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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

Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

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

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

£12.75

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

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

Awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

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

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

Mar de Frades Atlantico Albarino 2017 - fiche technique

£15.50

Domaine 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

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

Awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

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

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

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

£12.20

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

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

Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec 2015 (1x75cl)

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

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

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

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

Finca Sophenia Synthesis Malbec - fiche technique

£24.95

Gasper Pinot Grigio 2017 (1x75cl)

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

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

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

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

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

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

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

£13.05

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

Barros 10 Year Old Tawny Port (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

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

Sogevinus Barros 10yo Tawny - January 2018 Decanter review

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

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

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

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

£20.60
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