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Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was Awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of Italian Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2014 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

The Bucci family has been growing grapes in the Marche since the 1700s. Current custodian, Ampelio Bucci has 26 hectares of vineyard on this 400 hectare estate, which is cultivated organically. Of these, 21 hectares are Verdicchio, spread over six separate vineyards. The old vines and low yields give wines of great intensity. Consultant winemaker at Villa Bucci is the legendary enologist Giorgio Grai, who has been there for nearly 30 years. He makes wines for ageing and complexity rather than freshness and simplicity.

The Riserva is only produced in the best vintages, with fruit from the oldest vines (between 40 and 50 years old on average) and the best sites. There are six vineyards with different exposures and elevations to obtain more complexity in the final blend of each wine. Yields are kept low and vineyard management is certified organic with no herbicides or pesticides used. Soils are mainly calcareous (limestone), giving minerality to the wine, with around 30% clay, which retains moisture during the hot summers.

The 2015 summer in the Marche was warm and sunny, with a great deal of heat in August. Some light rainfall helped to balance the growth cycle, creating healthy and well-balanced grapes.

Vinification took place in the underground winery, which is naturally cool so refrigeration is generally not necessary. Vinification took place in stainless steel and Slovenian oak barrels of between 50 and 75 hectolitres, that are approximately 70 years old. Different vineyard parcels were vinified separately, aged for two years and then carefully blended before bottling.

An intense, complex and persistent bouquet of apricot compôte and spice with aromas of honey, beeswax, minerals and flint stone. Full bodied and with great depth, the wine finishes with hints of honey and nuts.

£28.30

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.

£24.05

Chateau De Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2014 (1x 75cl)

The previous 2012 vintage was awarded 96 points/Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of Provence and 93 points/Highly Recommended status in their September 2017 edition review of Provence Reds (see blue links below). 

Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2016 Decanter review

Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2017 Decanter review

The vineyards overlook the valley, facing the sea, covering terraces upon terraces up to 300 metres altitude, on slopes forming a vast amphitheatre, sheltered from the mistral. The high altitude of the vineyards means cool nights and slow ripening of the grapes. The Château de Pibarnon vineyard is planted on very old and highly calcareous, Triassic ground. This limestone enhances the bouquet in the wine. It also allows the extraction of very fine and elegant tannins. Moreover it is this which causes the freshness and minerality, giving an exemplary type and flavour. Château de Pibarnon focuses on 12 main plots, all located at the summit of the estate including Bel Air, Jourdan, Pointes-Blanches and le Cirque.

2013 had a growing season dominated by rain and moderately cold temperatures. The cool, wet spring caused a slight delay in the ripening process. Far from worrying the winemakers at Chateau de Pibarnon, they were delighted with the conditions which gave them results that reminded them of the great years of the 1980s. Summer was dry and warm throughout the day and cold at night. This was perfect and allowed for a slow maturation. Harvest was delayed by approximately 15 days which allowed them to harvest the grapes when they were fully ripe. 

2013 is a structured, well-built vintage. It is full bodied but the flavours then develop to give a sense of smoothness, sweetness and fruity tannins on the palate. The wine's character shows the skill of the winemakers in producing a wine with good levels of maturity as well as balanced tannins and minerality.

£33.40

Chateau Gassier Le Pas Du Moine Rose 2017 (1 x 75cl)

The 2015 Vintage was Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2016 edition's "Weekday Wines" (wines under £25) (see blue link below). 

Chateau Gassier PdM 2015 - Nov 2016 Decanter review

Château Gassier is situated 25 Kms from the ancient town of Aix en Provence, at the foot of Sainte Victoire mountain. The Gassier family bought Château Gassier and its 40 hectares of vines in 1982. Today the vineyard is managed by Georges Gassier, who represents the fifth winegrowing generation of the family, working with the support from his father. It is only over time that passion, hard work and know-how combined, have helped Château Gassier to develop its exceptional potential for excellence. The Pas du Moine is named as a reference to the footpath furrowing the south facing slope of the Mount Sainte-Victoire. The cuvée Le Pas du Moine invites you to explore the richness of this magnificient Sainte-Victoire terroir. From the 2016 vintage, the wine has been certified organic.

Their 40 hectares of vineyard is composed of the following grape varieties: 30% Grenache noir, 30% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 5% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 2% Rolle et 3% Ugni blanc. The Estate's wines have been officially certified organic wines since 2016. The majority of the wines have the Côtes-de-Provence Sainte-Victoire protected designation which allow a maximal production of 50 hectolitres/ha.

Night harvesting of the grapes is followed by cold direct pressing, fermentation at low temperature: 14°C and then 18°C at the end of the fermentation.

This wine has a lychee colour with purple reflections. It has an intense nose, playing with white floral and exotic fruits notes. In the mouth, the first impression is fresh and round, supported by the citrus fruits delicacy (guava, grapefruit….). It has a great lingering finish.

£14.90

Chateau Musar Red 2011 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article; (see blue link below)

Chateau Musar 2011 - February 2019 Decanter review

The wines of Chateau Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated in Lebanon's high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6000 years. In 1930, at just 20 years old, Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar, inspired by Lebanon’s winemaking tradition and his travels in Bordeaux. 

Seven years in the making, Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault (see fiche technique below for greater detail) from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years).

To see Chateau Musar's excellent tasting note and information on this wine, please click the blue link below.

Château Musar 2011 - fiche technique

£28.90

Clau de Nell Grolleau 2015 (1x 75cl)

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

Clau de Nell Grolleau 2015 - January 2019 Decanter review

The vineyards at Clau de Nell have been cultivated biodynamically since 2000. A period of financial difficulty led the previous proprietors to seek help from the late Anne-Claude Leflaive and her husband, Christian Jacques. In 2008, the Leflaive-Jacques family purchased Clau de Nell, which at the time had not produced any wine for three years. Since then, Clau de Nell has enjoyed a successful revival with ex-sommelier Sylvain Potin making the wine and Christian running the domaine.

The domaine is situated in Anjou and is comprised of 8.5 hectares of red varieties planted on a south-facing knoll at 90 metres altitude. The vines range in age from 30 to 90 years old and are low yielding (on average 25 hl/ha). There are five hectares of Cabernet Franc, two hectares of the native Grolleau and one hectare of Cabernet Sauvignon. They planted 1.5 hectares of Chenin Blanc in 2012 and the first vintage, 2015, will be released later this year.

2015 was a good year in the Loire, with the same warm, dry summer that many other French regions enjoyed. In Anjou, summer was very dry and the weather during harvest was beautiful. As in Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, Anjou saw lower yields due to water deficits and poor flowering. The grapes harvested, however, were still of excellent quality.

All the grapes were hand harvested and 100% destemmed. Fermentation was carried out using indigenous yeasts in oak barrels with gentle punch downs. The wines were then aged for 18 months in old barrels purchased from Domaine Leflaive. The wines were bottled without fining or filtration on fruit days, according to the biodynamic calendar. Minimal sulphur dioxide was used because Sylvain says he likes his wine to taste clean and ‘like wine’.

The Grolleau is crisp and fragrant with blueberry and blackberry aromas. It has a bright acidity with a lingering attractive spice on the finish.

£27.35

Cos Pithos Rosso 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended 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).

COS Pithos Rosso 2015 - May 2018 Decanter review

Three friends founded Azienda Agricola COS, in 1980: Giambattista Cilia, Cirino Strano and Giusto Occhipinti. The acronym of their last names is where the name for the winery – COS – comes from.  In 1980, they were the youngest wine producers in Italy. They received an old family winery from Giambattista Cilia’s father Giuseppe Cilia and the nearby vineyard of bush-trained vines in the famed town of Bastonaca. On October 5, 1980 they harvested their first vintage and made 1,470 bottles. COS began its adventure that would one day lead to the transformation of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.

The winery follows the principles of biodynamic faming in order to help the vines find and maintain a balance with nature in order to be able to express their true character and that of their terroir. For vinification, they decided to use terracotta vases that left no traces or aromas on the wine but were completely neutral vessels. In 2000, Pithos was born, a Cerasuolo di Vittoria that ferments and ages in amphora. They finished working on a building in Fontane, which in 2003 became the headquarters of the winery. In 2005, they made the first wine that bore the Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation, the only one in Sicily. The harvest of 2007 saw the winery in a new location and was the beginning of use of only amphora. The winery got rid of the barrels that they had and use only 150 amphorae.

Today COS is associated not only with the success of Cerasuolo di Vittoria but also with rigor and quality. It’s thanks to these three friends that the region of Cerasuolo di Vittoria was reborn and the area around Vittoria is thriving with its extraordinary wines.

“Our goal isn’t to make wines that impress wine critics, but to make wine that expresses our great terroir. Here, Nero d’Avola is more elegant than in other regions, and has these great mineral notes from the soil. This is what gives the Cerasuolo di Vittoria its rich fruit, while the Frappato gives the wine its floral components and freshness,” Occhipinti says.

The Pithos Rosso is fermented in giare which are terracotta amphorae (250l and 400l). The identity of the Frappato is marked on the nose with exuberant expression of violets and raspberry blossom. The mouth is floral, warm and supple, the berry fruit flavours complemented by soft tannins.

£24.50

Cullen `Cullen Vineyard` Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2015 (1x75cl)

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).

Cullen Sem/SB 2015 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Fruit is sourced exclusively from the Cullen Vineyard. The soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateritic subsoils. The vineyard is certified biodynamic and vines are dry-farmed. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are trained on a Lyre trellis due to their high vigour giving a great area for the leaves and fruit to grow on and enabling fruit to reach proper physiological ripeness.

2015 presented excellent growing conditions. From October to March weather was mostly dry with little rainfall. A warm ripening period resulted in fruit arriving at the winery in superb condition. Good rains enhanced the growing season with luckily no rainfall at all during the harvest period. Low yields and ideal ripening have resulted in elegant and perfumed wines of great purity.

The fruit was hand-harvested, and barrel-fermented using natural yeasts, with no acid additions and limited fining. 74% of the wine was aged in new French oak for five months, adding complexity and depth to the wine.

This wine shows a delightful combination of fresh cut grass, spicy and vanillin oak aromas supported by tropical notes. Vibrant fruit flavours are lifted by citrus notes. A very complex wine with lovely stone fruit nuances and toasty characteristics.

£21.00

Cullen `Mangan Vineyard` Margaret River Semillon 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue link below).

Cullen Mangan Semillon 2014 - November 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Although the weather in 2014 leading up to and during the vintage was warm, the fruit produced by all varieties was exceptional. There was no rain in January, February and not even until the end of harvest in March. The resulting low yields, balanced pH and great acid levels translated into wines of great flavour and style.

Harvest in 2014 delivered Semillon fruit of outstanding quality. The grapes at the Mangan vineyard were hand picked and sorted before being pressed and naturally fermented with no acid additions and limited fining.

This wine has ripe tropical and citrus notes which are prominent on the nose. The palate shows attractive florality, white peach, citrus and pineapple nuances with an underlying minerality.

£21.00

Cullen Diana Madeline 2013 (1x75cl)

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

Cullen, Diana Madeline 2013 - February 2019 Decanter review

This wine was also awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in an online article "Part of Australia's finest: Langton's top 40 (www.decanter.com)  (see blue link below).

Cullen Diana Madeline 2013 - Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

The soils at Cullen are old granite and gravelly sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The fruit is all taken from the Cullen Vineyard, The Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 11.33 hectares and was planted in 1971. The Merlot was planted in 1976 and covers 1.76 hectares. Vanya feels that her conversion to biodynamic viticulture has given her better fruit, the character of which she has preserved during the winemaking process. She is determined to ensure that these characters are retained in the bottle, and feels that this is best done by using a Stelvin closure.

Yields were down in 2013 due to hail and storms at flowering. However, although the weather leading up to and including vintage was warm, the fruit produced by all varieties in 2013 was exceptional. Low yields of 4 tons per hectare produced great concentration of flavour. Indeed, the quality of the harvest was even better than 2012, which was widely regarded as exceptional. Harvest took place on 20th February and 7th March, around the new moon and on flower days, rather than the full moon and on fruit days as in previous vintages. The only problem in 2013 was the shortage of the sensational fruit that was produced.

73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc.

The grapes were grown biodynamically and hand harvested. The fruit was carefully sorted before natural primary and malolactic fermentation. The two varieties were vinified separately. Primary fermentation took an average of 35 days, wtih the average skin contact lasting for 49 days. The wine was then aged for 17 months in French oak barriques, 60% of which were new. No acid or yeast were added, producing a wine which has a great sense of place.

Low yields have produced a concentrated wine bright in colour, pure in fruit flavour concentration with the classic Wilyabrup cassis, violets, chocolate and ironstone. Complex aromas of well ripened dark fruits with nuances of blackcurrants, plums and mulberries dominate the nose. A fruit driven palate of blackcurrant and mulberry fruits finishes with fine grained tannins. Subtle layers of complexity arise from fruit that was harvested at the pinnacle of ripeness.

£87.80

Cullen Diana Madeline 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition in Steven Spurrier's Fine Wine World column (see blue link below)....

Cullen Diana Madeline 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 97 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River wines (see blue link below).

Cullen Diana Madeline 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

The soils at Cullen are old granite and gravelly sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The fruit is all taken from the Cullen Vineyard, The Cabernet Sauvignon comprises 11.33 hectares and was planted in 1971. The Merlot was planted in 1976 and covers 1.76 hectares. Vanya feels that her conversion to biodynamic viticulture has given her better fruit, the character of which she has preserved during the winemaking process. She is determined to ensure that these characters are retained in the bottle, and feels that this is best done by using a Stelvin closure.

The grapes were grown biodynamically and hand harvested. The fruit was carefully sorted before natural primary and malolactic fermentation. The two varieties were vinified separately. Primary fermentation took an average of 35 days, wtih the average skin contact lasting for 49 days. The wine was then aged for 17 months in French oak barriques, 60% of which were new. No acid or yeast were added, producing a wine which has a great sense of place.

Deep crimson in colour, with fantastic complexity on the nose. Layers of well-ripened dark fruits are enhanced by leafy notes and classic Wilyabrup cassis, violets, chocolate and ironstone. A fruit driven palate of blackcurrant and mulberry fruits finishes with fine grained tannins. Subtle layers of complexity arise from fruit that was harvested at the pinnacle of ripeness.

£79.35

Cullen Mangan East Block 2014 (1 x 75cl)

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

Cullen Mangan East Block 2014 - January 2019 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

The Mangan vineyard is dry farmed and maintained using a biodynamic approach to viticulture. Soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The vineyard is located adjacent to the Cullen vineyard in Wilyabrup. The vines are cane and spur pruned.

The growing season was excellent with perfectly timed rainfall – good spring rains and none during the harvest season. Another great vintage with small yields producing concentrated, richer wines with plenty of character.

The grapes were hand harvested from the prime sections of the eastern blocks of the Mangan vineyard. Fruit was then destemmed and vinified with the emphasis on accentuating the fruit character of the grapes. It was naturally fermented, basket pressed and then matured for 17 months in seasoned French oak.

Vibrant deep purple, with violet floral notes complemented by dark fruit and spicy notes. On the palate this wine is structured and dense with plums, bitter chocolate and a hint of sweet spice. Fantastic refined tannins carrying a very long finish.

£29.50

Cullen Mangan Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2016 (1x 75cl)

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

The Mangan vineyard is dry farmed and maintained using a biodynamic approach to viticulture. Soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The vineyard is located adjacent to the Cullen vineyard in Wilyabrup. The vines are cane and spur pruned.

The 2016 harvest left many wine growers happy. It followed three vintages of tiny yields which left Cullen with very little wine to sell. The vintage had average yields and the rain that fell in January (80mm), and then February (15mm), and March (10 mm), had an adverse effect on the fruit quality. The resulting wines have a wonderful aromatic quality and elegance, particularly the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

All grapes were dry farmed, hand-harvested and sorted before crushing. Fruit was picked over three weeks at 10 to 13.8ºC Baumé, when it had reached the perfect level of freshness, richness and complexity. The Semillon was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness and 9% of the blend was aged in one year old oak barrels for four months.

Complex aromas of tropical feijoa notes, freshly cut grass and lemon citrus. The palate has a lovely creamy texture and displays intense notes of limes, lemon and peaches. These pure fruits are sustained on a long crisp finish.

£19.90

Darenberg The Lucky Lizard Chardonnay 2017

The 2015 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition's 'Weekday Wines'  (see blue link below).

The Lucky Lizard Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, D'Arenberg 2015 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

Family-owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

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

D'Arenberg The Lucky Lizard 2017 - fiche technique

£15.35

Deltetto Roero Arneis San Michele 2017 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2016 edition 'Spurrier's World' feature (see blue link below). Please note that the 2017 vintage has a new style of label.

Deltetto Roero Arneis San Michele 2015 - October 2016 Decanter review

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

The grapes come from the San Michele vineyard, which was planted in 1975 and is the oldest Arneis vineyard on the family's estate. In the past, a church was always built on top of a hill so that the saint could protect the harvest from any kind of natural disaster, thus the name for the Cru San Michele. Yields are 45 hectolitres per hectare.

The 2017 vintage saw a dry winter and freezing temperatures in April. The rest of spring and summer were very dry. Harvest started one week earlier than in 2016. Despite dry weather, which led to a 20% reduction in yield, the grapes were very healthy and rich in flavours and aromas.

The grapes underwent a short cold maceration in order to extract more flavour. 30% of the must was then fermented in new French oak barriques at a temperature of 18°C, followed by six months of ageing in French oak barriques. While the remaining 70% was fermented in cement and stainless-steel tanks, then aged in cement and stainless-steel tanks. The final blend was put together in spring before bottling.

This wine is straw yellow in colour, with a bouquet of exotic fruit, apples and vanilla, the Roero Arneis has a minerally character which lifts the fruit aromas. A lively freshness on the finish gives excellent balance.

£15.80
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