19 December 2015

gift certificates

Running out of time to get to the shops? 
We are here to help!

A DiscoverVin gift voucher is a fantastic gift for any wine loving family and friends.

Our gift vouchers are available online and can be redeemed by the recipient online, or by phone, using an individualised code.  A mobile Gift Card can be delivered to your loved ones mobile phone as a picture message. Choose an amount, schedule delivery time, add a message and hit send!

Indeed these are always available and are suitable for Birthdays/Thankyou/Congratulations etc as well as Christmas.

So forget the traffic and the crowds, grab some gift certificates and relax and enjoy the festive season!
TO ORDER: Jump online or please call us on 02 6020 6016 or  0414 596 395 for assistance or send us an email  info@discovervin.com.au . 

Our usual terms and conditions apply.

Seasons Greetings from all the team at DiscoverVin!

13 December 2015

christmas top 5

'Tis the season to be jolly! Here are our top 5 Christmas/New Year wine suggestions.

Gift Packs
Christmas is all about giving after all. We have some great gift packs ready to be sent. We can send to you or to the gift recipient. We can include a personalised note.

We also have individualised gift certificates at various price points that can be redeemed on line.

Jump on line or give Helen a call on 0260 206 016 or 0414596395 for ideas.

Many of us look forward to a glass or two of bubbles with friends and family over Christmas. This one is fantastic. Its being poured in some great restaurants in Australia and around the world.  Its well-priced enough to pour a glass for your family (well maybe!) By the bottle its $54 or $49 in a six pack.

We are thrilled to see the rise and rise of dry rosé. Rosé sales now exceed white wine in France, and it has really taken off in Australia in the last few years. We have 2 lovely rosé wines

Chateau Rollan de By
This is a special wine that would go perfectly with turkey and ham and everything festive. It recently out scored the famous Chateau Margaux and Chateau Cheval Blanc (featured in the movie Sideways) in a blind tasting. Both these wines sell for >$1000 per bottle. We heard its being served on Air France business class! This is $59. A special wine to enjoy over the holiday period. Limited stocks. Find it here.

Mixed packs

We have some great mixed packs at various price points with a mix of rose/whites/reds and dessert wines. Don't forget we can send to your holiday address. 

Some clever customers have done this in previous years and had a case of their favourites delivered to their holiday accommodation/agents. Brilliant! Click here to buy.

Courier deadlines are approaching so please jump on line and order ASAP.

Whatever you are doing this holiday season, eat and drink well but drink responsibly.

8 November 2015

New vintage of our best selling rosé

Since we began DiscoverVin in 2011, this lovely dry rosé from Chateau La Rayre in Bergerac has been one of our best selling wines.

It seems to appeal to wine lovers who would not normally look at rosé. It is darker in colour and has more body than other styles of rosé (this is achieved by pressing the skins with the juice which otherwise would be clear). From the colour you might think it to be sweet but it is textural and dry.

Many of our regular customers have tried or bought this wine. If you haven't, give it a go and we are sure you will enjoy it!

Region/Terroir: Bergerac.
Grapes: Merlot and cabernet franc.
Our Tasting notes: Blackcurrant, raspberry and strawberry nose with an ample unctuous palate. Beautiful balance and freshness. Lovely dry finish. This new vintage is a a winner!

Drink on its own or with food. It's  a great wine to take to a bbq, or to the beach, or to have with noodles or enjoy as a sunset tipple on the verandah - it goes with just about anything! 
Drink chilled.

This would be perfect to have on hand for barbies, picnics, end of year break ups, Christmas, New Years Eve etc !

To order click on this link. Trade price available on application.(info@discovervin.com.au) 

10 October 2015

International Trophy Red Blend under £15 – Château Bouissel, "Le Bouissel" Fronton, Southwest France 2011

Chateau Bouissel, "Le Bouissel" 2011 has won the the Decanter International Trophy for Red Blend under 15 pounds. 

From the small appellation of Fronton near Toulouse in south-west France, its a blend of Shiraz, Malbec and the unique local/indigenous variety of Négrette. This grape is known for producing wine with rich fruit, aromatic character, soft spice and velvety tannins. Largely replaced in the region by international varieties such as merlot and shiraz in the 20th century, the Selle family at Chateau Bouissel have championed this variety.

Out of 16000 wines tasted by a panel of 250 judges, 35 wines received a trophy in the Decanter awards. 8 were French, 2 were red wines- Le Bouissel 2011 and a Burgundy (Domaine de la Vougeraie).

Long recognised as one of the leading producers in the region, on an ideal site on the 3rd terrace of the Tarn river, the Selle family are a little amused at being tagged an "overnight success". Since taking over the Chateau in 1978, Pierre and Isabelle have embarked on a program of renovation, renewal and replanting. Since 2009 they have been in conversion to organic production. Says Pierre, "It's a long term project, well thought out and prepared for a longtime. Its a little bit like elite sport, its necessary to make a huge effort and make sacrifices in order to be rewarded today."

DiscoverVin has been importing this wine for 4 years and we are thrilled to see this wine recognised in this way.

What Decanter said: "Fresh and warm, with well-judged oak bringing a little spiciness to the table, complementing earthy, smoky aromas of black cherry, herbs and liquorice. Vivid, ample, stylish and articulate, this displays lovely balance, reams of deep, juicy fruit, and a characterful, dusty finish. A simply stunning illustration of Fronton."

The bad news: it immediatley sold out at the Chateau. The good news: we secured a small allocation of 300 bottles. With import duty, WET and GST it retails for more than 15 pounds in Australia. Nevertheless, we believe it to be value for money given for the uniqueness and quality of this boutique wine. 

We are currently taking orders whilst stocks last 

Trade price on application at info@discovervin.com.au. 

If you Speak French, here is a short video from France 3 Television. 

2 October 2015

Chateau Rollan de By 2008

If you are looking for a very special (but affordable) red wine, read on! 

Chateau Rollan de By 2008 is one of our current favourites. Drinking superbly now but could repay several more years in your cellar.

Winner of the Best Sommelier in the World in 2007, Andreas Larsson, reviews the wine in this short video.

This red is  Cru Borgeois Bordeaux at its best. We think this is wine with a WOW factor for taste and value for money. Currently being served on Air France A380 Business Class. It received two stars in the French wine review bible, Guide Hachette and four stars in Decanter Magazine (UK).

More details here.

16 September 2015

Our French Life

Recently Judy MacMahon at My French Life wrote an article about DiscoverVin and one of the company's directors Helen Underhill.

It tells the story of our company and lists some of Helen's current favourite wines and places to eat.

Its a very nice read and can be found here

29 August 2015

The ship has come in for white Bordeaux fanciers.

We have literally cleared the decks for the arrival of the first shipment of 2014 Grand Bateau Blanc from Chateau Beychevelle. And right on cue, this wine has received the highest score (94.5 points) in trade magazine National Liquor News' tasting of sauvignon blanc.

Emblazoned with the famous Beychevelle long boat on the label, the 2014 vintage is billed as one of the best white's recent years from this prominent producer.

The same team that produces the prestigious Chateau Beychevelle red wine makes Grand Bateau which is 100% sauvignon blanc. Beycheville is one of a handful of medoc producers who also make a white wine

Philippe Blanc, Chateau Beychevelle’s chief winemaker, guides the assemblage of wines based on a selection of the best wines from the Beychevelle estates.  Chateau Beychevelle follows “terra vitis” and “sustainable viticulture” practices, to produce high quality grapes using environmentally friendly methods.

Chateau Beychevelle is a classified Saint-Julien cru classé producer with a tradition of growing vines on the Garonne gravel of the Médoc dating back to the Middle Ages.

Our previous vintages of Grand Bateau have been increasingly well received by our trade and online customers. We hope that with this brilliant example there will be a lot of delighted, light bulb moments from discerning Australian wine drinkers when they try it.  

And at $32 for this classy, well made white it’s even easier to swallow! 

beycheville grand bateau bordeaux blanc2014 Grand Bateau Blanc

Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc 100%

Alcohol: 12.5 % VOL

Wine making:  Pre-fermentation maceration results in a wonderful aromatic structure. 70% of the juice is fermented in new oak barrels for four months, with accompanying batonnage (stirring of the lees or yeast to give some creaminess and richness to the wine)

Our Tasting notes:  Aromatic nose with buttery-vanillin oak notes and exotic fruit.  On the palate the wine is round, fleshy with wonderful minerality and delightful exotic fruit flavours. Lovely balance between the oak, fruit and acidity.  Excellent finish.

RRP $32.00 (trade price on application info@discovervin.com.au )

This was a standout wine at the Vinexpo 2015 wine exhibition in Bordeaux.   It offers value for money and exquisite drinking. Just drink on its own, enjoy with a pre-dinner platter or seafood and white meats.

This wine is available in Australia exclusively to DiscoverVin.

Click here to order online.

We enjoyed it with a beetroot, blood orange and feta salad. Perfect match! 

If you would like to know more about this famous Bordeaux producer, watch this video from Bordeaux wine distributor Millesima..

8 August 2015

The Black Wines of Cahors


This week our guest blogger is wine guru and National Chair of Judges for The Hostplus Restaurant and Catering Awards and Wine List Stewart White. He recently reviewed our malbecs from Cahors and showed them to Natascha Hoy on Sydney Radio show Food in Focus which is on FM89.7 on Saturdays at 4pm. Here's what he wrote about them...

"For thems-what-knew, (which I am almost sure is not English) World Malbec Day occurred on 17 April . But Food in Focus being the savvy broadcast source of all things food and wine pre-empted that day with a good hard look at where Malbec had its origins. (We paid him to write that!)

Rather than breaking out the empanadas and gaucho boots – and going all Argentinean, we lifted a glass (well several actually) to those who did it first, the French  – and who are in a class of their own. Malbec’s traditional heartland is in the south west of France in Cahors where it is known as the Black Wine of Cahors.

Although historically one of the six grapes allowed for blending red Bordeaux, further south west, Malbec reigns supreme. It is the dominant red varietal where the region’s appellation controlée calls for a minimum of 70% Malbec in its reds. Says The Guardian (UK): “Cahors is that rarest of all wines: both a rising star and a timeless classic.”

It was French agronomist Miguel Pouquet who bought French grape vine cuttings to
Argentina in the mid 19th century. But it was its champion, Seur Malbek in France for whom the grape was named in the late 17th century, who was the forefather of this ‘timeless classic’.

Cahors Malbec draws on the legendary Dordogne soils to display complexity and structure with a full bodied, tannin backbone that unashamedly points to longevity. In its modern form its gorgeous, brooding colour belies its sensual elegance.

In recent years, as the world-wide interest in Malbec wines has increased, the Cahors producers have prominently displayed Malbec on the front labels. They have become one of the first French wine regions to label by variety not just by region.

Australian boutique French wine importer DiscoverVin www.discovervin.com.au specialises in the wines of South West France as well as Bordeaux.  Their wines are available to everyone on the internet. “We have found a steadily growing following for our Cahors Malbecs,” says director, Craig Underhill. “The Argentinean Malbecs made in their sunny Australian style have opened people’s eyes to the variety.  But those looking for something more complex and definitive have been discovering the ‘black wine of Cahors’. And once you go black – there’s no going back.”

The current available vintages of the  Malbec wines we sampled were:

Chateau Lagrezette 2005  (Malbec 87%, Merlot 12%, Tannat 1%)

Our Tasting Notes : From the exceptional vintage of 2005, this is textbook Cahors Malbec. Inky purple colour. On the nose blackcurrant, truffles, violets. On the palate lovely blackcurrant and plum fruit, spice and minerals.Beautifully balanced, mid-weight, with fine chalky tannins, great structure and balance, long and satisfying. Could be cellared for several years but enjoy now with red meats, white meats, cheese and indeed a range of dishes.
RRP through www.discovervin.com.au $49.40 NOW SOLD-OUT

Chateau Haut Monplaisir Prestige-AOC Cahors-Rouge 2006

(100% Malbec, Certified Organic )
Our Tasting notes:  Garnet red colour. The nose is intense, with notes of red fruit, spices and blackberry jam.  Crisp and even, this wine presents aromas of blackcurrant and blackberry on the palate, along with a mineral note.  The finish is lengthy and complex, with notes of chocolate and spices, and with just a hint of woody aromas.
RRP through www.discovervin.com.au $34.90

Chateau Haut Monplaisir-Pur Plaisir-AOC Cahors-Rouge 2006

(100% certified organic,  unfined & unfiltered)
Our Tasting notes:  This wine showcases classic Malbec from Cahors. The nose is lifted, powerful and complex with typical plum and berry aromas.  A profoundly rich, complex, layered palate that blends fruit with mineral and tobacco notes.  Strong but well integrated fine chalky tannins.  Great length and balance.
RRP through www.discovervin.com.au $59.90

We had the chance to immerse ourselves in a brace of these stunning and sophisticated ‘black wine of Cahors’ – which while astonishingly good now, will and hunker down for the long term."

These wines are also available to trade customers. Please contact us at info@discovervin.com.au for further information.

27 July 2015

Chateau Haut-Monplaisir 2006 in Wine Enthusiast

The popular Chateau Haut-Monplaisir Prestige 2006 Malbec from Cahors is set to become even more so. 

It has just been reviewed by Wine Enthusiast magazine and awarded 90 points. "Lightly perfumed, the wine then shows elegant concentration. It has ripe vibrant fruit, but this is rounded by the finely judged wood. Over the fruit there is a suave layer of wood, giving a wine that has aging potential." 

Chateau Haut-Monplasir was hailed as "one of the best producers in Cahors"

This excellent wine can be found on this link. Trade price is available on application via info@discovervin.com.au

26 July 2015

DiscoverVin Country Style

The following is reproduced from the August 2015 edition of Country Style magazine...

Chateau Haut-Monplaisir Prestige Malbec 2006 can be found here . It recently was awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator magazine. 

8 July 2015

Undervalued French Appellations

This week we are highlighting wines from a recent article in Forbes magazine about "appellations that are under-valued". Per and Britt Karlsson wrote "France makes some of the world’s most expensive wines. But it also makes some much more modestly priced wines. It is a fantastic source for value for money in wine, provided you know where to look. Here I have selected five wines that in general I would consider to be under-valued and that are definitely worth trying."

The 5 regions/styles were
  • Languedoc
  • Cahors- frequently referred to as a region "renewed" or "on the rise". See more here.
  • Jurançon sec- known for its dessert wines but the dry whites are receiving much attention awards in international shows. We work with 2 of the best producers (Domaine Bellegarde, an organic producer and Chateau Jolys )
  • Loire Chenin Blanc
  • Bordeaux- Karlrson : "I am of course not thinking of the Big Names, the ones that you may have read about in the “primeurs” reporting. Instead, take a look at the “mid-range”.  I suggest that you avoid most of the big brands (although some of them are quite good) and look for the smaller, private producers"
Yes that's right we have been saying for a while now, there are good value quality producers in Bordeaux!

Robert Parker, on his retirement from rating and reviewing Bordeaux also wrote:
“There is more diversity in wine styles than ever before. The choices are unbelievable. We all benefit from that.”
Parker picked out some key trends that have emerged in the global wine world since he started.
“Spain is the giant that has awakened,” he said. “It has these great old vineyards. In 1978 the only Spanish wines available in the US were a few Riojas. Cava was later.
“Southern France – the entire Rhone valley, Languedoc, Rousillon, Corsica, south west France apart from Bordeaux – has emerged."

At DiscoverVin we firmly believe there is a growing market for good value Bordeaux and wines across southern France especially the south west appellations and Rhone. We work with mostly small independent producers that are working on renewed vineyards. Many are at the forefront of the movement towards organic and biodynamic production. All are  making authentic, terroir driven delicious and good value wines.

For more browse our website.

1 July 2015

Vinexpo news and insights

We wish that everyone who loves wine, gets to walk the red carpet at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, at least once in their life. It is pretty amazing to glide to a stop on the glass tram then step out on to - what 500 m or so?- of floating pontoon/red carpet, and to arrive in the massive convention space. This was our third Vinexpo and it was still exciting to meet suppliers and try new vintages and look at new products.

The Vinexpo stats are pretty impressive.
  • about 2350 exhibitors from 42 countries- a conspicuous absence of oz producers one would have to say.
  • close to 50,000 visitors- down a little on 2013 but exhibitors commented on a higher "quality" of visitors and more deals done and more optimism generally compared to 2013. Foreigners made up 36% of visitors with China, USA, Spain and Italy leading the way.
  • some new innovations including Digizone where digital/social marketing innovations were a focus, there was a Vinexpo mobile app and One2Wine- a digital meeting booking system. 
  • Many of the innovations were aimed at keeping up with Prowein which exhibitors praised for bigger size, more international focus, lower costs, more efficiency and better timing in vintage/buying cycle (March). Fair enough but hey Dusseldorf is not Bordeaux right!
  • rosé: sales continue to climb, and there is an emerging differentiation between premium rosé (such as our Domaine de la Croix) and "vin de soif" (scoffing wines). There are now second labels of premium rosé and just about every European appellation seems to be making one, not just Provence and Bordeaux and certainly not just France. 
  • grower champagne: buyers seem to be turning away from the perpetually discounted brands and looking for authentic artisanal products. Grower champagne has hit the mainstream says Jancis Robinson and there seemed to be plenty of evidence of that. Our own Achille Princier has been exceptionally well recieved and the Mansard Family are now struggling with demand.
  • "garagiste" or "vinarchiste " or "super" wines. Call them what you will but producers in  Bordeaux, Loire, Languedoc, Rhone and even Burgundy are breaking the appellation rules and happily calling their wines Vin de France or IGP wines especially so for the export market. They are making modern, clean, varietal driven wines still authentic and expressive and usually under screw cap! Anarchy! Watch this space! We have some new lines to launch in Oz later this year.
  • biodynamic/organic wines are ready for prime time. Currently 8% of French wines are certified as organic but it seems like the number under conversion is vast. Certainly in the price points/quality levels we were looking at, it felt like the majority of producers are organic or in conversion.The poster below from Producteurs Plaimont, the biggest producer in Madiran and St Mont is a sign of the times with an increasing proportion of their vineyards converting to organic. 
  • the "small" appellations of Bordeaux: Bourg, Canon-Fronsac, St Emilion satellites, Graves, Listrac-Médoc etc where there has been great strides made in quality of production in recent years.
  • Bordeaux the city. Is it possible to be in love with a city? I hope so because we sure are! It just seems to be getting better at every visit. And it is about to go up a notch with the arrival of the super fast train from Paris and the International City of Wine (Wine Museum) both possibly in time for Vinexpo 2017. The new museum alone is expected to attract more than one million visitors per year.
  • Sauternes- lots of talk about the resistance in the market to "sticky" wines but the increased attention on wines such as Jurançon with high acidity/dryer finish. We expect to see falling Sauternes prices esp outside of the top brands and more and more dry Sauternes which are wonderful Graves/White Bordeaux and well received in the market
  • vintage 2013: a very difficult wet vintage in many parts of France. Some wines are OK where the wines were not "over-made" and meticulous vineyard methods and section practices were followed. One of our producers lost his entire vintage due to rot in the vineyard (organic producer). Many of our producers were happy to let us pass over the 2013's and go straight to the 2014 wines which are generously fabulous. This was worth the price of the trip alone.
  • homogeneous Bordeaux: There are lots of excellent wines out there but there was a "sameness" to many of the Bordeaux we tasted (perhaps reflecting modern wine-making methods across the regions) so we have concentrated on some authentic small producers and wines with some distinct character or a good story. It was a case of finding some outstanding gems amongst the very good pack so (as before) we end up with well curated lists.

At DiscoverVin we firmly believe there is a growing market for good value Bordeaux and wines across southern France especially the south west appellations, Rhone and Provence. We work with mostly small independent producers that are working on renewed vineyards/wineries. Many are at the forefront of the movement towards organic and biodynamic production. All are making authentic, terroir driven delicious and good value wines. Our trip to Bordeaux affirmed the importance of the types of wines we are looking for.

And now a final word on Vinexpo, commercialisation and product placement....."Don't lose a drop of it" !

22 June 2015

Taste the Tour Pack 2015

It’s that time of year again; time to enjoy the legendary Tour de France. Enjoy the sights of the racing and the stunning scenery while enjoying a selection of French wine from DiscoverVin. 

Each year DiscoverVin puts together a 6 pack of wines that can be enjoyed whilst watching the Tour. These wines relate to regions that the 2015 Tour de France passes through. They represent the mid and final sections of the race through the mountains and south of France, when the battle for the yellow jersey really hots up.  

As excellent value for money they are a great introduction to DiscoverVin’s portfolio of boutique French wines. And all at a fraction of the price of a ticket to France!

The wines in this six pack are sourced from vineyards in the Pyrenees, Gaillac in South West France, Cahors (the home of Malbec), the Rhone Valley, Provence, and finishing strongly with a fabulous Champagne as they turn towards Paris. 

Here is the list of wines, as matched with some of this year’s Tour stages.  Notes on serving suggestions and some information on the stages will be included with the pack.

In summary:                                                                                     
Château Achille Princier Grande Tradition Champagne NV               RRP $54.00
Domaine de la Croix Irrésistible Rosé 2012                                    RRP $29.90
Domaine Bellegarde Pierre Blanche Jurançon Sec 2009                   RRP $36.00
Château de Saurs Gaillac Rouge 2010                                            RRP $26.50
Château Haut Monplaisir Prestige Cahors Malbec  2006                   RRP $34.90
Domaine Roche Audran  Côtes du Rhone  2012                              RRP $25.90

Valued at                                                                                     $207.20

Save over $30 when you buy the Taste the Tour Pack:            $175.00

The monsieur (below) may not be in the Tour but he seems to have the right idea, racing to buy his wine and cheese at this Epicerie Fine in Bordeaux! 

We look forward to our virtual wine and food peleton again this year and enjoying some fabulous Tour viewing and fine wines! And of course we will be following our friends Les Vaches du Tour on social media as they comment on the real heroes of the Tour- the cows!

More details available here.

13 June 2015

Wine Spectator, the Dordogne and Chateau Tour de Gendres

We noticed a mention of the wonderful Chateau Tour des Gendres in the latest edition of Wine Spectator.

This month’s issue features an article on the food and wine of the Dordogne region.

Chateau Tour des Gendres was listed as one of two wineries to visit.

Luc de Conti is touted as one of France’s leading wine makers. He is at the forefront of organic production and a proponent of white wine production in Bergerac (which has historically focused on red wines). We have previously written about Luc and his wines. To read more click here including links to his delicious wines that we currently have in stock. 

If you are planning a trip to France, the Dordogne region and Chateau Tour des Gendres are certainly worth a visit! 

Jeeper Royale Champagne Dinner

Join us for a very special Jeeper Royale Champagne 5 course degustation.  Sam Ferjou of Champagne Jeeper, DiscoverVin and Rosé Roya...