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Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 98 points and ultra-rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Tinpot Hut SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Tinpot Hut wines are made primarily from fruit grown on winemaker Fiona Turner's vineyard in Blind River. Fiona, who has worked with Matt Thomson for a number of years, supplements her own grapes with fruit from other growers in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The tinpot hut that gave its name to Fiona's wines is an old mustering hut in the remote hills between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The huts were used as a base for musterers as they rounded up the sheep that had been in the hills from spring to autumn. The name links Marlborough's past as a sheep farming centre with its current state as one of the world's most dynamic wine regions.

The fruit for this wine was sourced from specially selected vineyards in the Blind River, Dashwood and Lower Wairau subregions. Blind River and Dashwood fruit contributed the acidity, mineral and fresh herbal notes, while the Lower Wairau, as always, contributed the tropical top notes and mid-palate roundness. This blending of flavours gives a balance between herbaceous and tropical. All vineyard parcels are kept separate in the winery prior to blending post fermentation.

The 2018 growing season was characterised by a dry spring and early summer. Regular rainfall required rigorous canopy and crop management with additional shoot thinning, bunch removal, and green thinning to bring the vines and yields into balance, producing fruit of exceptional character and intensity.

The fruit from each vineyard was independently monitored and harvested before being carefully pressed to ensure minimal skin contact preventing juice deterioration. Once settled, the batches were cool fermented in stainless-steel tanks using specific cultured yeasts to add complexity while retaining the fresh fruit characteristics from each of the individual vineyards. Shortly after blending, the wine was prepared for bottling under a screwcap closure.

A complex and elegant wine with intense aromas of blackcurrant, crushed lemongrass and thyme, mingled with passionfruit and melon highlights. On the palate, underlying ripe fruit and mineral notes from the grapes grown in the Blind River sub region of Marlborough combine well with the more tropical notes of passionfruit and melon from the Wairau Valley vineyards. A stylish and pleasingly rich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with vibrant aromatics and a fine balance of acidity leading to a lingering finish.

£13.70

Tornatore Etna Bianco 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended  status by Decanter in their May 2019 expert review of Sicilian whites (see blue link below).

Tornatore Etna Bianco 2018 - May 2019 Decanter review

One of the largest – and oldest – producers in the region, Tornatore owns 46ha of vineyards on the north side of active volcano Mount Etna, 1,000m above sea level. Established in 1865, the estate is still run by the same family. The focus at Tornatore is on native grape varieties including Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante and Catarratto. While the varietals used are traditional, their winemaking style is more modern in approach, with lower alcohol and more emphasis on fruit. These wines have quickly become some of our favourites and offer incredible complexity and intrigue at a very affordable price.

This wine is 100% Carricante.

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been written by the team at Tornatore, please click on the blue link below.

Tornatore Etna Bianco - fiche technique

£15.65

Tornatore Etna Rosso 2016 (1x75cl)

One of the largest producers in the region, Tornatore owns 46 hectares of vineyards on the north side of Mount Etna, 1,000m above sea level. The estate was founded in 1865 and is still run by the third generation of the same family. One of the oldest and largest producers in Etna, Tornatore has 10 per cent of all production in the area.

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been written by the team at Tornatore, please click on the blue link below.

Tornatore Etna Rosso - fiche technique

The Etna Rosso is ruby red with faint purple, typical of this variety which is light in colour. There are clear hints of red berries, morello cherry and black cherry on the nose. The taste is characterized by its typical balanced tannins and a surprising fullness, flavour and persistence.

£15.75

Tornatore Pietrarizzo 2015 (1 x 75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2016 edition review of Etna Rosso (see blue link below). The 2014 has now run out across the UK, but we judge the 2015 to be of a similar quality - vintage variation tends not to be great with Etna Rosso - and throughly recommend.

Tornatore Pietrarizzo 2014 - Dec 2016 Decanter review

One of the largest – and oldest – producers in the region, Tornatore owns 46ha of vineyards on the north side of active volcano Mount Etna, 1,000m above sea level. Established in 1865, the estate is still run by the same family. The focus at Tornatore is on native grape varieties: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante and Catarratto.

While the varietals used are traditional, their winemaking style is more modern in approach, with lower alcohol and more emphasis on fruit. These wines have quickly become some of our favourites and offer incredible complexity and intrigue at a very affordable price.

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been written by the team at Tornatore, please click on the blue link below.

Tornatore Pietrarizzo 2015 - fiche technique

Ruby red, delicate and incredibly balanced on the nose, clear hints of red berries, flowers, perfectly integrated to a minerality and evolution worthy of a great wine. Great structure on the mouth with a surprising drinkability and elegance.

£20.00

Torres Mas La Plana 2013 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition article, Big & Beautiful (reds), by Andrew Jefford;(see blue link below).

Torres Mas La Plana 2013 - December 2018 Decanter review

"A legend dressed in black" is how Torres themselves describe their flagship Mas La Plana wine.

The first vintage of this wine dates back to 1970. In this small (29 ha.) vineyard only the most select Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are grown. These are used to make strictly limited quantities of Torres’ most prestigious red wine, now known to connoisseurs all over the world. In the Paris Wine Olympiad, the 1970 vintage triumphed over some of the most famous wines in the world, including some of the best from Bordeaux. This success has since been repeated on several other occasions.

D.O. Penedès has been associated for decades with innovative vineyards and wineries. Ever since it became the first area in Spain to use stainless steel and cold fermentation equipment, the vine growers of the Penedès have been making excellent modern wines from a mix of native and French grape varieties. This has been possible because of the variety of altitudes, lands and micro-climates found in the Penedès which foster the ideal growth of the different grape types.

The Mas La Plana is fermented in stainless steel under controlled temperatures of between 25-28°C for 7 days. It is then aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 85% of which are new.

It is is made using Cabernet Sauvignon, a red grape that is native to Bordeaux, known for its dense tannins, deep colour, fruity aromas and elegant structure.

This wine's noble and healthy tannins will complement the best meat and game dishes.

£44.45

Torres Vina Esmeralda 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Spanish Value Wines (under £20); (see blue link below).

Torres Viña Esmeralda 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

In the mountainous area of the Upper Penedès the more delicate and aromatic white grape varieties are grown. Moscatel and Gewürtztraminer form the basis for Viña Esmeralda, an exceptionally delicate and strikingly fragrant wine.

Torres say: "We're particularly proud of our white wines. The production of these types of pure, clean and seductive wines, as we see them today, was quite difficult for our ancestors. However, we now know the secret and have the resources to maintain the fruit properties and transform them into unique, refreshing and elegant wines with a little help from the climate, the land, our well-cared for grapevines and experience."

"The Mediterranean breeze blends with the scent of roses, which grow around our vineyards further inland, to bring us our most cherished gem: Viña Esmeralda."

This wine was fermented at controlled temperatures of 16°C in stainless steel vats for two weeks to preserve its freshness.

Brilliant pale straw yellow. Fragrant, with floral orange blossom, delicate nuances of exotic fruit and a note of apple jam. It is smooth and exquisitely luscious on the palate, leaving a subtle honeyed trace.

This wine is sublime with seafood appetizers, fish and pâté. It is also well worth trying with Asian food.

£10.00

Trapiche Iscay Malbec Cabernet Franc 2012 (1x75cl)

The yet-to-arrive-in-the-UK 2013 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of South American Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Trapiche Iscay Malbec Cabernet Franc 2013 - June 2019 Decanter review

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has now earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. True to its origins, today Trapiche is in a continuous quest for the latest best practices. Led by Daniel Pi, Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. 

Iscay originates from Trapiche's own vineyards which are situated in Russell, Maipú and Los Arboles, Uco Valley, Mendoza.

This wine is 70% Malbec and 30% Cabernet Franc.

The Malbec delivers its deep purple-red colour, with aromas of violets, ripe red fruits, a slight touch of spice and generous tannins. The Cabernet Franc contributes black fruit, a balsamic hint and tannins that structure the middle of the mouth. A perfect combination that results in a flavorful wine with great concentration, elegance, complexity and a pure finish. Serve with roasted lamb, game or stews. Also combines beautifully with mushroom dishes and hard cheeses.

£25.30

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status in the May 2018 edition of Decanter article: World's Best Pinot Gris Buys. This is now (very) unavailable from the UK importer: we offer the 2014.

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle 2012 - May 2018 Decanter review

Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle is only made from grapes harvested in the best vintages from the choicest vineyard plots. This results in rich, weighty, opulent wines which can take many years to develop their full potential. The grapes for the Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle come from the Grand Cru Osterberg vineyard. The grapes are picked by hand and pressed very gently in a pneumatic press. The juice runs into the cellar by gravity and clarifies naturally prior to fermentation. The juice ferments in stainless steel at controlled temperature for 2-3 weeks. In this case the fermentation stopped naturally and some (but very little) residual sugar is now balanced by good ripe acidity to give this wine a beautiful balance. These grapes were picked at excellent richness level, around 14° potential alcohol. The wine is not oak aged, as the Trimbachs believe that wood gives nothing to their wines, the salient characteristics of which are extreme purity and concentrated fruit. Bottling is early to preserve freshness and wines then bottle-aged before leaving the winery.

100% Pinot Gris.

Toasted nuts, marzipan and salinity underscore the peach and apple fruit here. A hint of honey adds nobility and relatively high acidity adds primary juiciness in the long, fascinatingly smoky, nutty, and mineral finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£27.95

Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2011 (1x75cl)

The 2010 vintage was Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 article on Sweetness in Wine (see blue link below).

Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2010  - Nov 2018 Decanter review

This wine was named after Frédéric Emile who became famous for providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity for Trimbach in 1898. The prestigious signature wine of the house, the “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” is highly prized by connoisseurs and collectors.

The south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé terroirs and Grand Crus of Geisberg and Osterberg which overlook the Trimbach winery have been the source of this wine for several generations. Trimbach took the bold decision of not mentioning the Grand Cru on the label back in the 70’s. Today, Cuvée Frédéric Emile is considered a benchmark of Grand Crus Riesling even though the label does not state the names of the vineyards. 

The average age of the vines, 45 years, results in limited yields. The marl-limestone-sandstone and fossil-flecked Muschelkalk composition of the terroir, as well as the beautifully ripe grapes selected and harvested at the end of October lend this wine a remarkable personality: a dry and powerful Riesling, underlined by a mineral note and firm ripe acidity.

This wine pairs well with gourmet foods, particularly quality fish, caviar, and fine white meats.  “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” vintages age for at least twenty years.

£40.20

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels 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.

Since its inception in 1993, partners John Hancock, who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years, and Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of The Bleeding Heart and The Don in London, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, of which 47 are in the Gimblett Gravels.

The Gimblett Gravels, planted on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River, is now a highly sought after sub-region renowned for the quality of its wines. The Trinity Hill wines have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour. This estate was one of the first to plant grapes on the Gimblett Gravels in 1993. The Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area is a small sub-region in the Hawkes Bay, defined by a very unique stony soil type. This wine is sourced from Estate grown grapes in the Tin Shed and Winery vineyards.

2017 was a remarkable vintage in Hawkes Bay. A moderate spring with low frost risk and generally good flowering led to an extremely dry and warm summer, recording above average temperatures in January and February before rainy weather came in late February followed by humid conditions with heavy rainfall from March to May.

Hand-harvested fruit was gently pressed and fermented with indigenous yeast in 500-litre French oak puncheons. The wild yeast helped to add complexity and texture. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged to soften acidity and give further richness. The wine was aged for 11 months in large 500-litre puncheons (of which 40% were new). This was followed by a further four months in tank on lees. 

The wine has flavours of citrus, white flowers and ripe grapefruit. The style is mid-weight with elegant oak providing texture and lingering flavours of cashew, roasted almond and gun flint. The structure has a tight shape with the finesse and concentration that are hallmarks of Trinity Hill Chardonnay. It displays delicacy but richness and the beautifully linear acidity makes it a fantastic match with food.

£22.10

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Marsanne Viognier 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Marsanne Viognier 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

... and comments from one particular reviewer...

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Marsanne Viognier 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review - individual comments

Since its inception in 1993, John Hancock (who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years), in conjunction with his partners Robert and Robyn Wilson, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, of which 47 hectares are in the Gimblett Gravels. Trinity Hill wines have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour. This estate was one of the first to plant grapes on the Gimblett Gravels in 1993.

The Marsanne and Viognier grapes come from deep, free draining gravel soils in the microclimate of the Gimblett Gravels region. The soils were deposited by the Ngaruroro River as it changed course over many thousands of years. Their low fertility and excellent drainage give small crops of grapes with highly concentrated flavours and aromas.

A late beginning to the 2016 season was followed by a very warm summer and early autumn period. The warm days were also combined with warm night-time temperatures and high humidity, particularly in the second half of March. It was definitely a season to be close and vigilant with the vines.

Hand-harvested fruit was gently whole-bunch pressed and then immediately transferred to barrel. The indigenous fermentation took place in a range of aged French oak barrels but with no new oak component. After ageing on the lees in barrel for 14 months, including malolactic fermentation, the wine was blended and then bottled in July 2016. Barrel fermentation and lees ageing add richness and complexity, however no obvious oak character is sought.

The Viognier provides exotic aromatics of apricot, musk and jasmine and a luscious mouth-feel. Marsanne provides gentle honeysuckle flavours as well as structure and tension to balance the fullness of the Viognier. The exotic nature of this wine makes it a great substitute for Chardonnay or Pinot Gris.

£21.70

Truchard Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of Premium Californian Chardonnay (see blue link below).

Truchard Chardonnay 2016 - June 2019 Decanter review

The Truchard family's wine tradition began in the U.S. over a century ago in 1887 when the Truchard winery was founded just outside Houston. Since 1973, when Tony and Jo Ann bought the present Truchard estate, it has grown to 400 acres, of which 280 acres are planted. After selling their grapes to premier wineries for 15 years, the Truchards began producing their own wines in 1989 to great acclaim. To accommodate the winery’s increased production, in 1998, they added an 11,000-square-foot wine cave to the premises.

We can do no better here than to direct you to the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Truchard Chardonnay 2016 - fiche technique

£27.65

Truchard Syrah 2015 (1x75cl)

The Truchard family's wine tradition began in the U.S. over a century ago in 1887 when the Truchard winery was founded just outside Houston. Since 1973, when Tony and Jo Ann bought the present Truchard estate, it has grown to 400 acres, of which 280 acres are planted. After selling their grapes to premier wineries for 15 years, the Truchards began producing their own wines in 1989 to great acclaim. To accommodate the winery’s increased production, in 1998, they added an 11,000-square-foot wine cave to the premises.

We can do no better here than to direct you to the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Truchard Syrah 2015 - fiche technique

Rich aromas of blackberry, plum and blueberry, with hints of vanilla, earth and white pepper. The palate is filled with jammy flavours of cassis, boysenberry and black cherry, followed by mineral and cracked black pepper. Mouthfilling tannins provide an opulent finish of fruit and spice.

£20.80

Umani Ronchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Casal Di Serra 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold Medal and 96 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

The Umani Ronchi story is one of ancient vines, land and people. Seasons waxing and waning. Harvests changing. Wines coming into being. The story began more than half a century ago at Cupramontana, in the heart of Verdicchio Classico country, and has spread further. Today Umani Ronchi is the wine estate owned by the Bianchi-Bernetti family, who since 1959 have been making superb-quality craft wines, coaxing the best out of the Verdicchio and Montepulciano that find their finest expression in Marche and Abruzzo.

Please click the blue link below to see Umani Ronchi’s excellent information and tasting notes for this wine.

Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore - fiche technique

This wine has intense, round and fresh aromas leading to a dry, soft palate with notes of ripe peaches, apples, exotic fruits, hazelnuts, butter and minerality.

£14.25

Urlar Pinot Gris 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below).

Urlar Pinot Gris 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

"Ripe, fruity spicy and complex with aromas and flavours of bosc pear and apple, some white pepper and sweet rose, a mineral earthy layer and gentle oak spice layers. Medium+ acidity in a just dry style; flavours of white fleshed fruits are persistent; a complex and well made example. Drink now and through 2022."

93 Points - Cameron Douglas

 

"Bright, even straw-yellow colour with pale gold hues. The nose is elegant in proportion with moderately deep aromas of white and yellow stonefruits and a subtle amalgam of white florals, nutty elements and minerals.  The aromatics are soft in expression and show delicacy and detail. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has good depth and intensity of white and yellow stonefruits, white florals, nutty notes and a little toasty oak.  The fruit forms a well-concentrated core with good intensity and presence..  The mouthfeel is rounded and smooth with some underlying alcohol drive.  The wine carries to a long, lingering finish of stonefruits, nuts and hints of oak.  This is a well-proportioned dry Pinot Gris with deep flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, nuts and oak, with plenty of mouthfeel and presence, and alcohol drive. Match with most white meat dishes over the next 4+ years.  Hand-picked fruit, WBP, and fully barrel-fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 10 months on lees with batonnage and 30% MLF.  BioGro organic." 

18.5/20 Dec 2017 - Raymond Chan

 

"This is a distinctive Pinot Gris, drier and more robust (13.5% alc/vol) than most. Fermented and aged in old oak barrels, it is pale straw, with rich, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, showing good complexity and a creamy-smooth finish."

4.5 stars - Michael Cooper

Proudly family-owned, Urlar Estate produces outstanding single vineyard wines using organic and biodynamic principles. Urlar is a Gaelic word that means “the Earth”. Their desire is to bring an abundance of life back to our ancient soils so that the drinker can discover the purity of flavour inherent in the land. Their journey from the highlands of Scotland to the stony soils and cool climate of Gladstone, Wairarapa has cemented a love for all things pure and true.

See this blog on Urlar, especially regarding their organic credentials.

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

Urlar Pinot Gris 2016 - fiche technique

£14.45
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