Corks Out Winter Tasting, Manchester Review

Last week carried on something that has been proving popular in recent years – the Corks Out tasting evenings. Back with a bang at the Castlefield Rooms in Manchester, they brought along with them a host of brands in both wine, Champagne and spirits. With the promise of a wide selection from producers including Morton, Franschhoek and Cattier as well as spirits that included El Dorado rum, Hayman’s gin and Auchentoshan whisky, you’d think there would be plenty to go around. Oh no. To cap off the selection, Wrenbury cider were at the Castlefield Room’s to shed a bit of local prestige to the afternoon’s proceedings. With the Corks Out team on hand to lend their expertise to the public, an afternoon turned quickly into an evening of not only being given the chance to try bottles that ranged from £6.99 to £39.99, but also the opportunity to purchase on the night and to learn the trade by signing up to their collaboration with Manchester Wine School. With much to experience, I tried to keep to brands and styles that I had either never come across or had not previously had the chance to sample, so below I give to you my tasting notes on each –

Franschhoek Statue De Femme Sauvignon Blanc 2012, South Africa – 13.5%

Tangy tropical and citrus aromas on the nose with hints of grapefruit and pineapple present on the palate. Considerable length.

Franschhoek Vineyard Barrel Fermented Semillon 2011, South Africa – 13.5%

Ripe tropical fruit and tangy citrus on the nose entwined with vanilla and spice on the palate.

Franschhoek Stone Bridge Pinotage 2010, South Africa – 13.5%

Nose of pepper, spice and bright red berry fruit. Soft on the palate, with red fruit and slight vanilla blending on the palate.

Franschhoek The Churchyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, South Africa – 14%

Lots of dark berries on the nose with blackcurrant and dark chocolate melting on the palate.

Trivento Golden Reserve Chardonnay 2011, Argentina – 14.5%

Fresh and fruity on the nose with lots of spice lingering whilst the palate enjoys a splash of sweet tropical fruits.

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2009, Argentina – 14.5%

A mix of vanilla, spice and red fruit on the nose, yet soft once it reaches the palate with dark fruit to create a long finish.

Two Rivers Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand – 13.5%

Lots of ripe tropical fruit on the nose and creates a fresh, long finish on the palate.

Cypress Terraces Chardonnay 2010, New Zealand – 14.1%

Soft melon and peach notes on the nose develop into more grapefruit characteristics on the palate.

Two Rivers Pinot Noir 2010, New Zealand – 13.9%

Bold aroma of spice and dried fruits on the nose leading to an herbal palate mixed with red fruit.

Cypress Terraces Syrah 2008, New Zealand – 14.2%

Strong nose of pepper to begin with a hint of plum following. A mix of chocolate and dark fruits blending on the palate.

Weemala Pinot Gris 2011, Australia

Almond and peach dominate the nose with apple making an appearance on the palate. Rather sweet but a dry finish.

Picaroon Margaret River Sauvignon / Semillon 2011, Australia – 13%

Lots of citrus and herbal aromas on the nose with a fresh hit of blackberry and lemon around the palate.

Logan Shiraz 2009, Australia

Aroma of pepper, mixed berries and plums with a full flavour hit on the palate that has a long spiced finish.

Orben Rioja 2007, Spain – 14%

On the nose there’s lots of bold plum and cherry notes mixing well with the ripe fruit on the palate and hints of spice coming through.

Pouilly Fume Domaine du Petit Soumard 2011, France – 12.5%

Strong honey note on the nose followed by a blend of apple and gooseberry on the palate.

Sancerre Charmilles 2011, France – 12.5%

Lots of citrus aromas on the nose with a sharp palate of grapefruit flavours.

Chateau du Terrefort Lescalle 2010, France – 12.5%

Blackcurrant and plums heavily present on both the nose and palate for this easy drinking wine.

Dasvin Bel Air Haut Medoc 2008, France – 12.5%

Fresh red fruit on the nose becoming mouth-watering on the palate with a good length.

Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2009, South Africa – 14%

Creamy nose with hints of almonds coming through. Lots of citrus flavours on the palate.

A range of spirits were also on offer

The Chocolate Block 2011, South Africa – 14%

Bold spice on the nose is instant with a blend of ripe plum and dark fruits blending onto the palate. Long finish.

Portia Ebeia Ribera del Duero 2010, Spain – 13%

Fresh on the nose with hints of raspberry that develops once onto the palate. Vanilla is also present as it nears the end.

Pyrat XO Rum – 40%

Tropical fruits and oranges on the nose with an instant hit of banana and sweet orange on the palate that creates a long finish.

Patron XO Cafe – 35%

Instant blend of coffee and sugar on the nose, but smooth once it hits the palate. Velvet texture that becomes long with a slight dryness at the end.

Glen Garioch Founders Reserve – 48%

A light, corn led aroma on the nose, with sweet vanilla, fresh green fruit and citrus on the palate that creates a fresh finish.

Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Classic Blend – 40%

Spice and mixed berries on the nose with a sweet yet light palate of citrus and honey.

Wild Geese Irish Whiskey Rare – 43%

Lots of floral notes with pepper and citrus also making an appearance on the nose. A rich, malt flavour on the palate with a hint of honey for a long finish.

Cava De Don Agustin Reposado  – 38%

Deep nose of agave and herbs with sweet, earthy flavours present on the palate with hints of wood following.

Calvados Pere Magloire VSOP – 40%

Heavy apple aroma on the nose with a crisp, fresh flavour bursting on the palate. Well rounded.

Hayman’s Sloe Gin – 26%

Very fresh and light on the nose with a good dose of sloe berry aroma. Rather light and refreshing on the palate with a bold beginning. Mellows out rather quickly, with cinnamon and citrus the noticeable flavours.

El Dorado 5yr – 40%

Dry nose of tropical fruits leads to caramel and coconut with hints of vanilla at the end of a long offering.

El Dorado Finest Demerera 12yr – 40%

Tropical fruits on the nose with a small hint of spice lingering around. The spice is more known on the palate with rich fruits complimenting to a dry finish.

Gosling’s Family Reserve – 40%

Dried fruit and oak notes on the nose with a rich flavour of prunes and dark fruits on the palate with a hint of smokiness that creates a mellow finish.

An incredible selection that covers a host of countries including Argentina, France, New Zealand and Australia, as well as a Calvados for good measure.

The event was a great chance to not only try something different in a variety of categories, but also the opportunity to talk to both the ladies and gentleman behind the brands and Ruth Yates herself who was more than willing to chat to anyone and everyone about her favourite hobby.

The Park Royal Winter Tasting will be next on the agenda, and I strongly suggest you get yourself down. Get involved!

Check out more photos from the event via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Corks Out Summer Tasting – Manchester

Last week was the inaugural start of something that has been proving popular in recent years – the Corks Out tasting evenings. Only this time, instead of the usual Warrington and Chester locations, they’ve branched out into Manchester and brought along with them a host of brands in both wine, Champagne and spirits. With the promise of a wide selection from producers including Morton, Franschhoek and Cattier as well as spirits that included El Dorado rum, Hayman’s gin and Auchentoshan whisky, you’d think there would be plenty to go around. Oh no. To cap off the selection, both Robinson’s brewery and Wrenbury cider were at the Castlefield Room’s to shed a bit of local prestige to the afternoon’s proceedings. With the Corks Out team on hand to lend their expertise to the public, and joined by the ever popular Stevens Garnier and Wines of Portugal, an afternoon turned quickly into an evening of not only being given the chance to try bottles that ranged from £6.99 to £39.99, but also the opportunity to win a free Magnum of Champagne and to learn the trade by signing up to their collaboration with Manchester Wine School. With much to experience, I tried to keep to brands and styles that I had either never come across or had not previously had the chance to sample, so below I give to you my tasting notes on each –

Morton White Label Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand – 13.5%

Lots of passionfruit and citrus on the nose that developed into soft, well-balanced offering on the palate.

Cypress White Label Syrah 2009, New Zealand 

Instant sweetness with ripe berry and plum notes on the nose. Contrasting flavours on the palate though with slow hints of chocolate and herbs.

Cypress Terraces Syrah 2008, New Zealand 

Strong dark berry aromas on the nose mix well with dark chocolate and liquorice on the palate. Slight spice on the end.

Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2010, Australia – 14.5%

A blend of blackcurrant and mint on the nose that punches its way onto the palate.

Terrunyo Syrah 2007, Chile

On the nose, strong raspberries and white pepper that evolves into liquorice flavours on the palate. A dry finish.

Concha y Toro Late Harvest Dessert 2008, Chile

Fresh peach and honey notes come through on the nose, with the honey creating a light, long finish on the palate.

Steenberg Chardonnay Brut NV, South Africa – 11.5%

Fresh apples and crumble found on the nose, with a fresh, creamy palate offering with a crisp finish.

Matetic EQ Chardonnay 2009, Chile

Instant peach and honey blend well as it develops from the nose to the palate. Well-balanced and creamy.

Le Difese Tenuta San Guido (3rd Sassicaia) 2010, Italy

Dark berry aromas hit the nose instantly, with delicious spice on the palate to counter its richness.

Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2010, New Zealand

Apricot and lime balance well on the nose, with juicy fruit and a citrus edge hitting the palate well.

Ciconia Branco Alentejo 2011, Portugal

Lots of passionfruit and melon balancing nicely on both the nose and palate.

Drink Me Tinto Niepoort 2010, Portugal

Bold dark berry fruits  that dive deeper as it hits the palate to create a smooth finish.

Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port 2007, Portugal

Blackberries and plums blend well on the nose, becoming soft and silky once on the palate. Long finish.

Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Le Paradis 2010, France – 13%

Incredible ripe green fruits on the nose that leads to a well-rounded sharp flavour on the palate.

Cotes du Rhone Rose Clos Bellane Altitude 2011, France – 12%

Peach and strawberries combine gently on the nose and becomes light and fruity upon hitting the palate.

Cattier NV Brut Champagne

Fresh white fruit of apples and pears subtly surround the nose, with a lively, fresh dose of tropical and floral flavours on the palate.

Cattier Glamour Demi Sec Rose Champagne

A blend of red berries and ripe fruit  are present on the nose and palate, with a hint of sweetness to finish.

Cattier Antique Rose Champagne

Fresh and well-rounded with crisp red berries dominating both the nose and palate.

Robinson’s Brewery

Portia Ebeia Ribera del Duero 2004, Spain

Incredibly fresh on the nose, with hints of vanilla and raspberry making its way through on the nose and palate. Enjoys a finish of sweetness.

An incredible selection that covers a host of countries including Italy, Chile, New Zealand and Australia, as well as a Portuguese port, South African sparkling wine, Chilean dessert wine and a variety of Champagnes from well-known houses. I was also lucky enough to sample the range from Robinson’s brewery as well as the El Dorado 12 and 15yr rums and Patron XO Cafe tequila. The spirits will be featured on my site in the near future as their own seperate article, as will the Robinson’s range (although you can check out previous notes on their Old Tom and ‘build a rocket boys’ offerings).

The event was a great chance to not only try something different in a variety of categories, but also the opportunity to talk to both the ladies and gentleman behind the brands and Ruth Yates herself who was more than willing to chat to anyone and everyone about her favourite hobby.

The Corks Out Winter Tastings will be next on the agenda, and I strongly suggest you get yourself down. Get involved!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

 

Corks Out – Independant Wine and Spirit Specialists

Ruth Yates. Most of you may have never heard of Ruth before, but she has the honour of being named 16th in the inaugural list of the top 75 most influential people in wine. A rather stunning accolade to hold, but not her only achievement as her independent wine and spirits company, Corks Out, has won over 20 awards in its 9 year history (including Independent Spirit Retailer 2012 and IWC Large Independent Retailer of the Year 2011). But how has this 5 store strong merchant be so successful in these hard times that have seen others perish? Well it’s all down to community values and a good sense of family ownership. Helped out by her husband Richard, who has the clame to fame of introducing the Chilean brand Concho y Toro into the UK, Ruth is determined to stay independent and not be seen as another chain store. She chooses her locations carefully, rarely venturing outside of Cheshire, and have her wine offerings reflecting the community around them. And because Ruth is very ‘hands-on’, she is able to find out the latest trends by her number one supporters – the customers.

Not one to be working in an office every day of the week, she splits her time between all five of her stores, helping customers choose the perfect Champagne for their dinner party, or recommending a glass to sample from their innovative wine tasting machines. The tasting machines are a fantastic way to try wines that you would normally shy away from, whether it’s because it’s a name you don’t recognise, or a price that’s making you think twice. Described as a ‘wine jukebox’, each machine holds 8 wines fresh and at the correct temperature for weeks, which if you visit their Chester store, that’s 48 wines on offer at any one time! With outdoor seating at their Timperley and Alderley Edge stores and a wine garden at their Stockton Heath branch, there’s no hurry when it comes to Corks Out, and you can even pay corkage on your selected bottle and enjoy it their and then!

Corks Out also have their own dedicated online store, where Ruth’s daughter takes the reigns to offer a personal experience to those who are out of reach of the Cheshire plains. With around 2500 wines and sparkling wines available, combined with monthly deals and next day delivery service, it gives comfort to those who may have never visited a store.

Ruth Yates - Corks Out owner

And it’s not all about the wine when it comes to Corks Out either, spirits are on the rise too, with some very select products you can’t find in your local supermarket. And with staff that can tell you your cognac from your brandy, they make the experience for any customer both informative, enjoyable and most importantly – relaxing. And just like their tasting machines, there’s always something open to try! I myself have bought many a product from Corks Out, mainly from their Timperley store which opened over 4 years ago. They were in fact my first port of call for last years Christmas wine selection, with one of the store managers Karim recommending bottles of Australian Turkey Flat Rose 2011 and Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir 2009, two wines that made Matthew Jukes’ Top 100 Australian Wines of 2011. Bottles of Martin Miller gin have been bought, alongside Kings Ginger Liqueur, Goslings Rum and Licor 43, which themselves finding pride of place next to offerings of Death’s Door gin, Chase vodka and Ron Diplomatico rum.

As you may have read previously, Corks Out also host a variety of wine and spirit tasting nights at each of their stores, usually focusing on a style or country, and culminating in four big tastings, two in the summer and two in the winter which showcase around 200 different wines, champagnes and spirits! Expect to see your favourite Drinks Enthusiast at many of these in the coming year!

So if your ever around some of Cheshire’s beautiful cities, towns and villages, and you see the striking Corks Out sign flash you by, pull over and pop in for a look around. Sample a fantastic Argentian Malbec, or a sumptuous Italian Pinot, or even treat yourself to a bottle of New Zealand sparkling for your night in. Whatever your budget, whether its £5 or £100, your bound to find the right style and flavour – and with a close-knit family style team, you may even find yourself being a regular before you know it.

And surely that can only be a good thing?

Check out the Corks Out website here

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.