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Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras 2015 (1x75cl)

Domaine la Garrigue was founded in 1850 by the same family that runs the property today, Famille Bernard. Siblings Maxime, Pierre and Martine Bernard, of the 5th generation are at the helm of the estate with Maxime acting as chef with Martine taking care of operations while Pierre focuses on the family’s restaurant nestled in the hills below the Dentelles, Les Florets. Their spouses, children, nieces and nephews all have roles at the domaine and there is plenty of work for all, as this is the largest domaine in the appellation covering 83 hectares. They farm vines of Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache Blanc and Clairette on the three primary terroirs of Vacqueyras. The average age of their vines is about 50 years old with some vines well over a century. The reticent but very talented Virginie Combe, a member of the 6th generation, is in charge of the winemaking with guidance from Philippe Cambie.

The traditional structure of the family business carries through to the wines as well. Farming is sustainable – as much for its inherent benefits as a seeming distrust of modernity. In fact a visit to the cellars is like stepping back in time. There’s nary a barrel in sight and the walls are lined with concrete tanks and stainless steel fermenters. Fermentations are conducted on the stems and macerations are long and gentle, followed by reductive aging in concrete. As a result the natural ferocity of the terroirs of Vacqueyras are captured and preserved in each bottle. These are not shy or polished Rhônes but engaging and forceful examples hearkening to the past.

Aged for 18 months in concrete tanks.

Grenache 80%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 5%, Cinsault 5%.

This Vacqueyras possesses a notable meaty quality with firmer tannins and a seriously dense core of black fruit and iron. The nose is of black fruit with a touch of liquirice and very elegant spicy notes. The mouthfeel is full and fleshy with long-lasting fruit flavours. Should you find yourself with a fairly large piece of beef or lamb on your hands you’d be hard–pressed for a more suitable assistant at the table.

ABV = 14.5%.

£17.45

Domaine la Rouviole, Minervois Cru la Liviniere 2014 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 panel tasting of Languedoc's cru reds (see blue link below).

Domaine La Rouviole, Minervois Cru La Liviniere 2013 - December 2018 Decanter review

This proudly independent family estate owned estate which was bought by the Léonor family in 1956 is located in the renowned Cru La Livinière area of Minervois. Wines are made from blends of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan from the best and oldest plots of the estate. Great care is taken to hand harvest the grapes at optimum ripeness and to express the terroir of the area. The wines have been certified as organic since the 2011 vintage.

The vines are grown on a hillside vineyard which benefits from more than 300 days of sunshine per year. Grown in chalky and clay soils, the vines are over 40 years old and produce an average yield of 30 hectolitres per hectare. Debudding takes place in May and a green harvest in July in order to concentrate the flavours in the berries. The grapes are hand harvested in two tranches in September, when they have reached the optimal maturity and ripeness levels, from the best plots of the vineyard.

The grapes were carefully hand harvested, with only the grapes that had reached optimal maturity and from the best plots of the vineyard, being chosen. The wines were traditionally vinified. The Syrah component of the blend was aged for 12 months in French and American oak barrels, of which 50 % were new barrels and 25% were second fill. The Grenache was aged in stainless steel tanks, to retain the fruity flavours, prior to the final blend.

Syrah 75%, Grenache 25%.

A rich, full bodied red wine with aromas of dark fruit with spice complemented by elegant oak flavours through to a fine, smooth finish. Great with leg of lamb or a ribeye steak.

ABV = 14.5%.

£18.80

Domaine Laporte Sancerre Rouge Les Grandmontains 2015 (1x75cl)

This extraordinary glimmering red Sancerre has aromas of ripe red fruit. Further bottle ageing reveals aromas of candied cherries. On the palate, a seductive suppleness and freshness is apparent, as well as the presence of silky tannins. This is a wine of elegance and finesse; a real homage to Pinot Noir in a tender style that is bursting with flavour.

Pinot Noir 100%.

ABV = 13.0%.

£21.90

Domaine Leon Barral Faugeres La Valiniere 2015 (1x75cl)

Didier Barral represents the thirteenth generation to grow grapes in the tiny hamlet of Lenthéric, within the confines of the Faugères appellation deep in the heart of the Languedoc. While his forebears made a living off of cultivating the vine, Didier took the family business to the next level when he began estate-bottling and commercializing his wines on a larger scale in 1993. Named for Didier's grandfather, Domaine Léon Barral is a beacon of revolutionary winegrowing: shortly after founding the domaine, Didier decided that biodynamic practices were the best choice for farming his thirty hectares of vineyards. He has pioneered numerous innovative agronomic techniques with the goal of establishing his vineyards as a self-sustaining ecosystem. This Renaissance man, naturalist, and biodynamic expert commands tremendous respect among his peers for his visionary approach to topics like soil management, pest control, and drought mitigation in his vineyards.

Didier Barral is one of the champions of the biodynamic movement in France and is highly respected among his peers for his uncompromising respect for the environment in which he lives and works—meaning the entire ecosystem surrounding his vineyards. Didier’s red Faugères, grown in rugged schist soil, displays power, rusticity, and incredibly fresh, pure fruit. Treat it as you would the wines of Gramenon and Magnon—organic, living beings that demand care and respect. His Faugères ages beautifully in a good cellar.

A superb biodynamic wine, La Valinière is a blend of 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah and is one of the finest wines to emerge from the south of France in the past few years. Maceration takes place for 3 to 4 weeks with regular, manual punch-downs in cement tanks. After maceration, the must is lightly pressed with an old, wooden, vertical basket press. This wine is aged for 24 to 26 months in barrel (10% new oak). The Syrah in this cuvée comes from a north-facing parcel of vines.

Didier Barral produces wines of great depth and character, of which La Valinière is a typical example. As with many Mourvèdre-dominated wines, La Valinière is intense and velvety with savoury and 'gamey' flavours. There are also notes of cloves and cinammon. The Syrah completes the package by contributing black fruit and a touch of pepper. The acidity and tannins are well balanced making this an ideal food wine.

£48.60

Domaine Les Alexandrins, Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2016

The yet-to-be-released (and not for some time) 2017 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2018 focus on the Jaboulet family (see blue link below).

Domaine Les Alexandrins, Crozes-Hermitage 2017 - July 2018 Decanter review

(and, of this, the 2016) "A fresh, mineral-driven style, with sanguine and iron notes running from start to finish while cherry, redcurrant and raspberry fruit keeps pace. Mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2022". Wine Spectator 92/100, 2018

Domaine Les Alexandrins was founded in 2009 by two friends, viticulturalist: Alexandre Caso and winemaker: Guillaume Sorrel, son of Hermitage producer Marc Sorrel. The cellar, located in the village of Mercurol, is in a 17th century farmhouse right on the plain of CrozesHermitage. In 2015, they partnered with Nicolas Jaboulet under the same name Domaine and Maison Les Alexandrins. As the name suggests, the wines from Domaine Les Alexandrins are made from fruit which comes from their own vineyards.

The wines come from 12 hectares of vineyards that are sustainably farmed, four of which are in Crozes-Hermitage. The vineyards are planted on clay and sand soils located in the villages of Pont d’Isère (Les Flouris) and Beaumont Monteux (Vie Magne). The climate here is semi-continental.

2016 has been hailed as a great vintage but it wasn’t without its challenges. The growing season did not get off to a great start. Spring was marked by cloudy and wet weather. Hail storms also posed a threat with some loss of yield yet luckily it was early enough in the season for vines to recover vegetative growth. As a result of this weather, flowering and budburst were delayed. The summer months were very hot and without rain which halted some ripening but sorely needed rain fell at the beginning of September allowing ripening to continue. Fortunately, good weather then resumed until harvest, which resulted in fruit of good quality and moderate alcohol levels.

Grapes for this wine were hand harvested then taken to the winery where they were 100% destemmed. Cold maceration lasted for three days prior to fermentation. Once fermentation began, the must had two pump overs and two punch downs daily to ensure optimum extraction of colour and aromatics from the skins. Fermentation to dryness took 20 days before the wine was aged in barrels for between 12 -18 months prior to bottling.

100% Syrah/Shiraz.

This wine is deeply coloured with a purple hue. On the nose, it is concentrated and rich with notes of blackcurrant, blackberries, sweet spice and hints of smokiness. The palate is smooth and well-balanced with red and black fruit notes framed by fine grained tannins and bright acidity.

£24.05

Domaine Les Alexandrins, Saint-Joseph 2016 (1x75cl)

The yet-to-be-released (and not for some time) 2017 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2018 focus on the Jaboulet family (see blue link below).

Domaine Les Alexandrins, Saint-Joseph 2017 - July 2018 Decanter review

Domaine Les Alexandrins was founded in 2009 by two friends, viticulturalist: Alexandre Caso and winemaker: Guillaume Sorrel, son of Hermitage producer Marc Sorrel. The cellar, located in the village of Mercurol, is in a 17th-Century farmhouse right on the plain of Crozes-Hermitage. In 2015, they partnered with Nicolas Jaboulet under the same name, Domaine and Maison Les Alexandrins. As the name suggests, the wines from Domaine Les Alexandrins are made from fruit which comes from their own vineyards.

The wines come from four hectares of vineyards that are sustainably farmed in Saint-Joseph. The vines are grown on the round pebbles of the Les Chassis plains. The vines are on average 25 years old and are trained on a gobelet trellising system.

2016 has been hailed as a great vintage but it wasn’t without its challenges. The growing season did not get off to a great start. Spring was marked by cloudy and wet weather. Hail storms also posed a threat with some loss of yield yet luckily it was early enough in the season for vines to recover vegetative growth. As a result, flowering and budburst were delayed. The summer months were very hot and dry which halted some ripening but sorely needed rain fell at the beginning of September allowing ripening to continue. Fortunately, good weather then resumed until harvest, which resulted in good quality fruit and moderate alcohol levels.

The grapes were destemmed and then fermented in stainless-steel tanks, with two punch downs and pump overs daily of the cap to extract silky tannins. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 15 months, all of the barrels used were between one and two years old.

100% Syrah.

This wine is deep ruby in colour with aromas of black fruit and freshly cracked black pepper and roasted cocoa. It is beautifully structured and full bodied with fine tannins. The finish is long and very harmonious.

ABV = 13.5%.

£27.60

Domaine Louis Latour Pinot Noir Domaine du Valmoissine 2016 (1x75cl)

Although equipped with the most modern tools and equipment, the winemaking methods at Domaine Louis Latour remain simple and traditional. The Louis Latour style is an auspicious combination of the richness of nature and the skill of man's labour. They respect the natural rhythm of the vines and make wines in harmony with nature, with the aim of offering full expression to the elegance and the balance of the great terroirs of Burgundy. 

At Maison Louis Latour, we imprint each wine with an individual style that our customers can rediscover year after year.

Domaine de Valmoissine is located on the site of the ancient monastery and university of Valmoissine at 500 metres above sea-level. This guarantees sunshine during the summer months whilst remaining cool at night and limits the possibility of spring frosts. The vineyard's southern exposure gives the raisins perfect maturity at the same time as the Grands Crus of Corton. The yield is small in order to ensure perfect maturity and concentration of the grapes, the factors that create the best quality wines. This results in an elegant wine with remarkable finesse.

The Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine is a fruity wine, offering a soft and silky palate with soft tannins.  It matches well with grilled red meat, cheese and red fruits.

We like this because we love the accessible fruitiness of this Pinot Noir (far less austere than many French PNs) that makes it perfect for many different dishes.

£12.75

Domaine Lucien Boillot Gevrey-Chambertin 2017 (1x75cl)

Pierre Boillot is a rare master of both the Côtes de Beaune and the Côtes de Nuits–not only does he have the vineyards but also the savoir-faire and skill. Pierre inherited this domaine from his father Lucien, whose name it still carries. Pierre worked together with his brother Louis for years, but a few years ago they parted ways and split up the family holdings. Pierre’s talent has become much more evident as he has had full control over this domaine, and in addition to retaining the original cellars in Gevrey-Chambertin, Pierre has instituted a rigorous revitalizing of the soils and vines in all of his vineyards. Pierre inherited very old vines from his father in the Côtes de Nuits and from his great-grandfather Henri Boillot, who was originally from Volnay, in the Côtes de Beaune.

Many of his vineyards are under-appreciated treasures: Volnay Les Angles, which was originally classified as one of the top premier cru sites in Volnay in the 19th century, Pommard Croix Noires right below Rugiens, Gevrey Cherbaudes right next to Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru and Gevrey Corbeaux right next to MazisChambertin Grand Cru. Every wine is a classic representation of its appellation–from Volnay and Pommard to Gevrey and Nuits-Saint-Georges, as Pierre’s work in the cellars is geared towards transparent, terroir-driven wines of purity and finesse. He is not, however, against a rich, plump, lusciousness in his reds.

This wine is medium to full-bodied, exceptionally complex with aromas of bacon, black cherries, liquorice, pencil lead, raspberry jam, a smokiness and dry toast. On the palate one can find a balanced acidity, integrated oak, modest tannins and cocoa powder, coffee, mushroom, peat moss, plum flavours jam, smoky.

ABV = 13.5%.

£40.25

Domaine Maillard Pere Et Fils Aloxe-Corton 2015 (1x75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

This Aloxe-Corton is drawn from vines averaging 40 years in age. Grapes are picked by hand to ensure that only the best grapes are used. Fermentation lasts some 12 to 15 days with 1-2 punch-downs per day. It is aged for 18 months in 228-litre French oak barrels (Burgundian pièces), of which some 25% are new. It is then bottled after only a light filtration to preserve the full integrity of the wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

An opulent and ripe, red wine with flavours of strawberry fruit. Wonderfully expressive and powerful in the mouth it finishes with soft silky tannins and an animal richness so typical of Pinot Noir.

Only 4,000 bottles made each year!

ABV = 13.0%.

£32.80

Domaine Maillard Pere Et Fils Aloxe-Corton 2016 (1x75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

This Aloxe-Corton is drawn from vines averaging 40 years in age. Grapes are picked by hand to ensure that only the best grapes are used. Fermentation lasts some 12 to 15 days with 1-2 punch-downs per day. It is aged for 18 months in 228-litre French oak barrels (Burgundian pièces), of which some 25% are new. It is then bottled after only a light filtration to preserve the full integrity of the wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

An opulent and ripe, red wine with flavours of strawberry fruit. Wonderfully expressive and powerful in the mouth it finishes with soft silky tannins and an animal richness so typical of Pinot Noir.

Only 4,000 bottles made each year!

ABV = 13.0%.

£32.80

Domaine Maillard Pere Et Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018 (1x 75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

After a manual harvest, the best bunches are selected and sorted. Clusters that lack maturity or are damaged are systematically separated and destroyed. This means that only the best clusters are put in vats for vinification. This lasts for 12 to 15 days at controlled temperature with 1 to 2 pigeage per day. When the vinification is finished, the wine is put in vats to rest for a few days.

The wine is then aged in 228-litre barrels (Burgundian pieces) for 12 months. Bottling is carried out after a light filtration. This allows the retention of all its character, perfume and flavour.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine is ruby in colour with a purple rim. The aromas are of red berries leading to a supple and pleasant flavour. While this is a wine to be enjoyed in its youth, it can be cellared for between 4 and 6 years.

£16.60

Domaine Maillard Pere et Fils Chorey-Les-Beaune 2017 (1x 75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

This Chorey is drawn from vines averaging 30 years in age. Grapes are picked by hand to ensure that only the best grapes are used. Fermentation lasts some 12 to 15 days with 1-2 punch-downs per day. It is aged for 18 months in 228-litre oak barrels (Burgundian pièces) of French oak, of which 25% are new oak. Bottled after only a light filtration.

100% Pinot Noir.

Aromas of morello cherry and raspberry with complex earthy elements, mouthfilling on the palate with a good concentration of red berry fruits, a lick of smooth woody vanilla and a lovely supple, textured middle supported by very fine tannins. Elegant and complex despite its concentration with a well balanced and defined finish.

Designed to drunk after 2-3 years in bottle (ie 2019-2020) but will contunue to develop for up to 8-12 years.

£22.85

Domaine Michel Juillot Bourgogne Rouge 2017 (1x75cl)

Domaine Michel Juillot covers 31 hectares across the Côte Chalonnaise and Côte de Beaune. Created in 1928 in Mercurey, his vineyard is composed by 21 hectares of Pinot Noir and 10 hectares of Chardonnay. A non-intrusive vinification is done as much as possible to keep the seductive flavours found in the wines from Domaine Michel Juillot.

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

Domaine Michel Juillot Bourgogne Rouge 2016 - fiche technique

Classic ruby. A pretty and very Pinot nose displays a soft earthiness that carries over to the delicious and juicy middleweight flavors that are supported by phenolically mature tannins on the balanced and forward finish. This is really quite good in the context of the appellation and worth considering.

£16.20

Domaine Michel Juillot Mercurey 1er Cru Clos des Barraults (Rouge) 2015 (1x75cl)

Domaine Michel Juillot covers 31 hectares across the Côte Chalonnaise and Côte de Beaune. Created in 1928 in Mercurey, his vineyard is composed by 21 hectares of Pinot Noir and 10 hectares of Chardonnay. The Mercurey appellation, at 650 hectares in area, offers winemakers rich and varied soils. It is thanks to this particular terroir that the wines have a beautiful natural structure. A non-intrusive vinification is done as much as possible to keep the seductive flavours found in the wines from Domaine Michel Juillot.

The grapes are harvested by hand then undergo selective sorting in the winery to ensure that only the best grapes are used to make this wine. The grapes are 100% destemmed. The fermentation occurs in an open vat for 20 days with temperature control. Only natural yeasts are used. The wine develops such a level of concentration, that the structure comes naturally and expresses the terroir perfectly. Cellar maturing takes place over 18 months in oak barrel - 30% of which are new. Malolactic fermentation is also allowed to occur.

100% Pinot Noir.

See also blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the domaine.

Domaine Michel Juillot Mercurey 1er Cru Clos Des Barraults Rouge - fiche technique

Soft wood is noticeable on the ripe nose of dark currant, pepper and plenty of earth character that continues onto the notably finer and more energetic middle weight flavours. There is evident minerality and there is a good mouth feel of the balanced, focused, detailed and impressively persistent finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£29.60

Domaine Pierre Naigeon, Marsannay 2015 (1x75cl)

Pierre Naigeon is a leading and renowned producer in the Côtes de Nuits. The Naigeon family has been established in Gevrey-Chambertin for over 150 years. They acquired some vines and started to produce wine in 1890. The estate remained reasonably small until 2003 when Pierre purchased more land increasing their holdings to 11.5 hectares. Pierre Naigeon believes passionately in sustainable farming, without the use of herbicides. He believes in non-interventionist winemaking and aims to produce wines full of fragrance, revealing the natural terroir. The average age of his vines is remarkably high, mostly over 50 years, which endows the wines with an extraordinary quality, maturity and concentration.

The 2015 warm summer saw early flowering, with rapid development. Ripening was slowed due to hot July temperatures, but rain at the end of the month eased drought pressures. A cooler August allowed ripening to advance. Fine weather during the harvest resulted in superb quality fruit with excellent phenolic ripeness. Vineyard Marsannay is the northernmost appellation in the Côtes de Nuits, neighbouring Fixin. It is the only appellation to have AOC status for the production of red, white and rosé wine. The vineyard has an eastern orientation and is situated at 255 to 390 metres above sea level. The vielles vignes/or old vines are 45 years old and have developed deep root systems, nourished by complex layers of soil. The soils are diverse, predominantly clay and limestone, with white pockets of limestone and red, iron-rich soils. Pierre believes in respecting the terroir; he ensures the yields are kept low and follows organic and biodynamic principles, taking into consideration the cycles of the moon and the sun.

Vinified in a gravity-fed winery, this cuvée was made with the minimal amount of intervention. The perfectly ripe and healthy grapes were hand-harvested, with every bunch being delicately picked into small bins. The grapes underwent a meticulous manual sorting, before the whole bunches were gently pulled into the fermenters without the use of a pump. Fermentation started naturally with a cold soak, using indigenous yeasts from the vineyard. During fermentation, several pigeages (cap submersions) took place. Skin contact maceration followed, lasting for a couple of days, before the wine was racked by gravity into barrels. Matured for 12 months in French oak barrels in the 17th-Century cellar, the wine was not fined or filtered prior to bottling, to preserve its natural qualities.

Pinot Noir 100%.

A fresh and well flavoured red Burgundy showing plump and fleshy raspberry fruit combined with notes of sloes through to a fine, long finish. Accessible, and showing plump and fleshy red fruits with notes of violets. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£29.45
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