Rosé (still and sparkling)

For years we resisted listing more than one still rosé for two reasons: firstly, we just couldn’t believe that the fashion would last (oops!) and secondly, more importantly, we found little to measure up to Château de Sours’ delicious version on which many of us had cut our rosé teeth. Fast forward a few years and Château de Sours is sold, just as the focus moved towards premium rosé, giving us the best excuse possible to go on a hunt for more, which continues to this day. Read More

Bordeaux (Red, White and Sweet)

Bordeaux by numbers: 60 Appellations Contrôlées come together under the Bordeaux name, they cover 120,000 hectares of vines and are managed by 7,350 different châteaux or domaines, giving an average property size of just 16.5 hectares. For most people, the name Bordeaux conjures up images of photogenic castles in Pauillac or Margaux or tiny boutique properties in St Emilion and Pomerol, but the reality lies somewhere in between. Read More

Burgundy & Beaujolais (Red and White)

After so many difficult growing seasons in Burgundy, with production hit by every form of biblical disaster, the 2017 harvest saw almost normal yields. Granted, there was still some patchy frost (Chablis, of course) and hail (Beaujolais) but the 2017 growing season was good, with a very hot summer, giving close to average production. Read More

The Loire and the South West

Unoriginal though it may be, we don’t believe in tinkering with something which is clearly not broken and our French Regional wine selection is a perfect case in point. Almost all of the regional wines we are listing now have been with us since Private Cellar’s inception and whilst we would love to include a pile of new wines, we know from experience that these are the tried and tested favourites. Read More

The Rhône and the South of France

There is very little in common, vinously, between the east and west of France – soils, climate and even the grape varieties are all totally different, with the continental climate influence stretching all the way from Champagne down to Provence and the Languedoc. White wines tend to be broader and richer, often with some barrel ageing, whilst the reds lean towards more spiced, exotic notes, reflecting the summer heat. Read More

Italy and Spain

It used to be that Spanish and Italian wine sales would peak just after the summer months as people returned from their holidays, fired up with enthusiasm for the wines they quaffed so readily by the pool, only to find that the versions available here were but poor shadows of what they had found abroad. Of course, we all know that part of the attraction lies in the very fact that, on holiday, we are so much more forgiving of a wine’s faults or dullness but a larger problem had less to do with rose-tinted holiday spectacles and rather more to do with the actual quality of the wines being exported to the UK. Thankfully, things have completely changed over the past few years. Read More

Champagne & Sparkling Wine

The fizz bandwagon seems to show no signs of slowing, with sparkling wine sales in the UK rising year on year. Closer scrutiny reveals that Prosecco is slowing down marginally, whilst higher quality sparklers like Crémant are taking up the slack. Your average Prosecco is seen as an everyday wine, no different from buying a bottle of Pinot Grigio along with your weekly shop, whilst Crémant and English sparklers are the go-to when a glass of something a bit more special is called for. And yet the UK remains the largest export market for Champagne so clearly we are all bathing in bubbles… Read More

South Africa

According to recently revealed statistics, over a third of the wines exported from South Africa are brands, made to measure for a particular market profile, rather than being a product of passion and dedication. Not so the wines from the producers with whom we work, who can all be considered at the other end of the scale, with minute attention to every detail, from the vineyard to the end consumer. Read More

Australia & New Zealand

Australian wine made its name by being bold and brash – good quality but far from elegant. The last few years have, however, seen a complete volte face, seeing some wines that are so subtle you would be hard pushed to say that they came from the New World, let alone Australia. Read More

North & South America

At first glance, the Californian wine world appears to consist of two extremes – cheap branded wines with no local definition at one end and highly priced, impossible to get hold of ‘cult’ wines at the other. There is, of course, a middle route and, finally, California is getting just recognition for its range of wines in the midfield, which encompasses a broad cross section of grape varieties and styles, in turn reflecting their individual locations. Read More