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DWWA19

** MANY ITEMS HERE WILL BE LISTED AS UNAVAILABLE. MANY ARE AVAILABLE, HOWEVER. THIS IS BECAUSE, DURING THE COVID-19 PHASE, WE ARE ONLY SELLING CORE WINES WE HOLD IN STOCK. MANY OF THESE DWWA19 WINES SELL IN INSUFFICIENT QUANTITY FOR US TO TAKE ALL OF THEM IN IN ADVANCE. **

We still see heaps of demand for the winners of  2019 Decanter World Wine Awards. We've managed to amass well over 50 of the top prizewinners and compile them below.

 

Some 16,500(+) wines went under test this year and the whole field has now been rated; you can find the full results here.

Among all the many medals and awards in the big world of wine, these are the ones we most respect and admire. So, we find - based on the demand that follows these announcements - do you, the consumer. 

We put that down to a couple of obvious factors, being:

- the sheer breadth and volume of wines tasted and rated; and

- the meticulous rigour of the judging mechanism.

To whit, in brief:

- each wines is tested by many experienced tasters to produce a clutch of the finest at that stage; these are the Gold medal winners (rated at 95 points or above);

- those Golds are then retested to form a shorter, refined list of the Platinum medals (and Best Value Platinums) on 97 points or more.

- those Platinums are then all subject to a further re-test to reach a shortlist of the 50 Best In Show wines, these being the very best <0.5% of the field (in the eye of the judges).

There's full detail of that whole mechanism here or for a simple diagram of that mechanism, click the blue link below:

DWWA marks system explained

and also, to see how many winess win the various award levels, try ths one:

Numbers of awards at different levels

Below, we've listed - by award level - what we can offer among the Gold, Platinum and Best In Show prize-winners. At Silver and below, frankly, we haven't bothered. There are so many of these and we invariably find the customer asks him/herself: why would I buy these when I can get those in the upper levels?

The wines appear pictorally at the foot of the page, and you can click to investigate/buy as you feel. Each product page features that wine's DWWA review (taken from the DWWA website or magazine supplement and featuring score and tasting note).

We will sound our usual notes of caution over such reviews. What the judges like may (well) not be what you like. And vice versa. There's a lot of subjectivity in any judging like this. But these top-level wines are invariably very fine and very popular (be aware: UK stocks of some sold through in a few days last year!).

Our other note of caution: be a touch wary of focussing only on the Best In Shows. It's that old The-Best-Is-The-Enemy-Of-The-Good problem (and here, read that as "Very Best" and "Extremely Good"). With 'only' 50 Best In Shows, it's obviously impossible for every region, grape variety, wine style etc to get a look-in, and the margins between 95, 96 and 97 points are very/vanishingly fine indeed. Last year, many of the very most popular wines were 'but' Gold awards (eg the Finca Nueva Rioja, the Amisfield Pinot Noir, the Mar de Frades Albarino). We stress this to the extent that we markedly hesitate to separate out these top three award levels!

We'll be adding to this list as we track down and bring in more winners, so do watch this space!! For example, the Platinum Chateau Castera (still available, now better than ever after another year in bottle and the only Bordeaux you'll find below!) was a late addition last year and (far and away) our most popular DWWA18 wine of all!

For those still looking for winners of the last year (2018)'s DWWAs, click here.

Need even more award winners? See our IWC19 page!

Finally, should you be arriving here only now to find these wines and awards, a little disappointed to find some of the top ones vanished and gone, it's probably because you don't/didn't receive our weekly update(s) that announced (and re-announced) these awards back in May. Don't miss out again... register for our updates here.

 

 

Best In Show

 

 

We've thirteen Best(s) in Show... (albeit with three now all gone)

 

- Exclusive to us and among the most prestigious Bests in Show must be Claudio Alario's Barolo 2015 from the Sorano cru of Serralunga - the only Barolo, the only Piemonte and one of only five Italian wines to win this level of award. We have a limited allocation, and only a little free stock, so this is one to seize upon if Barolo is your thing.

 

- Gigondas is a fascinating, higher-altitude appellation in the Southern Rhone producing some quite superb wines, most of them markedly better (and less 'flabby') than the nearby Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Domaine Brusset have long been one of its revered names and their Hauts de Montmirail 2017 justly picks up one of the very top awards. 

 

- Don't miss one of the most spectacular whites at DWWA19, Best In Show, aged (2010) Albariño from Rias Baixas's Bodegas Fillaboa. This is one unique wine. MORE ON THE WAY, HERE IN LATE MARCH/EARLY APRIL!

 

- Exclusive to us, and being re-sought by us again at the end of the vintage, is one of the few affordable French Bests in Show - a Languedoc (Pic St Loup) Syrah - the Larmanela 2016 - NOW ALL GONE HERE AND AT THE DOMAINE - a mighty impressive red of great depth and concentration indeed.

 

- Perhaps the biggest seller of the Bests in Show will be the one New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in the top rank ... the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylor's Pass Sauvignon Blanc 2017. It's all (and more) that you expect of a top NZSB, with great concentration. NOW ALL GONE!

 

- The fastest to sell, however was be the only Tuscan to make the ranks of the Bests in ShowVilla del Cigliano's Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 - ALAS NOW ALL GONE - which "stole the judges hearts" (their words). Supplies are tight (as the vintage is nearly depleted) and this one is limited to 6 bottle per customer, alas. Panic not, however, as we have another (better?) cracking, Platinum medal-winning Chianti Classico to offer!

 

Craggy Range's brilliant Te Kahu 2016 - a fine, ripe and luxurious NZ (Gimblett Gravels) Bordeaux blend - is now in stock; we took all the UK supply that has just landed. NOW ALL GONE BUT MORE STOCK LANDING - ONLY AT EXEL - IN EARLY FEBRUARY. We also offer the very fine 2015 vintage of this wine.

 

- We've the top-ranking Rioja, the Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2012 ... unsurprisingly selling at a serious rate of knots already!

 

- Last year's top rosé is back with another Best in Show - the Domaine La Suffrene Bandol - now just as subtle-but-flavoursome in its 2018 incarnation.

 

- Also back again, up from a Gold last year, from Greece, is the brilliant Semillon/Assyrtiko blend from Ktima Biblia Chora - the Ovilos. It was unspotted by many last year, but those that tried it came back again and again. A brilliant and rare combination, this, of two classy and non-mainstream varieties.

 

- We've the "haunting" (which we take to be good) Cenatiempo Kalimera 2017, made from 100% Biancolella (nope, us neither) and from the volcanic island of Ischia (just off from Naples) - an off-piste selection, maybe, but as Decanter said, it "captivated everyone who tasted it.  A unique, cultural wine of memorable, stealthy charm". We've given this a good going-over: it's stunning.

 

- And there's classy Tasmanian Chardonnay from the excellent Dawson & James - no giveaway, but a brilliant twist on top white Burgundy ... plus top-flight Champagne from Heidsieck.

 

 

Platinum

 

 

There's a very good bunch here...

 

- The bargain of DWWA19Cellier des Dauphins' Côtes du Rhône (red) Réserve 2018 ... met with very high praise indeed from the DWWA panel. It's ours (alone) on direct import, so it comes in at a bargain £9.95 <you read that correctly> - we struggle to think of a DWWA Platinum this affordable before! Stocking up - at least a little - as an 'everyday' supply may not be the worst idea.

 

Poggio al Sole's Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2015 - the Casasilia - is quite outstanding and an Exel exclusive at a daft price to bring it to the market. This one, the judges went crackers for.

 

- Stunning, rich French red at a great price? Step right up for Château Grézan's Les Schistes Dorés 2017 from the ever-dependable Faugères appellation in Languedoc - this is every bit as spectacular as the Larmanela above.

 

- We made quite a fuss in April over the release of La Rioja Alta's new Gran Reserva, the Arana (2012). Lo and behold, it's gone and Platinummed in its first year.

 

- SuperTuscan fans, meanwhile, should not miss the institution that is Brancaia's Blu 2015.

 

-  Big Malbec alert! Prestige new Uco Valley beauty for under £30 - the Dedicado Gran Corte 2015 - from Finca Flichman.

 

- (Very) affordable sparkling? Now, there's Cava and there's Cava. The good stuff is amazing and hugely under-valued. Step forward, at just £16.30Pere Ventura's Tresor Cuvée Gran Reserva 2014, a blend based on 40% Chardonnay (perhaps lending it that quality).

 

- Of course, if it just has to be Champagne - and sometimes it does - there's a choice between Devaux's Cuvée D at under £40 ... or you can 'go vintage' with Taittinger's Brut Vintage 2013.

 

- For even-further-flung fizz, and of the utmost (and vintage) quality - but at an affordable £34 - the always-winning-big-prizes Arras Grand Vintage 2008 from Tasmania is not to be missed. UK STOCK NOW ALL GONE.

 

- While Down Under, we regularly make a fuss over the Rieslings of Pauletts from Australia's Clare Valley. The 2012 is their top prize-winner but in dwindling supply; this particular Platinum is alas down to its last 100 bottles or so on these shores (and it's all gone in Oz)... but we've got our name on them. The 2013 scores a Gold and is now also in stock.

 

- Greece's Ktima Gerovassiliou are an award machine. Their Estate Estate White Epanomi 2018 is quite brilliant at £15 (the Malagousia 2018 lands a Gold). FORMER HAS JUST RUN OUT - ONTO 2019 VINTAGE.

 

- Barbaresco? Don't mind if we do. The ever-superb Rabaja (2015 now) from doyen of that DOCG, Bruno Rocca is the 97-pointer here.

 

- And there's an unusual-but-brilliant select parcels Cabernet Franc from Gašper of Slovenia.

 

- There's amazing value to be had with Swartland's Bush Vine Chenin Blanc...

 

- ... and Italian stickiness from Capezzana's Vin Santo and that perennial topper, Donnafugata's Ben Ryé Passito di Pantellaria  (although NB: the DWWA19-winning 2016 vintage has now all gone, and we're onto the 2017 ... but rest assured that vintage will win these awards next year...).

 

- NB: the Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay 2017 sold out almost the day it won the DWWA award, having been heavily depleted across the vintage in winning other awards (eg IWC19).

 

 

Gold

 

 

This is where it becomes the most fun. Truly something for everyone here. <Well, for wine drinkers, anyway>. But where to start?

 

- Decanter recently featured it (more detail here) when it topped a panel tasting - and if you like the careful marriage of oak and Sauvi Blanc - this - te Pā's Oke 2017 - is definitely for you (just arrived into stock here). It's brilliantly done, and at a staggering price for so well-made a wine (when you compare against comparable oaked NZSBs).

 

 - A notable recent arrival is a fascinating, delicious and excellent-value (£16) Spanish red oddity: a 100% Graciano from Bodegas Verum in Castilla-La Mancha.

 

- We've a glorious (village/commune-level but single vineyard/lieu-dit) 2017 Meursault from Domaine Berthelemot; this is the first UK offering of this. We were mighty impressed: very racy and delicate and arguably more Montrachet than Meursault. It's at a tremendous price for single-plot Meursault, too.

 

- NZ Pinot Noir tends to be daftly popular on these occasions. See: Wild Earth (of South Island's Central Otago). Super stuff.

 

- Argentine Malbec is very amply represented by Trapiche's Finca Ambrosia 2015.

 

- Is France forgotten? It is not. There's a very fine Premier Cru Chablis from Domaine de Vauroux at a very sensible £23.50, and an unusual red (Pinot Noir) from the Loire's oft-forgotten-but-classy Menetou-Salon appellation.

 

- There's great South African value for Sauvignon Blanc fans  - Strandveld's First Sighting SB 2018

 

- While at the other end of the white wine market (and, naturally, Burgundy), there's 2017 Premier Cru Meursault from the Les Charmes climat from Domaine René Monnier/Xavier Monnot.

 

- If New World Chardonnay is your thing, the ever-consistent Trinity Hill of NI, NZ make a very fine job of their 2017 Gimblett Gravels. Or, switch to Tasmania - especially if the Dawson James above is a bit beyond your pricing - for the equally consistent Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2017.

 

- Big Macedonian red? Tikves's Barovo 2015 (still available) claimed a Platinum last year, and returns for a Gold with the 2016.

 

- Australia? But of course! A <£15 red (GSM) from Dandelion Vineyards - the Menagerie - is very easy drinking, while Jim Barry's Florita Riesling provides some Clare valley opposition to the Pauletts wines we mentioned.

 

- There's an Amarone at a very sensible price from Bertani...

 

- For exquisitely good Old World (German, Rheingau) Riesling, however, Schloss Johannisberg's Silberlack 2017 very much makes the Gold standard.

 

- <Sudden panic>. How did we get this far without another Rioja? Enter, please, Bodegas LAN's boutique (but not boutiquely-priced) Lanciano Reserva 2012.

 

Palmer & Co's superb rosé Champagne is no surprise inclusion here, and very affordable for wines of its class (in both 75cl bottle and magnum);

 

- We finish - for now - and as one should - with stickies and fortifieds. All of the ever-brilliant Vin de ConstanceBarros 10-yo Tawny Port and Sandeman's 20-yo-Tawny, the much-lauded Taylor's Quinta da Vargellas 2014 Port and Morris Old Premium Rare Muscat are back again for top honours this year.

 

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Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino Rias Baixas 2010 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

** SEE PACKAGING NOTE BELOW AND PLEASE INDICATE PREFERRED PACKAGING IN YOUR ORDER (delivery details box). **

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

 

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

 

Also awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition's Spanish supplement article, Spanish Wines You Should Have In Your Cellar: The Top 24 (see blue link below). This was the highest-scoring of those 24!

 

Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino Rias Baixas 2010 - November 2019 Decanter review 

Fillaboa, meaning “the good daughter” in the Gallego dialect of northwestern Spain, produces some of the rarest and highest quality wine from the ever-more-esteemed DO of Rías Baixas. Bodegas Fillaboa’s estate is focused exclusively on the cultivation of Albariño, the star white wine of the region, famed for its freshness, complexity and compatibility with local seafood. Bodegas Fillaboa is owned by the Masaveu family, which traces its winemaking history back to the 14th century. The family re-invested itself in Galician wine production, culminating with the purchase of Bodegas Fillaboa in Salvaterra de Miño in 1988.

Today Fillaboa is home to a tasting facility and formidable art collection housed in a 15th century Romanesque castle near the River Miño that forms the border between Spain and northern Portugal. In a region where most wineries make wines from purchased grapes, Fillaboa stands apart for its exclusive use of estate-grown fruit, ensuring quality control and consistency from vine to bottle. The estate’s deep devotion to quality is perfectly reflected in the Selección Finca Monte Alto, one of the very few single-vineyard estate wines produced in Rías Baixas, a racy white wine that sings with granite minerality and showcases Albariño’s quintessential freshness.

For more grape-growing and winemaking detail on this spectacular and award-winning wine, see the blue link below for thefiche technique/technical note from the makers themselves. On one specific point we have been asked by a few customers, the wine now being taken/supplied to customers is from the third batch of the 2010, this having been on the lees for 8 years and bottled in August 2019. It relates to the longer-aged wine discussed in the second Decanter review above.  A fourth batch is impending, bottled in December 2019 (if you would like to/rather try this, please contact mark@exelwines.co.uk).

Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino Rias Baixas 2010 - fiche technique

As the DWWA panel said of it and as our tasting note: "Eight years ageing for this Albariño from the granite-soiled region of Rias Baixas has left the wine a glowing gold in colour with beguilingly developed aromas of nuts, sweet balsam and wet moss on old stones.  The wine is unoaked, so all of that aromatic richness is coming from the fruit itself and time's work on it.  In the mouth, it is rich too, but dryly so, gracious and expansive, and beginning to hint more clearly at ground stone than to the summer fruits and flowers of youth, with that incipient nutty richness providing further complexities.  A blind-tasting puzzle - and a very delicious dinner-party white.  Drink 2019-2021"

ABV = 13.0%.

Note below the packaging options for the product: bottles can be despatched in either format (please state preference in comments box in order). We will seek to despatch at no additional carriage charge, but if the packaging necessitates additional carriage, we will be in contact to cover that. We have priced the wine as competitively as we can, and cannot easily do so and cover unlimited additional carriage!

 

£29.95

Claudio Alario Sorano Barolo 2015 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The famous and spectacular scenery of the Langhe of Piedmont is the backdrop to the small family business of (now) Claudio Alario, which was founded in the early 1900s. They are located in Diano d’Alba, a small rural village, situated on soft, green hills to the east of the main Barolo zone. For three generations, the business had solely dedicated itself to the care and cultivation of vines and the sale of grapes, and it is only thanks to Claudio that they have - relatively recently - arrived at their own winemaking and bottling of their own wines. In 1988, Claudio, fresh out of oenology college with his degree, set to at producing his own Langhe wines. He/they started by producing only Dolcetto, progressively advancing with Barbera to Nebbiolo, arriving in 1995 at their first Barolo. Their vineyards, situated in the municipalities of Diano d’Alba, Serralunga d’Alba and Verduno, vary in age between 20 and 50 years old; all enjoy particularly privileged exposures.

This Barolo hails from the Serralunga municipality, and is drawn from the Sorano cru which lies at the very north of the crus of that zone (with an exposure to the SW).

Although quite brief, see the link below - a fiche technique/technical note from the winemaker himself - for more details of the winemaking and elevage.

Claudio Alario Sorano Barolo 2015 - fiche technique

Only 4,000 bottles of the 2015 were made.

Tasting note: as the DWWA19 panel said,"This authoritative and complex Barolo is a great harbinger for everything the 2015 vintage holds, as well as being an outstanding representative of its DOCG. It's relatively deep in colour, with lifted, seductive, pristine aromas which suggest roses, threshed grain and straw matting as well as refined plum, redcurrant and pomegranate fruits. It's still deep-textured and detaining, with choice gastronomic tannins, yet the beautifully stewarded fruits are already offering complexity and nuance. Further bottle age will only add to the allusive layers. An effortless classic, into which much effort has doubtless gone". 

ABV = 14.5%.

£49.95

El Coto, Coto de Imaz Rioja Gran Reserva 2012 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The 2010 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2017 edition review of Premium Rioja (see blue link below).

Coto De Imaz Gran Reserva 2010 - March 2017 Decanter review

El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known of Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.

Grapes for the two Coto de Imaz wines are picked exclusively from El Coto's estate in Cenicero in Rioja Alta, where the soils are limestone and clay.

The 2012 vintage was marked by drought, which had an effect on both grape volume and grape quality in some places, but also resulted in a significant quantity of very high quality wine. Rains in late September had a positive effect on ripening and harvested grapes were well balanced and healthy. The Rioja Control Board/Consejo Regulador rated the 2012 vintage Very Good.

After harvest, only the best grapes were selected for this wine, as the maceration on the skin lasts for three to four weeks. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 22-27ºC. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The resulting wine was then aged in new French and American oak for a minimum of 24 months before bottling.

The Gran Reserva has a brilliant ruby-red colour with tinges of brick red. Mature and elegant, the wine’s rich aromatic complexity is initially subtle, revealing itself more and more as the wine breathes. Toasted oak nuances and coconut give way to notes of leather and damp earth from bottle ageing. On the palate, silky, rounded tannins accompany fresh red berries, dried raisins and spicy notes. This is a complex wine with exceptional concentration and a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.20

Ktima Biblia Chora Ovilos Semillion Assyrtiko 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 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.

The vines started flowering during the first 10 days of May, some fifteen days earlier than usual. Prolonged rains during June and July slightly delayed the ripening of the grapes, which started in mid-July, one week earlier than usual. August brought warm, dry weather which enabled the grapes to reach excellent maturity.

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.

Assyrtiko 50%, Semillon 50%. 

The distinctive and characteristic aromas of apricot and honey from the Semillon blend perfectly with the citrus and lemon notes from the Assyrtiko, with nuances of vanilla and nutty hints adding complexity. Elegant, with a creamy texture, this stylish wine is beautifully balanced by refreshing palate which leads to a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£25.55

Dawson & James Chardonnay 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Also awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of cool-climate Australian Chardonnay (Victoria and Tasmania) (see blue link below).

Dawson James Chardonnay 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Dawson James is the project of Peter Dawson and Tim James, who met in 1976 when they were both working at Hardy & Sons, and where they continued to work alongside each other for 20 years. They have since moved on to different projects, including Willunga 100 in McLaren Vale for Tim, but have collaborated again to produce the Dawson & James wines in Tasmania. Their shared passion for Australian art, farming, camping and gastronomy, as well as their dedication to fine Australian wine, have combined in this exciting project, and the wines are the proof of their winemaking wisdom and enthusiasm. The wines come from the Meadowbank Vineyard, which is located around 60 kilometres north-west of Hobart, an area characterised by rugged topography and the fast flowing, pristine waters of the Derwent river.

The Meadowbank Vineyard is located in the Derwent Valley in southern Tasmania, and was planted in 1989. The site is 70 metres above the river level and the north-easterly aspect gives it optimal sunlight exposure for grape ripening. The soil is a combination of brown sandy loams over structured clays and sandstone rock. It has a devigorating nature, helping the balanced growth and structure of the vines. Vines are trellised to single cordon and managed to one bunch per shoot, and yields are kept at less than six tonnes per hectare.

For this vintage: the vineyard received good rainfall in spring and early summer resulting in good vine health, however inclement weather around fruit set reduced crops. Temperatures throughout ripening were slightly above average but it was a cooler season than the preceding two years with a notable absence of heat spikes.

Grapes were hand picked and wholebunch pressed. Free run juice was transferred to oak sourced from Burgundian cooperages. Primary fermentation in oak, 40% was new oak, was followed by partial malolactic fermentation. The wine remained in oak and on its lees for nine months with fortnightly stirring.

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

Dawson James Tasmania Chardonnay 2015 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

This Chardonnay has a bright pale yellow colour. The aromas are subtle creamy, nutty and toasty notes derived from barrel fermentation accompanied by zesty lemon pith fruit characters. On the palate, there are intense citrus fruit flavours which are balanced by lively acidity and mineral characters.

ABV = 12.2%.

£38.15

Cenatiempo Vini d'Ischia Kalimera Biancolella Ischia 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

As Cenatiempo will tell you, Ischia wine is mountain wine. The vineyards all over the island are influenced by the close proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea (off the West Coast of Italy, not far from Naples) but also from their elevation – their grapes are grown up to elevations of 600 meters. The winery is run by Pasquale Cenatiempo and his partner, Federica Predoni. They make compelling, focused, mineral-driven wines from the island’s indigenous varieties on the volcanic slopes of Ischia. 

Ischia is situated just off the coast of Naples. Here the soil is volcanic. In fact, the island was formed by a volcano which last erupted in 1302. The winery was founded in 1945 by Pasquale’s father Francesco, who, like Pasquale today, made wine from his own grapes as well as from some of his friends and neighbors throughout the island. Not much has changed over the last 70 years. The wines are still fermented in steel or cement vats with indigenous yeasts and aged in the same vessels. In the vineyards, Cenatiempo farms organically. In fact, for their larger parcels they have begun adapting some biodynamic principles and treatments as well.

Their production is mainly in white wine including a couple of Ischia Bianco blends as well as monovarietal wines of Biancolella and the high-acid, low-octane Forastera. They also make small amounts of red, mainly from Piedirosso, Aglianico and Sciacinosso. The two wines that really illustrate the potential of great winemaking on this small island are the Kalimera Biancolella sourced from an old parcel of Biancolella at high elevation and also the small production Forastera bottling which is more reminiscent of a mountain wine from the north, like a Blanc du Morgex from the Valle d’Aoste, beautifully lean, racy and stony. 

These are small production wines form an artisanal producer making traditional, natural wine from a truly unique terroir of high elevation vineyards and compelling local varieties.

100% Biancolella.

Viticulture: Hand-harvested at the end of October. Practicing (but not certified) organic viticulture. Practicing biodynamic. Hand-harvested at the end of October.

Winemaking: Hand-harvested at the end of October. Vinified in cement. Aged in cement, spending three months on the lees.

"It's made from the indigenous Biancolella grape variety which few of our judges had ever tasted before - but its golden colour, almost spritzy style, haunting aromas of wild flowers and fragrant scented hay, and its mouthfilling, complex flavour which seem to hint at celery and fennel as well as quince and medlar captivated everyone who tasted it.  A unique, cultural wine of memorable, stealthy charm." (DWWA19 panel review)

ABV = 13.0%.

£21.85

Poggio al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (1x75cl)

** PLENTY MORE STOCK, BUT THIS IS NOW THE LAST OF THIS AWARD-WINNING VINTAGE! **

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

We also highly recommend the 'everyday' Chianti Classico and Super-Tuscan from Poggio al Sole.

The 2014 vintage was also awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2014 - May 2018 Decanter review

The forthcoming 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition panel tasting of top-end Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

Documents in the archives of the abbey of Badia a Passignano, which owned Poggio al Sole until the 1960s, show that olives and wine were grown there as early as the 12th century. The Davaz family, which acquired Poggio al Sole in 1990, has grown wine in the Bündner Herrschaft in Switzerland since the 1970s. The eighteen contigous hectares of sloping schistose-clay vineyards are among the very highest in Chianti,  and are perfectly sheltered from the Tramontane wind by the surrounding oak forest. Alessandro Masnaghetti, the brilliant taster, journalist, and publisher of Enogea, believes that Poggio al Sole is one of the top three vineyard sites in all Chianti Classico.

The Casasilia - Poggio al Sole's premium Chianti Classico from the top-tier Gran Selezione classification - is ample testament to that.

Here's Poggio al Sole's own data sheet/fiche technique on the Casasilia.

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 - fiche technique

Additionally, the wine is matured in French oak barrels/barriques of 225 litres, 30% of which are made of new oak, the remainder being one-year old barrels. Ageing period is 18 months in barrel + 12 month bottle rest.

100% Sangiovese.

"This wine gushes with aromas of black and red fruits, mint, chalk, dried herbs and the vanilla and spice of high quality oak, which lead on to a full-bodied, yet velvety, palate with finely detailed tannins. It really pulsates with its energy, mesmerising your palate as it swoops by, culminating in a long and elegant finish" (DWWA19 tasting note).

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.5%.

£30.95

Chateau Grezan Les Schistes Dores, Faugeres 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW BACK IN STOCK! **

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

We also highly recommend Chateau Grezan's excellent (and excellent-value) unoaked Chardonnay.

The viticultural history of the Cros-Pujol family began five generations ago, in 1877, on a very small parcel of Carignan between Autignac and Laurens. It was worked with a donkey and a horse, the harvests were vinified at the back of the family home by Jules-Anatole Cros, known as Costant, and his wife Anna, the first winemakers of the family. For the past 30 years, Château Grézan has expressed the very essence of Faugères wines. Produced from selected grapes, the Château Grézan wines combine respect for ancestral wine traditions and an open-mindedness to modernity.

The vineyards of Château Grézan and the Cros-Pujol family now cover nearly 110 hectares in both AOP Faugères and IGP Pays d’Oc. Their grape varieties in AOP Faugères are the classics of the region: Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Carignan. The Schists Dorés here is (most) unusual in Faugères for its almost exclusive use of Syrah

The soil in Faugères consists essentially of shale(s) - golden and slatey: the forner gives the name to this wine. This stone is characterized by its remarkable capacity to retain water and its ability to store daytime heat and then release it at night. This is how the grapes continue to ripen at night. The climate is Mediterranean with a mountain influence. It is characterized by mild winters with rare frosts and hot and dry summers with infrequent but heavy rainfall.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this (highly medalled/awarded) wine from the team at Chateau Grézan.

Chateau Grezan Les Schistes Dorés, Faugeres 2017 - fiche technique

90% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre.

For our tasting note, we hand over to the DWWA19 judges:

"This is very classy stuff. Blackcurrant jam is the dominant flavour, but is flanked on either side by toasted cinnamon and vanilla, the superlatively integrated oak adding yet another layer to this already complex, ravishing wine. Delicious weight of rounded, brushed cotton tannins, and lush super-ripe black fruits – totally delicious, persistent and racy! Perfect with food".

ABV = 14.5%.

£18.95

Finca Flichman Dedicado, `Gran Corte` Uco Valley 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The winery was founded in 1910 by Polish immigrant Don Sami Flichman.  He purchased property in Barrancas (southern Maipú) and planted vines in rocky, well-drained plots situated along the Mendoza river. It was Sami’s son Isaac who first began to make fine wine at the estate, including Caballero de la Cepa, one of the first high-quality wines that garnered international awareness for premium Argentinian wines. Sogrape Vinhos purchased Finca Flichman in 1998, and invested heavily in restoring the vineyards and equipping the winery with modern equipment. The original Barrancas vineyard remains among their 400 hectares of vines, which also includes the higher altitude Tupungato vineyard. Today the wines are made by Germán Berra, one of Argentina’s brightest talents, who was recognised as the ‘Best Young Winemaker’ in the Argentina Wine Awards in 2016. Germán works closely with consultant and renowned winemaker Alberto Antonini.

The Dedicado is made from the best hand-harvested fruit from the highaltitude Tupungato vineyards in the Valle de Uco. Terroir consultant Pedro Parra of Clos des Fous consults on the vineyards. Situated at the foot of the Andes, the vineyards benefit from large diurnal temperature variations which result in longer ripening seasons and more elegant wines.

A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec and 10% Syrah spent 12 days fermenting at 26-29°C. Malolactic fermentation was allowed before the wine aged for 12 months in French and American oak, followed by a year in bottle before release.

A deep red wine with violet shades. There is a rich aroma of black plums, blackberries and tobacco leaves. On the palate it is soft, elegant and complex with a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£27.25

Ktima Gerovassiliou Estate White Epanomi 2019 (1x75cl)

***  Please note that the new 2019 vintage will not be available until Mid November.  *** 

The 2018 vintage was awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Ktima Gerovassiliou is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou. He initiated the revival of the family vineyard by planting the nearly extinct Malagousia in 1981. This state of the art winery is now surrounded by 74 hectares of meticulously well cared vineyards on the slopes of Epanomi. Ktima Gerovassiliou guarantees consistent, high quality wines of international acclaim every year and his Malagousia remains the benchmark to this day.

2018 was characterised by being a premature (and overall a dry) year. A mild winter resulted in early budbreak – approximately 12 days earlier than usual. March and April were very dry, with April having unseasonably higher temperatures than usual, favouring early maturation. Temperatures cooled a little in the early summer and June saw warm, drought conditions which continued throughout the summer. The resulting fruit had enhanced primary flavours and exceptional phenolic ripeness .

At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private 74-hectare vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria. The vines are grown in soils which are mainly sandy with a few clayey substrates and calcareous rocks. It is rich in sea fossils, as the surrounding hilly area was formed by sea deposits.

The Assyrtiko (pronounced Ah-SEER-tee-koe) and Malagousia (Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes underwent skin contact maceration to extract aromas. Fermentation followed in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18-20°C; and partly in new French oak. The wine was clarified by gravity and then matured on the lees for several months with bâtonnage. Gently fined prior to bottling.

Assyrtiko 50%, Malagousia 50%.

Exotic fruit flavours combine with hints of orange, jasmine, herbs and a touch of lemon. Lively, attractive and vivacious. Expressive aromas of exotic fruits combined with hints of pepper, orange, jasmine, orange, melon and a touch of lemon. Beautifully refined on the palate which is characterised by richness, harmony and a bright lemony finish. A terrific companion for Asian cuisine, fresh shellfish, creamy-sauce based pasta dishes, appetisers and salads with Greek Feta.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

£15.05

Swartland Winery Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their December 2019 edition article, The Best 30 Cape Wines Under £20 (see blue link below).

Swartland Winery Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2017 - December 2019 Decanter review

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Big open skies, arid deserts, the vast flowing landscape, with its unforgiving climate and rugged bush vines, this is wild country, this is Swartland. The contrast with manicured Constantia and oh-so-cool Stellenbosch couldn't be greater. But right now, Swartland is the most exciting wine region in South Africa. A new wave of winemakers are making ground-breaking wines from Rhône varietals and it is part of a revolution that has got everybody talking. The Swartland Winery is producing iconic and award winning wines in this fashionable and dynamic region, so we have joined forces with them to create a unique, distinctive and expressive wine range that has been masterfully blended for the UK palate. We think something this good, is definitely worth talking about!

The Swartland name originates from a description of the indigenous renosterbos or rhino bush, which appears to turn black, ("Swart" in Afrikaans), during the summer months. This hot, dry climate has an average temperature range of 25°C to 35°C and an annual rainfall of 450 mm and 600mm, but the altitude of these vineyards creates a cool oasis in this arid landscape. Minimal intervention and environmentally friendly farming practices are paramount. The soil types vary, but Malmesbury Shale dominates, with small patches of granite and Table Mountain sandstone. The gravel substructure of the soil promotes good moisture retention, essential in this hot, dry climate. The grapes came from a single vineyard, from 100% bush vines with an age range of between 25 to 30 years.

The berries were harvested at optimal phenolic ripeness. An extended skin contact was applied and fermentation took place at 13°C. The wine underwent an extended fine lees contact, following fermentation. The wine was aged in second and third fill French oak barrels for a period of six months, prior to being filtered and bottled.

Chenin Blanc 100%.

For more detail, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Swartland Winery Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

A full flavoured and classic Chenin Blanc with rich aromas of lemon, apple and vanilla wafer over a creamy texture. Forthcoming aromas of dried fruit, peach, apricot and citrus hints follow through on to a creamy palate. A crisp, well balanced and intense wine, with dried fruit, almond and citrus flavours underpinned by beautifully integrated oak and a creamy finish.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

ABV = 13.5%.

£13.70

Bodegas Verum Ulterior Parcela #17 Graciano 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2020 edition feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Bodegas Verum, Ulterior Parcela #17 Graciano 2016 - February 2020 Decanter review

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The origins of the López-Montero family in wine-making and distilling date back to 1788. It was then when the first of their wineries in Tomelloso was registered, which is still on the records at the local archives of the town. In 1963 Juan Antonio López Ramírez and María Victoria Montero established Altosa, a winery and distillery that continues to make and market wines and distilled spirits. In 2005, María Victoria, with her daughter, María Belén, and her sons, Juan Antonio, Pedro José and Elías, created Bodegas y Viñedos Verum. The brand encompasses the wines of the López-Montero family from the best vineyards and terroirs in their property.

Put simply, La Mancha's Bodegas Verum is an organic vineyard which produces mono-varietal wines from both traditional grapes and forgotten indigenous varietals such as Albillo Real and Tinto Velasco.

For this, the Ulterior Parcela #17, a single-vineyard wine from Parcela 17 of the El Romeral vineyard, the grapes are picked by hand, destemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless still tanks, then transferred to old barrels for malolactic fermentation. 10% of the wine is aged in oak demi-muids of 600 liters made of new French oak, the rest in earthen jars (clay) of ~ 5,000 liters for 8 months. After bottling, it is held another 12 months before release.

Verum puts its wines on sale when they are at the optimum moment for consumption;  nevertheless, you can store this wine up to 7 years after harvest.

100% Graciano.

Cherry red with white trim, bright. On the nose it is intense, highlighting a floral character of violets, lavender and other aromatic herbs (typical of ripe Graciano) with a background of black fruit and subtle cocoa. On the palate it is also intense and ripe with smooth/fine-grained tannins that provide structure. There is great persistence that brings back the black fruits and violets, plus a touch of appealing bitterness that adds character.

Or, as DWWA 19 put it:

"Bright and pure purple berry fruit nose with attractive vanilla bean new oak aromas. On the palate, this is sumptuous and rich with generous, fleshy fruit. Very pure and expressive".

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.95

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

** FOR THOSE SEEKING THE 2017 VERSION OF THIS WINE (THAT FARED WELL IN THE FEBRUARY EDITION OF DECANTER), WE HAVE LEARNED THAT CRAGGY RANGE ARE NOW NOT RELEASING THIS WINE IN THE UK UNTIL LATE 2020. LIKE YOU, WE'RE PRETTY DISAPPOINTED.

The forthcoming (not on release in the UK yet) 2017 vintage was awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their February 2020 edition panel tasting of New World, single-vineyard Pinot Noir (see blue link below).

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2017 - February 2020 Decanter review

THAT SAID, THIS, THE 2016, AS ATTESTED TO HERE - AND FULLY AVAILABLE - IS RATHER FINE. **

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 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 Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

The grapes for this wine are picked by hand.  The wine is fermented in a combination of stainless steel vats and oak, then is matured for 10 months prior to bottling.

Matt Stafford, the chief winemaker at Craggy range describes the Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir as "a dark and brooding Pinot Noir, grown at our secret place in Martinborough, with a wonderful depth and beauty."

100% Pinot Noir.

The wine has a bright red cherry colour with a crimson hue. Seductive aromas of dark cherry, dried rose petals, thyme and damp earth. Beautifully varietal, elegant and long on the palate. Medium weight red fruit richness and fine-grained tannins are drawn out long across the palate by acidity to create a finish which is savoury and dry.

This wine matches perfectly with duck dishes. It can be cellared for 5-7 years from vintage but only if you can resist opening it before then!

ABV = 13.9%.

£28.10

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2020 edition panel tasting of New World, single-vineyard Pinot Noir (see blue link below).

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2016 - February 2020 Decanter review

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Other awards and reviews

Platinum BEST IN SHOW, 97 points, Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2018
Gold - Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2019
Gold - Sydney International Wine Competition, Nov 2018
Silver - International Wine and Spirit Competition, UK, 2018
Silver - International Wine Challenge, London UK, 2019
5 Stars, Winestate’s May June 2019 
5 Stars, 18.5-/20 - Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, Nov 2018
5 Stars, 95 points - Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, Nov 2018
4.5 Stars, 94 points - Bob Campbell MW, Aug 2018
4 Stars - Wine NZ Magazine March 2019

Wild Earth founder Quintin Quider is an expatriate Californian who has spent many years living on the South Island. He has gathered a small, dedicated team to produce his Wild Earth range in Central Otago. Established in 1998, Wild Earth Wines owns 35 hectares of vineyards in two of the region's finest locations - at the end of Felton Road overlooking the Kawarau River and in the North Lowburn district beneath the imposing Pisa Range.

The grapes for this wine come from the 'Terraces' vineyard in Felton Road, Bannockburn. It is planted with predominantly Dijon clones (777,115 ,114 and 667).

A cooler growing season with more spring frosts than normal meant the vines produced lower crop levels and smaller bunches. These cool conditions and the relatively dry harvest period ensured the grapes were kept disease free and ripened evenly with highly concentrated flavours and good acidity.

The grapes were hand harvested at optimal ripeness throughout April. Seven separate ferments went into the blend, which used on average 25% whole clusters. The total time on skins was between three and four weeks to boost the tannic structure and aromatics of the wine. Maturation took place in fine grained French oak barriques (27% new, 33% year old and the remainder between two and five years old), for approximately 12 months.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine is deep garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, blackberry, cedar, wild thyme, mushroom and an underlying earthiness. The palate is rich in texture and complemented by red and black berry, wild herb and earthy flavours. This Pinot Noir is well structured with silky tannins and enticing layers of fruit.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.75

Tikves Barovo Tikvesh Povardarje Macedonia, 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 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.

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.

Thsi wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.5%.

£18.30

Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

At 76, when most people would be thinking about easing up, Joe launched Josef Chromy Wines in December 2007. In just over 4 years, Josef Chromy Wines made an impressive impact on the Australian wine industry. 

Josef Chromy's winemaking style is founded on producing wines that show a true ‘sense of place’ and celebrate the individual characteristics of each unique vintage. To ensure the integrity and delicate characteristics of the fruit, the grapes are received and vinified in Tasmania’s most advanced winery with emphasis on the wine being an expression of its terrior.

In all of their wines balance is the ultimate focus, striving to marry fruit, natural acidity, structure, tannin and texture. The use of state-of-the-art technology for traditional winemaking techniques enables a gentle, minimal intervention approach which allows the subtle and delicate flavours of the cool climate vineyard to be expressed to their full potential.

Please click on the blue link below to see the winemaker's notes on this wine.

Joseph Chromy Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

Citrus zest, tropical lime and white stonefruit aromas with underlying hints of toast and walnut. The palate shows elegant primary citrus fruit flavours of lemon and grapefruit, underpinned by sweet, creamy macdamia nut notes and hints of oatmeal. The palate is structured and balanced, with juicy lees complexity and toasty undertones. Fresh, natural acidity gives focus and length.

ABV = 13.1%.

£17.90

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Since its inception in 1993, partners John Hancock, who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years, and Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of The Bleeding Heart and The Don in London, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, of which 47 are in the Gimblett Gravels.

The Gimblett Gravels, planted on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River, is now a highly sought after sub-region renowned for the quality of its wines. The Trinity Hill wines have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour. This estate was one of the first to plant grapes on the Gimblett Gravels in 1993. The Gimblett Gravels winegrowing area is a small sub-region in the Hawkes Bay, defined by a very unique stony soil type. This wine is sourced from Estate grown grapes in the Tin Shed and Winery vineyards.

2017 was a remarkable vintage in Hawkes Bay. A moderate spring with low frost risk and generally good flowering led to an extremely dry and warm summer, recording above average temperatures in January and February before rainy weather came in late February followed by humid conditions with heavy rainfall from March to May.

Hand-harvested fruit was gently pressed and fermented with indigenous yeast in 500-litre French oak puncheons. The wild yeast helped to add complexity and texture. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged to soften acidity and give further richness. The wine was aged for 11 months in large 500-litre puncheons (of which 40% were new). This was followed by a further four months in tank on lees. 

100% Chardonnay. 

The wine has flavours of citrus, white flowers and ripe grapefruit. The style is mid-weight with elegant oak providing texture and lingering flavours of cashew, roasted almond and gun flint. The structure has a tight shape with the finesse and concentration that are hallmarks of Trinity Hill Chardonnay. It displays delicacy but richness and the beautifully linear acidity makes it a fantastic match with food.

As a general guide, don't expect this to be a 'fat' or 'lush' Chardonnay, eg of a rich Californian nature. This is more towards the more mineral/citrus/Chablis end of the Chadonnay style.

ABV = 13.0%.

£22.10

Strandveld Vineyards First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

** LAST FEW BOTTLES OF 2018 VINTAGE - 2019 NOW AVAILABLE BEYOND! **

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their December 2019 edition article, The Best 30 Cape Wines Under £20 (see blue link below).

Strandveld Vineyards First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - December 2019 Decanter review

Awarded a Gold medal and 96 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Nestled between Elim and Cape Agulhas, and just 9km from the sea, lies the secluded Strandveld Vineyards. This wind-swept winery derives its name from the belt of land which spans the tempestuous tip of Africa’s southernmost coastline. At almost 35 degrees below the equator, this part of the Cape is characterised by severe winds, billowing mist and below average temperatures. A unique combination of maritime climate and diverse soil types work together to create the terroir which distinguishes the wines of Strandveld Vineyards.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers a Strandveld.

Strandveld Vineyards First Sighting Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

87% Sauvignon Blanc, 13% Semillon.

Genuine lively fresh nettle and elderflower aromas. Very typical and expressive wine with cool climate Sauvignon notes. Wonderful balance to the fresh, powerful palate.

ABV = 12.5%.

£11.45

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled 'typist' Zar Brooks, his winemaking wife Elena and growers Carl Lindner and Brad Rey, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia's leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: 'Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards identified by Carl Lindner and Brad Rey across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.'

At the end of the old vine garden path at Dandelion Vineyards, there is a historic ‘Menagerie’ field blend of three grape varieties, adjoining blocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro at Gomersal in the Barossa.

After hand picking selected bunches of the Menagerie field blend on 22nd April, winemaker Elena Brooks let the whole bunches ferment together in open top fermenters with ambient yeasts. Punching down of the cap took place over 14 days, before basket pressing in old French oak barriques. The wine was then matured for a further 12 months in the oak barrel, before bottling without fining or filtration to capture the vinous essence of the blend.

See also blue link below for the excellent technique/technical note from the winemakers at Dandelion Vineyards..

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie Of The Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 - fiche technique

80% Grenache, 15% Shiraz, 5% Mataro (ie Mourvèdre).

The wine is deep red with youthful violet hues, with a nose that offers an intriguing mix of rose petals and lifted red fruits, berries and a hint of cinnamon and Asian spice. The palate offers wild cherry, damsons and mulberries, coupled with an impressive structure balanced by spicy oak. The wine is opulent, with intense red berries balanced by soft velvety tannins and supple oak.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.56

Ktima Gerovassiliou Epanomi Malagousia 2019

The 2018 vintage was awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Ktima Gerovassiliou is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou. He initiated the revival of the family vineyard by planting the nearly extinct Malagousia in 1981. This state of the art winery is now surrounded by 74 hectares of meticulously well-cared vineyards on the slopes of Epanomi. Ktima Gerovassiliou guarantees consistent, high quality wines of international acclaim every year and his Malagousia remains the benchmark to this day.

At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate in the region of Epanomi is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria. The vines are grown in soils which are mainly sandy with a few clayey substrates and calcareous rocks. It is rich in sea fossils, as the surrounding hilly area was formed by sea deposits.

The Malagousia (pronounced Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes were macerated on the skins to extract the desired level of aromatics. Part of the must was fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18 to 20°C; and part was vinified in seasoned French oak. Clarification took place by gravity. The wine was then matured on the lees for a few months with regular lees stirring or bâtonnage, prior to being fined with bentonite.

Malagousia 100%.

Wonderfully expressive and complex aromas of white pear, mango and lemon zest combine with floral hints. Delightful and refreshing on the palate, it is rich and harmonious with a spicy, mouthwatering finish with a delicious flinty, mineral character.  A perfect match for Mediterranean dishes, seafood, Thai-spiced grilled swordfish, orzo cauliflower salad or fried courgette blossoms.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.75

Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 2004 (1x 75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recomended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition review of Dessert Wines and Ports (see blue link below) ...

Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 2004 - January 2019 Decanter review

... and further endorsed in the same edition by a 93-point review in a review of Festive Wines (see blue link below).

Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 2004 - January 2019 Decanter review

... and awarded 91 points their December 2019 edition article on Vintage Port (see blue link below).

Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 2004 - December 2019 Decanter review

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

Taylor's Quinta de Vargellas 2004 - fiche technique

The 2003/2004 winter was very dry, having only rained 1/3 of the quantity registered the previous winter. The lack of water during the early part of the growing season led to very little pressure from disease. Our concern in July was mainly one of doubting the vines capacity to ripen the grapes due to the drastic shortage of water. The vintage stood out for the perfect weather conditions for the whole period. The young Ports showed good structure with very fresh berry fruit aromas, resulting from the cooler than normal ripening period.

Powerful, pungent, aromatic nose with ripe, rich, juicy, berry fruit aromas; overlaid with wonderful characteristic floral notes. This wine has a bouquet with great depth and layers of intense fresh fruit. On the palate, the freshness of berry fruit continues, combining with rich chocolate and liquorice flavours of equal intensity. The tannins are firm but well integrated, resulting in a beautifully structured and balanced wine. Texturally the wine is smooth and silky, leaving one with the sensation of a well crafted, stylish, extremely elegant wine.

ABV = 20.5%.

£27.30
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