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Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2018 (see blue link below)

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - January 2019 Decanter review

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)...

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Pinot Gris grapes come from the Lismore Vineyard at the edge of the Martinborough Terrace and achieve their optimum flavour profile towards the end of the growing season. As a result, the team harvests this varietal fairly late to obtain a wine closer to the richer style of Pinot Gris produced in Alsace, rather than the leaner, bone-dry style of Pinot Grigio common in much of northern Italy. The vines were planted in 1996.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest.

Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated with yeast and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 14-18°C. 20% of the wine was fermented in three year old 500 litre oak puncheons to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. In both cases, the wine was left on lees for several months. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to retain a crisp, balancing acidity.

Up-front aromas in this Pinot Gris are reminiscent of fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate is creamy, with flavours of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. On the long finish, the wine shows complexity and will develop with bottle age.

£23.15

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 (1x75cl)

** BACK IN STOCK!! **

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of 2010 Riojas (see blue link below).

 

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 - March 2019 Decanter review

 -

"I bought six of these and unfortunately I have given three away to friends. We opened it last night and decanted as per the instructions of your shop staff. The wine is truly spectacular and I am working out how to break in to my friend's flat to steal back the wine I gave him. I have never been moved to comment on a bottle of wine by email. Thank you for the spectacular experience. Another 6 please. I won't be as generous with the next lot!"

- regular (anonymous) Perth customer [who ultimately bought another 12]

 

In case you missed it reaching this page, here's our article on the review and this wine.

We also highly recommend the Gran Reserva's two younger relatives, the 2014 Reserva and the 2015 Crianza.

 

Bodegas Olarra was created in 1973. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Logroño in Rioja Alta, their winery – a Y-shaped building designed to make optimum use of the space for both production and ageing of the wine – is known as “the Cathedral of La Rioja”. From the beginning, the winery has known how to combine the traditional methods of production and ageing with the most advanced modern techniques of viticulture and vinification. A favourable geographic location, gives the vineyards all the ingredients to produce good fruits. Indeed the clay and chalky soil is watered by the rain and the Ebro river. This area also benefits from warm sunshine and the influence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. In 1978, Bodegas Olarra achieved their first Gold medal for a Cerro Añon wine in the tenth International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK. Numerous awards followed from then on, proof of the outstanding quality of their wines.

Grapes for the Gran Reserva are drawn solely from Olarra vineyards; these are located primarily in Rioja Alta, but also in Rioja Alavesa to a lesser extent. Vines in these vineyards are all grown in the traditional way. The average age of the vines is over 30 years. Most of the vineyards sit on a clay-rich soil in Rioja Alta and on limestone-clay soils in Rioja Alavesa.

Harvests took place later than usual in 2010, well into late October, when the fruit was considered to have reached full ripeness; this slower, steadier ripening accounts for much of the quality of this harvest (generally) and the 2010 Gran Reserva (in the specific). Subsequent selection ensured that only grapes in healthy shape made it through to the vinification process. 2010 was a great year in the history of the quality of grapes on the Olarra estate. 

Tempranillo 80%, Mazuelo 10%, Garnacha 5%, Graciano 5%.

Fermentation and maceration lasted for a total of 19 days and were performed in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 28ºC. Later on, the wine was racked into new French (Allier) oak, 225-litre casks/barricas where the malolactic fermentation took place, followed by a stay on the lees for a little over two months, with regular batonnage.

By the end of that winter, the wine was already being racked into new oak barrels, where it remained for a further six months. After this, the rest of the oak ageing - up to the total 27 months - was conducted in different barrels again: Allier and American (Missouri) oak, all with a medium toast, and with different ages spanning from brand new to 5 years. After fining with egg whites, the wine was bottled and stored in Olarra's bottle cellar for 45 months, before it started to be released.

The Gran Reserva 2010 shows a deep red colour with shades of ruby on the rim of the glass. On the nose, at the time of original release, it revealed a delicate balance between ripe red berry aromas and those of spices and smokiness. Over time, this developmental bouquet has grown more complex, showing aromas of leather, tobacco, coffee beans and raisins. On the palate, it is full and round, thanks to its long period in the bottle. Mouthfeel is as firm, elegant and smooth as one should expect from a great Rioja Gran Reserva, with a surprisingly long and fresh finish.

£14.95

Chateau Castera Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2015 (1x75cl)

** ONLY AT EXEL WINES!! **

Awarded a Platinum Medal and 97 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

For our blog on the wine and the 2015 harvest, click here.

For a full description of this wine, we would direct you to the data sheet/fiche technique from Château Castera themselves (click blue link below)

Château Castera Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2015 - fiche technique

£17.50

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage of this wine was a huge hit when it featured in Decanter (www.decanter.com) recently. The current 2017 vintage is now newly available and also superb; indeed, as the below vintage table (also from Decanter) shows, 2017 is already talked of by some as the best Riesling vintage in Australia for over 15 years.

The 2014 vintage was awarded 98 points and rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Riesling  (see blue link below) .

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

See also here for Decanter's assessment of Australian Riesling vintages (click blue link below).

Decanter Australian vintage summary

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide,this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

The Clare Valley yields one of the world`s great styles of Riesling. This youthful, aromatic, dry wine has intense mineral and floral aromas on the nose. These aromas follow through on the palate leading to flavours of lime, citrus and white blossom. Tropical fruits and citrus dominate the fresh, racy acidity and a distinct minerality comes through on the palate leaving a fantastic, clean finish.

This wine is a good choice to accompany seafood, especially prawn, crab, oysters and bass and mildly spiced Thai stir fry and seafood curries.

£13.15

Villa des Croix Picpoul de Pinet 2017, SO Vignerons (1x 75cl)

* 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).

Villa des Croix Picpoul de Pinet 2017 - April 2019 Decanter review

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 *

£9.95

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Reserva 2014 (1x75cl)

Bodegas Olarra was created in 1973. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Logroño in Rioja Alta, their winery – a Y-shaped building designed to make optimum use of the space for both production and ageing of the wine – is known as “the Cathedral of La Rioja”. From the beginning, the winery has known how to combine the traditional methods of production and ageing with the most advanced modern techniques of viticulture and vinification. A favourable geographic location, gives the vineyards all the ingredients to produce good fruits. Indeed the clay and chalky soil is watered by the rain and the Ebro river. This area also benefits from warm sunshine and the influence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. In 1978, Bodegas Olarra achieved their first Gold medal for a Cerro Añon wine in the tenth International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK. Numerous awards followed from then on, proof of the outstanding quality of their wines.

Officially classified as Good by the Rioja Control Board (Consejo Regulador), the 2014 vintage followed a year when the weather was good in spring and most of summer, but turned wet towards the end of harvest. The fruit for Cerro Añon Reserva comes from Olarra's vineyards in both Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. Average vine age is around 25 years; the soil patterns in the vineyards are a combination of the well-known limestone/clay/alluvial mixes to be found in most of Central Rioja.

Approximately, the mix of grapes for Cerro Añón Reserva 2014 is 90% Tempranillo, 5% Mazuelo and 5% Graciano.

Harvests took place at the end of September, with a good ripeness level (both phenolic and alcoholic); Olarra  managed to harvest most of the grapes intended for use before the weather took a turn for the worse.

Maceration time was 18 days with daily pumping over in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 29ºC. Half of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in new 225-litre French and American oak casks, while the other half saw malolactic in concrete tanks.

Barrel ageing was carried out in 225-litre oak casks/barricas, of which 65% were made of American wood, the rest being French Allier oak. This lasted for 20 months with regular racking. The barrels were aged from brand new to 7 years of age. Once fining and bottling were finished, the wine remained in the bottle cellar for 18 months before the start of release.

At the time of release, this wine showed as a bright crimson red in colour. On the nose, aromas of sweet ripe fruit and delicate notes of smokiness very much remain today. On the palate, tastes of cherry, plum and blackberries combine with a gentle, clean aroma of oak. The Reserva 2014 has a most elegant mouthfeel, a full body and a fresh and fully fruity aftertaste. This wine is full of life (when compared with many Reservas) and should drink very well for the next 10-15 years.

£12.50
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