In Praise of Independents

Our Buying Director, Siobhán Astbury reports:

Offering good value is an essential element of our business – a quality that was recognised in spades by Fiona Beckett of The Guardian on Friday 9th June. To quote from her article:

Just because supermarkets have a monopoly on sub-£7 wines doesn’t mean they are cheapest for everything. Rather, they rely on us believing that everything we buy from them is keenly priced, when in reality it may well not be. […] I was reminded of this the other day at a tasting put on by the very smart wine merchant Haynes, Hanson & Clark. […] Unaffordable? Surprisingly not. For example, they have a fantastic selection of clarets, starting with the smartly bottled Château Frontenac Bordeaux Supérieur 2019 (14.5%) at £10.95 a bottle (or £58.20, or £9.70 a bottle, for a case of six). And it would be so much better to buy their Faure-Beausejour 2019, a fleshy, ripe, merlot-dominated fronsac at £12.35 (or £65.70 by the half-case), than most of the indifferent Saint-Émilions you find on supermarket shelves.

Rosé, admittedly, is going to be cheaper in supermarkets, but not that much, given that they are also pushing bottles that cost £15-20. The delicately creamy Domaine Tour Campanets Esprit Rosé (12.5%), again from Haynes, Hanson & Clark, is just lovely and, at £13.50 (or £12 by the half-case), not unreasonably priced for Provence.

Fiona Beckett, The Guardian, 9th Jun 2023


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