** STOCK WITH US THURS 1st OCTOBER! **
Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).
Gérard Bertrand is one of the most outstanding winemakers in the South of France, owning numerous estates among the most prestigious crus of Languedoc-Roussillon. Formerly the IWC Red Winemaker of the Year and winner of Wine Enthusiast‘s European Winery of the Year, Gérard has been cited as the ‘King of the Languedoc’ among critics. Château l’Hospitalet is the jewel of the Languedoc-Roussillon's crown. Situated in AOP la Clape, among 1,000 hectares of garrigue, it benefits from an exceptional terroir. The wines are imbued with freshness from sea breezes, mineral depth and texture from the limestone soils and warm southern climate generosity. The vines are cultivated organically and biodynamically.
Situated on the coast, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Château l’Hospitalet’s vineyard benefits from exceptional climatic conditions. The heat of the Mediterranean sun is tempered by the refreshing sea breezes resulting in a gradual maturation allowing for a great aromatic expression and smoother tannins. Two types of soils contribute to the complexity and the elegance of this wine; the marly and chalky Gargasien soil at the foot of the cliff is rich in fossils and provides excellent water retention properties, nourishing the vines throughout the warm summer despite the lack of summer rains. The red Mediterranean Barremien soil is formed on blueish grey compact limestone amidst the scrub, which encourages the vines to produce rich and concentrated fruit. The fruit is manually harvested at optimal ripeness based on daily tastings and polyphenolic analysis. The fruit is transported to the winery within an hour.
2018 saw significant rainfall during winter which continued into spring. The summer was hot and dry, but the vines avoided water stress due to the soil’s water reserves from the wet winter. An Indian summer ensured the grapes reached good maturity and the harvests took place under excellent conditions with the promise of a very good vintage.
Only the highest quality fruit was used in this cuvée. The grapes were sorted, destemmed and transferred to temperature controlled vats. Each variety was vinified separately with natural yeasts and maceration lasting between 20 to 25 days. At the end of winter, the wines were racked to new 225 litre casks where they spent 12 to 16 months, with fine bâtonnage from time to time. Only the best barrels were selected and blended for this wine.
Syrah 60%, Grenache 30%, Mourvèdre 10%.
From the finest grapes at the Château, the Grand Vin delivers an intense bouquet dominated by spicy notes underpinned by rich, red fruits. The fleshy, balanced and elegantly structured palate reveals silky tannins which highlight the opulent fruit through to a long finish. Perfect with rich red meat dishes or mature cheese.
ABV = 15.5%.
** IN STOCK THURS 17th SEPTEMBER **
The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their April 2019 panel tasting of Chilean Carmenère (see blue link below).
That 2016 vintage was also awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 tasting/article of/on Top 30 Chilean Wines Under £25 (see blue link below).
"Ah", you may well say, "but is this 2018 as good as the 2016?"
The Matetic family has a history of settling in new territory and making a success of agriculture. In 1892, the current members’ ancestors made the long journey by sea from the Croatian coast to Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile. They soon acquired large haciendas for sheep and dairy farming. It was only in 1999 that the fourth generation of Chilean Matetic made the move into winemaking.
After a detailed study of the terroir, Jorge Matetic Hartard and his relatives decided to plant vineyards in a previously overlooked side valley of the San Antonio appellation - Rosario. Just 15km from the Pacific Ocean, the rolling hills of Rosario Valley benefits from cooling sea breezes and huge swings in temperature - from as much as 27 deg C in the afternoon to 7 deg C at night. Well drained, quartz-sandy soil requires vines to dig their roots deep into the ground (up to four metres) to find water and nutrients, making for low yields and high-quality fruit.
With the additional purchase in 2005 of vineyards in Casablanca Valley, the Matetic vineyard has a phenomenal range of grape varieties planted - Matetic Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carménère, Malbec - but they made their mark early on with the first cold-climate Syrah in 2001.
The Corralillo label is a nod to an old winery on a corral which had once produced wines from the native País grape. These wines - Gewurztraminer, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère and the Winemakers Blend (Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc) express this frontier-pushing terroir with great individuality and draw from plots in Maipo, near Santiago, and Colchagua further south, as well as San Antonio.
Biodynamic viticulture one of the key eco-friendly practices the Matetic Vineyard follows in its winemaking - it is certified organic and sustainable as well as biodynamic. Regarding the Rosario Valley as a single organism, the team works hard to maintain the health of the ground (using Rudolf Steiner’s preparations of quartz, manure, herbs etc in cow horns but only using indigenous materials), the crops and the varied animal life in the ecosystem. Grape pomace is added to compost from the restaurant to be reused in the Matetic vineyards, as is water which has been used to clean barrels. And in human terms, local people make up the majority of staff, and the winery sells woollen and other craft goods made by artisans nearby. It’s all part of a philosophy that aims to make winemaking a venture which will benefit the family and its neighbours for generations to come.
The 2018 Corralillo Carmenere is sourced from the sub-valley of Colchagua Valley, Apalta. The vineyards are located on slopes that receive great sun exposure. The soil's parent material is highly mixed - dominantly colluvial and of granitic origin - but very complex due to the presence of clays, lime and organic matter. These solils have have low fertility - perfect for viticulture - and excellent drainage.
For more detail, especially on winemaking, see the blue link below for the technical note from the winemakers themselves.
95%+ Carmenere, <5% Syrah.
Deep dark violet color with red hues. Very intense on the nose, with a blend of black fruits, cocoa, spices and a piquant hint that characterize this grape variety. On the palate the wine shows great balance between weight and freshness, with a long, lingering finish developing to great volume and structure. An ideal companion for mature cheeses, red meat, charcuterie etc.
ABV = 13.5%.
** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **
** WE HAVE TAKEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF FREE STOCK AND THESE BOTTLES ARE AVAILABLE BELOW. **
"Gentle notes of crushed stone accent red-currant fruit on the nose of the 2018 Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre. There's a sense of tension in this medium to full-bodied wine, which walks a tightrope of ripeness to yield a wine that's velvety and rich yet fresh and vibrant on the finish. 92-94 points." Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019
“The 2018 Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre could turn out to be a real superstar, and it’s an incredibly impressive barrel sample. Lots of dark berry fruits, toasted spice, and cured meat notes give way to a full-bodied Cornas that has ripe tannins, subtle background oak, and a great finish. 92-95 points". Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019
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. On the right-bank of the Rhone, the vineyard sits on the Eastern slopes of the Massif Central in Cornas, which means ‘burnt earth’ in old Celtic. The abrupt, south-facing slopes form a natural amphitheatre that protects the vines from cold winds. Cornas’ vineyards are very old, dating from ancient times. The first terraces and chaillées (walls) were likely made by Romans. Legend has it that Charlemagne himself tasted the wine when travelling through Cornas in the year 840 and liked it so much that he had some sent on to his residence in Aix-la-Chapelle. Owned by Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aine since 1996, the first vintage of this cuvée is 1996. This estate is located on the top of the hill, near the little chapel of Saint-Pierre. The estate represents 3.9 ha on very steep graphite south-facing slopes.
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.
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.
For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.
ABV = 13.5% (estimated, not known until bottled).