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  • Bottle Size: 75cl

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

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

Planeta Plumbago 2018 (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 2018 - 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

Santa Ana Reserve Malbec 2018 (1x75cl)

Santa Ana was founded in 1891 by Luis Tirasso, an Italian immigrant and a pioneer in the development of winemaking in Argentina. With over 120 years experience in the wine industry, Santa Ana winery was one of the first to be founded in Argentina. All along, innovation has been their determinant attribute, as well as a key element to positioning themselves before the ever shifting consumer preferences. Technology and state-of-the-art winemaking techniques are driving forces for the company at present and signal their future.

Hand selected bunches are picked from superior quality vineyards within the Bodegas Santa Ana estate in Cuyo, Mendoza. Vines are planted on deep and stony soil. After de-stemming, the bunches are crushed and the juice is fermented (with seleted yeasts) with extended skin contact, beginning in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. 50% of the wine is finished/aged in both French and Americal barriques/barrels, a proportion of which are new. The wine is bottled after filtration and cold stabilisation.

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.

Dense purple in colour with bright brick red highlights. Powerfully aromatic, showing concentrated stone fruit aromas such as plums and prunes with a hint of spicy oak. The palate is medium to full bodied with a stylish balance between dense black fruit flavours, tightly knit fine grained tannin and judicious use of oak. Finishes firm and grippy - perfect for drinking with red meat! Sweet aromas of blackberries and plums are enhanced by subtle vanilla notes. Good structure and velvety texture, with soft tannins and long length.

A great partner to red meat dishes, particularly when a rich sauce has been used. Try it with a slow braised lamb shank with parsnip puree for example.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.90

Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

Springfield Estate Whole Berry Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 - fiche technique

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%.

£14.95

Tenuta Castelbuono Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso DOC 2017 (1x75cl)

This 2017 vintage was awarded Tre Bicchieri - 2020 by Gambero Rosso (click link below)

Tenuta Castelbuono Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso DOC 2017 - producer statement on award of 3B2020

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.

Tenuta Castelbuono Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso DOC - fiche technique

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%. 

£14.00

The Crossings Pinot Noir 2018 (1x 75cl)

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%.

£13.10

Valdivieso Valley Selection (Single Valley Lot) Merlot, Gran Reserva 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

100% Merlot.

This is a rich and sumptuous Merlot at an incredible price.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.25

Vina Echeverria Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition panel tasting of Chilean Pinot Noir (see blue link below).

Viña Echeverria Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2017 - October 2019 Decanter review

Viña Echeverría is a family-run estate winery, owned and managed by the Echeverría family. Established in 1930, but with an agricultural heritage going back to the 1700s, Viña Echeverría is as much today, as always, driven by a shared passion for winemaking and an uncompromising search for excellence. Viña Echeverría combines nearly a century of viticulture and winemaking experience with a modern state-of-the-art winery, to produce a range of over 20 quality wines from nine different grape varieties. It has recently been awarded its Sustainable Winery status by Wines of Chile, as well as its ISO9000 certification.

The vineyard is located in the Casablanca Valley, a cool-climate coastal region close to the Pacific Ocean approximately 47 miles north of Santiago. The proximity to the sea results in a Mediterranean climate, with pronounced maritime influence. The cooling sea breezes from the cold Humboldt stream, tempers the heat of the warm, sunny days and creates cool foggy mornings, ideal for top quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The soils are clay and sandy soils, which provide good drainage. Careful pruning ensures the correct balance between canopy and fruit.

The 2017 harvest was characterised by high temperatures throughout the ripening period from véraison onwards and late rainfall during spring. The temperatures were warm and favourable during flowering. The warm average temperatures allowed for a high accumulation of sugars in the berries which resulted in earlier harvest than usual, by one to two weeks. The red wines achieved soft tannins, good colour and a great aromatic expression.

Cold pre-fermentation maceration took place at 5°C for four to five days, in order to extract colour and primary aromas. Fermentation lasted for 10 to 12 days at temperatures of 26° to 29°C in stainless steel tanks, with selected yeasts. Post fermentation maceration lasted for five days, then 100% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation. 75% of the wine was aged in French oak barrels for six months, adding oak complexity to the final blend.

100% Pinot Noir.

This elegant Pinot Noir combines aromas of strawberries, black cherries and raspberries with hints of chocolate and mocha. The palate is round and soft, with refreshing acidity and balanced fruit. Works well with earthy flavours such as mushrooms and truffles, grilled meats - pheasant or a rack of lamb. Try with oily fish such as salmon and tuna.

ABV = 13.5%.

£10.95

Vina Echeverria Gran Reserva Syrah 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

 Vina Echeverria Gran Reserva Syrah 2015 - October 2020 Decanter review

Viña Echeverría is a family-run estate winery, owned and managed by the Echeverría family. Established in 1930, but with an agricultural heritage going back to the 1700s, Viña Echeverría is as much today, as always, driven by a shared passion for winemaking and an uncompromising search for excellence. Viña Echeverría combines nearly a century of viticulture and winemaking experience with a modern state-of-the-art winery, to produce an extensive collection of quality wines. The 'No es Pituko' range represents a radical departure from the rest of the more traditional Echeverría wines, both in look and make-up, being vinified naturally, without any additions at any stage. Viña Echeverría has recently been awarded its Sustainable Winery status by Wines of Chile, as well as its ISO9000 certification.

The grapes come from the Aconcagua Valley, located 40 miles north of Santiago, which is a small wine region famous for producing some of Chile’s greatest red wines. The vineyard sits at 243 metres above sea level, with clay and sandy soils to the east; granite and clay to the west. With cold nights and warm dry days, intense sunlight and a long growing season, it is ideally suited to produce healthy vines and grapes. Daily breezes moderate the otherwise high temperatures found in the Aconcagua Valley and reduce the risk of vine disease. The Antarctic Humboldt current, which flows up the west coast of Chile, helps to maintain this effect. The Syrah vines are from ungrafted selected clones of pre-phylloxera French rootstocks producing grapes of optimum quality and flavour.

The season was marked by a spring without frosts, resulting in a good flowering and fruit setting of the varieties. Higher temperatures during December and February favoured a rapid accumulation of sugar and acidity loss; therefore the vineyards were given an adequate water regime to control the ripening process. Reds ripened slowly as the temperatures returned to normal during March and April . The harvest took place one week earlier than usual and resulted in wines of high quality, with intense fine tannins and high aromatic potential.

The grapes were fermented to dryness in 12,000- and 15,000-litre open stainless steel tanks over a period of eight days. Selected yeasts were used and the temperatures were maintained between 24 to 28°C. Once fermentation was complete, an extended skin maceration took place for an additional 10 days. The wine then went through 100% malolactic fermentation, before being matured in 225-litre French oak barrels, for 12 months.

Syrah 100%. 

A highly aromatic Syrah, as blackberry, blueberry and raspberry characters are presented in this wine of great personality. Hints of bitter chocolate combine seamlessly with notes of black pepper, cinnamon and tobacco on the palate. Well balanced, with a juicy and long lasting finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£10.95
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