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Chardonnay

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Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

La Bergerie du Capucin (LBdC) extends over more than 15 hectares on Pic Saint Loup land in the communes of Lauret and Valflaunès. For LBdC, wine is a family affair, its beauty and bouquet reflecting the values transmitted from generation to generation. The original Bergerie stands only a few km from the vineyard and modern winery. Jeanne, a beautiful shepherdess on the high plains of the Bergerie du Capucin - inspire their first wine, reminding  of the delicate, round characteristics of our family wines and the hill paths she trod each day.

At up to 650 metres in altitude and ~30 kilometres from the Mediterranean - on the first spurs of the Cevennes and Massif Central - the Pic Saint Loup appellation abounds with the perfume and purity of the most northern (and among the most elevated) of the Languedoc appellations; holm oaks, garrigue scrubland, pines, thyme, laurel and rosemary. Fruit springs to life from the heart of varied soils, chalky-clay on marly sub-soils, and forge their character over contrasting seasons. In winter, the soil receives enough water to balance out the moderately dry summer and the huge - but crucial - swings in temperature between day and night. The exacting and contrasting Pic Saint Loup land, its soil types and climate, are all reflected in the traits of the wines of Pic St-Loup. 

See this excellent article by Andrew Jefford - from Decanter (www.decanter.com) in October 2017 - for far more detail on both Bergerie du Capucin and the Pic St Loup appellation.

For BdC's white rarity and show-stopper, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical and tasting note from the team at Bergerie du Capucin.

The Larmanela blanc is released under the banner of IGP of Saint Guilhem le Désert, rather than under an AOP/AOC (the Pic St Loup AOC does not (currently) allow white wines). 

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc, Pic St Loup - fiche technique

Additional note from discussion with winemaker Guilhem: Elevage in 225-litre barriques. Only 4 barriques are produced each year. Those 4 actual barrels are all from the same cooper, of ages/uses thus: one new, one used-once, one used-twice, one used-thrice. The contents of the four barriques are then blended for the <1000 bottles of Larmanela blanc made each year. 

100% Chardonnay.

ABV = 13.5%.

£24.95

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 92 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) in June 2018 (see blue link below)...

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2016 - Wine Advocate/Parker June 2018 review

See/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

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.

These vines undergo a careful thinning process, leaving only a select few clusters, resulting in remarkably complex, aromatic and flavorful fruit. Through the application of natural techniques, these grapes are transformed into Catena Alta. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is produced from two of the Catena family vineyards - Adrianna, at almost 5,000 feet elevation and Domingo, at 3,700 feet elevation. The Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soil and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from Adrianna has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance.

Whole clusters are pressed and then 100% fermented in 500-litre French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures and with aggressive battonage. Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First-, second- and third- use barrels used.

100% Chardonnay.

The Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intenese greenish-yellow color. The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.05

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THURSDAY **

The 2016 vintage was awarded 92 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) in June 2018 (see blue link below)...

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2016 - Wine Advocate/Parker June 2018 review

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.

These vines undergo a careful thinning process, leaving only a select few clusters, resulting in remarkably complex, aromatic and flavorful fruit. Through the application of natural techniques, these grapes are transformed into Catena Alta. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is produced from two of the Catena family vineyards - Adrianna, at almost 5,000 feet elevation and Domingo, at 3,700 feet elevation. The Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soil and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from Adrianna has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance.

Whole clusters are pressed and then 100% fermented in 500-litre French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures and with aggressive battonage. Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First-, second- and third- use barrels used.

100% Chardonnay.

The Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intenese greenish-yellow color. The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.

ABV = 13.5%.

£20.40

Chateau de Citeaux Philippe Bouzereau Auxey Duresses Blanc 2018 (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%.

£24.25

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

The 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%.

£20.90

Domaine Faiveley Rully Blanc Les Villeranges 2016 (1x75cl)

This Burgundian domaine has been a family estate for nearly 200 years. Erwan Faiveley, 7th generation, took the reins in 2006 from his father when he was only 25. They have earned their reputation as one of Burgundy’s finest and most trusted, with an unparalleled selection from the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise totalling over 120 hectares.

The village of Rully has been inhabited since Ancient times and its wines have long enjoyed a reputation for excellence. In 1629, King Louis XIII received a gift of 22 barrels of wine from Rully when travelling through Chalon-sur-Saône. The white wine from Rully is now one of the Côte Chalonnaise’s most iconic wines.

The climatic conditions were very mixed in 2016. The harvests took place later than usual in order to allow the grapes to reach their optimum ripeness levels. Our wines present fruity aromas. The wines are smooth and fleshy. This promises to be a very distinctive vintage.

The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. The musts are extracted using a pneumatic press before being settled. The alcoholic fermentation lasts 4 weeks and takes place for a proportion of the musts (50%) in French oak barrels, 10% of which are new oak. The ageing period lasts 16 months with regular stirring whilst the rest of the blend is aged in vats. This allows the wine to develop delicate woody notes whilst conserving its freshness and distinctive character.

100% Chardonnay. 

Clear, light yellow colour and a fresh nose characterised by flinty, mineral notes. The palate is smooth, round and very distinctive with a delicate touch of acidity that lingers on the fresh finish. Pairs well with baked salmon parcels, vegetable terrine.

ABV = 13.0%.

£18.35

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

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

Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

** STOCK WITH US TUES 29th SEPTEMBER! **

Awarded a Platinum medal, Best In Show medal and 97 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

Set in 165 acres of pristine Wilyabrup countryside is the Fraser Gallop vineyard. Nigel Gallop, winemaker, always dreamt of crafting incredibly complex wines, and that is precisely what he has done. His personal favourites, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, highlight the the quality of the Fraser Gallop range. A five star rating in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion and numerous plaudits for the wines mean the company is going one way and that’s up!

The wine spent 10 months in new and older French oak barriques and puncheons.

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

Fraser Gallop Estate Parterre Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

Only the best free run juice makes it into Parterre Chardonnay, allowing them to produce a Chardonnay with purity, finesse and seamless structure. Sweet patisserie aromas of lemon tart and meringue with a touch of lime and lemon grass. Vibrant flavours of citrus sherbet, crisp green pears and sweet lime, balanced with the lovely understated creaminess from the lightly toasted oak and yeast lees. A tight wine with a long finish.

The winemaker comments: "The Parterre Chardonnay has been made from 100% Gin-Gin clone, which we feel produces fruit with higher acidity, and more intensity of flavour with later ripening. This also allows for picking at slightly lower Baume (potential alcohol), resulting in a wine with finer structure and more delicate fruit."

ABV = 12.5%.

£22.95

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.

ABV = 12.2%.

£18.90

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

Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

At 76, when most people would be thinking about easing up, Joe launched Josef Chromy Wines in December 2007. In just over 4 years, Josef Chromy Wines made an impressive impact on the Australian wine industry. 

Josef Chromy's winemaking style is founded on producing wines that show a true ‘sense of place’ and celebrate the individual characteristics of each unique vintage. To ensure the integrity and delicate characteristics of the fruit, the grapes are received and vinified in Tasmania’s most advanced winery with emphasis on the wine being an expression of its terrior.

In all of their wines balance is the ultimate focus, striving to marry fruit, natural acidity, structure, tannin and texture. The use of state-of-the-art technology for traditional winemaking techniques enables a gentle, minimal intervention approach which allows the subtle and delicate flavours of the cool climate vineyard to be expressed to their full potential.

Please click on the blue link below to see the winemaker's notes on this wine.

Joseph Chromy Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

Citrus zest, tropical lime and white stonefruit aromas with underlying hints of toast and walnut. The palate shows elegant primary citrus fruit flavours of lemon and grapefruit, underpinned by sweet, creamy macdamia nut notes and hints of oatmeal. The palate is structured and balanced, with juicy lees complexity and toasty undertones. Fresh, natural acidity gives focus and length.

ABV = 13.1%.

£17.90

Joseph Drouhin (Vaudon) Chablis 2019 (1x75cl)

Founded in 1880 by the then 22-year-old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy negociant is still family-owned. Of the current (fourth) generation, Veronique Drouhin is the winemaker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra”. Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by Joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche through to Meursault and to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the domaines produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to Grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.

Drouhin’s foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and biodynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems”. Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.

Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d’Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use, and the time the wine spends in them, are determined by the appellation and the vintage.

The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage; Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes to the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped with Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.

For more detail on this, the Chablis 2018, see blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Drouhin themselves.

Joseph Drouhin Chablis 2019 - fiche technique

Chardonnay 100%.

A dry and fruity wine, easy to drink. Its colour is pale gold with greenish hues. Very fresh aromas reminiscent of citrus (lemon or grapefruit), small pleasant touches of fern or coriander are found as well. On the palate, dry and fruity, with mineral notes. Pleasant and long aftertaste.

ABV = 12.5%.

£18.50

Kumeu River, Rays Road Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

In September 2020, in making this her Wine of the Week, Jancis Robinson (www.JancisRobinson.com) writes of this:

- in summing up: "a fine, burgundian Chardonnay that's already drinking well';

- and more fully: "the 2018 is already drinking beautifully and will probably continue to do so for the next five years. My tasting note: Quite a ‘stony’ nose and already lots of fun. Seems more than a year more evolved than the 2019. At a very nice stage now. Fresh and minerally and super-crisp but quite satisfying and not meagre at all. Super-clean. Just right for current drinking. If only all white burgundy offered this accessibility (I'm talking both price and taste). Really quite long. A neat, complete wine. At the moment I prefer this to the more intense but unformed Rays Road 2019. VGV" (= Very Good Value). 

"First release of Chardonnay from a newly acquired Hawke's Bay vineyard on a north-facing site with limestone soils. Pure, taut wine with chalk, mineral, grapefruit, citrus, bran biscuit and nutty oak flavours. An impressive debut. 95/100", 5th Sep 2019, Bob Campbell MW.

From the pioneering days to the establishment of the New Zealand wine industry to today, the Brajkovich family have been internationally recognised as producing world class wine. The Brajkovich family continue to harvest their grapes at Kumeu and refine their wine making skills. The Brajkovichs are nationally recognised as a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry, and the current generation are internationally recognised as producing world class Chardonnay.

Just as the Brajkovich family has grown, so too has the winery itself. Extensions and additions mark the milestones that have seen business adapt and expand over the years. Today, the winery produces around 250,000 bottles annually from 30 hectares of its own vineyards in Kumeu, and another 10 hectares from local growers.

Ray's Road is Kumeu River (KR)’s new vineyard site in Hawkes Bay. This limestone hillside is at 180 m altitude, with a northerly aspect. It is dry-farmed to yield high quality grapes for wine under the Ray's Road name for the Kumeu River label.  

- Hand harvested;

- Whole-bunch pressed;

- Indigenous/wild yeast fermentation;

- 100% barrel fermentation;

- 100% malolactic fermentation;

- 11 months' maturation in (older French oak) barrel(s).

Chardonnay 100%.

This Chardonnay is a wine that is zesty and fragrant, with mineral complexity that is very true to its site. From the recently acquired vineyard in Hawke's Bay and vinified in older French oak, a lovely quality of almond and oatmeal, soft, a light butteriness and the juicy character, some flint. On the palate green apple and a touch of ripe pear and melon, a squirt of lemon juice freshness is very focused.

Additionally, KR themselves say, "All of our Chardonnay from 2018 is supple and approachable but the limestone soils of this vineyard give us quite a different expression to the vineyards we have in Kumeu. The wine is fragrant and flinty with a hint of pink grapefruit. The palate is supple but with a limestone edge that is piercing and lingering. It will be interesting to see how this wine develops but we fully expect to see it improve with bottle age along the same lines as the other Kumeu River wines". 

ABV = 13.0%.

£22.95

La Chablisienne Chablis Le Finage 2018 (1x75cl)

La Chablisienne, founded in 1923, has been at the vanguard of the modern co-operative movement and has challenged the assumption that big (250,000 bottles/year) cannot be beautiful. Over the years, La Chablisienne has given birth to a series of wonderful, ageworthy wines that have positioned the estate at the top of the cooperative wine quality hierarchy; indeed, there are fewer cooperatives anywhere that make better wines than La Chablisienne. The grapes come from 300 winegrowers in the region and are vinified under the talented eye of Vincent Bartement, who yet again, has secured La Chablisienne the award of IWSC French Wine Producer of the Year 2018.

A signature characteristic of La Chablisienne is a mosaic of climates, or vineyard plots, making it one of the few sources from which wine lovers can truly taste the differences between the various premier cru and Grand Cru sites. The wines are made from a single grape variety, Chardonnay; therefore, the differences between the wines express phenomenal terroir diversity. The unique soils, specifically Kimmeridgian soils, and microclimates of Chablis prove an ideal place for Chardonnay cultivation. Here mineral examples are produced, as well as, wines of superb finesse unmatched by any other Chardonnay in the world. La Chablisienne’s range of Chablis offerings cover the full spectrum from Petit Chablis’ to Grand Crus. Their quality is consistently outstanding. They have established themselves as the benchmark for Chablis producers and the bar continues to be raised.

The vines used to make this wine are situated in the villages of Beines, Béru, Chablis, La Chapelle Vaupelteigne, Chemilly sur Serein, Chichée, Collan, Courgis, Fleys, Fontenay, Lignorelles, Ligny le Châtel, Maligny, Poilly, Préhy, Saint Cyr les Colons, Viviers and Villy. The vines used are on average around 20 years old.

The must undergoes cold settling before fermentation which happens in stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation is also allowed to occur. The wine is then left to mature on its fine lees, in tanks.

100% Chardonnay.

This is a clear and brilliant wine with golden-yellow colour. A well-developed and mature bouquet reveals white and yellow-fleshed fruits. A very distinguished mineral note becomes more noticeable on aeration. Good aromatic length. Very pleasant volume in the mouth accompanied by freshness and crisp, well-defined fruitiness. The ripeness detected in the nose returns elegantly in the mouth. Good persistence in the finish. 

ABV = 12.5%.

£17.30
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