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Battle Of Bosworth Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (1x75cl)

Battle of Bosworth is one of the most exciting producers from the McLaren Vale, owing its fame to a series of outstanding single-vineyard wines made from estate-grown fruit. Owner, Joch Bosworth, is regarded as a brilliant organic farmer as well as a top class winemaker, and the Bosworth vineyards are among the most beautiful we have ever seen. Joch plays down his impeccable green credentials, arguing that he is doing nothing new: ‘A lot of what we do in the vineyard is simply old-fashioned grape growing; essentially, our vineyards are run as they would have been 50 years ago before synthetic pesticides and fertilizers became available.’

A pretty little flower called the soursob is Joch’s partner in crime to combat weeds. So important is the soursob that it features on the Battle of Bosworth labels, too.

The winemakers at Battle of Bosworth use traditional tried and tested wine making techniques year in and year out. They pick the Cabernet when it is flavour and sugar ripe, then crush it and ferment it in small open vessels. Fermentation finishes in barrel using mainly old oak (about 70%) and the balance in new mainly French hogsheads (300l) barrels. They then blend back some of the cordon cut, vine dried Cabernet to the wine just prior to bottling, a practise which has been undertaken since they began making the wine.

The Battle of Bosworth Cabernet has red/ black fruits on the nose, so think redcurrants blackberries and blackcurrants. There is a freshness which verges on mint. Overall the wine is lively and medium-bodied and very fresh. It has a structured but accessible palate and for those that have patience it will cellar very well, but if you haven’t got time for all that waiting, it will drink well now. Decanting before drinking would be a good idea to give the wine some air and give it time to release all of those aromas…. 

£15.40

Battle Of Bosworth Puritan Shiraz 2016 (6x 75cl)

Battle of Bosworth is one of the most exciting producers from the McLaren Vale, owing its fame to a series of outstanding single-vineyard wines made from estate-grown fruit. Owner, Joch Bosworth, is regarded as a brilliant organic farmer as well as a top class winemaker, and the Bosworth vineyards are among the most beautiful we have ever seen. Joch plays down his impeccable green credentials, arguing that he is doing nothing new: ‘A lot of what we do in the vineyard is simply old-fashioned grape growing; essentially, our vineyards are run as they would have been 50 years ago before synthetic pesticides and fertilizers became available.’

A pretty little flower called the soursob is Joch’s partner in crime to combat weeds. So important is the soursob that it features on the Battle of Bosworth labels, too.

They have modelled the Puritan on the young Tempranillos that come out of Rioja in Spain. Puritan spends no time in oak and is bottled as soon as it has gone through malolactic fermentation, which occurs after the sugar to alcohol primary fermentation. They have shamelessly copied this model, except with ‘Puritan’ where the wine is bottled without any added preservatives, so it’s as fresh as a daisy, with nothing added. It is made from Shiraz.

The 2016 Puritan is bursting with life, as it should be, given it has barely time to turn around from being picked, fermented and then put immediately to bottle. There are soft plums on the nose and the palate is utterly delicious with black and red fruits, soft tannins and a wonderful finish. Drink alone and enjoy Puritan’s ‘joi de vivre’ or have with a juicy steak.

£86.52

Battle Of Bosworth White Boar 2013 (1x 75cl)

Battle of Bosworth is one of the most exciting producers from the McLaren Vale, owing its fame to a series of outstanding single-vineyard wines made from estate-grown fruit. Owner, Joch Bosworth, is regarded as a brilliant organic farmer as well as a top class winemaker, and the Bosworth vineyards are among the most beautiful we have ever seen. Joch plays down his impeccable green credentials, arguing that he is doing nothing new: ‘A lot of what we do in the vineyard is simply old-fashioned grape growing; essentially, our vineyards are run as they would have been 50 years ago before synthetic pesticides and fertilizers became available.’

A pretty little flower called the soursob is Joch’s partner in crime to combat weeds. So important is the soursob that it features on the Battle of Bosworth labels, too.

‘White Boar’ is their version of Amarone, a style of wine made in the Italian region of Valpolicella using 3 indigenous varieties which are picked and then dried on racks before being fermented.  The process has been adapted so that they cut the canes of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to sever the water and nutrient supply from the vine, so that the leaves die and fall off and the fruit dries and concentrates on the vine. The grapes are picked after about 10-12 days and fermented slowly – the sugar content after this period of drying is pretty high. The wine is fermented to dryness however. They mature the wine in old larger format barrels and then bottle it. White Boar is a long lived wine.

White Boar has a nose of well-worn leather, dark fruit, dark chocolate, with a full soft palate and fine grained tannins. 

£26.64

Battle Of Bosworth White Label Pinot Noir 2015 (6x 75cl)

Battle of Bosworth is one of the most exciting producers from the McLaren Vale, owing its fame to a series of outstanding single-vineyard wines made from estate-grown fruit. Owner, Joch Bosworth, is regarded as a brilliant organic farmer as well as a top class winemaker, and the Bosworth vineyards are among the most beautiful we have ever seen. Joch plays down his impeccable green credentials, arguing that he is doing nothing new: ‘A lot of what we do in the vineyard is simply old-fashioned grape growing; essentially, our vineyards are run as they would have been 50 years ago before synthetic pesticides and fertilizers became available.’

A pretty little flower called the soursob is Joch’s partner in crime to combat weeds. So important is the soursob that it features on the Battle of Bosworth labels, too.

In deference to the warm climate they pick the Pinot early and make it more like a Beaujolais than a Burgundy because they want to make a wine with soft tannins and gentle aromas on the strawberry end of the spectrum. To do this about 30% of the grapes are put through carbonic maceration. The grapes are hand-picked and allowed to ferment (without being crushed) in plastic bags in apple crates. The balance of the grapes are processed in a fairly standard red winemaking fashion; crushed, fermented, pressed off skins into (predominantly older) oak before blending back to the ‘cab mac’ component and bottling.

There are beautiful ripe red fruits on the nose – think plums and strawberries along with a light, alluring spice. The Bosworth Pinot Noir is a middle weight wine with red fruit running through the palate and framed within lovely tannins. This wine goes very well with cheeses, chicken dishes and charcuterie.

£86.88

Bianchi `Famiglia Bianchi` Organic Malbec 2014 (1x75cl)

Intense red violet colour. Red fruit notes such as raspberries mix with prunes, spices, tobacco, chocolate and a hint of coffee on the nose. Full-bodied and smooth on the palate with rounded tannins. Notes of coffee and bitter chocolate from the oak ageing add complexity to the mature red fruit character on the long, well-balanced finish.

£15.00

Bisceglia Aglianico Del Vulture Gudarra 2012 (1x75cl)

Intense red and black fruit aromas and flavours with a hint of spice, showing fantastic balance between its tannic structure and fruit.

£16.35

Cambridge Road Syrah 2013 (6x75cl)

From a biodynamic vineyard in Martinborough, this Syrah is a ripe and smooth wine with black cherry and plum flavours and a touch of peppery spice and tar.

£229.65

Cazes `Ego` Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2013 (1x75cl)

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified Organic and Biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are still made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family make a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison CAZES is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. There is also more freshness and minerality in the wines. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by 'galets roulés' (the 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

Harvest was delayed by up to three weeks due to a late flowering accompanied by cold and wet weather. An Indian summer lasted through to the end of October and provided vital assistance to the final ripening stage given the warm days, cool nights and dry northerly winds. The wines have ripe fruit and bright, lively acidity.

The three varietals were totally de-stemmed and de-stalked before being put in separate stainless steel vats. Only naturally occurring yeasts were used; no yeast was added to the must. Fermentation was temperature controlled at 28°C. The residual matter was circulated by pump-overs and the sediment was broken up by hand twice a day to extract the best qualities. The wine was macerated for four weeks before pressing after which it underwent malolactic fermentation.

The nose reveals great aromas of ripe black and red fruits. On the palate, these melt with leather and liquorice notes, and soft, velvety tannins. This is a round and rich wine with wonderful balance as well as a pleasantly refreshing acidity. Long finish with hints of black pepper.

£15.85

Château de Grand Pre Fleurie 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2017 edition review of Beaujolais Crus (see blue link below).

Grand Pre Fleurie 2015 - Sept 2017 Decanter review

A robust and concentrated wine with a floral bouquet of violets and wild spicy strawberries aromas combined with liquorice

The Château de Grand Pré comprises a beautiful 18th-Century castle complete with vaulted cellars, a lieu-dit vineyard and an eight-hectare family domaine in the Beaujolais region. The winery is located in the heart of Fleurie where they own six hectares of vineyards, with a further two hectares in the village of Morgon. 

A modern and organic approach is employed, tending the vines with a complete respect for the environment and using sustainable techniques. The estate has been certified Organic since 2012. These are wines of purity and precision, a true expression of their Beaujolais terroir. Fleurie is one of the 10 Beaujolais Crus and is famous for the elegance and finesse of its wines, which is closely linked to the (shattered) pink granite soils.

The Château de Grand Pré prunes their vines very precisely into the traditional gobelet shape and undertakes a green harvest encouraging concentration in the berries. As the vines are more than 30 years old, the yields are very low, at approximately 40 hl/ ha. The granitic soils in the vineyard impart a mineral characteristic to the final wine. The harvest was carefully selected by hand. Carbonic maceration of the grapes - 100% Gamay - took place for 10 to 15 days, a slow process in order to gently extract the complexity of aromas. No sulphites were added during the vinification process and only minimal sulphur was added at bottling. A natural yeast fermentation took place at controlled temperatures. The wine was then aged for several months in small barrels and demimuids of 500 litres.

This is a very elegant wine with a floral bouquet of violets and roses, leading through to velvety palate of wild strawberries combined with a hint of liquorice and spice. A wonderful accompaniment to grilled meat, poultry, charcuterie, red fruit desserts and fresh cheeses. 

£14.95

Chateau De Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2012 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 96 points/Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of Provence and 93 points/Highly Recommended status in their September 2017 edition review of Provence Reds (see blue links below). 

Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2016 Decanter review

Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2017 Decanter review

The vineyards overlook the valley, facing the sea, covering terraces upon terraces up to 300 metres altitude, on slopes forming a vast amphitheatre, sheltered from the mistral. The high altitude of the vineyards means cool nights and slow ripening of the grapes. The Château de Pibarnon vineyard is planted on very old and highly calcareous, Triassic ground. This limestone enhances the bouquet in the wine. It also allows the extraction of very fine and elegant tannins. Moreover it is this which causes the freshness and minerality, giving an exemplary type and flavour. Château de Pibarnon focuses on 12 main plots, all located at the summit of the estate including Bel Air, Jourdan, Pointes-Blanches and le Cirque.

The icy winter had little effect on the vines. The winter ended with a dry month in March. The months of April and May provided the necessary rainfall that the grapes need in order to thrive.  In July and August, the nights were very cool (sometimes 15°C early in the morning).  The fermentation was followed by a very long maceration (about 3 weeks) before running off. The wine was then aged in oak for 20 months.

2012 is a vintage revealing firmness as well as great elegance. It has less powerful tannins than in 2011 - these are distinguished by their velvety texture and finesse. This wine seems to offer juicy fruits from the first sip, it then reveals unexpected depths and lengths with subtle spicy and minty notes.

 

£29.80

Chateau Du Cedre Cahors 2013 (6x75cl)

The vines of Château du Cèdre are planted in two different types of soil: stony clay and limestone, producing straightforward wines with fine tannins, whereas the more powerful and dense wines come from soils composed of clay, sand and rich in pebbles. This wine is 90% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 5% Tannat.

2013 was a tricky vintage. After a rather cold winter, spring was cool and wet, with heavy rainfall. The second week of June was very warm, but the rain and the cold which followed hampered grape fertilisation. However, the warm summer months made for perfect conditions for grape maturation. The grapes are sorted in the vineyards and destemmed upon arrival in the cellar. This is followed by 30 days of maceration with daily punching down of the skin cap at the beginning of fermentation.  The wine spends between 20 and 22 months of ripening in new oak as well as in old barrels used once or twice.

Although there is a little Merlot and Tannat in the wine, it is 90% Malbec. Still firmly tannic, it is concentrated and spicy. It has a dark dry texture that is lifted by ripe blackberry fruit. With acidity cutting right through, the wine is nowhere near ready to drink.  The winemaker suggests that you should wait until 2019, although we don't have that sort of patience!

£100.15

Chateau Maris Minervois Organic 2016 (1x75cl)

This is a superb wine which jumps out of the glass with vibrant aromas of violets, plums and fresh blueberries. Crushed redcurrant and blueberry fruit characters on the palate are carried through on a wave of velvety elegance towards a soft spiciness of sprinkled white pepper on the finish. This wine has plenty of substance, combined with finesse which makes it wonderful for quaffing. Enjoy!

£12.30

Conterno Fantino Barbera Dalba Doc Vignota 2015 (1x 75cl)

A wine ruby red in appearance with cherry reflections. Elegantly scented with pleasant notes of cherry and sour cherry. Very rich extractions on the palate, persistent but simultaneously soft.

£18.50

Darenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2011 (1 x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2016 edition review of 'Langton's Classification' (Australia's finest bottles) (see blue link below).

 

D'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2011 - Dec 2016 Decanter review 

 

Harmony between environmental sustainability and wine industry practice is a strong commitment upheld by d’Arenberg in carrying out operations throughout the entire business, and the goal of d'Arenberg’s current custodians is to pass on a sustainable business to the next generation. Minimal input viticulture practices are in place, with all d’Arenberg estate and leased vineyards NASAA Certified for organic and biodynamic processes.

Dead Arm is a vine disease caused by the fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often affected vines are severely pruned or replanted. One half, or an 'arm' of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity. The 2011 Dead Arm is all about style, poise and savouriness. The gods may have thrown us challenging conditions and admittedly, there is a slight shift in style when compared to the more classic years of The Dead Arm, but the quality of this wine speaks for itself and an avid Dead Arm drinker will identify all the hallmarks of this iconic Shiraz. 

The nose gives a fair insight into what to expect. Sweet fruits are initially subdued, the wine appears all about cedar, peat, fresh turned soil, ironstone, fennel and cured meats. If decanted, (highly recommended), slowly the layers of savoury aromas unfurl, releasing an entirely new array of sweeter fruit characters which gently develop, eventually taking pride of place, front and centre. A raft of black and purple fruits, blackberry, satsuma plum, blackcurrant, liquorice and sweet beetroot. The palate follows suit. Initially earthy and savoury, slowly giving way to sweeter and spicier fruits. The mouthfeel is very sleek and focused. Despite this it feels dense and compact, only fleshing out with time. It's amazing how much complexity is built into such a relatively elegant (in Dead Arm terms) package. Tannins are prominent and drive the wine to a long finish but never feel hard or extracted. All in all, an ethereal wine, that will reward the connoisseur with patience!

£29.75
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