Independent wine merchant


  • Cider with Rosie & a Riesling for the Summer.

    By Caviste Team: July 7, 2014

    Posted in: Review

    I know that I am not alone in being reminded of the celebrated English author, Laurie Lee, whose birthday centenary was just a fortnight ago on 26th June.  Many would have had their first taste of English literature through ‘Cider with Rosie’, the first title in his autobiographical trilogy.  I quote the words that give the book its title “Never to be forgotten, that first long secret drink of golden fire, juice of those valleys and of that time, wine of wild orchards, of russet summer, of plump red apples, and Rosie's burning cheeks”.   How do you think that cider tasted – underneath the hay-wagon, in the bucolic Cotswold setting?

     Well I do think we have discovered a cider that is as close to Laurie Lee’s 1920’s original as we are going to find.  Made less than 40 miles to the west of Laurie Lee’s village of Slad, just into Welsh territory near Monmouth, Ty Gwyn (‘White House’) Cider is a strong apple brew with just the most beautiful orchard flavours.  Made by two brothers Ben and Alex Culpin, who only started to make their own cider in 2007, having previously sold all their apples to larger cider farms.  Already it is being served in two Michelin star restaurants.  All our shops stock this fine apple brew at £2.50/bottle – or just include a tray of 12 bottles in with your wine order for delivery.  You have to try it!

    Back to our normal business of wine, I have captivated by the new vintage of Thörle Riesling Dry 2013 also made by the two young brothers Christoph and Johannes Thörle from their biodynamic vineyards in the Rheinhessen, only 30 minutes drive west of Frankfurt.  We have served this at two of our recent summer wine tastings, and last week a few of our customers enjoyed a glass while casting for some Test Valley trout.  Gosh it is good, combining elegance and minerality with a rich concentration in the mouth – green apples, lime and a satisfying brioche texture.  £14.95 a bottle gives you a very fine summer wine, with or without your English asparagus.

    Mark Bedford

    Director, Private Sales

  • Season of change...

    By Caviste Team: April 28, 2014

    Posted in: Review

    The exciting journey from Easter through to the first May Bank holiday coincides with perhaps the most exciting season of change.  Warm patches of sunshine are interrupted by short intense rain showers.  The recently washed boots are needed yet again.


    Bluebells replace the daffodils and gardeners are busy planting and sowing.  Similarly in the kitchen – are we to leave the winter roast behind as we anticipate lettuces that have only just been planted?  And on the wine front, after the recent cool showers, bottles of rosé have perhaps made a false start and Côtes du Rhône hits the mark better than a delicate Fleurie.  And so what’s the conclusion?  Well we simply need bottles for all weathers and food dishes – a combination of delicate and robust

    My delicate dry rosé is the recently shipped Domaine Muret White Label Rosé 2013 (£9.95 – Pays d’Oc), yet another addition to the compelling range of wines that we have been importing from former champion melon farmer, Christophe Muret.  Deliciously pale the wine is a sophisticated blend of Cinsault and Syrah, is reassuringly dry on the palate before an explosion of lightly spiced berry fruit.  It is Provençal in flavour but not in price.

     How dry can Riesling get?  The answer normally is ‘drier than you think’ – and I must introduce you to Christoph and Johannes Thörle whose expressive and integrated range of wines have been on our shelves since last August – and not all of them Riesling.  However the simply titled Thörle Riesling Dry 2013 (£14.95 - Rheinhessen) is so wonderfully taught that it is guaranteed to correct poor posture after the first chilled mouthful.  Do try it alongside a generous slice of smoked salmon perhaps with a dollop of dill and horseradish sauce.

    My red for this blog is the savoury Les Aigles de Anthonic Moulis en Medoc 2010 (£14.95 – Bordeaux) which is capable of accompanying the Sunday lunch roast beef, as well as enhancing the flavours of a well seasoned salad and baked potato, perhaps with a few cold cuts from the same joint of beef.  Two thirds Merlot with one third Cabernet, the wine is still young but has passed through its tannic youth.  A reassuringly classic Bordeaux for all seasons.


    Mark Bedford


  • Meet The Team

    By Caviste Team: October 21, 2013

    Posted in: Review

    Click here to meet the Caviste Team!

  • Germany stuns Hants & Berks

    By Caviste Team: October 11, 2013

    Posted in: Staff recommendations, Mark's Blog

    Christoph & Johannes ThorleA story that started in a big room with lots of wines and producers in Germany - and concluded in a busy farm shop in Hampshire...Ben returned from the Rhine back in the spring raving about a couple of young families making rich, fresh, complex food friendly wines from the Rheinhessen and Mosel.  Our first mixed pallet from Weingut Thorle ( arrived in early September - with Christoph Thorle arriving in the latter half of last week to explain and delight our customers with his wines.  Yes there are Rieslings that are plump, racy, dry and expansive but there are also an array of other grapes - Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Spatburgunger (Pinot Noir) and Sylvaner, each with their own fighting qualities.  As our customers discovered over two delicious meals at the Three Tuns in Great Bedwyn and the Derby Inn, North Warnborough - these are wines that you can serve confidently with food. Finally we took Christoph for a busy Saturday in the Newlyns Farm Shop, where we sold more German wine in one day than the whole company has sold in the last five years. Die Deutschen sind hier zu bleiben! On the Sunday afternoon I roasted a couple of Scottish woodcock which I shared with my son alongside a bottle of Thorle Weissburgunder. One of the best food and wine matches of the year...Click here for the full list

  • Producer Profile: Monte Tondo

    By Angus Hunter: March 1, 2013

    Posted in: Review

    Soave is an Italian wine produced in an area near the city of Verona. Within Soave there is both a DOC and a DOCG, known as Soave Superiore. Only white wine is produced in this region with a minimum of 70% having to be the Garganega grape and an allowance of 30% to be Trebbiano di Soave. We were privileged to have Marta visit us, from Monte Tondo, to talk us through her wines.


    Soave Mito - £8.95

    Soave Classico - £12.95

    Casette Foscarin - £16.95

    Foscarin Slavinus - £19.95

    Pinot Grigio - £9.95

    Nettare di Bacco, Recioto di Soave - £17.95


    Monte Tondo is a family owned vineyard that has been bottling their own wine since 1980; previously they had been selling grapes to a co-operative. They are passionate that their Soave should be 100% Garganega, and with exception to Casette Foscrin all their Soaves are. In 2006 Monte Tondo opened the doors to their B&B, the perfect place to really enjoy their wines and see how they are made.

    Monte Tondo are proud to produce wines from any of their 25ha of vines planted all over Soave in the various zones of Soave.

    Soave Mito is their entry level wine produced in 5ha of Soave DOC. 100% Garganega the Mito is an extremely fresh wine with an intense nose of peach and a wonderful acidity. A perfect everyday wine!

    Soave Classico is produced in a smaller denominazione within Soave, Soave DOC Classico. Again 100% Garganega this wine has hints of almond on the palate, still maintaining that wonderful freshness. The vineyard is on ‘Monte Tondo Hill’ which is shown on the label.

    Monte Tondo produce a second wine from the Soave DOC Classico denominazione, however Casette Foscarin contains 10% Trebbiano di Soave. When Monte Tondo inherited this vineyard the previous producer had planted Trebbiano di Soave vines throughout the Garganega vines. Marta and her family kept the vines to keep the history of the vineyard intact. This vineyard also has small houses throughout which the farmers have used for centuries to allow them to harvest right up to darkness and avoid walking back to the village. This is the first wine that Monte Tondo age before selling; 6 months minimum in bottle which adds a lovely richness.

    Foscarin Slavinus is the only wine Monte Tondo produce within the denominazione Soave Superiore DOCG Classico. 100% Garganega this is a late harvest wine, end of October early November. Left to 30% fermentation in steel tanks the wine is then moved to oak barrels for 25 days before it is moved back to tanks for the remainder of the year and aged in bottle for 6 months before going to market. This is a truly fantastic wine with an unbelievable richness, a palate full of peach it is certainly a wine that wouldn’t disappoint any wine lover or sommelier alike.

    Monte Tondo also produces a Pinot Grigio which has all the characteristics of Pinot Grigio but in a Soave style. Their first vintage, Monte Tondo planted the 1ha of vines 5 years ago but have been selling them to a co-operative up until now. After being rested on its lees for 12 hours it is then fermented in steel tanks – this resting on its lees is where it gets in encapsulating hints of bread crust.

    Nettare di Bacco,  Recioto di Soave DOCG is Monte Tondo’s sweet wine. Picked at normal ripeness the grapes are left to dry for 3 months with a slow fermentation. The wine is matured in old Tonneau (600 L) for 3-4 years before moved into steel tanks to finish fermentation. Fantastic floral nose with hints of burnt orange peel Nettare di Bacco would complete any dessert!


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