Berry Bros and Rudd website

Buy organic wine: Berry Bros and Rudd

If you ever ask any of the renowned wine critics about a top independent wine merchant in London, their top of mind would be ‘Berry Bros and Rudd’. Jancis Robinson, a writer behind a wine encyclopaedia ‘Oxford Companion to Wine‘ and also a regular contributor to Financial Times wine section, always put them on top in her review called ‘London for Wine Lovers‘.
Berry Bros and Rudd wine shelvesWhen you wonder around Pall Mall, Green Park sort Buckingham Palace you can make a stop at one of the oldest classic wine ‘indies’, just turn onto St. James street and close to St. James Palace you will find this rather small-ish shop that is behind one of the best selection when it comes to French and Italian classics.

I have paid them a visit as well and of course focused more on their organic offering.

Well, I must say that you won’t be spoiled with choice – the selection in-store is rather limited in general and I could not spot any organic wines there at all. Moreover, they do not label or mark the wines as ‘vegan’ or ‘suitable for vegetarians’ either, which became quite a norm when you are shopping elsewhere.

You can find a few examples online at their BBR website, but again the search is rather complicated as they do not segregate the wines according to a particular viticulture.

Yet what I found interesting is their Wine Club offering – if you browse through and select the most affordable selection, which starts at £120 per 12 bottle case (not a bad value as wines individually retail at no less than £13-15), and their September case features Cotes du Rhone Nature Rouge 2012 by La Famille Perrin. The producer is very well-known in the Rhone Valley and this wine in particular is vilified close to their main chateau – Beaucastel, as Berry Bros and Rudd pointed out, in an impressive installation called Le Grand Prebois and is made in accordance with strict organic principles and standards. The tasting note says that 2012 has a medium garnet colour and a charming nose of macerated cherry, liquorice, thyme and juniper. The palate is juicy, with a silky plummy mouth feel and a cool, refreshing finish. The wine is ready to be drunk now or to be kept till 2017.

I was not as lucky as club members in terms of organic produce in store, but I could not believe I would be going home empty handed, so after a quick browse I found a bottle of Priorat wine that I simply could not miss but taste it later.

Clos Monlleo Priorat 2005 BBRClos Monlleo 2005 Priorat is a super-premium wine at £39 and is made from Tempranillo and Mazuelo grapes.

It offers glorious aromas of black fruit, vanilla, other sweet spice, but also pleasant minerality and perfumed freshness. This wonderful complexity is supported by enormous strength of this wine (not just alcohol, but the power of its concentrated fruit).

Flavours are truly enormous – same black fruit, opening up to woody vanilla notes that create admirable warmth. The wine has pronounced earthiness and mineral qualities. As it displays an explosion of fruit flavours, they are not overripe – the wine’s acidity makes this wine playful and wood / spice combo makes it complex.
Superbly wonderful wine for special occasions.

I must also quickly note my overall shopping experience at Berry Bros and Rudd. It was not pleasant as shop assistants were all seemingly busy, none offered any attention (not even mentioning any help) and overall appeared as a pretentious place to buy your claret for a special occasion. When paying for the wine, I have been asked for my personal details (I assume to inform me of their events and special offers?! Have no idea!), so I have given them my email address – I now wonder if there would be any communication further on. Nothing so far (after a week). It works well for them as they clearly position themselves as a premium brand selling traditional (conservative, premium, you name it) and expensive wine, yet I have a feeling they are just a bit slow to stay competitive and are losing their sight on what consumers want.

I would have a further look on their organic wines (should there be any additions), wine club and events. In the meantime, have a look at other wine clubs and how to get the most of them, but also our top list of The Best Organic wines.
Cheers!
About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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