Fabulous Amarone! – In The Press

Amarone, a wonderfully rich and powerful dry red that, despite the trend for lighter wines, has become popular after years of obscurity. With an abv that varies from 14% to a hefty 17.5% this wine is not for the faint hearted, but it rewards the brave with aromas of black cherry, fig, dark chocolate and a rich, velvety palate. We have two Amarone’s and both of them feature well in the results of the Decanter Amarone Panel Tasting, which is impressive, as the judges had to sip and sniff their way through 166 wines. A tough job.


 Amarone Classico Reserva, Pret a Porter, Bottega 2011


The presentation of this fabulous Amarone is sublime –  with a studded leather label and a presentation box that evokes a vintage suitcase. However, it’s not just about the looks, as the wine inside the bottle is divine.

The judges awarded this wine a coveted 93 (out of 100) and it was therefore ‘Highly Recommended‘.

Here’s what they said…

‘Immediately vanilla and creamy blackcurrant aromas spring forth from the glass. These are followed by intense plums and chocolate in a sensual mix with caramel, prunes and smoked almonds. Mouthwatering acidity brings it all together. Decanter Magazine May 2017

Buy now … www.lebonvin.co.uk/amarone-classico-bottega



Amarone Classico Lenotti Estate 2011

Lenotti wines never fail to excite – from inexpensive ‘house’ wines to the less every-day bottles such as this one. Also look at their ‘baby Amarone’ Valpolicella Classico Ripasso which, due to a similar winemaking process where the juice is ‘re-passed’ over Amarone grape skins, it gains extra body and flavour. Anyway, back to the Amarone…

The judges awarded this wine a respectable 87 (out of 100) and it was therefore ‘Recommended‘.

Here’s what they said…

“A wine that is admirably pieced together with sour cherries, plums and clove with aniseed spice coming through underneath. Decanter Magazine May 2017

Buy now … www.lebonvin.co.uk/lenotti-amarone



How to drink better wine for your money

After a short break we’re back in The Sheffield Telegraph with another wine column. This, the 5th in the series, was published not long after the Chancellors Budget, which got us thinking how to beat the taxman and sip on superior wine.

It’s Spring, one of our favourite times of year as the gloom of winter is behind us, the days are growing longer and the sap is rising – but then, so are the taxes. The Budget has been announced recently and each year, we at Le Bon Vin and other retailers, worry how the chancellor will attack our businesses with ever-increasing excise duty hikes.  It makes life as a wine merchant increasingly hard. This year it’s a significant rise – 9p on a standard bottle of wine and 10p for sparkling, never mind a whopping 36p on spirits! It’s worth noting that in France, the homeland of the founder of Le Bon Vin, consumers pay just 6 pence in duty on an average bottle of sparkling wine and 3 pence paid on still wine.
But it’s not all doom and gloom as, while it’s going to cost a little more for your bottle, there is a way to beat the taxman and sip on superior wine for your money.  At Le Bon Vin, we often tell customers that the value for money in an £10 bottle of wine is significantly higher than a £5 bottle of wine, even though you’ll be spending £5 more and here’s why:

Duty is now up to £2.16 on still wines (that are between 5.5-15% ABV) add on the VAT at 20% and your £4.99 bottle has a disproportionate total of £3 of tax. This leaves just £2 for the retailer and winemaker to make a fair profit. Say the retailer requires a reasonable margin then the remainder of 75p must cover costs of not only the wine, but the bottle, the label, packaging, transportation and wholesale profits. Luckily, at Le Bon Vin, we cut out the middleman and import most of our wine, so the money we save is passed on to our customers where possible.

So, after all these costs we find that the actual value of the wine is somewhere in the region of 5p. Yet, if you spend a little more, for example £6.99, then the winemaker has £1.91 to play with, while £7.99 gives them £2.50, etc. At £10 the difference is even more pronounced with the winemaker having £3.66 and if you splash out on a £15 bottle the winemaker will have a whopping £6.58 to tantalise your taste buds. That is a humongous 900% increase on the winemaker’s share in a £5 bottle of plonk.

Maybe it’s time to consider that what we drink is as important as what we eat, as who would savour meat or fish that cost just 5p? Instead you might suspect that it is poor quality and not so very good for you. So, it’s well worth spending a little more on your wine so you will get a much better return on your investment for your taste buds.

A votre santé!

In the Press – Domaine Lafran-Veyrolles, Bandol, Provence 2015

We welcome the return of sipping a chilled glass of rosé along with the promise of summer. The sunrise is earlier every day, the birds are upping their game and buds are already showing on the trees and shrubs. Even today there is (some) blue sky above Sheffield.

So put aside that glass of Malbec and begin spring with one of Provence’s finest: Domaine Lafran-Veyrolles Bandol Rosé.

The judges gave this wine a coveted 93 (out of 100) and it was therefore ‘Highly Recommended’. AND, we have it for £14.95 per bottle unlike our competitors – see pic below.

Here’s what they said…

‘Pale, salmon pink with orangey flecks. Restrained aromas of apricot, spice and herbs that continue on the palate. Concentrated, chewy and weighty with mineral acidity. Mouthwatering and freh, if a little understated. Complexity will come. Drink 2016-2018’ 93/100, Top 50 Rosés
– Decanter Magazine September 2016

Stock up for the summer or begin the rosé season today! www.lebonvin.co.uk/domaine-lafran-veyrolles

High praise for Carlos Serres

The Decanter tasting panel has a hard life: 191 premium reds from Rioja were tasted and the results published in the March 2017 issue. We spotted two of our wines in the Highly Recommended section and, whether you put your trust in the points system, both scored well. We rate the Carlos Serres wines very highly ourselves so it’s great to see that the professionals do too.

Carlos Serres, Gran Reserva 2008

Highly Recommended, 91pts

Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2008

This region of Spain is one of the most renowned however it’s easy to overlook the more complex, quality wines for easygoing, simple wines that are so prevalent. That’s the beauty of this area, from reds to drink before the next harvest, to premium Rioja to keep until the next century. This is a classic fine wine category that is up there with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Barolo.

Gran Reserva 2008

‘Peppery, earthy and unique, this is a sensitive soul in deep contemplation. The balance is there, as well as the juiciness and brightness. Not a commercial style, but a wine of good persistence. Drink 2017-2023’  

Decanter review



 Carlos Serres, Onomastica 2011

Highly Recommended, 90pts

Carlos Serres Onomastica 2011

While Decanter didn’t review the current vintage that we have in stock (2007), they did say this about that years harvest: “Low alcohols and freshness from long, slow ripening. Drink up.” Take advantage of this more mature wine that’s drinking so well now, and look forward to the 2011 vintage which is due in stock late 2017.

Onomastica 2011

Graciously balanced and open, this Rioja is showing maturity in a delicate gossamer style. It will be a great charmer with its energy, velvet tannins and attenuated fruit. Hedonistic character. Drink 2017-2022′  

Decanter review