WORKING AND SUPPLYING GREAT WINES (PLENTY IN STOCK) TO YOUR DOOR AS USUAL! CLICK HERE

250 Points worth £2.50 when you Register with Exel Wines & Collect more Points with each Purchase. Click Here to Get Started!

DWWA

UPDATE ON DWWAs 2020 - OBVIOUSLY THIS HAS BEEN HEAVILY POSTPONED OWING TO THE VIRUS OUTBREAK. JUDGING OF DWWA20 WILL NOW TAKE PLACE IN SEPTEMBER. DECANTER HAVE RECENTLY CONFIRMED THAT, PROVIDED NO HICCUPS OCCUR, THE WINNERS OF DWWA20 WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON 22nd SEPTEMBER.

 

IN THE MEANTIME, WE CONTINUE TO OFFER SUCH 2019 WINNERS AS WE CAN STILL FIND!!

 

SOME DWWA19 WINES BELOW ARE NOT AVAILABLE, BUT MANY ARE AVAILABLE. 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 HAVE ANNOTATED THE WINES BELOW IN CAPITALS TO HELP.

 

IF A WINE BELOW SHOWS AS UNAVAILABLE WHEN YOU OPEN/CLICK THE PRODUCT PAGE, BUT YOU'RE KEEN TO OBTAIN IT, DO DROP US AN EMAIL ON communications@exelwines.co.uk; WE'LL COME BACK TO YOU AS TO WHETHER IT REALLY IS DEPLETED OR WHETHER WE CAN STILL BRING IT IN (TYPICALLY IN 7-10 DAYS).

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!

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. ALL GONE!

 

- 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. STILL AVAILABLE!

 

- 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. STILL AVAILABLE!

 

- 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, BUT A WAITING LIST NOW RUNNING FOR EXCELLENT 2017 VINTAGE, STOCK EXPECTED END JUNE - 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 AND DEPLETED AT WINERY - 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, POSSIBLY MORE JULY/AUGUST. We also offer the very fine 2015 vintage of this wine.

 

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

 

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

 

- Also back again, up from a Gold last year, from Greece, is the brilliant NOW ONTO NEW 2019 VINTAGE 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, ALL GONE, NEW VINTAGE EXPECTED MID-JULY 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 - STILL AVAILABLE - no giveaway, but a brilliant twist on top white Burgundy ... plus top-flight Champagne from Heidsieck (LIKEWISE).

 

 

Platinum

 

 

There's a very good bunch here...

 

- The bargain of DWWA19Cellier des Dauphins' Côtes du Rhône (red) Réserve 2018 ... CURRENTLY OUT OF STOCK - 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 - ALL GONE - 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 - MORE BY END OF JUNE, WAITING LIST RUNNING - 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. STILL AVAILABLE.

 

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

 

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

 

- (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). NOW FINISHED, 2015 AVAILABLE TO ORDER.

 

- Of course, if it just has to be Champagne - and sometimes it does - there's a choice between Devaux's Cuvée D AVAILABLE TO ORDER 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. BOTH NOW ALL GONE, BUT EXCELLENT 2017 AVAILABLE.

 

- 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). BOTH NOW ONTO 2019 VINTAGE.

 

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

 

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

 

- There's amazing value to be had with Swartland's Bush Vine Chenin Blanc... 2017 RATED VINTAGE DEPLETED, 2018 NOW AVAILABLE AND IN STOCK.

 

- ... 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...). AVAILABLE, ALBEIT IN NEW VINTAGES, TO ORDER.

 

- 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). ALL GONE!

 

 

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). ALL GONE!

 

 - 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. AVAILABLE!

 

- 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. AVAILABLE TO ORDER!

 

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

 

- Argentine Malbec is very amply represented by Trapiche's Finca Ambrosia 2015. AVAILABLE TO ORDER!

 

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

 

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

 

- 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. AVAILABLE TO ORDER

 

- 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. AVAILABLE TO ORDER Or, switch to Tasmania - especially if the Dawson James above is a bit beyond your pricing - for the equally consistent Josef Chromy Chardonnay 2017AVAILABLE.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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); ALL GONE

 

- 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. BEST TO CALL US ON THESE!

 

View as Grid List
Sort by
Filter by attributes
  • Same-Working-Day Despatch
  • Yes
  • No
  • Biodynamic
  • No
  • Decanter Reviewed
  • Yes

Domaine Brusset, Gigondas, Les Hauts de Montmirail 2017 (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.

On this family-owned estate, established in 1947, the Brusset family has managed to combine the savoir-faire of traditional winemaking with the new techniques introduced by each generation. The founder, André Brusset (1910-1999), his son Daniel, and his grand-son Laurent: three wine-growers and wine-makers with a variety of experiences have all contributed to the distinctive character of the Domaine Brusset, where three generations have complimented each other to achieve the best results. The Domaine Brusset is located in the heart of the southern Côtes-du-Rhône valley vineyards, at Cairanne. With a total of 70 hectares, their vineyards extend over 5 prestigious appellations : Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau, Côtes-du-Rhône and Ventoux.

50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre.

To see Brusset's information sheet - including full vineyard and winemaking detail - for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Domaine Brusset, Gigondas, Les Hauts De Montmirail 2017 - fiche technique

A very deep, dark crimson. A rich, fruity, spicy and complex aroma. Very round and powerfull, long-lasting flavour. Consistant tannins, pleasantly woody with a deeper flavour of blackberry and chocolate.

or, as the DWWA19 panel put it:

"This complex yet seductive red has headily floral, sweet-fruited scents and lush, soft-textured, stony, perfumed flavours. Plum, strawberry and damson rarely attain this level of fragrant charm, and there's an almost sour-fresh note of ripe acidity, too".

ABV = 13.5%.

£33.60

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

** BACK ON SALE. MORE IS ON THE WAY AND WILL BE WITH US AROUND 20th/21st AUGUST. **

** ALSO SEE PACKAGING NOTE BELOW AND PLEASE INDICATE PREFERRED PACKAGING IN YOUR REQUEST. **

** PLEASE NOTE THAT OTHER ITEMS ORDERED WITH THIS WINE WILL WAIT FOR ITS ARRIVAL UNLESS WE CAN DESPATCH WITHOT INCURRING ADDITIONAL TRANSPORT CHARGES. ** 

** WE HOLD GOOD STOCKS OF THE EXCELLENT MONTE ALTO ALBARINO FROM FILLABOA. **

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 reminisced about in the September 2020 edition...

 

Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino, Rias Baixas 2010 - September 2020 Decanter review

 

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 the fiche 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

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

La Bergerie du Capucin (LBdC) extends over more than 15 hectares on Pic Saint Loup land in the communes of Lauret and Valflaunès. For LBdC, wine is a family affair, its beauty and bouquet reflecting the values transmitted from generation to generation. The original Bergerie stands only a few km from the vineyard and modern winery. Jeanne, a beautiful shepherdess on the high plains of the Bergerie du Capucin - inspire their first wine, reminding  of the delicate, round characteristics of our family wines and the hill paths she trod each day.

At up to 650 metres in altitude and ~30 kilometres from the Mediterranean - on the first spurs of the Cevennes and Massif Central - the Pic Saint Loup appellation abounds with the perfume and purity of the most northern (and among the most elevated) of the Languedoc appellations; holm oaks, garrigue scrubland, pines, thyme, laurel and rosemary. Fruit springs to life from the heart of varied soils, chalky-clay on marly sub-soils, and forge their character over contrasting seasons. In winter, the soil receives enough water to balance out the moderately dry summer and the huge - but crucial - swings in temperature between day and night. The exacting and contrasting Pic Saint Loup land, its soil types and climate, are all reflected in the traits of the wines of Pic St-Loup. 

See this excellent article by Andrew Jefford - from Decanter (www.decanter.com) in October 2017 - for far more detail on both Bergerie du Capucin and the Pic St Loup appellation.

For BdC's white rarity and show-stopper, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical and tasting note from the team at Bergerie du Capucin.

The Larmanela blanc is released under the banner of IGP of Saint Guilhem le Désert, rather than under an AOP/AOC (the Pic St Loup AOC does not (currently) allow white wines). 

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc, Pic St Loup - fiche technique

Additional note from discussion with winemaker Guilhem: Elevage in 225-litre barriques. Only 4 barriques are produced each year. Those 4 actual barrels are all from the same cooper, of ages/uses thus: one new, one used-once, one used-twice, one used-thrice. The contents of the four barriques are then blended for the <1000 bottles of Larmanela blanc made each year. 

100% Chardonnay.

ABV = 13.5%.

£24.95

Bergerie du Capucin, Larmanela rouge, Pic St Loup 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK!! **

** THE MULTI-AWARD-WINNING (see below) 2016 VINTAGE SOLD OUT IN VERY SHORT ORDER. REASON: BY THE TIME THE DWWA19 RESULTS WERE ANNOUNCED, IT HAD ALREADY SOLD HEAVILY IN FRANCE AND THE USA ON THE MERIT OF MANY OTHER AWARDS. 

ONCE AGAIN, IT IS LIKELY THAT THIS WINE - THE 2017 VINTAGE - WILL VANISH EVERYWHERE BEFORE IT REACHES THE (DELAYED) MAIN AWARDS OF THE YEAR. **

 ___

See here for more on this new 2017 vintage ...

... and here for details of the 'original' 2016, quality in Languedoc reds and the DWWA award (click link for details).

___

See here for awards for this wine and also for others from La Bergerie du Capucin (click link for details).

___

The 2017 vintage was awarded both Platinum and Best in Show medals and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

___

La Bergerie du Capucin (LBdC) extends over more than 15 hectares on Pic Saint Loup land in the communes of Lauret and Valflaunès. For LBdC, wine is a family affair, its beauty and bouquet reflecting the values transmitted from generation to generation. The original Bergerie stands only a few km from the vineyard and modern winery. Jeanne, a beautiful shepherdess on the high plains of the Bergerie du Capucin - inspire their first wine, reminding  of the delicate, round characteristics of our family wines and the hill paths she trod each day.

At up to 650 metres in altitude and ~30 kilometres from the Mediterranean - on the first spurs of the Cevennes and Massif Central - the Pic Saint Loup appellation abounds with the perfume and purity of the most northern (and among the most elevated) of the Languedoc appellations; holm oaks, garrigue scrubland, pines, thyme, laurel and rosemary. Fruit springs to life from the heart of varied soils, chalky-clay on marly sub-soils, and forge their character over contrasting seasons. In winter, the soil receives enough water to balance out the moderately dry summer and the huge - but crucial - swings in temperature between day and night. The exacting and contrasting Pic Saint Loup land, its soil types and climate, are all reflected in the traits of the wines of Pic St-Loup. 

See this excellent article by Andrew Jefford - from Decanter (www.decanter.com) in October 2017 - for far more detail on both Bergerie du Capucin and the Pic St Loup appellation.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the team at Bergerie du Capucin

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela rouge, Pic St Loup - fiche technique

Additional note from discussion with winemaker: those barrels are 100% French eco-responsible oak: one-third new, one-third single-use and one-third double-use. The Larmanela draws from BdC's oldest and finest Syrah vines.

99%+ Syrah, tiny balance of Grenache.

For our tasting note, we hand over to the DWWA19 judges (of the 2016 vintage):

"Pic St Loup is one of the coolest and wettest zones of Languedoc, which is one reason why it's such a great zone for Syrah; its stony limestone soils, too, privilege the perfumed side of Syrah's character. Roll the two attributes up, and you have the groundwork to create a wine like this: spellbinding Syrah scents in southern French style (forget blackcurrants, think citrus grove perfumes) infusing a wine of huge charm which would most properly be described as a midweight. The acidity is softly supportive, as are the tannins in which you can discern just a little thyme flower perfume; any oak is all but invisible. Gorgeous stuff. Drink 2019-2024".

See also this tasting video (1'18") of the 2015 vintage.

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.95

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

** MORE STOCK ON/BY WEDS 12th AUGUST **

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.

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

Domaine La Suffrene Bandol Rose Tradition 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was 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.

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.

ABV = 14.0%.

£18.60

Ktima Biblia Chora Ovilos Semillion Assyrtiko 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was 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 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

Dawson & James Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was 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 2015 was 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

Also reminisced about in the September 2020 edition... 

Dawson & James Chardonnay 2016 - September 2020 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.

Spring and summer were dry, with less rainfall than usual and the mean daily temperature 1.5°C above the long term average. These conditions favoured a good fruit set and vineyard yields were above average. Despite the warmer ripening period, there was no significant heat spikes and the grapes could retain freshness and acidity. The grapes were hand-picked on 9th March, the earliest harvest date since the project began.

On arrival at the winery, fruit was whole bunch pressed. Free run juice was transferred to oak sourced from Burgundian cooperages. Primary fermentation took place in oak, 40% of which was new. This was followed by partial malolactic fermentation. The wine remained in oak and on its lees for nine months with fortnightly stirring.

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 = 12.5%.

£38.15

Poggio al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 (1x75cl)

** THE WONDERFUL, AWARD-WINNING 2015 VINTAGE HAS NOW ALL GONE. WE WILL BE BRINGING IN THE 2016 AND 2017 VINTAGES IN MID-LATE AUGUST. 

BOTH COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ... AS OUR VIDEO TASTING HERE EXPLAINS (click blue link) AND SEE ALSO THE BOX BELOW.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN OUR WAITING LIST FOR THE INCOMING CASASILIAS (NB: THERE IS ONLY LIMITED 2016, SPEED RECOMMENDED!), PLEASE EMAIL US ON communications@exelwines.co.uk SPECIFYING HOW MANY BOTTLES YOU WOULD LIKE.

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

___

Awarded 92 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

The 2016 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.

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

 

How does the 2016 compare with the 2015? Here's the word from Valentino Davaz, winemaker at Poggio al Sole:

 

"From a winemaking perspective, the 2016 vintage was almost a perfect wine year. During flowering there was a lot of sun and wind, which had an ideal effect on the young grapes and set us up with abundant quantities for the season. Between spring and summer, we had an ideal balance between rain and sunshine. A few very warm August and September weeks put the vines under some water-stress. From previous years we know that has a positive impact on the intensity of the aromas and acidity.

 

Throughout the year we identify the grapes for our Gran Selezione Casasilia and reduce quantity in favour of quality through multiple selection steps. At the beginning of October, we were able to harvest wonderfully ripe Sangiovese grapes of the highest quality. During the destemming of the berries we run a last selection of the Sangiovese grapes, which leaves us with the top berries destined for the Casasilia.

 

In terms of structure, fruitiness and acidity balance, the 2016 vintage is certainly on a par with its predecessor. It distinguishes itself through round and well integrated tannins, which gives the wine an extra layer of elegance, whereas the 2015 had more power and structure. Here, at the winery, we like to say that 2016 has probably been the best vintage in the decade (2010-2020) that just ended. Our base Chianti Classico 2016 already impressed with a very fruity and intense bouquet and a fresh and juicy palate. The just -eleased Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Seraselva 2016 reaffirms the vintage by standing out with above average aroma intensity in the bouquet and a round, complex and long palate and finish".

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 2016 - fiche technique

Additional detail (for those that like it): the wine is

- fermented in steel vessels (for best temperature control); 

- put through malolactic fermentation in a mix of stainless steel and old oak; 

- first matured in French (esp Nevers region) oak barrels/barriques of 225 litres, ~20% of which are made of new oak, the remainder being one-year old barrels, for some 9 months; 

- then matured for a further 9 months in much larger (30 hectolitre/3,000 litre) Stockinger vessels of Austrian oak (currently 2-5 years of age, but these will be used until 15-20 years of age), for a slower polymerisation than occurs in the barriques; and

- allowed to rest and develop in stainless steel (with occasional extra time in the Stockingers) for another 12 months before bottling.

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)

** 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 former 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%.

£19.25

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 (1x75cl)

Also available with gift box (click this link).

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.

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition's Spurrier's Fine Wine World (see blue link below).

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 - August 2019 Decanter review

Quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... They are the pillars on which the five founding families erected La Rioja Alta winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. They draw the best from their winemaking tradition and wisdom — their own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc — and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, La Rioja Alta wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at La Rioja Alta.

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 - fiche technique

The Arana 2012 is a brand new Gran Reserva from La Rioja Alta to complement its fabled 890 and 904 labels. It is not a rebadge of the Arana Reserva (although LRA have made that trickier to explain by plumping for a name already in use!), using, as it does, a different blend of grape varieties and drawn from different vineyards. The wine was named after one of the families that have long been at the helm of La Rioja Alta, a company founded in 1895. This wine will replace the original Arana Reserva, whose last vintage was 2011, and will only be made in vintages that meet the winemaker’s high standards.

For a tabulated explanation of how the three LRA Gran Reservas differ, click this link.

For a press story (Drinks Business) of early April 2019 of the release of the new Arana Gran reserva, click this link.

For LRA's marketing presentatation of this new wine, click this link - (**LARGE FILE - may take a while to download**).

95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano.

Dark-cherry red with a garnet-red rim. High aromatic intensity, with outstanding notes of ripe red fruit, red berries, wild strawberries and plum jam, leading to tertiary aromas from meticulous aging in oak: vanilla, cedar, tobacco, coffee, caramel and sweet patisserie notes. In the mouth, its initial freshness and structure, typical of this brand, predominate. Balanced, with soft, flavoursome tannins. Elegant, complex finish, where the ripe red fruit and balsamic notes provide a splendid end.

ABV = 13.5%.

£30.50

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 GIFT BOXED (1x75cl)

** IF THE UNBOXED VERSION IS IN STOCK, SO IS THIS BOXED VERSION! **

Also available without gift box (click this link).

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.

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition's Spurrier's Fine Wine World (see blue link below).

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 - August 2019 Decanter review

Quality, elegance, innovation, evolution... They are the pillars on which the five founding families erected La Rioja Alta winery in 1890 and built a way of living, feeling and producing wines of the highest quality that continue to evolve subtly, perfectly adapting to new tastes. This is how the permanent pursuit of excellence started; a pursuit that continues into the 21st century with identical enthusiasm. They draw the best from their winemaking tradition and wisdom — their own cooperage, manual racking, long ageing periods, etc — and combine it with the most modern winemaking technology. Today, La Rioja Alta wines are an international exemplar of the great wines of Rioja.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at La Rioja Alta.

La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2012 - fiche technique

The Arana 2012 is a brand new Gran Reserva from La Rioja Alta to complement its fabled 890 and 904 labels. It is not a rebadge of the Arana Reserva (although LRA have made that trickier to explain by plumping for a name already in use!), using, as it does, a different blend of grape varieties and drawn from different vineyards. The wine was named after one of the families that have long been at the helm of La Rioja Alta, a company founded in 1895. This wine will replace the original Arana Reserva, whose last vintage was 2011, and will only be made in vintages that meet the winemaker’s high standards.

For a tabulated explanation of how the three LRA Gran Reservas differ, click this link.

For a press story (Drinks Business) of early April 2019 of the release of the new Arana Gran reserva, click this link.

For LRA's marketing presentatation of this new wine, click this link - (**LARGE FILE - may take a while to download**).

95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano.

Dark-cherry red with a garnet-red rim. High aromatic intensity, with outstanding notes of ripe red fruit, red berries, wild strawberries and plum jam, leading to tertiary aromas from meticulous aging in oak: vanilla, cedar, tobacco, coffee, caramel and sweet patisserie notes. In the mouth, its initial freshness and structure, typical of this brand, predominate. Balanced, with soft, flavoursome tannins. Elegant, complex finish, where the ripe red fruit and balsamic notes provide a splendid end.

ABV = 13.5%.

£32.50

Finca Flichman Dedicado, `Gran Corte' (Malbec-rich blend), 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.

The 2014-2015 harvest presented mean temperatures well below historic averages. Only in March did temperatures approach mean or close-to-mean values. Then, halfway through April, ripening finally accelerated. The long, slow ripening yielded very expressive wines. 

All grapes were harvested by hand, and then fermented in stainless-steel tanks for 15-20 days at a maximum temperature of 28ºC. Malolactic fermentation followed before the wine was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, followed by eight months in bottle.

A blend of 77% Malbec, 13% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc.

This wine is deep ruby in colour. On the nose, there are rich aromas of blackberries, eucalyptus and chocolate with a hint of black pepper. The palate is full and plush with soft tannins.

ABV = 13.5%.

£27.25

Pauletts Aged Release Polish Hill River Riesling 2012 (1x75cl)

** MORE STOCK AVAILABLE, ONLY AT EXEL. ARRIVES WITH US 19th AUGUST LATEST, quite possibly earlier! **

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 2010 vintage of this wine was a huge hit when it featured in Decanter (www.decanter.com) recently, being awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Rieslings. The 2014 vintage scored 98 points and was rated Outstanding (see blue links below).

Pauletts (Aged Release) Polish Hill River Riesling 2010 - April 2018 Decanter review

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

See also here for Decanter's assessment of Australian Riesling vintages (click blue link below).

Decanter Australian vintage summary

And, for extra info, here's Paulett's own data sheet/fiche technique on the 2012 (published before being badged as an Aged Release, but exactly (and we mean exactly) the same wine!).

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2012 - fiche technique

 

** Important general tasting point: this wine - and many other fine Rieslings from South Australia - have quite strong aromas/tones of petrol/diesel/kerosene/machine oil (take your pick). This is not a fault. There's nothing wrong with the wine. For a bit more detail and some chemistry, see here. It's an aroma (and lesserly, a flavour) that is repugnant to some customers, and utterly addictive to others (a bit like chilli in food). Do please note before buying this wine; indeed, many customers buy this wine specifically for the 'petrol hit'! **

 

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the clim2ate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide,this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

Neil Paulett holds back a small parcel of Riesling from the most successful vintages for an extended maturation in the winery`s cellar. After 8 years, this (bone-)dry Riesling has blossomed into an expressive golden wine, with a nose of lemon zest and acacia with hints of honey and toast but with an underlining crispness. Citrus flavours of lime are evident and with a delightful freshness and acidity through to the finish.

This wine is superb with oysters and prawns or spicy Asian dishes.

ABV = 12.0%.

£15.90

Ktima Gerovassiliou Estate White Epanomi 2019 (1x75cl)

** MORE STOCK ON/BY THURS 13th AUGUST **

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.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£15.05

Swartland Winery Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

** MORE STOCK ON/BY THURS 13th AUGUST **

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

The 2017 vintage was also 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 = 14.0%.

£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

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

The 2016 vintage was also 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 = 14.0%.

£21.75

Tikves Barovo, Tikvesh, Povardarje, Macedonia, 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 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.

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 = 15.0%.

£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

Domaines Minchin La Tour Saint Martin Pommerais Menetou Salon 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.

Domaines Minchin is located in the heart of the Loire Valley. Having studied oenology at Beaune and Dijon, Bertrand Minchin acquired his first vineyards in the village of Morogues over 20 years ago, planting them with eight hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and seven of Pinot Noir. Today with an established reputation for quality, the estate has doubled in size to 17 hectares in Menetou-Salon and a further 14 in Valençay. The modern winery incorporates the latest technology and Bertrand is hand-crafting wines that are easily on a par with the finest Sancerre.

The grapes come from a single vineyard ‘Pommerais’ in the appellation of Menetou Salon, which is situated in the eastern part of the Loire Valley. Domaines Minchin is certified by Haute Valeur Environmentale and the vineyards are managed according to a strict sustainable philosophy, known as lutte raisonnée. The vineyard is planted with grass, and the soil is tilled and worked to ensure the health and vigour of the vine, while encouraging beneficial biodiversity. Debudding takes place in spring along with careful canopy management in summer, including thinning, which encourages the grapes to reach optimal ripeness and concentrates the flavours in the berries.

The Loire Valley vines enjoyed excellent heath throughout the season. 2017 was characterised by an early harvest, which took place two weeks earlier than average, under ideal weather conditions. Frost in April impacted some areas resulting in lower yields; however the excellent quality of the grapes harvested shows good levels of maturity and flavour concentration.

The grapes were harvested by hand at optimum maturity, destemmed and crushed by pneumatic press. Fermentation was carried out in temperature controlled tanks. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees in oak vats for eight months; of which 80% spent its maturation in cone-shaped oak tanks, and the remaining 20% was in oak barrels.

100% Pinot Noir.

A silky smooth Pinot Noir with beautiful balance. Rich and complex aromas of deep red cherries and wild strawberries are underpinned by mineral notes and a hint of liquorice. Silky smooth on the palate, with delicate fruity notes enveloped in a beautifully balanced structure.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 12.5%.

£17.90

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%.

£12.15

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%.

£14.55

Ktima Gerovassiliou Epanomi Malagousia 2019 (1x75cl)

** MORE STOCK ON/BY THURS 13th AUGUST **

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article, Beyond Assyrtiko (ie other Greek whites) (see  blue link below). 

Ktima Gerovassiliou Epanomi Malagousia 2019 - July 2020 Decanter review

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
View as Grid List
Sort by