Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).
Il Palagio di Panzano produces wines that mirror the unique character of the area. They are members of the Unione Viticoltori di Panzano and have made the decision to produce organic wine. For the family, sustainability is a synonym for “family-run”. They have the belief that they can guarantee the high quality of their wines by remaining as a small, family-run winery.
The grapes are harvested by hand following a careful selection of the best Sangiovese grapes from the different vineyards of Il Palagio.
Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a maximum temperature of 28° for 21 days. The wine then matures for 24 months in oak barrels of 1000 litres before further ageing in the bottle for a minimum of 6 months.
The Chianti Classico is a clear purple red with slight nuances of garnet in colour. Its aromas are expressive, with notes of red fruits and a hint of oak. The flavours are well structured, harmonious, fresh, elegant and long lasting finish.
Il Palagio di Panzano produces wines that mirror the unique character of the area. They are members of the Unione Viticoltori di Panzano and have made the decision to produce organic wine. For the family, sustainability for us is a synonym for “family-run”, too. They have the belief that they can guarantee the high quality of their wines by remaining as a small, family-run winery
The Torgentile is an unusual wine for the very heart of Chianti Classico country. It is 100% Merlot, but made with all the same love, care and attention used for Il Palagio's Chianti Classicos. Chianti Classico must (absolutely must) be 80% Sangiovese, and although that allows for a blend light on Merlot, it does not allow for a full Merlot blend... which is a shame given how very well it grows here. Hence, the Torgentile steps outside the Chianti Classico DOCG rules and into the denominazione of IGT Toscana which allows for the use of Merlot.
The grapes for the Torgentile are always harvested by hand from Il Palagio's single hectare of Merlot. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a maximum temperature of 28° for 21 days. Malolactic fermentation is then allowed to occur before a full 24 months of maturation in French oak barriques.
The Torgentile is bright ruby red in colour with light reflections. The aromas are intense with hints of red fruits, spices and oak. The palate is well structured and harmonious with well-rounded, persistent tannins. The finish is reminiscent of spices, oak and liquorice.
** JUST ARRIVED AND NOW IN STOCK!! **
Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their April 2019 panel tasting of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).
Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 tasting/article of/on Top 30 Chilean Wines Under £25 (see blue link below).
The Matetic family has a history of settling in new territory and making a success of agriculture. In 1892, the current members’ ancestors made the long journey by sea from the Croatian coast to Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile. They soon acquired large haciendas for sheep and dairy farming. It was only in 1999 that the fourth generation of Chilean Matetic made the move into winemaking.
After a detailed study of the terroir, Jorge Matetic Hartard and his relatives decided to plant vineyards in a previously overlooked side valley of the San Antonio appellation - Rosario. Just 15km from the Pacific Ocean, the rolling hills of Rosario Valley benefits from cooling sea breezes and huge swings in temperature - from as much as 27 deg C in the afternoon to 7 deg C at night. Well drained, quartz-sandy soil requires vines to dig their roots deep into the ground (up to four metres) to find water and nutrients, making for low yields and high-quality fruit.
With the additional purchase in 2005 of vineyards in Casablanca Valley, the Matetic vineyard has a phenomenal range of grape varieties planted - Matetic Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Malbec - but they made their mark early on with the first cold-climate Syrah in 2001.
The Corralillo label is a nod to an old winery on a corral which had once produced wines from the native País grape. These wines - Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère and the Winemakers Blend (Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc) express this frontier-pushing terroir with great individuality and draw from plots in Maipo, near Santiago, and Colchagua further south, as well as San Antonio.
Biodynamic viticulture one of the key eco-friendly practices the Matetic Vineyard follows in its winemaking - it is certified organic and sustainable as well as biodynamic. Regarding the Rosario Valley as a single organism, the team works hard to maintain the health of the ground (using Rudolf Steiner’s preparations of quartz, manure, herbs etc in cow horns but only using indigenous materials), the crops and the varied animal life in the ecosystem. Grape pomace is added to compost from the restaurant to be reused in the Matetic vineyards, as is water which has been used to clean barrels. And in human terms, local people make up the majority of staff, and the winery sells woollen and other craft goods made by artisans nearby. It’s all part of a philosophy that aims to make winemaking a venture which will benefit the family and its neighbours for generations to come.
The 2016 Corralillo Carmenere is sourced from the sub-valley of Colchagua Valley, Apalta. The vineyards are located on slopes that receive great sun exposure. The soil's parent material is highly mixed - dominantly colluvial and of granitic origin - but very complex due to the presence of clays, lime and organic matter. These solils have have low fertility - perfect for viticulture - and excellent drainage.
The harvest began in early May. Each bunch underwent a strict fruit selection prior to seven days of cold soaking. For this specific grape variety, several winemaking techniques and extraction methods were applied, to enhance complexity and unique varietal expression.
This Corralillo Carmenere has been aged for 18 months in French oak barrels from various coopers, different forests and toast levels. A small percentage of Syrah, sourced from San Antonio, is added to increase complexity and freshness in the finished blend.
Deep dark violet color with red hues. Very intense on the nose, with a blend of black fruits, cocoa, spices and a piquant hint that characterize this grape variety. On the palate the wine shows great balance between weight and freshness, with a long, lingering finish developing to great volume and structure. An ideal companion for mature cheeses, red meat, charcuterie etc.
The 2017 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) .
Jeffrey Grosset established his winery in 1981 in the historic township of Auburn, Clare Valley, 100 kilometres north of Adelaide. The winery is stylish and functional and reflects the attention to detail that extends to the Grosset estate-owned vineyards and winemaking. Jeff is best known for his Rieslings which have shown a consistency of style and quality, making this one of Australia’s greatest wineries. By combining a disciplined approach and decades of experience, Grosset consistently achieves the purest expression of variety and place.
The eight hectare Polish Hill vineyard (ACO certified organic) is planted at 460 metres altitude and just five kilometres from Springvale. The low fertility soils of this hard rock site are composed of silt and shallow shales over a thin crust of clay and gravel. The vines have to work harder than those at Springvale and so produce small, thick skinned berries with bunches weighing just 100 grams.
The 2018 vintage was very dry, with less than average rainfall. The dry conditions meant that the vines struggled to ripen resulting in smaller berries and yields. With every vintage, it becomes clear that the vines have a unique resilience to changing seasonal conditions. The grapes harvested were in pristine condition resulting in fresh, vibrant and well-balanced wines.
The organic grapes were hand harvested between 5th - 9th March and delivered promptly to the winery in small parcels, where they were crushed and destemmed. The fruit was then gently pressed and settled in tank for five days at 0°C. Only the free run juice was used. A small proportion was whole-bunch pressed. Six separate ferments took place according to clone and vine age before blending and bottling.
The 2018 has aromas of lavender, herbs, lime and a hint of chalk. Framed by a pure natural acidity, the concentrated palate is pure lime juice and lemon pith with a characteristic shaley minerality. Tight, fine and steely with a long, bone dry finish.
To see an informative information sheet, tasting note and reviews for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
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)...
... and comments from one particular reviewer...
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. Please note this fiche technique is for the 2016 vintage.
Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).
Nestled under the southern foothills of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, Clos Henri is the wine estate meticulously established and organically run by the famous Sancerre wine growing family of Henri Bourgeois. Uniting 10 generations of winegrowing know-how from the Bourgeois family, Clos Henri crafts textural and elegant wines, capturing the intense Marlborough character with the aim to reveal the identity of the Clos Henri terroir and a true sense of place in the wines. From the three different soil types of the estate, partially comprised of a clay hill slope, the family uses the best of French and New World winegrowing techniques to capture the essence of Marlborough’s intense character and reveal the identity and depth of the Clos Henri terroir. Their ultimate objective is to "offer a wine that tells the story of its origin, whispers it is not French but Marlborough and voices that it is a craft from the specific Clos Henri terroir” – says Arnaud Bourgeois, General Manager of Clos Henri.
In the French tradition, the vineyard is planted in high density to encourage competition between vines and restrain vigour. This natural vigour control means the vines put more energy into the grapes, rather than the canopy - concentrating the berries. Dry farming (using no irrigation) also helps keep vigour under control. By stressing the vines to just the right level, it forces the roots to go deeper in the soil, thereby getting the purest expression of our terroir and showing more minerality from the river stone soil.
See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Clos Henri.
100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Alcohol: 13.5%. Residual sugar: <1g/l. Ageing potential: 5-6 years from vintage.
The nose is refined and complex showing some citrus notes evolving into white peach aromas, with underlying chalky minerality. Delicate on the palate, the wine is textural and rich from the lees aging with layers of minerals, citrus and profound acidity balancing this dry and elegant wine, followed by a long finish.