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DWWAs 2018

 

UPDATE: 19th March 2019

  • We list here Best in Show (97+ points), Platinum (97+) and Gold (95+) medal winners. 
  • Of the 30 such winners we could/can offer from the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA18), 17 are still available in the vintage that won them the award.
  • Demand for the others has been such that the UK importers have now run out of stock and advanced to the next vintage, and we offer these.
  • Below, we list the wines available in two boxes, being these two above categories. Of course, the former category is shrinking and the latter growing... pretty quickly now!
  • 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 here:

           DWWA marks system explained

  • Date for your diary: 2019 DWWA winners will be announced - watch this space - on Tuesday May 28th.

 

 

Wines still available in award-winning vintage: 

(with award won/points awarded and the detailed DWWA review shown on each product page - clink link shown)

 

Wines available in the vintage subsequent to that which won the DWWA:

(the product link will take you to the newer product, each page featuring the score/review for the award-winning vintage)

 

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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

Reserva Rioja Finca Nueva 2010 (1x75cl)

** Available in two different label formats - the wine is identical! Currently on purple label at the moment! **

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of 2010 Riojas (see blue link below).

Finca Nueva Reserva Rioja 2010 - March 2019 Decanter review

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.

£16.10

Heartland Directors Cut Shiraz 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal and 97 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details) but is alas now depleted in the UK.

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 2015 - fiche technique

£21.30

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).

£27.65

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

£15.25

Mar de Frades (Atlantico) Albarino DO Rias Baixas 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.

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 2018 - fiche technique

£15.25

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.

£18.05

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).

This wine is made using 100% Gamay.

£12.65

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.

£14.25

Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was 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) 

£28.50

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.

£25.55

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.

£15.95

Piattelli Vineyards, Grand (Reserve) Malbec 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage of this wine 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.

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; significant 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. 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.

2016 was a dry, hot vintage, which reduced any disease pressure in the vineyard and ensured healthy grapes at harvest time. The harvest started earlier than usual as the grapes reached optimal ripeness. Vineyard From high in the Andes surrounding Salta come Piattelli's Cafayate wines, grown at an elevation of over 1,795 metres. The distinctively colourful 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.

The grapes were hand-picked and destemmed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks and lasted for two weeks. When fermentation was complete, the wine was racked to second use oak barrels where it was aged for 12 months.

This wine is 100% Malbec.

A rich and fragrant wine which represents the best of the crop. An intense Malbec with aromas of blackberries, prunes, chocolate and a touch of vanilla. The palate has great structure and concentration with textured tannins and a wonderfully persistent finish. Pair with barbequed pork, braised lamb shanks, pan-fried steak or spicy, grilled vegetables.

£16.65

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.

£17.05

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.

£13.20

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.

£18.30

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.

£21.75

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.

£77.95

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. 

£12.90

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."

£15.85

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.

£12.40

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!

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique / technical note from the winemakers at Poggio al Tesoro (also much repeated below).

Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2015 - fiche technique

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.

£23.15

Joel Delaunay La Voute Touraine Chenonceaux 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage (now all gone, alas) was 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.

La Voûte comes from a relatively new appellation called Touraine Chenonceaux, which was created in 2011 after 20 years in the making. Chenonceaux is known for the majestic Château de Chenonceau, featured on the La Voûte label. The wines are from selected parcels of vines located in Touraine. The Sauvignon Blanc is often not released until May following the vintage, spending around seven months on its lees to add weight, texture and complexity.

La Voûte is situated in Touraine Chenonceaux, on the bank of the Cher Valley, 50 kilometres east of Tours near the famous Château de Chenonceau. The soil is clay and silex (a mixture of flint and sand) and the pruning method is simple Guyot.

After a hard frost in April, which had a significant impact across the Loire Valley, the end of spring and summer was relatively clement, allowing the grapes to reach optimum maturity. The harvest itself was early, starting from 1st September. Although the difficult conditions resulted in a small harvest, the small size of the grapes resulted in excellent concentration and very high quality fruit.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

100% of the cuvée underwent skin contact for 20 hours in a pneumatic press. Alcoholic fermentation took place over 20 days at a controlled temperature of 16°C. The wine was aged on fine lees after fermentation with bâtonnage until the end of April. The wine was then filtered before bottling.

This wine is pale lemon in colour, with youthful lights. It has an intense, elegant nose combining of grapefruit, tropical fruits and blackcurrant. On the palate, it is fresh and clean, with a fine mineral character and long finish.

£15.45
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