The 2013 vintage was awarded 98 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below).
Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.
Le Sol is born of the renowned Gimblett Gravels viticultural appellation with its gravelly soils attracting the sun in summer and insulating the vines in winter. The vines are planted in the stoniest parts of the vineyard to a heritage clone of Syrah brought to New Zealand in the 1840s.
The grapes for this wine were hand harvested and completely destemmed before fermentation was allowed to start. They used a combination of open top French oak cuves and open top stainless steel tanks for the fermentation process with yeast being added to the must. The wine was then allowed to mature in French oak barriques (30% new) for 17 months.
Le Sol has a colour of the deepest red with a vibrant purple hue. This is an expressive cool climate Syrah with lifted notes of violets, fresh boysenberries, sandalwood and a hint of dried, peppered meat. The palate has a dense core of dark fruits beautifully integrated by acidity and fine, dusty tannins giving the wine a long, elegant feel towards the dry finish.
To see Craggy Range's information sheet for this wine please click on the blue link below.
Petrolo remains one of the most talked-about Tuscan estates. It is situated in the Colli Aretini, bordering on the Chianti hills, in an historic area delimited in 1716 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de' Medici as one of Tuscany's top four wine producing zones. The Petrolo estate was part of the old medieval fiefdom of 'Galatrona', the old tower ('Torrione') which still remains on top of Roman foundations. Luca Sanjust runs the estate and the vibrancy and intensity of the fruit that he is getting in his wines has brought them some well deserved attention.
The vineyards were planted at the beginning of the 1990s. Yields are low, producing just 0.5kg of grapes per vine, giving wines with great concentration of flavour. The soil consists of rocky stratifications of galestro and clay-like earth with schist typical of the Apennine areas in Tuscany.
Healthy fruit underwent destemming and gentle crushing before undergoing fermentation, which lasted 14 days with regular pumping over to ensure maximum extraction of colour and tannins. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged once the wine was racked off the skins. The wine was then aged on the fine lees for 6 months in new French oak barriques followed by a further 12 months ageing in barrel (off/removed from the lees).
2016 is the first vintage of the Galatrona to be certified organic.
See blue link below for an excellent, detailed discussion of the wine and its various vintages from the producers themselves.
Made from 100% Merlot, Galatrona is one of the most awarded wines of the estate. It is a wine with great structure on the palate and is wildly aromatic on the nose. It is intense, elegant and complex, with a lovely balance between acidity, fruit and tannins.
This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
CastelGiocondo epitomises the spirit of Montalcino. It is considered to be one of the most historical estates of Montalcino, as it was one of the first producers of Brunello di Montalcino during the 1800s. The vines are overlooked by the castle and the small medieval town of Montalcino. The combination of the unique location of the vineyard, which is situated at 300 to 400 metres altitude; the south western orientation, which benefits from the warming afternoon sun; and the free draining marl soil culminates to produce this top quality Sangiovese. The CastelGiocondo wines are distinguished by their opulence, power and extraordinary longevity.
The winter was warm, followed by a mid spring which encouraged an early budding. 2014 saw a mild summer with intermittent rains, which brought the growing season back to its normal progression. Heatwaves at the end of July and the beginning of August resulted in a positive véraison. The diurnal temperature differences promoted a gradual ripening of the fruit and warm weather conditions in September resulted in healthy grapes of excellent quality.
The Tenuta CastelGiocondo vineyard is located in Montalcino at 300 metres above sea level. 12 hectares of vines are grown in the Lamaione vineyard with a southwesterly exposure. The vines were planted in 1998, to a density of 5,500 vines per hectare and are low-spur pruned cordon trained. The clayey terrain is rich in limestone and mineral elements with a lightly alkaline pH.
The grapes were hand-harvested, destemmed and manually sorted. Fermentation took place in stainless steel vats at controlled temperatures of between 28 to 30°C with maceration lasting three weeks, extracting colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was matured for 24 months in 80% new French oak barriques, followed by a further 12 months bottle ageing.
See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Intense aromas of plum and black cherry with opulent hints of vanilla and toasty integrated oak. Powerful and voluptuous. An impressive bouquet of great aromatic richness and a complexity, Lamaione 2014 expresses blackcurrant, cherry, raspberry and delicate notes of vanilla and black pepper. On the palate, the wine is enveloping with velvety tannins and is rich in black berried fruit flavours that fill the palate with lingering persistence. Is tremendous with slow-cooked dishes such as pot roasts, stews with wild mushrooms or beef fillet.