Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue links below).
Berton Vineyards Winemakers Reserve Wines have been chosen by their winemakers as wines that stand out year after year. They believe the Vermentino variety is perfect for the warmer regions of Australia due to its ability to retain freshness and acidity in warmer climates. Fruit for this Vermentino is sourced from two vineyards - from the Riverland and the Riverina. The Riverina fruit has ripened really well over the past two years so this was used for the majority of the blend. For the 2016 vintage the fruit from Riverina was picked early due to rain in late January and the Riverland portion was harvested later.
The two parcels were kept seperate during the fermentation process, before being clarified and blended prior to bottling.
Both vineyard contribute to the final flavour of the wine. The Riverina vineyard lends delicate flavours of citrus and pear to the final wine whilst the Riverland vineyard adds tropical aromas and riper flavours of lychee and kiwi fruit. The resulting wine has aromas of tropical fruits combined with hints of pear and citrus which jump from the glass and follow through tp the palate creating a wine that is rich with a great depth of flavour and crisp acidity.
This dry, light-bodied wine is a perfect match for seafood and goes particularly well with calamari.
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.
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.
Awarded 84 points and Commended status by Decanter in their April 2019 Panel Tasting on Chilean Carmenère.
Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.
Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity while ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, thereby controlling everything from grape to bottle.
The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks for eight days at temperatures between 25-28°C before undergoing malolactic fermentation. The wine was then aged for six months in oak (60% French, 40% American) to soften tannins and add complexity.
With an intense, deep ruby colour, the wine has red and black cherry notes with black pepper and chocolate on the finish. Its rounded texture and fruitiness give it an appealing, plush mouthfeel.
See blue link below for the excellent, most recent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
The 2016 vintage of this wine was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).
The wine is 85% Carmenere, 15% Merlot and hails from the Colchagua Valley, the heartland of Carmenère. Grapes are hand harvested, and the wine was oaked in a measured way (75% oaked, 25% unoaked; for the oaked portion: 80% French oak, 20% American oak; 25% of oak was new; oaking lasted 5 months) to impart complexity without loss of the distinctive Carmenère flavours and fruit.
Deep purple / red in colour with a full bouquet of spice, oak and black fruit and a firm but juicy palate. Offers plum, damson and curranty characters alongside well-integrated toasty oak and layers of vanilla. Excellent, very affordable example of Carmenère.
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).
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.
* ORDERS WILL BE WITH CUSTOMERS BY 28th MARCH, hopefully a few days earlier *
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their April 2019 Panel Tasting on the Picpoul de Pinet (see blue link below).
SO Vignerons (SV) is a small négociant structure, producing typical, high-quality Languedoc wines. The company was founded by Claude Serra (the "S") and Daniel Orsolini (the "O") in 2005.
Claude, SO Vignerons' winemaker consultant, is also a Professor at Montpellier University of Oenology, and manages the company's viticulture and winemaking.
The philosophy behind So Vignerons is to produce high-quality, modern-style Languedoc wines at very affordable prices. This has been made possible by:
- the long-term contracts signed with their growers;
- having Claude as the winemaker/consultant to all their growers; and
- using a state-of-the-art bottling line.
All SO Vignerons' wines are vinified by Claude and come from vineyards located on specially selected terroirs producing characteristic varietals from the Languedoc region. Their aim is to share their passion for their wines and region and a commitment to preserve the environment.
This is a single-vineyard wine. The Villa Des Croix property is planted with Picpoul, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Terret. SO Vignerons' wines include a number of varietal blends, but the Villa des Croix wines - of which we list three - each adhere to a monovarietal approach.
The AOP Picpoul de Pinet Terroir spreads around the Bassin de Thau along the Mediterranean Sea. A limestone plateau, exposed to the rising sun, covered with fragrant garrigues and dotted with tall pine forests typifies the appellation.
The grapes were harvested at night to ensure the grapes were cool when arriving at the winery to ensure that delicate fruit character was preserved before pressing and that the aromatic style of the wine was guaranteed. The wine was fermented and stored in stainless steel which ensured no oxidation of the citrus fruit character. A cool fermentation (around 15°C) also helped preserve fruit purity.
However, it it is at this point that the Villa des Croix differs from most Picpouls de Pinet. Most are bottled in Dec/Jan, after fermentation and settling alone. However, the Villa des Croix is also and always kept on its lees for a minimum of 4 months to add texture, weight, body and complexity while not detracting from the expected fruity-and-mouthwatering nature of a Picpoul de Pinet.
Citrus - most notably lemony - aromas combined with floral notes on the nose. Fresh, lively and thirst-quenching on the palate. The Villa des Croix carries a greater 'marine'/saline feel than many Picpouls, a markedly greater intensity of flavour and a longer-lasting finish.
* SEE DELIVERY NOTICE ABOVE *