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Catena Appellation (Tupungato) Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Bodega Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.

Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery’s employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.

See/click the link below for data on this wine from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Appellation Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

This wine has the unique expression of cool and high altitude vineyard sites.  Tupungato vineyards lend citrus notes with a crisp finish and a rich unctuous mouthfeel.  The wine has a beautiful pear and citrus flavors with crisp fresh minerality.  The wine is a delicate greenish color with light yellow notes.  The aroma is of fresh white peaches and pineapples and jasmine and magnolia.  The mouthfeel is tangible and rich yet clean and fresh on the finish. 

ABV = 13.0%.

£13.95

Chateau de Citeaux Philippe Bouzereau Auxey Duresses Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

The Bouzereau family has been growing vines in Meursault for nine generations, dating back to the 18th century. The current Château de Cîteaux was established by Philippe Bouzereau (senior) in the 1960s. His son Philippe (junior) took over the running of the estate in 2006, having completed his studies in Beaune and worked vintages in Beaujolais, Australia and New Zealand. The 18 hectares of vines are cultivated according to the principles of la ‘Lutte Raisonnée’, or sustainable farming. Philippe passionately believes in letting the wine express its terroir, through minimum intervention in the winery and a judicious use of oak. He has certainly achieved this, as the resulting wines are rich, concentrated and showcase the terroir beautifully.

Auxey-Duresses is located in a valley in the Côte de Beaune, west of Meursault. The vineyard is situated on a north facing hillside and is subject to cooler winds than other areas of the Côte de Beaune. The soil is clayey at the bottom of the hill, with a rocky superficial soil at the top. The vineyard is managed using sustainable practices; only organic fertilisers and composts are used and chemical herbicides have not been used for over 15 years. The vineyard is cultivated in the traditional Burgundian manner and the grapes are manually harvested.

The grapes were pressed pneumatically and fermented on the fine lees in oak barrels, with regular lees stirring known as bâtonnage. The wine was matured in the family cellars, spending 12 months in oak barrels. 20% to 30% of the oak barrels for this cuvée were new. The use of oak was carefully monitored to ensure a pure expression of the Auxey-Duresses terroir was captured.

Chardonnay 100%.

A rich and creamy style, with generous apple fruit aromas combined with hints of almond, spice and a linear minerality. Delicate floral notes and aromas of grapefruit and citrus notes combine with a hint of spice. This is also a rich and concentrated style, which is harmoniously balanced with a beautifully integrated oak character and delicious mineral overtones through to an elegant finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£23.30

Chateau Grezan Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

** NOW BACK IN STOCK! **

The viticultural history of the Cros-Pujol family began five generations ago, in 1877, on a very small parcel of Carignan between Autignac and Laurens. It was worked with a donkey and a horse, the harvests were vinified at the back of the family home by Jules-Anatole Cros, known as Costant, and his wife Anna, the first winemakers of the family. For the past 30 years, Château Grézan has expressed the very essence of Faugères wines. Produced from selected grapes, the Château Grézan wines combine respect for ancestral wine traditions and an open-mindedness to modernity. The vineyards of Château Grézan and the Cros-Pujol family now cover nearly 110 hectares in both AOP Faugères and IGP Pays d’Oc. 

This Chardonnay is released as IGP Pays d'Oc. Although grown on land within Faugères, Chardonnay lies outwith the varieties allowed for white Faugères, hence the broader IGP classification.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the team at Chateau Grézan (the sheet notably omits that the wine is left on its fine lees for some months after fermentation to increase body, complexity and longevity).

Chateau Grézan Chardonnay - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

Surprising vivacity and freshness for a Chardonnay from the South of France, but with some real tropical warmth, too. Subtle aromas of exotic fruits (some say kiwi fruit), ripe citrus (esp orange and grapefruit) and pineapple. On the palate, it further reveals these cirus and tropical flavours with the additional tastes of dry fruits and hazelnuts.

£10.95

Dawson & James Chardonnay 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Also awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania) (see blue link below).

Dawson James Chardonnay 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Dawson James is the project of Peter Dawson and Tim James, who met in 1976 when they were both working at Hardy & Sons, and where they continued to work alongside each other for 20 years. They have since moved on to different projects, including Willunga 100 in McLaren Vale for Tim, but have collaborated again to produce the Dawson & James wines in Tasmania. Their shared passion for Australian art, farming, camping and gastronomy, as well as their dedication to fine Australian wine, have combined in this exciting project, and the wines are the proof of their winemaking wisdom and enthusiasm. The wines come from the Meadowbank Vineyard, which is located around 60 kilometres north-west of Hobart, an area characterised by rugged topography and the fast flowing, pristine waters of the Derwent river.

The Meadowbank Vineyard is located in the Derwent Valley in southern Tasmania, and was planted in 1989. The site is 70 metres above the river level and the north-easterly aspect gives it optimal sunlight exposure for grape ripening. The soil is a combination of brown sandy loams over structured clays and sandstone rock. It has a devigorating nature, helping the balanced growth and structure of the vines. Vines are trellised to single cordon and managed to one bunch per shoot, and yields are kept at less than six tonnes per hectare.

For this vintage: the vineyard received good rainfall in spring and early summer resulting in good vine health, however inclement weather around fruit set reduced crops. Temperatures throughout ripening were slightly above average but it was a cooler season than the preceding two years with a notable absence of heat spikes.

Grapes were hand picked and wholebunch pressed. Free run juice was transferred to oak sourced from Burgundian cooperages. Primary fermentation in oak, 40% was new oak, was followed by partial malolactic fermentation. The wine remained in oak and on its lees for nine months with fortnightly stirring.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Dawson James Tasmania Chardonnay 2015 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

This Chardonnay has a bright pale yellow colour. The aromas are subtle creamy, nutty and toasty notes derived from barrel fermentation accompanied by zesty lemon pith fruit characters. On the palate, there are intense citrus fruit flavours which are balanced by lively acidity and mineral characters.

ABV = 12.2%.

£38.15

De Loach Heritage Reserve Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF. 

For the 'Heritage Collection' series, Russian River Valley wines are combined with those from selected premier cool-climate growing regions in California, particularly the Central Coast, to produce an approachable, good value range. De Loach practises sustainable viticulture and minimally intrusive winemaking.

The 2017 growing season started off with record setting rainfalls, which were greatly appreciated later in the season. A heatwave in June drove canopy growth and resulted in smaller berries than average. The warm weather continued and two weeks of extremely hot weather in September set off a furious picking schedule with an early harvest.

98% Chardonnay, 2% Sauvignon Blanc.

The majority of the must was cool fermented in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures, to retain the fresh fruit flavours in the finished wine. The remaining fruit was barrel fermented, which produced a more richly textured wine. These wines were then blended together to produce a balanced, textured and fruit-forward wine.

The 2017 California Chardonnay displays nicely integrated notes of orange blossom and green figs with herbaceous undertones that intertwine perfectly with tropical flavours of papaya and mango with a touch of vanilla and lemongrass. Immediately enjoyable, this wine is delightfully balanced with a bright acidity and is soft with a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£13.95

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Weekday Wines(see blue link below).

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016 - May 2019 Decanter review

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and biodynamic viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.

The cool, foggy Russian River Valley climate allows for slow ripening, ideal for Chardonnay to develop full flavour maturation. The fruit was hand harvested from select sites in the heart of the valley including the Boriolo and BCD vineyards, as well as from the Norris and Wallace vineyards nestled in the Chalk Hill region.

In the autumn of 2016 California suffered from frost, hail and very heavy rainfall. This partially relieved the drought but also caused some flood damage. Cooler than normal temperatures in August allowed for steady ripening, which produced high levels of natural acidity in the fruit.

The juice was fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks (40%) and French oak barrels (60%), of which 10% were new. The barrel-fermented portion of wine was aged for nine months and achieved full malolactic conversion. These techniques contributed to a wellbalanced wine with bright acidity and a rich, round mouthfeel.

100% Chardonnay.

This wine is pale straw yellow in colour, the nose of this Chardonnay immediately entices you with its rich aromas of vanilla and baked apple pie. It is lively with vibrant acidity that supports a medium-bodied frame of lemon marmalade and plenty of length, with touches of nutmeg.

ABV = 14.5%.

£19.70

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

2016 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Weekday Wines(see blue link below).

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016 - May 2019 Decanter review

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and biodynamic viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.

The cool, foggy Russian River Valley climate allows for slow ripening, ideal for Chardonnay to develop full flavour maturation. The fruit was hand harvested from select sites in the heart of the valley including the Boriolo and BCD vineyards, as well as from the Norris and Wallace vineyards nestled in the Chalk Hill region.

The juice was fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks (40%) and French oak barrels (60%), of which 10% were new. The barrel-fermented portion of wine was aged for nine months and achieved full malolactic conversion. These techniques contributed to a wellbalanced wine with bright acidity and a rich, round mouthfeel.

100% Chardonnay.

This wine is pale straw yellow in colour, the nose of this Chardonnay immediately entices you with its rich aromas of vanilla and baked apple pie. It is lively with vibrant acidity that supports a medium-bodied frame of lemon marmalade and plenty of length, with touches of nutmeg.

ABV = 14.5%.

£20.85

De Wetshof Estate Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

Top 15 award in the Chardonnay du Monde 2019 championship (out of 696 Chardonnays tasted).

"Classic varietal warmth and freshness - benchmark Chardonnay scents, perfect for blind tasting practice. Apple, lemon, melon, peach, crème anglaise: fresh and appetising. Fresh, bright, vivid and juicy on the palate; satisfying mid-palate fullness and roundness of contour, with clean fruit definition. Fruits are a little more tropical on the palate than on the nose. A delicious varietal wine". Andrew Jefford, Decanter, Aug 2015 (of the 2014 vintage).

The name De Wetshof has been synonymous with the production of fine wines in South Africa since the 1970’s. As the first registered wine estate in the Robertson Wine Valley, De Wetshof has become known internationally as South Africa’s eminent Chardonnay House due to the pioneering role it played in introducing this noble Burgundian grape to the country. The De Wet family’s winemaking heritage can, however, be traced back to 1694 when the first De Wets arrived at the Cape and immediately made a mark on the South African wine industry. Today, De Wetshof is one of the few third generation wine estates in South Africa. Here Danie de Wet, proprietor and cellarmaster, is assisted by sons Johann (viticulture and marketing) and Peter (winemaker). 

The Robertson Valley is characterised by cold winters and sunny summers, with an average annual rainfall of 350 – 400mm. In summer a fresh southerly breeze has a cooling effect on the vineyards, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly and in perfect balance. Nights are chilly and during summer months a mist often shrouds the vineyards until late morning. The dry climate and bracing breeze keep pests to a minimum, resulting in sparse spraying programmes. Soils rich in limestone and broken mountain rock on De Wetshof’s site-specific vineyards allow this wine to emit optimum varietal expression. 

Age of the vines: 10-20 years. 

The grapes are picked in the coolness of morning, and the emphasis is on capturing the natural complexities of the Chardonnay grape immediately for the making of this unwooded wine.

Once de-stemming, pressing and overnight settling are complete, the juice is racked-off from the sediment and pumped into stainless steel tanks for the alcohol fermentation. After fermentation the wine is left on the less under controlled temperatures. Weekly stirring of the lees ensures maximum flavours are released into the wine until ready for bottling.

Ageing potential: 6–12 years (say the producer; we think a little less, but there are marked parallels with the ageability of Chablis).

100% Chardonnay.

Danie de Wet pioneered this noble cultivar in South Africa and this Chardonnay is a fresh and expressive, unwooded version. Bon Vallon has a brisk and clean freshness leading into a wide spectrum of classic flavours including citrus, wild flowers and grilled nuts, with a nuanced minerality on the aftertaste. The nose is delicate with aromas of lemon, honeysuckle blossom and peach. The wine was matured on its lees to produce a vibrant, lemony dry wine with a yeasty and delicate nutty finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£11.70

Domaine Fichet Macon Ige Chateau London 2017 (1x75cl)

Domaine Fichet is situated in Burgundy in a small village named Igé, and more exactly in the hamlet Le Martoret. Part of a wine growers’ family for many generations, Francis Fichet decided to take the risk of creating his domain by withdrawing from the cooperative cellar of the village, during a wines crisis in 1976.

Maconnais superstar, Domaine Fichet, is giving its Cote de Beaune neighbours a run for their money. By focusing on individual vineyards, the Fichet brothers have unlocked the potential of their land and claim they will not stop improving their output until their family winery is held in the same regard as the famous names from Puligny- or Chassagne-Montrachet. Working in the commune of Igé, they own a 4.6-hectare vineyard that sits on the side of the valley. Called ‘Château London’, it is considered one of the top sites in the Maconnais.

Old vines, free draining shale soils and the perfect amount of sunshine work in collaboration to ensure the grapes ripen evenly. The grapes are sorted carefully and aged on their lees, then fermented in old barriques. The results are simply superb.

To see a fiche technique / tasting sheet for this wine that has been prepared by the team at Domain Fichet, please click on the blue link below.

Domaine Fichet Macon Igé Château London 2017 - fiche technique

Chardonnay 100%.

ABV = 13.0%.

£16.65

Domaine Rijckaert Pouilly-Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2017 (1x75cl)

Established in 1998 by experienced winemaker Jean Rijckaert, who fell in love with the terroir in both the Macon and Jura, this unique estate has cellars and produces wine in both regions. Without heirs, Jean partnered with his brilliant student Florent Rouve and groomed him until he was ready to take over managing the estate and all winemaking in 2013. The “savoir-faire” that made the outstanding reputation of these wines – restricted yields, manual harvesting, slow and moderate pressings, indigenous yeasts, limited batonnage to favor acidity, long aging – has been preserved, perhaps even enhanced, with the incredibly talented Florent taking over at the helm of the estate, while Jean consults at key stages in the process. All wines are aged in oak barrels with no racking, stirring or any disruption during élevage. These beautifully crafted wines soulfully represent some of the best in natural winemaking, which aims to express the typicity of the grape and the specificity of the terroir.

This is a blend of several old vineyards, coming mainly from the slopes of the Roche de Solutré. These vines give grapes that ensure the overall harmony of this wine : structure, balance and typicity of the aromas. South-East exposure. The sunshine and the heat of these white soils allow a good growth and maturity for the grapes. Altitude about 260-280 meters.

The vines used to create this wine are approximately 45-50 years old. The solid roots of these old vines penetrate deep into the soil and allow the vines to keep their "feet cool", although "the head" is very exposed to the sun and heat. The grapes are rich and concentrated, but keep a structure of finesse and an remarkable elegance of aromas. The grapes undergo a long and careful pressing, using a pneumatical press. Alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation (completely done) are done in neutral French oak barrels, which have prevoiusly been used between 4 to 7 times.

25% of the barrels used for ageing the wine are new oak, as these highlight the structure of the wine. The ageing on the lees takes 15 months, with no racking and no stirring, in order to preserve both the structure of the grape and the typicity of the outstanding terroir of Pouilly-Fuissé.

100 % Chardonnay.

Aromas of fresh fruits and white flowers. The palate is full and round, with aromas of peach, apricot, acacia flowers, citrus and a touch of fresh honey. The finish is long, with superb minerality.

ABV = 13.5%.

£25.60

Finca Flichman, Dedicado Tupungato Vineyard, Uco Valley, Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert article, Top 20 Under £20: South American Chardonnay (see blue link below).

Finca Flichman, Dedicado Tupungato Vineyard, Uco Valley, Chardonnay 2017 - April 2020 Decanter review

The winery was founded in 1910 by Polish immigrant Don Sami Flichman.  He purchased property in Barrancas (southern Maipú) and planted vines in rocky, well-drained plots situated along the Mendoza river. It was Sami’s son Isaac who first began to make fine wine at the estate, including Caballero de la Cepa, one of the first high-quality wines that garnered international awareness for premium Argentinian wines. Sogrape Vinhos purchased Finca Flichman in 1998, and invested heavily in restoring the vineyards and equipping the winery with modern equipment. The original Barrancas vineyard remains among their 400 hectares of vines, which also includes the higher altitude Tupungato vineyard. Today the wines are made by Germán Berra, one of Argentina’s brightest talents, who was recognised as the ‘Best Young Winemaker’ in the Argentina Wine Awards in 2016. Germán works closely with consultant and renowned winemaker Alberto Antonini.

The Dedicado wines are made from the best hand-harvested fruit from the high-altitude Tupungato vineyards. Tupungato is the northernmost sub-region of the Uco Valley in Mendoza, and it sits at 1300 metres above sea level. The grapes benefit from large diurnal temperature variations which result in a longer growing season. Pedro Parra, the renowned Chilean soil mapping expert, consults on these vineyards.

All grapes were hand-harvested. After gentle crushing, the must was transferred to stainless-steel tanks for fermentation, which took approximately 25 days. After malolactic fermentation, the wine spent 12 months on its lees in French oak barrels, then three months in bottle before release.

Chardonnay 100%.

The wine is pale yellow in colour with aromas of ripe lemon, pineapple, honeysuckle and hints of vanilla and toast. It is medium-bodied and has a long, elegant finish.h.

ABV = 13.0%.

£18.45

Gaunoux Meursault 2017 (1x75cl)

Gaunoux is an old Côte de Beaune family whose most famous member was Henri Gaunoux—a celebrated vigneron in the decades on either side of the second war. Upon his death in 1972 his estate was divided among his family, and his two sons consolidated the vineyard parcels into two domains: Domaine François Gaunoux in Meursault, and Domaine Michel Gaunoux in Pommard.

Henri’s grandson, Jean-Michel, went to work side by side with François in 1978. In 1990, Jean-Michel split with his father and started his own domain, Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux, with vineyard parcels from his mother’s family. In 1991, he put in a new, very deep and cold cellar and aging room. In 2012, after completing enology studies and working a harvest at Saint Innocent in Oregon, Jean-Michel’s son Henri joined the domain. These days, the father and son team farm nearly six hectares, or 14.5 acres, in the villages of Meursault, Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet, and Volnay.Production is just about evenly split between Pinot and Chardonnay, and Jean-Michel is equal to either variety. The distinguishing characteristic of his wines is—and I hope you appreciate this term—their regal nature. These are self-assured wines, without need of flash or pizzazz (you won’t find big extractions, high toast oak, or the like here). They know themselves and are solidly built, pure, long, very mineral, and ageworthy.

He manipulates very little in the cellar, and limits the use of new oak to about 30% for the Premier Cru red in good years (15-20% for the whites). He racks the wine out of barrel and into vats shortly after the following vintage so that his barrels never go empty and dry out. He quit lees stirring in 2004, fearing that it encouraged premature oxidation, and subsequently found that this permitted him to cut his SO2 additions in half. He does not filter the reds. In good years, Jean-Michel takes the rare step of putting aside a certain amount of a given year’s wine to age in bottle in his cellar for later release. This allows him to offer beautifully stored bottles of his wine to clients. And the thing is, he does so at near the same prices as the current release.

Gaunoux's village Meursault is an assemblage of 4 parcels: Terres Blanches (1.15 acres) and Pelles (0.5 acres) on the south side of town, giving richer fruit and elegance; and Criots (1 acre) and Malpoiriers (2 acres) on the north side, giving a leaner, more mineral wine. The average age of the vines is 45 years.

Long, cool fermentation in barrel; 15-20% of French oak barrels are new and the rest are one-year-old. Aging/elevage: racked into neutral vats after 12 months, and then bottled.

100% Chardonnay.

Well developed with ripe, tropical fruit on the nose and an enticing note of honey leading to an intense and concentrated palate with well balanced acidity and a crisp, clean, lengthy finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£38.95

Hamelin Bay Five Ashes Chardonnay 2017 (1x 75cl)

The Hamelin Bay winery is located at Karridale in the southern point of the region within a few miles of the ocean. The 63-acre Five Ashes vineyard is located on well drained gravel soils and faces north across the valley to gain the suns warmth in this cool region. The wines themselves are an expression of the natural beauty and uniqueness of the area, the fruit ripens with an intensity of flavour and richness of character. Owned by the Drake-Brockman family, who have a long association with the area, they have in recent years, achieved great recognition and awards for their range of outstanding wines.

Barrel fermented and then matured for 10 months in new, one- and two-year-old French oak barriques with fortnightly battonage.

This cool climate Chardonnay has aromas of peach, pear and dried banana preceding a lovely toasty and complex palate. It is a full flavoured creamy Chardonnay created to be similar to a Burgundian wine. Fermented and aged on its lees, the stone fruit and toasted palate - flavours of ripe peach, nectarine, orange blossom, cashew, vanilla bean and nougat - is balanced with crisp citrus acidity.  The integrated oak creates a luxurious mouthfeel which leads onto a butterscotch finish. Enjoy with spicy Asian dishes, scallops or lobster thermidor and chicken chasseur.

£18.90

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

One of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea – Hamilton Russell has pioneered viticulture and winemaking in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The Estate specialises in producing highly individual, terroir driven Chardonnay, which are widely regarded as the best in South Africa and among the finest in the New World.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Hamilton Russell on this, their 2018 Chardonnay.

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

A tight, minerally wine with classic Hamilton Russell Vineyards length and complexity. Unusually prominent pear and lime fruit aromas and flavours are brought beautifully into focus by a tight line of bright natural acid and a long, dry minerality. An elegant, yet textured and intense wine with a strong personality of both place and vintage.

ABV = 13.0%.

£26.55

Jean-Claude Boisset Macon-Ige Chateau London 2017 (1x 75cl)

Jean-Claude Boisset was radically transformed with the arrival in 2002 of viniculteur Grégory Patriat, one of the best viticulturalists/winemakers of his generation in Burgundy. Grégory had spent the previous three years working in the vineyards at Domaine Leroy and still spends a great deal of his time in the vineyards, paying his growers by the hectare in order to ensure low yields. He also prefers to work with organic growers, as he finds they produce better fruit. Unlike other Burgundian négociants, Grégory specialises in making wines from lieux-dits (or tiny plots of vines), something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines.

This wine is from Igé, one of the Mâconnais' top villages. Château London is the specific vineyard or lieu-dit of the grapes. Vine age is approximately 20 years and the yield is 7,000 vines per hectare. The vines are Guyot trained to a height of 1.3 metres, to ensure enough light exposure for photosynthesis. Soils are stony and clay, with a high proportion of chalk. The grape is a clone of Chardonnay, Chardonnay-Muscaté, which gives the typical structure, poise and freshness of Chardonnay together the aromatic expression of Muscat.

In 2017, Burgundy enjoyed a return to average yields. Some areas were impacted by spring frosts which reduced yields slightly. Generally the vines’ growth cycle benefitted from an early budburst at the beginning of April, followed by a very warm summer. Ripening progressed at a good pace with the first grapes being harvested across the region two weeks ahead of average.

The grapes were harvested manually into 20kg crates, then whole bunch pressed for 2.5 hours, before the juice was transferred to oak vats. Indigenous yeasts were used for a long fermentation without racking or lees stirring. The wine was then aged in 30% new French oak barrels for eight months without being racked. The barrels used are toasted at low temperatures to impart a subtle, delicate flavour to the wine. The wine was bottled by gravity in August 2017, fined with bentonite and very lightly filtered.

This 100% Chardonnay has golden nuances in the glass. There is a nice complexity on the nose with aromas of ripe yellow fruits, citrus and white rose. This wine is clean and fresh on the palate with good acidity. The finish is long and lively.

ABV = 13.0%.

£18.65
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