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Brusset Gigondas Tradition Le Grand Montmirail 2017 (1x 75cl)

This family owned estate was established in 1947 and the Brusset family has managed to combine the "savoir faire" of traditional winemaking with the new techniques introduced by each generation. The founder, André Brusset (1910-1999), his son Daniel, and his grand-son Laurent: three wine-growers and wine-makers with a variety of experiences have all contributed to the distinctive character of the Domaine Brusset, where three generations have complimented each other to achieve the best results. The Domaine Brusset is located in the heart of the southern Côtes-du-Rhône valley vineyards, at Cairanne. With a total of 70 hectares, their vineyards extend over 5 prestigious appellations : Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau, Côtes-du-Rhône and Ventoux.

The vineyards for this wine are on well established, stony terraced, south-facing vineyards.

The grapes are hand-picked before being strictly selected according to a variety of ripeness checks. They are then crushed and destalked. No yeast is added and fermentation takes place invats for 21 days with twice daily "pigeages" or punching down of the cap of skins carried out twice daily.  The wine is then matured - 60 % in vats and 40 % in oak barrels or "demi-muids" that are between 2 and 4 years old. 

This wine is a blend of Grenache 70%, Syrah 10%, Mourvedre 10%, Cinsault 10%.

To see a concise and informative fiche technique / tasting note for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Domaine Brusset Gigondas Tadition Le Grand Montmirail - fiche technique

£22.60

Bush Telegraph Shiraz Viognier 2014 (1x75cl)

The Bush Telegraph is a fun and colourful new Australian brand. Using popular Australian grape varieties and blends these wines are now available at a very reasonable price point.

This full-bodied wine displays aromas and flavours of blackberries, bramble fruit, coffee and violets. This wine has a soft tannin structure.

£6.40

Ca' Rugate Campo Lavei Valpolicella Superiore 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review Valpolicella Superiore (see blue link below).

Ca Rugate Campo Lavei Valpolicella Superiore - May 2018 Decanter review

The family business has been handed down through the generations of the Tessari family since the early 1900s. The estate was renamed Ca'Rugate in 1986, taking its name from the volcanic hills where the vineyards are located. Now run by the fourth generation, Michele has brought with him a lively, passionate and entrepreneurial spirit. Considerable expansion has taken place in recent years with investment in a new technologically advanced cellar and expansion into the Valpolicella area with the purchase of vineyards in the hilly zone of Montecchia di Crosara. Ca'Rugate has been awarded the prestigious 'Tre Bicchieri' award rating from Gambero Rosso multiple times, making it one of the most awarded producers in the competition and has been hailed by the New York Times as one of the "Top Five producers of high end Soave".

A cool winter with high rainfall set the scene for 2016. Dry and rainy periods took place during the spring enabling the vegetative cycle to develop without any stress. The summer saw high temperatures with dry conditions, resulting in high yields of high quality grapes. Vineyard The six hectare Campo Lavei vineyard is situated on the hillsides of Montecchia di Crosara. The vines yield 90 quintals per hectare and are grown in limestone and pebble soils.

At the beginning of October, some of the harvested grapes are set aside to dry in wooden trays until the end of December. The undried grapes were destemmed and fermented immediately after the harvest. The dried grapes were added at a later stage and were allowed to ferment in stainless steel for approximately one week, prior to pressing, which took place at the end of December. The wine was then transferred into small barrels to finish fermentation and mature in oak, for a period of eight to 10 months.

Intense aromas of black fruit and cherries, combined with a twist of spice from the wood. The palate is mellow, balanced and rounded, complete with elegant tannins and a smooth finish. Pair with pasta dishes and meat sauce, grilled or roasted red meat, game or medium aged cheeses.

£20.05

Ca Vittoria Appassimento Gold Release 2017 (1x75cl)

One of our biggest-selling red wines and the biggest-seller at this price point. It's easy to see why.

Fans of the steeped Valpolicella wines – Amarone, Recioto and Ripasso – will love this, especially as it does what an Amarone does at barely half the price. Merlot (25%) makes up the body of the wine while Puglian specialities Primitivo (15%) and Negroamaro (60%) lend it their fruity depth of flavour. 

This blend of grapes grown and harvested in the Salento area, with picking occurring as late as October. But it is less the varietals and more the winemaking process that makes this special: instead of the traditional Veneto passito method used with the Valpolicellas - in which the grapes are picked and then allowed to dry to concentrate flavours and sugars - the Puglian appassimento method sees the grapes left in-situ on the vines to dry for a fortnight, ahead of picking and winemaking.

During this period 50% of their weight and moisture is lost. After a rigorous hand harvest, the grapes are pressed and the fermentation starts; the skins are left in the must for a long period to extract flavours and the characteristic ruby red colour. Subsequently the wine is left in oak for about 3 or 4 months; this aging gives pleasant notes of spice and vanilla.

The effect is the same: a wine which has deep colour and a rich luscious nose and palate full of sweet ripe dark cherries, plums, vanilla, and raisins. Result: seriously fruity and wonderfully easy drinking. It’s a great wine for roasted and grilled meats and game dishes.

This is a wonderful wine at an exceptional price.

£10.95

Caballo Loco 17 NV (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of South American Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Caballo Loco 17 NV - June 2019 Decanter review

The winemaker's own technical sheets appear below (click blue links) - the Spanish inclusion may seem a little leftfield, but includes regional and other info that have yet to be put onto the English version

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - English

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - Spanish

For our article on 'the' (this) Caballo Loco, the appellation/Grand Cru Caballo Locos and the better wines of the Valdivieso fleet, click this link.

Valdivieso's top wine and stable star, the Caballo Loco is known around the world and each year changes merely its edition and, technically, not its vintage. It brings together every Cabollo Loco made since 1992 (the year of version 1), in what is, effectively, a solera system (as used for sherry and brandy de Jerez).

The idea for Caballo Loco was inspired by the legendary Ribera de Duero, Vega Sicilia Único Gran Reserva, which is produced using the solera method. This is the winemaking technique used for sherry and brandy de Jerez production, in which barrel-aged wines from different years are progressively and fractionally blended for reasons of both complexity and consistency.

The first Caballo Loco was produced in 1994 (Caballo Loco 1) and made from a blend of 50% of that year’s vintage with an aged blend from 1992. 

The resulting wine is bottle-aged for at least 18 months before release onto the market, and being a blend of wines from different years, there is, of course, no vintage on the label.

The grapes for the premium Caballo Loco come from four different vineyards in central Chile. The blend of the new wine varies each time it is made. Number 1 for example was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir, whilst later editions have contained varieties as diverse as Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Only Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are ever-present, these being blended with the best grapes from the other varieties that were most successful in the particular year (and best suited to create the intended balance of the Caballo Loco).

Each bottle of this version 17 therefore comprises:

- 50% version 16 and

- 50% of grapes from harvests from 2012 and 2013. New for version 17 was Carignan from Melozal (a sub-region of Maule) and Syrah from Limarí. This variety brings to the Caballo Loco another dimension of complexity, with balanced freshness and acidity.

The result is a wine of great concentration, quite unlike any other on the market. There is intense mature berry fruit on the nose and richness on the palate with velvety tannins, and so many layers of flavours that the wine is almost impossible to describe in detail. The secret blend of grapes from different vintages create intense aromas of dark cherry, coffee, and rich fruitcake. Full bodied on the palate with a beautiful lingering structure. 

It is a unique - some say crazy - wine, which is quite incomparable. It has great aromatic complexity and in the mouth, and an ageing potential of at least 10 years.

£33.75

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Maipo 2014 (1x 75cl)

** UK STOCKS ARE CURRENTLY LOW (although new stocks are expected by the end of May) - WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND CALLING TO CHECK BEFORE ORDERING **

The Caballo Loco Grands Crus were created by Valdivieso to show the different wines that are fundamental components of the icon Caballo Loco wine. For this reason, specific wines from specific valleys wine were born, where each strain/blend reflects the maximum expression of that valley.

One can arguably see these wines as understudies for the "true" Caballo Loco, but they are more than that, being quite superb - and full-throttle - wines in their own right, made with all the care, attention and know-how of the NV/"solera" version.

This Grand Cru Maipo gives the elegance and typical structure of Alto Maipo Valley, with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

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

Caballo Loco Grand Cru Maipo 2014 - fiche technique

A big, full-bodied wine with delicious aromas and flavours of ripe red cherries, coffee and dark chocolate. It has a luxurious texture and a lingering finish.

£23.55

Caggiano Taurasi Vigna Macchia dei Gotti DOCG 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of Italian Icon Wines (see blue link below) ....

Caggiano Taurasi Vigna Macchia dei Gotti 2013 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

... and awarded 93 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 Italy supplement article on Aglianico (see blue link below).

Caggiano Vigna Macchia dei Gotti Taurasi 2013 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

The Caggiano winery is based in the town of Taurasi, the heartland of Aglianico, which is the main focus of their production (they were the first ones to produce a Taurasi cru, aged Bordeaux-style exclusively in barriques in 1994). Antonio Caggiano, the founder of the winery, designed one of the wineries, the most spectacular in Campania in 1990. Today thousands of bottles are laid down in its galleries made of the local “tufo” stone waiting for the sturdy Aglianico to be ready to drink.

Fermentation is temperature-controlled, in stainless steel.

Intense maceration with the skins and alcoholic fermentation at 28 deg C for 20-25 days in steel. Malolactic fermentation in barriques. The wine matures in French oak (Troncais, Centre and Vosges) barriques for 18 months. Finishing in the bottle for another 18 months.

This is an intense and complex wine with aromas of red berry fruits on the nose and hints of vanilla and licorice appear on the palate along with wild strawberries and cranberries.

£32.55

Cambridge Road Syrah 2015 (1x75cl)

Cambridge Road Vineyard is a small family farmed estate established in 1986 with the intention of making world class Pinot Noir and Syrah. They focus both time and energy on perfecting and beautifying their land and cultivating it according to natural biodynamic and eco-farming principles. They believe in minimal intervention winemaking, low yields, and healthy living wines.

This is the latest wine in the history of Syrah production from their home vineyard. 2015 was a low cropping year with beautiful ripeness. Harvested in late April the fruit was handled simply.

It spent 27 with days' skin contact & 12 months in neutral oak casks. It was wild fermented and bottled after one year with no fining or filtration. 

This wine is 100% Syrah.

Dark spiced plum characters are apparent in the silken structured wine. Bold in weight and generous body. 

£42.50

Cantina Mesa Buio Buio Isola dei Nuraghi 2016 (1x75cl)

This is one of the most exciting wineries to come out of Sardinia in two decades. It is the brainchild of Gavino Sanna, a Sardinian who has lived in Milan for the past 50 years, where he built up one of Italy's most successful advertising agencies. On a whim, he decided to sell the agency and seek new challenges. One of these challenges was the creation of a winery in Sulcis in southwestern Sardinia. As might be expected from someone with Sanna's background, the labels are striking. He has also ensured that the contents are equally striking. Stefano Cova, a young winemaker from Trentino, took over with the 2008 vintage, improving on an already high level of quality.

The grapes are grown in the Sulcis area on the south-western tip of Sardinia. The climate here is Mediterranean with low rainfall that usually falls almost entirely in autumn and winter. It is characterised by frequent north-westerly winds, high temperatures in spring and summer, a mild autumn and winters which vary from dry and cold through to relatively mild. Soils are naturally sandy and chalky-clay, sub-alkaline, medium textured with a rocky, schistous character. Moderate nutrient levels and good levels of minerals add a distinctive character to the resulting wines. The vines are espalier trained and spur-cordon pruned.

The grapes were hand-picked then vinified with maceration on the skins at 26-28°C for 10-12 days. Upon completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine spent a minimum of 10 months in second and third use barriques, followed by at least four months in bottle.

Deep ruby red in colour. The nose offers a complex mix of balsamic notes of red berry fruit and blossoms, together with hints of spices and oak. The palate is rich and full, revealing excellent balance with an appealingly silky texture and long, lingering finish.

£28.15

Carpineto, Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Carpineto Brunelllo 2012 - November 2017 Decanter review

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

Carpineto's Montalcino estate is one of the highest in the appellation at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, with 10 hectares of vineyard planted to Sangiovese Grosso on a dry farmed hillside. Planted at a density of 2.20 x 0.90 metres, which is the equivalent of over 5,000 vines per hectare, the vines are trained on a unilateral cordon system. The sedimentary soil has a galestro frame with clay accumulations dating to the Eocene era, some 15 million years ago. With a slightly northern exposure, the vineyard is surrounded by thick woods, which protect it from the warm and humid westerly winds that come up from the Maremma.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity levels and carefully selected. The fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats followed by maceration on the skins to extract flavour, colour and fine tannins. The wine was aged in Slovenian oak barrels for three years, followed by at least six months bottle ageing.

A mature Brunello showing a decisive and fine bouquet of hints of vanilla, deep red cherries, raspberry and a touch of liquorice. Elegant and well textured, with a warm and smooth palate and a long finish. Ideal with a bistecca all fiorentina, a fine roast leg of lamb with rosemary, pot roasted pheasant or fine, mature cheese.

£34.80

Carpineto, Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 (1x75cl)

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

In the beautiful olive and cypress-studded countryside between Florence and Siena lie the quaint hilltop villages of the Chianti Classico region. The wine of the same name is produced exclusively in this charming and beautiful area in stony soils.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats, followed by a skin contact maceration to extract colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was transferred to a combination of oak barrels and casks of Slavonian and French origin for a minimum of 12 months. It was then transferred back into stainless tanks briefly prior to bottling. The wine was bottle aged in temperature controlled cellars for a minimum of 10 months prior to release.

An inviting rich ruby red colour, with garnet reflections. Rich, velvety, full-flavoured and warming with hints of vanilla and raspberries, this is a very fine wine with silky tannins and a long, lingering finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£19.20

Caruso & Minini - Terre di Giumara - Frappato / Nerello Mascalese IGT 2016 (1x 75cl)

Caruso & Minini are a part of new revival in Sicilian wine. Smaller wineries have sprung up in the past decade with private investment and a strong interest in the potential of the native grapes from Sicily. One example is Caruso & Minini. When Mario Manini met Stefano Caruso it sparked a long-held dream to produce a wine in the historical winemaking region of Marsala in Western Sicily. The Terre di Giumara range focuses on these unique and delicious Sicilian grapes. 

This wine is a blend of Frappato and Nerello Mascalese.

To see an information and tasting sheet for this wine that has been prepared by the team at Caruso & Minini, please click on the blue link below.

Caruso & Minini Terre di Giumara Frappato Nerello Mascalese - fiche technique

£8.90

Caruso & Minini Corte Ferro Nero D'Avola 2015 (1x75cl)

Caruso & Minini are a part of new revival in Sicilian wine. Smaller wineries have sprung up in the past decade with private investment and a strong interest in the potential of the native grapes from Sicily. One example is Caruso & Minini. When Mario Manini met Stefano Caruso it sparked a long-held dream to produce a wine in the historical winemaking region of Marsala in Western Sicily.

The grapes are all handpicked for this wine and they are carefully selected. The maceration and fermentation of the destemmed grapes happen in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 25°C. for 15-20 days. Malolactic fermentation then takes place in stainless steel tanks. 50% of the wine is aged in acacia wood tonneaux and french oak of 500 litres for 10 months. The rest ages in stainless steel tanks. Finally the wine is aged in bottle for four months before being released for sale.

This wine has a wonderful colour and tone as well as possessing elegance. On the palate it is slightly spicy with strong and creamy tannins.

This goes extremely well with Mediterranean dishes as well as roasted meats.

£10.05

Caruso & Minini Sachia Perricone IGT Sicilia 2015 (1x75cl)

Caruso & Minini are a part of new revival in Sicilian wine. Small wineries have sprung up in the past decade with private investment and a strong interest in the potential of the native grapes from Sicily. One example is Caruso & Minini. When Mario Manini met Stefano Caruso. it sparked a long-held dream to produce a wine in the historical winemaking region of Marsala in Western Sicily.

For decades the Perricone (or the so-called pignatello) had been the undisputed leader of the red grapes in western Sicily. A careful vinification has transformed the prickly character into a incomparable personality: a one of a kind wine. Rich with red fruits, mixed with notes of liquorice, a typical expression of the relationship between the variety and its land. Wine of great power and harmony while expressing, at the same time, a fresh and lively character.

This wine is a great match for  charcuterie and other salty antipasti, aubergine dishes, veggie pies and cheeses.

£9.80

Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga Douro Tinto 2016 (1x75cl)

This historic producer, founded in 1751, was purchased by Sogrape in 1987. Today, they have 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions:  Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior.  The winemaking is headed up by the talented Luis Sottomayor, who manages to restrain the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Estevo and Papa Figos, allied to a wonderful depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Red and Quinta da Leda.

The grapes were picked from different sections of the Quinta da Leda estate as well as some neighbouring vineyards. Quinta da Leda's 76 hectares of vines were planted in collaboration with the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro de Vila Real, where a study was carried out on clonal research to select the best varieties in the Douro. The findings decided the varieties to be chosen and planted on this estate, using only the best clones of each variety for grafting.

Winter was particularly dry and mild. Strong and persistent rainfall from the end of winter continued into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors contributed to abnormal incidences of vine disease, especially mildew, and also affected flowering in lower-level zones. The high rainfall resulted in a reduction in the quantity of grapes. Summer was mild, with some spikes in temperature, and nights were generally cold. These conditions contributed to a long and balanced maturation, which, in turn, produced wines of superior quality.

The wine is made at the modern winery at Quinta da Leda. After full destemming, the grapes underwent gentle crushing before being transferred to stainless steel tanks and/or lagars (shallow, open troughs) where they underwent a long maceration to allow gentle extraction of colour, tannins and flavours from the skins. Once the fermentation was complete the wine was matured in used French and American oak (75% and 25% respectively) for between 12-18 months. The final blend is made with very careful selection after numerous tastings and analyses. The final wine is only slightly filtered before bottling.

Deep ruby in colour. The aroma is intense and very complex, with notes of black and red berries, pepper and pine needles along with attractive and well-integrated oak characters. On the palate, it has good body and acidity, high quality tannins, black fruit flavours and a hint of cocoa on the long and elegant finish.

£17.40
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