Kir-Yianni was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris, one of the leading figures in the Greek wine industry, when he left the Boutari Wine Group, the premium family wine company that his grandfather established in 1879. Today, Stellios Boutaris, a member of the fifth generation of winemakers, leads Kir-Yianni into the next phase of its history, by dynamically exploring the cornerstones of the Kir-Yianni philosophy: the desire for innovation, respect for tradition and using his knowledge of the wine, from the grape to the end consumer.
The vineyard lies at an altitude of 700 meters within the viticultural zone of Agios Panteleimon, in the Amyndeon Appelation in Northwestern Greece. The vineyard’s mean yield does not exceed 40 hl/he. The soil is sandy and poor, thus offering the possibility of producing wines of exquisite quality and rich aromas. The microclimate of the region is characterised by cold winters and warm summers, while the four neighbouring lakes contribute to the creation of a mild continental climate. This Assyrtiko is produced from young vines that are between 6-8 years-old.
The grapes are cold soaked in order to maximize the extraction of aroma precursors into the must. Following racking, the must is inocculated with selected yeasts. After the end of the fermentation, the wine matures for a period of 4-5 months on fine lees, thus gaining more volume and complexity.
On the nose the wine displays aromas of white fruits and flowers. On the palate, the citrus acidity balances with the warm alcohol and the round mouthfeel of the wine, and finishes with a lingering aftertaste. This is a fine Assyrtiko wine with an intense character produced from young vines growing on the mountainous vineyards of Amyndeon.
2016 started well with a gentle spring that encouraged even flowering and fruit set across the vineyards. Early summer was calm, without the winds that plagued 2015 and the vines were in great shape to deal with a hotter than average February. March saw a return to cooler conditions, a perfect finish to the season.
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.
Crimson is a wine which was inspired by a love of New Zealand's native 'Christmas Trees', the rata and pohutukawa trees. Sales of this wine support Project Crimson, a charitable conservation trust which plants and protects these trees. The Pinot Noir grapes for Crimson are produced from 10-20 year old Martinborough vines in Lismore, Waiora and Walnut Ridge blocks.
The grapes were hand picked and 100% destemmed, keeping as much whole berry fruit as possible. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted between two and six days. The must was inoculated with indigenous yeasts and hand plunged during fermentation that lasted two to three weeks. The wine was racked into barrel, of which 20% was new oak, where it remained for a further nine months after malolactic fermentation until bottling in February 2017.
The 2016 very much shows a turning point from vibrant youth to tension and complexity that more mature vines bring. Aromatically this wine offers layers of flavours: violets, dark cherry and plum, notes of bitter chocolate and tobacco with a hint of game. There is a fresh vibrancy on the palate of acid and smooth tannins pulling the wine through to a long, salivating finish.
The Colombini family traces its roots back to the middle ages when, among other things, it had a hand in governing the city-state of Siena. During the twentieth century, the Fattoria dei Barbi was headed by Pio Colombini, then by Giovanni, and then by Francesca. It is currently run by Stefano Cinelli Colombini. Each of these family members helped to develop the estate as part of a long-standing family tradition. The Cinelli Colombini family’s philosophy has always been that of marrying state-of-the-art technology with tradition in order to improve their wines without ever altering their classic character.
This red wine has been produced since 1892 and has received many awards for its quality. This wine is the heart of Barbi's production and it is made with 100% Sangiovese grapes from their best vineyards in Montalcino.
Before fermentation, the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists of cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation, the wine aged in small-medium size oak barrels (2,25 – 15 hl) for several months. Later it completed the ageing process in larger oak barrels, for a total period of two years and then is bottled at least 4 months before being released for sale.
Powerfully structured, this is an austere, warm, amply flavoured wine with a deep ruby to brick-red colour and a richly complex, dry, full and soft palate. A muscular, full-bodied wine with great richness.
In this wine, the typical characteristics of the Brunello, great body intensity, complex and developed aromas, capability for long aging, are stressed. In the “Riserva”, everything is extraordinary, but nothing is excessive. It is a Brunello that respect the character of elegance typical of the Barbi farm, demonstrating at the same time wine of great potency. It is a selection done amongst the best barrels and it is produced only in the best harvests. The aging is of five years of which three in barrels: the refining in a bottle is of at least six months.
Before the fermentation the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists in cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation the wine aged in small-medium size oak barrels (2,25 – 15 hl) for the first months Later it completed the aging in larger oak barrels, for a total period of three years. This Brunello Riserva is bottled at least 6 months before being released for sale.
Brick red in colour with earthy brown edges. The nose is pronounced and complex, offering an entertaining array of red and black berry fruits, spices and oaky aromas. The palate is medium to full bodied with a richly complex middle and an everlasting, elegant finish. The tannic structure that dominated the wine in its youth is beginning to mellow and allow mature, secondary characteristics to show. A stunning wine with enormous appeal. This wine has the structure to allow it to age for up to 25 years.
Brunello di Montalcino is the King of Tuscan wines. It should accompany strongly flavoured meats and game, it is definetely a wine to be contemplated, and such is the perfect partner to accompany a selection of cheeses at the end of a good meal.
The “Vigna del Fiore” is an unique vineyard and produces Barbi's flagship Brunello. Its 14 acres (5.7 hectares) are situated in an area where the vines have beencultivated since the 16th Century. It is one of the southernmost and oldest vineyards in the whole area of the Brunello di Montalcino . The particular exposition and the composition of the soil give to this Brunello special qualities, with a very elegant bouquet and an harmonic and complex taste.
The Brunello Vigna del Fiore has been produced since 1981; for its harmony and charm it can be drunk and appreciated from the earlier years in bottle, despite being a wine with an excellent capacity of ageing - Barbi state up to 50 years!
Before the fermentation the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists in cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation the wine aged in small-to-medium-sized Slavonian oak barrels (225l – 15hl) for the first months. Later, it completed the aging in larger Slavonian oak barrels (30 hl), for a total period of two years and then is bottled at least 4 months before the release.
A very intense ruby red wine with the classic Brunello bouquet of ripe cherry, notes of amber, vanilla and clove. Gorgeous aroma of crushed currants and berries. Full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a long, persistent, expressive, fruity finish. This is a very special wine, rich, with an ample range of fruity aromas, and very elegant.
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Fattoria dei Barbi extends over 300 hectares (around 750 acres) at Montalcino and Scansano. Stefano Cinelli Colombini, heir of the ancient Sienese line that has been present in Montalcino since 1352, runs this family property.
This red wine comes from the southern part of Tuscany and it is made mostly with Sangiovese - which locally is called “Morellino” - and 15% Merlot. The vineyards are located on a hill at 250 metres on the sea level not far from the Tyrrhenian Sea, with a very particular microclimate: long, sunny and bright days, cooler nights freshened by the sea breeze. All these factors contribute to a well structured and balanced wine with soft tannins and a very lively acidity. Even if the making of Morellino goes back centuries, its approach is very modern and vibrant.
Has a brilliant and intense ruby red appearance and an ample, persistent bouquet with plum and red berry tones. The palate is full and generous, with velvety tannins and a long finish.
Morellino is ideal for well-seasoned meat dishes, roasts, the grilled wild boar meat typical of Mediterranean cooking, cured pork, and especially flavourful cheeses. This wine breaks the rules in its own way, since it is an excellent companion for fish soups and in general any type of fish cooked with spices and tomato sauce.
We like this because it is a powerful yet velvety-smooth Tuscan wine from a fabled Brunello producer. The Merlot smoothes and tames the power of the Sangiovese and affords you SuperTuscan flavours at a fraction of usual SuperTuscan prices!
Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the south of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson, at the Cave de Pomérols cooperative.
The Syrah grapes for this wine were grown in vineyards around Badassière in the Languedoc in the south of France. This region benefits from a sunny, warm climate which encourages ripe flavours in the wines, while the coastal breezes help retain freshness and aromatics.
Following the drought of 2016, there was a great sigh of relief when 2017 began with a rainy winter. This replenished the dwindling water reserves and ensured that the vines didn’t undergo excessive levels of water-stress during the growing season. Unusually cold conditions for spring led to frost in some parts of the vineyards which destroyed some of the nascent buds. Nevertheless, a problem-free summer led to the grapes achieving optimum levels of ripeness and the harvest took place from mid-August to mid-September.
The grapes were macerated on their skins, then pressed in the pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at a controlled temperature of 20°C - 23°C for 20 days.
This wine is deep red in colour, with complex spicy aromas leading to a rich structured palate, supple tannins and long length. Well-balanced with freshness that lifts the finish.
The 2013 vintage has been 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).
Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. In the 3rd Century BC the area known as Rioja today was inhabited by a celtic tribe called the ‘Berones’. They inhabited the towns of Tricio, Varea and Leiva, marking the limits of the Berones region, today La Rioja. The founding ethos of Beronia is strongly allied to the origins of La Rioja.
Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would come to La Rioja on holiday. The friends had a great love of food and wine and created their own gastronomic society in the area. They decided to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both in international and domestic markets, producing pure and traditional Rioja wines.
This wine is produced following a selection of the best grapes from the oldest vineyards. The grapes undergo prefermentative maceration followed by a slow and controlled fermentation with periodic pumping over to extract colour and aromas. Following this the wine is aged in mixed oak barrels of American Staves and French tops for 20 months to allow a paused and harmonic evolution. The American oak gives a sweet character of vanilla and coconut while the French oak gives spice, making for the perfect balance. This Reserva was bottled in November 2013 and was aged in bottle for 18 months before being released to the market.
Beronia Reserva shows an intense cherry red colour. On the nose, attractive aromas of candied fruits and plum conserve are in perfect harmony with sweet chocolate. On the palate this wine proves itself as being of great character with elegant tannins which give the wine both structure and body. It has a long finish.
This wine is perfect to serve with red meats, game and roasts.
Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would come to La Rioja on holiday. The friends had a great love of food and wine and created their own gastronomic society in the area. They decided to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both in international and domestic markets, producing pure and traditional Rioja wines.
Graciano is relatively scarce in the Rioja region, normally only used in blends with Tempranillo as it is ideal for ageing due to its high levels of acidity. It is an interesting variety which gives a unique aroma that is much more intense than other varieties in Rioja. During alcoholic fermentation great colour extraction takes place. The wine is then aged in new French oak barrels for six months. This wine was bottled in September 2013 and was released to the market after 6 months of sitting in bottle.
Beronia Graciano 2012 shows an intense black cherry colour. On the nose it has intense aromas of petals and red fruits. Touches of green pepper blended with dried fruits almonds and walnuts. On the palate it is fresh and lively with balanced acidity. There are chocolate notes as well as hints of cranberry and cocoa. This is an elegant, fresh and well structured wine with sweet tannins and a velvety texture.
2013 vintage Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2016 edition review of best-buy Rioja (see blue link below).
The grapes for this wine were collected at the beginning of October. Following harvest, the grapes underwent cold maceration for a few days in order to extract aromas and colour (but not tannins). Alcoholic fermentation took place at a (low) temperature of less than 26ºC with periodic pumping over. The wine was then aged in mixed oak barrels of American staves and French tops for 12 months giving both vanilla notes from the American oak and spice from the French oak. The wine was bottled in January 2016 and remained in bottle for 3 months before being released to the market.
This Beronia Crianza shows an intense cherry colour. Attractive nose with red fruits and floral aromas in perfect harmony with mineral and cocoa notes. A balanced and sweet palate with the fruit and liquorice standing out over a base of chocolate and coffee. Persistant and well structured.
This wine is made using the following grapes: 82% Tempranillo, 14% Garnacha and 4% Mazuelo.
The 2009 vintage was Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Mature Rioja (see blue link below).
For the production of this Gran Reserva, the best grapes from the oldest vineyards were hand-harvested. Following the harvest, the best bunches were selected in the winery. The grapes then underwent a slow and controlled alcoholic fermentation with periodic pumping over to extract colour and aromas. Following this, the wine remained in French oak barrels for 26 months.
Beronia Gran Reserva 2009 shows a powerful and deep maroon colour. On the nose, it is intense and complex with dried fruits (such as dates) standing out over a base of chocolate and sweet spice from the French oak. On the palate this wine is silky and meaty with pleasant tannins, giving structure and complexity. This wine shows great personality with body, elegance and intense flavours.
This Gran Reserva is best when decanted before serving due to the long time it has spent ageing in the bottle. It is ideal when served with red meats, game, mature cheeses and also with chocolate desserts. Drink it now or you can keep this wine until 2024 before opening it.
Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. In the 3rd Century BC the area known as Rioja today was inhabited by a celtic tribe called the ‘Berones’. The founding ethos of Beronia is strongly allied to the origins of La Rioja. Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would visit La Rioja on holiday. They decided, to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries, producing traditional Rioja wines with personality and Beronia style.
This unique wine undergoes double fermentation, both alcoholic and malolactic, in American oak barrels. The wine remains for a total of 9 months in the same barrels with periodic batonage. Bottled in March 2015 the wine continued ageing for another 6 months before being released to the market.
Intense and deep cherry colour with high intensity. An unusual nose with red fruits and notes of chocolate, cocoa, liquorice and cinnamon from the American oak. Shows a harmonious palate with the cherry dominating. Well integrated oak after 9 months in barrel. Round and fresh, ideal for those looking for something different.
Perfect with smoked meats or fish, patés and cured meats. Recomended consumption over the next 5 years.
We like this because it is a stunning, unusual, boutique-but-affordable Rioja made from 100% Tempranillo (rare in a Rioja, more the preserve of Riberas) that is full-bodied and fruit-packed with a lighter balance of oak.
Amarone Classico Bertani is a timeless wine that expresses the unique style that Bertani has always dedicatedly pursued. It is a classic style that does not need to change because it is always up-to-date. Amarone is made from Corvina and Rondinella grapes grown in the Tenuta Novare hills, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area, in vineyards devoted entirely to producing drying grapes. Bertani has been making Amarone Classico since 1958, it is the perfect harmony between time, nature and man: we devote all of our know-how and our passion to it, with a long waiting period and great care. The grapes are set aside to dry on the “aréle” (racks made from bamboo canes), according to the traditional production method. Fermentation in concrete and ageing in large barrels for at least six years give it a stable structure, making it one of the longest-lived red wines in the world.
The harvest is done by hand in the second week of September. After careful bunch selection, the grapes are taken to the drying rooms and laid in a single layer on bamboo racks. They remain here for about 120 days to gain better concentration, favouring the development of a rich aromatic profile. In mid-January the grapes are destemmed and crushed. Maceration is then carried out at 4-5°C for about 20 days, then a slow fermentation starts – about 30 days in concrete vats at a maximum temperature of 18°C. Amarone Classico Bertani ages in Slavonian oak barrels, with an average capacity of 60 hl, for about six years. Then it matures in the bottle for at least 12 months.
An intense red colour, with garnet nuances. Firstly there are the typical notes of plum, cherry and morello cherry on the nose, followed by a great variety of tones: nuts, tea leaves, liquorice and spices. On the palate there are hints of red berry fruits, softened by plush vanilla notes, in perfect harmony with the acidity and tannins. It can be drunk with red meat, game, mature cheeses, but it is also perfect as a meditation wine at the end of a meal.
The morainal hills of the Bardolino area, the soils from an ancient glacier and the native grapes from the Verona area (Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara) all give this wine freshness, fragrance and richness of taste in a harmony of colours, aromas and flavours that are the most authentic expression of the territory they come from.
The grapes are grown in the morainal hills on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, which were formed by the accumulation of rock sediments from the erosive action of the glacier. The soil is made up of mainly gravelly and sandy soils, very rich in minerals.
The harvest is done by hand in the third week of September. Fermentation takes place in steel tanks (wide and shallow, ideal for increasing contact between the must and the skins, limiting mechanical intervention) at a fermentation temperature of 18 and 20°C.
Ageing is done in concrete vats lined with glass bricks in the underground part of the cellar for about 4 months, followed by at least 2 months in bottle.
A bright ruby-red colour. Intense notes of red berry fruits on the nose (cherry and morello cherry), together with slightly spicy overtones. It is a wine with good weight on the palate, plush, round, with a good structure and rich flavour. This fruity, fresh and juicy wine is ideal with traditional local dishes, as well as classic and modern Italian dishes. It is excellent with all kinds of pasta dishes (with meat, fish, vegetable and mushroom sauces), with risottos, ravioli and lasagne. It also goes well with grilled poultry, roast meat and stew.
Violet red colour. Intense notes of black currant red plums, raspberry, black cherry and spice. Good fresh attack on the palate followed by good balance between acidity, sweetness and body.