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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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Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

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.

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Pisa mountain range, Amisfield is one of the largest single estate vineyard in Central Otago. Spurred on by fond memories of childhood holidays in Central Otago, Amisfield founder John Darby was determined to master this breathtaking yet often unforgiving high country, convinced that this dramatic landscape presented the perfect environment for cool-climate viticulture. They are currently in the process of conversion to organic certification, implementing a host of advanced initiatives in organic wine production. Their simple philosophy is to nurture nature at every step and a hands-off approach means that the process takes time, with their wines yielding exceptional purity, intensity and vibrancy.

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

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 - fiche technique

£26.50

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2014 (1x50cl)

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.

Awarded 96 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) - and some particularly glowing words - in 2017 (see blue link below).

Vin de Constance 2014 - Decanter review

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the the producer.

Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2014 - fiche technique

... and this video for more details on the wine.

Golden hued, deep amber in appearance. First nose is of freshly dried pineapples with hints of vanilla and roasted almonds. Heady woodspice scents intermingle with fresh mandarin, lemongrass and mango. The seamless palate is elegantly structured, with ripe tropical flavours of mango. and pineapple. Raisined Muscat flavours provide concentrated acidity and a piercing lift to the seemingly endless finish. Will mature for at least a further 25 years.

£45.75

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

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."

£15.70

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 (1x 37.5cl Half)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition review of Dessert Wines and Ports (see blue link below).

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - January 2019 Decanter review

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.

Also awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best New Zealand Sweet) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

This is special stuff. Made with extreme care by Seifried in NZ’s South Island, the Sweet Agnes is pure, late-harvested Riesling: left on the vine, the grapes gain even greater ripeness, lose moisture and so become incredibly sweet (the wine’s sugar content is ~180g/litre). It’s almost amber in colour, and its flavours include lemon sherbet, marmalade, tropical fruits and butterscotch. It’s quite irresistible on its own and delicious with fruity puddings or tangy cheeses (particularly blue cheeses: it really is amazing with these).

To see the winemakers notes on this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Seifried Sweet Agnes Riesling 2016 - fiche technique

£20.30

Dopff Au Moulin, Alsace, Brand de Turckheim Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum Medal, 98 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 Dopff family have been winegrowers since 1574 and still manage the 70 hectare estate near the charming medieval town of Riquewihr.The vineyards are more than 300 metres above sea level, nestled in the foothills of the lower Vosges, sheltered from the northerly winds and the rain from the west. The southerly exposure of the vineyards and favourable microclimate lend themselves to the art of producing excellent wine. As a family of pioneers, they were responsilble for the use of the stemmed wine bottles, which today distinguish Alsace wines from other regions. In 1900, tenth generation, Julien Dopff, was so impressed by the Champagne tastings held in Paris' World Exhibition, he decided to learn the art of winemaking in Champagne for 2 years before returning to Alsace. In 1976, together with 5 other producers, he was instrumental in obtaining official recognition for Crémant d'Alsace as an AOC.

2015 was a superb vintage, with warm and dry weather throughout the summer period, resulting in good berry maturation and flavour concentration. Yields were lower than average, but quality was excellent resulting in wines with excellent varietal characteristics and ageing potential.

The Grand Cru classified vineyard of Brand overlooks the town of Turckheim and reaches an altitude of 343 metres above sea level. The wines of the Brand vineyard have been highly reputed since the 14th century, covering 58 hectares, of which Dopff au Moulin owns 3.2 hectares. The vineyard faces South and South-East and features very steep slopes. The soil consists of "Turckheim granite" with black and white micas, which is characterised by a low water retention capacity. The steep slopes combined with the granite soils, contribute to the rapid warming of the soil, which helps to encourage the vine to mature. The vines are trained to a Guyot system with green harvest and meticulous canopy management to ensure good light penetration and air flow to the berries. Yields are low at 26 hectolitres per hectare. Winemaking The grapes were manually harvested at 107° Oechsle. Gentle pneumatic pressing took place in whole bunches without crushing the grapes. A static racking of the must was followed by a slow temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel. The wine was stored in old oak casks on the fine lees for several months. 

A lovely expression of (100%) Gewurztraminer. Expressive notes of honey, spice and candied fruits lead to a refreshing and beautifully balanced palate. This full bodied and rich wine has great finesse. This wine is distinctly off-dry in the Grand Cru Gewurztraminer tradition (the 2015 vintage has a residual sugar level of 18g/litre).

£26.50

Domaine La Suffrene Bandol Rose Tradition 2017 (1x 75cl)

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.

When Cédric Gravier took over the family operation in 1996, the production - which until then had been sent to the winemaking cooperative - received a new lease of life with the addition of a producing cellar. The domaine extends over 60 hectares of the Bandol AOC and includes a number of varied plots, located for the most part in the villages of La Cadière and le Castellet.

This wine (a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache 20%, 10% Carignan) hails from from a terroir of calcareous clay, typical of Bandol, its quality partially explained by the low yield of just 40 hl/ha.

Harvested during the month of September, in line with the ripeness of each variety. The grapes were selected depending on their condition and underwent skin contact (maceration pelliculaire) at a low temperature before being pressed. The juice, after settling, was placed in a stainless steel vat for a period of 15 days between 18°C and 20°C before racking. The juice was fined in early November then re-racked and assembled in January. The final assemblage is stocked in concrete vats until bottling after filtration from March to July.

This is a Bandol rose of both freshness and subtlety. It has a a clear and shiny robe (salmon-coloured), a delicate nose of candied citrus fruit and spices and a surprisingly full-bodied, balanced and fresh impact on the palate.

£17.60

Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal, 98 points and Best in Show status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details). That said, the 2015, from an amazing harvest, has all the hallmarks of the great 2014 and has just yet to be rated!

One of the most exciting estates to have emerged from Italy in recent years, Poggio al Tesoro is a 70-hectare property in Bolgheri acquired in 2002 by the Allegrini family. The first vineyard they bought, Le Sondraia, is next door to Ornellaia and was previously rented by them. It is 12 hectares in size and is planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.

‘Seggio’ is the name of the creek that runs through Bolgheri - its course from above is represented on the label. This wine is produced from different plots of vineyards in the Poggio al Tesoro estate. The Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in the Via Bolgherese vineyards, at 53 meters above sea level. Here soils are deep, with coarse-grained red sand, that is gravelly and well-drained with a layer of clay at 120 centimetre below the surface. The other varieties are grown on the Le Sondraia vineyard, at 35 meters above sea level. Its soils are clayey with well-drained sandy silt and high concentrations of magnesium and iron. The average age of the vines is 17 years and they are spur-pruned and cordon-trained.

The 2015 harvest: Ample water was available following a very wet winter allowing the vines to bud and flower until early June and ideal summer conditions ensured all subsequent phenological stages: from fruit set to maturity, developed evenly. A hot July was mitigated by timely thunderstorms, while a sunny, breezy August allowed the grapes to reach a perfect phenolic ripeness before harvest commenced on the 31st August. 2015 may be considered one of Bolgheri’s great vintages with wines exhibiting balance, great structure and intense aromatics.

40% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot. The grapes were destemmed and softly pressed. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 28-30°C for 12 days. Malolactic fermentation was carried out naturally in barriques in November. The wine was then aged for 15 months in 225 litre French oak barriques from Allier (30% new, 70% second use).

This wine has an intense ruby red colour, and there are red berry and cassis aromas with mineral and spicy notes on the nose. The palate is medium bodiedand the tannins are elegant and silky. The wine has a lively finish.

£23.05

Umani Ronchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Casal Di Serra 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.

The Umani Ronchi story is one of ancient vines, land and people. Seasons waxing and waning. Harvests changing. Wines coming into being. The story began more than half a century ago at Cupramontana, in the heart of Verdicchio Classico country, and has spread further. Today Umani Ronchi is the wine estate owned by the Bianchi-Bernetti family, who since 1959 have been making superb-quality craft wines, coaxing the best out of the Verdicchio and Montepulciano that find their finest expression in Marche and Abruzzo.

Please click the blue link below to see Umani Ronchi’s excellent information and tasting notes for this wine.

Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore - fiche technique

This wine has intense, round and fresh aromas leading to a dry, soft palate with notes of ripe peaches, apples, exotic fruits, hazelnuts, butter and minerality.

£13.55

Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2017 (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.

One of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution Gaia Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos. Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini. Gaia's main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide.

The vineyard is located in Santorini. The terroir is recognised worldwide for its tremendous historical roots as the vineyards in this area date back 3,000 years. The low yielding vines are self rooted and are grown in soils which are poor in organic matter. The high sand content has ensured they have never been affected by phylloxera. The soils are also volcanic: porous with a high mineral content, which imparts a mineral quality to the resulting wine. The long sunshine hours, lack of rainfall, sea mists and strong summer winds all contribute to the unique microclimate. The surrounding Aegean Sea acts as a climatic buffer which softens the climate, so the extreme conditions and vintage variations are reduced. The vines are trained on traditional basket shaped systems called kouloura.

100% Assyrtiko. The handpicked grapes were destemmed, crushed and cold soaked for 12 hours with skin contact at 10°C. The free run juice was then fermented naturally, using only natural yeasts. 50% of the must was fermented in stainless steel tanks, 35% in new oak casks (18% French and 17% American oak) and 15% in acacia casks. The temperature was allowed to rise naturally without any further intervention. From here, modern technology passed the baton to traditional winemaking and the fermentation developed at its own, gradual pace, with the prevailing yeast strains determining the wine's final character. In each tank and barrel, the wine fermented differently, so at the end of the fermentation each portion was tasted and carefully selected, according to the quality. With each vintage, a new dimension of this multifaceted variety is discovered. 

"Toasty, smoky and funky on the nose with mineral dusting and brooding intensity. The palate is salty dry with laser-beam precision and very funky wild ferment layering of complexity with oak wreathed into the mix with sensitivity. The finish is dry, with lasting salty and tangy flavours. Unique and outstanding wine." (The Wine Gang) 

£22.30

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

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Sicily (see blue link below).

Donnafugata, Ben Rye 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

This wine was also 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 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.

£29.55

Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito Di Pantelleria 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Sicily (see blue link below).

Donnafugata, Ben Rye 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

This wine was also 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 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.

£57.95

Ktima Biblia Chora Ovilos Semillion Assyrtiko 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.

Biblia Chora is the innovative creation of Vangelis Gerovassiliou and Vassilis Tsaktsarlis, two of the most talented winemakers in Greece. The winery was established in 1998 and the privately owned vineyard lies on the cool climate slopes of Mount Pangeon, at Kokkinochori near Kavala. It has been farmed organically since day one. These exceptional, cutting edge wines are some of the best white wines in Greece, which have similarities to very good white Bordeaux – not surprising as Vassilis studied with Denis Dubourdieu; the king of modern white Graves. Vintage 2017 saw a very cold start, with snow and rainfall during the spring months, which built soil water reserves. Warm weather during the summer led to optimal growing and maturation conditions. The white wines are full bodied and have rich varietal aromas with good balancing acidity.

Located in the coastal region of Pangaia, Biblia Chora’s privately owned estate vineyard is situated at 380 metres altitude and extends over 140 hectares. With the striking Paggaio Mountain as the backdrop and the sea breeze coming from the Aegean Sea in front the estate, the vines thrive in this mild, Mediterranean climate which is characterised by mild winters and cool summers. The wide diurnal temperature range encourages a long, slow maturation of the grapes, concentrating the flavours in the berries. The vineyard is cultivated according to strict ecological agricultural standards in order to respect the environment and local flora and fauna. The vines are planted at a density of 4,000 plants per hectare and all the work in the vineyard, such as leaf thinning and the harvest is carried out by hand. The soil is rocky and infertile, with limestone and clay and good levels of drainage.

Assyrtiko 50%, Semillon 50%. The grapes were picked at optimum maturity and then carefully selected. The wine was vinified in the state-of-the-art winery, using modern techniques to ensure the aromatics and varietal flavours were retained. Each variety was vinified separately and then matured in 225-litre French oak barrels for a period of five months, with bâtonnage taking place in the barrel. This wine went through full malolactic fermentation, enhancing the creamy texture.

Enticing aromas of peach, vanilla and flinty notes combine with a vibrant burst of fresh grapefruit. A wonderful weight and creamy texture on the palate with notable minerality, this is a tropical version of a white Graves.

£24.00

Stellenrust Chenin Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

Stellenrust was established in 1928 and has ever since produced some of the most superb quality wines that the Stellenbosch region from South Africa can offer. It consists of about 400ha (200ha planted) of which half is stretched over the Golden Triangle area of Stellenbosch, internationally recognised for some of the best red wine soil in South Africa. The other half is situated high up in the Bottelary Hills, renowned for its cool climate and late afternoon sea breezes swooping in from Cape Town to nurture both excellent white and red wines. 

Stellenrust boasts today being one of South Africa's largest family-owned wine estates, carrying through generations of winemaking skills and the legacy of the motto 'where excellence meets winemaking'.

For this Chenin, grapes are harvested from decomposed granite soils and vineyards varying in age (but none younger than 30 years and up to 42 years of age).

Grapes are allowed short skin contact and natural settling in tank. 12% is fermented in 3rd- and 4th-fill French oak barrels and 88% in stainless steel after, which both portions are kept 5 months on the fermentation lees before it is blended and fined. Fermentation is a slow natural process and wild yeast ferments like this can take up to 3 months to finish.

The Stellenrust Chenin Blanc shows strong lime and some tropical fruit on the nose with a mineral palate of grape fruit and pear drop. Stellenrust class it as off-dry, but state its residula sugar to be just 3.4 g/litre, below the level of sugar detection for nearly all palates!

£9.45

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza Gualtallary, Tupungato Malbec 2016 (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.

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

Gualtallary is located in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine growing valleys: the Uco Valley and is situated at 1,350 metres above sea level. This is one of the highest vine growing zones in the Province of Mendoza, sitting at the foot of the Tupungato volcano - one of the highest peaks in the Andes. The zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 20°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place in egg-shaped containers made of cement. Their shape helps to keep the liquid to move constantly, so the temperature is more consistent and the lees remain constantly in suspension. The resulting wine achieves a greater character and volume on the palate. Following the fermentation, the wine was aged for 12 months in the same container, with a view to conserving its pure, authentic character, without interference from any other influence such oak from another terroir.

A deep, intense and complex example of a Gualtallary Malbec, with the typical aromas of chalk, flint, and mineral tones. Structured and voluminous on the palate with a silky texture, this is poised and direct, with a refreshing quality. This is a gastronomic wine which pairs beautifully with red meats, pasta and rabbit.

We like this because it is perfect for lovers of full-bodied wines that are not unduly oaked. Argentine Malbec remains super-popular, but this one has gone down even better with our customers. Zorzal are one of South America's most innovative winemakers and their wines are hugely respected and award-winning.

£15.90

Wieninger, Wiener Gemischter Satz DAC Nussberg 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 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.

Fritz Wieninger is considered a pioneer of the “New Vienna” wine movement, combining a sense of modernity and progress with the traditions of the region and of his family, who have been making wine for over 100 years. “I try to use the numerous facets of my grape material,” Fritz says. “To be able to show the differences in site and vintage and to get the character of the vineyard into the bottle – this is my greatest challenge.”

The grapes for the Wiener Gemischter Satz - Nussberg 2017 were grown in the Ulm vineyard, which lies on a very steep southern slope on the eastern part of the Nussberg next to the Danube river. The vineyards are certified Organic and Biodynamic since 2011. The soil is calcareous shell limestone with small amounts of clay underneath. This area of the Nussberg region is understood to be a remnant of a coral reef from the Tertiary period.

The 2017 vintage began with a cold winter, however, very warm conditions in the months up to mid March resulted in early bud break. Conditions were cooler than average through April and early May, but fortunately the vines didn’t suffer too much from the frosty nights, and the warm and dry summer months that followed kept the grapes healthy. This was the third hottest summer since records began, prompting harvesting to commence earlier than usual at the beginning of September, in order to preserve acidity and freshness in the grapes.

This wine is a field blend of nine organically and biodynamically grown varieties including Neuburger, Welschriesling and Grüner Veltliner. The grapes were hand picked, processed together and macerated for four hours prior to being gently pressed. Fermentation took place in a mix of 75% stainless-steel tanks and 25% large old oak barrels, before being matured on the fine lees for 10 months prior to blending and bottling.

The wine has complex aromas of citrus fruit, pineapple, yellow blossom and sweet herbs. Lively acidity is evident on the elegant palate which has a touch of minerality alongside subtle notes of spice.

£27.60

Tikves Barovo Tikvesh Povardarje Macedonia, 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 97 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 article "Balkan Intrigue" (see blue link below).

Tikveš, Barovo 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

This wine was also 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.

See this link for a(n albeit promotional) article on Tikves from Decanter, November 2018

Every wine tells a story about the synergy between the soil, sun, grapes and the country of its origin. The Tikveš Winery has been narrating the Republic of Macedonia’s story as a winemaking country since 1885. However, the Republic of Macedonia remains one of Europe’s last undiscovered wine countries: it is a natural paradise of vineyards, mountains, lakes and rivers, with a climate perfectly suited to producing quality grapes. Located in the Tikveš region of central Macedonia, the Tikveš estate sustainably cultivates indigenous varieties such as Smederevka, Vranec and Kratoshija. The grapes are vinified in the state-of-the-art cellar equipped with the latest technology under the watchful eye of illustrious consultant oenologist Philippe Cambie, resulting in a series of authentic and characterful wines.

2015 was characterised by good weather conditions throughout the growing cycle, resulting in an excellent balance between sugar, acidity and flavours. The red wines from 2015 are particularly potent, rich in tannins and flavours; ideal for ageing.

Grapes: Kratoshija 65%, Vranec 35%, being a blend of two indigenous varieties. Kratoshiya (pronounced krat-oss-SHEE-yah) has the same genetic origins as the Italian Primitivo variety. Vranec (pronounced VRANash) translates as 'black stallion' and wine made from this grape variety is associated with strength and opulence. The double Guyot trained vines are grown in a hilly plot with a south eastern orientation. Planted in well drained volcanic soils, the roots extend to a depth of 1.2 metres, where the soil is enriched with carbonates, minerals. This complex nutrition level imparts richness to the resulting wines. The vines are green harvested before véraison in order to further concentrate the flavours within the grapes. Harvest is undertaken manually, in order to ensure the grapes are picked at their optimum maturity.

The grapes were cooled for 12 hours, then destemmed, crushed and cold macerated for three days. Vinification took place over the course of 25 days, with regular pumping-over taking place in order to extract the desired levels of tannins, colour and flavours. Pressing took place in a pneumatic press which was followed by malolactic fermentation. 80% of the wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 15 months, followed by a minimum of six months bottle ageing.

A warm and savoury wine showing raisined black fruits complemented by dark chocolate and elegant toasty oak flavours.

Complex and elegant aromas of blackberries, plums and cherries combine with subtle hints of vanilla and toasty notes. Beautifully textured with a mouth-filling palate of ripe berried fruits against a mineral backdrop and a long lasting finish.

£17.60

Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2014 (1x75cl)

The 2013 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.

Today, it is fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue at the helm of Henschke, passionately upholding the family name and reputation. Stephen and Prue continue to craft their white wines with a focus on purity, while their red wines have a strong focus on terroir, using traditional winemaking techniques. Stephen's thoughts on their work: “Prue and I are the current ‘keepers of the flame’. Just as earlier generations have done, we want to manage the vineyards and winery so they can be passed on to the next generation in better condition than we inherited them. Our vision would not be complete without the expectation that future generations will uphold and perpetuate our belief that such ancient and unique single-vineyard sites can produce exceptional wines that are prized for their beauty and rarity.”

To see some wonderfully informative information and tasting notes for the Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2013 please click the blue link below.

Henschke Keyneton Estate Euphonium 2013 - fiche technique

£31.85

Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat (1x50cl)

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 over 155 years, the Morris family have earned their position as one of the most prominent winemaking families in Australia, with their name being synonymous with ‘Liqueur Muscat’ for many years. Today, David Morris, the fifth generation of the family to run the winery, ensures the Morris name remains one of Australia’s most respected.

Located in the Rutherglen region of North-East Victoria, the Morris of Rutherglen have 80 hectares of easterly facing vineyards which are planted on red loam over red/yellow poldzotic clay soils. The red loam helps produce red wines with greater flavour and richness. The vineyards gently slope, with the earlier budburst varieties being planted on the higher slopes and the later budburst varieties on the lower slopes (175m in altitude). The vines are grown on a single wire trellis 900mm high and are hand-pruned using the rod and spur method, whilst only being reliant on natural rainfall. This produces lower-cropping vines that offer fruit of high sugar levels and concentrated flavours.

95% Muscat à Petit Grains. Grapes were selected for harvesting between 15 to 16 Baumé. In the winery, they were crushed and allowed to start fermentation. The fruit had considerable hang time on the vine allowing for high sugar levels and intense flavours to develop. Once the desired baume level was reached, pressing occurred, and a high strength neutral spirit was added to arrest fermentation, before being transferred into casks for maturation. Only the best wines from the best vintages were chosen to blend the Old Premium Rare Muscat; a true art of balancing very old and much younger material.

The older vines impart intense, concentrated and luscious flavours with aged complexity to this wine. These are complimented by fresh fruit characters from the younger wines. In the glass, the wine is a dark olive brown with a green tinge on the rim. An intense bouquet of raisin fruit and soft woody characters delight the nose. The palate shows great depth, length and complexity with rich and luscious flavours of sweet spices, dried raisins and Christmas pudding.

£77.90
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