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Decanter July

 It's another Lockdown Decanter. And, if one is to be frank, this one comes with a real Lockdown cover:

One cannot fault Decanter for either their minimalism or directness-of-message. One cannot criticise them for putting a photographer in harm's way for an interesting cover shot (by, say, sending him or her to a picturesque corner of County Durham). But it maybe does lack a little imagination. Orange wines, then, are the headine message for the edition's main feature article. We'll come back to these below: we do have a smattering (turns out, however, that they are generally pricey, in short supply and annoyingly hard to source).

The wines featured this month in Decanter - and that we list - appear at the foot of this page. The reviews for each wine  (where we've been able to show them) appear on each product page.

 

The panel review

We're mainly focusing on the month's panel review because we invariably find that it's the panel-tested wines that are of greatest interest to - and in greatest demand from - you, the customer. That panel tasting is:

Let's be very clear, here. We're talking traditional method. Which is to say (apols to those already up-to-speed here) the same method of production as Champagne. You know: you make a wine, then put it in a bottle with some sugar and yeast, leave it a while to taste like biscuits, then use some witchcraft to get all the yeast out. This isn't tank (aka Charmat) method fare here ... which is what Italy has become all too well-known for in the UK. By which we mean, to be even clearer... Prosecco (the UK drinks over one-third of all Prosecco ... more than Italy does). There's nothing wrong with Prosecco, but, well, it's not trad method. Which means little or none of that complexity, ageworthiness, biscuity-thing and deeper interest.

Trad method fizz that isn't Champagne is a frustrating topic, speaking as a wine merchant. It's very hard to break the spell of Reims and Epernay. The wine world has moved well beyond believing that the only good Pinot Noir or Chardonay are from Burgundy, the only good Cab Sauv and Merlot from Bordeaux, the only good Malbec from Cahors, the only good Sauvi Blanc from the Loire. And so on.

But there is distance to travel with rivals to Champagne.

That's not - for one second - a question of quality. It's all about history, marketing, market power and the imagery of Champagne. When a well-priced, top-rated Champagne emerges from a Decanter review, it sells. It really sells. It's this one, in fact. Quite how well the Italian wines that follow below will sell, it will be interesting to see. On their sheer quality and pricing, they should absolutely fly. It's all about this perception thing, the (frankly curious) belief that "fizz isn't proper unless it's Champagne".

The panel review focuses on trad method fizz from everywhere in Italy. There are samples from Sicily and Puglia; red fizz (Lambrusco) also makes the frame (and does surprisingly well).

As you might expect, the top wines all come from the cooler far north - from Piemonte, Lombardia and Trentino - and are not only Champagne-method, but also the Champagne grape varieties (principally Pinot Noir and Chardonnay)... 

map from Decanter (www.decanter.com)

Now, had you asked me which Italian region would definitively top a panel review of trad-method fizzes, I would not have hesitated. Franciacorta (number 2 on that map), I would have told you. Franciacorta has become the standard bearer of Italian trad method, its flagship, its benchmark. It's become very trendy for those eschewing Champagne and wanting to be a bit different (and it is very good).

But I would have been wrong. Franciacorta actually only provides six of the 44, 90+point wines (Highly Recommended or better) revealed by the review (95 wines were tasted). It was outgunned by Trento(doc) (14 such wines - number 1 on map) and Alta Langa (13 wines, map number 4).

It is the latter - Alta Langa - which really steals the show. And that's because the (only) two 95+point wines - the Outstandings - are both from Alta Langa.

Guess what? We offer them both and one - because we can make it so - is stunning value and is not to be missed. Read on... 

 

Alta Langa

First, a short(ish) bit on Alta Langa. Because, frankly, despite all of our experience and studies, we knew little of Alta Langa. And, equally frankly, almost everyone I've mentioned it to - apart from people who live there - has given me a blank look.

  • There's a great site here from/by the Alta Langa consortium with a lot more detail; but generally...
  • We're talking that whole (broad) same area as Barolo and Barbaresco, close to Asti and Alba, in Piemonte;
  • What was a 'mere' DOC for sparkling wines was upgraded to the higher status of a DOCG in 2011;
  • It's tiny. Champagne's vineyard area is some 34,000 hectares - that's 340 km(or 340 grid squares on a OS map if that helps). Alta Langa, by contrast, has just 106 hectares - 10 grid squares - of vineyard. Which is but 0.3% of Champagne;
  • There are a mere 80 or so growers and 40 or so producers; compare that with ~19,000 growers in Champagne;
  • Wines must be sparkling (white or rosé) of a minimum of 90% Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (combined). The vast majority use nothing else;
  • This is an appellation of altitude, aspect and exposure. No grapes are to be grown below 250m ASL; flat and valley land is ruled out by the DOCG regs. Generally, the better wines are being grown as high as 700m ASL;

  • The idea being that a greater level of ripeness than is typical in Champagne can be achieved given the lower latitude and greater sunshine. To keep the all-important acidity, however, up the slopes we go;
  • Like Franciacorta (but even more so), the winemaking regulations drive a very high quality product; you'd have to say they are way tougher than Champagne. All wines must be vintage (millesimato); no NV wines are permitted. Minimum time of tirage/lees ageing for all wines is 30 months (36 months for Riserva wines). That compares with 15 months and 36 months respectively for NV and vintage Champagne;
  • I'd also say that the almost total absence of Pinot Meunier is a good thing. It's an integral part of most NV Champagnes, but it seldom improves them. It adds a bit of fruit, maybe, but at the cost of freshness; it's an easy grape to grow, dodges frost and is (frankly) a makeweight. Doubt that? It's seldom found in the super-cuvees of the Grandes Marques...

All of which lead to the question:

 

Why drink it? Why not just drink Champagne?

Alta Langa is different to Champagne. It's not better or worse; it's different. The producers I've ben talking with there make this very clear indeed!

If one had to characterise that difference, it's one of fruit and freshness. There is more zing, more sing and more bite, I would argue, than in most Champagne; the fruit flavours are more pronounced and more intense (£ for £). Vintage for vintage, I'd also argue (as did a few experts I talked with in writing this, and producers themselves) that Alta Langa tastes fresher and 'less old'; there is less oxidative effect kicking about here than in Champagne (some of which I put down to the way Meunier ages [ie not very well]). There is, to my nose and palate, more lightness, aroma and ripeness about the Alta Langas below.

A feature of many Alta Langa wines is their low sugar correction/dosage. The two high-scorers below are essentially Extra Brut at around 3g/litre (this figure would be unusually low for Champagne). Yet the wines are totally in balance and feature lip-smacking acidity. I put this down to the higher degree of ripeness in the Alta Langas (there's a quite a bit more chemistry to this).

The critic could - at a push - argue there is less complexity about Alta Langa and that its focus on Fruit and Freshness makes it 'all a bit Prosecco'. After tasting the wines below, one can (also at a push) see a germ of that, but the extended lees times fill in any gaps; there's enough secondary flavour (the pastry/brioche/biscuit thing) to make these wines most interesting. 

What is certainly also/most true is that, £ for £, it would be very hard to find such good Champagnes. Spend the £23 and £31 of the two wines below on Champagne, and I submit that you would be very unlikely to be drinking such a good wine. 

 

The two top wines

That was quite a pre-amble. Thus, to the two wines that clear 95-points:

The first is our star player.

We're particularly pleased to have this exclusively on direct import and be able to offer it at a tremendous price. We realise that Italian trad-method fizz is something of a leap into the unknown for some; we're seeking to make that leap as un-scary as possible and offer a wine you'll want to return for. Don't mis-read the lower price of this wine - £22.95 -  as any statement of just how very good it is (any more than you would the price of this): were either coming to us via an intermediary importer, it/they would be closer to £28-£29 and one would immediately (but perversely) believe it/them to be a better wine....

It's from Deltetto, equally well known for their still wines. They're a classic Italian, multi-generational family concern; that's them below.

The Alta Langa 2016 is a real bundle of freshness and has tremendous 'bite'; you can see our video tasting of it here. It spends 30 months on its lees/in bottle and does not want for the effects of that development.

As Decanter put it, see their review below and on the product page, "clean, expressive and elegant", "fleshy and juicy with tight fruit flavours", "very attractive, aromatic red berry fruit fragrance" and "a very attractive youthful drink". It would be easy to read "youthful" as a slight insult, but it does show the versatility of this wne; it drinks beautifully now (especially with food to make the most of the acidity; I'm hell-bent on trying it with some Fife coast fish & chips when I'm allowed to get there...) but will definitely add grace over the coming years (it will improve for longer than the seven years Decanter estimate, for sure)...

(Note also with the Decanter review: we've managed to trim the price since the time of submitting one to Decanter; we faced huge uncertainty over import costs at that moment: to be clear, we are (now) £22.95 on this wine).

We can offer only a dozen or so cases of the other Outstanding panel-topper. It comes from a very small-production, boutique producer: Marcalberto. Only a few thousand bottles of this wine are made every year, hence our tight allowance. Like the Deltetto, it's a pure Pinot:Chardonnay blend and a 2016 vintagewhere it varies is in the creation of its primary/base wine, which spends a few months of slow fermentation in oak barrels before the secondary fermentation stage (Note also an error from Decanter in the review below: in-bottle/lees ageing is 36 months, not the 24 stated; 24 months would be below the Alta Langa regulations!). That in-barrel fermentation of the base wine creates a slightly more complexified wine, with a little more roundness/body/mouthfeel. "Notes of coconut and almonds", "round nutty flavours", "oak giving an extra layer of interest", say Decanter.

It's a costlier wine, of course, at £31. But, as a counterpoint, and another (officially) Outstanding wine at that, the Marcalberto is one to be tried. I make the point again: you get way (way) more here for your £31 than you would if buying a Champagne.

 

Delivery and arrival

There will be a short delay in getting these to you. The Deltetto will leave Italy shortly and will be with us by 15th June for immediate sending out to customers. The Marcalberto is already in the UK and will be with us on the 11th.

 

Other Italian fizzes

Also in the frame are two prestigious bottles from Giulio Ferrari of (the) Trento DOC - the amazing Riserva Giulio Ferrari 2007 (still daisy-fresh) - 92 points - and the Perle Bianco Riserva 2010 (the 2011 scores 91 points, but is not yet UK-available, and the 2010 vintage is quite wonderful). The latter wine is 'only' £32, not the £48 shown in Decanter.

 

Elsewhere in Decanter

Orange wines? What?

Well, yes. A few months ago, we said that. But, in short:

  • take white grapes and make a wine without using the skins - that's a white wine, that is;
  • take red grapes and make a wine using the skins - that's a red wine;
  • take red grapes and make a wine without using the skins (at all or much) - that's a rosé; and
  • take white grapes and make a wine using the skins - well, that - that is an orange wine.

Very trendy, are orange wines. Word is, even young people are drinking them. It is even said that they are in part 'healthy', with some of the antioxidant properties of the skins coming through into the wine.

Simon Woolf's article offers his 'best' 20 orange wines. They are not cheap: they approach £30 on average. To an extent, that makes sense: all that extra work on the skins takes time and infrastructure and must (I surmise) involve a fair bit of spoilage. Some, mind, is just pure fashion and mark-up. We've dodged the costly ones and offer you two from the more value-ish end of the spectrum, both from Portugal, both amphora-fermented. They are the 94-point Herdade do Rocim Amphora White/Branco 2018 at an a fairly-sensible £18.75 and the 92-point Aphros Phaunus Loureiro at £21.30.

Fashionable, they may be, but stocks are small. There are only 30-40 bottles of each we can offer; that said, we can offer plenty of the 2019 of the Herdade do Rocim (and that's just as good).

___

In her annual article Top 10 Spanish Wines For Your Cellar, Sarah Jane Evans MW singles out one of the world's great (and Spain's greatest) Chardonnay(s), the Chivite Coleccion 125. The 2016 gets reviewed, but as so often, just as the vintage runs out everywhere. We have just a few bottles of the 2016, and access to a heap of the (also excellent) 2017 vintage. The challenge lies in keeping them and not drinking them...

___

In Beyond Assyrtiko, an expert review of Greek whites that are anything other than its most famous vinous export, Yianis Karakasis MW draws out a number of more esoteric wines that are well worth seeking out (this is a category that invariably does well at DWWAs). Ktima Gerovassiliou's Epanomi Malagousia 2019 and Monemvasia's Kydonitsa Laconia 2018 score well on 92 and 91 points (resp) and both represent excelent value.

___

Finally, those ever-consistent, top-flight Argentines, Altos las Hormigas, feature (with 90 points and some fine praise) in Weekday Wines with their entry-level Malbec Clasico.

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Deltetto (Millesimato) Alta Langa Brut 2016 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

Click here for our video tasting of this Decanter review-topper! and also our article on Alta Langa DOCG wines and the Decanter review below... 

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition panel tasting of traditional-method Italian sparklings (see blue link below). There is a difference in price between what appears there and our actual price - we have been able to bring this to the market more cheaply then we expected!

 

Deltetto (Millesimato) Alta Langa Brut 2016 - July 2020 Decanter review

When Antonio Deltetto took over from his father in his early twenties in 1977, he was fresh from university and full of new winemaking ideas that his father's meticulous cultivation of traditional varieties allowed him to develop. This spirit of innovation has stayed with him and he has passed this on to his children Carlo, Cristina and Claudia, who now all work for the estate. The estate covers 21 hectares of vineyard in the Roero, the gently hilly region on the northern bank of the Tanaro. The soil is sandier in this area and, as a result, the wines are more aromatic and less structured than those from the Langhe hills on the south bank.

This Classic Method Spumante was born in 1981 from Signor Deltetto’s passion for sparkling wines, experimenting with indigenous varieties: Arneis and Nebbiolo. In 1997, for the first time, Pinot Nero and Chardonnay were planted and, in 2000, the first Metodo Classico made with international varieties was released. From this passion for bubbles, in 2016 the first Alta Langa DOCG wine was born.

For qualification for the Alta Langa DOCG, vineyards must be located in the area of Alessandria, Asti and Cuneo, over 250m above sea level and on the hills (ie valley, damp and flat land is forbidden). The Deltetto vineyards are located in Roddino, a small town on the borders of the south-western Langa.

Deltetto lay claim to two vineyards facing north and west. One part is already in production and the other will go into production over the coming years. The former is located at the entrance of Roddino, overlooking the castle of Serralunga d’Alba. The other vineyard is located at the exit of Roddino, an area towards higher altitudes. The exposure of both is ideally sunny without reaching high temperatures, ensuring perfectly-ripening clusters, acidity, freshness and characteristic aromas.

Soil is marly, calcareous-clay, with moderate fertility.

Organic production, see here for more details.

The 2016 vintage is the first Deltetto Alta Langa Brut. Forthcoming are a Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) and a Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir).

The harvest is made  by hand in the second half of August. Primary fermentation of the base wine is conducted at 18° C in stainless steel. Secondary, in-bottle fermentation is conducted at 12° C.

Tirage/lees ageing in-bottle for at least 30 months to promote complexity and flavour development. Riddling/remuage by gyropalette. Disgorged in January 2020.

55% Pinot Noir (Pinot Nero), 45% Chardonnay. 

Dosage = 2.5g/litre (ie effectively Extra Brut).

Straw yellow pale colour with a fine, lasting finish with an intense bouquet of bread crust and brioche; dry, sapid and well-balanced.

ABV = 12.5%. 

£22.95

Herdade do Rocim Amphora Branco 2018 (1x75cl)

** AT THE TIME THIS APPEARED IN DECANTER, THERE WERE BARELY A FEW CASES LEFT IN THE UK AT THE IMPORTER. WE BOUGHT THE LOT. THEY HAVE NOW ALL GONE. THE 2019 VINTAGE IS ALSO AVAILABLE AND IS EXCELLENT! **

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article on Orange Wines (see blue link below).

Herdade Do Rocim Amphora Branco 2018 - July 2020 Decanter review

Herdade do Rocim is an estate located between Vidigueira and Cuba, in the Lower Alentejo. It comprises 120 hectares, 70 of which are made up of vineyards and 10 hectares of olive trees. Since its inception in 2000, Herdade do Rocim has invested heavily in the vineyards, replanting vines and introducing new varieties. They are pioneers in ‘amphora wines’, following the ancient traditions of vinification in pots known as ‘Tahla’. The vineyard is cultivated manually and minimal intervention is used in the cellar, to produce fresh, elegant and mineral wines. In 2018, Herdade do Rocim was awarded Best Wine Producer by Revista de Vinhos.

Herdade do Rocim is associated with the Sustainable Program of the Alentejo Viticulture. This wine is made from organically grown grapes; 70% of the vineyard is certified and the remaining 30% is in conversion. The estate is situated on the Vidigueira fault, a 30 mile long east-west facing escarpment which rises to 420 metres. The fault significantly influences the climate, trapping the cool, humid Atlantic winds, so despite its southern location it is one of the most temperate sub regions in the Alentejo. These cooling and humid influences descend at night, creating diurnal temperature differences which extend the ripening period; with the warm days concentrating the flavours in the grapes, while balancing natural acidity is retained during the cool nights. The soils are of granitic and schistous origin. The grapes for this wine come from very old vineyards, made up of ancient, native varieties. The fruit was manually harvested at optimal maturity.

Antão Vaz 40%, Manteúdo 20%, Perrum 20% and Rabo de Ovelha 20%.

This naturally vinified wine is golden in colour with a complex bouquet of smoky, spicy and herbal aromas enveloping the fruit. Grapefruit flavours are accompanied by a hint of tomato plant on the firm, dry and textured palate. Long and mineral finish with a touch of salinity.

ABV = 12.0%.

£18.75

Herdade do Rocim Amphora Branco 2019 (1x75cl)

The depleted 2018 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article on Orange Wines (see blue link below).

Herdade Do Rocim Amphora Branco 2018 - July 2020 Decanter review

Herdade do Rocim is an estate located between Vidigueira and Cuba, in the Lower Alentejo. It comprises 120 hectares, 70 of which are made up of vineyards and 10 hectares of olive trees. Since its inception in 2000, Herdade do Rocim has invested heavily in the vineyards, replanting vines and introducing new varieties. They are pioneers in ‘amphora wines’, following the ancient traditions of vinification in pots known as ‘Tahla’. The vineyard is cultivated manually and minimal intervention is used in the cellar, to produce fresh, elegant and mineral wines. In 2018, Herdade do Rocim was awarded Best Wine Producer by Revista de Vinhos.

Herdade do Rocim is associated with the Sustainable Program of the Alentejo Viticulture. This wine is made from organically grown grapes; 70% of the vineyard is certified and the remaining 30% is in conversion. The estate is situated on the Vidigueira fault, a 30 mile long east-west facing escarpment which rises to 420 metres. The fault significantly influences the climate, trapping the cool, humid Atlantic winds, so despite its southern location it is one of the most temperate sub regions in the Alentejo. These cooling and humid influences descend at night, creating diurnal temperature differences which extend the ripening period; with the warm days concentrating the flavours in the grapes, while balancing natural acidity is retained during the cool nights. The soils are of granitic and schistous origin. The grapes for this wine come from very old vineyards, made up of ancient, native varieties. The fruit was manually harvested at optimal maturity.

Antão Vaz 40%, Manteúdo 20%, Perrum 20% and Rabo de Ovelha 20%.

This naturally vinified wine is golden in colour with a complex bouquet of smoky, spicy and herbal aromas enveloping the fruit. Grapefruit flavours are accompanied by a hint of tomato plant on the firm, dry and textured palate. Long and mineral finish with a touch of salinity.

ABV = 12.0%.

£18.75

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article on Orange Wines (see blue link below).

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2018 - July 2020 Decanter review

The 2017 vintage (alas, no longer available) was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2017 - September 2019 Decanter review

Founded in 2002, Aphros is a project designed to combine ecological and economical aspects to create true sustainability. Their belief is that nature and labor should combine in a meaningful way and they seek to capture this through biodynamic viticulture, letting the uniqueness of the land shine through the fruit for inimitable wines. Loureiro and Vinhão have grown in these vineyards for centuries and serve as the reference point for the region.

The grapes are sourced from the Lima sub-region and the vines of Casal do Paço are situated in a south facing amphitheater north of the Lima River on gentle slopes with cool Atlantic breezes.

The winemaking is traditional, taking place in the basement beneath the main house. The cave is buried and naturally cool and damp. They once again straddle the line between modern and traditional character with the addition of modern stainless steel equipment and traditional open top lagars, granite stone tanks, for red wine production.

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine from Aphros, please click on the blue link below.

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2018 - fiche technique

This unique reading of the lively Loureiro grape replaces its usual perfume with earthy, baked apple aromas and adds a fine but grippy seam of tannins into what is a savoury yet quite electrifying wine.

ABV = 11.5%. 

£21.30

Ktima Gerovassiliou Epanomi Malagousia 2019 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article, Beyond Assyrtiko (ie other Greek whites) (see  blue link below). 

Ktima Gerovassiliou Epanomi Malagousia 2019 - July 2020 Decanter review

The 2018 vintage was 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.

Ktima Gerovassiliou is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou. He initiated the revival of the family vineyard by planting the nearly extinct Malagousia in 1981. This state of the art winery is now surrounded by 74 hectares of meticulously well-cared vineyards on the slopes of Epanomi. Ktima Gerovassiliou guarantees consistent, high quality wines of international acclaim every year and his Malagousia remains the benchmark to this day.

At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate in the region of Epanomi is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria. The vines are grown in soils which are mainly sandy with a few clayey substrates and calcareous rocks. It is rich in sea fossils, as the surrounding hilly area was formed by sea deposits.

The Malagousia (pronounced Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes were macerated on the skins to extract the desired level of aromatics. Part of the must was fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18 to 20°C; and part was vinified in seasoned French oak. Clarification took place by gravity. The wine was then matured on the lees for a few months with regular lees stirring or bâtonnage, prior to being fined with bentonite.

Malagousia 100%.

Wonderfully expressive and complex aromas of white pear, mango and lemon zest combine with floral hints. Delightful and refreshing on the palate, it is rich and harmonious with a spicy, mouthwatering finish with a delicious flinty, mineral character.  A perfect match for Mediterranean dishes, seafood, Thai-spiced grilled swordfish, orzo cauliflower salad or fried courgette blossoms.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.75

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition's Weekday Wines (see  blue link below). 

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico 2018 - July 2020 Decanter review

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised appellation within Mendoza and one of the region's premium vine growing areas. The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country's top five producers of this particular variety. Alberto Antonini and fellow Tuscan, Antonio Morescalchi, were so impressed with the vineyards in the area around Mendoza, following their first trip to Argentina in 1995, that they persuaded a few friends to join with them in buying this estate. The estate covers 88 hectares with 56 in production.

Most of the fruit for the Clasico is from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo with sandy loam soils. This is supplemented with some fruit from the high altitude vineyards of the Uco Valley, both of which bring different characteristics to the wine. The area has a semi-desert climate with little rainfall and hot days and cool nights. The soils are deep which delays ripening and avoids hydrological stress.

The 2018 vintage can be described as a classic year for Mendoza Malbec. Low rainfall and cool temperatures in the harvest months of February to April gave rise to fruit with optimal ripeness, smooth tannins and fresh natural acid.

Grapes from different vineyards were vinified separately before the final blend was assembled. After a careful double sorting process, the grapes were gently pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in order to express the character of each of the selected vineyards. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks between 24-28°C for 10 days. Each tank is tasted three times a day to determine what is needed. The wine is then aged for a minimum of nine months in concrete vats.

100% Malbec.

This Malbec is deep violet-red in colour. The nose displays characteristic notes of red fruits, raspberries and freshly picked plums with white pepper. This wine is all about freshness - the palate is supple and juicy, with soft but structured tannins and a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.65
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