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Corte Giara Bardolino 2018 (1x75cl)

Corte Giara is the negociant label of Allegrini. The wines are made by Allegrini from fruit brought in from outside their own vineyards. They have a similar stamp of quality that sets them apart from most of the Veronese wines produced at this level.

The grapes for this wine are grown in vineyards situated in the Eastern morenic hills of Lake Garda. The vineyards are approximately 200 metres above sea level and face south/southwest. The soils are of fluvial-glacial origin. There are 3,000 vines per hectare, approximately 26 years old and trained according to the pergola trellising system. The grapes were hand picked in September.

This year the harvest was long, with slow ripening, and abundant, high-quality grapes. Spring was particularly wet and as a result, in early July, due to the considerable number of bunches, they carried out some thinning to restore the equilibrium of the vineyard. A drier period started in July, interspersed with some timely showers. In September, temperatures rose again, reaching highs of up to 33°C, but equally high fluctuations between daytime and night-time temperatures (as much as 15°C), enabled the grapes to attain ideal ripeness. Grapes reached full maturity in the last third of September.

After destemming and gentle crushing, the must was macerated briefly on the skins before cold stabilisation. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts at 26-30°C for a period of eight days with frequent pumping over. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place naturally during the month of December. The wine was aged on the lees in stainless steel tank for three months until January when it was bottled.

This wine is made using Corvina 50%, Rondinella 35%, Molinara 15%.

In the glass, this wine has a ruby red colour with purple highlights. Intense and fragrant, dominant notes of vibrant red berries accompany the characteristic spiciness of pepper and rosehip blossom. Dry and harmonious, it captivates the palate with its elegance and succulent easy-drinking style.

ABV = 12.5%.

£11.05

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

Te Kahu means 'the cloak' in Maori and refers to the mist that envelops Giants Winery in the Tukituki Valley. Legend has it that this mist was used to protect a mythical Maori maiden from the sun as she visited her lover Te Mata.

The grapes are completely destemmed before fermentation begins in closed top stainless steel tanks with the yeast being innoculated into the must. The wine then spends 17 months maturing in oak barriques (18% are new) before being fined, filtered and released for sale. 

To see Craggy Range's information sheet for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu 2015 - fiche technique

76% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec.

The Te Kahu is a deep crimson red. It has complex aromatics of ripe plum, a touch of cassis, fresh rosemary and roasted meats. The palate is generous and approachable but also has a high level of sophistication with fine grained tannins enveloping a dense body of succulent black fruits. This wine has the ability to age for around 12 years from vintage.

ABV = 14.0%.

£21.70

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

** FOR THOSE SEEKING THE 2017 VERSION OF THIS WINE (THAT FARED WELL IN THE FEBRUARY EDITION OF DECANTER), WE HAVE LEARNED THAT CRAGGY RANGE ARE NOW NOT RELEASING THIS WINE IN THE UK UNTIL LATE 2020. LIKE YOU, WE'RE PRETTY DISAPPOINTED.

The forthcoming (not on release in the UK yet) 2017 vintage was awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their February 2020 edition panel tasting of New World, single-vineyard Pinot Noir (see blue link below).

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2017 - February 2020 Decanter review

THAT SAID, THIS, THE 2016, AS ATTESTED TO HERE - AND FULLY AVAILABLE - IS RATHER FINE. **

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Craggy Range.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

The grapes for this wine are picked by hand.  The wine is fermented in a combination of stainless steel vats and oak, then is matured for 10 months prior to bottling.

Matt Stafford, the chief winemaker at Craggy range describes the Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir as "a dark and brooding Pinot Noir, grown at our secret place in Martinborough, with a wonderful depth and beauty."

100% Pinot Noir.

The wine has a bright red cherry colour with a crimson hue. Seductive aromas of dark cherry, dried rose petals, thyme and damp earth. Beautifully varietal, elegant and long on the palate. Medium weight red fruit richness and fine-grained tannins are drawn out long across the palate by acidity to create a finish which is savoury and dry.

This wine matches perfectly with duck dishes. It can be cellared for 5-7 years from vintage but only if you can resist opening it before then!

ABV = 13.9%.

£28.10

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled 'typist' Zar Brooks, his winemaking wife Elena and growers Carl Lindner and Brad Rey, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia's leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: 'Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards identified by Carl Lindner and Brad Rey across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.'

At the end of the old vine garden path at Dandelion Vineyards, there is a historic ‘Menagerie’ field blend of three grape varieties, adjoining blocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro at Gomersal in the Barossa.

After hand picking selected bunches of the Menagerie field blend on 22nd April, winemaker Elena Brooks let the whole bunches ferment together in open top fermenters with ambient yeasts. Punching down of the cap took place over 14 days, before basket pressing in old French oak barriques. The wine was then matured for a further 12 months in the oak barrel, before bottling without fining or filtration to capture the vinous essence of the blend.

See also blue link below for the excellent technique/technical note from the winemakers at Dandelion Vineyards..

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie Of The Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 - fiche technique

80% Grenache, 15% Shiraz, 5% Mataro (ie Mourvèdre).

The wine is deep red with youthful violet hues, with a nose that offers an intriguing mix of rose petals and lifted red fruits, berries and a hint of cinnamon and Asian spice. The palate offers wild cherry, damsons and mulberries, coupled with an impressive structure balanced by spicy oak. The wine is opulent, with intense red berries balanced by soft velvety tannins and supple oak.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.55

Darenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2018 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

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

d'Arenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2018 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£17.20

Darenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition expert tasting (by Matthew Jukes) of Australian Premium Shiraz (see blue link below).

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 - November 2019 Decanter review 

Family-owned d’Arenberg is located in the breathtaking McLaren Vale in South Australia, and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

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.

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

d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2016 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz.

This iconic wine always displays the power and intensity of McLaren Vale Shiraz, yet has an elegance and refinement that few other wines from the region possess. It’s vibrant and lifted on the nose with bustling red fruits and savoury spice. The palate is long, linear and pure with tightly wound tannin and mouth-watering acidity. Beneath the layers of blueberry, pomegranate and satsuma plum is an intriguing core of earth and crushed rocks. If stored correctly, this wine should age for 15+ years.

ABV = 15.0%.

£33.85

Darenberg The Galvo Garage Cabernet Blend 2014 (1x75cl)

** INTO STOCK BY WEDS 20th MAY! **

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon 54%, Merlot 23%, Petit Verdot 23%.

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

d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage 2014 – fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£17.70

Darenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

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

100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 – fiche technique

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.35

De Loach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.

The Pinot Noir is sourced from four vineyard sites across the Russian River: the BCD Vineyard, the Becnel Vineyard, the Heintz Vineyard and the Murray Vineyard. Each of these Russian River Valley Vineyards contributes their unique complexities to the final blend. The vines are grown on Huichica clay loam soils.

Crafted using traditional Burgundian techniques, the grapes were hand-sorted then fermented in small vats with all punch-downs done by hand. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels (25% new oak) to create a complex, multi-layered Pinot Noir.

Please click the blue link below to see a full tasting note for this wine from De Loach themselves.

De Loach Russian River Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Noir.

The 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir opens with inviting aromas of raspberry, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. Silky on the palate, the wine offers flavours of strawberry, rhubarb, clove and plum. It is well balanced with moderate tannins and bright acidity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£22.75

Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Reserva 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points by Robert Parker/Wine Advocate.

The 2011 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2017 edition review of Premium Rioja (see blue link below).

Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Reserva 2011 - March 2017 Decanter review

Click here here for a (Spanish but subtitled) short video on this wine.

Pedro Vivanco, a shrewd businessman who made his fortune in the wine trade, started producing wines way back in 1915. Starting out as a wine merchant, he became a substantial vineyard owner, and went on to build a portfolio of his own bodegas. Quietly and steadily he grew Vivanco into a major player on the Rioja stage. The family now owns seven bodegas and some 400 hectares of vineyard, with other wine interests in Navarra. Dinastia Vivanco is now one of Rioja’s leading producers, making modern styled Riojas with the focus firmly on bright, juicy fruit flavours. The Vivanco wines are made exclusively from the family’s vineyards, where intimate knowledge of the sites enables them to create some superb Rioja, packed full of rustic charm and fresh fruit flavours.

A selection of vines in Briones, Rioja Alta which are 35 years old on average, grown in mainly chalky-clay soils.Each grape variety is picked by hand and taken in small individual tubs. All the grapes are placed in a cold room for 36 hours before being processed on the cluster and berry sorting table. Picking of the Tempranillo grapes starts in early October, with the Graciano harvest starting at the end of the month.

Each grape variety is vinified separately. After mild crushing, the grapes are fed by gravity into small French oak vats where they ferment and are left to macerate for 20 days in contact with the skins at a controlled temperature of 30 °C with light pumpovers. Malolactic fermentation takes place in small French oak vats. The wine is then aged for 24 months in new and second-year barrels made with French and American oak. The wine is fine-tuned for several months in French oak vats before being bottled and laid down for the next 24 months.

90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano.

Intense, purple-red, with a brick rim evincing barrel ageing This wine offers aromas of cinnamon and sage surrounded by fruity notes of cherries and blackberries underscored by a mineral component. Deep, and ripe on the palate, with a velvety, silky, enveloping mouthfeel. Perfect with all kinds of meats, stews, game dishes, mushrooms, strong aged cheeses, etc. Ideal with tapas or just with some dark chocolate.

ABV = 13.0%.

£16.50

Domaine Catherine & Dominique Derain Mercurey Rouge, La Plante Chassey 2013 (1x75cl)

Catherine & Dominique Derain are biodynamic producers in Burgundy with vines in a number of different Burgundian appellations. Dominique Derain started his career making wine barrels but decided, instead, to study wine making in Beaune where he met Catherine, his wife. In 1988 he and Catherine purchased 5.5 hectares of vineyards in Saint Aubin just south of Beaune and began tending the vines biodynamically and making their wines in a very non-interventionist way.

The Derains always adopt a minimalist approach. They farm biodynamically, hand harvest, do not chaptalize or acidify and use the barest amount of sulphur in their winemaking approach. All the fruit is hand-picked and they destem 90% of their red grapes before fermentation, which occurs in wooden vats. After fermentation the wine is aged in old oak casks for 12-18 months. The couple never use SO2 during the winemaking process, adding only a small amount at bottling for stabilization.

Their thrilling Mercurey from old biodynamically-tended vines (100 years old) reaches an altogether different level. It is a blend of 85% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Beurrot (related to the Pinot Gris).

There is a silky nature to this Mercurey giving it a supple mouthfeel and a detailed range of raspberry and cherry fruit with a touch of pomegranate. It has lovely spice notes and touch of lavender on the nose. Striking elegance, complexity and length.

ABV = 12.0%.

£37.85

Domaine de la Charmoise Marionnet Gamay de Touraine 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 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.

The Marionnet family arrived in Soings, in the eastern part of Touraine (30 km south of Blois), in the middle of the last century. Their vineyards were completely replanted and expanded between 1967 and 1978. The total vine area is today some 60 hectares, producing some 400,000 bottles of red and white wines. The cellar is fully equipped with stainless steel vats and modern winemaking technology.

Domaine de la Charmoise is mainly planted with Gamay for red wines and Sauvignon for whites. Gamay covers an area of ​​33 hectares. Average yields are around 55 hl/ha. Sauvignon occupies an area of ​​~20 ha. The soil is of a type locally known as perruche (= parakeet!), composed of flint, clay, silica and gravel. The estate is located at the highest point between the Loire (to the north) and the Cher (to the south). Thanks to its position, the most easterly of Touraine, the domaine benefits from a continental climate conducive to Gamay and Sauvignon. In addition, a favourable microclimate ensures both excellent maturity and good protection against one of the upper Loire's main hazards: spring frosts.

The harvest is entirely picked by hand with great care and this, the domaine tell us, intriguingly, is “almost exclusively by women”. The clusters undergo rigorous selection and a severe sorting if necessary. These are then placed in vats intact for intracellular fermentation/(semi)-carbonic maceration, yielding a most elegant wine with a brilliant ruby ​​red/purple color. On the nose and palate, it's a real explosion of strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrant, kirsch, coffee, and bonbons anglais. It's a "pleasure wine", and - (al)so say the domaine - "a wine for an entire meal" (best served chilled).

This wine is made using 100% Gamay.

ABV = 12.5%.

£13.05

Domaine De La Tour Du Bon Bandol Rouge 2013 (1x 75cl)

This property was established in 1925 as a farm with its first vines being planted in 1931. It is still in family ownership and produces interesting and enjoyable wines at a reasonable price point.

Each vintage forms a unique story. As often happens with this wine the senses become mixed, encompassing animal, vegetable and mineral elements.

Purplish to brick red depending on the age of the wine, its sustained colour is bright yet dense. This wine is accessible and has a beautiful aromatic complexity. These are specifically related to the grape varieties that are part of this wine. The fruitiness of Grenache brings kirch notes against the spicy accents of the more peppery Mourvèdre. As for Cinsault, it connects the whole. The palate has a tannic structure, sometimes powerful in its youth which becomes fleshy and silky as it gets older. It can be enjoyed now with a rib of peppered beef, or after a few years it will be a superb match for a leg of lamb with beans.

This wine was made using Mourvèdre 60%, Grenache 30%, Cinsault 8%, Carignan 2%.

£22.00

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Rouge 2016 (1x 75cl)

Domaine Faiveley’s “vieilles vignes” (old vines) are over thirty years old and produce an exceptionally aromatic wine that offers a true reflection of its Mercurey terroirs.

The palate reveals a smooth, fruity attack and evolves towards notes of ripe red berries and a touch of vanilla. An intensely aromatic wine with a delicate structure and silky smooth tannins that will win over wine experts and amateurs alike.

£20.10

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Rouge 2017 (1x75cl)

This Burgundian domaine has been a family estate for nearly 200 years. Erwan Faiveley, 7th generation, took the reins in 2006 from his father when he was only 25. They have earned their reputation as one of Burgundy’s finest and most trusted, with an unparalleled selection from the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise totalling over 120 hectares.

2017 is an early vintage. Harvests started on August 29th, the grape clusters were dense and compact thanks to excellent flowering in late May. Favourable climate conditions gave charm and generosity to the wines. 2017 is a classic style of vintage that can also be enjoyed in its youth.

The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. The proportion of de-stemmed grapes and whole clusters varies depending on the vintage. The wines are pumped over twice daily in order to extract colour, tannins and aromas from the skin of the grapes. After a 15 to 19 day vatting period, the alcoholic fermentation is complete. The free-run wine is run off using a gravity system whilst the marc is pressed slowly and gently in order to extract an exceptionally pure press wine. The wines are aged for 12 months in French oak barrels (10% of which are new oak) which have been selected for their fine grain and moderate toast. The wines are left to age in our cellars at consistent, natural hygrometry and temperature.

100% Pinot Noir.

Deep ruby red in colour with notes of fresh red fruits and spice on the nose. This wine is a pleasure to drink thanks to its smooth, fruity attack and delicate, silky tannins. This well-balanced and intensely aromatic wine will win over wine experts and amateurs alike.

Serve with rib of beef marinaded in thyme, a platter of cold cuts, soft cheeses such as reblochon.

ABV = 13.0%.

£20.10
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