2020 London Wine Fair Wine Buyer of the Year - Independent Sector 2019 & 2020 Decanter Retailer Awards - Best National Wine Shop   2018 International Wine Challenge awards for CWM: Large Independent Merchant of the Year UK; Regional Merchant of the Year: Eastern England; 
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IWC Merchant of the Year 2012

Cambridge Wine Merchants

International Wine Challenge, Wine Merchant of the Year 2012 : WINNERS!

also: Large Independent Merchant of the year UK, East of England Merchant of the year, Fortified Specialist Merchants of the Year UK

Product Categories

- Special Offers - (99)

- Olive Oil - (7)

Alsace (16)
40% of France's Appellation Controllée white wine comes from Alsace, and yet it makes up barely 2% of UK wine sales: we're missing out! The good news is that such suppressed demand means splendid value for consumers.

The joy of these wines is in their style: un-oaked and delicate, scented and often spicy they possess a real old-world charm.

To really understand Alsatian wine you have to think about food (like the folk in Alsace seem to most of the time). Alsace in the gastronomic powerhouse of France – it sports more Michelin-starred establishments than anywhere outside Paris. And I reckon there’s not one top eatery in France or the UK that doesn’t feature wine from Alsace. From delicate starters, all kinds of white meat and fish dishes, to the richest of sauces and most complex of dishes there’s an Alsatian white to match.

Argentina (17)
Like Chile, Argentina benefits from relatively cheap land and labour costs and a weak currency. And of course excellent vine-growing land and a passion for wine based partly on Spanish wine tradition but heavily influenced by Italian émigrés.

The Wines
Generally New World in style: fruit-led and modern. Simple gluggers are reliable, posh versions of reds pretty massive with lots of oak.
Some cracking reds from Malbec and Bonarda, which they’ve so made their own, they’re winning awards all around the world – and these are bargain wines. For whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Torrontes offer fantastic value, the latter rather Alsace and perfumed in style and a knock-out with Asparagus for example.

One admirable aspect of Argentine viticulture is that farming so high and dry in the Andes means pests and rot are less of a threat in such arid conditions, so less need for chemicals. Pure and ripe wines with a dash of Italian flair.

Australia (45)
Our New World buyer Stewart Travers (ex-Oddbins) is particularly skilled in the Oz department, indeed he is good mates with many of the county’s top independent growers. And it’s these talented independents who really make Australian wine exciting, we love these  outrageous offerings from tiny “garage” outfits. Take a look through the leading Oz wine reviews such as Jukes or Halliday and you’ll see healthy showing from our wines.

Beer (243)
We love beer at Cambridge Wine Merchants and work directly with craft breweries all over the UK and beyond to bring terrific beers to Cambridge. While we don't offer national delivery on bottles of beer (packaging, cost, hassle blah blah) we do deliver locally with our own fleet and drivers. We do offer national delivery on cans of beer. Special prices apply to beers bought by the dozen.

Bin Ends (1)
Bin Ends are promotional lines that are in short supply and cannot be replaced. When it's gone it's gone is the motto so if you are interested in anything from the range her, please don't hesitate in ordering.

Bordeaux (45)

Bordeaux – the best range for miles.
Hal’s our Bordeaux buyer and he approaches the task with gritty ruthlessness. He does an excellent job and the result is dozens of really well-chosen clarets from £6.99 up which we think the best retail range, and best prices for proper drinkable clarets in the UK.

We’re a major en-primeur dealer so we get to load up in advance at the best prices. The wines of Bordeaux have certainly had their share of criticism over the years but ultimately, if you choose well and serve the wines well with the right food, they’re damn hard to beat – the grand-daddy of grand dinner wines - and in our experience, customers still love it.

Burgundy (50)
We’re loyal to several family growers who are generally regarded as top class by those in the know, and we irregularly dabble with the better negociants.  Loyalty can in fact be a terrible mistake in Burgundy as quality and value can go horribly wrong so quickly.  Hal makes a trip once a year to visit our growers and taste the latest releases. We only do en primeur campaigns for outstanding vintages, and mostly in the £10 to £25 range. Lesser known regions such as St-Aubin, Santenay, the Chalonais and Maconnais always feature on our list, as do the best of the Beaujolais Crus. Whites are a constant source of joy for us, especially with a few years age on them; peerless food wines.

Champagne (44)
Champagne is a major speciality for us – it’s always an unusually high proportion of our turnover, which surely says something positive about our customers.
We ship directly from some of the most exciting small houses but we also work with the best of the bigger names, who give us get superb deals. Overall the Champagne market is in excellent shape with average quality exceedingly high. Our Chairman Brett is a Chevalier in the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, originally founded in the 17th century and now committed to the promotion of the wines of Champagne.

Chile (38)
3000 miles long and barely 6 grape varieties wide, Chile continues to present amazing value for money due to relatively low land and labour costs and a weak currency. Chile’s wine culture is firmly French in origin (as are it’s grape varieties), established long ago by émigré French vignerons seeking new vineyard land beyond Europe. Carmenere is the signature red – chunky and savoury in a Claret style, though Pinots are increasingly good, and very well priced. For whites, Sauvignon Blanc is increasingly good; they seem to be setting on a nice lean fresh, nettle-and-lemon style, quite different from NZ’s pungent beasts, and well-priced.

Cigars (0)

Dessert Wine (16)
One of our great specialities. We are expert at matching the wine to the pudding, or cheese. We have a vast range, in fact a bit of an obsession. Some are so grossly under-priced it seems mean not to splash them around after dinner at least once a week. It’s worth bearing in mind too that lighter dessert wines (think Sauternes) are stunning with starters (think on to rustic paté on hot buttered brown toast), and equally well deployed with cheese. Many of our customers find desserts both time consuming and fattening and so forsake them altogether in favour of the liquid alternative. For this we salute them.

En Primeur Sales (23)
Our Bordeaux buyer Hal Wilson has been visiting the Bordelais since 1998 for the annual En Primeur tasting campaign and returned from his latest trip in April.

You can read Hal’s latest vintage report, recommendations and offers on our En Primeur overview page: http://www.cambridgewine.com/BordeauxPrimeur.asp

The overview page provides information about En Primeur sales

To join our en primeur news list please email hal@cambridgewine.com and copy primeurs@cambridgewine.com

Conditions of Sale:
En Primeur wines are sold in cases of 6 x 75cl or 12 x 75cl. Prices are quoted lying in the Chateau and do not include duty, shipping, insurance, delivery and VAT which will be charged on shipment where applicable. Offers are subject to availability.

Fortified (91)

Cambridge Wine Merchants the leading fortified wine specialist merchant in the UK. We have the best retail selection available in the country plus many years experience and expertise in the field.

At the 2010, 2011 and 2012 International Wine Challenge (the biggest wine contest in the world and regarded as the Oscars of the UK win industry) we won Fortified Wine Specialist of the Year.

Of course we have the wonderful advantage of being based in Cambridge and doing most of our business with Cambridge and Oxford colleges, which means a ready-made appreciative and knowledgeable audience.

We have a staggering 243 fortified wines in stock - from chilled halves of Fino in the fridge to pristine ’63 Ports recently-unearthed from college cellars. Beyond Port, Sherry and Madeira, there’s Maury, Banyuls, and plenty of funky Australians. From £5 to £200 we cover every style and every price-point. Fortified fans come from far and wide to marvel, chat and buy.

Our approach to understanding such wines is end-use focused ie how do you actually use it? How to serve it and what tastes good with it, and how to cook with it.

The range, as you can see, is staggeringly large.

Germany (14)
Our “Project Riesling”, to seek out the best priced, mature if possible, proper estate wines from smaller growers started in the 1990s with part time employee, Cambridge University Zoologist and wine buff Dr. Stephan Mueller. After hundreds of phone calls, dozens of estates visited and hundreds of wines tasted, he was proved correct in his thesis that a treasure trove or schatzkammer of insanely under-priced wines lay waiting unsold for us to discover. We struck deals, cleared out entire cellars. The whole project has been a huge success, and we continue to make frequent exploration trips.

Our range now covers some bigger names such as Loosen, whose wines tend to be younger and more continuously available. Older stocks we source from smaller less-known growers who are usually more than keen to shift wines that are unsold or gorgeously mature (depending on your viewpoint) as the domestic German market shows less interest in these.

If you need advice, we are the people to ask. The thrust of our staff training for German wine and Rieslings in general is food-matching. As we have such a range of mature wines the possible permutations get more exciting still. If you’ve had a 15-year old Spaetlese with butternut squash risotto, you’ll know where we’re coming from…

Gift Ideas and Packaging (13)
See our Corporate Services section if you’re looking to send out lots of wine gifts.
We can also have personalized gift bags and boxes made (own-label wines and spirits too) and many combinations of gift packs, hampers etc.
Our branches also stock a range of pretty gift bags.

Italy (71)
When it’s good, it’s just the most exciting, but Italian wine quality is famously erratic and finding the best takes a lot of dedicated work, which is what we do! Unhelpfully, Italian wine law is totally bonkers – there are over 420 geographical wine classifications, many overlapping, and many so restrictive that growers simply ignore them. And all things Italian have never been more fashionable. Even Jamie has a Vespa.

We absolutely love Tuscan reds as a dinner wines, that’s why they’re so over-represented in our list.

Languedoc-Roussillon (99)
In September 2012 our Languedoc-Roussillon specialist Stewart Travers picked up Sud de France Specialist of the Year. A new prize covering the UK, sponsored by the Languedoc-Roussillon Region. It’s fair to say we’ve been regarded in the wine trade as the UK’s leading experts in and supporters of the region, so it’s a pleasure to have this confirmed.

We find in the in this region what is without doubt one of the most exciting wine scenes in the world. There are hundreds of top winemaker from around the globe working here, taking advantage of plentiful sunshine, perfect slopes cooled by maritime breezes, fascinating grape varieties, centuries of pedigree, and ancient vines.

Stewart, others from CWM and many of our customers have spent considerable (end enjoyable) time scouring the area for rare finds and making friends with the best of the independent growers there.

The region remains astonishingly good vale – vineyard land (obviously a major cost in wine production) cost a fraction of that in Bordeaux or Burgundy, or nearby Provence.

Many of the vineyards are planted with ancient vines, which means low yields and intense flavours. Grape varieties tend to be Spanish to the west and Rhone to the east. For reds Grenache and Syrah dominate. Pinot finds some perfect land and even Carignan has been rejuvenated using carbonic maceration. Whites are just as exciting: Rolle (Italy’s noble Vermentino), Viognier, Macabeo and Grenache Blanc are all finding a new expression. Even Sauvignon Blanc triumphs in the cooler heights.

Loire Valley (19)
As it is one river and one valley, we tend to think of the Loire as one wine region, but it’s really three, or more. The most important being:

East, ancestral home of Sauvignon Blanc. Wine drinkers are increasingly turning to lesser-known areas such as Quincy and Reuilly, or to Vins de Pays for their Sauvignon Blanc as Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre prices rise.

Central. Mostly Chenin for whites, from bone dry to super-sweet, and Cabernet Franc for crunchy reds. Fascinating wines but hard to sell!

West/coastal. Muscadet country, vast swathes of utter dullness cheered up by just a few top class growers using modern methods and restricted yields to knock out some stunning, salty, tangy wines which cost hardly more than basic but make superb fish wines.

Mixed Cases (34)
We have chosen a range of cases which we hope will suit all tastes. A perfect gift for any wine lover, or just a way of buying and having delivered to your door! These cases are a perfect and easy way of sending a gift, whether from abroad or from anywhere in the UK. We try to change the ranges to keep ideas fresh - but if you would prefer us to mix up a case for you or a friend with certain tastes in mind please let us know - go to the Contact Us page for details.

New Zealand (25)
New Zealand continues to lead the way for premium aromatic whites, with its Sauvignon Blanc firmly established as world class wine. Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and even Gruner Veltliner are increasingly good and popular with the British as are NZ’s new wave of Pinot Noirs - bright crunchy, and above all, reliable. NZ wine continues to achieve a higher average bottle price in the UK market than any other country.

Other Countries (43)
Austria, Greece, Hungary, Lebanon, England, Switz, California, Uruguay

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Portugal (21)
In Portugal we find a relatively under-developed and under-priced wine scene benefiting from an influx of foreign investment and know-how coupled with long traditions and fascinating traditional grape varieties.

Of most interest are wines made from traditional varieties – whilst Cabernet etc make impressive international style wines, it’s Portugal’s wonderful vine inheritance where the interest lies. Much to discover, and superb value.

Provence (8)

Rhone Valley (32)
The Rhone valley has experienced a string of superb vintages recently, indeed, it may well be the case that this is one region whose wine market will benefit from climate change as other more sensitive areas continue to report bizarre vintage conditions. We represent many of the leading Chateauneuf-du-Pape growers – whose “baby” wines often offer high quality at the price, plus several serious small gowers in lesser-known villages such as Rasteau. Check out the whites – long over-looked but lots of fun.

South Africa (31)
Thankfully there is life beyond Pinotage and bag-in-box Chenin! White wines from South Africa are fast overtaking reds in terms of international respect – from Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin and Chardonnay. Reds are coming on well with some amazing Pinot Noirs, world-class Bordeaux blends like Meerlust. Even Pinotage has had a make-over - the use of cunning modern winemaking methods have at last rendered it drinkable.

South West France (11)

Spain (59)
Really you could drink nothing but Spanish wines for the next decade and still not get bored, there’s so much happening there it’s wonderful.
Grand dinner reds with age (especially Rioja, where quality remains super high) are still a joy, as are the “upstarts” in long-forgotten corners such as Emporda or Priorat – funky new wines from young enthusiastic winemakers.

Sparkling Wine (43)
As a major supplier to May Balls, we get through an awful lot of fizz every year. Which means we get the best prices too! A quick overview of the market might be: Cava’s had its day, Prosecco is what people love to drink, Australia and New Zealand lead the rest of the field. England’s building a serious reputation yet prices are high.

Spirits (255)
Many premium artisan gins, vodka, crazy cocktail ingredients, Cognac, Armagnac, amazing aged rums, vermouth, absinthe. Hundreds of miniatures in our branches too.

Whisky (118)
We’ve been working hard on our whisky selection over the last ten years and we now boast a carefully thought-out range of about 350, many of them rare and unusual. Dealing directly with most of the leading distilleries gives us superb access to the most interesting malts – and the best prices. We are now one of a small group of official “ Diageo Whisky Specialists” (Diageo own around a third of Scotland’s distilleries).  

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