Decanter October

The October edition of Decanter is a South America special. Which is great for us, because, as far as South American wine goes we

a) love it and

b) have plenty of it.

The main panel tastings focus on Chilean Carmenère (see also here) and Argentine (Gualtallary and Altamira) reds. There's an expert review of Argentinian Whites and a Top Twenty of South American "branded" wines. Plus some fine-looking Weekday Wines (some even from outwith South America!).

We've lost count, but we think we have 38 of Decanter's October rated wines, and these appear below. If, alternatively, you'd like to search through all of our Decanter-rated wines from the last year, click here.

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William Fevre La Mision Reserva Especial Carmenere 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue links below).

William Fevre La Mision Reserva Especial Carmenere 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

Decanter review - individual reviewer comment

William Fèvre Chile modestly term this as being from their mid-level La Mision range and their entry-level Carmenère, but this is to seriously understate its quality.

William Fèvre Chile (WFC) is a venture that resulted from an investigation by the eponymous Monsieur Fèvre into vine-growing land in Chile, that became a collaboration with one Victor Pino Torche, a vineyard owner high in Chile's Maipo Valley, above Santiago, at San Juan de Pirque. From there, sumptuous Chardonnays began to emerge, with New World, high-altitude flavours, but made in a Burgundian fashion, involving, in particular, meticulous and subtle use of oak in both fermentation and ageing.

From there, WFC have gone on to collaborate in and/or own further vineyards in the many Chilean winegrowing valleys, including in some of the heartlands of the Carmenère grape, Chile's Merlot-like speciality grape: here (again) at Pirque in the Maipo Valley. The Burgundian approach to winemaking remains prevalent in all of WFC's wines, including this Carmenère.

For this, the Reserva Especial, specific plots of prime vines were harvested, the grapes from which underwent exacting scrutiny before inclusion for fermentation. The Reserve Especial comprises 92% Carmenère and 8% Cabernet Franc, the latter lending the wine a bright fruitiness and acidity. After main and malolactic fermentations, 80% of the resulting wine was aged in pre-used French oak barrels/barriques for eight months (these being on their second or their third use). This encourages a healthy - but not over-powerful - complement of oak structure whilst heavily preserving "heaps of honest fruit" (Fèvre's own term!), both in the lightly-oaked portion and (especially) in the 20% portion aged in stainless steel. The wine was then aged in the bottle for at least another six months before release.

Behind its deep cherry color, the Carmenère La Misión Reserva Especial 2015 reveals intense aromas of black pepper and red pepper, with notes of smoke and toffee. It is juicy and fresh in the mouth, with firm but silky tannins. It has the great spiciness of Carmenère but also surprising softness and length for a Carmenère at both this price-point and stage in its age development.

For more information and details of the Reserva Especial's twin, also available, click here.

*** NOW FULLY IN STOCK WITH US AND SELLING AS NEXT-WORKING-DAY DELIVERY (unless delayed by other items that we need to order in) ***

£11.00

William Fevre La Mision Gran Reserva Carmenere 2013 (1x 75cl)

*** SEE STOCK NOTE BELOW ***

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue links below).

William Fevre La Mision Gran Reserva Carmenere 2013 - October 2017 Decanter review

Decanter review - individual reviewer comment

This is Fèvre's flagship Carmenère, one of the standard-bearers of its La Mision fleet, and is a meticulously made wine. The La Misión Gran Reserva range are single lot/vineyard wines that have been selected over many years as more ageworthy and offering more structure and complexity, taken from WFC's oldest Carmenère vines.

William Fèvre Chile (WFC) is a venture that resulted from an investigation by the eponymous Monsieur Fèvre into vine-growing land in Chile, that became a collaboration with one Victor Pino Torche, a vineyard owner high in Chile's Maipo Valley, above Santiago, at San Juan de Pirque. From there, sumptuous Chardonnays began to emerge, with New World, high-altitude flavours, but made in a Burgundian fashion, involving, in particular, meticulous and subtle use of oak in both fermentation and ageing.

From there, WFC have gone on to collaborate in and/or own further vineyards in the many Chilean winegrowing valleys, including in some of the heartlands of the Carmenère grape, Chile's Merlot-like speciality grape: here (again) at Pirque in the Maipo Valley. The Burgundian approach to winemaking remains prevalent in all of WFC's wines, including this Carmenère.

The Gran Reserva - a blend of 89% Carmenère and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon (which adds extra complexity and structure) - sees long macerations (by Carmenère standards) both before and after fermentation to achieve (respectively) both good colour and tannin levels. The main fermentation is followed by a malolactic fermentation, and is then - and this is what principally makes it a Gran Reserva - aged twelve months in a mixture of (mainly) new and used-once French oak barrels (from various forests and makers), allowing for greater complexity and oak effects.

In addition, 2013 is generally regarded as being one of the best-ever Carmenère vintages, doubly so in Maipo.

Living up to Fèvre's expectations of a fine aging wine, this Gran Reserva Carmenère possesses an intense purple color and, on the nose, has a great complexity of red pepper (a characteristic of this grape and rather generous in this vintage), wild blackberries with aromas of earth, smokey wood and violets. On the palate, the attack is both subtle and generous; the tannins are both velvety and persistent. The qualities of this well structured Carmenère will be enhanced with several years of aging in the bottle.

For more information and details of the Gran Reserva's twin, also available, click here.

*** WE HAVE NOW SOLD OUR INITIAL ALLOCATION OF THIS WINE: ONLY SMALL AMOUNTS OF THE 2013 VINTAGE REMAIN EVEN AT THE PRODUCER. WE ARE INVESTIGATING ITS FUTURE AVAILABILITY. PLEASE EMAIL mark@exelwines.co.ukIF YOU WOULD BE INTERESTED IN ORDERING SOME IN A FUTURE ORDER, ALTHOUGH PLEASE NOTE THAT, IF AVAILABLE, THIS WOULD ONLY ARRIVE IN LATE NOVEMBER ***

 

 

£15.00

Chateau Los Boldos Tradition Reserve Carmenere 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).

Chateau los Boldos Trad Reserve Carmenere 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

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.

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.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks over a period of eight days at temperatures of 25-28°C. After malolactic fermentation, 60% of the wine was aged in French oak for six months prior to bottling.

Deep ruby red in colour. On the nose, ripe red fruit aromas of wild strawberries and redcurrants mingle with black cherry fruit characters and hints of spice from oak. The palate is balanced and fresh, with integrated tannins and an elegant finish.

£9.24

De Gras Carmenere Reserva 2016 (1x 75cl)

This wine is the same as the MontGras wine of same vintage and status, ie the 2016 Carmenère Reserva, the MontGras simply being the supermarket label for the same wine. Should any doubt exist over this, we would invite you to take a look at the producer's own fiches techniques/technical data sheets for the two wines (see blue link below).

MontGras and de Gras compared - Carmenere Reserva 2016

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).

MontGras Reserva Carmenere 2016 - October 2017 Decanter review

The wine is 85% Carmenere, 15% Merlot and hails from the Colchagua Valley, the heartland of Carmenère. Grapes are hand harvested, and the wine was oaked in a measured way (75% oaked, 25% unoaked; for the oaked portion: 80% French oak, 20% American oak; 25% of oak was new; oaking lasted 5 months) to impart complexity without loss of the distinctive Carmenère flavours and fruit.

Deep purple / red in colour with a full bouquet of spice, oak and black fruit and a firm but juicy palate. Offers plum, damson and curranty characters alongside well-integrated toasty oak and layers of vanilla. Excellent, very affordable example of Carmenère.

£8.90

De Martino Legado Carmenere 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).

De Martino Legado Carmenere 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

The De Martino family came from Italy in 1934 and settled in Chile in the Maipo valley. From the beginning they specialised mainly in creating wines from Bordeaux grape varieties. In 1996, the family decided to label and export Chile's first Carmenere from the renowned vineyard of Alto de Piedras. Today, the winery combines the experience of the family's third generation - represented by Pietro, Marco and Remo De Martino - with the dynamism and vision of the already-incorporated fourth generation, where Marco Antonio and Sebastián De Martino, together with the winemakers Marcelo Retamal and Eduardo Jordán, are leading the winery's new projects.

Produced with grapes from two different vineyards in the Maipo Valley: one in the Isla de Maipo area and the other located in the foothills of the Coastal Mountain Range. This is 100% Carmenere (unusual), made with indigenous yeasts, aged for 16 months in old French oak barrels, and just lightly filtered without fining.

Fresh and intense with notes of white pepper and plum, which are balanced by sweet aromas of vanilla. A pleasant acidity fills the palate, with well-structured tannins.

£11.30

Perez Cruz Carmenere Limited Edition 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below) ...

Perez Cruz, Limited Edition Carmenere, Maipo 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2017 edition review of Carmenere (see blue link below).

Perez Cruz, Limited Edition Carmenere, Maipo 2014 - April 2017 Decanter review

The grapes were handpicked and then carefully selected before being gently pressed and cold macerated in stainless steel tanks. Pumped over by hand, the juice was fermented and was then macerated with its skins for a period of 30 days. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation and was then matured in new French oak barrels for 16 months.

A spicy wine with vibrant notes of blackberry, blackcurrant and a hint of mocha. Elegant and complex on the palate with supple tannins and a savoury finish.

 

£15.05

Santa Ema Amplus One Carmenere 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 88 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).

Santa Ema Amplus One Carmenere 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

The Amplus One is made up of 75% Carmenère, 20% Syrah, and 5% Carignan and sees 12 months of oak ageing in French oak barriques.

A fascinating wine, complex and expressive, of an intense red color with violet hues. Attractive aromas of cherries, black cherries and cassis, with notes of tobacco, black chocolate and graphite.  

The Amplus One Carmenère is powerful, with round tannins that give it a thick, mature and seductive finish with all the authenticity and the special seal of the Peumo Valley in Cachapoal. 

£15.50

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Altamira Malbec 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below)...

Altos las Hormigas Appellation Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 95 points and Outstanding status in their October 2017 edition review of South American Extreme Viticulture (see blue link below)...

Altos las Hormigas Appellation Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status in their October 2016 edition review of Argentina (see blue link below).

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Altamira Malbec 2014 - October 2016 Decanter review 

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised appellation in Mendoza and one of the region's premier vine growing areas. The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country's top five producers of this particular variety. 

The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted oak foudres for 18 months, and a further 12 months in bottle. There was a coarse filtration prior to bottling, to ensure that the quality of the wine was not interfered with.

Fresh and delicate on the nose showing layers of red cherries and raspberries combined with herbal notes of wild rocket and thyme and a touch of minerality. On the palate it is elegant and supple with fine tannins providing structure. A graceful, complex, deep and structured wine with considerable length.

£31.88

Andeluna Altitud Malbec 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below).

Andeluna Altitud Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

Andeluna was founded in 2003 by the late Ward Lay whose family had interests in many industries and companies including Frito-Lay and Pepsico. The vineyard covers 70 hectares in the beautiful Uco Valley near Tupungato, one of the best sub-regions of Mendoza. By night you can often see the moon illuminating the magnificent Andes Mountains nearby and the winery has been named after this stunning scene. At an altitude of 1,300 metres the vineyard produces some of the best fruit in Argentina. Their winemaker, Manuel Gonzalez (previously Head Winemaker at Pulenta Estate and Chief Enologist at Trivento) works alongside Andeluna's wine consultant Hans Vinding Diers making outstanding wines which have propelled this producer into the world spotlight in a very short space of time.

The grapes come from the vineyard located in Tupungato, which is situated at an altitude of 1,300 metres above sea level. The area is characterised by its great diurnal temperature swings, which encourages aromatic expression and a great intensity of colour in the wine. 

100% Malbec. Grape clusters were hand selected prior to vinifcation and underwent a prefermentation maceration at low temperatures. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks at temperatures maintained at approximately 26°C. The wine was aged in French oak barrels for eight to 12 months, followed by six months in bottle, prior to release.

This is a full flavoured Malbec with intense aromas red fruits and violets combined with delicate hints of vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Sweet fruit on the palate is backed by soft, but high volume tannins which give the wine a long and exquisite finish.

£15.40

Andeluna Pasionado Malbec 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below).

Andeluna Pasionado Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

Andeluna was founded in 2003 by the late Ward Lay whose family had interests in many industries and companies including Frito-Lay and Pepsico. The vineyard covers 70 hectares in the beautiful Uco Valley near Tupungato, one of the best sub-regions of Mendoza. By night you can often see the moon illuminating the magnificent Andes Mountains nearby and the winery has been named after this stunning scene. At an altitude of 1,300 metres the vineyard produces some of the best fruit in Argentina. Their winemaker, Manuel Gonzalez (previously Head Winemaker at Pulenta Estate and Chief Enologist at Trivento) works alongside Andeluna's wine consultant Hans Vinding Diers making outstanding wines which have propelled this producer into the world spotlight in a very short space of time.

The Pasionado range is only made in exceptional vintages and rivals some of the great wines of the world.

100% Malbec. The grapes were selected by hand, followed by a pre-fermentation maceration, to extract a rich colour. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled vats. The post-fermentation maceration lasted for up to 10 days before racking. The wine was then aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels and at least 12 months in bottle before release.

Characteristic intense red colour, with violet shades. Complex aromas of ripe red fruits and sweet notes of violet. Oak aging gives the wine delicate hints of vanilla and tobacco, with a touch of chocolate. A structured, full bodied wine, with rounded sweet tannins and aromatic notes that linger, giving a long lasting finish.

£29.08

Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below). Alas, the 2015 was sold out in the UK long before publication of Decanter, and we can suggest the new 2016 vintage as a close alternative.

Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

Doña Paula is a leading, modern winery at the forefront of exploring and investing in new, high quality wine regions in Argentina. First established in 1997, they own all of their vineyards covering 700 hectares. These vineyard sites are located in the best subregions within Mendoza including Ugarteche, Altamira, Gualtallary and Tupungato. They practice sustainable methods in the vineyards, maximising the true expression of terroir.

Grapes are sourced from Dona Paula's estate owned vineyards, Finca el Alto in Ugarteche, Lujan de Cuyo. A cold pre-fermentation maceration is carried out to preserve primary aromas. The must is then cooled and traditional fermentation is carried out. Post-fermentation maceration lasts between 10 and 15 days. Malolactic fermentation is carried out after maceration and before bottling.

An intensely coloured wine, with purple tints. The sweet, spicy and intense aromas of red fruits and herbs are enhanced by the soft, velvety palate which is fresh and well balanced.

£10.85

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below).

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

** Sadly, this vintage has now sold out - there were scant supplies still left in the UK when Decanter was published - and we would recommend the 2016 (click here), which we regard as vanishingly different from the 2015. **

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley, often hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina. The terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non-invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

The vines are grown at high altitude, drip irrigated vineyards in Gualtallary, in the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea-level in the highest vinegrowing zone in the Province of Mendoza, at the foot of Tupungato volcano. This zone is characterized by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 17°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

The grapes were placed in cement egg-shaped fermenters to allow the alcoholic fermentation to take place. The native yeasts were left to start working naturally. The egg shape of the fermenter facilitates vinification without the need for numerous pump-overs. Thanks to its ovoid shape, everything inside is constant movement, allowing gentler and more homogeneous extractions. Once the fermentation was complete, a maceration with the skins took place over 40 days and the wine was then removed from the tank before being returned to the same egg shaped vessel for 12 months further ageing (that is, no oak is used to preserve fruit characteristics and flavours).

A complex and mineral example of Cabernet Franc (100%) with distinct herbaceous notes such as green pepper, enhanced with black pepper spice. Restrained, with a refreshing, silky structure and a long, fine finish.

£15.41

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below). Frustratingly, at the time of that edition's release, there were fewer than 120 bottles still available at the UK importer, and we now move to the 2016. Given Zorzal's mighty pedigree, this 2016 vintage is unlikely to disappoint.

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley, often hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina. The terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non-invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

The vines are grown at high altitude, drip irrigated vineyards in Gualtallary, in the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea-level in the highest vinegrowing zone in the Province of Mendoza, at the foot of Tupungato volcano. This zone is characterized by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 17°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

The grapes were placed in cement egg-shaped fermenters to allow the alcoholic fermentation to take place. The native yeasts were left to start working naturally. The egg shape of the fermenter facilitates vinification without the need for numerous pump-overs. Thanks to its ovoid shape, everything inside is constant movement, allowing gentler and more homogeneous extractions. Once the fermentation was complete, a maceration with the skins took place over 40 days and the wine was then removed from the tank before being returned to the same egg shaped vessel for 12 months further ageing (that is, no oak is used to preserve fruit characteristics and flavours).

A complex and mineral example of Cabernet Franc (100%) with distinct herbaceous notes such as green pepper, enhanced with black pepper spice. Restrained, with a refreshing, silky structure and a long, fine finish. 

£15.41

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza Gualtallary, Tupungato Malbec 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below).

Zorzal Eggo Tinto Tiza Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

2014 saw a relatively cool harvest. However, the grapes perfectly fulfilled the maturity cycle, achieving high quality polyphenols and especially super-fine tannins. This resulted in fine wines of great texture and acidity.

Gualtallary is located in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine growing valleys: the Uco Valley and is situated at 1,350 metres above sea level. This is one of the highest vine growing zones in the Province of Mendoza, sitting at the foot of the Tupungato volcano - one of the highest peaks in the Andes. The zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 20°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place in egg-shaped containers made of cement. Their shape helps to keep the liquid to move constantly, so the temperature is more consistent and the lees remain constantly in suspension. The resulting wine achieves a greater character and volume on the palate. Following the fermentation, the wine was aged for 12 months in the same container, with a view to conserving its pure, authentic character, without interference from any other influence such oak from another terroir.

A deep, intense and complex example of a Gualtallary Malbec, with the typical aromas of chalk, flint, and mineral tones. Structured and voluminous on the palate with a silky texture, this is poised and direct, with a refreshing quality. This is a gastronomic wine which pairs beautifully with red meats, pasta and rabbit.

£15.41

Colome Torrontes 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).

Colome Torrontes 2016 - October 2017 Decanter review

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.

The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley and greater difference between day and night temperatures, ensures a longer growing season which in turn leads to a more intense accumulation of flavour in the grapes. The large difference (25°C) between day and night also aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. Fermenation was slow, using selected yeasts at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for three months before bottling in June 2016. It then spent a further two months ageing in bottle before release.

Intense gold in colour with green tones, this wine has a bright floral nose with the citrus aroma of grapefruit and a hint of spice. In the mouth it is fresh and well structured with a crisp finish. Elegant and fruity with tropical notes to the fore.

£10.75
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