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Domaine Le Roc Des Anges Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Rouge Segna De Cor 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition article on organic and biodynamic wine production in Languedoc-Roussillon (see blue link below).

Domaine Le Roc Des Anges Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Rouge Segna De Cor 2017 - August 2019 Decanter review

Marjorie and Stéphane Gallet, both incomers from other parts of France (Côte-Rotie and Normandy, respectively), have constructed a biodynamic wine sanctuary (certified 2014) in the Vallée de l’Agly, a nearly deserted vineyard land dominated by co-ops and famous for producing fortified wines. The locals continue to abandon vines every year because the yields are tragically low and make it one of the most difficult places in France to make a living in vineyards.

Since she began the project in 2001 (at age 23), Marjorie’s intuitive and peaceful contemplation have resulted in wines that carry a signature of purity, focus and elegance unlike anything made in the region. They are low alcohol, hands-off, mind-on wines bottled by varietal from single sites on specific and unique soil compositions. In smell and taste, their structure and style more closely resemble that of their earthy and salty cousins from the middle of France’s Loire Valley.

Roc des Anges’ biodynamically farmed (since 2011) vineyards sit in one of the lowest yielding areas of the Roussillon in the Vallée de l’Agly, a north-facing amphitheater closer to the mountains than the sea and between the villages, Latour-de-France and Cassagne. Cool air from the mountains rushes in at night, creating an extreme diurnal shift, which contributes to the development of complexity in the grapes. Margorie said that the nighttime cold also makes it almost impossible to have a dinner outside, even during the summer. The sun, the intense winds and the nutrient-spare but character filled soils (mostly schist) all contribute to the concentrating of the grapes and their resulting wines. 

Segna de Cor ('Blood of the Heart') is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan and 20% Syrah produced from the estate's youngest vines (15-30 years of age).

Technical: Whole bunch, manual harvest. A traditional press is used, exerting the mildest of pressure, extracting juice. Vinification is in concrete tanks ranging between 24 and 50hl, and the shape of the tanks and the level of the fill determine appropriately gentle extraction. Ageing takes place in two types of containers; concrete – which exalts the aromatic purity and freshness of the wine - and wood (for about 30-40% of the elevage) in the form of one-to-three year old barrels.

Dark cedar in colour.  Aromas of blackcurrant, cassis and dark chocolate on the nose. These are joined by black cherry and spicy notes on the palate. Ripe tannins and a very smooth mouthfeel make this an excellent match with rustic stews and roast meats.

£15.70

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Felton Rd Block 1 Riesling 2016 - January 2018 Decanter review

Felton Road's story is one of refusal to compromise. The estate is fully organic and uses biodynamic viticulture (Demeter certified) ensuring that fruit arrives at the winery as pure as it can be. The entire estate comes as close to true sustainability as is possible. There is a commitment to hands off winemaking: gravity flow, wild yeasts, wild malolactic, an avoidance of fining and filtration all help preserve the wine's expression of its terroir. The result is wine that express the authenticity and complexity of their unique vineyards. 

This wine is 100% Riesling.

Please click the blue link below to see Felton Road's excellent information and tasting note for this wine.

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2016 - fiche technique

£27.10

Foradori Granato Vigneti Delle Dolomiti Rosso IGT 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).

Foradori Granato Vigneti Delle Dolomiti Rosso IGT 2016 - September 2019 Decanter review

It could be said that Elisabetta Foradori has single handedly brought the intriguing Teroldego grape back from the brink of extinction. She is also one of the key figureheads of Biodynamic production in the Trentino. She is someone deeply attached to her native land and vineyards. 'My memories are here. I’ve known in my mind ever since I was a small girl that the only place I felt well was in nature, maybe because I was born and raised among vineyards.' Today she resides over a beautiful estate of some 26 hectares and produces 160 000 bottles of superb biodynamic wine from various local varieties but her signature wine is Teroldego. The Foradori wines are certified as both organic and biodynamic.

The name "Granato" means "garnet" in Italian but is especially a reference to the pomegranate or in Italian melograno, a fruit of Mediterranean origin, like the first grape vines brought to Italy millenia ago. Elisabetta has always felt stirred by the vitality within this bright, juicy, tannic, many-seeded orb; the name honors that connection she always made between the self-contained beauty and energy of this old-vine wine and this ancient fruit. 

Granato is an historic and special wine for Foradori. It comes from their original Campo Rotaliano estate vineyard on this flat, sunny, well-drained plateau with sandy, stony, Dolomitic limestone soils. And as is true of all Foradori reds, the farming is certified-biodynamic and the winemaking very light-handed. That said, several things make Granato stand out. It is Foradori's only riserva, first bottled by Elisabetta in 1986, and the wine that put Foradori on the international wine map; it comes from 3 parcels of the oldest, pergola-trained vines, planted from 1938 to 1956 on the most gravellly parts of the vineyard; and it is the longest-aged and -lived of their wines. The old and genetically diverse material in the Granato vineyard is the source of all cuttings needed for re-planting vines at Foradori.

In its early years, Granato was a more internationally-styled wine, aged in new French barriques and garnering high scores from critics and collectors, and that is how it often still viewed out in the wider wine world. But notably, the last vintage with any new barrique was 2000 and the last vintage with even used barrique was 2008. The vinification and aging of Granato gradually shifted into something more gentle and traditional, with a true terroir focus, as the farming evolved from conventional to organic to biodynamic. The hand-harvested fruit is partly destemmed and gently pressed, with up to 40-50% whole clusters. Fermentation is spontaneous in huge, open wooden vats or tini, with little to no sulfur generally. Maceration is two to three weeks and is built not around punch-downs or pump-overs but rather around the infusion effect of a cappello sommerso or submerged cap of skins in the wine. The wine is aged in old oak botti up to 22 hectoliters in size for around 15 months, before being bottled unfiltered and aged another year before release.

100% Teroldego.

The red berry fruit is multilayered and fleshy with a cranberry-like perfume and firm, ageworthy structure. Plush dark fruits, plenty of acidity, this is a wine that will evolve marvelously for decades. 

£49.30

Foradori Teroldego IGT 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage of this wine was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below)....

Foradori Teroldego 2015 - January 2018 Decanter review

... and awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition Producer Profile feature on Foradori (see blue link below).

Foradori Teroldego 2015 - November 2017 Decanter review

It could be said that Elisabetta Foradori has single handedly brought the intriguing Teroldego grape back from the brink of extinction. She is also one of the key figureheads of Biodynamic production in the Trentino. She is someone deeply attached to her native land and vineyards. 'My memories are here. I’ve known in my mind ever since I was a small girl that the only place I felt well was in nature, maybe because I was born and raised among vineyards.' Today she resides over a beautiful estate of some 26 hectares and produces 160 000 bottles of superb biodynamic wine from various local varieties but her signature wine is Teroldego. The Foradori wines are certified as both Organic and Biodynamic.

Foradori Teroldego IGT is marked by the purity, dignity and intensity of its fruit. Soft, yet penetrating  its sweetness is backed by a supporting acidity that weaves elegantly amongst the fruit.   The wine is fermented with ambient yeasts in cement. It is then aged in cement vats and foudres.

This wine is 100% Teroldego.

The Foradori  Teroldego IGT has aromas of plum, black cherry and raspberry, with black fruits, strawberries, tar, and spicy oak on the palate, enhanced with chocolate and a slight menthol note.  It has snappy acidity, low tannins, is light in body and intensity with plums, cherry and raspberry coming through on the finish.

£22.05

Foradori Teroldego Sgarzon IGT 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition Producer Profile feature on Foradori (see blue link below)....

Foradori Sgarzon 2015  - November 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Foradori Sgarzon 2015 - January 2018 Decanter review

It could be said that Elisabetta Foradori has single handedly brought the intriguing Teroldego grape back from the brink of extinction. She is also one of the key figureheads of Biodynamic production in the Trentino. She is someone deeply attached to her native land and vineyards. 'My memories are here. I’ve known in my mind ever since I was a small girl that the only place I felt well was in nature, maybe because I was born and raised among vineyards.' Today she resides over a beautiful estate of some 26 hectares and produces 160 000 bottles of superb biodynamic wine from various local varieties but her signature wine is Teroldego. The Foradori wines are certified as both Organic and Biodynamic.

Sgarzo means vine shoot in the Campo Rotaliano. The vines that grow in the Sgarzon vineyard benefit from the cooler climate that distinguishes this site. This causes the Teroldego's character to change slightly and it is enriched with a freshness unusual to Teroldego. The eight months spent on the skins in amphorae (tinajas from Villarobledo,Spain), retain and amplify its distinctiveness. The Sgarzon strongly expresses the great versatility of this variety.

This wine is 100% Teroldego.

The Sgarzon Teroldego has aromas of rose petal, blueberry and lemon peel.  It has a full body with firm, silky tannins and a long, flavourful finish.

This wine is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

£31.70

Heinrich Leithaberg Blaufrankisch 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 review of Festive Wines (see blue link below).

Heinrich Leithaberg Blaufrankisch 2015 - January 2019 Decanter review

Gernot Heinrich has 100 hectares of vines in Gols, Burgenland, which is Austria's easternmost province, lying only a few kilometres from the Hungarian border. After graduating in viticulture from Klosterneuberg, Gernot's vinous travels in Bordeaux, Spain, California and Italy convinced him that his best approach in this continental climate was to use indigenous grapes such as Blaufränkisch, St Laurent and Zweigelt to make the highest quality, most characteristic wines he could.

The Blaufränkisch grapes were sourced from old vineyards on the Leithaberg (Leitha Mountain) slopes, 150 - 300 metres above sea level, in the villages of Winden and Breitenbrunn that face southeast toward Lake Neusiedl and have around 20 hectares in total. The soils comprise the fossil-rich limestone, calcareous sandstone, and mica schist that are typical of the region.

The 2015 vintage saw hot, sunny weather throughout summer which was welcomed after the difficult, rainy 2014 vintage. The grapes in 2015 were healthy and ripe, resulting in fruit-forward wines with slightly lower acidity than usual. This was not an issue for a country that typically makes wines with high acidity.

The vineyards are cultivated according to biodynamic regulations. The grapes were handpicked at the beginning of October, then underwent spontaneous fermentation and three weeks maceration on the skins in 3000-litre wooden fermentation vats, with gentle basket pressing. The wine was then matured for 20 months in used 500-litre oak barrels.

This Blaufränkisch has a plethora of aromas, including cherries, peppery spice and earthy notes reminiscent of autumn leaves, fresh truffles and roasted root vegetables. This wine has fine-grained tannins and a powerful, long finish.

£25.90

Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2014 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Today, it is fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue at the helm of Henschke, passionately upholding the family name and reputation. Stephen and Prue continue to craft their white wines with a focus on purity, while their red wines have a strong focus on terroir, using traditional winemaking techniques. Stephen's thoughts on their work: “Prue and I are the current ‘keepers of the flame’. Just as earlier generations have done, we want to manage the vineyards and winery so they can be passed on to the next generation in better condition than we inherited them. Our vision would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will uphold and perpetuate our belief that such ancient and unique single-vineyard sites can produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity.”

To see some wonderfully informative information and tasting notes for the Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2013 please click the blue link below.

Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2013 - fiche technique

£33.30

Mesquida Mora Sincronia Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status in Decanter's November 2019 Spanish supplement review of the Spanish islands (see blue link below). 

Mesquida Mora Sincronia Blanc 2018 - November 2019 Decanter review

Mesquida Mora is a newer established winery on the small island of Mallorca by 4th generation winemaker Bàrbara Mesquida Mora. Their family has been making wine on the island for around 50 years now, and in 2007, with her brother Jaume, she decided to branch out with a new line of wines and committing to an entirely bio-dynamic production. Pulling from their estate fruit that is dotted throughout the central and eastern portion of the island within the Pla i Llevant DO, the wines are proving to be an incredible representation of what the island wines are capable of. Focused on happy and healthy grapes that will be passed on to generations to come, Mesquida Mora is a winery to keep an eye on.

Although located within the Pla i Llevant DO in the center of the island, Mesquida Mora chooses to demarcate their wines to VdlT Mallorca to preserve the entire island’s importance Sincronia Blanc takes its name from the simple pieces of life that take opportunity from other pieces, the magic of life.When the younger vines of Mesquida Mora vineyards were born, they came in synchrony with their older siblings (Acrollam & Trispol) to create a second tier for the estate’s exceptional production.  The Blanc is made of Premsal, Giró and Chardonnay, having seen a hand harvest, separate fermentations, and a combination for a 4-month aging in stainless steel on the lees.  The Premsal is a fairly light bodied varietal, so it saw a couple days of extruded skin contact to add more depth to the final wine.  Very little sulfur was used throughout the winemaking process so that the final wine is soft yet has incredible texture and freshness with loads of life, with a grip of tasty fruit, and displays the style and personality of the island.

75% Chardonnay, 15% Premsal, 10% Giró.

AGE OF VINEYARD(S): 25 years old.

SOIL TYPE: Calcareous, clay, & red gravel.

FARMING METHODS: Biodynamic/organic.

FERMENTATION: Stainless steel, indigenous yeasts.

AGING: No oak aging 4 months on lees.

FILTER/FINING: Bentonite.

PRODUCTION: 16,000 bottles.

The nose is gently aromatic, showing crisp notes of greengage and pear, the palate is finely textured with a minerally undertone from the Prensal grape – altogether a fresh, zesty delicate and balanced white.

£15.35

Millton Riverpoint Viognier 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 93 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)...

Millton Riverpoint Viognier 2015 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

James Millton is a living legend in the New Zealand wine scene. A pioneer of organic and biodynamic winemaking, he has ploughed his own furrow for three decades, quietly convinced that his sustainable approach to viticulture and winemaking was the only way to progress.  

The Millton winery's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

100% Viognier.

Millton Riverpoint Viognier 2016 – fiche technique

£16.90

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 94 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)...

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

... with comments from one particular reviewer...

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review - individual comments

James Millton is a living legend in the New Zealand wine scene. A pioneer of organic and biodynamic winemaking, he has ploughed his own furrow for three decades, quietly convinced that his sustainable approach to viticulture and winemaking was the only way to progress.

The Millton winery's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2017 – fiche technique

£18.40

Monte dall Ora Amarone Classico La Stropa 2011 (1 x 75cl)

The 2009 vintage was awarded 92 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 article on Amarone (see blue link below).

Monte dall'Ora Amarone La Stropa 2009 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

This wine is from the vineyards of Monte Dall’Ora in the heart of Valpolicella's classica zone, which enjois excellent exposure to sunlight and has a limestone soil. The vineyards are 50 years old.

The grapes are selected only from vineyards that are between 50 - 70 years old. The harvest began on the first week of October, selecting only the finest bunches in crates and placing these in well-ventilated rooms for 5 months, without the use of any mechanical drying aids.

Vinification takes place in the month of February following the vintage, with maceration and fermentation being completed in tonneaux of Slavonian oak for 25 - 30days. Pumping over and punching down the cap are carried out manually. Maturation is carried out in French oak  tonneaux of 5 hl for 4 years and the wine is subsequently aged in bottle for a further 12 months.

The La Stropa Amarone has a dark brilliant ruby red colour with a hint of garnet which it has developed with age. On the nose, it displays perfumes of ripe fruits, such as plums, blackberries, redcurrants and at the endthere are balsamic hints as well as spices. On the palate, it echoes the sensation offered on the nose: structured, extremely persistent, full and elegant.

This wine is excellent when served with aged cheese and dishes with intense flavours such as braised meats and wild game.

£78.35

Monte Dall`Ora Camporenzo Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of Valpolicella Superiore (see blue link below).

Monte Dall'Ora Camporenzo Valpolicella Superiore 2014 - May 2018 Decanter review

Monte Dall’Ora, in the heart of Valpolicella, was born from a dream: to interpret nature without forcing it. They started from an idea of ​​enhancing and nurturing their environment before using the land for a vineyard. A meeting between two people with a shared instinct have given rise to an exciting and new journey. Their great love for the land, the desire to express their emotions and the willingness to be amazed by nature guide the choices made at Monte Dall'Ora every day. 

This wine comes from the vineyard Camporenzo in San Pietro hill, which is rich in limestone. The ground is terraced and cultivated with traditional Pergola Veronese, using both organic and biodynamic methods. Harvest takes place at end of September /beginning of October. This wine is made using spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts for 7/8 days, with manual movement. Maturation in oak barrels lasts for 9 months and the wine is subsequently allowed to rest in bottle.

This wine is made using a blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella.

This wine has a ruby red colour. On the nose, it displays perfumes of red fruits, such as cherries, as well as hints of hay and spices, and closes on mint and herbal notes. The flavour echoes the sensations on the nose, whilst maintaining a somewhat traditional, well-defined style. The wine as a whole reveals notable freshness. Able for long ageing. This is a wine for drinking throughout the meal. It goes particularly well with traditional Veronese dishes such as local soups (eg pasta e fasoi), poultry and white meat.

£21.15

Paolo Vodopivec Carso Vitovska amphora 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2011 vintage was Awarded 97 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of Italian wines made without the use of oak (see blue link below).

Paolo Vodopivec Carso Vitovska Amphora 2011 - May 2018 Decanter review

Fasten your tastebuds – it’s going to be a scintillating ride! This is a wine that is thrilling in its richness and striking in its textural complexity. The winery is located in the small commune of Carso, where two enigmatic brothers, Paolo and Valter Vodopivec have earned an enviable international reputation for their distinctive wines.

Any discussion regarding the terroir of Carso is always more about rock than soil. Carso, in fact, is believed to mean “land of rock” in Celtic tradition.  Walter and Paolo Vodopivec had to physically break up the limestone bedrock in order to be able to plant their vines. The rocky terrain leaves a firm imprint on the wine with an undeniable acidity and mineral influence.

Made from the Vitovska grape, which is a crossing between Prosecco and Malvasia Bianco, the wine is first fermented in clay amphorae that are buried underground. These amphorae come from Georgia.

We feel we should also mention the ransom story. Brothers Walter and Paolo Vodopivec had experimented with aging their wines in wooden cask and Spanish amphorae (inspired by Gravner), but they weren’t enamoured with the results. Paolo felt sure that Georgian amphorae would be superior, so off they went to Georgia to source some. However, the local mafia held the clay pots to ransom, but even though it was unclear what their demands were, the vessels were eventually freed and are now used in Friuli as fermenters.

Back to the wine. It undergoes six months of maceration in the amphora to allow the full potential of the grapes to shine through. They collect grapes from several different vineyards to give the wine all the characteristics of the area. The wine then spends 24 months aging in wood before being bottled.

Upon opening, it is intensely tannic with gripping minerality. Decant once or even twice. The result, if you’re patient, is a wine that has a purity and fascination that makes you want to roll it appreciatively around your mouth. 

It is deep, rich (but not heavy) and aromatic with layers of dried peach, warm apricot and apple notes on both the nose and mid-palate. A splendid Vitovska that is as bone dry as the rocks from which the vines eke out their precarious existence, yet somehow refreshing and curiously saline with a very long finish that imparts further flavours of hazelnuts and dried fig.

£41.35

Urlar Pinot Gris 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was 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

(of the 2016) "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

 

(of the 2016) "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

 

(of the 2016) "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 2017 - fiche technique

£14.45

Villalobos Carignan Reserva 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2018 edition article on Chile's Colchagua Valley (see blue link below)

Villalobos Carignan Reserva 2014 - June 2018 Decanter review

The Villalobos family consists of the mother, Rita Encina, a professional ceramicist, the father Enrique Villalobos, a sculptor, and their sons: Martin and Renaldo are both civil engineers and Alejandro is a philosophy professor. Each has their own profession, but they unite around their vineyards and viticulture.

They started making wine in 2007 with a small production from the family. It was only to be a small production for the family and friends made by their friend Martin Rousseau. They persevered, and began to make some of the most celebrated wines in Chile. The first commercial harvest in 2009 was awarded best Carignan in Chile from Descorchados.

This 60-year-old, non-industrial, organic vineyard continues to be in its wild state, without any pruning, irrigation or the use of chemical products such as pesticides or herbicides. The vineyard’s distinguishing feature is its untouched wilderness where for over the last 40 years Carignan vines have grown side-by-side native vegetation. This vineyard is bio-diverse, hosting a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including culen, maiten, quillai, hawthorn and rosehip, among others. The vineyard’s unique surroundings are instrumental in keeping the vines pest and disease-free. The vines grow freely among the trees climbing them for structural support. In fact, one comes across vines making their way up four metre trees alongside shrub-like vines three meters thick. Horses are used in the vineyard to prune by gently nibbling the vines and their droppings have the benefit of fertilising the vines. Indeed, they do not use any machinery that involves the use of fossil fuels.

The vineyard is located 30 km from the Pacific coast, settled in a warm, temperate climate with six to eight months of dry season yearly and up to 20-degree temperature differences. Particularly in the summer months, daily temperatures can range from 30°C to 10°C.

100% Carignan from old vines planted in the 1950s and 1960s. Total production is just 6,000 bottles, some evidence of the tight (and quality-inducing) yields pursued. 

Fermented and macerated for 10 days with natural yests in stainless steel. Malolactic fermentation is carried out in barrels, followed by 18 months of ageing in French oak barrels (these used 3 times previously, ie limited oak flavour is deliberately imparted to the Carignan to preserve maximum fruit flavour/integrity whilst allowing tannis to soften).

Bright and intense ruby-red. Nose with a hint of wild blackberry and elegantly defined maqui berry.  Delicate, soft and round tannins on the palate with a food-friendly acidity bearing traces of cherry and strawberry.

£21.95
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