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Abadia Retuerta Pago Garduna Single Vineyard Syrah 2014 (1x75cl)

Situated in the historic area of Sardón de Duero in Ribera del Duero is the small, premium artisanal winery of Abadia Retuerta, comprised of a patchwork of 54 individual vineyard plots, each planted with a single variety, and each with starkly different characteristics. Winemaker Pascal Delbeck - proprietor of Château Ausone - has an fascination with international varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc – and he makes great use of them. He is also at the forefront of a movement to get Castillo y Leon - currently Vino de la Tierra - recognised as a DO.

This single vineyard wine was produced exclusively with Syrah grapes. The vines are planted in bright, white limestone soil in the middle of pine trees that protect the vineyard from strong winds. The grapes produced here reach perfect ripeness levels.

It displays a deep, dark color with black cherry tones, and the nose reveals a spicy, floral bouquet and an explosion of red berry fruit aromas. Balsamic, toasty notes also come through, brought by 18 months’ ageing in new French oak barrels. Smooth and elegant on the palate, this wine is amazingly expressive as well as powerful and very well balanced, followed by a lingering finish. The wine has an intense dark purple hue and a peppery nose with hints of warm beetroot, freshly turned earth and forest fruits. The full bodied palate has aromatic notes of violet and smoke that accompany the concentrated fruit flavours of blackberry, blackcurrant and plum. The silky tannins provide an excellent balance to the intense, creamy textures of this seductive wine.

£60.10

Abadia Retuerta Pago Negralada 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article on the Top 40 Tempranillos (see blue link below).

Abadia Retuerta Pago Negralada 2015 - March 2019 Decanter review

The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Northwest Spanish Red) at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below)...

Abadia Retuerta Negralada 2014 - 2017 DWWA Decanter review

...and was awarded 93+ points by Wine Advocate (click here).

In their single vineyard wines Abadia Retuerto seek to bring out, above all, the true character of the terroir. Pago Negralada comes from a plot of Tempranillo, the noblest Spanish grape variety. The vines are planted in deep gravel soils intermixed with sand at the surface, and produce wines with a distinctive firm, tannic character.

To see an excellent information sheet / tasting note for this wine by the team at Abadia Retuerta, please click on the blue link below.

Abadia Retuerta Pago Negralada 2015 - fiche technique

£62.50

Abadia Retuerta Pago Negralada Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Northwest Spanish Red) at the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below)...

Abadia Retuerta Negralada 2014 - 2017 DWWA Decanter review

...and was awarded 93+ points by Wine Advocate (click here).

In their single vineyard wines Abadia Retuerto seek to bring out, above all, the true character of the terroir. Pago Negralada comes from a plot of Tempranillo, the noblest Spanish grape variety. The vines are planted in deep gravel soils intermixed with sand at the surface, and produce wines with a distinctive firm, tannic character.

Having aged 18 months in new French oak barrels, the wine has now developed its full potential. Its full ripeness comes to the fore with layers of fragrant strawberry fruit, liquorice, herbs and minerals with soft, silky tannins on the palate.

The Pago Negralada has a very intense, fresh nose, with aromas of wild black fruit and subtle creamy notes. Following on from the vibrancy of the nose, the palat attack invades then the palate with delicacy, leading to an ample wine, solid, meaty and oily with unusual refined tannins for a Tempranillo. It has a very long finish which is well marked with the character of the varietal. Abadia Retuerto are of the opinion that this is probably their best ever Pago Negralada. 

This wine obtained several international awards and recognitions in the most prestigious wine tasting events. With its great ageing potential, this is a wine for the long haul, a wine with its roots firmly in the past and its sights set on future triumphs.

£60.10

Accordini Amarone Classico Acinatico DOC 2015 (1x 75cl)

This family-run domain extends over two sites in the heart of Valpolicella Classico: four hectares in Negrar and six of the highest hectares in the appellation, at 400 metres altitude, in Fumane. The wines are outstanding and the reputation of the Acinatico name is growing all the time. Modernity is balanced by earth and roses, so characteristic of the terroir. Best of all, the wines are accessible when young, so there is no need to wait. In 2010, the vision of a new cellar was realised, in the higher part of Accordini’s vineyards, and has allowed the family to realise their highest ambitions for their wines.

Amarone Acinatico is produced from the best selection of grapes from Bessole and Cavalo vineyards, after the drying process which takes 120 days before it spends time ageing in oak barriques. Only specially selected grapes are used to make this wine.

During the first week of January crushing of the grapes takes place without de-stalking. Fermentation is then carried out at temperatures between 12°-23°C. It is macerated for 35 days (of which 15 is cold maceration). The wine is hand pressed twice a day, It is then transferred into barrels at the end of May. Complete malolactic fermentation then occurs. The wine is aged in new French oak barriques, from Allier and Never, for 24 months. The wine will then spend 8 months in bottle. It is bottled without any use of filtration.

This Amarone has a great structure, is complex, elegant and velvet-like. The colour is deep garnet red with a bouquet which is complex but warm, with spicy notes and has the aroma of dried fruit. On the palate it is full bodied, rich and creamy with smooth tannins.

£34.95

Akarua Pinot Noir 2016 (1 x 75cl)

The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50 hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. 

All the Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from Akarua's 50 hectare site on Cairnmuir Road in Bannockburn, which lies at 270 metres above sea level. The soil here is young alluvial schist based sand/silt and sandy loams overlaying schist rock. The vines are 16 years old.

The grapes were hand picked and 90% were destemmed. Pre-fermentation maceration took place over five days, with temperatures peaking at 31°C. Punch downs took place twice daily and post fermentation maceration lasted six days. The wine spent 10 months in French barriques, 30% of which were new.

Deep bright ruby in colour. The nose displays intense black fruit flavours and the complexity that Bannockburn Pinot Noir is renowned for, with haunting aromatics of bramble fruits and spice. The palate is elegantly balanced with red fruits and finely textured tannins. A wine with great poise and longevity.

£26.30

Allegrini La Poja 2012 (1x75cl)

The Allegrini family estate covers 100 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he passed away in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is director of marketing.

Located at the top of Podere La Grola, Sant'Ambrogio di Valpolicella, 320 metres above sea level, the vineyard comprises 2.65 hectares planted in 1979 with a south-east exposure. The soil is well drained, calcareous (78.5% chalk) and stony. Soils are marginally alkaline and combine with the active limestone content to reduce the vines' vigour. The vines are double Guyot trained at a density of approximately 4,240 vines per hectare.

The summer of 2012 was abnormally hot and dry, although a downpour on 17th July, with 25 millimetres of rain managed to restore water reserves and bring the vegetation back into a state of equilibrium. Much needed rains at the beginning of September - about 80 millimetres - changed the macroclimate substantially, bringing with it much cooler nights ensuring a significant diurnal range so indispensable for the retention of acidity, production of aromas and phenolic ripening of the grapes. Average production this year declined 10% - 15% but crucially the heat wave did not scorch the clusters.

The grapes were harvested at the end of September, destemmed and crushed with maceration lasting 12-15 days with regular, daily pumping over. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks between 22-31ºC with malolactic fermentation occurring naturally in November. The wine was then racked into new oak barriques where it aged for 20 months, followed by eight months in large oak casks. The wine was left to age in the bottle for an additional 10 months.

After more than four years ageing, the wine is still extraordinarily fresh and crisp with a full spectrum of aromas, ranging from dark fruits: blackcurrant and cherry, to liquorice, vanilla and smoky tobacco notes which follow onto the palate. Full bodied and elegant, framed by taut tannins the wine has a long, lingering finish.

£65.30

Alpha Domus The Navigator 2010 (1x 75cl)

Emigrating from Holland in the early 1960s the Ham family established themselves as nurserymen before going on to create Alpha Domus in 1990. They produced their first vintage in 1996. The family's commitment is to produce premium quality wines that are true to varietal character and are a reflection of their unique terroir. Their vineyard lies in the renowned Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District of Hawkes Bay.  

Selected parcels of mostly hand harvested Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot were destemmed, crushed and transferred to tank. After a 4-5 day maceration period the ferments were initiated, warmed and allowed to reach 32˚C at the peak of fermentation. Pumpovers took place 4 times daily with less towards the end of fermentation. The wine was then run off to seasoned barrels (80% French) and the skins were pressed through a one tonne basket press. The different batches were kept separate for over 12 months prior to blending.

Alpha Domus The Navigator has a complex aroma of sweet berry fruit, plums, violet, liquorice and hints of char. Influences of sweet vanilla and toast result from oak barrel maturation. Flavours of plum and blackberry are supported by clove and spicy notes. Savoury, leathery characters add complexity. The sweet fruit, spicy oak and firm tannins create an elegant, fragrant wine with excellent length.

£30.00

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Gualtallary Valle de Uco Malbec 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition's "Steven Spurrier's Fine Wine World" (see blue link below)...

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Gualtallary Valle De Uco Malbec 2014 - August 2018 Decanter review

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised appellation in Mendoza and one of the region's premium vine growing areas. The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country's top five producers of this particular variety. Alberto Antonini and fellow Tuscan, Antonio Morescalchi, were so impressed with the vineyards in the area around Mendoza, following their first trip to Argentina in 1995, that they persuaded a few friends to join with them in buying this estate. The estate covers 88 hectares with 56 in production.

100% of this Malbec was grown on the loamy soils of Gualtallary, lying at 1,300 metres above sea level. There, limestone-covered pebbles and gravels occupy 50-60% of the soil volume, with a high percentage of free calcium carbonate giving the wine a chalky, fresh minerality. A small percentage of clay (3%) allows the Malbec to express fresh fruit flavours.

The 2013 / 2014 season began with severe frosts reducing yields by 30%. November brought a few dry Zonda winds that negatively affected flowering and lowered yields even more. December and January saw heatwaves, though lower temperatures moved into the region just before harvest. Three weeks before harvest, two years’ worth of rain fell. Grapes were therefore harvested prior to mildew or rot setting in. Despite these challenges, fruit showed good levels of acidity, lower alcohol content and fine tannins.

The grapes went through a double selection process and into small stainless steel tanks for pre-fermentation maceration at 5°C for seven days. The alcoholic fermentation began with indigenous yeasts at 24°C and continued for 15 days. In total, the wine spent three weeks on its skins. Pumping over was not carried out in order to minimise over-extraction of grape skin compounds. Instead, the cap was rotated by manual pigeage throughout the fermentation. Once this was completed, post-fermentation maceration began for four days. The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted foudres for 18 months followed by 12 months in bottle.

Fresh red fruit notes, cranberries and wild strawberries are followed by layers of spice and herbs. On the palate, fruit is intensely concentrated intensifying through the mid-palate to the finish. The limestone tannins and calcareous soils build a firm but balanced structure in the mouth, with elegant minerality and a long finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£32.55

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Paraje Altamira Malbec 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American signature grapes (see blue link below). 

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation (Paraje Altamira) Malbec 2014 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below)...

Altos las Hormigas Appellation Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 95 points and Outstanding status in their October 2017 edition review of South American Extreme Viticulture (see blue link below)...

Altos las Hormigas Appellation Malbec 2014 - October 2017 Decanter review

... and awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status in their October 2016 edition review of Argentina (see blue link below).

Altos Las Hormigas Appellation Altamira Malbec 2014 - October 2016 Decanter review 

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised appellation in Mendoza and one of the region's premier vine growing areas. The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country's top five producers of this particular variety. 

The wine was matured in 3,500 litre untoasted oak foudres for 18 months, and a further 12 months in bottle. There was a coarse filtration prior to bottling, to ensure that the quality of the wine was not interfered with.

Fresh and delicate on the nose showing layers of red cherries and raspberries combined with herbal notes of wild rocket and thyme and a touch of minerality. On the palate it is elegant and supple with fine tannins providing structure. A graceful, complex, deep and structured wine with considerable length.

£32.60

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Set against the backdrop of the majestic Pisa mountain range, Amisfield is one of the largest single estate vineyard in Central Otago. Spurred on by fond memories of childhood holidays in Central Otago, Amisfield founder John Darby was determined to master this breathtaking yet often unforgiving high country, convinced that this dramatic landscape presented the perfect environment for cool-climate viticulture. They are currently in the process of conversion to organic certification, implementing a host of advanced initiatives in organic wine production. Their simple philosophy is to nurture nature at every step and a hands-off approach means that the process takes time, with their wines yielding exceptional purity, intensity and vibrancy.

For a full description and tasting note of/for this wine, we would direct you to the data sheet/fiche technique from Amisfield themselves (click blue link below)

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

£26.65

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American Cabernet Franc  (see blue link below)

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2014 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

Founded in 2003, Andeluna is a small boutique winery specialising in premium Bordeaux varietals of world class recognition. The vineyard covers 70 hectares in the beautiful Uco Valley near Tupungato, one of the best subregions of Mendoza. By night you can often see the moon illuminating the magnificent Andes Mountains nearby and the winery has been named after this stunning scene. Situated at an altitude of 1,300 metres, the vineyard produces some of the best fruit in Argentina. Winemaker, Manuel Gonzalez (previously Head Winemaker at Pulenta Estate and Chief Oenologist at Trivento) works alongside Andeluna's wine consultant Hans Vinding Diers to make outstanding wines which have propelled this producer into the global spotlight in a very short space of time. Their Pasionado range is only made in exceptional vintages and rivals some of the great wines of the world.

2014 was a challenging vintage with severe frosts significantly reducing the yields. December and January saw heatwaves which helped the growing season to progress, but late season heavy rainfall and lower temperatures just before the harvest threatened the vintage with mildew and rot. The timing of the harvest was crucial to avoid rot and careful selections took place, vinifying only the best grapes. The wines show fine aromatics and fruit concentration, with refined tannins.

The grapes come from vineyards located in Gualtallary in Tupungato at an altitude of 1,300 metres above sea level. The plants are irrigated by a drip-water system that regulates and supplies the exact amount of water that the plant needs. The vines are grown in alluvial, sandy and permeable soils.

The grapes were hand-picked in the coolness of dawn in April, when they had reached full polyphenolic maturity. The berries were manually selected and the best berries underwent cold pre- fermentation maceration. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures of 26°C. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels for a period of 12 to 18 months and then cellared in bottles for a minimum of eight months prior to its release.

Intense aromas fill the glass, with deep red fruits and a remarkable presence of red bell pepper, fennel, mint, anise, eucalyptus and basil. A structured, full bodied wine, with rounded tannins which result in a pleasant and persistent finish. Serve with full flavoured meats such as steak or lamb.

£31.50

Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage was Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Antinori PdV Brunello 2012 - November 2017 Decanter review

The Pian delle Vigne estate is located six kilometers (3.5 miles) to the south of the town of Montalcino  above the Orcia river valley. The property consists of 184 hectares (460 acres) , 65 of which (some 160 acres) are planted to vines situated between 130 and 200 meters (440-660 feet) above sea level and with an exposure which is principally to the southeast. The soil consists prevalently of clay and limestone and is rich in small stones. It takes its name from a period-style 19th century railroad station situated within the estate’s confines. 

This wine is 100% Sangiovese.

To see an excellent 3 page information sheet and tasting note that has been prepared by the team at Antinori, please click on the blue link below.

Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2013 - fiche technique

£45.60

Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato 2016 (1x75cl)

The Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato has truly been a labour of love for Arianna: "Il Frappato stems from a dream which I had when I was a girl to make a wine that knows the land that I work, the air I breath, and my own thoughts. It is the wine that most resembles me, brave, original and rebellious."

This wine is organic and is therefore made without any chemical intervention. The grapes were harvested during the first 10 days of October before a 30 day fermentation using only indigenous yeasts occurred.  The wine was then moved to large Slavonian oak barrels and was allowed to mature for 14 months before being bottle without the use of any filtration. 

Frappato  is an Italian red grape variety, mostly planted in Sicily and thought to be related to Sangiovese. This wine has a light red hue to it but the nose is very complex with notes of cherry, raspberry and white pepper. On the palate there are flavours of strawberry and raspberry fruit, complimented by herbs, flowers, black tea, salt and minerals. 

£29.20

Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 (1x 75cl)

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.

£36.70

Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva 2011 (1x 75cl)

Fattoria dei Barbi is among a prestigious group of estates that has played an integral part in writing the history of Italian wine. In fact, the estate is one of only five in Montalcino that have continuously operated for over 100 years. The Colombini family, one of region’s most influential families, founded the estate in 1790. The family has owned land in Montalcino since 1352, first building the “Poggio alle Mura” estate (now Castello Banfi), then “Argiano”, and finally they began assembling “Fattoria dei Barbi” in 1790, where they have produced wine ever since. The estate is currently owned and managed by the 20th generation heir, Stefano Cinelli Colombini, who carries on constantly seeking innovation through research and the application of new techniques.

Along with the Biondi-Santi family, the Colombini family helped build the reputation of Brunello di Montalcino as a wine of great quality and prestige worldwide. Fattoria dei Barbi is among the original producers of Brunello di Montalcino with bottles dating back to the 1892 vintage in its cellar. The estate, whose name is derived from “Barbo”, a reference to the seashell fossils found throughout the vineyards, received top awards at exhibitions all over Europe since the first vintages.

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.

£75.80
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