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Alter Ribeiro Blanco 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites (see blue link below).

Alter Ribeiro Blanco 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

Alter came highly recommended by Lalo Antón of Izadi. He had admired this small, family-run winery since their first vintage a couple of years ago marked them out as one of the most serious producers in the region. The winery was founded by José Pérez Pousa on the banks of the Miño river in 2014, with the wish to preserve the tradition of their native land, where wine has been produced since the 2nd century BCE. The wine is named ‘alter’ to mean ‘another wine more’ in Latin.

Alter has 24 hectares of its own vineyards, which are divided into 168 small plots planted with native white varieties: Treixadura, Godello and Loureira. The vines are on average 15-30 years old, planted on decomposed granite with sand and clay. The vineyards benefit from a perfect mesoclimate with good diurnal ranges particularly during the growing season ensuring the fruit is able to fully ripen while retaining fresh acidity. All harvesting is done by hand, plot by plot at the perfect moment to ensure optimum level of ripeness which elongates their harvest.

The 2018 vintage was marked by above average rainfall through spring and the beginning of summer which ensured the soil had good water reserves through the hot summer. The growing cycle was a week later than usual and this delay followed through the whole season. This late ripening allowed the fruit to be harvested with a good balance of acidity and sugar.

Each vineyard plot and variety were fermented separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, the cool ferment retaining the aromatic intensity of the grapes. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on lees for three to four months to add depth before the final blend was assembled. The 2018 is made up of 85% Treixadura, 8% Godello and 7% Loureira.

This wine has a bright straw colour with elegant aromas of white flowers, green apple and grapefruit on the nose. The palate is lively with brisk acidity and flavours of white peach dominating. This is a remarkably balanced and well structured wine with a long finish.

ABV = 12.5%.

£14.50

Bodega Garzon Reserva Albarino 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition panel tasting of Alternative South American Whites (see blue link below).

Garzón Reserva Albariño 2018 - October 2019 Decanter review

The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition feature on Uruguay  (see blue link below).

Garzón Reserva Albariño 2017 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Central South American White) at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Garzón Reserva Albariño 2016 - 2017 DWWA Decanter review

Bodega Garzón is a family owned winery in Maldonado on the Atlantic coast in southern Uruguay. They pioneered viticulture in this area over 10 years ago, and have since become the standard-bearer for premium wines from Uruguay. In November 2018, their pioneering status was recognised by Wine Enthusiast with the ‘New World Winery of the Year’ award. The vineyards at Bodega Garzón are a patchwork quilt of 1,150 individual plots of around 0.2 hectares in size, each plot carefully chosen for a specific variety according to its soil and microclimate. The winery is specially designed to operate as sustainably as possible, and is the first winery outside North America to pursue LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Built on natural terraces, the winery uses cutting-edge technology and operates using a gravity system to ensure quality and energy efficiency at every stage of production.

Located 11 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the estate has more than 1,000 small vineyard blocks covering hillside slopes, which benefit from varying microclimates, different levels of humidity and an intense canopy management. Well-draining granitic soils and cooling Atlantic breezes allow the grapes to ripen steadily. The vineyards are surrounded by lush forests, palm trees, rocky soils and granite boulders. This single vineyard Tannat comes from a site which is cooler than the other blocks on the estate, with steep slopes, thin soils and excellent drainage thanks to the predominance of ballast in the upper layers.

A relatively mild winter brought forward bud break by about two weeks. There were average levels of rainfall in spring and early summer, however the drought which followed in January caused a severe water shortage. Therefore the viticultural team used drip irrigation, thus ensuring perfect maturation in the grapes. Despite the water shortage and subsequent irrigation measures, veraison was uniform. Optimum maturation was also aided by the cooler nights which are becoming more common in the region. The wines from this vintage, with its early start and generally favourable climatic conditions, are elegant and fruit forward.

The hand-harvested grapes were pressed before being fermented in stainless-steel tanks at a cool 17ºC for two weeks. The wine then spent a further 3-6 months on lees for added complexity.

For full details of this unusual but superb wine, we would point you towards Garzon's own, excellent fiche technique/data sheet (click here).

100% Albariño/Alvarinho.

Pale yellow with a green hue, this Albariño is intense on the nose with peach and citrus aromas. The freshness and minerality on the midpalate is superb, ably supported by a remarkable acidity which frames the juicy fruit on the crisp finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.75

Ca Dei Frati Lugana I Frati 2018 (1x75cl)

The Dal Cero family has transformed their Cà dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 140 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality, and today they remain the best producer in Lugana. The quality of the wines is attributable directly to Igino Dal Cero's obsession with detail. All their fruit is picked by hand; he ensures there is no skin contact as he wants to retain delicate perfumes and enhance the supple texture; he has changed his mind on malolactic fermentation and now inhibits it in order to give the wine the lift he feels it benefits from; and he is now convinced that ageing on lees from end of fermentation gives him greater richness on the palate and the wonderful flintiness on nose that makes this wine so Burgundian in character.

The secret to the success of the Cà dei Frati wines is outstanding vineyards. Most producers in the zone overcrop and train the vines high. At Cà dei Frati, the vines are trained low, on single or double Guyot, newer vineyards have a higher density of planting, and yields are well below the average for the zone. This wine is made from grapes grown on 10 to 35 year old vines. In Lugana, the Turbiana grape is grown on the glacial soils just to the south of Lake Garda. The warmer days give wines with more weight and intensity than those from 60 kilometres to the east. The cool nights, thanks to the moderating influence of Lake Garda, ensures the grapes retain aroma and acidity.

The 2018 vintage began with a long period of dry weather. Rainy weather occurred in May and early June. Hot weather in the summer months allowed the grapes to develop normally. Temperatures throughout the summer remained high; in September it rarely went below 30°C. Yields were slightly higher than usual, and the quality of the grapes was very high.

The must was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks to maximise its fresh fruit character. The wine then remained on lees in stainless-steel tanks for six months before spending two months ageing in bottle before release.

100% Turbiana.

Pale yellow in colour with a concentrated but fresh perfume of white flowers, peaches and ripe lemons. On the palate, it has excellent depth and balance, with lovely richness and a crisp, lively finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£16.75

Cenatiempo Vini d'Ischia Kalimera Biancolella Ischia 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

As Cenatiempo will tell you, Ischia wine is mountain wine. The vineyards all over the island are influenced by the close proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea (off the West Coast of Italy, not far from Naples) but also from their elevation – their grapes are grown up to elevations of 600 meters. The winery is run by Pasquale Cenatiempo and his partner, Federica Predoni. They make compelling, focused, mineral-driven wines from the island’s indigenous varieties on the volcanic slopes of Ischia. 

Ischia is situated just off the coast of Naples. Here the soil is volcanic. In fact, the island was formed by a volcano which last erupted in 1302. The winery was founded in 1945 by Pasquale’s father Francesco, who, like Pasquale today, made wine from his own grapes as well as from some of his friends and neighbors throughout the island. Not much has changed over the last 70 years. The wines are still fermented in steel or cement vats with indigenous yeasts and aged in the same vessels. In the vineyards, Cenatiempo farms organically. In fact, for their larger parcels they have begun adapting some biodynamic principles and treatments as well.

Their production is mainly in white wine including a couple of Ischia Bianco blends as well as monovarietal wines of Biancolella and the high-acid, low-octane Forastera. They also make small amounts of red, mainly from Piedirosso, Aglianico and Sciacinosso. The two wines that really illustrate the potential of great winemaking on this small island are the Kalimera Biancolella sourced from an old parcel of Biancolella at high elevation and also the small production Forastera bottling which is more reminiscent of a mountain wine from the north, like a Blanc du Morgex from the Valle d’Aoste, beautifully lean, racy and stony. 

These are small production wines form an artisanal producer making traditional, natural wine from a truly unique terroir of high elevation vineyards and compelling local varieties.

100% Biancolella.

Viticulture: Hand-harvested at the end of October. Practicing (but not certified) organic viticulture. Practicing biodynamic. Hand-harvested at the end of October.

Winemaking: Hand-harvested at the end of October. Vinified in cement. Aged in cement, spending three months on the lees.

"It's made from the indigenous Biancolella grape variety which few of our judges had ever tasted before - but its golden colour, almost spritzy style, haunting aromas of wild flowers and fragrant scented hay, and its mouthfilling, complex flavour which seem to hint at celery and fennel as well as quince and medlar captivated everyone who tasted it.  A unique, cultural wine of memorable, stealthy charm." (DWWA19 panel review)

ABV = 13.0%.

£21.85

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 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

Darenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2018 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

D'Arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

Viognier 62%, Marsanne 38%.

d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab 2018 – fiche technique

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.75

Darenberg The Money Spider Roussane 2019 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

100% Roussanne.

Residual sugar = 3.9g/litre (ie dry).

D'Arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details (2018 sheet - 2019 sheet imminent).

d'Arenberg The Money Spider 2019 – fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£13.75

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 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

Gasper Pinot Grigio 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 96 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Gasper is located in Goriška Brda, which makes up the two thirds of Collio stretching into Slovenia from Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Goriška Brda has a climate ideally suited to viticulture, with its proximity to both the Adriatic Sea and the Alps providing dry, warm summers with cooling breezes during the crucial ripening period. The Gasper wine estate is a joint venture between a local cooperative and the Carman family, who have been in the wine and hospitality business for over 50 years. At the helm of the cellar is Darinko Ribolica, a respected oenologist from Goriška Brda. He uses Slovenia’s local varieties to create wines in a modern, fresh style.

The grapes for this wine are grown at altitudes ranging between 80-200 metres above sea level. The vineyards are terraced and face south-west, east and south. The climate here is sub-Mediterranean and experiences a mixture of warm sea air and the influence of cold winds from the Alps.

2018 was a wonderful vintage with no hail or frost experienced, resulting in a very successful harvest. A rainy spring led to an early summer and temperatures were warm and not excessively hot. Conditions at harvest time were ideal with warm, dry days and cool nights.

Fruit was pressed in a pneumatic press and then fermented and matured in stainless steel tanks. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to preserve the freshness and fruit character of the grapes.

100% Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris.

Residual Sugar = 3.7g/litre.

The wine is straw yellow in colour with a subtle shade of pink. The nose is reminiscent of pear, grapefruit, pineapple and cinnamon. Well balanced, this medium-bodied Pinot Grigio has a lovely richness, with a silky finish and citrus aromas.

ABV = 14.0%.

£13.70

Goats Do Roam White 2019 (1x75cl)

Charles Back, the owner of Fairview, is also the man behind Goats do Roam, which was launched in 1999. Goats do Roam is rare in that it is an amusing and original proposition allied to wines of good quality and value for money. Normally, these 'concept' wines put more money into marketing than into quality but, characteristically, Charles has done the opposite. The fruit for Goats is sourced primarily from Paarl, Malmesbury and Paardeberg. The 'legend' goes that some errant members of Fairview's long established goat herd, supplier of milk for Fairview's internationally award-winning cheeses, escaped one afternoon from their paddock into the Fairview vineyards when Charles Back's young son Jason accidentally left the paddock gate open. The little group happily roamed among the vineyards, showing rare discernment by selecting some of the ripest berries from some of the choicest vines. Their selection serves as the inspiration for the blends of these wines.

The Viognier, Roussanne and some of the Grenache Blanc for this blend was sourced from the Fairview farm on the slopes of Paarl Mountain, grown on decomposed granite soils. The majority of the Grenache Blanc is sourced from our vineyards in Darling. The Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc and Chenin Blanc grapes were picked between 22 and 23.5°Brix.

The fruit was destalked and crushed and then gently pressed. Only free run juice was used and the vineyard parcels were kept separate. The juice was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks and the individual components were left on their lees prior to blending and bottling.

This wine is a blend of 39% Roussanne , 38% Viognier, 13% Grenache Blanc, 10% Marsanne.

The Goats Do Roam White is a vibrant light green colour in the glass. There are complex aromas of lemon, peach, pear and floral notes. The palate is medium bodied with stone fruit and citrus flavours, with fresh lingering acidity. A lovely pairing with cream-based seafood and pasta dishes.

ABV = 13.5%.

£10.20

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

Ktima Gerovassiliou Epanomi Malagousia 2019

The 2018 vintage was awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Ktima Gerovassiliou is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou. He initiated the revival of the family vineyard by planting the nearly extinct Malagousia in 1981. This state of the art winery is now surrounded by 74 hectares of meticulously well-cared vineyards on the slopes of Epanomi. Ktima Gerovassiliou guarantees consistent, high quality wines of international acclaim every year and his Malagousia remains the benchmark to this day.

At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate in the region of Epanomi is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria. The vines are grown in soils which are mainly sandy with a few clayey substrates and calcareous rocks. It is rich in sea fossils, as the surrounding hilly area was formed by sea deposits.

The Malagousia (pronounced Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes were macerated on the skins to extract the desired level of aromatics. Part of the must was fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18 to 20°C; and part was vinified in seasoned French oak. Clarification took place by gravity. The wine was then matured on the lees for a few months with regular lees stirring or bâtonnage, prior to being fined with bentonite.

Malagousia 100%.

Wonderfully expressive and complex aromas of white pear, mango and lemon zest combine with floral hints. Delightful and refreshing on the palate, it is rich and harmonious with a spicy, mouthwatering finish with a delicious flinty, mineral character.  A perfect match for Mediterranean dishes, seafood, Thai-spiced grilled swordfish, orzo cauliflower salad or fried courgette blossoms.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.75

La Giustiniana Gavi Di Gavi Lugarara 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was subject to a very flattering review by Matthew Jukes in the 13th March 2020 edition of Money Week (www.moneyweek.com) (see blue link below).

La Giustiniana Gavi di Gavi Luagarara 2018 - March 2020 Money Week (Matthew Jukes) review

Donato Lanati, one of Italy's best consultants, began working with La Giustiniana at the beginning of 1998. His indelible stamp of quality has become increasingly evident in recent years. The changes brought in the winery by Lanati are now being matched with the improvements being made in the vineyard, where better grapes are giving purer, richer and better balanced wines. The entire estate covers 110 hectares in the heart of the commune of Rovereto in Gavi, of which 40 are under vine. Two single-vineyard wines are produced, both of which are unoaked so the character of each vineyard shines through.

Lugarara is a single vineyard at around 300 metres above sea level. Soils are grey marl with loose, sandy topsoil. The vines are Guyot trained and planted at a density of 4,000 vines per hectare.

The 2018 vintage began with a good winter, which saw average temperatures and rainfall. Spring and early summer were very rainy, helping replenish water resources depleted in 2017 and bringing forward all vegetative stages. The fresh and humid summer lead to vigorous growth and meant that some thinning was necessary. The hot weather returned from mid-August and allowed the grapes to reach full maturity.

The grapes were hand-picked and gently pressed upon arrival at the winery. They then underwent a cool fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 16°C. Unoaked, the wine was bottled in the spring following the harvest.

100% Cortese.

Straw-yellow with a greenish hue, the wine's aromas of white fruit, stone fruit and lime zest are immediately beguiling and followed by a subtle yet persistent bouquet of green apples. The palate is well balanced with a fresh acidity and good structure, and almond notes on the finish.

ABV = 12.5%.

£15.15
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