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Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2018 (1x75cl)

Reviewed by Jancis Robinson for the Financial Times in their 6th December 2019 article, Stunning White Wines for the Festive Season (see blue link below).

Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2018 - December 2019 FT review

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

Sheltered by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semicontinental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, which extends the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards, located at 250-320 metres altitude, which run along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé, which gives soils composed of clay limestone and marl with overlying chalk gravel.

The 2018 vintage was very good. Budburst was later than normal however a very hot summer allowed harvest to begin towards the end of August. Yields were higher than average and the grapes were of a high quality.

Each parcel was individually selected to ensure the best quality for this Réserve wine. Fermentation took place at temperatures of 16-18°C for three weeks with local yeasts. The wine was then aged on its fine lees in stainless-steel tanks for three months before careful filtration. Malolactic fermentation was not allowed to take place.

100% Riesling.

Residual sugar = 8.7g/litre.

This wine is an elegant straw yellow in colour with youthful tints. The nose is complex with aromas of citrus, pear, white flowers and a touch of minerality. The palate is lively and is bursting with citrus flavours. The finish is long and refreshing.

ABV = 14.0%.

£18.25

Chante Cigale Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintaqge was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of Southern Rhone Whites (see blue link below)

Chante Cigale CdP 2016 - Aug 2017 Decanter review

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 white is fresh and attractive and an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous Chardonnay. 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 grapes for this wine are harvested manually and go through a selective sorting process to ensure that only the best quality grapes are used in the winemaking process.  The wine is fermented in both stainless steel (70%) and wood (30%).  It then spends 6 months on its fine lees before being bottled.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Chante Cigale.

Chante Cigale Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc - fiche technique

This wine is fragrant, with aromas that are reminiscent of almond and peach blossom. The palate is wonderfully smooth with a silky textured balance of dried apricot fruit and fresh, apply acidity.

This wine is a particularly good match for fish and also works well with smoked ham dishes.  It also compliments slightly spicy dishes as well as traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

ABV = 14.0%.

£28.05

Chateau de Citeaux Philippe Bouzereau Auxey Duresses Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

The Bouzereau family has been growing vines in Meursault for nine generations, dating back to the 18th century. The current Château de Cîteaux was established by Philippe Bouzereau (senior) in the 1960s. His son Philippe (junior) took over the running of the estate in 2006, having completed his studies in Beaune and worked vintages in Beaujolais, Australia and New Zealand. The 18 hectares of vines are cultivated according to the principles of la ‘Lutte Raisonnée’, or sustainable farming. Philippe passionately believes in letting the wine express its terroir, through minimum intervention in the winery and a judicious use of oak. He has certainly achieved this, as the resulting wines are rich, concentrated and showcase the terroir beautifully.

Auxey-Duresses is located in a valley in the Côte de Beaune, west of Meursault. The vineyard is situated on a north facing hillside and is subject to cooler winds than other areas of the Côte de Beaune. The soil is clayey at the bottom of the hill, with a rocky superficial soil at the top. The vineyard is managed using sustainable practices; only organic fertilisers and composts are used and chemical herbicides have not been used for over 15 years. The vineyard is cultivated in the traditional Burgundian manner and the grapes are manually harvested.

The grapes were pressed pneumatically and fermented on the fine lees in oak barrels, with regular lees stirring known as bâtonnage. The wine was matured in the family cellars, spending 12 months in oak barrels. 20% to 30% of the oak barrels for this cuvée were new. The use of oak was carefully monitored to ensure a pure expression of the Auxey-Duresses terroir was captured.

Chardonnay 100%.

A rich and creamy style, with generous apple fruit aromas combined with hints of almond, spice and a linear minerality. Delicate floral notes and aromas of grapefruit and citrus notes combine with a hint of spice. This is also a rich and concentrated style, which is harmoniously balanced with a beautifully integrated oak character and delicious mineral overtones through to an elegant finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£23.30

Chateau Grezan Chardonnay 2019 (1x75cl)

** NOW BACK IN STOCK! **

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. 

This Chardonnay is released as IGP Pays d'Oc. Although grown on land within Faugères, Chardonnay lies outwith the varieties allowed for white Faugères, hence the broader IGP classification.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the team at Chateau Grézan (the sheet notably omits that the wine is left on its fine lees for some months after fermentation to increase body, complexity and longevity).

Chateau Grézan Chardonnay - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

Surprising vivacity and freshness for a Chardonnay from the South of France, but with some real tropical warmth, too. Subtle aromas of exotic fruits (some say kiwi fruit), ripe citrus (esp orange and grapefruit) and pineapple. On the palate, it further reveals these cirus and tropical flavours with the additional tastes of dry fruits and hazelnuts.

£10.95

Chateau Lestrille Capmartin, Bordeaux Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

Château Lestrille Capmartin wines are full bodied, with structure and personality. The Château is located at the northern point of the Entre-deux-Mers appellation in the small town of St. Germain du Puch between Libourne and Bordeaux. Following the philosophy that winemaking lies in the vineyard itself, sustainable winegrowing practices are used in order to respect the balance of the soil. Talented winemaker Estelle Roumage combines strict selection, with a tailor-made approach to vinification. Each parcel is vinified with minimal intervention to respect and optimise the characteristics of the vintage and terroir, with subtle oak ageing, creating charming wines with the utmost appeal.

Following the philosophy that winemaking lies in the vineyard itself, sustainable winegrowing practices are used in order to respect the balance of the soil. Talented winemaker Estelle Roumage combines strict selection, with a tailor-made approach to vinification. Each parcel is vinified with minimal intervention to respect and optimise the characteristics of the vintage and terroir, with subtle oak ageing, creating charming wines with the utmost appeal. Vineyard The vineyards are cultivated according to la lutte raisonnée, using sustainable agriculture methods, reducing the use of chemicals in order to respect the land and its environment. The soils in the vineyard have a high clay and silt content.

The grapes were picked at full maturity and carefully sorted. A maceration took place for eight hours with a cold stabilisation and yeast inoculation being carried out in tank. The fermentation took place in new oak and the wine was then aged on its fine lees with frequent bâtonnage, imparting texture and complexity to the resulting wine. The wine was bottled after 10 months.

Sauvignon Gris 55%, Semillon 39%, Sauvignon Blanc 6%.

Beautiful rich and creamy wine showing green apple and spice flavours through to a lovely, long finish. Classy, elegant and full of flavour. A smooth, ripe wine bursting with white peach flavours and suberb lemon freshness. Concentrated apricot flavours on the palate are  generously kissed by spicy wood and the palate finishes with a long rich, toasty note. A classy and elegant white Bordeaux. 

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.05

Domaine Bonnard Pouilly Fume 2017 (1x75cl)

We are delighted to have secured a parcel of this gem of a Pouilly-Fumé.

Domaine Bonnard is a small family vineyard founded over 50 years ago in the heart of Pouilly-sur-Loire. The family’s hands-on approach on (and to) the estate - from the care and attention given to the vines through to bottling - result in fantastic examples of classsic wines from the region. Produced in small quantities and made with care by the estate owners each vintage. 

A fresh, dry, elegant wine with classic Loire / Old World Sauvignon Blanc characteristics of citrus and gooseberry flavours, with a classic grassy / nettly nose, where one even finds a little liquorice. The classic flintiness / gunsmoke of Pouilly-Fumé can also be found on the palate.

£18.90

Domaine Bonnard Pouilly Fume 2018 (1x75cl)

We are delighted to have secured a parcel of this gem of a Pouilly-Fumé.

Domaine Bonnard is a small family vineyard founded over 50 years ago in the heart of Pouilly-sur-Loire. The family’s hands-on approach on (and to) the estate - from the care and attention given to the vines through to bottling - result in fantastic examples of classsic wines from the region. Produced in small quantities and made with care by the estate owners each vintage. 

A fresh, dry, elegant wine with classic Loire / Old World Sauvignon Blanc characteristics of citrus and gooseberry flavours, with a classic grassy / nettly nose, where one even finds a little liquorice. The classic flintiness / gunsmoke of Pouilly-Fumé can also be found on the palate.

ABV = 13.0%.

£18.90

Domaine Christian Binner Les Binner Saveurs 2014 (1x75cl)

The Binner family has owned vines in Alsace since 1770 and today they practice organic and biodynamic agriculture, neither fine nor filter the wine, use only natural yeasts, use minimal sulphur, etc… which is music to our ears. All the wines are aged in 100 year old big foudres and undergo malolactic fermentation. The family owns nine hectares in Alsace but only six hectares are cultivated with vines. They produce "natural wines" using very few additives and no technological manipulations. 

Les Binner Saveurs is a blend of Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Chasselas, Muscat.

It is a highly aromatic and floral wine with spicy notes. On the palate a fruit basket of apples, poached pears and grapes mingle seamlessly on the palate with minerality, floral and sweet spice flavours. This is a dry style of wine which has a long finish.

ABV = 12.0%.

£12.25

Domaine Fichet Macon Ige Chateau London 2017 (1x75cl)

Domaine Fichet is situated in Burgundy in a small village named Igé, and more exactly in the hamlet Le Martoret. Part of a wine growers’ family for many generations, Francis Fichet decided to take the risk of creating his domain by withdrawing from the cooperative cellar of the village, during a wines crisis in 1976.

Maconnais superstar, Domaine Fichet, is giving its Cote de Beaune neighbours a run for their money. By focusing on individual vineyards, the Fichet brothers have unlocked the potential of their land and claim they will not stop improving their output until their family winery is held in the same regard as the famous names from Puligny- or Chassagne-Montrachet. Working in the commune of Igé, they own a 4.6-hectare vineyard that sits on the side of the valley. Called ‘Château London’, it is considered one of the top sites in the Maconnais.

Old vines, free draining shale soils and the perfect amount of sunshine work in collaboration to ensure the grapes ripen evenly. The grapes are sorted carefully and aged on their lees, then fermented in old barriques. The results are simply superb.

To see a fiche technique / tasting sheet for this wine that has been prepared by the team at Domain Fichet, please click on the blue link below.

Domaine Fichet Macon Igé Château London 2017 - fiche technique

Chardonnay 100%.

ABV = 13.0%.

£16.65

Domaine Georges Vernay Condrieu Terrasses de L Empire 2011 (1x75cl)

Georges Vernay is known as the "King of Condrieu" and was responsible for the growth and worldwide recognition of this small appellation during the 1950s. His estate covers 22 hectares of vineyards, six of which are in the Côte Rôtie appellation. The steep and uneven vineyards make mechanical labour impossible. The vines are manually cultivated without the use of residual herbicide or insecticide. Georges' daughter, Christine, returned to her roots with Paul Anselem, her Parisian husband, and has looked after the winemaking since 1997, gaining worldwide recognition for her Côte Rôtie wines.

A patchwork of small plots covering four hectares in the lieu-dits of Sainte Agathe and La Caille located in the heart of Condrieu. The vines are planted on steep South facing granite, biotite terraces where the use of machines is impossible; therefore the vineyard is maintained manually and without the use of weed killers or insecticides. The average age of vines is 35 years and they are planted on Richter 100 rootstocks and trained to the simple Guyot method. Planted at a density of between 8,000 to 10,000 vines per hectare, they yield 35 hectolitres per hectare.

The grapes were manually harvested at full maturity of 13 to14 degrees, they were then meticulously sorted and pressed. After a static temperature controlled must settling, the clear juice was fermented in 20 hectolitre oak vats, lasting approximately four to five weeks. The wine was matured on its fine lees in both oak barrels and vats.

100% Viognier.

Pure peach and apricot aromas are lifted with hints of acacia flowers. Full and creamy with a distinctive mineral expression and a subtle Condrieu saline complexity supporting the ripe stone fruit flavours. This is a pure expression of a very fine Viognier.

Delicious served at room temperature with seared scallops in a rich, creamy sauce; lobster; game and mature cheese.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.5%.

£50.00

Domaine Perraud Bourgogne Aligote 2017 (1x75cl)

Until 2005, the Perraud family was one of many making their living from growing grapes for the local cooperative. Encouraged by his parents, Jean-Christophe Perraud, then 24, began to make and bottle wine from the family's 25 hectares of Bourgogne, Mâcon and Saint-Véran vineyards and sold them on the local market until 2009. Produced from what the Perrauds describe as 'young vines' (both the Chardonnay and the Aligoté are between 20-25 years old), the wines show remarkable elegance, purity and complexity at modest price tags. Domaine Perraud is a fine example of a young vigneron striking out on his own with the family's vineyards to create what will soon be one of the Mâconnais' most respected domaines.

The Aligoté was all grown in Jean-Christophe Perraud's own vineyards in Mâcon, in the communes of La Roche Vineuse, Verzé and Salornay sur Guy. The Aligoté variety thrives on silex (flint) or chalk soils as found here and gives expressive, aromatic wines with excellent minerality. The grapes were machine harvested in the cool of early morning. This ensured a quick turnaround so that the precious stone fruit character was kept intact, without danger of oxidation.

For most producers, 2017 was a plentiful harvest with good concentration and expressive fruit. This achievement was not without effort. In the Mâconnais the summer heat meant that maintaining acidity was the main challenge. The high summer temperatures also affected the size of the berries, which resulted in good concentration but less juice. For Domaine Perraud, it was crucial to start the harvest at the end of August to preserve maximum acidity and achieve wines with both balance and freshness.

Wild yeasts were used for the fermentation and the malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place in order to encourage a round, supple feel. The wine rested for six months on its lees and was aged for a further four months in bottle to encourage complexity, before blending and then bottling. Only stainless steel was used.

100% Aligoté.

Bright lemon yellow in colour, with abundant aromas of citrus and stone fruit. The medium-bodied palate shows lovely purity of lemon and mineral flavours, balanced by riper peach and pear fruit, which last well on the elegant and refreshing finish.

ABV = 12.0%.

£13.45

Domaine Rijckaert Pouilly-Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2017 (1x75cl)

Established in 1998 by experienced winemaker Jean Rijckaert, who fell in love with the terroir in both the Macon and Jura, this unique estate has cellars and produces wine in both regions. Without heirs, Jean partnered with his brilliant student Florent Rouve and groomed him until he was ready to take over managing the estate and all winemaking in 2013. The “savoir-faire” that made the outstanding reputation of these wines – restricted yields, manual harvesting, slow and moderate pressings, indigenous yeasts, limited batonnage to favor acidity, long aging – has been preserved, perhaps even enhanced, with the incredibly talented Florent taking over at the helm of the estate, while Jean consults at key stages in the process. All wines are aged in oak barrels with no racking, stirring or any disruption during élevage. These beautifully crafted wines soulfully represent some of the best in natural winemaking, which aims to express the typicity of the grape and the specificity of the terroir.

This is a blend of several old vineyards, coming mainly from the slopes of the Roche de Solutré. These vines give grapes that ensure the overall harmony of this wine : structure, balance and typicity of the aromas. South-East exposure. The sunshine and the heat of these white soils allow a good growth and maturity for the grapes. Altitude about 260-280 meters.

The vines used to create this wine are approximately 45-50 years old. The solid roots of these old vines penetrate deep into the soil and allow the vines to keep their "feet cool", although "the head" is very exposed to the sun and heat. The grapes are rich and concentrated, but keep a structure of finesse and an remarkable elegance of aromas. The grapes undergo a long and careful pressing, using a pneumatical press. Alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation (completely done) are done in neutral French oak barrels, which have prevoiusly been used between 4 to 7 times.

25% of the barrels used for ageing the wine are new oak, as these highlight the structure of the wine. The ageing on the lees takes 15 months, with no racking and no stirring, in order to preserve both the structure of the grape and the typicity of the outstanding terroir of Pouilly-Fuissé.

100 % Chardonnay.

Aromas of fresh fruits and white flowers. The palate is full and round, with aromas of peach, apricot, acacia flowers, citrus and a touch of fresh honey. The finish is long, with superb minerality.

ABV = 13.5%.

£25.60

Domaine Vieux Vauvert Vouvray 2017 (1x75cl)

Chenin Blanc is much the preserve of South African winemakers these days, but its origins lie in the Loire Valley. Savennières and Coteaux de Layon are perhaps the most famous Loire Chenins, but not always entirely ‘price accessible’. Vouvray provides an elegant and very affordable solution. The Vieux Vauvert is medium-dry (which is to say, there’s just a hint of sweetness) with a lively fresh finish. This wine has a plethora of flavours to share: among them, ripe apple, quince, lime and citrus blossom.

£13.65

Gaunoux Meursault 2017 (1x75cl)

Gaunoux is an old Côte de Beaune family whose most famous member was Henri Gaunoux—a celebrated vigneron in the decades on either side of the second war. Upon his death in 1972 his estate was divided among his family, and his two sons consolidated the vineyard parcels into two domains: Domaine François Gaunoux in Meursault, and Domaine Michel Gaunoux in Pommard.

Henri’s grandson, Jean-Michel, went to work side by side with François in 1978. In 1990, Jean-Michel split with his father and started his own domain, Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux, with vineyard parcels from his mother’s family. In 1991, he put in a new, very deep and cold cellar and aging room. In 2012, after completing enology studies and working a harvest at Saint Innocent in Oregon, Jean-Michel’s son Henri joined the domain. These days, the father and son team farm nearly six hectares, or 14.5 acres, in the villages of Meursault, Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet, and Volnay.Production is just about evenly split between Pinot and Chardonnay, and Jean-Michel is equal to either variety. The distinguishing characteristic of his wines is—and I hope you appreciate this term—their regal nature. These are self-assured wines, without need of flash or pizzazz (you won’t find big extractions, high toast oak, or the like here). They know themselves and are solidly built, pure, long, very mineral, and ageworthy.

He manipulates very little in the cellar, and limits the use of new oak to about 30% for the Premier Cru red in good years (15-20% for the whites). He racks the wine out of barrel and into vats shortly after the following vintage so that his barrels never go empty and dry out. He quit lees stirring in 2004, fearing that it encouraged premature oxidation, and subsequently found that this permitted him to cut his SO2 additions in half. He does not filter the reds. In good years, Jean-Michel takes the rare step of putting aside a certain amount of a given year’s wine to age in bottle in his cellar for later release. This allows him to offer beautifully stored bottles of his wine to clients. And the thing is, he does so at near the same prices as the current release.

Gaunoux's village Meursault is an assemblage of 4 parcels: Terres Blanches (1.15 acres) and Pelles (0.5 acres) on the south side of town, giving richer fruit and elegance; and Criots (1 acre) and Malpoiriers (2 acres) on the north side, giving a leaner, more mineral wine. The average age of the vines is 45 years.

Long, cool fermentation in barrel; 15-20% of French oak barrels are new and the rest are one-year-old. Aging/elevage: racked into neutral vats after 12 months, and then bottled.

100% Chardonnay.

Well developed with ripe, tropical fruit on the nose and an enticing note of honey leading to an intense and concentrated palate with well balanced acidity and a crisp, clean, lengthy finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£38.95

Grange Des Rocs Picpoul de Pinet 2018 (1x75cl)

Picpoul is an ancient white-wine grape variety of the traditional and prolific Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in southern France. The name Pique-poul translates literally as "stings the lip", and is a reference to the grape's mouthwateringly high acidity.

The Grange des Rocs range is produced from vineyards located along the Mediterranean coast of southern France. Low yields and a ruthless approach to quality control means that behind the label lie some of the best value wines in the Languedoc. They use a cultivation method know as lutte raisonée which means that while they follow many of the principles followed by organic growers they do not wish to be bound by all the restrictions that this can bring.

The grapes for this wine are harvested by hand. Fermentation takes place over 12 - 15 days using a temperature controlled environment in stainless steel vats using carefully selected yeasts. It is then left on its fine lees for 8 months before filtration and fining take place prior to bottling.  While sulphur is used during the bottling process it is not used during the winemaking process.

This wine is 100% Picpoul.

This wine has a light delicate fragrance with floral and fruit aromas as well as a hint of minerality. It is a dry wine which has light and subtle flavours and is best served with seafood and fish or is perfect as an aperitif.

This wine is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans as it was fined using bentonite.

ABV = 12.5%.

£9.70
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