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2017 Esporao Reserva White (1x 75cl)

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  

£14.50

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.

£15.10

Agricola Castellana Cuatro Rayas Verdejo Vinedos Centenarios Rueda 2017 (1x 75cl)

Golden yellow in colour with greenish hints. Clean, powerful and fresh on the nose, the palate is full of fruity, herbal flavours with a touch of fennel coming through on the finish. Full flavoured and powerful but well balanced with a silky texture and wonderful length.

£9.70

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.

£13.05

Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2017 (1x 75cl)

The wines for this quality Pinot Grigio are blended from the vineyards on the foothills of the Northeastern Italian Alps, which influence the climate and bless the region with prized alluvial limestone soils. The name Riff (German for reef) refers to this part of the Alps' geological origin, coral reefs and high limestone content deposits by fossils from an ancient sea that covered the region millions of years ago.

The fermentation of this wine is completed in stainless steel tanks, followed by maturation on the fine lees for up to four months to give it greater textural intensity and depth. 

The Riff Pinot Grigio has a brilliant straw-yellow color with a green tint.  The aromas are predominantly fruity (apples,peaches) - this theme carries on to the palate which has a clean, elegant, flavour, is light to medium-bodied with a fresh mouth-watering finish. This wine is dry and crisp and is best served well-chilled. If properly cellared, this wine can keep for at least 2 – 3 years but we think you should just enjoy it now!

£10.15

Alter Ribeiro Blanco 2017 (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.

The harvest in 2017 was challenging across the whole of Spain with Ribeiro being no exception. Growers contended with spring frosts and summer hail but low rainfall meant grapes were perfectly balanced in sugar and acidity. Local grapes such as Treixadura and Loureira were less impacted than non-indigenous grapes.

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 2017 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.

£14.55

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.

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.

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.

£10.35

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.

£19.30

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.

£49.60

Antinori - Santa Cristina Casasole Orvieto Classico Amabile 2016 (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.

£10.75

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.

£16.15

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 (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.

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.

£31.55

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

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

Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Thomas Bachelder is often known as the first winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne. He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions - Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results. The Niagara Chardonnay is particularly fresh and lifted with aromas of white stone fruits, whereas the Oregon Chardonnay shows a more robust, honeyed character.

The grapes for this wine come primarily from the organically-grown Saunders Vineyard (Beamsville Bench) and the Wismer Vineyard on Twenty Mile Bench. The combination of Niagara's strongly continental climate and the Dolomitic limestone-rich soils of these vineyards, imparts great minerality and freshness to the final wine.

Years of making Chardonnay - in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy, in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada's Niagara - has taught Thomas to be as natural as possible in his winemaking. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation took place in specially selected oak barrels, followed by an extended ageing period which has made the wine broader on the mid-palate, more integrated, elegant, subtle, truer to its terroir and, surprisingly, less oaky.

Bright lemon-yellow in colour. On the nose, lifted ripe lemon notes mix with hints of white stone fruit and flinty mineral nuances. It is medium to full bodied on the palate with a scented stone fruit character and a long and complex mineral finish.

£29.50
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