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A Mano Imprint Primitivo Appassito 2016 (1x75cl)

Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero, the duo behind A Mano, have worked in the wine business for most of their lives. Elvezia is a northern Italian wine marketing expert and Mark is a Californian winemaker. They fell in love with Puglia and, when they decided to start their own label, made it their home. By producing high quality wines, Mark and Elvezia have succeeded in making Primitivo one of Italy's most talked about grape varieties. They pay high prices for the best grapes from 70-100 year old vines and focus solely on quality and a modern style. After over 15 vintages, they are now getting access to some of Salento's best grapes.

The grapes for this wine come from a selection of Mark's four favourite vineyards in the heart of the Primitivo growing region, located in the low hills east of Taranto in Puglia. The region is an old sea bed, full of fossils of clams, oysters and urchins. The altitude is approximately 30-60 metres above sea level and annual rainfall is 35 centimetres. The climate is classically Mediterranean, as Puglia is on a peninsula between the Adriatic and the Ionian seas. The Primitivo vines are quite old; most are the original post phylloxera plantings and range from 70-100 years old. As with most vineyards planted at that time, they are small bush vines called 'alberello' which are non-irrigated and low yielding. The average Primitivo vineyard is quite small, less than half a hectare and the best sites have a crumbly, dark reddish brown soil that resembles instant coffee.

The Primitivo grapes were dried for five weeks. On arrival at the cellars, the grapes were pressed, destemmed and cooled to 18°C and the must was allowed to ferment at its own pace. After racking in mid-November, the wine remained in an underground cement tank where the temperature did not exceed 10°C until bottling under stelvin closure.

A deeply coloured wine with exuberant perfumes of ripe red and black berry fruits, with notes of spice from the oak ageing. Made in the style of an Amarone, it is concentrated and opulent on the palate, with great balance. It is elegant, velvety and supple, with a long finish.

£13.60

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.

£59.95

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.

£59.95

Abadia Retuerta Pago Negralada Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

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.

£59.95

Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial 2015 (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.

Selecctión Especial is Abadia Retuerta's best-known wine worldwide and accounts for some 80% of all their production.

Produced from a selection of the best grapes from each of their vineyards, it combines the richness of a Tempranillo and the elegance of a Cabernet Sauvignon with the strength of a Syrah.

This wine is aged for 16 months in French and American oak barrels. During this time the wood infuses notes of cedar, pastry and notes of toast into the wine.

This is a very well-balanced wine, harmonious, with a rich bouquet and incredible expressiveness. It is dark red in colour with a clean, complex and fresh nose. On the palate, it has intense yet fruity flavours, mainly of red fruits and caresses the palate beautifully. 

£23.40

Accordini Valpolicella Classico Doc 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

The grapes were crushed and de-stalked before the fermentation process began.  The fermentation took place at temperatures between 25°C - 28°C. The wine was macerated for 12 days with hand pressing taking place three times a day. The wine was then kept in stainless steel tanks where complete malolactic fermentation was allowed to occur. The wine was then aged in bottle for 2 months before being released for sale.

The Accordini Valpolicella Classico is an deep ruby red colour with hints of violets. The nose abounds with very intense fruits of the forest, cherries and raspberries. At the start of the palate there the wine is full flavoured but this is balanced with soft and elagant tannins. Hints of spices integrate with flavours of mature fruits.

£11.45

Accordini Valpolicella Classico Ripasso Acinatico Doc 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

The Accordini Valpolicella Ripasso Acinatico undergoes re-fermentation and a second maceration with daily mixing for 10 days over the Amarone and Recioto grape skins. As they are still mildly sweet, they enrich the body of the wine alongside the colour, bouquet and alcohol content. The  The wine is the aged in Slovenian oak barrels and barrique for 12 months. It is this contact with the wood that gives the Ripasso its fresh hints of mature fruit, spices and tobacco. It is then bottled and is left to mature for a further 6 months.

This wine has a strong ruby red colour. The aromas are intense yet subtle with hints of spices and vanilla. The flavours are warm and full bodied with traces of dried fruit that are reminiscent of Amarone. It is great when served with all types of meat, but roasts, stews and mature cheeses are particularly good matches.

£16.20

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

Alpha Estate, Amyndeo, Vielles Vignes Single Block Barba Yannis, Xinomavro Reserve 2014 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Alpha Estate Reserve Vielles Vignes Single Block Xino 2013 - January 2018 Decanter review

Alpha Estate is located in Amyndeon, North West Greece. It is the brainchild of two visionaries, second generation vine grower Makis Mavridis and Bordeaux trained wine maker Angelos Iatrides. Angelos is one of the most talented winemakers working in Europe. This pristine estate in the cool highlands of Western Macedonia comprises 120 hectares of privately owned single block vineyards and employs the most up to date vineyard techniques and winemaking technology to produce world class wines from French and indigenous Greek varietals.

The Single Block Barba Yiannis is named in honour of Mr Yiannis, from whom the block was purchased in 1994. The vineyard is located in Amyndeo, in the region of Macedonia. The vines are ungrafted, pre-phylloxera bush vines which are over 90 years old. The summers are hot, so in order to avoid extreme water deficit a "root zone drying irrigation" is used, to ensure the optimum conditions for the nourishment and maturation of the grapes. The vines are grown in sandy clay soils.

The grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and cold soaked with skin contact. The fermentation took place using an indigenous yeast strain. Fermentation took place at gradually increasing temperatures, before being maintained "sur lie" or on its fine lees for eighteen months with regular stirring. Maturation took place in Allier - Bertrange French oak casks of medium grain, for 24 months, with a minimum of a further 12 months ageing in the bottle. The wine was bottled without fining and filtration.

A complex and typical Xinomavro (pronounced Ksee no' ma vro), showing aromas of smoky black fruits, strawberries, dark cherries, liquorice, sundried tomatoes, and delicate spice. Full bodied and structured on the palate, with a rich depth of fruit, concentrated savoury notes and a touch of oak. The velvety tannins lead through to a persistent and aromatic finish.

A perfect match with juicy red barbecued meats, roasted lamb, spicy sausage and red peppers baked in olive oil.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians.

£18.90

Alpha Zeta 'V' Valpolicella 2017 (1x75cl)

Alpha Zeta was created in 1999 by UK wine importer, David Gleave MW, and New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson with this belief in mind. They realised that the key is to marry local grape growers with impeccable winemaking. All Alpha Zeta wines are made from indigenous grape varieties grown in the hills north-east of Verona.  The flavours of the grape shine through in the glass offering great value, quality and balance. Matt works with local Veronese grape growers in hillside vineyards to select parcels of fruit, rather than buying in bulk wine. They have worked together to reduce yields and the grapes are now picked later. In this way, they have been able to improve grape quality and obtain riper flavours.

Alpha Zeta's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

Alpha Zeta 'V' Valpolicella 2017 – Fiche Technique

£10.15

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

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 of this wine, we would direct you to the data sheet/fiche technique from Amisfield themselves (click blue link below)

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 - fiche technique

£26.50

Antinori - Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato  (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Syrah) 2016 (1x75cl)

The Guado al Tasso estate is located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of the city of  Florence near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri. The property, approximately 2500 acres (1000 kilometers) in total size, extends from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the inland hills. It includes, in addition to 750 acres (300 hectares) of vineyards, terrain planted to the cultivation of wheat, barley, oats, and olive groves along with woods in which a herd of “Cinta senesi” pigs, a prize local breed, roams and feeds.

Il Bruciato was first produced in 2002, one of the most difficult vintages of all for the Guado al Tasso estate, with the precise aim of recounting and in creating a greater perception – in a modern style – of the unique terroir of Bolgheri. The initial blend utilized was that of Guado al Tasso, but then changed over the years both in its varietal composition and in the range of specific vineyard plots assigned for its production. The wine was not produced in the 2003 vintage.

The 2016 vintage was characterized by a mild winter with infrequent but abundant rainfall which assisted in creating important reserves of ground water in the soil. The beginning of the growing season arrived a bit earlier than usual and then continued in a regular fashion, accompanied by a sunny spring with temperatures and rainfall which fully respected normal seasonal averages. Summer was, on the whole, warm and without particular temperature peaks. The ripening of the grapes took place in weather marked by generally warm and sunny days, followed by cool nights which favored the development of aromatic substances and a proper rapport between sugars and acidity. Picking took place between late August and late September.

Once in the cellar, the selected grapes were gently destemmed and softly pressed. The fermentation and the period of skin contact with the must took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and lasted for a period of 10-15 days at temperatures which ranged from 82° to 86° Fahrenheit (28-30° centigrade). The malolactic fermentation took place partly in oak barrels and partly in stainless steel tanks and terminated in both cases by the end of the year. At this point the Cabernet Sauvignon was blended together with the Merlot and Syrah and the wine went back into the small oak barrels.

The 2016 Bruciato offers an intense ruby red colour. On the nose, the aromas of ripe red berry fruit, sweet spices, and a light and fresh minty note are the most prominent sensations. The palate is well structured, persistent, and very pleasurable in its fruity finish and aftertaste.

£23.35

Antinori - Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato 2015 (1x75cl)

The Guado al Tasso estate is located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of the city of  Florence near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri. The property, approximately 2500 acres (1000 kilometers) in total size, extends from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the inland hills. It includes, in addition to 750 acres (300 hectares) of vineyards, terrain planted to the cultivation of wheat, barley, oats, and olive groves along with woods in which a herd of “cinta senesi” pigs, a prize local breed, roam and feed.

The 2015 vintage was characterized by abundant rainfall during the winter and by a dry and mild spring. The bud burst, notably earlier than in 2014, was followed by an equally precocious flowering. The first part of summer saw an important rise in temperatures, which came back into balance during the second half of the month of August, assisting the grapes to achieve a perfect state of ripeness. The harvest began in early September and lasted all the way through the first ten days of October.

The grapes which were selected came from a range of vineyard plots which extend over some 200 acres (80 hectares) and express the typical characteristics of the Bolgheri production zone. The fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and lasted from 10 to 15 days at temperatures between 82° and 86° Fahrenheit (28°-30° centigrade). A part of the Merlot and Syrah must was fermented at lower temperatures to better conserve varietal aromas. The malolactic fermentation took place partly in oak barrels and partly in stainless steel tanks  and terminated for all the different grape varieties by the end of the year. The wine was then racked and went back into small oak barrels for a seven month ageing period, at the end of which it was bottled. Four months of bottle ageing preceded commercial release.

An intense ruby red in colour, the wine shows attractive and complex aromas of red berry fruit, sweet spices, and toasted coffee. The flavours are full, round, and have a good level of both balance and pleasure. It will be a vintage that is very capable of improving over time.

£23.35

Antinori - La Braccesca Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano 2015 (1x75cl)

Just a few miles away from the city of Montepulciano, near the border between Tuscany and neighboring Umbria, the La Braccesca estate is surrounded by much of the region's splendid history, first Etruscan and Roman, then medieval and Renaissance. The property extends over 508 hectares (1255 acres) where, once upon a time, the holdings of the Bracci Counts– who gave their name to the estate - were located. The Counts, whose name means “arm” in Italian, also gave their coat of arms to the property, an armored arm which holds a sword.

The La Braccesca estate consists of two different blocks. The historical nucleus of the property is located in the area of Montepulciano with 257.5 acres (103 hectares) of vineyard in the finest sub-zones for the production of Vino Nobile. The other block, with 592.5 acres (237 hectares) of vineyards, is situated at the foot of the hills of the town of Cortona. The first vintage of the La Braccesca Vino Nobile was produced in 1990.

The winter of the 2015 growing season, was mild in temperature and characterized by frequent rainfall. Spring experienced above average temperatures, which favoured a precocious bud-break, ten days earlier than usual. The summer was warm and dry but without peaks in temperature, assisting the vines to grow slowly and gradually, guaranteeing an excellent start to the ripening process. The harvest began with the Merlot in early September and terminated with the Sangiovese around mid-October.

The Sangiovese grapes underwent a fermentation aimed at conservation of the aromas and freshness of the fruit. After approximately ten days of maceration on the skins during the fermentation, the wine went into large oak casks where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation and began an aging period which lasted twelve months. After bottling, which took place in the spring of 2017, the wine was given an additional twelve months period of aging before commercial release.

An intense ruby red in colour, the wine offers fruity aromas with notes of violets and vanilla. The palate is ripe, supple, balanced and with tannins supported by a pleasurable vein of acidity, which brings out the flavors of blackberries and cherries. Persistent and with mineral hints on the finish.

£18.65

Antinori - Prunotto Barbera Dasti Fiulot 2017 (1x75cl)

Prunotto was founded in 1904 by Alfredo Prunotto under the name Ai Vini delle Langhe. In 1989, the Marchesi Antinori family began its collaboration with the Prunotto Company, at first handling distribution and later getting directly involved in the production process, maintaining the excellent level of quality which Alfredo Prunotto had always insisted upon.

This wine comes from the Costamiòle vineyard in the township of Agliano with light-coloured clays rich in calcareous marl.

The 2017 vintage will be remembered for the hot climate and the scarce rainfall which characterized it. Winter saw mild weather with little snowfall, while the first part of springtime was marked by some precipitation and above average temperatures, factors which favored an early growth and development of the vine. Towards the end of the month of April, an abrupt fall in temperatures took place, with frost damage which struck, principally, the valley floors and the cooler parts of the hillside slopes. A lengthy period of fine weather then followed, which culminated in the high temperatures recorded during the summer months. A few isolated rainstorms during the month of August brought useful reserves of water to the soil, fundemental for the continuing of the ripening cycle. Temperatures descended significantly during the first week of September and helped create important temperature swings between daytime warmth and evening and nighttime coolness, thereby favoring the ripening of both the Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes. This was a vintage with an early harvest in which the vines were able to complete their entire cycle of growth in a positive way. The size of the crop was very low per acre. The picking of grapes began with the Moscato and Arneis on August 24th and was completed on September 24th with the Nebbiolo grapes.

The grapes were destemmed and pressed and then fermented on their skins for eight days at maximum temperatures of 28° centigrade (82° Fahrenheit). After being run off its skins, the wine were went through a complete alcoolic and malolactic fermentation before winter. The wine was then aged for several months in stainless steel tanks before bottling in the spring.

Prunotto Barbera D'Asti Fiulot is a vivid and intense ruby red in colour with a grapey and fruity (plum and cherry) aroma. Grapes grown on light and loose-textured soils and modern oenological techniques which enable producers to obtain and conserve fruit and freshness combine to make this a wine which is very pleasurable in its youth. For this reason it goes well with simple dishes such as hors d’oeuvres, soups, risotto, and pasta. The wine is most enjoyable at cool 13°-15° centigrade (55°-59° Fahrenheit) temperatures.

£12.20
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