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Allegrini Giovanni  Recioto Classico 2012 (1x50cl)

The nose is immediately bursting with fruit, followed by fresh floral notes and pepper. After prolonged ageing, the wine proffers more evolved nuances of fruit preserved in alcohol and aromatic herbs. The bursting sweetness is kept in check by acidity and tannins, creating an approachable wine of great finesse. This wine, with its unique concentration, is named after the founder of the winery, Giovanni Allegrini, who elected this as his preferred wine.

£30.35

Capezzana Vin Santo Di Carmignano half bottle 2009 (1x 37.5cl)

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. The wines and the olive oil have an elegance which marks this estate out from the crowd.

The grapes for the Vin Santo are grown on various vineyards on the 104 hectare estate. These vineyards face east, are around 150-200 metres above sea level and have schistous-clay soils. They are currently being converted to organic production.

The 2009 growing season was excellent. A mild spring was followed by a hot and sunny summer, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. 

The grapes were dried on cane mats in a well ventilated loft until January 2010. The must was then fermented slowly in small oak and chestnut casks for at least four years. After ageing for five years in small chestnut and cherry casks, the wine remained in bottle for at least three months before release.

Intense golden yellow in colour with concentrated perfumes on the nose; notes of candied fruit, sweet almonds and fruit cake. Rich and intensely sweet on the palate, it has dried apricot and fig flavours which are balanced by a lovely touch of freshness. Very long and spicy on the finish.

£30.97

Cazes Cuvee Aime  Rivesaltes 1978 (1x 75cl)

Dark amber in colour, the 1978 has a fascinating mix of fig, dried apricots, cardamom and Seville oranges on the nose. The palate is still fresh, with the extreme finesse expected of great wines alongside a huge complexity of nutmeg, cinnamon and dried fruit flavours. A lingering sweetness accompanies the mellow, satisfying finish. Serve at 15degrees centigrade.
£82.67

Chateau Lamothe-Guignard 2Eme Cru Classe 2007 Bottle (1x 75cl)

A touch of smokiness here, rather mineral, although with a little touch of rubber too. Broad and clean style, very fresh and a touch delicate. Nice citrussy, lemony flavour. Fleshy and sweet on the palate, fresh and lively, with a little vigour.

£25.20

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria (half bottle) 2015 (1x 37.5cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 97 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Sweet Southern Italy) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito 2014 - August 2017 Decanter review

The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region's native varieties. Today, Donnafugata has three estates in Sicily. Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th Century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Mille e Una Notte' label.

From vines planted on the island of Pantelleria (South-Western Sicily), this is a modern take on the classic Moscato Passito. The name Ben Ryé derives from the Arabic 'Son of the Wind', after the wind which sweeps round the island. Vines are planted in hollows in the ground, at altitudes of 20-400 metres above sea level on terraced, sandy slopes of volcanic origin. The low bush vines of Pantelleria have been described on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a 'creative and sustainable practice'. The vines are over 100 years old and are ungrafted.

The 2015 vintage experienced cooler temperatures and more precipitation than in previous years. Overall, between 1st October 2014 and 30th September 2015, rainfall reached 763mm compared to the 656mm average of the last 10 years. In July, maximum temperatures were higher than average for the period which aided the ripening process of the grapes. Considerable temperature fluctuations between day and night encouraged the development of perfumes in the grapes.

Once the grapes reached the winery, they underwent further selection on a vibrating table before soft pressing. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The dried grapes – added to the fresh must in several batches – were destemmed and selected by hand. Ageing took place in stainless steel tanks for seven months and at least 12 months in bottle before release.

Brilliant amber in colour, Ben Ryé is wonderfully fresh and complex. The bouquet is intense and fragrant - aromas of apricots and candied citrus zest combine with notes of Mediterranean thyme and rosemary. The palate is well-defined and intense, with pleasant sweetness well balanced by fresh acidity and great minerality. The finish is long and persistent - a captivating Passito di Pantelleria.

£29.05

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito Di Pantelleria 2015 (1x 75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 97 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Sweet Southern Italy) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito 2014 - August 2017 Decanter review

The Rallo family has made wine in Marsala since 1851 and their ancient cellars tunnel beneath the city. They were one of the first families to begin making high quality table wine when sales of traditional Marsala started to decline, launching the Donnafugata label in 1983 and championing the potential of the region's native varieties. Today, Donnafugata has three estates in Sicily: a modern winery and 270 hectares at Contessa Entellina in the hills east of Marsala; 18 hectares in Vittoria to the south eastern point of the Island; and 68 hectares on the island of Pantelleria. Donnafugata means 'fleeing woman' and is a reference to Queen Maria Carolina, who escaped the court of Naples in the early 19th Century with her husband, Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, when Napoleon's troops arrived. The couple took refuge in Sicily at the Santa Margherita Belice palace, also the favourite residence of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and depicted on the 'Mille e Una Notte' label.

From vines planted on the island of Pantelleria (South-Western Sicily), this is a modern take on the classic Moscato Passito. The name Ben Ryé derives from the Arabic 'Son of the Wind', after the wind which sweeps round the island. Vines are planted in hollows in the ground, at altitudes of 20-400 metres above sea level on terraced, sandy slopes of volcanic origin. The low bush vines of Pantelleria have been described on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a 'creative and sustainable practice'. The vines are over 100 years old and are ungrafted.

The 2015 vintage experienced cooler temperatures and more precipitation than in previous years. Overall, between 1st October 2014 and 30th September 2015, rainfall reached 763mm compared to the 656mm average of the last 10 years. In July, maximum temperatures were higher than average for the period which aided the ripening process of the grapes. Considerable temperature fluctuations between day and night encouraged the development of perfumes in the grapes.

Once the grapes reached the winery, they underwent further selection on a vibrating table before soft pressing. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The dried grapes – added to the fresh must in several batches – were destemmed and selected by hand. Ageing took place in stainless steel tanks for seven months and at least 12 months in bottle before release.

Brilliant amber in colour, Ben Ryé is wonderfully fresh and complex. The bouquet is intense and fragrant - aromas of apricots and candied citrus zest combine with notes of Mediterranean thyme and rosemary. The palate is well-defined and intense, with pleasant sweetness well balanced by fresh acidity and great minerality. The finish is long and persistent - a captivating Passito di Pantelleria.

£53.85

Fontodi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico half bottle 2005 (1x 37.5cl)

The 2003 Vin Santo is deep gold in colour with an elegant and complex nose, including aromas of dried fruits, apricots, dates and almonds.  On the palate it is sweet, rounded and silky with a long, refreshing finish.
£31.30

Inniskillin Gold Vidal Icewine half bottle 2015 (1x 37.5cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and a rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards Canadian Section  (see blue link below).

Inniskillin Gold Vidal Icewine Niagara Peninsula Ontario 2014- 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

Inniskillin is now synonymous with top quality Icewine and consistently sets the bar at a much greater height than its competitors. They harvest at a higher brix level (roughly equivalent to the percentage of sugar in the juice) than the minimum set by the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance in Ontario) and their wines have a higher level of residual sugar. This gives richer, more intense wines that merit their higher price. Inniskillin was founded in 1975 by Austrian chemist Karl Kaiser and Italian-Canadian agriculture graduate Donald Ziraldo, who worked tirelessly to introduce better vines and superior winemaking techniques to Niagara. In 1984, to make the most of the extreme Canadian winter, Kaiser produced his first Icewine - a pivotal point in garnering attention from the international wine world.

The Niagara Peninsula is a cool climate region and the mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, as they receded approximately 13,000 years ago. Thanks to the warming influence of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the region's temperatures during fruit-ripening are moderate and consistent.

Extremely cold temperatures in January and February brought with them some initial challenges, but despite the rough start, the grapes enjoyed a better growing season than expected. Good flavour and brix accumulation occurred in late September and all through October thanks to the warm, dry days and cool evenings. The big temperature shifts between daytime highs and night time lows were perfect for the development of aromatics and flavour compounds in the grapes.

The frozen Vidal grapes were picked and pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery. The viscous juice was allowed to cold settle for three days before being racked clean and inoculated with a specifically selected strain of yeast. The juice was fermented in new French oak at an average temperature of 15ºC for 16 days before being allowed to age for an additional three months in oak prior to bottling.

Aromas of tropical fruit, with mango and orange dominate on the nose. On the palate, there is an abundance of fruit flavours, including peach, nectarine and citrus, that are all balanced by the crisp lively acidity of this complex, oak aged Icewine.

£40.80

Inniskillin Riesling Icewine half bottle 2014 (1x 37.5)

Inniskillin is now synonymous with top quality Icewine and consistently sets the bar at a much greater height than its competitors. They harvest at a higher brix level (roughly equivalent to the percentage of sugar in the juice) than the minimum set by the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance in Ontario) and their wines have a higher level of residual sugar. This gives richer, more intense wines that merit their higher price. Inniskillin was founded in 1975 by Austrian chemist Karl Kaiser and Italian-Canadian agriculture graduate Donald Ziraldo, who worked tirelessly to introduce better vines and superior winemaking techniques to Niagara. In 1984, to make the most of the extreme Canadian winter, Kaiser produced his first Icewine - a pivotal point in garnering attention from the international wine world.

The grapes for this classic Icewine were harvested from select vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. The Niagara Peninsula is considered a cool climate viticulture region. Mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, when they receded approximately 13,000 years ago. Thanks to the warming influence of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the region's temperatures during the fruit-ripening phase are moderate and consistent.

The 5th of January 2015 brought the ideal temperature of -10ºC required to begin Inniskillin’s thirty-first Icewine harvest. Vineyard Director Gerald Klose and Winemaker Bruce Nicholson began the harvest under a full moon with Riesling and Vidal grapes at the Pratt Vineyard, Niagara on the Lake. The consistent freezing weather allowed the optimum harvesting temperature to be reached which maintained high quality standards with the desired sugar levels and acidities in good balance.

Picked at a chilling -10ºC, the grapes were immediately pressed resulting in a rich concentrated liquid. The juice was concentrated through the removal of ice crystals and separation from the frozen grapes during pressing. After cold settling the juice was racked and fermented at approximately 15ºC for 18 days. The Riesling was fermented in stainless steel, with no oak influence. The wine was ready to drink after a short bottle ageing.

This Riesling Icewine has an abundance of vibrant aromatics including peach, pear, and lime. On the palate, notes of honey, apricot and mango are balanced by a crisp and lively acidity.

£47.55

Inniskillin Riesling Icewine half bottle 2015 (1x37.5cl)

Inniskillin is now synonymous with top quality Icewine and consistently sets the bar at a much greater height than its competitors. They harvest at a higher brix level (roughly equivalent to the percentage of sugar in the juice) than the minimum set by the VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance in Ontario) and their wines have a higher level of residual sugar. This gives richer, more intense wines that merit their higher price. Inniskillin was founded in 1975 by Austrian chemist Karl Kaiser and Italian-Canadian agriculture graduate Donald Ziraldo, who worked tirelessly to introduce better vines and superior winemaking techniques to Niagara. In 1984, to make the most of the extreme Canadian winter, Kaiser produced his first Icewine - a pivotal point in garnering attention from the international wine world.

The grapes for this classic Icewine were harvested from select vineyards in Niagara on the Lake. The Niagara Peninsula is considered a cool climate viticulture region. Mineral-rich soils are the result of melting glaciers that left behind large and varied deposits of gravel, sand and clay, when they receded approximately 13,000 years ago. Thanks to the warming influence of Lake Ontario and the Niagara River, the region's temperatures during the fruit-ripening phase are moderate and consistent.

Picked at a chilling -10ºC, the grapes were immediately pressed resulting in a rich concentrated liquid. The juice was concentrated through the removal of ice crystals and separation from the frozen grapes during pressing. After cold settling the juice was racked and fermented at approximately 15ºC for 18 days. The Riesling was fermented in stainless steel, with no oak influence. The wine was ready to drink after a short bottle ageing.

Riesling is a classic grape variety suitable for Icewine. It’s tropical and citrus aromas and flavours offer an elegance that are defined by its natural high acidity. This Riesling Icewine has an abundance of vibrant aromatics including peach, pear, and lime. On the palate, notes of honey, apricot and mango are balanced by a crisp and lively acidity.

£49.10

Isole E Olena Vin Santo half bottle 2007 (1x 37.5cl)

The name 'Isole e Olena' came about in the 1950s when two adjoining estates, 'Isole' and 'Olena', were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined to form one. The history of both estates dates back many hundreds of years, and the earliest documentation of the village of Olena goes as far back as the 12th century. During the 1950s, the De Marchi family planted specialised vineyards and expanded the cellars. Today, the estate is run by Paolo De Marchi and his wife Marta. Paolo comes from a family with three generations of winemaking experience in the northern part of Piemonte and his older son, Luca, now runs the family estate there, Proprieta Sperino.

The grapes are grown on the Isole e Olena estate which covers 320 hectares, of which 49 are planted with vines and 55 with olives. The vineyards are approximately 400 metres above sea level and face south-west. The oldest vines on the estate were planted in 1958 and the youngest in 2007. When Paolo De Marchi arrived at Isole e Olena in 1976, he stopped using white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia, in the blend for Chianti. He then asked the old farmers how to make the best Vin Santo possible, using traditional methods, and used the white grapes for this wine.

2007 was characterised by a warm, dry winter and spring which encouraged an early start to the growing season. Very dry weather was mitigated by rain in June and a normal summer/autumn. Wines are powerful but still well-balanced as a result.

The grapes were dried for three to five months before pressing, after which the must was racked into 'caratelli' (small barrels of varying composition) where it fermented and aged for eight years before bottling. The wine remained on the 'madre' or starter culture for the entire ageing/fermenting period, during which time it was neither racked nor filtered. At the end of the ageing period, the resulting yield in wine from grapes comprises only 12-15%; that is, for every 100 kilos of grapes, only about 12 to 15 litres of Vin Santo are produced!

This Cin Santo is a lovely golden-amber colour with an intense, open perfume of dried citrus peel, dried apricots and honey, giving way to a rich, luscious palate, with incredibly concentrated characters of honey, dried apricot and vanilla. A delicious, fresh finish keeps the wine unctuous without being cloying.

£30.55

Jean-Christophe Barbe Chateau Laville Sauternes 2011 (1x 75cl)

The 14 hectare Château Laville in Sauternes is Jean-Christophe Barbe's family property. Jean-Christophe is also a Professor of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux, where his particular area of expertise is 'noble rot' which, as a producer of Sauternes, he has had plenty of opportunity to study at first hand. A frequent recipient of awards, including several golds and most recently a DWWA Trophy, Laville Sauternes is one of our best kept secrets.

Chateau Laville has 14 hectares of vineyard in Sauternes, in the commune of Preignac, on gravel soils underpinned with limestone. The best plots are used to make the Grand Vin of Laville. The vines are approximately 35 years old. As with Delmond, Jean-Christophe passes through the vineyard five times to ensure that only the most botrytis-ravaged, or nobly rotten, grapes are selected.

After a cold, dry winter, spring arrived very early with bud break at the end of March. April was the second hottest on record since 1900, followed by an equally hot and dry May, resulting in early flowering. A heat spike in June caused serious water stress before an unusually cold July with welcome rains. One of the earliest harvests in history, starting on the second half of August, resulted in historically low yields.

The grapes were pressed using pneumatic and vertical hydraulic presses. Fermentation took place at 20-22°C, in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine was subsequently aged in new 400 litre French oak casks for 30 months.

A bright, golden wine that opens with intense aromas of candied fruits, honey and spice. Rich and unctuous on the palate, it retains lovely delicacy and is perfectly balanced. The fresh, long finish has a lively citrus twist to round it off.

£29.90

Peller Family Estates Riesling Icewine half bottle 2013 (1x 37.5cl)

Peller Riesling has a delicate straw yellow colour with an intriguing aroma of lemon drops, quince, Bartlett pear and golden raspberries, with a touch of floral honey. On the palate this Icewine displays a luscious yet elegant mouth-feel with fruit flavours of lemon, melon, papaya, mango and orange. It has a refreshing acidity and a long length.
£32.82
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