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2016 Gravestone Sauvignon Semillon, Man O War (1x 75cl)

Taking it’s name from the fluted basalt boulders that solemnly surround the volcanic hilltop vineyards, Gravestone is the finest blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon from each vintage.

Vintage 2016 began with a settled and dry Spring resulting in great flowering and a corresponding excellent fruit set. The settled weather continued up to the New Year when wet weather patterns became prevalent which continued into the harvest months. Careful attention to detail in the vineyard paid off with astonishing fruit quality across all varieties in what was undoubtedly a most challenging year.

The Sauvignon blanc was hand harvested off a number of hilltop blocks and given extended skin contact before pressing and ‘wild’ fermentation on juice lees in barrel. The Sémillon was gently pressed and clarified before fermentation in old seasoned barrels. Fermentation in oak barrels and puncheons by wild yeast gives a more rounded, silky texture to the wine.Following fermentation the wines stayed on lees for 6 months in tank and barrel before blending. The final blend consisting of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Sémillon was transferred to tank to ‘marry’ for 3 months before bottling.

The wine exhibits aromatics of guava, gooseberry and nettles with undertones of lychee and chalk dust some flinty sulphide notes. The palate is fresh with vibrant acidity balanced by weight and texture from the barrel fermentation and a long persistent finish.

£16.60

Adur Txakoli de Getaria 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Spanish Value Wines (under £20); (see blue link below).

Adur Tzakoli(na) de Getaria - March 2018 Decanter review

The dream of Adur began when Maitena and Héctor Gómez were establishing their winemaking careers. As their abilities and command of the winemaking process grew, they began to think of a winery of their own. The pull of Maitena’s family roots led them back to the Basque country, in the tiny Txakolina Getariako DO.

Sourced from 3 hectares of vines in Getaria, the yields are carefully controlled in order extract maximum intensity of aromas from the Hondarribi Zuri grape.

Fermentation takes place in French barrels all from the first press at a temperature of 12 ºC. 10% of the wine then undergoes malolactic to slightly reduce the acidity and provide more weight and balance on the palate. The Txakoli is then left in contact with the lees for 6 months to add volume and texture.

Wonderfully intense and elegant on the nose with white fruit, pear, fresh herbs and citrus notes. The palate is searingly fresh with poise and tension, notable salinity a long, complex finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£14.95

Ailala Treixadura 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).

Ailala Treixadura 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

The grapes for this lively wine come from some of the best sites in the Avia Valley and were hand harvested in September. They then undergo a whole bunch cold soak for eight hours. They are then crushed and pressed and fermented for 14 days at controlled temperatures of 16C in stainless steel tanks. There is no malolactic fermentation.

Ailala Treixadura is pale gold in colour with lively reflections. There are clean, powerful aromatics on the nose with apricot, white flowers and a sort of saline, sea-shell undertone. Spices such as clove, mint and fennel are also present. The palate displays sweet lemon and ripe melon with plenty of zing and grapefruit peel. A wine of great complexity and style and with bags of character. Treixadura is truly a noble grape!

This delicate, noble white pairs excellently with all seafood; crab linguine, steamed razor clams, or pan-fried seabass.

£12.90

Ailala Treixadura 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).

Ailala Treixadura 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

The grapes for this lively wine come from some of the best sites in the Avia Valley and were hand harvested in September. They then undergo a whole bunch cold soak for eight hours. They are then crushed and pressed and fermented for 14 days at controlled temperatures of 16C in stainless steel tanks. There is no malolactic fermentation.

Ailala Treixadura is pale gold in colour with lively reflections. There are clean, powerful aromatics on the nose with apricot, white flowers and a sort of saline, sea-shell undertone. Spices such as clove, mint and fennel are also present. The palate displays sweet lemon and ripe melon with plenty of zing and grapefruit peel. A wine of great complexity and style and with bags of character. Treixadura is truly a noble grape!

This delicate, noble white pairs excellently with all seafood; crab linguine, steamed razor clams, or pan-fried seabass.

£12.90

Algueira Cortezada Ribeira Sacra 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites (but was alas already sold out by the release of the magazine!)(see blue link below).

Algueira Cortezada Ribeira Sacra 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

Adega Algueira is responsible for producing some of the most interesting and esoteric wines this side of the equator. It’s interesting to think that the Old World is still capable of throwing up a few surprises using native grape varieties. Former El Bulli sommelier, Ferran Centelles, is not a man prone to hyperbole, so when he described Adega Algueira as ‘truly a revelation,’ the world sat up and took notice. Located in the spectacular Galician region of Ribeira Sacra, the hard work starts in the vineyard. The impossibly steep slopes can only be compared to those in the Mosel in Germany where it is only possible to pick the grapes by hand. The winery utilises biodynamic practices across its land and uses wild yeast to ferment the wines. Grapes like Merenzao, Alvarello, Loureiro or Treixadura may sound a little strange and intimidating, but our advice is to dive straight in.

The Algueira winery is located in the midst of old chestnut and oak tree forests,on the banks of the river Sil, where the monks built their monasteries back in the 12th Century, A scenario which reflects the calm and peacefulness necessary for the creation of their wines. The building is integrated into the surrounding nature, and it resembles a monastic Romanesque building. The winery relies on leading, new technologies to make and bottle their wine.

This wine was fermented in stainless steel without yeast inoculation and was then aged for one year in bottle.

This white wine is made from a blend of Spanish grape varieties, mostly Godello and Albarino. It is a fresh and fruity wine, with floral aromas and flavours of citrus and melon. Flavours of peach and nectarine are well-balanced by fresh citrus fruit. This wine is characterised by its creamy texture and silky finish.

£22.85

Alter Ribeiro Blanco 2016 (1x 75cl)

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

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 and are planted on decomposed granite, with sand and clay. The vineyards benefit from a perfect mesoclimate with good diurnal ranges particularly during the growing season. Fruit is able to fully ripen while retaining fresh acidity.

The 2016 harvest started a little later than in 2015 in Ribeiro and took place steadily over six weeks. Fruit was high in quality even with volumes being down by 18% largely due to heavy spring rains and outbreaks of mildew in April and May. The adverse weather had a greater impact on non-indigenous grapes than it did for local grapes such as Treixadura and Loureira.

The wine is a blend of 80% Treixadura, 15% Godello and 5% Loureira fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and then aged on the lees for 3-6 months to add depth.

The wine is aromatic with aromas of white flowers, grapefruit and green apple. The palate is lively with brisk acidity, white peach and a delightful savouriness that prompts you to reach for another glass.

£14.35

Amalaya Blanco de Corte Torrontes/Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

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

Amalaya Torrontes-Riesling 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

The Amalaya wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them.

The Torrontes and Riesling grapes were both grown on the Finca Amalaya and Finca Las Mercedes vineyards. These are located in the Cafayate Valley in the very heart of the Calchaqui Valley, distinguished for being the highest wine region in the world. The climate here is very dry, with just 150mm of rain in an average year and a huge thermal amplitude of around 20°C. The soils here are rocky, poor and sandy so the roots of the vines are forced to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a huge concentration of flavour within the fruit. The winery is also situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level.

Amalaya translates to ‘hope for a miracle’ in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level. It is a part of the Hess Family Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as the other Hess Estates.

Intense gold in colour with tints of green. On the nose this wine is intense and complex with aromas of citrus and grapefruit typical of Torrontes. Delicate and silky on the palate with great freshness and crisp acidity on the distinctly mineral finish.

£10.20

Antinori - Castello Della Sala Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

The first vintage of Bramito to be produced was the 1994. The Castello della Sala estate, purchased by the Antinori family in 1940, is situated some 10 miles (18 kilometers) from the city of Orvieto and is a very interesting example of medieval military architecture. The micro-climate of the property, on average cool for central Italy, is perfect for the production of white wines and of Pinot Noir .

The climate of the 2016 vintage was characterized by a mild winter with regular rainfall which was then followed by a somewhat cool spring season, which allowed bud break and flowering to go forward in a normal manner. June saw a slight drop in temperatures which slowed down the cycle of the growing season, but the cycle was brought back into balance by a warm summer with useful temperature swings from daytime heat to evening and nighttime coolness. This assisted in producing wines with much aromatic personality. The Bramito harvest began in early September.

The must and skins obtained from the destemming and pressing of the grape bunches was given a brief 2-4 maceration at a temperature of 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) in order to extract from the skins all the substances found in the aromas and the flavour profile. The must went into both oak barrels and stainless steel tanks for the fermentation, which took place at temperatures held to a maximum of 61-64° Fahrenheit (16-18° centigrade); only the part fermented in oak went through a proper malolactic fermentation. The various lots of wine were then assembled to prepare the final wine for bottling.

Straw yellow in colour with light greenish highlights, the wine offers delicate aromas of ripe tropical fruit along with light hints of citrus fruit. The palate shows both structure and elegance, a bracing acidity, and a  pleasurably savoury finish and aftertaste.

£17.40

Antinori - Castello Della Sala Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Castello della Sala is located in Umbria at approximately ten miles (18 kilometers) from the city of Orvieto. The soil, rich in clay on the whole, the vineyards with a fine eastern exposure, a climate characterized by cold – but not to excess – winters and warm summers in which fog plays a role in the ripening of the grapes: all these factors make Castello della Sala a spot with a very high potential for the production of fine white wine.

Bramìto is produced from the grapes of the vineyards of the centuries-old Castello della Sala, located just a few miles from the city of Orvieto. A variety, Chardonnay, which finds, in this particular territory, soils which endow the wines with much mineral character and elegance. The first vintage of production for Bramìto was 1994.

The 2017 vintage was, in general, characterized by an absence of rainfall and by a winter with temperatures below normal seasonal averages. A late frost during the month of April caused a reduction of production, particularly in valley-floor vineyards. The hot and dry climate of the summer months assisted in the early ripening of the grapes and guaranteed a crop of excellent healthiness. Drip irrigation was employed in certain vineyards to avoid excessive stress on the plants. The constant, and customary, attention to the  growth and  development of the vines and grapes, along with careful and timely picking, assured the harvest of healthy grapes characterized by an excellent freshness, capable of producing a wine of much balance between acidity  and alcohol. The picking of the Chardonnay for Bramìto began towards the second week of the month of August.

The must and the skins produced by the destemming and pressing were chilled to a temperature of 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) and went into stainless steel tanks for a brief (two to four hour) period of maceration aimed at extracting from the skins all the elements responsible for the aromatic and flavour profile. The must was then fermented, partly in stainless steel and partly in barrel, at temperatures held to 61-64° Fahrenheit (16-18° centigrade); only the barrel-fermented part went through a malolactic fermentation. The various lots were then assembled in preparation for bottling.

The 2017 Bramìto shows a straw yellow colour. The nose is characterized by delicate white flower notes followed by light sensations of citrus fruit. The palate is crisp and with a good body, vigorous, and with pleasurable mineral notes which make the finish and aftertaste enjoyably savoury.

£19.15

Antinori - Castello Della Sala Cervaro Della Sala 2016 (1x75cl)

The Cervaro name derives from the noble family which owned Castello della Sala during the 15th century, the Monaldeschi della Cervara. The Antinori family purchased the estate in 1940. The first vintage of Cervaro della Sala to be produced was the 1985, marketed in 1987.

The 2016 vintage was characterized by a winter with frequent rainfall and by repeated and significant drops in temperature; the spring which followed was not particularly mild in its weather as well. The frequent but not particularly abundant rains between late April and mid-June, despite the important lowering of temperatures during the first ten days of May, favored the early and vigorous growth of the Chardonnay and Grechetto vine vegetation. This slightly precocious beginning of the vineyard’s cycle of growth gradually came back into balance during the month of July. A warm summer with positive temperature swings from daytime heat to evening and nighttime coolness assisted in the development of the aromatic components of the two grape varieties.  The picking of the Chardonnay began during the last ten days of August and was followed by the Grechetto harvest, as usual two weeks later in time and which terminated in mid-September.

The grapes were picked during the earliest hours of the morning in order to assure that the grapes which reached the cellars were entirely whole and healthy, not stressed by high daytime temperatures. The attention given to the crop continues in the cellar thanks to the special design of the structure, conceived to take advantage of the force of gravity, avoiding mechanical intervention on the grapes and the must. After a brief four hour period of skin contact at 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) the must went into stainless steel tanks before going into oak barrels. Both the primary and the malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. After approximately three months the Chardonnay went back into the stainless steel tanks to be blended with Grechetto (which had been fermented separately in stainless steel). After bottling, the wine was aged in bottle for several months in the historic cellars of the Castello della Sala before commercial release.

The wine, a light straw yellow with brief greenish highlights, expresses rich, complex, and intense aromas. The notes of citrus fruit, pears, and acacia flowers are in perfect balance with the sweet and spicy notes of  vanilla. The palate is supple but vibrant, elegant and well structured, characterized by the classic mineral sensations and by the light notes of hazelnut butter.

£49.45

Antinori - Santa Cristina Casasole Orvieto Classico Amabile 2017 (1x75cl)

The first vintage of Santa Cristina was produced by Marquis Niccolò Antinori, father of Piero Antinori, in 1946. Over time, Santa Cristina has become a reference point for winemaking experts due to their commitment to achieving quality. The diligent care taken in the vineyard and meticulous cellar management have always been their incentive to continue with innovation and research. The resulting family of wines are original yet highly distinguishable for their unmistakable artisanal style, proof of the enduring connection between vineyards, terroir and man’s dedication to the land.

Casasole is an expression of Orvieto’s classic winemaking traditions; wines from this papal city were sent to ecclesiastical dignitaries and noblemen in Rome. It differs from Orvieto Classico Campogrande due to its residual sugars, light and natural to make it slightly sweet on the palate.

The 2017 vintage was characterized by a winter and spring which were, on the whole, both dry and marked by important, though little frequent, drops in temperature. These climatic conditions favoured a regular bud burst during the month of March. The absence of rainfall and the above average temperatures, which distinguished the period from the month of June up through the first ten days of August, accelerated the ripening of the grapes. The positive temperature swings from daytime heat to evening and nighttime coolness created by late August rains guaranteed the development of the aromatic component of the typical varieties of the Orvieto appellation.

The Procanico and Grechetto grapes were destemmed and given a soft and delicate pressing. The must which was obtained was chilled to approximately 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) to favor a natural static settling of the impurities and then went into stainless steel tanks, where it fermented at temperatures held to a maximum of 64° Fahrenheit (18° centigrade). The fermentation was successively blocked by a sudden drop in temperature (to the freezing point) to preserve the natural sugars in the wine. The wine and its residual sugars were held at a low temperature up until the wine was bottled.

The 2017 Casasole is a straw yellow colour. The nose is intense and is characterized by the typical aromas of the native Procanico and Grechetto grape varieties and their notes of white fruit, Golden Delicious apples, bananas, and their hints of orange zest. The palate is lightly sweet with an excellent freshness.

£10.60

Antonio Caggiano Fiagre 2016 (1x 75cl)

This wine comes from vineyards where Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino are traditionally produced. They are approximately 400m above sea level and the vines grow on limestone soil.

Harvesting takes place in mid October. The fermentation is carried out at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks. Once fermentation is complete the wine is aged in bottle for three months before being released for sale.

The wine is a yellow colour with a straw tone. There are  aromas of white flowers and cooked fruit, with scents of minerals. The flavours on the palate are soft, with a delicious long lasting aroma of sweet spices, tobacco and a delicate smell of toast.

£13.10

Antonio Caggiano Fiano di Avellino DOCG Bechar 2017 (1x75cl)

The Caggiano winery is based in the town of Taurasi, the heartland of Aglianico, which is the main focus of their production. Antonio Caggiano, the founder of the winery, designed one of the wineries himself - the most spectacular of its time in Campania. Today, thousands of bottles are laid down in its galleries - which are made of the local “tufo” stone.

The vineyards are planted in areas where the DOCG, Fiano di Avellino and Comune di Lapio are traditionally produced, at an altitude of 400m above sea level. The harvesting period is in mid October.

The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats before being aged for 3 months in bottle prior to release.

This Fiano has an intense gold colour. On the nose this wine presents aromas of apple, pears and banana. On the palate it has a full bodied rich and persistant flavours of tropical fruit and a refreshing acidity.

£16.00

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2015 (1x 75cl)

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. Craighall is located directly opposite the main Ata Rangi home block. The 30 year old Mendoza clone of Chardonnay vines, with their characteristic 'hen and chicken' fruit set, are always low yielding. Soils here comprise a thin layer of well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed east to the Pacific Ocean.

A fabulous summer in 2015 provided excellent conditions for ripening grapes across the country, resulting in vibrant, fruit driven wines. Yields were 27% down on the record 2014 vintage. Despite the excellent summer, the cool spring weather contributed to the marked reduction in the crop. Fruit was harvested between the 25th and 29th of March.

Hand-picked fruit was whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. Unsettled juice was fully barrel-fermented in Burgundy barriques, of which 25% was new oak, using indigenous yeasts. Fermentation took place between 15-20°C. The lees were stirred during this time in all barrels and partial malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine was aged in barrel on the lees for 12 months before bottling in July 2016.

A very alluring, restrained nose of citrus, white-flesh nectarine and citrus blossom leads onto a tight, fine palate with a subtly chalky texture. With no one, single flavour dominating, the 2015 is an intriguing, very complex and very complete Chardonnay with fabulous flow and persistence. Fully barrel fermented with 'wild' indigenous yeasts, this exceptional release has excellent cellaring potential.

£29.40

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 (1x 75cl)

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

This is a very classic Pinot Gris originally influenced by the style of wines from Alsace but developed over the years into their own, uniquely Martinborough style. The vines from which this wine was produced are now 22 years old. With roots that have driven metres deep into the gravels, they consistently deliver fruit with heightened texture and flavour.

Fruit was hand-picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 14-18°C. 20% of the wine was fermented in three year old 500 litre oak puncheons to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. In both cases, the wine was left on lees for several months. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place. The wine was bottled in August 2016.

The up-front aromas evoke fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate offers a creamy entry, with concentration and texture. The finish is long, dry and imbued with the flavour of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. With just a few grams of residual sugar, Pinot Gris is a delicious stand-alone aperitif. It is also one of our favourite food and wine matching choices, especially for anything with heady spice and/or challenging flavours. The wine shows complexity and will benefit from bottle age.

£23.00
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