Review: Cockburns of Leith – new Edinburgh wine shop

In his debut post, Scottish Field’s new drinks blogger, James Robertson, visits the new Cockburns of Leith wine shop in Edinburgh.

WITH wine consumers increasingly used to buying online following long periods of being cooped up at home during the pandemic, it is wonderful to see an independent wine shop opening its doors in the centre of Edinburgh’s New Town.

Cockburns of Leith, however, is no “newbie” to the city, having started back in 1796 when brothers Robert and John Cockburn founded their company in Duke Street, Leith. In 1815
they founded the well-known port house Cockburn’s, and five years later opened their first shop at the Foot of the Walk, Leith.

The new shop is at 48a Frederick Street and boasts an excellent selection of wines. James and Katie are on hand to guide and offer advice, and if you’re looking for something at the weekend they have “Pop in Fridays & Saturdays” when wines will be available to taste.

On the afternoon I visited along with a colleague, we tasted a range of wines, of which the following stood out:

The Mentors Coastal Region Grenache Blanc, South Africa 2020 – Lovely tropical fruit both on the nose and on the palate, a subtle hint of oak but balanced with stone fruit notes and a
long finish. £18.99
Chateau London Domaine Normand, Macon Ige 2020 – Wonderfully complex with ripe white peach notes and rounded finish. Grab it while you can! £17.99
Nube Rioja Crianza, Leza Garcia 2017 – Smooth and soft with integrated tannins, bramble and fresh pastry notes. Exactly what to expect from Rioja. £11.99

Cru Maury Sec, Chateau des Jaume 2017, Cotes du Roussillon – Possibly the pick of the afternoon. Ripe, rich with notes of black cherries with a long brooding finish. One to savour. £15.99
Manzanilla, Pago Miraflores Baja, Diatomists, Sanlucar de Barrameda – A delightful sherry available in a half bottle. A hint of baked apples, lemon peel and a hint of salt with a viscous finish. Perfect with cured meats. £11.99

Read more wine, beer, and spirits reviews on The Grape & The Grain drinks blog.

Plus, don’t miss outgoing wine columnist and drinks blogger Peter Ranscombe’s final set of recommendations in the August issue of Scottish Field magazine.