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Domaine Cazes, Ego Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Cazes 'Ego' Côtes Du Roussillon-Villages 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family makes a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison Cazes is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by galets roulés (the famous 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low-yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre. The three varieties were 100% de-stemmed and before being put in separate stainless steel vats. Only naturally occurring yeasts were used; no yeast was added to the must. Fermentation was temperature controlled at 28°C. The residual matter was circulated by pump-overs and the sediment was broken up by hand twice a day to extract the best qualities. The wine was macerated for four weeks before pressing after which it underwent malolactic fermentation.

As well as being biodynamic and organic, this wine is suitable for vegans.

The palate is bright with ripe red and black fruit aromas and rich liquorice notes, balanced by delicate tannins. This wine has a remarkable balance, thanks to its good acidity and freshness. Long finish with white pepper flavours.

ABV = 15.0%.

£15.35

Gerard Bertrand, Chateau l'Hospitalet Grand Vin, Rouge La Clape 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

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%. 

£31.05

Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of 2014 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

The yet-to-be-released-in-the-UK 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition review of 2015 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, is one of the Napa Valley’s pioneering estates. The Raymond family arrived in Napa in 1933 and have become deeply connected to the valley’s winemaking origins. In 1970, they established a 36 hectare estate in Rutherford, which now comprises 121 hectares in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon. Raymond’s Rutherford and St. Helena estate vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic; and 100% of the winery’s power comes from renewable solar energy. Five generations of the Raymond family have created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, opulence and complexity.

In honour of the Raymond family’s first harvest in 1974, 40 years of exceptional wines are celebrated with the 2014 Napa Valley Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage in Napa Valley was one of the earliest harvested vintages in years. A warm spring led to early bud break and created the perfect environment for flowering and fruit set. With warm days and cool nights, the ideal balance of acidity with optimum, bright fruit flavours was achieved.

The grapes for the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from the vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, as well as select nearby growers. The estate vineyards are located on gravelly alluvial fan soils with good drainage, necessary for growing excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are diligently monitored throughout the growing season to balance the crop size and quality. Shoot thinning and leaf removal early in the growing season, followed by cluster thinning at véraison, help to achieve evenly ripened grapes with concentrated flavours.

The 2016 vintage across California was a near-perfect growing season. A mild winter and spring led to a steady mild July and August, followed by warm days at the end of the season for the perfect ripeness. With warm days and cool nights in the summer, grape growers were able to maintain ideal acid levels with balanced, concentrated fruit flavors.

This wine spent between 21 and 63 days on the skins, then was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, of which 30% was new. The balance was aged in twice and thrice used French oak. The final blend includes a small proportion of additional varieties for added depth and complexity. The wine was bottled unfiltered, contributing greater texture and presence to the mid palate.

With inviting aromas of dark spices and currants that mingle with fresh raspberry and blueberry, the round and plush entry is complemented by toasted oak and a fruit compote creating a velvety texture. Flavours of dark berry fruits and spice continue through to the long and rich finish creating a wine of great density.

Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Petit Verdot 4%, Merlot 3%, Malbec 2% and Petite Sirah 1%

ABV = 15.0%.

£39.25

Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of 2014 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

The yet-to-be-released-in-the-UK 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition review of 2015 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, is one of the Napa Valley’s pioneering estates. The Raymond family arrived in Napa in 1933 and have become deeply connected to the valley’s winemaking origins. In 1970, they established a 36 hectare estate in Rutherford, which now comprises 121 hectares in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon. Raymond’s Rutherford and St. Helena estate vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic; and 100% of the winery’s power comes from renewable solar energy. Five generations of the Raymond family have created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, opulence and complexity.

In honour of the Raymond family’s first harvest in 1974, 40 years of exceptional wines are celebrated with the 2014 Napa Valley Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage in Napa Valley was one of the earliest harvested vintages in years. A warm spring led to early bud break and created the perfect environment for flowering and fruit set. With warm days and cool nights, the ideal balance of acidity with optimum, bright fruit flavours was achieved.

The grapes for the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from the vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, as well as select nearby growers. The estate vineyards are located on gravelly alluvial fan soils with good drainage, necessary for growing excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are diligently monitored throughout the growing season to balance the crop size and quality. Shoot thinning and leaf removal early in the growing season, followed by cluster thinning at véraison, help to achieve evenly ripened grapes with concentrated flavours.

The 2016 vintage across California was a near-perfect growing season. A mild winter and spring led to a steady mild July and August, followed by warm days at the end of the season for the perfect ripeness. With warm days and cool nights in the summer, grape growers were able to maintain ideal acid levels with balanced, concentrated fruit flavors.

This wine spent between 21 and 63 days on the skins, then was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, of which 30% was new. The balance was aged in twice and thrice used French oak. The final blend includes a small proportion of additional varieties for added depth and complexity. The wine was bottled unfiltered, contributing greater texture and presence to the mid palate.

With inviting aromas of dark spices and currants that mingle with fresh raspberry and blueberry, the round and plush entry is complemented by toasted oak and a fruit compote creating a velvety texture. Flavours of dark berry fruits and spice continue through to the long and rich finish creating a wine of great density.

Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Petit Verdot 4%, Merlot 3%, Malbec 2% and Petite Sirah 1%

ABV = 15.0%.

£39.25
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