Wines and the Loch Melfort Hotel ‘philosophy’
Calum and Rachel’s wine list is a selection chosen to enhance your dining experience. The carefully selected wine list has been put together in conjunction with Inverarity Vaults, Scotland’s leading independent Wine Merchant.
Our aim is to provide interesting wines that remain well priced, looking ideally for family owned producers whose wines reflect the traditions of their district rather than the requirements of large retailers. The selection is designed to cover the flavours and staples of our menu and includes some established classics as well as some quirky newcomers.
Much analysis, scrutiny and oh a bit of tasting too, have gone into this selection.
We try to balance old favourites with new things in the market as well as anything that is offering outstanding value. Our new bin 46 is a prime example. Cabernet Franc from Domaine Laroque near Carcassonne. It’s a grape usually found unblended in the much cooler Loire Valley where it can produce a wine that is sometimes a bit lean and hard. Not so in the Mediterranean sunshine of southern France. This has masses of ripe black cherry style fruit on the nose + palate and is surprisingly rounded for a Cabernet Franc. An unusual wine that really delivers!
Staying with the sunshine, we have revamped our Australian section with new wines from the Angove Family in South Australia. A big, brooding Shiraz and a juicy fruit driven Chardonnay (give it a go with chicken or seared scallops) from their Long Row range are fine drinking. From New South Wales we have a classic dry Semillon from the Hilltop vineyard of Chalkers Crossing. The cooler climate gives a more restrained and subtle style of wine. If its power and body you are after the Rocland Grenache Shiraz Mataro (GSM) is the red for you. From Barossa, which is noted for its big wines, this is a copy of the traditional Southern Rhone blend, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.
In the traditional area of Burgundy we have still managed to find something new. Nicolas Potel is a young wine maker and negociant whose old family connections allow him access to some of the best grapes in the Cote d’Or. He has founded his own business, Roche de Bellene (an old Celtic god) and it is rapidly gaining a glowing reputation. We have added to his Chorey les Beaune in our reds, a white wine from the Cote Chalonnaise, Rully 1er cru, les Cloux. A delicious full flavoured wine with a long lasting flavour and a touch of oak spice. Cotes Chalonnaise wines are often the equal of some more famous names but never reach the same prices, so they are well worth looking out. Our St Veran from further south comes from the renowned house of Louis Latour and is simply pleasure in a glass
Other new wines to look out for are the Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi from Italy, one of the great seafood wines and perfect with oysters and Pinot Blanc from Alsace, one of the best all round white wines. Fruity, fresh, just dry, unoaked and easy drinking. As they say in Alsace “we are winemakers not carpenters” so you really get the grape character in the glass.
Other new reds include two from Italy; Chianti Classico and a Valpolicella Classico made in the Ripasso style (this means the wine is left on the lees of the great Amarone wines that precede its production). The result is a complex spicy wine without the huge alcohol (and price) of the Amarone but much of its character. From Spain we introduce a fine Rioja Crianza from Bodegas Beronia with all the mellow, spicy and leathery flavours you would expect. It is also available in half bottles.
For those with a sweeter tooth try our two new sweet wines. A late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Ema in Chile combines sweetness with fresh lemon flavour, whilst our Californian Black Muscat gives us a sweet red wine that is slightly fortified so it will cope with richer desserts like chocolate. A definite treat at the end of the meal!