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April 18, 2017

Beaujolais is Back in Style… 2015 vintage is not to be overlooked

Beaujolais's Cotes de Bouilly

Cotes de Bouilly Cru of Beaujolais

Forget everything you have ever heard about Beaujolais. I really believe we are on the cusp of a new era in this understated French wine region. With Burgundy prices surging ahead it is my job as Head of Bon Coeur’s wine buying team to seek out new wines and help you discover the hidden gems. The 2015 Beaujolais vintage is simply stunning. We recently rounded up over 50 samples and set about tasting. The wines were truly exciting, the best I have tasted since 2009, potentially even surpassing this renowned “deckchair vintage”.


The fruit concentration and purity of Beaujolais 2015 is exceptional and in some cases rivals that of Burgundy and Rhone in quality, whilst offering unbelievable value for money.  Recently, it’s interesting to note that many wine critics and journalists have been talking about this untapped region with increased vigor and interest.  Over the last decade much investment has been received by the region and things have dramatically moved on since the 80s and 90s.   Many vineyards have now been taken over by the next generation who have got to grips with combining modern winemaking techniques with the traditions of working hard in the vineyards, reducing yields, hand-picking the grapes and working with the vines and terroir offered by each of the Beaujolais wine making areas.


The French region of Beaujolais can be found approximately 30 miles north of Lyon.  For red Beaujolais AOC wines it is the Gamay grape that dominates; producing lighter styled reds, which are low in tannin and in good vintages can be very approachable.  The Beaujolais region is comprised of 10 Crus (areas of distinct terroir and styles), namely, Brouilly, Chenas, Chiroubles, Cote de Brouilly, Fleurie, Julienas, Morgon, Moulin a Vent, Regnie and Saint Amour.


Here I have selected my top six Beaujolais 2015, rest assured, you will not be disappointed. All drinking well now and will cellar for the next 3-5 years, if you’d like some advice, please do give us a call.



Moulin `A Vent, Vieilles Vignes, Stephanie Aviron 2015
Serious nose of concentrated black fruits. Impressive and inviting. Seductive black fruits woven with violets. Gorgeous velvety texture with serious length. Touch of coffee fused with an amazing collage of black fruits and spice. Simply amazing. A MUST. Bravo. Drink now to 2024. JG



Cotes de Brouilly, Henry Fessy 2015
Bright, vibrant summer berry and cherry nose with good concentration. Wow. Generous ripe fruits with wonderful freshness and energy. Red berry core that flows onto a long finish with a generous seasoning of spice. Drink now to 2020. JG



Beaujolais, L’Or de Pierres, Jacques Charlet 2015
Attractive, pure and vibrant summer berries with added black raspberries. More floral on the palate with violets, ripe raspberries, plums and blackcurrants. Lovely texture and a charming summer wine. Drink now to end of 2018. JG


Fleurie, Chateau de Fleurie 2015
Wonderful, vibrant nose with violets, tayberries and cherry fruit, fused with spice. Lovely velvety texture with a luscious, ripe concentration of blackcurrants and cherries integrated with cinnamon. Uplifting acidity that adds another dimension. Great stuff. Drink now to 2020. JG BEST EVER


Julienas, Clos des Poulettes, Jacques Charlet 2015
Named after Julius Caesar. Impressive, forward, concentrated nose. Wow, multilayered with luscious black fruits, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon with a velvety texture that is well knitted together. Superb wine and a steal at this price. Drink now until 2020+ JG


Morgon, Cote du Py, Vieilles Vignes, Jacques Charlet 2015
Cote du Py is a hillside in Morgon that produces the best and most concentrated wines of Morgon. Inspiring concentration with ripe, seductive black fruits. More masculine style with power, charming earthy undertones, cinnamon and tobacco that makes the wine stand out. Very Good. Bravo. Drink now to 2022. JG


If you’d like any advice, please do give us a call in the office on 01325 776446 or email and we’d be happy to help.


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March 2, 2017

New Vintage: Warwick Estate Trilogy 2012


Mike Ratcliffe Warwick Estate


Warwick Estate is one of our favourite South African wine producers, we are delighted to have been working with them for many years. We have built up a great relationship with Managing Director, Mike Ratcliffe, 3rd generation of the family now running the world renowned wine estate, his passion and enthusiasm for Warwick Estate is completely infectious!


It was back in 1986, when Warwick Estate released a Bordeaux style blend named Warwick Trilogy, since then it has become one of South Africa’s flagship wines. The fabulous 2012 vintage has just arrived. A blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc and 14% Merlot.




Presented in its original wooden cases, Warwick Estate Trilogy 2012 has an inviting nose of black cherry, blackcurrants, chocolate and a hint of mulberries. Deliciously full bodied with succulent black fruits on the palate with dried herbs and liquorice. Well structure with an impressive long and lingering finish.


James Goodhart, Founder and Head Wine Buyer at Bon Coeur, describes Warwick Estate Trilogy as, “One of the world’s most prestigious new world wines, due to its Bordeaux blend background, Warwick Estate Trilogy has often been described as the Chateau Lafite of South Africa. It’s a cult wine both in the UK and worldwide.”


Warwick Estate Trilogy 2012 can be enjoyed now or has the potential to be cellared for up to 15 years from vintage. We recommended that you decant your bottle of Trilogy 2102 for further enjoyment and to enhance its true essence of the Bordeaux blend.


Our full range of Warwick Estate wines including Trilogy 2012 can be found on our website, please click here for more information.


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February 10, 2017

Chateau de Sours Bordeaux Rosé 2016 Ex Cellars Offer

chateau de sours 2016 offerOnce again, we are pleased to release our Pre-Budget Offer of Chateau de Sours Rosé. Coming straight from the Château, it is a fabulous opportunity to enjoy the new vintage at a discounted price. We expect the post-budget 2016 vintage to be priced at £11.99 a bottle. Please note we have no 2015 vintage left so this is the only chance of getting Château de Sours Rosé at discounted prices.


93% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. “Crisp, lively nose of summer berries, rose petals and a touch of citrus. Classic, seductive de Sours palate of creamy summer berry fruit with a hint of peach. A very long and refreshing finish that just keeps on going. Fresh and juicy, ideal for summer drinking.” James Goodhart, February 2017.


Multi-buy offers are available by the case on the 75cl bottles and magnums as below:

Price per case (12 x 75cl)
1 – 4 cases £111.60/£9.30 per bottle
5 – 9 cases £109.20/£9.10 per bottle
10+ cases £106.80/£8.90 per bottle

Price per magnum case (6x150cl)
1 – 4 cases £117.60/£19.60 per bottle

 5 – 9 cases £115.20/£19.20 per bottle
10+ cases £112.80/£18.80 per bottle

Double Mag (1 x 300cl) – £62.50 per bottle

Imperial (1 x 600cl) – £112.00 per bottle


Click Here to take advantage of this fantastic special offer.


Prices are duty paid and include VAT. Bottles are sealed with a screw cap (stelvins). Magnums, double magnums and imperials have corks, with the double magnums and imperials wax sealed.


Offer available on our website, Please call the office on 01325 776446 if you wish to take advantage of the 5+ special case rates or would like more information and advice.





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September 8, 2016

Hot Off The Press – Our New 2016/17 Wine List

Bon Coeur Wine List


I am delighted to present you our new 2016/17 wine list. An annual labour of love, the creation of our wine list is a love/hate task, (and when I say task, I mean months of blood, sweat and tears…) It is my favourite part of my job, yet also the worst!


Throughout the year, we are constantly tasting new wines, making new discoveries and requesting samples, however, our journey really heats up just after Easter when our wine buying team start making the decisions on the new wines that we want to list. Our aim is to bring you something new every year and this year we have chosen to focus on the people behind the wine. We want to help you understand their story and their passion that they put into producing the wines you love.


A new addition to this year’s wine list is our organic, biodynamic and practicing sustainable viticulture key. We’ve had an increasing number of customers asking for organic and biodynamic wines so felt we had to do something to make the information more accessible. Our easy to use and eye-catching key helps highlight these said wines with either a leaf for organic, a moon for biodynamic and a bee for practicing sustainable viticulture.


Symington Family


Our ever expanding list seems to keep on growing and this year in no exception, increasing from 88 pages last year to 92, we have added a whole range of new wines to our list. From Italy and Spain to Germany and Austria, there are lots of new and exciting wines and producers. New producer, S A Prüm is an exciting addition to our list with five new German wines. Top Riesling producers in the Mosel, their wines really shone when we tasted them back in July.


We have broadened our Spanish and Portuguese section too with some fantastic wines including 3 Portuguese wines from Altano, made by the world renowned Symington Family, global leaders in the Port world. Their Altano Organic is very impressive and really captured our attention, so much so that James Goodhart named it as one of his Star Buys. Moving to the new world, we have listed Chilean wine Purple Angel Carmenere 2013, produced by Vina Montes who also own Argentinean favourite Kaiken. This powerful wine is delicious and with a 97/100 score from James Suckling, I am sure it won’t stay around for long…


Fine Wine Broking List


We’ve added a Fine Wine Broking List to the back of this year’s Wine List (page 87). We have moved all wines priced above £25 per bottle into the Fine Wine section and therefore Burgundy and Bordeaux in the main list look a little smaller, it’s still there I promise… So if you are looking for higher end wines this is the place to look. Each month we will send out our Fine Wine Broking List by email, if you would like to receive it, please email me at to be added to the list.


Food for Thought Style Guide


Continuing on from last year, our style guide has made a comeback, colour coding the wines to their style allows you to easily look for wines that suits your palate as well as giving you the confidence to try new wines in the style you like. It also comes in handy when food and wine pairing, use our pairing guide on page 8 to help you come up with some tasting food and wine combos. Food for thought? I think so…


Our Favourite Wines


As ever, you can find our selected favourite wines on page 10 and 11 with James Goodhart’s highlighted wines and star value buys throughout the brochure. Some old favourites and some new wines that really stood out when selecting them for the new list, there’s something for everyone’s palates.


Your wine lists will be arriving in the post over the weekend and early next week so keep an eye out for it landing, I hope you like them and I would love to hear your feedback. If you aren’t on our current mailing list and would like to receive a copy, please email your postal address to and I will get one sent out to you.


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May 11, 2016

The Great Sherry Revival

Martin Skelton from Gonzalez Byass

Martin Skelton (standing) from Gonzalez Byass


We were excited to welcome Martin Skelton, Managing Director of Gonzalez Byass UK to Moor Park . Martin expertly guided us us through the intricacies of Sherry and provided our team and guests with the opportunity to taste their outstanding range of sherries. I’ve always been a sherry fan and was fortunate to visit Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia (South West Spain) many years ago so I was really looking forward to the tasting.


Needless to say it didn’t disappoint and the range of styles offers something for everyone. I’m pleased to say sherry seems to be making a bit of a comeback with many hotels and restaurants now listing a variety of styles to suit all palates, occasions.  The Great Sherry Revival is now upon us… I’m sure you will agree, it’s not just for your Granny!


Without getting too technical (!) there are in effect two main styles of Sherry; Fino and Oloroso.


FINO (Palomino grape): Biologically aged and a drier style that develops beneath the layer of Flor yeast which forms, giving it a distinctive taste. Amontillado is an aged Fino that is slowly exposed to air after biological ageing and is darker and richer than fino.


OLOROSO (Pedro Ximinez (PX) & Moscatel grapes): Unlike the Fino, the Flor is suppressed by fortifying with wine alcohol. Without the protective layer of yeast the wine undergoes physical (oxidative) ageing creating a richer, fragrant, nuttier style. Cream sherries are sweetened Olorosos.


Sherry Solera System



The Solera System is an essential part of sherry making. Rather than using one barrel to age the wine, a Solera System uses a variety of barrels to age the wine. Made up in tiers, the younger wines are added into the top tier and the older wines are then taken from the bottom. The wine makes its way through the Solera system ensuring consistency of style and continuity. The above infographic from Sherry Notes, illustrates the Solera system perfectly.


Sherry Line Up from our Sherry Tasting


It was fascinating tasting our new range of Sherries and understanding the differences in sweetness and colour. Here are the sherries tasted and top tips for sherry food pairings:


Tio Pepe Fino
One of the most popular Finos, from grapes grown in the best two vineyards and aged for 3 years in the Solera. Pale straw coloured with zingy flavours of lemons. Great with Olives & bread, tapas, seafood and fish and chips.


Una Palma Fino
A new generation, new style of Fino. Aged for 6 years from a selection of 3 casks from an old Tio Pepe solera. Refined and delicate with a dry clean savoury style. Perfect with strong flavoured foods such as asparagus and smoked salmon.


Vina AB Amontillado
10 to 12 year Fino. Deep golden in colour, dry in style with delicious caramel, nutty and butterscotch flavours. Would be a fantastic pairing with cheese, game and pates.


Leonor Palo Cortado
12 yr old Oloroso. Becomes lighter and more delicate with ageing. Favours of dried orange peel, almonds and complex spice. Cheese and well hung game would be great food matches.


Gonzalez Byass Alfonso
Fragrant, dry Oloroso. Clean dry nutty style with a touch of spice and sweetness and a lovely texture.


Gonzalez Byass Nectar
As the name implies, a sweet style with luscious flavours of prunes, treacle and molasses. A wonderful accompaniment to sweet desserts and chocolate. This was definitely a favourite among the team, hard to compare to any other sherry, just outstanding.


Gonzalez Byass Del Duque
Aged for more than 30 years in the wood, this is a richer, saltier and more spicy wine, almost like an Armagnac. Aromatic and well-structured with long lasting flavours. Fabulous with hard cheeses such as old Manchego or Parmesan.


Gonzalez Byass Apostoles
A blend of 87% Palomino and 13% PX and aged for 30 years. Rich nutty flavours with concentrated notes of caramel and wood. Served at Michel Roux Jr’s La Gavroche. Perfect with pates, red meats and cheese.


Gonzalez Byass Matusalem
Intense mahogany colour as after 30 years ageing this old sweet Oloroso has layers of complex flavours including spices, nuts, figs, dried fruit. Made in the same way for 150 years – definitely proves the rule ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!’. Fantastic! Try with Christmas Pudding, it’s a match made in heaven.


Gonzalez Byass Noe Intense ebony colour, sweet and seductive on the palate. With cinnamon, raisins and chocolate this is one of the world’s sweetest wines and pure indulgence. Pour over vanilla ice cream or try with dark bitter chocolate.


Tiojito cocktail with Tio Pepe

Tiojito cocktail with Tio Pepe



Cocktail Happy Hour…


So after all this we decided to have a bit more fun with sherry and make some cocktails –  try a Tiojito…  simply fill a tumbler glass with 1/3 Tio Pepe over ice and smashed up mint and mix with 2/3 of lemonade. The ultimate cocktail for summer refreshment as enjoyed by the locals in Andalucia during the sizzling fiesta’s.


See online for the of the full range of Sherries stocked.  Please contact us here at Bon Coeur, if you would like further information, we would be happy to help.









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April 22, 2016

Miraval Rose 2015

Miraval Rose 2015

“Stunning pale pink hue in colour. Delicate aromas of summer red fruits and subtle floral undertones. Elegant, pure and well balanced with a delightful minerality running through the backbone, long mouthwatering finish. At last a rose wine for grown ups. Bravo!”  James Goodhart, February 2016


Sounds delicious doesn’t it? Well I can assure you that Miraval Rose 2015 is without doubt one of the best Rosé wines I have ever tasted.


A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle this is a classic Côtes de Provence Rosé and we are thrilled to be adding the wonderful Miraval Rosé to our wine list.


Mirarval is the joint venture between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Famille Perrin. Renowned wine expert Marc Perrin of Château de Beaucastel fame has worked closely with the couple to skilfully craft this delicious rose.


Miraval Rose is produced at Château Miraval, the stunning estate owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, where they got married in 2014. The 500 hectare estate in the heart of Cotes du Provence in the ancient village of Correns, situated in its own private valley.


The grapes are hand harvested exclusively in the morning and hand sorted twice. The Cinsault, Grenache and Rolle grapes are vinified using the maceration method and the Shiraz grapes undergo partial Saignee method. 95% is vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and the remaining 5% in barrels with lees stirring for the creamy texture.


On a special introductory price of £15.99 a bottle (list price £17.99), Miraval Rose 2015 is one of the more expensive roses on our list, however, I believe it is worth every penny. Think warm summer evenings in the garden sharing with friends, this will not disappoint.


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