Monday, 25 April 2016

What Are The Types of Champagne Producer?

Recently, Ideal Wine Company revealed how to read a Champagne label. Within this article, we pointed out that on the label you will see a two letter code, which refers to the type of Champagne producer that made the product. Delving deeper into this subject, here we outline the seven different types of Champagne producer you may encounter when consuming this luxury tipple.

Récoltant Coopérateur (RC)

Referred to on bottles with ‘RC,’ this code means that the grower-producer behind the Champagne in question made the product at a Co-Op facility, but sells it under their own label.  Co-Ops are villages in the Champagne region of France which provide growers with the necessary sparkling wine making equipment, if they don’t have these tools to hand in order to produce their vintage.

Négociant Distributeur (ND)

These Champagnes, noted on bottles with the code ‘ND,’ refer to a buyer. In these cases, some other party grows the grapes and makes the final product. Afterwards the buyer purchases the product and labels it, before distributing the vintage to the general public.

Marque d’Acheteur (MA)

Otherwise known as “buyer’s own brand,” Marque d’Acheteur is shortened to ‘MA’ on Champagne labels. This code refers to a large retail chain or restaurant that buys a fully made Champagne from another producer. However, they sell the product under their own label.

Société de Récoltants (SR)

The term Société de Récoltants is used to describe a union of Champagne growers. Here, the union shares resources to make their products, but they are not a Co-Operative. The growers within this association sell their products, with the marker ‘SR’ on bottles, under their own private labels.

Récoltant Manipulant (RM)

If you see the code ‘RM’ on a Champagne label, the product in question is a Récoltant Manipulant. Otherwise known as ‘grower Champagne’ this code refers to growers who make Champagne from their own grapes. Typically, at least 95% of an RM’s grapes will come from the grower’s estate.

Coopérative Manipulant (CM)

In many ways, a Coopérative Manipulant shares similarities with a Récoltant Manipulant and a Récoltant Coopérateur. These Champagnes, marked out with the code ‘CM’ on labels, are made by Co-Operatives comprised of growers, with all the grapes they produce pulled together to make bottles released under a joint CM label.

Négociant Manipulant (NM)

The majority of major brands, such as those behind many of our Champagnes, are Négociant Manipulant producers. Referred to as ‘NM’ Champagnes, these describe producers who buy all or some of their grapes from other growers. Anything less than 94% estate fruit must be labelled an NM.

Try out your knowledge

If you know the type of producer behind your Champagne, you can find out more about how the final product was made and marketed, allowing you to cultivate a deeper understanding of your purchase. Now you know how to interpret Champagne producer codes, why don’t you put your new knowledge to the test? Buy the Salon 1999 from Ideal Wine Company and use the label to find out which kind of producer was behind this brilliant bottle of Champagne! 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Experts Predict “Magnificent” 2015 Bordeaux Vintage

A number of wine experts recently predicted that following a disappointing few years, 2015 will be a “magnificent” vintage for Bordeaux wine.

Early predictions

According to popular consensus, 2013 was a lackluster year for Bordeaux wine, while 2014 was nothing more than average. The bottles produced in these periods simply didn’t match the quality created in standout years such as 2005 and 2010.

Last year, Ideal Wine Company reported that growers expected 2015 to be a great year for French wine, especially Bordeaux. The technical director of the Bordeaux-based Chateau Lestage winery said that France was experiencing its best growing conditions since 2005. Gavin Quinney, a wine grower and commentator who lives in Bordeaux, said: “it is a fact to date that all vintages ending in zero and five have been great since 1985 and most of those have been dry years.”

“Magnificent year”

We reported this story before the Bordeaux grape harvest, so it was hard to assess how accurate these predictions were. Lifestyle site Expatica recently spoke to a number of experts to ascertain the quality of the 2015 Bordeaux vintage. Cheered by last year’s dry growing conditions, they predicted that the 2015 vintage would be “magnificent.”

Speaking at Bordeaux’s annual futures tasting, which were held recently, prominent oenologist Michel Rolland labelled the 2015 vintage “something to get excited about.” Explaining further, Rolland said: "It's a great vintage with precise wines, better than any we've ever made… It has the power of the 2005s and... the body and sunny charm of the 2009s.”

Agreeing, South African wine shop owner Neil Pendock said: “I've been coming for the primeur tastings for about four, five years now and this is the best…I think you'll have a big success here.” Meanwhile Stephan Toutoundji, a wine expert at South-West France’s Oenoteam tasting laboratory suggested that exceptional quality was present throughout all the Bordeaux 2015 labels, “on a par with the last great ones -- 2005, 2009 and 2010.”

Sample Bordeaux

Therefore, there’s good reason to believe that the 2015 vintage will be a great year for Bordeaux wine! If you want to see what to expect from a truly excellent Bordeaux, come to Ideal Wine Company. We supply a selection of Bordeauxs of various vintages for you to try. 

Monday, 4 April 2016

Buying Wines Online with Ideal Wine Company

The emergence of digital technologies have changed the way we shop. Data from Rabobank suggests that increasingly, we Brits are buying wines online. If you’re looking for a cost-effect wine e-retailer, think about coming to the Ideal Wine Company.

Selecting your vintage

Ideal Wine Company’s online service is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is head to our website, where you can search for your chosen vintage by region. We feature bottles from some of the most celebrated wine making regions on earth, from old world places like Bordeaux and Italy to new world areas such as California and Australia. You can also find great Champagnes, Cognacs and Ports.

All of the regions featured by Ideal Wine Company are listed on the left-hand side of our website. Click on your desired region and you will be presented with the bottles produced in this area which you can buy from us. Then all you have to do is click your chosen bottle and you will be brought to a page which lists its price and features a picture of the vintage. By hovering your cursor over the picture, you can see an enlarged version of the image, which will allow you to read the bottle’s label.

Buy your wine

Once you’ve selected your vintage, you can buy it quite easily. Let’s say you wanted to purchase the Chateau Petrus 2001, a rich red Bordeaux boasting hints of vanilla, blackcurrants and truffles. Head to this wine’s page, click the ‘buy button’ and this fine vintage will be added to your shopping basket.

After you’ve filled your shopping basket, you can head to Ideal Wine Company’s ‘checkout;’ this button is listed on the left-hand side of our website. Here, you can submit your payment in order to complete your purchase. Note that when you reach the checkout you will also need to utilise our first-rate delivery service, which will ensure your chosen bottles are brought straight to your door!

You will need to know how to pay for your Ideal Wine Company purchase to complete this process. We accept three forms of payment; credit/debit card, bank transfer and cheques. Note that we accept all major credit and debit cards however, any product paid for via card must be delivered to the billing address. There is a 2.5% surcharge for credit card payments and a 3.5% charge for Amex cards, but there is no charge if you pay via debit card.

Enjoy your wine!

It really is that simple! After you have completed the process of buying wines online with Ideal Wine Company, you can sit back and relax. Once your chosen vintages have been delivered, you can crack open a bottle, pour yourself a nice glass and indulge in a fine wine your taste buds are sure to love!