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:
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%.
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)....
... 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).
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from that vintage (2016 sheet expected soon) from the winemakers themselves.
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%.
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.
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%.
Set in the heart of the mountain-ringed Robertson Valley in the Western Cape of South Africa, Springfield Estate is a family-run wine farm owned by ninth-generation descendants of French Huguenots, who went to South Africa from the Loire in 1688 with bundles of vines under their arms. The present generation to tend the rocky Springfield soils are brother-and-sister team Abrie and Jeanette Bruwer. The Springfield philosophy is to produce wine as naturally as possible. The winemaking process is kept direct and uncomplicated – the wine is left to make itself, as was done centuries ago. This allows for an honest expression of the estate’s terroir.
This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
To see an excellent information note and tasting sheet on this wine from the team at Springfield, please click on the blue link below.
The 2017 vintage is full of juicy fruit – red plums, cherries and black berries, with notes of earth, cedar and tobacco to round it off. Tannins are velvety smooth and leave you with a mouthwatering finish. This traditional wine is unfiltered and unfined, which may deposit sediment and might require decanting.
ABV = 13.5%.
This 2017 vintage was awarded Tre Bicchieri - 2020 by Gambero Rosso (click link below)
The Lunelli family, third generation of winemakers at Ferrari Trento DOC, have pursued their passion for wine with the creation of Tenute Lunelli, comprised of three wine estates located in three different regions of Italy, Umbria, Tuscany and Trentino. The winery is a realization of sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro and the technical expertise of architect Giorgio Pedrotti. The huge dome covered with copper, marked with a pattern of grooves and cracks, is inspired by a carapace, a tortoise shell. An accompanying sculptural element in the shape of a red arrow (called the Lampante) piercing the earth highlights the structure in the surrounding landscape.
The Castelbuono property encompasses approximately 74 acres of vineyards in the areas of Bevagna and Montefalco. Since acquiring the property, the Lunellis have focused on converting the vineyards to organic agriculture.
A land-locked area in the heart of Italy, Umbria has a similar climate and geography to Tuscany, with cold, rainy winters and dry sun-filled summers. An exception is the area surrounding Lake Trasimeno and Lake Bolsena, where a mild, Mediterranean microclimate dominates.
For this wine, the Ziggurat, see/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.
The Ziggurat expresses all the charm of a region with an age-old winemaking tradition. Brilliant ruby red in colour. It immediately strikes you with the elegance and complexity of its broad aromas of cherries and cloves, which give way to balm-like tones. The same elegance is to be found on the palate: a wine of splendid balance, which is mouth-filling and remarkably powerful, yet very fresh. It is already extremely enjoyable, but will also undoubtedly benefit from a little ageing.
As winemag.com put it, "Spiced plum and blue flower aromas take center stage on this blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. On the full-bodied palate, solid tannins accompany fleshy black cherry, cassis and ground pepper. Drink through (ie until) 2022".
ABV = 14.5%.
Anchored in an elegant structure the tannins sit alongside a mid-palate boasting a supple and very intense core of fruit. Aromatically the nose shows delicate red berry fruits while taking in violet and forest floor nuances before finishing with an infusion of darker cherry notes. High toned fruit forms a gateway into a revealing palate and very persistent finish. The palate is rich and unusually mouth filling for an Awatere wine while retaining the taut structure and minerality that typifies the sub region’s fruit.
ABV = 13.0%.
Naming note: this wine has been available under two different names, hence the bracketed title(!), despite being the same wine. It was previously badged as the Single Valley Lot, but has now joined the fleet of Valley Selection wines from Valdivieso. Technically, the new label is entitled to draw grapes from a slightly wider area of the Rapel Valley, although we believe it will make almost no noticeable change to the wine.
Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.
The vineyards for this wine are situated in the Rapel Valley sub-region of Chile's Central Valley where the hot, dry summers allow the grapes to ripen steadily before being harvested. These conditions deliver grapes with soft and silky tannins, distinctive aromas of currants and nuts.
Bright dark red with slight violet reflections. Aroma of fresh red fruits, cherry, plum and spicy notes. Soft and elegant, with silky tannins that deliver good volume and structure. Sweet and rich plum fruit with just a small hint of spice. It is full bodied with hints of cocoa and vanilla.
This is a rich and sumptuous Merlot at an incredible price.
ABV = 13.5%.