Welcome to The Cellar Doors

Monthly Archives: December 2014

  • Cellar Door's Wine Tasting

    Join us to meet Judith and Jiri, two very special winemakers and drink some of their unique premium artisan wines.

    Judith is rated as the top woman winemaker from Austria. She doesn't always take the easiest route to achieve her goal, which is to produce authentic wines that carry her distinctive signature and provide a conquest for discerning wine lovers.

    Jiri is one of the top winemaker's from Czech Republic. His aim is simple - he wants to preserve as much of the unique terroir of Dolni Kounice as possible in every bottle of his wine and to produce wines with aging potential.

    You will get the chance to taste 9 different wines, 4 wines each from Judith portfolio and 5 wines from Jiri's portfolio. This is chance to taste some very good premium wines as each winemaker takes you through their wines and you can hear from them directly on what makes these wines so special.

    So, grab your tickets now https://cellardoorus.eventbrite.co.uk The cost includes tasting these 9 high quality premium wines, snacks, plus a selection of charcuterie and cheese.

    Please email us at info [at] cellardoor.us if you have any further questions.

    The wines for the tasting will be:

    Judith Beck's i) Blaufrankish, ii) St Laurent iii) Pannobile Red (One of the top red's from Austria) iv) Pannobile White (one of the top white's from Austria)

    Jiri's i) Ex opere operato ii) Vox in excelso iii) Ex monte Lapis iv) Vox Silentium v) Rose & Cross

  • The Cellar Doors Wine Tasting on Nov 16th @ The Remedy Wine Bar London

    We held our first ever wine tasting on Saturday 16th Nov in London. We wanted to bring in some of the wines listed on our site so our customers got to sample them. We opened up 18 different wines from 6 different wineries. These included wines from Italy, France, Austria and Czech Republic. Watch this space to know what our customers thought about the wines!

    In the meantime, here is the list of wines that were available at the tasting:


    Cà del Vént- Franciacorta Brut "Pas Operé"

    Winery: Cà del Vént

    Wine: Franciacorta Brut "Pas Operé", 2009

    89% Chardonnay, 11% Pinot noir (selection of the most mineral and fresh basic wines out of 18 different single basic wines) vinified in barrique for 6 months, re-fermented and thinned on the lees for at least 32 months. At the disgorgement, filled with same wine of same lot, with no sugar or liqueur d'expedition added.

    Cà del Vént - Franciacorta Brut "Sospiri"

    Winery: Cà del Vént

    Wine: Franciacorta Brut "Sospiri", 2006

    100% Chardonnay vinified in barrique for 10 months and in steel vat for other 10 months, re-fermented on the lees in the bottle for at least 39 before disgorgement.


    Weingut Muster - Morillon vom Opok

    Winery: Weingut Muster

    Wine: Morillon vom Opok, 2007

    Morillon is a synonym for the wine variety, internationally known as Chardonnay. “Opok” is the regional name for the sedimentary deposit soils, a slaty clay-marl with a medium to high percentage of lime. The multilayer connection between the soil, vine and light is transparent in wine. The characteristic aromas from lime marl soil and minerals develop on the palate. This Chardonnay has individualistic character; it is lively and full of vitality. Aged in oak barrels for 2 years

    Judith Beck - Chardonnay Bambule

    Winery: Judith Beck

    Wine: Chardonnay Bambule , 2011

    A brilliant Chardonnay, grown on gravel, harvested by hand, aged in used oak barrels, fermented spontaneously, un-manipulated and intervention-free. Ripe, yellow fruit, tea and herbal notes, compact, well defined, concentrated and elegant.


    Weingut Muster - Gräfin

    Winery: Weingut Muster

    Wine: Gräfin, 2011

    A 100% Sauvignon Blanc. This style of wine is also called “Orange Wine”, due to the maceration over several weeks with the grape skins and a certain amount of grape stems. The Gräfin roots itself on scant lime marl soil and stems from the steep slopes of the Graf vineyards. Harvest by hand, spontaneous fermentation for 4 weeks with the grape skins and certain amount of stems in large wooden vats and casks, 2 years aging in casks. The Gräfin is rich in tannin but still soft, full and shows a full spectrum of aromas.

    Weingut Muster - Erde

    Winery: Weingut Muster

    Wine: Erde, 2011

    A blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Chardonnay! The wine, “Erde” (Earth), represents a different and new way of winemaking. Leaning on ancient tradition, this white wine is fully fermented on the must with the grape skins and stems. The wine lies for 12 months in a clay amphora buried in the ground. It is then transferred to a wooden barrel, where it matures untouched for a further year. “Erde” is filled exclusively in clay bottles. This sense of taste enters one into another dimension of the wine world. Uncommon, ancient and unrefined – like bold characters from a different age. The right wine for those wishing to enhance their taste dimensions and allow themselves to open to it.


    Casa Raia - Bevilo IGT

    Winery: Casa Raia

    Wine: Bevilo IGT, 2012

    A blend of 90% Sangiovese Grosso, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name Bevilo is a playful reference to an old Tuscan drinking song "Bevi lo!....vino fa canta" meaning, drink up..... the wine makes you sing!! The spontaneous fermentation with natural yeast, present in the vineyards, and an approximate two week maceration of the must contributes to the fruity character of the wine.

    Cà del Vént - IGT Ronchi di Brescia Rosso

    Winery: Cà del Vént

    Wine: IGT Ronchi di Brescia Rosso, 2008

    A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Nebbiolo. Separate vinification of every single variety in order to express all the features and the soil they come from. Aged in wooden barrique for a period of 12 months with no process, stabilisation or filtration.

    Judith Beck - St. Laurent Schafleiten

    Winery: Judith Beck

    Wine: St. Laurent Schafleiten, 2011

    Dark ruby with violet rim, dark berries and cassis on the palate with vivacious acidity, good balance, soft tannins in the finish, good ageing potential, very typical St. Laurent, matches particularly well with soft cheese made of raw milk, air-dried ham and above all venison.

    Dva Duby - Ex Opere Operato

    Winery: Dva Duby

    Wine: Ex Opere Operato, 2011

    100% St.Laurent, no additives at all, macerated for 4 weeks in open vats and then aged in acacia barrels. No filtration, no fining.

    Judith Beck - Blaufränkisch Alte Lagen

    Winery: Judith Beck

    Wine: Blaufränkisch Alte Lagen, 2011

    Dark ruby red with violet rim, delicately spicy on the nose with cinnamon and marinated damsons, good balance on the palate with soft tannins and pleasant acidity, youthful, good length.

    Dva Duby - Vox In Excelso

    Winery: Dva Duby

    Wine: Vox In Excelso, 2011

    100% Blaufränkisch, no additives at all, macerated for 5 weeks in open vats and then aged in oak barrels. No filtration, no fining. All the grapes are from the plot, named “Nova mesta”

    Domaine Rouge Bleu - Dentelle 2009

    Winery: Domaine Rouge Bleu

    Wine: Dentelle rouge, 2009

    A blend of 60% Carignan and 40% Grenache. On the nose it’s summer berries, sweet spice, cassis. On the palate it’s fresh berries and nutmeg give a light and elegant mouth feel, complimented by gentle tannins and pleasing acidity.

    Domaine Rouge Bleu - Mistral 2011

    Winery: Domaine Rouge Bleu

    Wine: Mistral rouge, 2011

    A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Roussanne. On the nose it’s small black fruits, warm spices, freshly sharpened pencils. On the palate it’s full-bodied with flavours of bramble, blackcurrant and hints of liquorice evolving into roasted coffee notes. Well-structured tannins give a satisfying finish.

    Casa Raia - Rosso di Montalcino

    Winery: Casa Raia

    Wine: Rosso Di Montalcino, 2010

    Sangiovese Grosso planted in 1975
    Aged 2 years in barriques / 2 months in bottle.

    Cà del Vént - Clavis - IGT Ronchi di Brescia Rosso

    Winery: Cà del Vént

    Wine: IGT Ronchi di Brescia Rosso, 2000

    50% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot, 10% nebbiolo, 10% syrah. Separate vinification of every single variety in order to express all the features and the soil they come from. Macerated for 2-3 weeks. Aged 24 months in barrique and then at least 8 years in bottle.

    Casa Raia - Brunello di Montalcino

    Winery: Casa Raia

    Wine: Brunello di Montalcino, 2010

    Sangiovese Grosso planted in 1975
    Aged 4 years in barriques and 6 months in bottle. Intense fruit that turns to flowers and spices on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, with a lovely silky tannin structure.

  • Meet The Producer: La Gramière

    The headline summarises it beautifully: "A small two-person winery in the Southern Rhone, farming organically, vinifying naturally, living the good life in Southern France". The two-persons are Amy Lillard and Matt Kling, the wife and husband team.

    Amy Lilliard & Matt KlingAmy describes their work at La Gramiere in these words: "Created in 2005 with just over five hectares of vineyards, we make hand-picked, artisanal wines in the Southern Rhône Valley of France. Vineyards have been farmed organically since day 1 (The organic certification took effect with the harvest of 2011). From planting the vines, to pruning to harvest, everything is done by hand. We have no employees, just a lot of great friends who lend a us hand when necessary. Our wines are made naturally with very little manipulation (no oak, no micro-oxygenation, no additives), just grapes (very good ones), a little SO2 and a lot of work. It is this is truly a labor of love! We feel our wines are the true expression of not only our terroir, but also ourselves, they are honest and true, and reflect what we both love in the wines of this beautiful region."

    As I have repeatedly said in my earlier posts, I believe that in addition to the terroir, the wines are an expression of and an extension of the wine producer's personality. That is why the wines that Amy and Matt make are firstly a reflection of them i.e. La Gramiere and then of the region and vintage!

    Amy and Matt are the new breed of winemakers who have followed their passion of drinking good wine into making their own wine. What is really amazing is that these wines are VdT (Vin de Table) as both Amy and Matt did not want to be bound by the French rules and regulations. Their wines are delightful yet rustic and deserve a whole new category definition!

    Their three cuvee's are:

    La Gramiere VdTLa Gramiere (The Green Label): This is their flagship bottling and is a blend of 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. It is a deep ruby red and proffers up aromas of plums, raspberries, blackberries, provencal spices, tobacco, pepper and a trace of mocha. It is full and juicy in the mouth with terrific depth and balance followed by a most pleasant, lingering aftertaste.  Specifically the 2009 vintage has the tannic structure that will enable it to age for another 5-10 years. Only 9,000 bottles were produced in the 2009 vintage.

    La Gramiere Peter Vineyard Syrah

    2009 Peter's Vineyard Syrah (The Red Label): A blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache. It is deep and rich with ripe red fruit and spice. It will go wonderfully with any lamb dish, roast beef and game. 2009 was a hot, ripe vintage with great tannic structure and the wine needs 3-5 more years in bottle before it will be truly ready to drink. Only 1000 bottles were produced in the 2009 vintage.

    La Gramiere 100% Grenache 20102010 Grenache (The Grey Label): This was a special bottling based on the 2010 vintage of 100% Grenache from the oldest vines. It has been aged for 24 months in unlined concrete tanks. This is a big wine with lots of tannic structure and ripe fruit. There were only 5000 bottles produced in the 2010 vintage.


    It's just not we at Cellar Door who are raving about their wines, La Gramiere were picked up by Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste who wrote the following "In this wine, I find peace...which is saying nothing and everything at once. In the same vein as my selection of Chambers St as the top retailer of 2011, you never feel as though La Gramière has an agenda – there is no motivation to sell anything and no motivation to win you over by promoting, marketing or wishing for something that could (and should) come naturally to those that choose to amble through an evening or two with a kindred spirit that eventually becomes a confidant. In wine, that confidant is La Gramière."

    Amy Lillard & Le Camion

    For those interested in knowing more about Amy and Matt I would recommend you click through to their video on the Kickstarter website. The background - a few years ago they wanted to extend the boundaries of their vineyards and create a mobile tasting room. They bought an old vintage Citroën that served as a horse trailer and converted it to a mobile tasting room/wine bar.

    We hope you like these wines as much as we have!

  • Meet The Producer: Bodegas F. Schatz

    Sylvia and her husband Amit discovered the wines of Friedrich Schatz when they were travelling through Andalucia. Their recommendation was again unequivocally enthusiastic. Sylvia wanted these hard to find Spanish wines from her home country to be represented on Cellar Door!

    I reached out to Friedrich. He loved the concept of Cellar Door and is now signed up.

    Friedrich’s estate is in Ronda, within the province of Malaga, Andalucia. He comes from a German family which is quite clear from the vines that he began cultivating: Very traditional German grape varieties such as Lemberger and Muskattrollinger.

    He  grows other grape varieties like Pinot Noir (it is one of the southern most Pinot Noir grown in Europe), Chardonnay, Petit Verdot. All of these grapes are used to produce his single varietal wines. However, his blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon known as “Finca Sanguijuela” is a rising star and is considered to be one of the finest wines to come out of Spain!

    Friedrich follows biodynamic production methods and believes in bringing the “old” and “new” methods into his winemaking. This is why you will find his biodynamic wines being aged in new oak!

    The total production from his exclusive/boutique estate is just over a 1000 cases. His  Chardonnay’s is already sold out and so is the Rose made from Muskattrollinger.

    I am confident that once his other wines are listed on Cellar Door they too will be sold out.

    Friedrich doesn’t have a fully functional website as yet (he lets his wine do all the talking) but has a holding page.

  • Tell Us What You Like...

    One of the key tenets of Cellar Door is to be a marketplace driven by the community. I strongly believe that consumers should have the freedom to make their own choices and neither retailers nor sellers should dictate this choice or restrict access.

    I see this happen time and again especially in the wine buying process. Buyers, be it for supermarkets or independent retailers, choose wines based on their taste profile and what they believe is good for the consumer. How often does anyone ask the consumer what he or she likes?

    At Cellar Door we would like to change that. We are asking our customers what they like and we are contacting and getting wineries signed up based on what our customers want and like!

    So the next few producers I will be covering on the “Meet the Producer” series are ones who have been strongly recommended by Cellar Door consumers that have signed up for the customer trial and are enthusiastic “brand ambassadors” for these wines.

    I have been hearing from quite a few customers who have signed up for the trial and I’d really like to hear from more of you.

    As I said before, I want Cellar Door to be truly driven by the community – tell us which wine maker has impressed you and we will contact them and make them part of the Cellar Door community! Drop us an email or leave us a comment.

  • White, Red, Rosé and now Orange!!

    Some call the Orange Wine, “the White wine for the Red Wine lovers”. So what are critics like Eric Asimov and Jon Bonne raving about?

    Orange wines are white wines that follow the vinification methodologies of Red wines.

    Here's how white wine is usually made: White grapes are quickly crushed and the juice pressed away to start becoming wine. The juice (which is usually colourless) is usually not in contact with the grape skins and goes on to become white wine.

    Red wines are made using the following process: Red grapes are crushed and the juice is allowed to be in contact with the skin. This contact allows the juice (which is usually colourless) to absorb colour, flavour and tannins. The length of the contact varies but can last for a few weeks.

    Orange wines are made using the following process: White grapes are crushed and the juice is allowed to be in contact with the skin. This contact allows the juice to absorb colour, flavour and tannins. The colour profile is tinged with orange and depth of colour depends on how long the juice is in contact with the skin.

    Orange wines have been in existence for as long as wine is being made and this style of winemaking originated from Georgia.

    So, why is there a sudden interest for Orange wines and is it mainstream yet? Orange wines have a unique purpose on the table. They have tannins like red wines that match food, yet the spectrum of flavours stays white. These wines are definitely becoming trendy and are part of the wine lists in restaurants where Chefs and Sommeliers are looking to pair this type of wine with flavour profiles that can really work well with specific types of food.

    So yes, if you are in Hibiscus Restaurant and you have a bit of spare cash lying around, spend it on a bottle of orange wine or you could stop over at the Terroir Wine Bar to try some. However, will you be able to get these wines from your retailer? The answer is No. These wines are not mainstream yet and most retailers would not carry such wines on their shelves but you don’t have to wait too long. As soon as Cellar Door opens its portal you can get hold of these wines.

    Yes – we will be carrying Orange wines when we open for trading and you should be able to enjoy this quirky Orange!

  • Meet The Producer: Dyer Vineyards

    The key driver of Cellar Door has been about providing a platform for customer to access unique wines across the world.

    I believe that in addition to the terroir, the wines are an expression of and an extension of the wine producer personality.

    The many decisions a producer makes in the growing (viticulture) and winemaking (vinification) process can diminish or enhance the expression of the terroir in the wine.

    This is one of the reasons I want to run the “meet the producer” sections in the blog (and on our site when we go live), so that you as consumers can learn more about them and their personalities.

    As part of a ‘meet the producer’ series I want to introduce our first producer on Cellar Door!  There is a special reason behind starting with Dawnine and Bill Dyer.

    The concept for Cellar Door was trigged in 2006 when I visited Napa with my brother.

    Our first appointment on the first morning of that weeklong trip was at Dyer Vineyards. And people who have done these trips with me know that wine tasting appointments start as early as 9AM!!

    Dyer Vineyards is truly a boutique winery and produce no more than 500 cases a year, in fact my brother and I tasted the wines in the living room of the Dyer residence. A “mud” home that the Dyer’s built keeping in line with their approach to sustainable living.


    They adopt this same approach of viticulture in their vineyard, as it forms a part of the “front yard” of their home. I could see that philosophy coming through in their wines. These were some of the most superb wines I had tasted, not the “over-oaked Napa’s”, they were the classically styled Napa wines. This was the style of wines that had launched Napa in the world wine map. In a blindtasting you would easily call them out as classed growth left bank Bordeaux. Remember Judgment of Paris? You can always enjoy a nice bottle of wine watching Bottle Shock, a movie based on Judgment of Paris but I digress!!

    The Dyer wines really set the benchmark for that trip. We bought a few bottles and I had to get them shipped to my brother’s house in Virginia. I have since managed to bring the bottles to the UK over several trips. In fact, I still have a bottle left in my cellar for a special occasion.

    I can go on to wax eloquent about their wines but you will get a chance to decide for yourself when Cellar Door opens for trading. Order a case or a bottle and we would love to hear your feedback on these wines!!

    Both Dawnine and Bill have been career winemakers for more than 20+ years and only started Dyer wines in the 1990’s when they planted their vineyard in the Diamond Mountain District (between St Helena and Calistoga).

    Currently their wines are made using three classic Bordeaux varieties: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. They used to have a certain proportion of Merlot and Malbec but have realized that on their vineyard Cabernet Franc produces a better complement for their Cabernet Sauvignon.

    You can read a bit more about their wines on their website.

  • The Idea for Cellar Door aka "The Cellar Doors"

    I am a wine enthusiast. Over the years I have travelled to wine regions to learn and discover about wines. Most of the places that I have visited have been the traditional wine regions such as Burgundy, Loire, Bordeaux, Napa, Pfalz, Mosel, Piedmont, Tuscany, Montalcino, Duoro Valley, Jerez, Valencia and Priorat.

    In each of these visits I preferred to visit boutique wineries as I have always wanted to meet with wine producers and understand their passion for making great wines.

    The more I met with these wine producers the more I realised that the wines were an expression of and the extension of their personalities.

    I realised that there are excellent wines being produced at reasonable price points but these wines were very difficult to source outside of regions where they are produced.

    With more than 1million+ wine producers around the world it is quite expected that the choices consumers are presented with at their local stores and supermarkets are limited. This does mean that the choices we are presented with are dependent upon what the supermarket buyer believes are good for us and not the other way around.

    This got me thinking that there should be a better way to work around the inefficiencies that exists in the current supply chain that limits customer choice. If I could improve upon the current supply chain I could provide choice to customers, which would drive a much better wine drinking experience.

    That thought to drive change and better customer experience has led me to the idea of Cellar Door!

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