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Trapiche Iscay Malbec Cabernet Franc 2012 (1x75cl)

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

Trapiche Iscay Malbec Cabernet Franc 2013 - June 2019 Decanter review

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

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

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

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

£25.30

Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Case Vecie 2012 (1x75cl)

The Brigaldara winery is located just outside the town of San Floriano, in the heart of the Valpolicella region, north of Verona. It is at the entrance of the Marano valley, one of the four valleys that make up Valpolicella's classical area, the original and oldest wine production area of the region. The estate covers 50 ha, planted with vineyards and olive groves. In 1929, the Cesari family acquired the villa and surrounding land. During the 1960s and 70s the land was reconfigured to specialize in the cultivation of vines and olives. Brigaldara is a founder member of the Families of Amarone – a group of 12 wine producing families dedicated to maintaining high quality Amarone.

This wine has been made using Corvina 55%, Corvinone 25%, Rondinella 20%

To see an information sheet and tasting notes for this wine that have been put together by the team at Brigaldara, please click on the blue link below.

Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Case Vecie - fiche technique

£34.95

Caballo Loco 17 NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of South American Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco 17 NV - June 2019 Decanter review

The winemaker's own technical sheets appear below (click blue links) - the Spanish inclusion may seem a little leftfield, but includes regional and other info that have yet to be put onto the English version

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - English

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - Spanish

For our article on 'the' (this) Caballo Loco, the appellation/Grand Cru Caballo Locos and the better wines of the Valdivieso fleet, click this link.

Valdivieso's top wine and stable star, the Caballo Loco is known around the world and each year changes merely its edition and, technically, not its vintage. It brings together every Cabollo Loco made since 1992 (the year of version 1), in what is, effectively, a solera system (as used for sherry and brandy de Jerez).

The idea for Caballo Loco was inspired by the legendary Ribera de Duero, Vega Sicilia Único Gran Reserva, which is produced using the solera method. This is the winemaking technique used for sherry and brandy de Jerez production, in which barrel-aged wines from different years are progressively and fractionally blended for reasons of both complexity and consistency.

The first Caballo Loco was produced in 1994 (Caballo Loco 1) and made from a blend of 50% of that year’s vintage with an aged blend from 1992. 

The resulting wine is bottle-aged for at least 18 months before release onto the market, and being a blend of wines from different years, there is, of course, no vintage on the label.

The grapes for the premium Caballo Loco come from four different vineyards in central Chile. The blend of the new wine varies each time it is made. Number 1 for example was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir, whilst later editions have contained varieties as diverse as Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Only Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are ever-present, these being blended with the best grapes from the other varieties that were most successful in the particular year (and best suited to create the intended balance of the Caballo Loco).

Each bottle of this version 17 therefore comprises:

- 50% version 16 and

- 50% of grapes from harvests from 2012 and 2013. New for version 17 was Carignan from Melozal (a sub-region of Maule) and Syrah from Limarí. This variety brings to the Caballo Loco another dimension of complexity, with balanced freshness and acidity.

The result is a wine of great concentration, quite unlike any other on the market. There is intense mature berry fruit on the nose and richness on the palate with velvety tannins, and so many layers of flavours that the wine is almost impossible to describe in detail. The secret blend of grapes from different vintages create intense aromas of dark cherry, coffee, and rich fruitcake. Full bodied on the palate with a beautiful lingering structure. 

It is a unique - some say crazy - wine, which is quite incomparable. It has great aromatic complexity and in the mouth, and an ageing potential of at least 10 years.

£33.75

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - July 2019 Decanter review

The 2017 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.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Craggy Range.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

Grown on the lower terrace at Te Muna Road, this wine shows a unique level of texture and complexity. The cooler climate of Martinborough ensures the wine is aromatic with steely minerality while the rocky soils gives intensity of the fruit.

Around 90% of the grapes used to make this wine are destemmed. It is then fermented using a combination of stainless steel tanks, French oak cuves & French oak barriques. The yeasts used are a mix of innoculated and indigenous.

This wine has a pale lemon straw colour. There are vibrant aromas of nectarine, green apple, honeysuckle and a hint of nettle. Lovely precision on the palate with a core of zesty fruit and a long satisfyingly dry textural finish. Matt Stafford, Chief Winemaker says: "We chase complexity in our Sauvignon... you can literally smell the meadow and taste the flintiness of the rock in these wines."

£15.95

Peter Lehmann Hill & Valley Eden Valley Riesling 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Riesling  (see blue link below). This vintage has now just depleted (it's amazing it lasted as long as it did), but the 2016 seems equally excellent!

Peter Lehmann H&V Riesling 2015 - April 2018 Decanter review

Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. "I'll take your grapes and turn them into wine," he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. "But I'll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine." They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a huge chunk of its old vines. The 'Hill & Valley' wines are made from fruit selected, often from single vineyards, in the Barossa Valley and from the higher reaches of the adjacent Eden Valley.

The grapes were sourced from John and Liz Stanton and Mark and Deborah Petney's vineyards on the Eastern slopes of Eden Valley. This east-facing side is particularly cool as it lies over 400m above sea level on acidic sandy soils, ideal for enhancing the natural acid balance of an exceptional Riesling.

The fruit was picked early, crushed, chilled and the juice immediately separated from the skins to enhance delicacy. Following cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine was clarified and bottled.

Early picking has produced a fresh, lively Riesling with a delicate green tinge and hints of freshly picked limes. The palate shows great fruit purity with a refreshingly crisp, dry finish. It is a wine that can be drunk now or aged with confidence for a few years where it will develop the complexity expected of a top flight Eden Valley Riesling.

£13.65

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Marsanne Viognier 2017 (1x75cl)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

£21.70
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