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DWWAs 2018

16th October 2018 - we're now starting to sell through the end of quite a few of these award-winners as their popularity gets the better of them. Many may not be around for much longer! But... we've just heard ...  The Heartland Director's Cut Shiraz is back again (against all our expectations!)....

 

Perhaps (and it's a tough call), our most exciting DWWA headliner is the 97-point (Platinum Award) Bordeaux from the amazing 2015 vintage - exclusive to us at Exel Wines - for just £17.50. This is one not to miss!!

See the foot of this page and also the text links below for all the DWWA-winning wines (at levels of Gold or above) that we can currently offer. 

For details of how the awards, marks and classifications all work, click the blue link below.

DWWA marks system explained

 ----

We can now offer you (with award won/points awarded and the detailed DWWA review shown on each product page):

- The Château Castera 2015, a 2015 vintage (awesome!) Left Bank Bordeaux (from the Médoc appellation), at just £17.50 (exclusive to us at Exel) - we've a whole blog page on this wine and the 2015 vintage;

- a most affordable Rioja Reserva from the wonderful 2010 vintage from Finca Nueva;

- the legendary Vin de Constance 2014 from Klein Constantia (97 points, Best in Show);

- the Heartland Director's Cut Shiraz 2014, a full-throttle Shiraz from South Australia's Langhorne Creek. This is one of the very biggest-sellers of this DWWA campaign, and we can see why ... and it's enigmatically reappeared after having apparently sold out everywhere months ago!

- the Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 from the Central Otago region of New Zealand - a beautiful New World, super-fruit Pinot Noir;

- the Best in Show Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2017 from Marlborough's Awatere Valley in New Zealand - a powerful and intense, classic NZSB - plus two excellent 95-points variants on the NZ Sauvi Blanc theme, one a single-vineyard version from Yealands and the Awatere Valley in Marlborough ... the other a rare (and very mineral) North Island version from Craggy Range and Martinborough;

- even more NZ quality, this time from Nelson in South Island, the glorious Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - a stunning vintage of one of our favourite 'stickies';

- a glorious 2016 Grüner Veltliner, made by esteemed Rabl in the Kamptal region of Austria - this is the epitome of good GV and is very highly praised ("immaculate length and balance");

- an Alsace Grand Cru Gewurztraminer from Dopff au Moulin from the Brand de Turckheim Grand Cru vineyard; it’s a 2015, to boot, furthering its credentials even more;

- the brilliant (if wackily bottled) Mar de Frades Atlantico Albariño 2017 from Rias Biaxas;

from France...

a 2017 Bandol rosé from Domaine la Suffrène - an altogether more serious and elegant rose than the typical Summer fare;

- an unusual-but-superb Touraine Sauvignon Blanc from Joel Delaunay; and

- also from the Touraine region of the Loire, a superbly-priced (~£12) Gamay from Domaine de la Charmoise, made in the Beaujolais idiom;

then there's...

- and Umani Ronchi's boutique Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi from Umani Ronchi, the Casal di Serra;

- the Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2017 from Santorini plus another Mediterranean island gem in the form of the famous and ever-excellent <and available in full and half-bottles> Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantellaria 2015  (it is more a surprise when these wines don't win..);

- on matters Greek, a "tropical (white) Graves" of 50% Semillon/50% Assyrtiko from esteemed producer, Ktima;

- a super-value South African Chenin Blanc from Stellenrust (alas, the award-winning 2017 vintage is now all used up, and we're onto the 2018);

- a wonderful 2017 Cinsault by Montes from the relatively southern Itata region of Chile...

- ... while from across the Andes (and some way further north), we offer the stunning (and superb-value at £16) Piattelli Grand Reserve Malbec 2015 from high altitude Cafayate in Salta province, the boutique Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2015 from Mendoza's Tupungato sub-region of the Uco Valley...

- and the ever-excellent (and one of our favourite Malbecs) Tinto de Tiza 2016 from innovators Zorzal (NB: the 2016 arrives here in late September; we also have the Decanter-rated 2014 vintage of this wine with a little more 'age on it');

- a stunning Austrian white blend from Wieninger and, further still into Europe, a full-throttle red from Tikves in Macedonia (fans of our Stobi wines will know how keen we are on this area for superb wines at great prices) and a high-quality Pinot Grigio from Gasper of Slovenia;

- the Barros 10-yo Tawny Port, a consistently excellent Tawny at ~£20 and the luxury Morris Old Premium Rare Liqueur Muscat.

NB: sadly, the Henschke Euphonium 2013 and 2014 Bolgheri Super-Tuscan from Poggio al Tesoro (the Seggio) have now sold through completely, both with us and at the UK sole importer, but are available in excellent new vintages.

We expect these wines to see incredibly high demand - many sold out in the UK inside 24 hours last year - be warned!!

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Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz 2014 (1 x 75cl)

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.

Heartland's flagship wine is made from the finest selection of Shiraz from each vintage. As with films, the director’s cut is regarded as the definitive version – no compromises. Heartland is the place between the vines that offers the best view of the gum trees. Directors’ Cut is Heartland’s most powerful expression of Langhorne Creek’s classic varietals.

See the blue link below for the excellent and informative fiche technique / technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz 2014 - fiche technique

£20.40

Chateau Castera Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2015 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK, AND 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

Reserva Rioja Finca Nueva 2010 (1x75cl)

** Available in two different label formats - the wine is identical! **

Awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details - but note that the price stated there is vastly incorrect!).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

The region of La Rioja lends its name to Spain`s most widely recognised wines. Much Rioja is blended from three districts; Alta and Alavesa to the north and the hot dry Baja district to the south, and uses Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo red grape varieties and the diminishing influence of extended ageing in oak barrels.

Finca Nueva was bought by Miguel Angel de Gregorio in 2004. He is also the owner and winemaker of the renowned Finca Allende. The vines for Finca Nueva are planted on limestone rich soils which brings a finesse and mineral character to the wines. They use sustainable viticulture practices in the vineyard as Miguel says "we do not govern the terroir, the terroir governs us". They do not use any kind of herbicide or synthetic chemicals and keep carbon emissions low.

This intense and concentrated Reserva spends 24 months in French oak barrels. Deep ruby in colour with a pronounced nose of black cherries and cedar wood. The palate is rich with notes of ripe blackberries, cherries and plums combined with dark chocolate, coffee and graphite. Characterised by soft tannins and a very long finish.

£15.95

Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal, 97 points and Best in Show status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

The Vavasour family can trace their ancestry back to the Norman invasion of England and it is reputed that one of William the Conqueror’s food tasters was a Vavasour. 

They were also a pioneering family of the Awatere Valley, now a sub-region of Marlborough, settling in the region in 1890. Peter Vavasour was the first family member to plant a vineyard here in 1985 under the watchful gaze of the near 3000 metre Mount Tapuae-O-Uenuku, the first mountain climbed by Sir Edmund Hilary who referred to it affectionately as ‘Tappy’. 

The award-winning wines of Vavasour take their flavour profile from the ancient Greywacke soils, their proximity to the ocean and the protection given from the bracing north-westerly winds by the mountains. All of the wines have a crisp natural acidity, a purity and intensity of fruit and great aromatic expression. 

The wines are made by Stuart Marfell, an Awatere Valley-born Winemaker with an intrinsic knowledge of the region and vineyards. Stuart has already had notable success with his Vavasour wines: the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc won the award for the Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2011; more recently his 2012 Pinot Noir won Gold at the 2015 International Wine Challenge. In July 2015, the winemaking team was significantly strengthened when Alastair Maling MW, who was the sixth New Zealander to pass the prestigious Master of Wine exam, joined the team to oversee the winemaking and viticulture.

The fruit is harvested in the cool of night to preserve the flavour and freshness that epitomises Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Careful canopy and yield management, including leaf plucking and shoot thinning, ensured great concentration and character. Cool-fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain the essence of the Awatere fruit, this is seriously concentrated and flaunts a powerful bouquet of fresh herbs, tomato stalk and blackcurrant, layered with ripe stone fruit and bright citrus. 

£12.75

Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x 75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details) but has alas now sold out at the UK importer. We offer the excellent 2018.

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Yealands' Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley is exposed to some of the toughest growing conditions in Marlborough; high sunshine and wind, cool nights and low rainfall which produces a smaller, thicker skinned berry with intense fruit flavours. This wine is a blend of two different blocks on the property – one warmer, sheltered inland block and a coastal block. The wine brings together in harmony the diverse spectrums of the blocks; the warmer site contributing the expressive aromatics and the cooler site giving the mineral backbone and length.

The two parcels of land in vineyard were  harvested individually over two days. The fruit was de-stemmed then pressed gently prior to cold settling for 72 hours. The clear juice was then racked off and each parcel was fermented separately using two different yeasts. A long cool fermentation followed to capture and enhance the pure aromatics. The wine was blended, stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.

Marlborough experienced a mild-to-cool spring period, which ensured that the vines naturally produced lighter than average yields. These mild temperatures then extended into the summer months, coupled with an unseasonal period of rain, which ultimately alleviated the drought conditions we had experienced over the past two years. Carrying lighter than usual crops along with the cooler weather meant vintage started only a week later than previous years.

This wine shows flavours of passionfruit and blackcurrant leaf with underlying notes of wet stone and thyme. The palate displays good weight and texture, with a focused mineral acidity which delivers fantastic length to the wine.

£11.80

Mar de Frades (Atlantico) Albarino DO Rias Baixas 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

Mar de Frades embodies the deeply-rooted traditions of Val do Salnés, the birthplace of Albariño. Recognised as one of Spain’s leading female winemakers, native Gallaecian Paula Fandino crafts wines using 100% Albariño, which express distinct saline nuances, resulting from the vines’ location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The fresh and aromatic wine is instantly recognisable by the distinctive and slender blue glass bottle, while the eye-catching label has a thermos-sensitive logo, so that when the bottle is chilled to the appropriate serving temperature, a blue ship magically appears riding the waves on the bottle’s label.

For full details and a tasting note for this wine please click the blue link below.

Mar de Frades Atlantico Albarino 2017 - fiche technique

£15.50

Domaine de la Charmoise Marionnet Gamay de Touraine 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

The Marionnet family arrived in Soings, in the eastern part of Touraine (30 km south of Blois), in the middle of the last century. Their vineyards were completely replanted and expanded between 1967 and 1978. The total vine area is today some 60 hectares, producing some 400,000 bottles of red and white wines. The cellar is fully equipped with stainless steel vats and modern winemaking technology.

Domaine de la Charmoise is mainly planted with Gamay for red wines and Sauvignon for whites. Gamay covers an area of ​​33 hectares. Average yields are around 55 hl/ha. Sauvignon occupies an area of ​​~20 ha. The soil is of a type locally known as perruche (= parakeet!), composed of flint, clay, silica and gravel. The estate is located at the highest point between the Loire (to the north) and the Cher (to the south). Thanks to its position, the most easterly of Touraine, the domaine benefits from a continental climate conducive to Gamay and Sauvignon. In addition, a favourable microclimate ensures both excellent maturity and good protection against one of the upper Loire's main hazards: spring frosts.

The harvest is entirely picked by hand with great care and this, the domaine tell us, intriguingly, is “almost exclusively by women”. The clusters undergo rigorous selection and a severe sorting if necessary. These are then placed in vats intact for intracellular fermentation/(semi)-carbonic maceration, yielding a most elegant wine with a brilliant ruby ​​red/purple color. On the nose and palate, it's a real explosion of strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrant, kirsch, coffee, and bonbons anglais. It's a "pleasure wine", and - (al)so say the domaine - "a wine for an entire meal" (best served chilled).

£12.20

Outer Limits by Montes Old Roots Itata Cinsault 2017 (1x75cl)

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

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes wines are consistently good because they are meticulous throughout the entire production process. The Outer Limits wines were born out of Aurelio Montes' desire to push Chilean viticulture in a new direction. The 45 hectare Zapallar Vineyard in the Aconcagua Valley was Montes' first venture into the 'outer limits'. Due to the balance and concentration in the Outer Limits wines, they can be enjoyed now or allowed to age for a few years, rewarding with a wonderfully complex bouquet.

The Cinsault vineyards are located in the Guarilihue sector of the Itata Valley in southern Chile. It was here that the first vines were planted nearly 500 years ago. The soils are granitic in origin with a predominance of red clay and high quartz content and benefit from high water retention enabling dry farming to be practiced. The vines are "head trained" and the vineyard density is 4,444 plants per hectare.

The 2016-17 season was generally very dry but bud break and bunch development was good despite the expected 50% yield reduction – an impact of the previous year. As a consequence, the fruit had a higher concentration of phenolics and the well distributed bunches within the canopy ensured healthy fruit. Despite the high summer heat, harvest occurred on schedule and delivered fruit with good acidity levels and ripe tannins.

Hand-picked grapes were destemmed and processed into steel tanks via gravity flow where they macerated for five days at 8 °C, with a portion of the grapes macerated with dry ice prior to fermentation for extra extraction. The grapes were then fermented for approximately seven days at around 24 ° C. Post fermentation, the wine was processed in two ways: one part was transferred directly to third use French oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation and the remainder was transferred to concrete eggs. After three months ageing, the wine was blended, gently filtered and bottled.

A bright ruby colour, the wine has perfumes of fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries alongside notes of wild flowers and country herbs. Juicy with hints of spice, the short period spent in oak adds complexity to the nose and ensures smooth rounded tannins.

£15.80

Piattelli Vineyards, Grand (Reserve) Malbec 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

The Piattelli Vineyards lie in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, where the century old vines are irrigated by the pure waters melting from the snow crested peaks; a significant aspect in making their wines exquisite. At Piattelli Vineyards great pride is taken in crafting wines with a sense of place, as each region has distinct terroirs and microclimates. Mendoza and Cafayate are two of the best grape growing regions in Argentina and they wanted to showcase both. Led by head winemaker Valeria Antolin, the wines are produced through her passionate pursuit of perfection. Their gravity fed winery in Cafayate honours their commitment to sustainable practices. Piattelli Vineyards practises sustainable farming and their Mendoza vineyards are USDA certified organic. The grapes are cultivated with arid clean air, crystal clear water and nutrient rich soil and their award winning wines are produced with wisdom, precision and love. Vintage 2015 was a challenging vintage, which was unusually wet and warm. A focus on the harvest dates with a meticulous selection of the grapes, ensured good quality wine.

From high in the Andes surrounding Salta come Piattelli's Cafayate wines, grown at an elevation of over 1,795 metres. The distinctively colourful North West Argentinian mountains are formed of many geological layers. The splendour of this area, with its pure water and extreme thermal amplitudes, is that it produces grapes bursting with flavour, making this not only one of the most beautiful, but also one of the premier grape growing regions in the world.

100% Malbec. The grapes were hand-picked and destemmed. The must was fermented in 5,000- to 10,000-litre stainless steel tanks, and then aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels.

A rich and fragrant wine which represents the best of the crop. An intense red with aromas of black fruits, vanilla and a touch of smoke. These aromas are transformed on the palate to give the wine great structure and body. A soft fruit-forward flavour leads to a strong and balanced finish.

£15.90

Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

Located in the high altitude Tupungato Valley region of Mendoza, this modern winery benefits from a long, cool growing season and strong UV sunlight that helps maximise the aromas and complexity of the resulting grapes. Tupungato sits at the western extreme of Mendoza right at the foot of the Andes mountains with an elevation of 1,200 meters giving benefit to the vineyards from a much cooler climate, abundant sun, and sharp contrast between day and night temperatures. When all the above is combined it allows the winemaker the opportunity to produce wines with utmost expression. Wine consultant Michel Rolland (from Bordeaux) has added his expertise to this project and in the last few years since launch the range of wines have received numerous awards and accolades.

To see Finca Sophenia's own excellent information for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec - fiche technique

£24.95

Gasper Pinot Grigio 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold Medal and 96 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Gasper is located in Goriška Brda, which makes up the two thirds of Collio stretching into Slovenia from Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Goriška Brda has a climate ideally suited to viticulture, with its proximity to both the Adriatic Sea and the Alps providing dry, warm summers with cooling breezes during the crucial ripening period. The Gasper wine estate is a joint venture between a local cooperative and the Carman family, who have been in the wine and hospitality business for over 50 years. At the helm of the cellar is Darinko Ribolica, a respected oenologist from Goriška Brda. He uses Slovenia’s local varieties to create wines in a modern, fresh style.

The grapes for this wine are grown at altitudes ranging between 80-200 metres above sea level. The vineyards are terraced and face south-west, east and south. The climate here is sub-Mediterranean and experiences a mixture of warm sea air and the influence of cold winds from the Alps.

2017 was a great vintage with ideal weather conditions throughout. A sunny summer coupled with just the right amount of rain ensured that the grapes reached perfect ripeness levels and remained healthy. Warm days followed by cool nights allowed a slow ripening process, retaining their acidity and accumulating intense varietal flavours. The harvest began in mid-September and ended on 1st October.

Fruit was pressed in a pneumatic press and then fermented and matured in stainless steel tanks. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to preserve the freshness and fruit character of the grapes.

The wine is straw yellow in colour with a subtle shade of pink. The nose is reminiscent of pear, grapefruit, pineapple and cinnamon. Well balanced, this medium-bodied Pinot Grigio has a lovely richness, with a silky finish and citrus aromas.

£13.05

Barros 10 Year Old Tawny Port (1x75cl)

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.

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition panel review of Tawny Port (see blue link below).

Sogevinus Barros 10yo Tawny - January 2018 Decanter review

Having celebrated their 100th year of trading in 2013, Barros Port is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious companies producing and trading in Port. Much of their success comes from Colheita Ports - old Tawnies from a single year matured in cask for a minimum period of seven years.

Hand-harvested at their best moment, the grapes are destemmed, crushed and vinified in a careful maceration with extraction of colour, tannins and pellicle aromas, complemented by permanent pumping-over during fermentation. This process takes place in vats at a controlled temperature between 28-30ºC. At this phase grape brandy is added, creating a fortified wine. A wine of an exceptional quality, obtained by the selection of several harvests. It is matured in wood for variable periods of time and  the age mentioned on the label is an average age of the different wines used in blending this port. This is instrumental in the wine expressing its character which is influenced by the ageing in oak casks.

With a brown-tawny colour, the nose is dense with dried fruit aromas, with delicate vanilla and chocolate notes. The soft and silky texture and the subtle nuances of wood are balanced by a fresh acidity which culminates with a long and elegant finish.

When served slightly chilled, it is the ideal choice to serve with appetizers like strong cheeses. The velvety texture and the  aromatic expressions stand-out remarkably with main courses with dried fruits. Irresistible with pate as well as aubergine and nuts. Wonderful choice to serve with a myriad of delicious caramel brownies, chocolate and pistachio pavê and nuts crostini with goats cheese.

£20.60
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