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Cantina Tramin Nussbaumer Gewurztraminer 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 93 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 Italy supplement article, My Dozen Dream Whites (see blue link below).

Tramin Nussbaumer Gewurz 2015 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

Cantina Tramin was founded in 1898 and has 310 member winegrowers who follow its strict directives on the cultivation of the vines. The vineyards are an integral part of the enchanting and picturesque landscape of the Alto-Adige region of Northern Italy and cover 260 hectares situated on the sunny slopes of the region at altitudes ranging from 250 to 850 metres above sea level. In 2011, Cantina Tramin gained the "Double Stella" award. This is given to a winery for achieving the prestigious 3 Bicchieri 20 times and is awarded by the Gambero Rosso.

The grapes are grown in a few select vineyards above the town of Tramin. The vines are trained to both the traditional Pergola system as well as the modern Guyot system and are 20 years old. The soil type is clay.

The grapes were crushed and briefly macerated to extract the aromatic characteristics of the grape. After pressing, the must was left to ferment at 18°C to 20°C in stainless steel tanks. The wine rested on the fine lees for 11 months, until bottled.

One of Italy's most awarded and elegant wines with intense aromas of rose petal, cinnamon and ripe tropical fruit with a touch of spice. Rich, with a full bodied texture and a balancing acidity which leads to a long, sustained and elegant finish.

A versatile wine which accompanies pork chops, veal and rich poultry dishes or Thai inspired cuisine.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£24.30

Cape Mentelle Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River (Australia) (see blue link below).

Cape Mentelle Sem/SB 2016 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Cape Mentelle takes a minimal approach towards this classic Margaret River blend. The aim is to preserve as much fruit intensity and regional character as possible, whilst providing a full flavoured distinctive white wine. The style accentuates the fresh fruit characters of both varieties with the added complexity and palate weight offered by a small portion of barrel fermentation.

The fruit comes from the perfectly suited cooler southern half of the Margaret River region, from their three vineyards of the Wallcliffe-Trinders, Crossroads and Chapman Brook. The typical soils of these vineyards are geologically ancient, free draining, sandy loams with a high percentage of lateritic gravel. The vines are vertically trained, spur or cane pruned and canopy manipulations are frequent to allow good air flow and dappled sunlight on the fruit.

When harvesting Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon the emphasis is placed on capturing vibrant fresh flavours with clean acidity. Fruit is harvested at night to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Extended fermentation takes place at very low temperature in stainless steel tanks with about 8% of the blend fermented in new oak barriques. The 2016 blend was assembled after four months on lees; the team decided to preserve the exceptional vinosity and perfect texture by bottling the wine unfined in July 2016.

The nose on this wine has varietal Sauvignon notes revolving around cassis buds, juniper berries and cracked black pepper. It then opens to complex fruit ranging from zesty white grapefruit to hints of lychees, lifted by ethereal floral notes of jasmine and passion fruit flower. The palate is juicy clean, slightly saline, on notes of passionfruit and citrus. The fresh pithy acidity and mineral character, reminiscent of fine absinthe, fresh ginger and gentian bitters give the wine a lot of vinosity and personality, well balanced by the honey notes and creamy texture of the Semillon and showing exceptional length.

This wine goes well with crab cakes, fresh oysters au naturel and warm bruschetta with fresh buffalo mozzarella amongst many other dishes. Because of the wine's strong personality, it will allow a bold marriage with cheeses, especially well-aged, slightly crystallized ones such as a mature Parmigiano-Reggiano.

£18.30

Capezzana Carmignano `Villa di Capezzana` 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article; (see blue link below)

Tenuta di Capezzana, Villa di Capezzana 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

The Capezzana estate, 24 kilometres north west of Florence, is owned by the Contini Bonacossi family. The younger generation is now firmly in charge of the estate's 100 hectares of vineyard, with daughter Benedetta Contini Bonacossi as winemaker and Francesco Bernabei as consultant winemaker. The wines and the olive oil have an elegance which marks this estate out from the crowd.

Grapes are grown on the estate's 104 hectares of vineyard which have been converted to organic production. Vines are situated at approximately 150-200 metres above sea level, facing south, south-east and south-west. Soils are schistous clay with limestone.

Lower temperatures in April 2015 delayed budding by about 10 days. A warm spring was followed by a hot summer with little rain. Luckily the month of September was perfect with the right amount of rain and the right atmospheric humidity. This largely contributed to an extremely healthy crop with excellent maturation throughout.

75% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Canaiolo, 5% Cabernet Franc.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for 25 days at temperatures between 18-25°C. At the end of the alcoholic fermentation the wine was put in French oak for the malolactic fermentation and then aged in 3.5 hectolitre tonneaux for 12 months, followed by 12 months in bottle before release.

Ruby red in colour with a restrained, elegant nose. Perfumes of dark cherry and liquorice give way to spice and plums on the palate. Rounded tannins from the Sangiovese are lifted by the cassis concentration of the Cabernet and melt into a long, perfumed finish.

£24.20

Capezzana Vin Santo (Riserva) di Carmignano half bottle 2011 (1x37.5cl)

Awarded a Platinum medal and 96 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The Capezzana estate, 24 kilometres north west of Florence, is owned by the Contini Bonacossi family. The younger generation is now firmly in charge of the estate's 100 hectares of vineyard, with daughter Benedetta Contini Bonacossi as winemaker and Francesco Bernabei as consultant winemaker. The wines and the olive oil have an elegance which marks this estate out from the crowd.

The grapes for the Vin Santo are grown on various vineyards on the 104 hectare estate. These vineyards face east, are around 150-200 metres above sea level and have schistous-clay soils. They are currently being converted to organic production.

The 2011 vintage had a slow start, with veraison occurring two weeks later than usual, with a cool spring and frequent showers. The lower than average temperatures for the time of year continued until July and up until this point, the vintage could easily have been considered a cool one. However, from mid-August through to the beginning of September, high pressure over the African continent brought temperatures well above 38°C. Fortunately the vines were able to access sufficient water reserves to avoid stress.

The grapes were dried on cane mats in a well ventilated loft until February. After pressing, the must fermented very slowly in small chestnut and cherry casks for at least four years. The casks are known as 'caratelli' and vary between 50, 70, 100 and 200 litres in capacity. The must underwent successive fermentations and clarifications with natural changes in temperature. Final yields were very low, often only a quarter or a fifth of the original grape weight. After ageing for five years in small chestnut and cherry casks, the wine remained in bottle for at least three months before release.

90% Trebbiano, 10% San Colombano.

This Vin Santo has an intense golden yellow colour and displays concentrated perfumes on the nose of dried fruit, candied apricot and orange peel, as well as floral nuances of yellow flowers. Rich and intensely sweet on the palate, it has dried apricot and fig flavours which are balanced by a lovely touch of freshness. The finish is very long and spicy

£37.75

Carpineto, Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Carpineto Brunelllo 2012 - November 2017 Decanter review

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

Carpineto's Montalcino estate is one of the highest in the appellation at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, with 10 hectares of vineyard planted to Sangiovese Grosso on a dry farmed hillside. Planted at a density of 2.20 x 0.90 metres, which is the equivalent of over 5,000 vines per hectare, the vines are trained on a unilateral cordon system. The sedimentary soil has a galestro frame with clay accumulations dating to the Eocene era, some 15 million years ago. With a slightly northern exposure, the vineyard is surrounded by thick woods, which protect it from the warm and humid westerly winds that come up from the Maremma.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity levels and carefully selected. The fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats followed by maceration on the skins to extract flavour, colour and fine tannins. The wine was aged in Slovenian oak barrels for three years, followed by at least six months bottle ageing.

A mature Brunello showing a decisive and fine bouquet of hints of vanilla, deep red cherries, raspberry and a touch of liquorice. Elegant and well textured, with a warm and smooth palate and a long finish. Ideal with a bistecca all fiorentina, a fine roast leg of lamb with rosemary, pot roasted pheasant or fine, mature cheese.

£34.80

Carpineto, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 (1x75cl)

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

In the beautiful olive and cypress-studded countryside between Florence and Siena lie the quaint hilltop villages of the Chianti Classico region. The wine of the same name is produced exclusively in this charming and beautiful area in stony soils.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats, followed by a skin contact maceration to extract colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was transferred to a combination of oak barrels and casks of Slavonian and French origin for a minimum of 12 months. It was then transferred back into stainless tanks briefly prior to bottling. The wine was bottle aged in temperature controlled cellars for a minimum of 10 months prior to release.

An inviting rich ruby red colour, with garnet reflections. Rich, velvety, full-flavoured and warming with hints of vanilla and raspberries, this is a very fine wine with silky tannins and a long, lingering finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£19.20

Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 regional profile of NZ's Central Otago  (see blue link below).

Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

Carrick has always been about place. The name derives from the gold mining town and the mountain range to which Carrick looks. The wines are of Central Otago and its subregion, Bannockburn. Carrick's own vineyards are nestled around the winery and every effort is made to allow the wines to express their place and their providence. 

Vibrant fruit with fragrant aromatics are the hallmarks of this wine. The vintage was a little light with red fruits to the fore. The wine shows texture and a lingering finish.

To see the winemaker's notes for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2015 - fiche technique

£29.70

Carrick Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of New Zealand Chardonnay (see blue link below).

Carrick Bannockburn Central Otago - February 2018 Decanter review

It’s 20 years now since Steve and Barbara Green established the first of Carrick’s vineyard plantings on the Cairnmuir terraces at Bannockburn in Central Otago, extending the estate four years later. What was at the time a tangle of wild thyme and briar roses has become one of the region’s most successful producers. Francis Hutt wisely spent a year in the vineyards with viticulturist Blair Deaker before taking over as Carrick’s winemaker in 2011. A devotee of organic and biodynamic wines, he took particular pride in taking charge of Carrick’s first organic bottlings in 2012. Meanwhile, Steve Green somehow combines the roles of owner, general manager, assistant winemaker, marketer and overseas traveller with a position on the board of Wine New Zealand.

After gentle whole-bunch pressing, the chardonnay juice was gravity feed into French oak barrels, (10% new) with a high grape solids content to add interest and texture. All lots were fermented with indigenous yeast and the barrels were stirred daily during fermentation then left to rest and settle over the winter months.

Tropical fruits along with the cool climate attributes of Central Otago combine to make a truly amazing Chardonnay that could rival anything else in the world. It is a flinty elegant wine with good structure and balance. Barrel fermented in French oak.

Perfect with seafood and white meat dishes like chicken pie, prawn linguine and dover sole.

£17.95

Casa Bianchi Brut Traditional Method NV (1x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2016 edition review of Argentina (see blue link below).

Casa Bianchi Brut Traditional Method NV - October 2016 Decanter review

The Bianchi family winery was founded in 1928 by Italian immigrant Valentin Bianchi It now covers 350 hectares of vineyard, situated 750m above sea level in San Rafael, about 240km south of Mendoza city. This is a cooler area than Mendoza's major vineyard areas of Luján de Cuyo and Agrelo because it is further south, which helps the flavours and perfumes develop more gradually, resulting in more aromatic wines. The estate is now run by the third generation of the family and has undergone a gradual transformation in the past few years, modernising both the winery and the vinification processes. 

The grapes for the Bianchi Brut come from the Doña Elsa and Las Paredes vineyards, which are situated in the San Rafael zone of Mendoza at 730 to 790 metres above sea level.

60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir.

The grapes for this sparking wine were vinified in the purpose-built, sparkling wine facility constructed by Bianchi outside San Rafael. The wine is made according to the 'Traditional Method' of sparkling wine production. The must is fermented between 16° and 18°C. After fermentation it is aged on its lees for a further 12 months before disgorgement and release.

Bianchi Brut is an excellent value sparkling wine with an intense biscuit and fruit character on the nose and good richness on the palate. Fresh and clean, it finishes dry.

£14.30

Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga Douro Tinto 2016 (1x75cl)

This historic producer, founded in 1751, was purchased by Sogrape in 1987. Today, they have 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions:  Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior.  The winemaking is headed up by the talented Luis Sottomayor, who manages to restrain the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Estevo and Papa Figos, allied to a wonderful depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Red and Quinta da Leda.

The grapes were picked from different sections of the Quinta da Leda estate as well as some neighbouring vineyards. Quinta da Leda's 76 hectares of vines were planted in collaboration with the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro de Vila Real, where a study was carried out on clonal research to select the best varieties in the Douro. The findings decided the varieties to be chosen and planted on this estate, using only the best clones of each variety for grafting.

Winter was particularly dry and mild. Strong and persistent rainfall from the end of winter continued into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors contributed to abnormal incidences of vine disease, especially mildew, and also affected flowering in lower-level zones. The high rainfall resulted in a reduction in the quantity of grapes. Summer was mild, with some spikes in temperature, and nights were generally cold. These conditions contributed to a long and balanced maturation, which, in turn, produced wines of superior quality.

The wine is made at the modern winery at Quinta da Leda. After full destemming, the grapes underwent gentle crushing before being transferred to stainless steel tanks and/or lagars (shallow, open troughs) where they underwent a long maceration to allow gentle extraction of colour, tannins and flavours from the skins. Once the fermentation was complete the wine was matured in used French and American oak (75% and 25% respectively) for between 12-18 months. The final blend is made with very careful selection after numerous tastings and analyses. The final wine is only slightly filtered before bottling.

Deep ruby in colour. The aroma is intense and very complex, with notes of black and red berries, pepper and pine needles along with attractive and well-integrated oak characters. On the palate, it has good body and acidity, high quality tannins, black fruit flavours and a hint of cocoa on the long and elegant finish.

£17.40

Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Douro Tinto 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points, Gold and overall Trophy status (Portuguese Red Trophy and Great Value Red between £8 and £12) at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019 (see blue link below for review and their tasting note).

Papa Figos 2017 - IWC 2019 award and review

This historic producer, founded in 1751, was purchased by Sogrape in 1987.  Today they have 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions:  Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior.  The winemaking is headed up by the talented Luis Sottomayor, who manages to restrain the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Estevo and Papa Figos, allied to a wonderful depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Red and Quinta da Leda.

About 25% of the grapes for Papa Figos come from Casa Ferreirinha's Quinta da Leda estate, and the rest from producers owning north-facing vineyards at relatively high altitudes. The soil in the Duoro Valley is made up of schist - a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. 

The golden oriole (papa figos in Portuguese) is one of the rarest birds in the Douro region. An attractive, brightly-coloured migratory bird, its uniqueness and rarity make it the perfect inspiration for this lovely wine.

After gentle destemming and crushing, the grapes were transferred to stainless steel tanks. Intense maceration is achieved by pumping over. After maceration, the wine is run off the solids, the free-run wine is kept separate from the press wine. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged in controlled conditions. The blend was selected and remained in stainless tanks throughout the winter. 25% of the total of the blend spent eight months in used French oak barrels, and the final blend was bottled after 12 months.

Deep ruby in colour, it has an intense aroma with notes of strawberry, raspberry, plum and blueberry, along with cedar wood and a hint of chocolate from gentle oak maturation. Full-bodied, with well-balanced acidity, fine tannins, plenty of lively red fruit flavours and hints of cocoa. The finish is elegant and harmonious.

£10.90

Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Douro Branco 2017 (1x 75cl)

The earlier 2015 vintage was awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of Douro Table Wines (see blue link below).  It is subjective, of course, but we judge the 2017 to be of at least a very similar quality.

Casa Ferreirinha, Planalto Branco 2015 - June 2017 Decanter review

This producer, founded in 1952, is named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira. Affectionately nicknamed 'Ferreirinha' by her countrymen, the house pays homage to her memory and was the first house in the region dedicated to making light wines. It has 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions: Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior. The winemaking is headed up by Luis Sottomayor, who restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Esteva and Papa Figos, allied to a lovely depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Tinto and Quinta da Leda.

This white blend comes from relatively high-altitude vineyards above the river Douro. The grapes were harvested by hand in the highlands and plateaus of the region and were selected for their balance between phenolic maturity and excellent freshness. The soil in the Douro Valley is schistous; a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties.

2017 was a very warm and dry year for the Douro with almost every month from December 2016 to August 2017 recording below average rainfall. Average temperatures were much higher than normal, especially in the crucial spring months of March, April, and May. This meant that the vine’s growing cycle was much more advanced than usual, often being one or two weeks ahead of the expected schedule. The advanced maturation of the vines and grapes coupled with heatwaves in June and July meant that the 2017 harvest was destined to be one of the earliest ever recorded. Harvest began in the last week of August and finished in most areas by the end of September, a time when most harvests usually begin.

On arrival at the winery of Casa Ferreirinha in Vila Real, the grapes were destemmed and softly crushed. They were pressed and the must clarified by static decanting at low temperatures. This was followed by a long alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures between 16ºC-18ºC. After fermentation, around 20% of the wine was aged in used casks for three months, the remainder held in stainless steel tanks.

This wine is made using Viosinho 25%, Malvasia 20%, Fina Arinto/Pedernã 15%, Códega 15%, Gouveio (Verdelho) 15%, Moscatel 5%, Rabigato 5%.

This wine is lemon yellow in colour with golden lights. On the nose, intense floral notes stand out with hints of tropical fruit and earthy, slightly shrubby tones. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with a lively and well-integrated acidity, alongside floral notes and touches of white peaches. The finish is long and fragrant.

£9.20

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Agostino Petri Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 (1x75cl)

A perfumed and savoury wine, well textured with ripe cherry hints and enhanced by a lovely depth and smooth but firm finish

The historical origins of Castello Vicchiomaggio can be traced back to the 5th century. The present owners, the Matta family, acquired the property in 1964 and restored it back to its former splendour. The estate, with 150 hectares, is one of the largest in the area, and of these, 32 hectares are dedicated to the vine. Castello Vicchiomaggio produces several styles of wine, from the traditional to the innovative. In order to achieve this, the estate has been carefully classified according to its soil type and exposure. All production and winemaking is supervised by John Matta. The hallmark of John's wines is elegance, perfumed, stylish and all have beautiful balance. These wines truly show off the Sangiovese grape at its best. Vicchiomaggio is consistently classified amongst Italy's top estates and John Matta has been named IWSC Italian Winemaker of the Year four times in the last 14 years.

The Chianti Classico region experienced a balanced climate during the 2015 vintage. Warm weather in spring allowed the buds to flower evenly. This was followed by fantastic weather conditions during the growing season, warm, sunny days with low rainfall were balanced by cooler nights, enabling the grapes to reach excellent maturity levels in a healthy condition and with concentrated flavours. 2015 is considered an excellent vintage.

The grapes are sourced from the Agostino Petri vineyard, located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. It sits at an altitude of 255 to 265 metres above sea level. Planted at a density of 5,600 vines per hectare, the vines are pruned according to the Single Guyot method which ensures low yields of approximately 40 hectolitres per hectare. The soils are made up of a high proportion of heavy clay- approximately 30%, which is renowned for its cooling properties and water retention for the vine, as well as for producing bold wines from the Sangiovese grape. The vineyard is managed sustainably.

The grapes were harvested by hand at optimal maturity and carefully sorted. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks of 50 hectolitres, with 15 days’ maceration on skins to extract colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was matured initially in French oak second use barriques (previously used for La Prima Gran Selezione); and then in large oak barrels of 25 to 50 hectolitres lasting 18 months in total. The wine was then cellared in bottle for a further four to six months prior to release.

Sangiovese 90%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%.

A perfumed and elegant wine, with a developed nose of ripe fruit and sweet spices; reminiscent of chocolate, strawberry praline and candied cherry. Opulent and rounded with soft tannins on the palate, harmoniously balanced and extremely long, silky finish.

£19.20

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Castello Vicchiomaggio La Prima Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013 - May 2018 Decanter review

The historical origins of Castello Vicchiomaggio can be traced back to the 5th century. The present owners, the Matta family, acquired the property in 1964 and restored it back to its former splendour. The estate, with 150 hectares, is one of the largest in the area, and of these, 32 hectares are dedicated to the vine. Castello Vicchiomaggio produces several styles of wine, from the traditional to the innovative. In order to achieve this, the estate has been carefully classified according to its soil type and exposure. All production and winemaking is supervised by John Matta. The hallmark of John's wines is elegance, perfumed, stylish and all have beautiful balance. These wines truly show off the Sangiovese grape at its best. Vicchiomaggio is consistently classified amongst Italy's top estates and John Matta has been named IWSC Italian Winemaker of the Year four times in the last 14 years.

The Chianti Classico region experienced a balanced climate during the 2015 vintage. Warm weather in spring allowed the buds to flower evenly. This was followed by fantastic weather conditions during the growing season, warm, sunny days with low rainfall were balanced by cooler nights, enabling the grapes to reach excellent maturity levels in a healthy condition and with concentrated flavours. 2015 is considered an excellent vintage.

The sustainably cultivated vines are grown in La Prima vineyard where the soils are marl and clay. Gran Selezione is a DOCG Chianti category and is produced exclusively with grapes from single vineyards or selected from the estate's best-suited vineyards. In addition to having stricter technical and organoleptic characteristics, Gran Selezione wines can only be released to the market 30 months after the grape harvest, having spent at least three months in bottle. These features place this at the summit of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled tanks, with regular pump-overs of the cap to ensure the desired levels of aeration. The wine was matured in French oak barriques for a period of 20 months, followed by one year maturation in the bottle.

This wine is made using Sangiovese 90%, Merlot 10%.

A complex bouquet showing aromas of red and black berried fruit, with hints of lemon, tobacco leaves and a touch of toasted oak. Full, velvety and complex flavours shine through on the sublimely smooth palate leading to a fresh and elegant finish. A superb pairing with roast beef, a rack of lamb, steak or mushroom ravioli.

£36.05

Catena Appellation (San Carlos) Cabernet Franc 2016 (1x75cl)

** UK STOCKS ARE CURRENTLY LOW - WE RECOMMEND CALLING TO CHECK BEFORE ORDERING **

The 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American Cabernet Franc  (see blue link below).

Catena Appellation (San Carlos) Cabernet Franc 2015 - Oct 2018 Decanter 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.

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

Catena Appellation Cabernet Franc 2015 - fiche technique

This wine is a purple colour with red ruby tones. The nose offers elegant aromas of spices, and fresh herbs as thyme and rosemary, red berries, cassis and raspberries, with layers of cedar. The mouthfeel is full and rich with cassis, raspberries flavours and notes of black pepper and oregano. The finish is bright and fresh with finely grained tannins.

£14.50
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