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Colome Torrontes 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and an Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their 2016 World Wine Awards(see blue link below).

 

Hess Colome Torrontes 2015- 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

 

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.

The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley and greater difference between day and night temperatures, ensures a longer growing season which in turn leads to a more intense accumulation of flavour in the grapes. The large difference (25°C) between day and night also aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. Fermenation was slow, using selected yeasts at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for three months before bottling in June 2015. It then spent a further two months ageing in bottle before release.

Intense gold in colour with green tones, this wine has a bright floral nose with the citrus aroma of grapefruit and a hint of spice. In the mouth it is fresh and well structured with a crisp finish. Elegant and fruity with tropical notes to the fore.

£10.62

Colome Torrontes 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).

Colome Torrontes 2016 - October 2017 Decanter review

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.

The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley and greater difference between day and night temperatures, ensures a longer growing season which in turn leads to a more intense accumulation of flavour in the grapes. The large difference (25°C) between day and night also aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. Fermenation was slow, using selected yeasts at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for three months before bottling in June 2016. It then spent a further two months ageing in bottle before release.

Intense gold in colour with green tones, this wine has a bright floral nose with the citrus aroma of grapefruit and a hint of spice. In the mouth it is fresh and well structured with a crisp finish. Elegant and fruity with tropical notes to the fore.

£10.75

Cullen `Mangan Vineyard` Margaret River Semillon 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue links below).

Cullen Mangan Semillon 2015 - November 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Although the weather in 2014 leading up to and during the vintage was warm, the fruit produced by all varieties was exceptional. There was no rain in January, February and not even until the end of harvest in March. The resulting low yields, balanced pH and great acid levels translated into wines of great flavour and style.

Harvest in 2014 delivered Semillon fruit of outstanding quality. The grapes at the Mangan vineyard were hand picked and sorted before being pressed and naturally fermented with no acid additions and limited fining.

This wine has ripe tropical and citrus notes which are prominent on the nose. The palate shows attractive florality, white peach, citrus and pineapple nuances with an underlying minerality.

£19.35

Dobogo Furmint 2014 (1x 75cl)

Tokaj is a region bordered by the rivers Bodrog and Tisza in the north-eastern corner of Hungary, 120 miles from Budapest. It consists of 28 villages spread over the Tokaj hills at approximately 220m above sea level. Founded in 1869, the Dobogó estate is in the centre of Tokaj and today belongs to Izabella Zwack, the youngest member of the Zwack family (the producers of Hungary's famous liqueur, Unicum).

Grapes were grown in the 35-year-old vineyards of Betsek and Szent Tamás in Mád. Both vineyards are planted with three of the permitted Tokaj grape varieties - 60% Furmint, 30% Harslevelú and 10% Muscat Lunel, although for this wine, only Furmint was used. Yields were restricted using short spur pruning which ensured that the vines did not yield more than one kilogram of fruit per vine. Soils in this area are volcanic.

The grapes were harvested by hand. Fermentation took place using natural yeasts in three and four-year-old Hungarian oak barrels of 300-500 litre capactiy. After undergoing battonage, or stirring of the lees, for a period of six months it was aged for one year before bottling.

This, according to winemaker Attila Domokos is one of the most lean and mineral Furmints in the history of Dobogó dry whites. It captures Mád, Tokaj and the philosophy of Dobogó excellently all in one. It is pale golden in colour and sparkles in the glass. The minerality of Tokaj appears undeniably on the nose, embroidered with fresh citrus and hints of orange peel. Rich and characterful on the palate.

£17.75

Foradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco 2015 (6x 75cl)

The forthcoming 2016 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition Producer Profile feature on Foradori (see blue link below).

Foradori Manzoni 2016  - November 2017 Decanter review

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2017 edition review of Natural Wines (see blue link below).

Foradori Fontanasanta 2015 - May 2017 Decanter review

Manzoni Bianco thrives on the clayey-calcareous hills above Trento, where its grapes ripen in late September. Born from the cross of Riesling and Pinot Bianco, this variety expresses the character of the Fontanasanta soil conditions. Its ability to evolve over time requires patience; Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco is a wine that will begin to fully reveal itself after two or three years from vintage.

Elizabetta Foradori sharing her thoughts on the Biodynamic viticulture that is central to the philosphy at the Foradori Winery: "We haven’t abandoned the modern spirit of knowledge and research, but have attempted to bring Man and his spirituality back into Science, considering not only the materialistic aspects of Nature but devoting ourselves to a deep awareness of the vital processes".

£121.75

Foradori Fontanasanta Nosiola Vigneti Dolomiti Bianco 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition Producer Profile feature on Foradori (see blue link below).

Foradori Nosiola 2015  - November 2017 Decanter review

Elisabetta Foradori is one of the key figureheads of Biodynamic production in the Trentino. She is someone deeply attached to her native land and vineyards. 'My memories are here. I’ve known in my mind ever since I was a small girl that the only place I felt well was in nature, maybe because I was born and raised among vineyards.' Today she resides over a beautiful estate of some 26 hectares and produces 160 000 bottles of superb biodynamic wine from various local varieties. The wines are all certified as organic and biodynamic.

Nosiola is an ancient grape variety native to Trentino, once widespread throughout the region but whose cultivation is now restricted to the Valle dei Laghi and the hills above Trento and Pressano. It is a variety that gives a strong expression of its character only through the equilibrium found on poor soils, giving rise to wines of great delicacy and longevity. Nosiola has always been fermented on the skins in the past. The ability to obtain grapes that are "alive" and rich with the energy derived from the application of biodynamics in the vineyard and the extraordinary energetic force of the amphora allow us to produce this wine using an "ancient" method. The shape and the porosity of the clay, from which the amphora (tinaja from Villarobledo, Spain) ismade, permit a long stay of the wine on the skins: thus all of the Nosiola's character is revealed slowly and with an evolution that requires patience and time.

The classy bouquet jumps from the glass in a vibrant melange of apple, lemon peel, lovely soil tones, a bit of beeswax, dried flowers and just a whisper of acidity that seems to enliven all the other components. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and very complex, with a great core of fruit, balanced acidity and superb length and grip on the focused and impressive finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£29.20

Montañar Organic Verdejo 2016 (1x75cl)

Pale straw yellow. The Verdejo has an exotic nose that verges on tropical fruit on the nose but retains a citrus zest on the palate. Intense fruit aromas and apple blossom are reflected on the palate with an additional hint of bitter almond. Light in body, with well balanced acidity and alcohol.

£8.75

New Hall Bacchus 2013 (1x 75cl)

Pale lemon colour with gentle floral notes and a dash of cinnamon. Off dry, with a slight ‘spritz’, and fresh acidity, the palate is perfectly balanced with layers of rounded fruit. There is a depth to the wine and it will drink well for up to three years. Perfect as a refreshing aperitif.

£9.84

San Salvatore Pian di Stio Fiano, Paestum Campania 2015 (6x 50cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of 'Weekday Wines' (under £25) (see blue link below).

 

San Salvatore, Pian di Stio Fiano, Paestum, Campania, Italy 2015 - June 2017 Decanter review

 

Hand-harvested, organically-grown Fiano grapes from the smaller Stio Cilento vineyard are employed in this exuberant wine. Here at an altitude of 550 metres above sea level, the grapes hang on the vine ripening slowly in the relatively cooler conditions, compared to the coastal vineyards, concentrating flavours in the grapes. The key vinicultural process is the cooling of the grapes prior to a cool fermentation, which maintains the aromatics in the finished wine. Shows powerful floral notes, jasmine, boxwood and broom, on the nose, backed with ripe citrus both juice and peel; minerally and refreshing on the palate.

£92.76

Urlar Organic Pinot Gris 2014 (1x 75cl)

It's on our Christmas List because... it's a great example of a New World Pinot Gris, with oodles of flavour, from an ex-Perthshire acquaintance of ours. That, and because we struggled to put a Pinot Grigio on the list. For more Pinot Gris fun, we've the classic Reserve from Trimbach in Alsace, Tinpot Hut's excellent Marlborough version and Quealy's 94-pointer from Victoria (see below).

If farming is in the blood of ex-pat Scot Angus Thomson – he represents the fifth generation of Thomsons to work the land – then so too are wines and spirits. Both grandfathers were in the whisky business, but Angus broke new ground when he, along with wife Davina and their young family, sold the farm in Forres and started a new life in NZ. More than a decade later, the Thomsons have a 31-hectare vineyard at Gladstone, Wairarapa, on the southern coast of North Island, and a range of organic wines showing beautiful varietal expression. The guiding philosophy here is sustainability, in both the environmental and the economic sense, following organic and biodynamic principles in the vineyard. Aptly so, given that ‘Urlar’ means ‘the earth’ in Gaelic. There’s a reminder of home, too, in the herd of Highland cattle grazing the estate. These animals provide the manure for the Thomsons’ biodynamic Preparation 500 compost – and a link to Angus’ farming heritage. 

To preserve the delicate aromatics and fruit character of Pinot Gris, the grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the early morning. Pressing was whole bunch with only the free run and lightest of pressings used to minimise unattractive phenolics. Traditional 100% barrel fermentation in old French oak with extended lees contact and stirring to give the wine mid palate weight, texture and complexity. After a period of 12 months in barrel the wine was fined using natural products and carefully filtered for bottling.

An opulent dry styled wine with aromas of sweet pear, honeysuckle and stonefruit overlaying a generous mouth feel of great weight and depth. The creamy texture on the palate from the lees stirring provides the backbone to a long and lingering finish. An elegant wine with a beautiful balance that will reward cellaring up to five years.

£13.50

Urlar Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Urlar SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

This delivers zesty gooseberry, capsicum and lime flavours with a hint of passionfruit. While it remains a distinctively New Zealand sauvignon blanc the palate is full with great weight and length.

£11.40

Vigneti Del Vulture Bianco Pipoli Greco Fiano 2016 (1x75cl)

Pale lemon in colour, with perfumes of tropical fruit and a touch of vegetal notes. Rich yet fresh with a lime zest character, which comes from the Greco fruit, balancing the richness.

£10.40

Vinaceous Shakré Chardonnay 2015 (1x 75cl)

Bright, clean and more aromatic than usual, the Shakré entices you with its rich fruit and subtle oak nuances before enveloping the palate with spotless Chardonnay fruit and citrus notes, with a crisp clean acid dry finish that lingers on, and on...and on.

£12.90

Weingut Sepp Muster Grafin 2013 (6x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2017 edition review of Natural Wines (see blue link below).

 

Maria & Sepp Muster 2013 - May 2017 Decanter review

 

This style of wine is called “Orange Wine”, due to the maceration over several weeks with the grape skins and a certain amount of grape stems. Fermentation takes place in the mash, as with red wines. This imparts the wine its unusual orange colour and taste. The Gräfin is rich in tannin but still soft, full and shows a full spectrum of aromas. This unconventional wine invigorates in a special way body and soul.

 

This wine is harvested by hand and much care is taken with the selection of grapes to go into the wine. The fermentation of this wine is spontaneous as there are no artificial yeasts added and this process lasts for 2-4 weeks with the grape skins and certain amount of stems remaining in contact with the must in large wooden vats and casks. The process begins with a gentle pressing of the grapes over a period of 4 hours. No additives or filtering of the must is allowed and there is minimal use of sulphur.  The Gräfin is aged for 2 years in wooden casks. The wine is not filtered prior to bottling. Biodynamic principles are practiced in both the vineyard and the cellar.

£166.75
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