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Merlot

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Botter Merlot del Veneto IGT 2018 (1x75cl)

They say that a good wine needs time to reveal its qualities, but it also needs dedication and constant commitment. Few products can embody so much expertise and thousands of years of history as those made by Botter. It has passed through the careful hands of three generations for whom wine was a passion as well as a trade. They have responded to the constantly evolving market over time, in a process of ongoing expansion.

After the grapes are harvested during the second half of September, this wine undergoes traditional red wine vinification at a controlled temperature between 25 and 27 °C.

This is an elegant, well-structured wine with typical ruby red colour. It has a clean bouquet with notes of currants and violets. The palate is balanced, delicate and persistent.

£7.50

Chateau Donjon La Galiniere Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

The Panis-Mialhe family has been passionate about wine production since the 15th century. Techniques have evolved through the generations to combine traditional values with modern methods. Jean Panis produced his first vintage in 1996 and since then his trademark has been the production of wines which are rich in fruit. He is a man that is dynamic and energetic and he always moves in an assured and precise manner. Managing his vineyard and winery is both a labour of love and his birthright.

The vines for this wine are grown in the Val de la Clamoux, which are gravelly alluvial fields that become very dry during the summer. The climate can be described as Mediterranean, hot and dry with oceanic influences.

There is traditional working of the soil in the vineyards of Chateau Donjon. They follow sustainable agriculture practices and are certified by the ‘Vitealys’ organization.

Traditional vinification takes place with with long tank fermentation. There is strict temperature control to ensure the best flavours are extracted from the grapes. The grapes undergo de-stemming in the cellar.

This wine has a dark ruby colour with garnet hues. There are red fruit and spices on the nose. It has an excellent balance in the mouth, with elegant tannins followed by a long finish which melts on the palate. It is a perfect match for regional dishes from the South of France. It will also pair well with red meats, grilled or with a sauce, as well as cheese. It is also a great accompaniement to a pork, chicken liver and prune terrine.

ABV = 13.5%.

£10.15

Chateau La Tuilerie des Combes, Lussac Saint-Emilion 2015 (1x 75cl)

The vineyards of the Chateau de la Tuilerie des Combes stand on the communes of Lussac and Montagne, just 8 kilometres from the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, which lies at the heart of one of the most famous wine regions in the world.

Under the guidance of the new owners, Count Henri le Grelle and his son Vincent, the vineyard’s surface area totals 17.3 acres. Grape variety planting stringently obeys Saint-Emilion norms: 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Francs for a fine balance in ageing wines.

The winemaking is traditional, nurturing the wine with the greatest of care until its development. The wine is aged in oak barriques for 18 months in one of most modern cellars if the area with its new system of thermoregulation which supports optimal maturation.

2015 has been hailed as an excellent vintage in Bordeaux. Generous flowering took place followed by a hot, dry early summer. August was slightly cooler and damper, followed by good weather in September enabling the grapes to reach full maturity. The wines have power and precision, particularly from the Right Bank appellations and many outstanding wines have been made from lesser appellations.

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc.

Beautifully developed garnet-red in colour. Shows a very ripe nose of concentrated fruits of the forest and a dense palate reminiscent of black cherries and chocolate with pretty notes of liquorice and eucalyptus. The typically bordelaise structure is flexible, with soft, rounded tannins that bring balance and add length to the palate which finishes dry and clean.

£16.50

Chateau Los Boldos Grande Reserve Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Chateau Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, their focus from an early stage has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since being purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results – significantly improved grapes – are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. Clear, bright skies during the summer and a high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity while ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields.  Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle. The wines for the Grande Réserve range are produced with hand-harvested grapes sourced from vineyards planted in the early 2000's.

The Merlot grapes were macerated for 25 days in stainless steel tanks, with fermentation taking place at temperatures between 25-28°C. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation, and was then aged for 10 months in French oak prior to bottling.

This wine is 100% Merlot.

This wine is ruby red in colour, with youthful hues. Bright aromas of red fruits, plums and raspberries are complemented by spicy notes and toast aromas from its time in oak. On the palate, it has soft tannins and good length.

£13.25

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Merlot 2018 (1x75cl)

Château Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, the focus from the onset has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since it was purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate. The clear, bright skies during the summer and the high diurnal temperature range are ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity whilst ripening to perfection. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields. Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle.

From the second week of February 2018 there was a sudden rise in temperature, with maximums above 35°C that accelerated the ripening processes of the early ripening varieties. March, a very important month for the development of the medium to late ripening varieties, experienced moderate to fresh conditions which ensured grapes accumulated sugars slowly and retained good levels of acidity. Harvest of these varieties was one to two weeks later than usual. Overall the 2018 season produced good yields of excellent quality grapes resulting in wines with balanced natural acidity, moderate alcohols and vibrant freshness.

The grapes were fermented in stainless steel tanks for eight days at temperatures between 25-28°C. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred to used oak barrels (a mix of French and American) for four months during which time malolactic fermentation took place.

100% Merlot.

This Merlot is bright ruby-red in colour, with aromas of sour cherries, blackberries, blackcurrants and a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is balanced with velvety tannins and a soft, elegant finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.5%.

£9.50

Chateau Los Boldos Vieilles Vignes Merlot 2015 (1x75cl)

Chateau Los Boldos was founded in 1991 and is situated 100km south of Santiago in the foothills of the Cachapoal Andes. Working with a portion of old vines originally planted in 1948, their focus from an early stage has been on the production of premium wines. The estate has been transformed since being purchased by Sogrape in 2008. Renowned soil scientist and viticultural consultant Pedro Parra (of Clos des Fous) was brought in to assess the plots and match the right variety to the different soils around the estate. The type of rootstock, planting density, orientation and the frequency of irrigation were all within Pedro’s remit, and the results – significantly improved grapes – are now being seen in the wines, especially since Victor Arce, previously of Perez Cruz, joined as winemaker in 2015.

Los Boldos has 170 hectares of vineyards which benefit from a Mediterranean climate with clear, bright skies during the summer and a high diurnal temperature range, ideal for growing fruit that maintains fresh acidity while becoming perfectly ripe. The nearby Cachapoal river also moderates temperatures, while stony alluvial soils in the vineyard ensure low yields.  Los Boldos makes wine exclusively from their own vineyards, therefore controlling everything from grape to bottle. The Vieilles Vignes range is produced with the best hand-picked grapes sourced from vineyards that are more than 60 years old.

A rainy winter at the start of the 2014/2015 season helped to accumulate enough water for the entire growing season. January was very cloudy, but February was partially clear and a bit warmer than usual, which allowed harvest to begin at the end of the month with concentrated and aromatic grapes with balanced sugar and acidity levels.

The must had seven days of pre-fermentation maceration in stainless steel tanks to aid colour and flavour extraction from the grapes. It then underwent 30 days of fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 26-28°C. The wine then spent 20 months in French oak barrels before release.

100% Merlot.

This wine is intense ruby red colour with violet tones. On the nose, it has aromas of plums, raspberries and cherries, with toasted, spicy and herbal notes.This wine is well-balanced with soft, velvety tannins and a smooth and elegant finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£17.80

Kaiken Ultra Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Kaikenes are wild geese, native to Patagonia, that fly across the Andes between Chile and Argentina. In the same way, Montes, the Chilean winery, crossed the Andes to set up in Mendoza. Their vineyards are situated in the heart of Mendoza and further to the south in Valle de Uco, where many of the premium producers are now sourcing their fruit. The focus is primarily on Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, a variety that has been somewhat forgotten as Malbec has surfed one wave of success after another in the past decade. As a result, there are many old vineyards in Mendoza that produce excellent fruit. Kaiken's own vineyards supply 70% of their production requirements and 30% is from vineyards that they control.

Fruit for the Kaiken Ultra Merlot was sourced from a single vineyard in Vistalba, Luján de Cuyo, which is over 75 years old. The vines are trained along a pergola system, which helps protect the grapes from the sun and high temperatures. The soil is alluvial, with layers of sand, silt and rocks, allowing for excellent drainage and creating the ideal conditions for concentrated grapes.

This vintage saw a very cold spring, with average temperatures well below previous years. The cold temperatures delayed bud break and flowering by 20-25 days. 2016 will be remembered as a challenging vintage due to cold weather, 700 millimetres of rain during the growing season, and a 20-day delay in reaching maturation. The vines, therefore, required a lot of attention from the viticultural team. Despite low yields (down by 40%), the grapes harvested were healthy and of very good quality.

The grapes were hand harvested at the end of March and transported in 15 kilogram trays to prevent the grapes from being damaged in transit. The grapes were then hand sorted in the winery. After pressing, the juice was fermented in small tanks. Fermentation and maceration lasted one month.The wine was transferred into barrels. One third of the wine was aged in new barrels, while the rest was aged in second- and third-use barrels for 12 months.

93% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc.

Intense and brilliant ruby red in colour, this Merlot delights with pronounced aromas of cassis and red berry jam, accompanied by some spicy notes. Well-structured with silky tannins, the finish is long and invites a second glass.

ABV = 14.5%.

£15.05

Montes Alpha Colchagua Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has developed to become the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands on rather than mechanical or industrial.

The Merlot grapes come from Montes' own vineyards in Marchigüe located in the Colchagua Valley. As with other regions in Chile, the ocean plays a role even 25km away, with cool breezes moderating this warm area. The sites are irrigated via a 'Sustainable Dry Farmed' system, developed by Aurelio and his team, which allows for precise and minimal irrigation, reducing their water usage by 65%. Marchigüe is dry, lying in the rain shadow of the Coastal Range, with low fungal disease pressure resulting in consistently healthy harvests.

The grapes were cold soaked at 10°C for seven days to extract aroma and colour before fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 8-10 days. The wine then remained on skins for a further 15-20 days to aid structure and colour. After malolactic fermentation, 55% of the final blend was aged in French oak barrels (25% new, the rest second and third fill) for 12 months to add complexity and roundness to the wine.

90% Merlot, 10% Carmenere.

Deep cherry red in colour with a violet hue. On the nose there are pronounced aromas of blackberries, cherries, figs and plums. The oak ageing adds subtle layers of vanilla and pepper as well as giving nutty notes and sweet spices. This is a well-structured wine with smooth, round tannins and a long and elegant finish.

£14.20

Petrolo Galatrona 2016 (1x75cl)

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.

Petrolo Galatrona 2016 - fiche technique

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.

£106.35

Primera Luz Merlot 2018 (1x75cl)

Primera Luz is produced by Viñedos Puertas, a family-run business founded in 1950. The vineyard is comprised of 80 hectares of fields irrigated by water flowing down from the Andes Mountains, and a winery known as El Milagro, located at the heart of the Curico Valley. The wines embody the character of the region, and display brilliant freshness.

This wine is full of fresh, raspberry and strawberry aromas, with a light and juicy palate that is bursting with forest fruit. It is easy-drinking and moreish. This wine is a great match for many foods including lamb chops with coarse-grain mustard and red-tomato chutney, grilled lamb kebabs with cumin and cinnamon, or a duck salad.

ABV = 13.0%.

£7.30

Saint Etalon Merlot Vin de Pays d'Oc 2016 (1x75cl)

Saint Etalon is made by Foncalieu, one of the most forward-looking, energetic and quality-focused cooperatives in France. Over 1,600 growers are members with over 7,500ha of vines spread right across the south of France.

Low temperature pre-fermentation takes place, which is then followed by a 3 week long alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures of 25-26°C. There is gentle extraction and pumping-over is also used. The wine is matured on its lees for another 3 weeks and completes its second fermentation in tanks.

This easy-drinking red wine has an elegant nose of ripe berry fruit. Well-balanced, round and smooth on the palate.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£8.05

Tenuta CastelGiocondo (Frescobaldi), Lamaione, Toscana 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

Tenuta CastelGiocondo, Lamaione, Toscana 2014 - fiche technique

100% Merlot.

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.

 

£54.80

Valdemoro Merlot 2018 (1x75cl)

Please take a look at the winemakers notes for the 2016 vintage of this wine by clicking the blue link below.

Valdemoro Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

£7.70

Vina Ventisquero Clasico Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Head Winemaker Felipe Tosso joined Vina Ventisquero in 2000. After seriously considering alternate careers as a tennis pro and classical guitarist, he elected to enter the wine business, describing it as “one of my big passions because it’s more than work – it’s a lifestyle”. Tosso’s winemaking travels have taken him to Napa, Sonoma, Argentina, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, back to Concha Y Toro in Chile and then finally to Vina Ventisquero. 

This is a wine with a deep ruby red colour as well as having intense aromas of cherries and ripe plums. It has good body and is smooth on the palate making it an ideal accompaniement to pasta dishes, ripe cheese and red meat.

ABV = 12.5%.

£7.35

Vinnaioli Jermann Red Angel IGT, Pinot Nero 2016 (1x75cl)

Friuli, alongside Burgundy and New Zealand, is widely recognised as having one of the best suited climates for the production of high quality Pinot Noir. The grapes for Red Angel are all picked by hand and vinified in the traditional manner in small stainless steel tanks. Skin contact is key to producing top quality Pinot and Jermann has achieved an excellent balance between power and elegance. The wine is then aged in oak barriques before bottling and release.

This wine is made using Pinot Nero 95%, Merlot 5%.

Fragrant, with rich blueberries and fruits of the forest on the nose, this is an elegant, round and velvety Pinot Noir with loganberry-fruit character and cherryish undertones filling out the medium bodied, succulent palate.

It is the ideal summer red which will partner charcuterie and cheeses, as well as grilled salmon and any pasta dish; potatoes filled with ricotta cheese and butter; sausages with radicchio and charcuterie or smoked ham with grilled porcini mushrooms.

To see an information sheet that has been written by the team at Vinnaioli Jermann, please click on the blue link below.

Vinnaioli Jermann Red Angel - fiche technique

£22.05
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