Spilling the juice on... Murdoch Hill
Murdoch Hill winemaker Michael Downer (left) is one of the most highly regarded young names in the business Down Under. Named the 2017 Young Gun of Wine (it's quite a big deal, Rob Mack and the Koerner brothers also won in 2018 and 2019), he's also cut his cloth at the likes of Vietti in Barolo and Shaw + Smith at home in the Adelaide Hills.
New wines just off the boat...
Here are some brand new wines you need in your life right now.
Wine of the Week by Abrie Beeslaar
Every week we highlight here a wine that we're particularly enjoying right now. Being Pinotage Day on 10th October, we're talking about Abrie Beeslaar's amazing eponymou Pinotage from Stellenbosch, quite probably the finest Pinotage ever made.
Beeslaar Pinotage 2018
Red | Ready, but will improve | Beeslaar | 2018 | South Africa > Western Cape > Stellenbosch | Pinotage | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5% abv
Abrie Beeslaar is the winemaker at Kanonkop on the Simonsberg, a winery that over many years has done more than any other to raise the profile of South Africa’s native cultivar, Pinotage. He has only been making his eponymous Pinotage since 2012, but already it has achieved iconic status, with the 2015 vintage named the best red wine in South Africa in 2017 by Tim Atkin MW.
Abrie sources the grapes from a 2.5-hectare, 25-year-old block of bush vines close to Kanonkop, planted on well-draining shale at an altitude of 200 metres. Only around 800 cases made each year.
The grapes were hand-picked then de-stemmed and fermented in open-top concrete tanks. Malolactic fermentation took place in nineteen French oak barrels (40 per cent new oak) and two American oak barrels, the wine then maturing for a further twenty-one months in barrel.
Wine writer Jamie Goode once described this wine as the "Grand Cru Burgundy of Pinotage". It truly is a force to be reckoned with, imposing and with stunning balance, the fruit expertly married with the oak. You know you're in the presence of greatness drinking this.
Merger with The Knotted Vine
In the summer of 2019, Red Squirrel merged with fellow small specialist The Knotted Vine and created the Graft Wine Company, a supplier to some of the UK's top restaurants, bars and merchants. We still offer many of our wines to the public here online.
Named 3rd best drinks supplier in the UK
We were honoured to be voted by leading industry professionals the third best drinks supplier to the on-trade this year.
Nutkin wine bar pops up in Haggerston
For a few weeks at the end of 2015, we teamed up with a number of chefs - including the brilliant Smoke & Salt (pictured) - to launch Nutkin wine bar in east London.
2013 to 2014
At a market near you...
Red Squirrel popped up selling wine at markets and wine festivals across the country.
It all began in Liguria
Red Squirrel was created as an importer and online shop by Nik Darlington in summer 2012 after visiting producers in the little-known Italian region of Liguria, wines we still have to this day.