £7.95 a bottle for the Varietal Range or if you fancy a treat for Christmas just £10.95 for our Réserve Range. And if you want to get the party started then opt for our Sparkling at just £8.99 a bottle.
P&O Ferries can be booked here
DFD Seaways here
The tunnel crossings can be booked here.
See you in Calais!
We’re delighted to let you know that our online shop has launched and people are already buying their wine online. It’s really simple… go to https://www.domaine-du-grand-mayne.com/ and hover over ‘Shop’ in the main menu. You’ll get three options: UK Shop (to have it delivered to your home or collect from our offices), Calais Shop (to collect your wine at Calais) and Vineyard Shop (to collect your wine from our vineyard). Pick whichever you want and start shopping!
To use our online shop you’ll need to create an account. There is a button on there to set this up and many of you will already have your login details. If you have questions, or get stuck, however, just contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s nothing worse that sitting at a wine tasting listening to everyone around you enthusing about tasting apples when all you can taste is… well… wine! Is being able to taste all these flavours the sign of a real wine expert, or something that one can learn?
A recent article in The Telegraph (19th September 2015) reported on a controversial new study that stated that the taste of wine varies greatly, depending on the size of the sip taken.
The article stated:
“While taking a small slurp can produce grassy, woody and even almond flavours in a white wine, a larger gulp can transform it into a blast of citrus and flowers.”
According to the scientists behind the research, this is because wine releases different quantities of chemicals, known as volatiles, in the mouth depending on the volume of liquid tipped in. These chemicals influence the way it tastes.
We all know that the smell of wine is important and it does, indeed, influence the way we experience the taste of wine. However, the researchers found that human saliva fundamentally changes the way volatiles are released from wine, producing quite different flavours in our mouths than we would expect from smelling the wine. This explains why, sometimes, we smell something very different from the eventual taste.
As you would expect, this research has caused a stir within the wine community. Many commentators have suggested that it will change the way wine tasting is conducted in the future.
However, Victoria Moore, the Telegraph’s wine critic, made a valid point when she said that it would be very hard for drinkers to accurately regulate the amount they took with each sip for it to make any meaningful difference.
“Everything we do changes the way we taste the wine, whether it’s the type of glass we use to the amount we pour into the glass. But sniffing remains one of the most important ways we detect flavours,” she said, adding:
“It’s hard enough to persuade people not to fill their glasses to the top because you lose the aroma of the wine which produces so much of the taste, never mind them remembering to alter the size of their sips.”
But what impact does (or should) this have on your glass of wine at home? Day-to-day, probably very little. However, this study suggests that you could enjoy far more sensory pleasure from your glass of wine simply by varying the size of your sips.
The researchers recommend small sips to taste baked apple, apple pie and floral flavours associated with Chardonnay, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc, while larger sips detect the flavour of berries, cherries, grapefruit and honey.
We’d be interested to hear your views on this, and the flavours you can taste in Domaine du Grand Mayne wines, depending on how you taste them.
Full details of the research can be read here.