Sauvignon 2019 released

This is another white that we’re proud of, winning Silver this year in Paris. Warm, dry weather in May and June 2019 reduced the risk of disease. The summer was very hot, but with the right amount of rain coming just at the right times. A perfect vintage.

This is a really attractive wine: a little more tropical than 2018, and full of intense fresh flavours.  Order here

(We will release the 2018 red soon, along with the two Reserve wines from that vintage. In the meantime we still have a good supply of the fabulous 2017 red.)

Harvest begins

The little rain we had at the vineyard at the end of last week will help with the red wines later in the month, but it’s the white grapes and the reds for the rosé that we started to pick this week in near perfect conditions.

It was sunny but not too hot with cool nights. This combination is essential for freshness, and the grapes had a perfect balance between fruit and acidity.

With the temperatures back over 30 degrees this weekend, we were keen to make the most of the opportunity.

Can music make wine taste better?

We’re all looking for that perfect harmony of food, wine, place, mood and company. Some may have experienced it at a Michelin starred restaurant, others in their garden with a simple but perfectly formed barbecue or a great pizza with friends.

Professor Charles Spencer of Oxford University has done research which suggests that matching the right music can add up to 15% to your wine drinking pleasure. Click here to find out more.

Not surprisingly, the theory is that lighter, high tempo music adds to the enjoyment of lighter wines like Sauvignon and more textured richer music with rich reds like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mathieu our winemaker has his choices here if you want to find out more. Do you agree? I hope it provides some inspiration this weekend! We’d love to hear your choices too.

August BBQs at the vineyard

We finally launch our 2020 barbecues at the vineyard on the 7th and 28th of August. Please note  bookings are required!

We are eager to see you again for these unforgettable and convivial evenings !

PROGRAM :

  • Tasting of all our cuvées and exceptional discounts !
  • Concert by Peter & Simon Lane
  • Local products Tapas
  • Aperitif products from Le Comptoir de Marguerite
  • Amazing duck meals from La Ferme du Canard in St Sernin
  • Goat cheeses from la Ferme de Lirau
  • Deserts & vegetarian options cooked by Lydie from The Old Bookshop
  • From 6.30 PM
  • This year BOOKING IS REQUIRED !
  • Book by email at domaine@grandmayne.net
  • By phone at +33 5 53 94 74 17

FOR YOUR SAFETY :

  • Bookings for a better management
  • Smaller tables with more space in between
  • Always outside
  • No more glass service, only bottles
  • Management of the queues
  • Disinfectant products at your disposal

10 ways to get the most from your wine

1) Buy the right wines. 

It looks like you’re doing well here. (But if you are in any doubt: try these!)

2) Store your bottles well.

Find somewhere with a stable temperature, preferably cool.  The stability is as important as the temperature itself. Wines with corks should be on their sides, and all wines will prefer to be in the dark.

3) Store long enough, but not too long.

Our white and rosé wines can be drunk young, and will be good for a few years, say 3 to 5.  The merlot cabernet and the reserve white will both be good for over 10 years, and both will evolve slightly over that time. The reserve red is probably best between 5 and 10 years, but should be great still up to 15 years (or longer). The dessert wine could outlast all of us.

4) Get the temperature right.

The simple rule for white wines is that they should be served cold, but not too cold. On a hot day there’s nothing better than a cold glass of Sauvignon or rosé, but be careful not to serve too cold as you might dumb down the lovely flavours. In practice this could mean getting the wine out of the fridge before you want to serve it, and this is especially important with the Reserve white.

The reds on the other hand are often served too warm, so may benefit from a bit of time in the fridge and that’s especially the case with the Merlot Cabernet. A little cooler than normal room temperature is a good starting point.

If you’re looking for greater precision on this topic, then further research will show that different temperatures are advised for different grape varieties. But as we’re doing GCSE not degree level here, we will move on.

https://www.wineware.co.uk/decanting/perfect-drinking-temperature-for-wine

5) Open your wine at the right time.

When’s the right time?  It depends on the wine … you’ll see that’s a reliable answer for just about all the points we have mentioned!

For the rosé and the white wines, opening shortly before you serve the wine is fine, and there is no great advantage in letting your wine breathe for hours beforehand.

For the younger red wines, then it’s often worth encouraging a certain amount of aeration.  The aeration will soften the tannins and allow some of the flavours to open up.  Opening the bottle alone will not do a great deal; the neck of the bottle is so narrow that there’s not a great deal of aeration.

Swirling the wine in your glass is effective, easy and quick, but be careful you don’t launch droplets onto your neighbour’s lap … never a cool move. More reliable might be double decanting about an hour before you drink it.   Just pour the contents of your bottle into a jug, and then pour it back into the bottle, clearing away any residual sentiment as you do so.

One word of caution here. If you keep your fine wines for decades, then there’s less need to aerate. Very old wines should be treated as if they are very fragile and not exposed to the world for very long.  It’s those robust young, full-bodied, reds that can be poured vigorously from bottle to decanter. Like humans, old wines should be handled gently and with respect.

https://www.decanter.com/learn/advice/let-wine-breathe-ask-decanter-363531/

6) Use the right wine glass.

In most cases, we would favour stemmed, large glasses, made from thin glass. The ideal shape having a bowl that tapers at the top to capture all the lovely ripe aromas. Treat yourself to a glass that would hold most of the bottle … and resist the temptation to fill it to the top!

For a well-written and fuller commentary on choosing wine glasses, try this link:  https://guides.wsj.com/wine/wine-tips-and-tricks/how-to-select-a-good-wine-glass/

7) Drink it before it loses flavour after opening.

You love the wine but for once you can’t finish the bottle. The whites and rosés should be fine in the fridge for three to four days and the reds even longer especially if also stored in the fridge. There are also lots of gadgets that will help to keep the wine fresh for even longer, from the widely available Vacuvin to the Corovin.

We also quite like the rather lovely ETO Wine Decanter and if price is not an issue then there is always the Enomatic machine.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/food/a574652/how-long-does-open-wine-last/

8) Know what you’re drinking.

For many wine enthusiasts, knowing a little about the wine they’re drinking is likely to enhance the experience. The taste might not improve by understanding the challenges for the wine maker of that particular vintage, but the appreciation and enjoyment might.

9) Drink with the right foods.

Going local is a great place to start, so the red wines of Grand Mayne tend to be great with duck, and the whites with goats cheese, for example.

But more generally, the rules are that delicate flavours go with delicate wines, fruity food flavours need fruity wines and richer, high fat and more powerful flavours are complemented by bigger wines, like the Grand Mayne reserves.

Simple food also usually means simple flavours in your wine.

Then there’s the influence of salt which is best balanced with a little acidity in the wine.

And finally, we should mention “unami”, the fifth taste, relating to the savoury flavours found in broths and cooked meats. These flavours are best unwrapped by matching, for example, a good Cabernet Sauvignon (or perhaps the Grand Mayne Reserve red) for an extra layer of deliciousness in both the food and the wine.

https://www.decanter.com/learn/food/recipes/food-and-wine/the-10-rules-of-food-and-wine-pairing-by-karen-macneil-289376/

10) Drink according to the lunar calendar.

We’ve all experienced drinking wines that taste fabulous on certain days and then, disappointingly, less wonderful on other days. Could it be the weather, your mood, the gin and tonic you had beforehand or even the people you’re with?

All of these factors may have some influence.  But there’s also the phases of the moon!  This is not something that any of us at Grand Mayne do much in practice, but there are some people who swear by it.

The biodynamic cycle suggests that fruit days are the best days to be drinking wine. Interestingly, the next fruit days are a week from now, and coincide with the opening of pubs and restaurants in England. Good timing, perhaps.

More info at: https://winefolly.com/lifestyle/biodynamic-calendar-fruit-day-wine-tasting/

Mathieu’s tasting videos

Many will have met our wonderful winemaker, Mathieu, either when visiting the vineyard or at an event in the UK.  As it’s hard to get to visit at the moment, we asked him to run through a few of the wines in short videos.

We’ll be adding more regularly but you can see them now on the Sauvignon, Rosé and Merlot Cabernet, along with latest vineyard news. They’re on our Youtube channel here.

The Curious Wine Quiz

Open a bottle of your favourite Grand Mayne wine and have some fun testing yourself with our unusual wine quiz.

You might also like to torture your friends and family by sharing it with them at your next techno meet up. They may not thank you for the quiz, but you could always remind them that they get 25% off the wine by using the code DISCOUNT25.

Just answer true or false to each of the twenty statements. There’s no need to turn to Google for help, as you can click here for the answers when you’re done. And here’s what we think of your score:

10 or under: thank you for being honest
11-14: better than just guessing
15-17: showing good knowledge or judgement
18-19: super impressive
20: Genius or Google

Enjoy!

Statements of fact … or are they fiction? True or False?
 

1) In Japan, it is possible to buy wine-flavoured KitKats.

 

2) A temporary worker in the Grand Mayne vineyard left work in protest that the morning ritual of kissing fellow workers was discouraged in the light of the emerging Coronavirus epidemic.

 

3) In the 1929 staging of the Tour de France, the Italian cyclists went on strike when the race officials insisted that their drinking vessels (called bidons) could be filled with French, but not Italian, wine

 

4) Researchers at NASA discovered that at zero-gravity, wine gives off a nasty odour.

 

5) Cabernet Sauvignon can be used to make white wine.

 

6) Scientists at the University of Cambridge have found that wine glasses have increased sevenfold in size over the last 300 years.

 

7) The original 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines was modified shortly after publication when one of the First Growth nominations was found to have been enhanced with black currant juice (cassis).

 

8) Snake wine is a drink in south-east Asia, made by infusing a snake in rice wine.

 

9) In the table of wine bottle names, a magnum is equivalent to two bottles and a goliath is equivalent to thirty-six bottles.

 

10) The restaurants of Piedmont in Italy, used to collect the contents of spittoons from the annual wine-tasting festival, as it was better for cooking than using cheaper wines from other regions.

 

11) Rosé is made by blending a small quantity of red wine with white wine.

 

12) A winery in Maryland, USA, is using a Boxer dog to help deliver wine to customers, thereby ensuring social distancing protocols are met.

 

13) Until the 1970s, it was the tradition for wine makers in the Bandol region of France to use donkeys to tread the grapes.

 

14) The residents of Tournon-sur-Rhône enjoyed an impromptu cheese and wine party after the driver of a wine delivery truck crashed into the village cheese store.

 

15) A winery in Abruzzo, Italy, set up a wine fountain so that pilgrims walking from Ortona to Rome could quench their thirst free of charge.

 

16) Additives that have been used in the past to give flavour to wine include fermented fish sauce, garlic and absinthe.

 

17) At the Grand Mayne annual UK garden party (since June 2014), guests can drink an unlimited amount of fabulous Grand Mayne wine.

 

18) In June 2017, one of the guests leaving the garden party was sufficiently confused to not notice that her taxi drove her to Haslemere in Surrey rather than Hazlemere in Buckinghamshire.

 

19) Wine gums were invented by Charles Maynard, who was the son of a staunch Methodist teetotaller.

 

20) In 2009, a 15-year old boy was not allowed to buy wine gums from a store in Wisbech, as he was too young to buy alcohol.

Bottles getting smaller?

Some of our customers have said that their bottles seem to be getting smaller. This phenomenon has been especially noticeable with our newly released Rosé 2019.

We are pleased to confirm that our bottles are still 750ml, and we suggest that the illusion was largely caused by the drinkability of the wine in sunny conditions over the Easter weekend.

You can check yourself by ordering here

There’s a 25% discount for everyone during lockdown. Use Discount Code DISCOUNT25 if you don’t already have an account.

Vine inspired jewellery

The vine tendril is extraordinary.  Every one different, new each year, delicate and fine but with the strength to support the grape laden vines.  And they’re also very beautiful and have been a source of some great photography and art works which is why we decided to use them on our labels.

A shareholder and good friend of Grand Mayne called Christopher Milton Stevens who designs and makes some fabulous jewellery from his Bath studio, visited the vineyard and loved the opportunity the shapes gave him.

Christopher photographed hundreds of tendril shapes at the vineyard, then went away and began designing a stunning range of items.

Inspired by his visits to the vineyard, we thought you’d enjoy the full story behind the range which Christopher has called “Vine”.

Click here to see his design story.

Great Spectator Review

We received a wonderful endorsement in the Spectator last month:  Mathieu was especially pleased to see that his Reserve red “knocks the spots off” many of the more expensive wines emerging from Bordeaux.  Thank you Johnny Ray for recognising this! here’s the full review:-

“Not so much a wine merchant as a multi-award-winning artisan winery with vineyards in the Côtes du Duras near Bordeaux and a UK outlet in Hampshire, from where they deliver across the country.

My pick: 2017 Domaine du Grand Mayne Reserve, 13.5%vol, £11.21 (down from £14.95). As enjoyed at a recent Spectator Winemaker Lunch, a succulent, ripe, oak-aged Cabernet/Merlot blend made just down the road from Bordeaux that knocks the spots off many a twice-the-price claret.”