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Baron De Badassiere Syrah 2017 (1x75cl)

Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the south of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson, at the Cave de Pomérols cooperative.

The Syrah grapes for this wine were grown in vineyards around Badassière in the Languedoc in the south of France. This region benefits from a sunny, warm climate which encourages ripe flavours in the wines, while the coastal breezes help retain freshness and aromatics.

Following the drought of 2016, there was a great sigh of relief when 2017 began with a rainy winter. This replenished the dwindling water reserves and ensured that the vines didn’t undergo excessive levels of water-stress during the growing season. Unusually cold conditions for spring led to frost in some parts of the vineyards which destroyed some of the nascent buds. Nevertheless, a problem-free summer led to the grapes achieving optimum levels of ripeness and the harvest took place from mid-August to mid-September.

The grapes were macerated on their skins, then pressed in the pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at a controlled temperature of 20°C - 23°C for 20 days.

This wine is deep red in colour, with complex spicy aromas leading to a rich structured palate, supple tannins and long length. Well-balanced with freshness that lifts the finish.

£8.35

Brusset Cotes Du Rhone 2017 (1x75cl)

This wine not only looks like raspberries in the glass, but it shows them on the nose as well. On the palate it is supple, elegant and harmonious, and the aromatics give it a lift which can be very moreish!

£11.25

Brusset Cotes Du Rhone Cairanne Les Travers 2016 (1x 75cl)

On this family 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 complementary generations together have achieved the best results. Domaine Brusset is located in the heart of the southern Côtes-du-Rhône valley vineyards, at Cairanne.

This wine is made using traditional methods. The grapes are destalked and each grape variety is vinifed separately. Fermentation is carried out in vats for 20 days. The wine is allowed to mature for 10 months, with 70 % in vats and 30 % in 3 or 4 year-old barrels.

Les Travers Cairanne has an intense ruby-red colour. The aromas are elegant and are predominantly of blackcurrant and elderberry. there are full and concentrated flavours, silky tannins, blackcurrant and cherry, with a finnal touch of pepper and spice.

A deep garnet colour with youthful purplish hints at the rim. It has a fresh spicy nose with aromas of Christmas cake and mulled wine. On the palate it is concentrated and very elegant with fine spicy concentrated red and black fruits, soft tannins, and real elegance on the finish.

£15.35

Brusset Cotes Du Ventoux Les Boudalles 2017 (1x75cl)

This wine not only looks like raspberries in the glass, but it shows them on the nose as well. On the palate it is supple, elegant and harmonious, and the aromatics give it a lift which can be very moreish!

£10.00

Brusset Gigondas Les Hauts De Montmirail 2016 (1x 75cl)

Deep crimson in colour, with a rich, spicy, smoky aroma, showing hints of chocolate and blackberry and a rounded, powerful palate with mouthfilling fruit.

£30.00

Brusset Gigondas Tradition Le Grand Montmirail 2016 (1x 75cl)

This family owned estate was established in 1947 and 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.

The vineyards for this wine are on well established, stony terraced, south-facing vineyards.

The grapes are hand-picked before being strictly selected according to a variety of ripeness checks. They are then crushed and destalked. No yeast is added and fermentation takes place invats for 21 days with twice daily "pigeages" or punching down of the cap of skins carried out twice daily.  The wine is then matured - 60 % in vats and 40 % in oak barrels or "demi-muids" that are between 2 and 4 years old. 

This wine has aromas of ripe red fruits with a touch of minerality and vanilla. It is  full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins. An elegant and harmonious wine. This wine has the potential to age for 8 - 10 years.

£21.65

Cazes 'Ego' Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2018 edition article by Oz Clarke, The world's best Grenache buys (see blue link below). The 2014 has been long sold out at Cazes and in the UK, and we rate the 2015 vintage more highly (2015 was a far superior vintage in Roussillon generally).

Cazes `Ego` Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2014 - June 2018 Decanter review

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family makes a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison Cazes is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by 'galets roulés' (the 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre. The three varieties were 100% de-stemmed and before being put in separate stainless steel vats. Only naturally occurring yeasts were used; no yeast was added to the must. Fermentation was temperature controlled at 28°C. The residual matter was circulated by pump-overs and the sediment was broken up by hand twice a day to extract the best qualities. The wine was macerated for four weeks before pressing after which it underwent malolactic fermentation.

As well as being biodynamic and organic, this wine is suitable for vegans.

The palate is bright with ripe red and black fruit aromas and rich liquorice notes, balanced by delicate tannins. This wine has a remarkable balance, thanks to its good acidity and freshness. Long finish with white pepper flavours.

£17.25

Ch De Chambert Cahors Grand Vin 2012 (1x 75cl)

Château de Chambert lies 30 kilometres west of the town of Cahors, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Owned and run by Philippe Lejeune since 2007, with the additional support of consultant winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt, the estate has already garnered considerable attention in France and is top critic Michel Bettane’s ‘One to Watch’. The elegant, modern wines are made from the deep-coloured Malbec variety, which traditionally produced the ‘black wines’ of Cahors.

Chambert’s vineyards are situated at the highest part of the South Quercy limestone plateau, at an average altitude of 300 metres above sea level. The soil is mainly clay with a red iron oxide component. This is ideally suited to producing a refined style of wine that is fresh in its balance (similar soils can be found in the Chablis Grand Cru vineyards). Due to its location between the Atlantic and Mediterranean the area has a unique meso-climate which takes effect especially towards harvest when hot winds from Africa warm up the grapes, aiding ripening. Leaf-thinning and green harvesting take place where necessary, to ensure lower yields of well exposed fruit. The vines are 25 years old and yields are low at around 28 hectolitres per hectare. All grapes are hand-harvested.

The 2012 season was marked by heterogeneity. A dry winter period led to an unusually warm month of March with temperatures above average. Bud-burst took place at the beginning of April and was immediately disturbed by a month of cool and wet weather. May was warmer and drier than usual, June was rainy but then July was relatively dry. This four-month period of unstable weather took its toll on the vines and delayed veraison to the 20th August. The period of post-veraison was warm and dry and eased the disease pressure, and advanced the maturity of the grapes. Harvest began on 10th October and finished with the top parcels a week later, in perfect harvesting conditions.

Each plot was vinified separately. Gentle extraction occurred through a combination of slow pumping and plunging, before a slow fermentation with indigenous yeast at 25-30°C. The wine underwent post-fermentation maceration for 30 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels where the wine aged for 14 months (50% new French oak barrels, 25% second use barrel, 25% third use barrel).

Complex characteristics of red fruit, violets and silky round tannins. A generous and rich wine with a powerful structure. Ripe tannins and dense fruit is accompanied by elegant acidity, giving the wine tremendous potential for ageing.

£36.20

Chante Cigale Chateauneuf Du Pape 2016 (1x75cl)

Domaine Chante Cigale is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, between Orange and Sorgues, on a variety of soils which contain a high proportion of ‘galets.’ These are the large stones of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which heat up during the day and release their heat at night, allowing the grapes to achieve maximum ripeness. The red is powerful, with defined fruit characters and supple tannins. Since taking over the running of the estate from his father over ten years ago, Alexandre Favier has transformed the quality of the wines, which now rank amongst the very best of the appellation.

Deep ruby in colour with a wonderful nose of spice and dark fruits this is a real winter warmer. The palate is rich and ripe with layers of fruit and spice supported by fine tannins.

Some of our suggestions for matching food to this wine are: warm cabbage salad with roquefort and peppered bacon, roast leg of lamb with mustard and red wine sauce or spiced venison steaks with red-cabbage confit and red-wine sauce.

£26.60

Chante Cigale Chateauneuf Reserve Des Oliviers 2015 (1 x 75cl)

Domaine Chante Cigale is situated on the left bank of the Rhône, between Orange and Sorgues, on a variety of soils which contain a high proportion of ‘galets.’ These are the large stones of Châteauneuf-du-Pape which heat up during the day and release their heat at night, allowing the grapes to achieve maximum ripeness. The red is powerful, with defined fruit characters and supple tannins. Since taking over the running of the estate from his father over ten years ago, Alexandre Favier has transformed the quality of the wines, which now rank amongst the very best of the appellation.

The grenache character predominates on the nose with plenty of raspberry fruit. A succulent attack is balanced by fine tannins and good acidity. The finish is marked by spice and blackcurrant.

Very versatile due the fine tannins and fresh fruitiness. Try it with chicken in mushroom or red wine sauce, or with a barbeque. For the veggies out there, this goes excellently with cheese and tomoato omlette or a leek and onion quiche.

£22.65

Chateau Belingard Bergerac Rouge Reserve 2015 (1x 75cl)

Laurent and Sylvie de Bosredon have modernised Château Bélingard both in the vineyards and the cellars, while ensuring they take care of their vineyard and its environment. The philosophy at Château Bélingard is summed up in their own words: "The generations that went before, within their own era, at their own pace, and with their own views, shaped the soul of Bélingard."

The vineyards used for this wine are located on on rolling countryside to the left bank of the Dordogne Valley with clay and limestone soil. This wine is made using Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The grapes are picked from a selection of old vines. After the harvest, grapes are put into stainless steel vats for 24 days of maceration with the must being pumped over  several times a day during the alcoholic fermentation. Then malolactic fermentation takes place in vats before wine is transferred into French oak barrels (30% new) and matured for 13 months. After racking, the wine is bottled.

This wine has a beautiful deep colour with a ruby tint. The  floral aromas on the nose are supported by red berries and balsamic notes. In the mouth, the taste is round supple and intense with red fruits flavours which also have a full well-balanced tannin structure. It is a very smooth wine with a long lasting aftertaste. This wine can be left for around 8 - 10 years before drinking. This wine pairs well with poultry, (turkey, duck) red meat, roasts, game and good cheese.

£12.30

Chateau Branaire Ducru 4Eme Cru Classe 2008 (1x 75cl)

Classified as a fourth growth, Château Branaire-Ducru is located in the Saint-Julien appellation of Bordeaux. It was acquired by a family enterprise in 1988 and Patrick Maroteaux, who manages the estate, has made considerable improvements to the property. This has given the wine wonderfully consistent quality.

The wine is made in an innovative and practical winery that relies on gravity, eliminating the need to use pumps with the harvested fruit and wine. There is a wide range of tanks of different sizes, which makes it possible to carry out a considered and thorough selection based on the varying characteristics of the different vineyard plots. Around a third of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels. The wines are aged traditionally for between 18 and 24 months in barrels made from French oak (50% of which are new). They are always fined using egg white. 

Château Branaire Ducru is a wine with much complexity and it has the potential to age well over time. The 2008 has an attractive bouquet of ripe plums with densely packed red and black fruit aromas. The palate offers notes of forest, earth and cedar as well as tobacco and leafy notes. It has generous, dense tannins that will soften with age.

£38.90

Chateau Brande-Bergere Bordeaux Superieur 2015 (1x75cl)

Château Brande Bergère is located in the north of Saint-Emilion on a hill with gravelly soil on clay subsoil. It is one of the highest points of the Bordeaux region, overlooking the Dronne valley for over 25 miles. The vineyard of Brande Bergère has been cultivated since the 18th century, and in the 19th century, it was given the designation of origin “North Saint Emilion”. The estate was bought in 1997 by the current owners, Edith and Denis Dalibot. Their winemakers help create powerful, yet elegant wines, with intense aromas and a generous bouquet. This richness allows for a long maturation in the cellar.

This wine is the signature of Château Brande Bergère, reflecting both their terroir and the hard work that is done in the vineyard as well as the cellar. Deep red in colour, this wine is well structured, round, and very elegant.

The winemaker's tasting note for this wine is as follows. "Clean and shiny ruby color. Cherry and violet aromas on the nose. Round and soft tannins make a voluptuous yet balanced wine. This wine delivers ample volume on the palate."

Please click on the blue link below to see some of the technical information for this wine.

Chateau Brande-Bergère 2015 - fiche technique

£12.00

Chateau Camensac 5Eme Cru Classe 2008 (1x 75cl)

For the team at Chateau Camensac, winemaking starts when the first bunches are picked during ther harvest. The selection by the grape picker is of paramount importance as this will keep any imperfect grapes out of the wine. This attention to detail is part of the ethos at Chateau Camensac and is reflected in the quality of their wines.

To see a comprehensive tasting note and fiche technique for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Chateau Camensac 5eme Cru 2008 - fiche technique

£30.00

Chateau Castera Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2015 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK AT EXEL WINES!! **

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

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

For our blog on the wine and the 2015 harvest, click here.

For a full description of this wine - including a few charming translations and turns of phrase - we would direct you to the data sheet/fiche technique from Château Castera themselves (click blue link below)

The one piece of information missing from the data sheet is the barrel ageing/élevage time, which is 12 months.

Château Castera Cru Bourgeois Medoc 2015 - fiche technique

£17.50
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