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Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **

** ORDERS MUST BE WITH US BY NOON ON 29th MAY. **

** WINES WILL BE DELIVERED IN EARLY OCTOBER.**


"The 2018 Hermitage La Maison Bleue offers up aromas of mocha, raspberries and a hint of black olive. It's full-bodied, velvety and plush, with a finish that's marked by hints of maple syrup and a slightly open-knit quality. It should drink well for at least a decade after release. 93-95 points." Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019

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"The 2,000-case 2018 Hermitage La Maison Bleue comes from the eastern side of the appellation and is a much more fleshy, opulent wine compared to the more mineral-laced La Chapelle. Jammy blackberry and cassis fruit, notes of ground herbs, graphite, and violets, full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration, and a great finish all make for a compelling Hermitage. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age. 94-96 points." Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019

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Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux. Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. Along the Petite Pierrelle street, not far from the stream of Torras and the road where the blackbirds sing, lies the pretty Maison Bleue. Leaning against the Hermitage Hill, one of the most beautiful vineyards in the world, this small stone house with blue shutters was once a real haven of peace for the winegrowers: a place to work, rest and share located in the heart of a legendary terroir. Today, this house of winegrowers has regained new youth. Winegrowers and horses take there shelter from time to time. Grapes come from the most easterly vineyards of the hill, where soils are deeper, less stony and slope flatter.

The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.

Click this link for Wine Advocate's review and opinion of the 2018 Northern Rhone harvest

Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).

See the link below for more details of the wine and winemaking from Jaboulet themselves.

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2018 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz/Syrah. 

For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.

ABV = 14.5% (estimated, not known until bottled). 

£48.50

Paul Jaboulet Aine St Joseph La Croix des Vignes 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **

** ORDERS MUST BE WITH US BY NOON ON 29th MAY. **

** WINES WILL BE DELIVERED IN EARLY OCTOBER.**

 

"Located near Mauves and Tournon, this is another Jaboulet property that's never been better. The 2018 Saint Joseph Domaine de la Croix des Vignes features scents of ripe plums and crushed stone. It's full-bodied and softly dusty, with almost charcoal-like notes that finish rich and sumptuous. Yes, it sounds fanciful and possibly contradictory, but that's the closest I can come to describing it.  94-96 points."  Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, Dec 2019

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"Lots of ripe black fruits, peppery herbs, and damp earth nuances emerge from the 2018 Saint Joseph La Croix Des Vignes. A full-bodied, powerful effort, it has a great mid-palate, plenty of ripe tannins, and the fruit to shine in its youth, yet the balance to evolve for over a decade. 92-94 points."  Jeb Dunnuck, Dec 2019

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Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux. Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. This delicate wine was already appreciated in the 16th century. It was a favourite on the French Kings table. It was then known under the name of vin de Mauves a local village that has its name from the colour mauve, purple in French. The monks in Tournon-sur-Rhone gave the wine its current name in the 18th century. Between 1956 and 1969, all the vineyards were united to form the AOC Saint Joseph. The first vintage of this cuvée is 2009. Grapes for this wine come from 1.5-hectare vineyard located in the historic heart of the Saint-Joseph vineyards, above Mauves and Tournon-sur-Rhone. This plot faces due south and comprises a granite soil broken down into gravelly earth.

The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.

Click this link for Wine Advocate's review and opinion of the 2018 Northern Rhone harvest

Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).

See the link below for more details of the wine and winemaking from Jaboulet themselves.

Paul Jaboulet Aine St Joseph La Croix des Vignes 2018 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz/Syrah.

For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.

ABV = 13.5% (estimated, not known until bottled)

£32.50

Pauletts Polish Hill River Cabernet Merlot 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).

 

Pauletts Polish Hill River Cabernet Merlot 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

Click here for a ~3-minute video tasting of this wine with Exel Wines!

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide, this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

For this, their (red) Bordeaux blend, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:

Paulett Polish Hill River Cabernet Merlot 2016 - fiche technique

This Cabernet-dominated Bordeaux blend shows the depth and intensity gained from a cool micro-climate. A fruit-driven wine which is rich and spicy with truffle and vanilla on the nose. The palate is beautifully balanced and packed with sweet cherry, plum, blackcurrant and liquorice. Subtle oak ageing adds to this superbly structured wine with supple tannins and a long, intense and satisfying finish.

Cabernet Sauvignon 70%, Merlot 30%.

ABV = 14.9%.

£14.30

Pauletts Polish Hill River Shiraz 2016 (1x75cl)

Click this link for a video tasting of all three of the Pauletts Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide, this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

For this, their Shiraz, here's Pauletts' own data sheet/fiche technique:

Paulett Polish Hill River Shiraz 2016 - fiche technique

Shiraz 100%.

A typical jammy, spicy Shiraz from Australia, with aromas of blackberry, plum and chocolate which are given an element of spice from 18 months maturation in American oak barrel. It is a powerful Shiraz, richly flavoured with candied fruits, blackcurransts, black cherries, game and spicy white pepper with mineral nuances. Well structured with sweet, supple tannins, long and satisfying on the finish.

ABV = 14.8%.

£14.30

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below)....

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - December 2018 Decanter review

... and was also awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Best Chilean Red Bordeaux Varietals) at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Perez Cruz Reserva Cab Sauv 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from that vintage (2016 sheet expected soon) from the winemakers themselves.

Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - fiche technique

Perez Cruz is a family owned boutique winery located in the Alto Maipo. Their estate covers 250 hectres of vines planted in one of the most sought-after areas for growing premium Cabernet Sauvignon. This red wine specialist also produces small parcels of Syrah, Cot (Malbec), Carmenère and Petit Verdot. From the first vintage in 2002, President Andres Perez Cruz has seen the estate's speciality red wine amass an impressive array of awards and gold medals. Their eco-friendly winery was built by award winning architect Jose Cruz Ovalle, to fulfil the technical objective of fine wine production. Its wooden roof and natural light allow thermal isolation and free air flow circulation, making it one of the most unique wineries in the world.

The Liguai Estate is located in the Maipo Andes sub-region and is nestled against the mountain foothills at between 1450 and 1700 feet elevation. Trained on Double Guyot systems with drip irrigation, the vines yield 3.12 tonnes per acre. The rocky soils are of both alluvial and colluvial origins. The cooling influences of the mountain air, along with the Pacific Ocean breezes ensure a long ripening season. Harvested by hand, the grapes are picked once they have reached the perfect ripeness of tannins and flavours.

The grapes were carefully selected. Each block was fermented individually so it could reveal its unique characteristics of every corner of the vineyard. The grapes were gently crushed and macerated at cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks. The skins were pumped over the must during fermentation extracting colour, flavours and fine tannins providing structure in the final wine. The wine was then macerated for a period of 24 days. Ageing took place in American and French oak barrels for a minimum of 12 months.

Cabernet Sauvignon 91%, Syrah 4%, Carmenère 3%, Petit Verdot 2%.

Intense blackcurrant and eucalyptus scents on the nose are echoed on the palate, combined with rich jammy fruits, velvety smooth tannins and a long, intense finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£11.95

Perfiles Malbec Calcareo, Trapiche 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintagewas awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their on-line October 2017 review (see blue link below)

Perfiles Malbec Calcareo, Trapiche 2015 - Oct 2017 Decanter review

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. Led by Daniel Pi, their Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. It is in this way that Trapiche has become Argentina's largest fine wine exporter.

The vineyards for the Calcareo, as one might imagine, have a calcareous soil profile, and lie at more than 1,300 meters above sea level. Fighting to survive in these unique, extreme conditions, the vines have developed a resistance that results in robust, vibrant wines.

The fruit for this wine is harvested by hand following a process of careful bunch selection. After destemming, the juice undergoes fermentation initiated by natural yeasts in small concrete vats for a period of 15-18 days at 23°-25°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of 60 hl capacity for 6 months.

The tannins play a huge role in this wine´s profile. It is bursting with flavour with a balanced delicious length. This demonstrates how Malbec responds to different soils in nearby vineyards - to be compared with Trapiche's Perfiles 'Textura Fina'. Grown on limestone, this has more lifted, floral aromas, alongside toasty oak. The texture is more delicate and satiny, and yet it still displays fine concentration and length.This Malbec is very full of structure, flavour & intensity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.75

Perfiles Malbec Textura Fina, Trapiche 2018 (1x75cl)

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. Led by Daniel Pi, their Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. It is in this way that Trapiche has become Argentina's largest fine wine exporter.

The fruit for this wine is harvested by hand following a process of careful bunch selection. After destemming, the juice undergoes fermentation using natural yeasts in small concrete vats for a period of 15-18 days at 23°-25°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of 60 hl capacity for 6 months.

The 2018 vintage can be described as a classic year for Mendoza Malbec. Low rainfall and cool temperatures in the harvest months of February to April gave rise to fruit with optimal ripeness, smooth tannins and fresh natural acid.

100% Malbec.

This demonstrates how Malbec responds to different soils - here, it's from vines grown on fine textured soils, rich in clay and silt - to be compared with the Perfiles Calcareo. Grown on clay soil, this has lovely creamy damson flavours, beautiful velvety texture and lovely lingering finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.65

Pieropan Amarone Vigna Garzon 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition article on the next generation of Italian wine producers (see blue link below).

Pieropan Amarone Vigna Garzon 2015 - May 2020 Decanter review

Pieropan's estate covers 58 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first producer in Soave to make a single vineyard wine, 'Calvarino', in 1971. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, took over the running of the estate in 2017 when Nino fell ill and before he passed away in April 2018. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.

In 1999, The Pieropan family bought uncultivated land on the hill of Garzon, which is 400 metres above sea level in Cellore Illasi. The Illasi valley is to the west of Soave and has long been known for the quality of its Valpolicella. Pieropan planted vines here in 2000. The vineyard is south-facing with good exposure that ensures excellent ripening of the Valpolicella varieties (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Croatina). The limestone and clay soil and the windy and dry micro-climate are all ideal conditions for the production of rich yet elegant wines. The vines are trained using the Guyot system, with 5,800 vines per hectare. The vineyard is certified organic.

Mild temperatures and moderate rains accompanied the winter season. The beginning of the vines’ growth cycle saw abundant rain, but was thankfully followed by a hot and dry period. This allowed for perfect health and organoleptic qualities in the grapes, making this 2015 vintage one of the best, if not the best, of the last 20 years.

The grapes were hand-picked and dried naturally, then pressed and de-stemmed. The must was fermented at 23-24ºC for approximately 30 days during which time pumping over and punching down the cap took place every day. The wine was aged in 500 litre barrels for 36 months followed by a year in bottle before release.

This wine is made using 60% Corvina, 15% Croatina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Other Native Red Varietals.

To see an excellent technical sheet for this wine with a tasting note from the winemakers, please click on the blue link below.

Pieropan Amarone Vigna Garzon - fiche technique

Brilliant and intense ruby red in colour, this is a wine with a heady perfume of black cherries and red summer fruits with notes of pepper and sweet spice. On the palate it is complex and rounded, with a powerful structure supporting the fruit and a lovely freshness on the finish. A wine with plenty of character with the potential to age well.

ABV = 16.5%.

£47.05

Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2015 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

The grapes are sourced exclusively from family owned vineyards in Treiso (Il Bricco, San Stefanetto and Bongiovanni) and in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio (Rocche di Massalupo).

The grapes are hand-harvested, then gently pressed and fermented on the skins for 20 days at 25 to 26°C in stainless steel. 35% of the wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak (a third new) for 30 months. The remaining 65% spends three years in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.

This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible aging potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins.

Serve with red meat dishes, game or seasonal truffle, mature cheeses.

ABV = 14.0%. 

£49.30

Pio Cesare Barolo 2015 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

Barolo is a unique wine that encapsulates the wide spectrum of terroir of this exciting region. Frustrated by the fact that non-single vineyard Barolos are often described as “regular”, he decided to take action and defend the pride and joy of his region’s most celebrated wine by printing his request on his label: “Please, don’t call it regular”.

The grapes come exclusively from his family’s owned vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (Ornato, Collaretto, Lirano), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava and Carzello), La Morra (Roncaglie) and Barolo-Novello (Ravera).

The grapes are hand-picked, then gently pressed and fermented at 25° to 26°C. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks, with skin contact for 20-25 days. The wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak for three years: 70% in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks; 30% in barriques.

Winter in 2015 began with heavy snowfalls in January which supplied  the land with excellent water reserves. February was mild, bringing an early start to the growing cycle, a pattern which continued until harvest. Budding began earlier than 2014, with flowering taking place in the middle of May. There was heavy rainfall between flowering and fruit set which was very beneficial later in the season due to drought and warm weather in late June and July. Thanks to this timely rainfall, and the snowfalls in January, the vines did not suffer undue water stress. Consequently, harvest took place about ten days earlier than 2014. Green harvesting was targeted and precise. High temperatures meant that the crop was exceptionally healthy, with minimal impact from fungal disease. However, canopy management was important to protect the grapes from the sun’s rays. Grapes achieved optimal maturity and ripeness, with good sugar concentration, balanced acidity and excellent structure, making 2015 an age-worthy vintage.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo. 

This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible ageing potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins. It still needs one year in oak for the best maturation.

Ideal with steak tartar, truffle, porcini dishes, duck, guinea fowl, veal, braised beef, cheese. Serve at 16-18°C.

ABV = 14.5%.

£49.30

Pio Cesare Dolcetto Dalba 2017 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

The grapes for this wine come partly from family-owned vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (the Ornato estate), Grinzane Cavour (Cascina Gustava) and Treiso (Il Bricco)and partly from vineyards belonging to established growers. The growers have been working with Pio Cesare for generations and work according to their direction and with strict quality controls.

Frost and drought affected yields across the region, and the heatwave over summer resulted in a shorter ripening period than usual. This may stunt aromatic development, although cool nights have preserved the characteristic high acidity of the region’s reds.

The grapes are hand-picked and then gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel vats at cool temperatures to retain the aromatic qualities of the varietal. The wine is then aged in stainless steel until bottling the following March.

This wine is 100% Dolcetto.

Deep coloured, the Dolcetto has lovely berry and black cherry fruit with a slight herbal undertone. Fragrant and structured with good body and a touch of spice on the finish.

Mushroom or beetroot dishes, tomato based pasta, pizza or truffle dishes.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£17.70

Planeta Burdese 2014 (1x75cl)

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc.

Planeta Burdese 2014 - fiche technique

A Bordeaux made in Sicily from a selection of the best grapes of the company’s vineyards. A powerful red, structured on a dense and important tannin texture balanced by a decisive alcoholic content. Tasting strength based on a ripe, very dense, rich fruit. The flavours are those of bilberry and preserved sour cherries mixed with leather which gradually develop to intense aromas of cherry, cocoa, iodine and rosemary.

ABV = 14.0%.

£22.00

Planeta Mamertino DOC 2016 (1x75cl)

As sampled at Exel Wines' November 2018 tasting. See here for the report of that evening.

The 2015 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition article on Sicily (see blue link below).

Planeta Mamertino 2015 - May 2018 Decanter review

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

For this particular wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Planeta.

Planeta Mamertino 2016 - fiche technique

60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Nocera.

Brilliant, intense ruby colour with dark violet reflexes. Explosive nose with notes of Mediterranian maquis, blue fruits and jammy berries. On the palate thick but refined tannins, well integrated with the oak.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.10

Planeta Plumbago 2017 (1x75cl)

An Exel shop super-favourite!

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Planeta Plumbago 2017 - fiche technique

100% Nero d'Avola.

A saturated purple-mauve that you look forward to drinking. Plumbago is dominated by aromas of ripe plums and wild blackberries and has pleasantly complex aromatic hints of incense, jasmine and black truffle. The tannin texture is varied and combines its soft, sweet and seductive aspects, like a Sacher torta, with the harder, more direct and austere elements of a block of Modica chocolate.

ABV = 14.0%.

£13.70

Poggio al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (1x75cl)

** BUT THIS IS NOW THE LAST OF THIS AWARD-WINNING VINTAGE! **

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

We also highly recommend the 'everyday' Chianti Classico and Super-Tuscan from Poggio al Sole.

The 2014 vintage was also awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2014 - May 2018 Decanter review

The forthcoming 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition panel tasting of top-end Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

Documents in the archives of the abbey of Badia a Passignano, which owned Poggio al Sole until the 1960s, show that olives and wine were grown there as early as the 12th century. The Davaz family, which acquired Poggio al Sole in 1990, has grown wine in the Bündner Herrschaft in Switzerland since the 1970s. The eighteen contigous hectares of sloping schistose-clay vineyards are among the very highest in Chianti,  and are perfectly sheltered from the Tramontane wind by the surrounding oak forest. Alessandro Masnaghetti, the brilliant taster, journalist, and publisher of Enogea, believes that Poggio al Sole is one of the top three vineyard sites in all Chianti Classico.

The Casasilia - Poggio al Sole's premium Chianti Classico from the top-tier Gran Selezione classification - is ample testament to that.

Here's Poggio al Sole's own data sheet/fiche technique on the Casasilia.

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 - fiche technique

Additionally, the wine is matured in French oak barrels/barriques of 225 litres, 30% of which are made of new oak, the remainder being one-year old barrels. Ageing period is 18 months in barrel + 12 month bottle rest.

100% Sangiovese.

"This wine gushes with aromas of black and red fruits, mint, chalk, dried herbs and the vanilla and spice of high quality oak, which lead on to a full-bodied, yet velvety, palate with finely detailed tannins. It really pulsates with its energy, mesmerising your palate as it swoops by, culminating in a long and elegant finish" (DWWA19 tasting note).

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.5%.

£30.95
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