I am proud to be the only wine merchant in Birmingham participating in this months ‘Real’ Wine Month where one of our machines will be used for Organic, Biodynamic, and ‘Natural’ wines. We have a fantastic line-up of some of the best examples of natural wines around, and I wanted to show that the whole natural wine movement isn’t just about smelly hippy winemakers, and there are some fantastic wines around. The general principles of the natural wine movement is to try to produce wine with as little intervention as possible, this takes a lot of winemaking skill, and is why there are a number of natural wines that I feel don;t quite meet my standards for wines. However there are producers that can produce wines of immense quality, and also create wines that are characterful as well as serious. So pop in for the month of April 2014 and try some of the fantastic natural wines of the world.
Wines on tasting:
Ochota Barrels, Fugazi, McLaren Vale
4 Kilos, Twelve Volts, Vino de la Tierra de Mallorca
Johan Meyer, Pinot Noir, Elgin
Jamsheed, Moonambel Syrah, Pyrenees
Johan Meyer, Chardonnay, Walker Bay
Flower & Bee, Coto de Gomariz, Ribeiro
Suertes del Marques, Trenzado, Valle de la Orotava
Ariyanas Terruno Pizarroso, Bentomiz
Part 1: Mornington Peninsula
In January 2014 Victoria and I went on a trip to Australia and New Zealand searching out new wines, and learning more about where our current wines come from. It is something we do every January after the hustle-and-bustle of Christmas which in 2013 was what I could only describe as “crazy”. We started off in Melbourne, looking to focus on Mornington Peninsula which has been an area I have really wanted to focus on, as the trend in wine drinking has been heading away from the big blockbusters and on to the more elegant cool climate wines. But first we had to plant the English flag in Australia, so we enjoyed a bottle of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009 at the lake in Melbourne, the wine had travelled very well indeed, and was great in the warm Melbourne sunshine.
On Wednesday 12 February Loki Wines hosted a Henschke wine tasting event in the wine shop. This was our most ambitious wine tasting yet a tasting that involved opening over £1500 worth of wines for a small group of 20 people at Loki Wine Merchants in Birmingham . We were very lucky that Enotria wine (Henschke’s importer) donated half the wines for the tasting with the glassware also being supplied by Riedel, which meant we had all the tools available to put on a stellar tasting.
We started off with the current vintages of Julius Riesling 2011, Innes Pinot Gris 2009, and Croft Chardonnay 2012. These wines were perfect to get the taste buds whirring, the Julius was dry, crisp and had layers of citrus complexity. The Croft Chardonnay was the tar of the whites, enhanced by the Riedel Grand Cru Burgundy glasses the wine had great acidity balance whilst also showing well integrated oak. The Innes Pinot Gris showed slight tropicality, and the potential to be a very good wine.
Phil talking through the first white wine.
On the 30th of January Loki Wine Merchant hosted a wine tasting at Purnell’s Bistro with Kevin Judd, the legendary New Zealand winemaker. Kevin has a big reputation within the wine world, he was the founding winemaker of Cloudy Bay, and although he wouldn’t say so himself, he created the style of wine that is now unmistakably New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, whilst also pioneering alternative varieties such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. In making Greywacke, he wanted to go back to the founding principles of winemaking at Cloudy Bay, and make a wine that is low production, and from very specific sites in Marlborough. This has led many critics to comment that Greywacke is now what Cloud Bay used to be in it’s heyday – I would happen to agree with this sentiment.
The tickets to this wine tasting event sold out in a record time, where we sold over 60 tickets in under 30 hours, at this point we realised that this was going to go down as one of our most successful wine tastings.
Kevin was on good form after having a day walking round Birmingham’s canals and pursuing his photography hobby – you can see the photos on his Facebook page. The wines had been chilled to the perfect temperature – interestingly he recommended serving the Pinot Gris and ‘Wild’ Sauvignon close to room temperature, and this really showed the wines in their best light. (more…)
We have just got some limited edition Jeff Koons Dom Perignon in stock from the fabulous 2004 vintage. These are seriously limited, look awesome and are a great investment – I have stashed away a couple for myself. £132.99 for the Brut and £289.99 for the Brut Rosé .
Image of the limited edition Jeff Koons Dom Perignon Champagne
On the subject of Champagne we also have some cracking Krug gift packs (again very limited releases) these are stunning gift packages with two Riedel flutes specially designed to enhance the taste of Krug Grande Cuvee. These flutes are worth £70 per pair and the gift pack only costs £156.99
Limited edition Krug gift set with two Riedel Glasses
Christmas opening times 2013
Monday- Saturday: Normal opening hours
Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve: 10am-5pm
Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day: Closed
We have just won Regional (non-London) Wine Merchant in the UK at Decanter the most prestigious wine awards in the world. As I am saying this I still can’t really believe it, we beat off stiff competition from a number of wine great wine merchants from all over the country. This has been a great 15 months for us having won or being shortlisted in every major industry awards within this time I think it’s quite an achievement. I would obviously like to thank all the customers for their support during the first 15 months, and I couldn’t have done it without all of you.
Winning this award it not going to change anything, but we are looking to the future and hoping to add a new store in the next year, no need to worry though I am going to continue to run the Birmingham shop.
The awards were held at the Royal Opera House on Wednesday 4th September, and it was a fantastic (and quite drunken) black tie dinner.
Thanks again everyone for the support.
Loki Wines collecting the best UK wine Merchant award.
I’m delighted to say that Loki Wine Merchant Birmingham has won the prestigious Harper’s wine and spirits magazine New/Emerging UK drinks business of the year 2013. Thank you for all the support to make this happen, it has been a roller coaster year having exceeded all expectations and also being nominated as a finalist for Off-Licence news New Wine Merchant of the years 2013.
We are having out first Birthday on Friday 14th of June, expect this to be a big party involving plenty of drinks, booze and prizes, look forward to seeing you there.
Loki Wine Merchant is up for another award, this time in Harpers wine and spirits magazine in the new/emerging business category. This follows on from our success at OLN wine merchant of the year awards and making it to the final three wine merchants in the country. We are down to the final three for this last award so fingers crossed for the award ceremony on the 20th May 2013.
We also have a bucket load of tastings coming up this summer, these include Peter Lehmann on the 17th July, Dr Loosen and Furst on the 3rd of July, Luigi Bosca on the 10th September, along with two unconfirmed events so far, but they are set to be big ones, so watch this space….
Info on these tastings are available through our events page or in store.
We have some great new wines on tasting this week at Loki wine Birmingham, and don’t worry those of you who missed the 1985 Talbot last week (I didn’t realise they would all sell out in 3 days!) I have another super 1985 coming on tasting… Cos d’Estournel 1985 will be in the machines from the 18th April 2013. I also have some of my favourite wines going in the machines at the moment including:
- Man O War “The Exiled” Pinot Gris - truly one of my favourite examples of Pinot Gris, rich, full bodied and fresh.
- The Legendary Chemin de Moscou from Domaine Gayda – Iconic wine, rich full bodied, but still classic, a great Southern French wine.
- The Chocolate Block – Back to form in the current vintage, another iconic South African wine on tasting. (more…)