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2017 Esporao Reserva White (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Weekday Wines(see blue link below).

2017 Esporao Reserva White - May 2019 Decanter review

The Esporão project began in the Alentejo from an irrepressible desire to make the finest wines. This is the basis of everything they do. Part of the Alentejo’s montado ecosystem (cork oak forests), in Portugal, Herdade do Esporão has extraordinary conditions for agriculture – large thermal amplitudes, poor and various soils and extraordinary biodiversity that helps them produce in balance with the environment. With 691.9 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and other crops, they grow using organic methods .

Please click the blue link below to see an excellent and informative tasting note / information sheet about this wine from the winemakers at Esporao.

Esporão Reserva White 2017 - fiche technique  

£15.10

Ailala Treixadura 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

£13.60

Alois Lageder Am Sand Gewurztraminer 2017 (1x75cl)

The Alois Lageder winery in Alto Adige comprises fifty hectares of the family's own vineyards, which are managed on the basis of biodynamic principles. Their holistic approach is reflected in their wine-growing activities, their long-standing relationships with numerous grape growers and an ambition to create awareness for agriculture that is in tune with nature.

This Gewürztraminer is a product of several sites with sandy soils in the Bassa Atesina of Alto Adige. Although the sites in Termeno, Magrè and Lake Caldaro are very hot, the individual components are strengthened with the help of a staggered grape harvest. That gives the Gewürztraminer freshness, minerality, depth and finesse. When possible, a portion of the grapes is harvested with noble rot.

To see an excellent tasting note and information sheet for this wine, produced by the team at Alois Lageder, please click on the blue link below.

£23.50

Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2018 (1x 75cl)

This top value Pinot Grigio reflects the expertise of acclaimed winegrower Alois Lageder, and the wines he selected from vineyard sources in the "Tre Venezie" (Alto Adige, Trentino and Veneto) - acknowledged as one of Italy's prime regions for quality white wines.

A fourth generation winery owner and winemaker in Alto Adige, Alois Lageder's long-standing credibility with wine growers gives him access to some of the region's best Pinot Grigio wines for this special selection.

Alois Lageder carefully selects the wines on-site; they are sur lie-matured in stainless steel tanks, then blended and bottled at his Lšwengang winemaking facilities. Riff Pinot Grigio reflects the origin of its prime growing area in style and character, and demonstrates all the varietal's best characteristics: good structure and intensity on the palate, balanced with lively acidity.

Most vineyards in the region are located on the slopes of the foothills of the Dolomites, a part of the Alps that dictate the climate and bless the region with some of the most prized alluvial soils. These soils are composed of dolomite, a limestone made of fossil deposits of an ancient ocean that covered this region 4.6 million years ago. The name riff (German for reef), thus refers to the Dolomite's geologic origin.

The vineyard sources for most of this Pinot Grigio contain a substantial amount of dolomite limestone which has an obvious impact on the wine's character and style. It is because of the contribution that these fossils (limestone) make to the wine's character that they have been chosen to be incorporated into the label design as a reminder of its geological origin.

To see an informative information and tasting note and on this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio 2018 - fiche technique

£10.55

Alter Ribeiro Blanco 2018 (1x 75cl)

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.

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 80% Treixadura, 10% Godello and 10% 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.

£14.50

Altos de Jose Ignacio Albarino 2018 (1x75cl)

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

Altos de Jose Ignacio Albarino 2018  - fiche technique

(as can be seen from the data sheet, this wine is 'incredibly similar to' the more expensive Garzon Reserva Albarino...)

Pale yellow with greenish reflections, this Albariño is intense in the nose, with peach and citrus notes. The freshness and minerality mid-palate is superb, with remarkable acidity and a round, crisp finish.

£14.70

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

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

The Torrontes and Riesling grapes were grown on the Finca San Isidoro 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.

Overall, the Calchaquí Valley enjoyed optimal conditions in 2017, with perfect balance between quality and quantity. The weather during the growing season was excellent, with no spring frost, allowing good fruit set and resulting in healthy grapes.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. The grapes underwent cold maceration for four days, followed by a slow fermentation using selected yeasts, at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. 80% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks with 20% aged in French oak for 10 months.

This wine is made using Torrontes 85%, Riesling 15%.

Intense gold in colour, this wine has pronounced aromas of grapefruit and lemon peel. Delicate and silky on the palate with great freshness and crisp acidity on the distinctly mineral finish.

£10.20

Amalaya Blanco de Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2018 (1x75cl)

The 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

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

The Torrontes and Riesling grapes were grown on the Finca San Isidoro 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.

85% Torrontes, 15% Riesling.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. The grapes underwent cold maceration for four days, followed by a slow fermentation using selected yeasts, at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. 80% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks with 20% aged in French oak for 10 months.

Intense gold in colour, this wine has pronounced aromas of grapefruit and lemon peel. Delicate and silky on the palate with great freshness and crisp acidity on the distinctly mineral finish.

£10.30

Ancilla Lugana, Lugana 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2019 edition article Weekday Wines (see blue link below)

Ancilla Lugana, Lugana 2016 - April 2019 Decanter review

Ancilla Lugana is located on the shores of Lake Garda in North East Italy. The estate comprises two vineyards: La Ghidina, located in Lugana di Sirmoine, the heart of the production area of some of the most elegant whites in Italy; and Cadellora, situated in Villafranca di Verona. Run by Luisella Benedetti, the third generation of women to run this estate, who inherited the farm from her mother, who inherited in turn from her mother, named Ancilla. Ancilla was an extraordinary, energetic woman, who worked the fields and got up at 3am every day make her wine producing dream come true. Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Luisella gave up her career in finance and took over the family business in the early 2000s. The lifelong commitment of her grandmother and mother is a passion now shared by Luisella, which is clear to see in this exciting and pure collection of Lugana wines.

The grape variety Turbiana is also known as the Trebbiano di Lugana, but not to be confused with the Trebbiano found elsewhere in Italy. Research indicates that it is more likely to have a genetic similarity to Verdicchio and is one of the few native grapes capable of ageing. The 15 year old vines are grown in vineyards in the Ghidina zone of Lugana. Trained on a vertical trellising system, the vines yield seven tonnes per hectare. The unique terroir here is made up of lime, clay and limestone soils.

100% Turbiana.

A proportion of the grapes were destemmed and pressed after some contact with the skins, while the remaining grapes were pressed as whole bunches. Fermentation took place slowly at low temperatures in stainless steel vats, in order to preserve the aromatics of the Turbiana variety. 10% of the must was fermented in oak barriques, with ageing on the lees for 15 months, adding complexity to the final blend. The wine was bottle aged for seven months prior to release.

A delicately floral bouquet with ripe yellow fruits leads to a rich and balanced palate of exotic fresh fruits. Well structured with a vibrant depth of flavour, this is an easy drinking style. A complex and creamy palate with spice, pineapple and green apple flavours and finishing on a long, tingling note.

A great aperitivo which also accompanies antipasti, fresh seafood dishes and pasta with seafood sauces.

£21.30

Antinori - Bramito Della Sala Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Castello della Sala (where the grapes for Bramito are grown) 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 derive from fossil sediments intermingled with strata of clay and which endow the wines with much mineral character and much elegance as well. The first vintage of production for Bramìto was 1994.

This wine is 100% Chardonnay.

To see an excellent 2 page information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been produced by the team at Antinori, please click on the blue link below.

Antinori Bramito Della Sala Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

£20.10

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.

£72.05

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.

£10.90

Antonio Caggiano Fiano di Avellino DOCG Bechar 2018 (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.

£16.80

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 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.

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.

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.

See blue link below for the excellent, fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Ata Rangi.

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

100% Chardonnay.

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, this 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.

£31.50

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

** NOTE - STILL AVAILABLE BUT VERY LIMITED STOCK LEFT IN UK - PLEASE CALL BEFORE ORDERING TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT **

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2018 (see blue link below)

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - January 2019 Decanter review

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

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 Pinot Gris grapes come from the Lismore Vineyard at the edge of the Martinborough Terrace and achieve their optimum flavour profile towards the end of the growing season. As a result, the team harvests this varietal fairly late to obtain a wine closer to the richer style of Pinot Gris produced in Alsace, rather than the leaner, bone-dry style of Pinot Grigio common in much of northern Italy. The vines were planted in 1996.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest.

Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated with yeast 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 to retain a crisp, balancing acidity.

Up-front aromas in this Pinot Gris are reminiscent of fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate is creamy, with flavours of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. On the long finish, the wine shows complexity and will develop with bottle age.

£23.15
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