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Bodega Cecchin Graciana 2018 (1x75cl)

At Bodega Cecchin, they play Rugby and make wine....although not at the same time. In these parts the oval ball and grapes like Carignan are revered as in areas of the Corbieres and Fitou. Although the origin of the Cecchin family is Italy having emigrated to Argentina in 1910. In 1959 Jorge and Pedro Cecchin fulfilled a dream and bought 11 hectares of vines in Mendoza and the current now much larger estate is run by their grandson Oscar Alberto. 

The crops in all three of the estates that make up Bodega Cecchin have been certified for organic farming as of 2005. Cecchin‘s handling and processing in the winery is also certified as organic from 2005, so its wines are subsequently certified organic.

Bodega Cecchin also farms biodynamically, but only in a small portion of the vineyards (just 2 hectares in each of the three estates). This is because biodynamic farming is too labour-intensive to be implemented over a larger area of vines. Bodega Cecchin owns not only vineyards planted with a wide range of different grape varieties, but also peach, fig and apricot orchards, olive, walnut and almond groves. The planting of these different crops is necessary to comply with the rules stipulated by the organic certifying agency, OIA.

Giving birth to an organic wine is to foster a natural environment where vines live together with other plants, favoring ecological balance. Their vines welcome a rich variety of vegetation that grows in chemical-free soil.

They pick the fruit at the precise moment, treating it with respect, giving it time and space. This way, their farming and production procedures carry a stamp of “no chemicals” all through the process, preserving the environment. Their wines, oils and grape juice have been produced with the same philosophy for more than 100 years.

100% Graciana. 

Cecchin Graciana is a marvellous deep red with aromas of spice, vanilla and raspberry notes. Round and smooth in the mouth, there is a perfect combination of tannins from the wood and wine, which gives a long and very satisfying aftertaste.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£12.15

Bodegas Verum Ulterior Parcela #17 Graciano 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2020 edition feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Bodegas Verum, Ulterior Parcela #17 Graciano 2016 - February 2020 Decanter review

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.

The origins of the López-Montero family in wine-making and distilling date back to 1788. It was then when the first of their wineries in Tomelloso was registered, which is still on the records at the local archives of the town. In 1963 Juan Antonio López Ramírez and María Victoria Montero established Altosa, a winery and distillery that continues to make and market wines and distilled spirits. In 2005, María Victoria, with her daughter, María Belén, and her sons, Juan Antonio, Pedro José and Elías, created Bodegas y Viñedos Verum. The brand encompasses the wines of the López-Montero family from the best vineyards and terroirs in their property.

Put simply, La Mancha's Bodegas Verum is an organic vineyard which produces mono-varietal wines from both traditional grapes and forgotten indigenous varietals such as Albillo Real and Tinto Velasco.

For this, the Ulterior Parcela #17, a single-vineyard wine from Parcela 17 of the El Romeral vineyard, the grapes are picked by hand, destemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless still tanks, then transferred to old barrels for malolactic fermentation. 10% of the wine is aged in oak demi-muids of 600 liters made of new French oak, the rest in earthen jars (clay) of ~ 5,000 liters for 8 months. After bottling, it is held another 12 months before release.

Verum puts its wines on sale when they are at the optimum moment for consumption;  nevertheless, you can store this wine up to 7 years after harvest.

100% Graciano.

Cherry red with white trim, bright. On the nose it is intense, highlighting a floral character of violets, lavender and other aromatic herbs (typical of ripe Graciano) with a background of black fruit and subtle cocoa. On the palate it is also intense and ripe with smooth/fine-grained tannins that provide structure. There is great persistence that brings back the black fruits and violets, plus a touch of appealing bitterness that adds character.

Or, as DWWA 19 put it:

"Bright and pure purple berry fruit nose with attractive vanilla bean new oak aromas. On the palate, this is sumptuous and rich with generous, fleshy fruit. Very pure and expressive".

ABV = 13.5%.

£15.95

Cascina Val Del Prete Vigna di Lino (Roero DOCG) 2016 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK **

The 2016 Roero Vigna di Lino offers a broader, richer expression of Nebbiolo from Roero. Dark fruit, leather, menthol and spice all flesh out in striking, beautifully layered wine that dazzles from the very first taste. The purity of the flavors is just remarkable. There is a bit of oak influence that gives the wine an element of raciness. I do wonder what a more transparent expression of Nebbiolo might be like here, but there is no denying the beauty of what is in the glass. 93 points.” Antonio Galloni

Here's our video tasting here of this wine, which follows that for a rare Emilia-Romagna Sangiovese.

Cascina Val del Prete - or valley of the priest - takes its name from the exiled Bishop of Asti who lived there in 1850. In 1977 Bartolomeo Roagna and his wife Carolina bought the farm Val del Prete where they had worked as sharecroppers. Their first task was  to replace some grain and fruit with vines. The grapes are planted on south-facing slopes in a splendid natural amphitheater. Over the years, they have increased the area under vine to 27 acres. Their son, Mario, has entered the family business and now takes care of the vineyards. Cascina Val del Prete continues to be well received due to Mario’s commitment to great wine.

The Roero is situated in the north-eastern most part of the province of Cuneo and it owes its name to an ancient family that held the district, a hilly area, as a feudal possession. The sandy soil of the Roero hills yields an intense red wine, bearing the district’s name, that differs from the other great Piedmontese wines in that it quickly attains good balance while the others require aging. The wine was created through the tenacity of the producers and their stubbornness and diligence in identifying the areas with exposures and soils best suited to vines.

Mario Roagna is one of Roero’s rising winemakers. In a certain sense, his story is symbolic of a territory that has grown and asserted itself as one of winning quality. His philosophy is to plant only native grape varieties such as Arneis, Barbera and Nebbiolo and to let the characteristics of the terroir speak through the wine. Farming is done biodynamically and the estate has converted to organic farming. Fermentation in the cellars is spontaneous with indigenous yeasts.

The Vigna di Lino vineyard extends for about 3 acres on the left bank of the Tanaro river in the commune of Priocca. It lies at around 250m above sea level and enjoys an exposure to the south. The vines are 30+ years old with a density of 2,300 vines per acre.

The harvest is made by hand at the end of October to ensure optimum physiological ripeness of the late-ripening Nebbiolo. 

A 25-day maceration and fermentation in stainless steel tanks with 6-7 daily pump-overs. Racking into French oak barrels where the malolactic fermentation takes place. Ageing for 16 months in used French oak barriques and then 8 months in-bottle.

Annual production is just 4,500 bottles.

100% Nebbiolo. 

A red wine of great structure. Ruby red color with garnet hues developing with age. Elegant tannins and notes of blackberries, mushrooms and roses. This can (and will) age for years. Pairs well with roast lamb, game and dry cheeses.

ABV = 15.0%.

£23.50

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2016 (1x75cl)

** OUT OF STOCK - MORE STOCK ON 20th AUGUST **

Château de Pibarnon sets the standard for greatness not only in Bandol but also for wines the world over. Pibarnon Bandol is famed for growing ever more elegant and supple with time.

With its perch at the highest point in the appellation, its impeccable terroir and unforgettable amphitheatre of vines, Pibarnon crafts the finest Mourvèdre-based wines in Bandol. This breathtaking yet rugged region is exceptionally suited to showcasing the power and beauty of this southern red grape.

Bandol was no more than a backwater when Catherine and Henri de Saint Victor purchased Pibarnon in the late 1970s. Recognizing the region’s potential, however, the visionary couple worked tirelessly for some 30 years, landscaping and crafting ever better wines. By the 1990s, Pibarnon was making the region’s top reds, a status today maintained under their son, Eric de Saint Victor. Henri passed away in 2013.

The vineyards overlook the valley, facing the sea, covering terraces upon terraces up to 300 metres altitude, on slopes forming a vast amphitheatre, sheltered from the mistral. The high altitude of the vineyards means cool nights and slow ripening of the grapes. The Château de Pibarnon vineyard is planted on very old and highly calcareous, Triassic ground. This limestone enhances the bouquet in the wine. It also allows the extraction of very fine and elegant tannins. Moreover it is this which causes the freshness and minerality, giving an exemplary type and flavour. Château de Pibarnon focuses on 12 main plots, all located at the summit of the estate including Bel Air, Jourdan, Pointes-Blanches and le Cirque.

This wine has been made using 90% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note which has been produced by the team at Chateau de Pibarnon, please click on the blue link below.

Chateau de Pibarnon Rouge 2016 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£36.10

Chateau du Cedre Cahors 2016 (1x75cl)

Whether they are of traditional style or more modern and to be enjoyed in their youth, at Château du Cèdre they always produce terroir wines. This may seem contradictory, but it’s possible, thanks to the cooperation of the wine grower, who brings the grapes to perfect ripeness, and the wine maker who fully controls ageing and blending. As a result of ongoing observation and reflection, they combine Burgundy’s way of highlighting origin and terroir to vinification techniques from Bordeaux.

The vines of Château du Cèdre root in two different types of soil: The first terroir, composed of stony clay and limestone, give straight wines with fine tannins, while more powerful and dense wines come from soils composed of clay, sand and a large quantity of pebbles.

See blue link below for the excellent and informative fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Château du Cèdre.

Château du Cèdre Cahors 2016 - fiche technique

90% Malbec, 5% Merlot, 5% Tannat.

As the Château say(s): It is a straight wine, straight but alluring at the same time. It expresses the richness and depth of Malbec from Cahors with joy and enthusiasm through a medium-bodied and expressive palate, with crisp tannins, vibrant freshness and appealing roundness. Its bouquet, marked by black fruits, spices, mint and some fresh peppers, evolves and grows gradually, giving length and finesse to the wine. This wine has great aromatic strength and perfectly pairs with local dishes: duck breast, confit, cassoulet, lamb, grilled meat, new cuisine, cheese.

ABV = 13.5%.

£18.40

Chiara Condello Romagna Sangiovese Predappio (normale) 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK. **

For the curious, interested and time-rich, see this excellent webinar/tasting with Chiara Condello from May 2020.

Here's our video tasting here of the 2016, which was combined with one for a rare Roero DOCG Nebbiolo.

"Notes of spicy cherry, wild berries and purple flowers lift from Chiara Condello’s 2017 Romagna Sangiovese Predappio, followed by hints of white pepper and animal musk. On the palate, silky textures soothe the senses, ushering in ripe red and hints of blue fruit laced with saline-minerals, which create a tactile expression. The finish is long and fresh, revealing a hint of sour melon that mixes with the residual acids to create a sweet and sour effect. While the 2016 might color a little more within the classic lines and last a bit longer in the cellar, this 2017 is perfectly balanced, fruit-forward and ready to give a lot of pleasure". Eric Guido, Vinous.

Chiara Condello is a young winemaker located in the town of Predappio in Emilia-Romagna, specifically Romagna. Chiara owns 7 hectares of land, 4.8 of which are planted to Sangiovese; the rest are split between woods and olive trees.  Her family also makes wine in Predappio under their own label called Condè, but Chiara works in her own way, with her own vineyards and own cellar.  Her first vintage was 2015, and in short time she’s combined her bright-eyed enthusiasm with a clear vision of what her Sangiovese should be.

Romagna is no stranger to Sangiovese; many ampelographers believe it originates here and not in Tuscany. Predappio is one of twelve villages that give their names to Sangiovese subzones authorized as of the 2011 vintage. It is located in the foothills of the Apennines, and is characterized by a sedimentary soil called spungone, which is relatively young (three million years old, from the Pliocene epoch).  It contains abundant, intact shells of marine life, often quite large, and is chunky and porous, held together by a calcareous sandstone 'cement'.

A Romagna Sangiovese with an authorized subzone on the label must be 95% Sangiovese, with lower yields and more stringent ageing requirements compared to a regular Romagna Sangiovese.  Chiara’s two wines—a normale (this wine) and a Riserva called Le Lucciole (an emerging superstar wine retailing at ~£60 and on strict allocation) - are both 100% Sangiovese and go above and beyond what is required by the appellation.  Farming is organic, making use of cover crops and the occasional application of horse manure. In the cellar, Chiara draws inspiration from the late Giulio Gambelli, often using open-top fermenters with extended maceration (sometimes with whole clusters), and a preference for ageing in large neutral vessels.

This wine: Harvested late September/early October 2017 (earlier than in 2016; crop riper earlier). 100% Sangiovese from three vineyards parcels between 150m and 350m above sea level, with a north/northeast exposure.  One is clay-limestone, one is red clay with high spungone content, and the last is clay-limestone with veins of spungone. The vines are approximately 40 years old. The grapes were partially destemmed but not crushed, leaving whole berries intact. Fermentation was spontaneous in small stainless steel tanks (with temperature control), and open-top tronconic wood vats and tonneaux. Macerations lasted 15-25 days. Ageing was for one year in used 3500-litre Slavonian oak botti plus 6 months in bottle. Unfined and unfiltered.

Annual production is just 12,000 bottles.

Organically produced.

Exel tasting note: Clear (in that way Sangiovese is), with a bright ruby colour. The Predappio has an intense, seriously fruity nose: classic (and very ripe) red cherries, married with blacker-than-usual fruits for Sangiovese – most notably, blackberries and black cherries. There’s florality and complexity here: hints of violets and rose allied with soft, sweet vanilla tones from the oak. Very balanced in the mouth with silky tannins and beautiful acidity; long and elegant. This is ripe, rich and sumptuous for a Sangiovese, reflecting the warmth of the vineyards. This is thus a more easy-drinking (and ready-to-drink) style of Sangiovese, with acidity and tannins tamed (a little) more than usual, yet lacking neither in complexity or the ability to age (easily five years, and probably ten).

How does the 2017 differ from the 2016? As per Vinous's note at the top of this page, it's softereasier and more voluptuous (the 2017, that is). 2017 was a very hot vintage throughout Italy. It imposed a challenge on all top-end wine producers in crafting elegant, balanced wines. What the 2017 normale/Predappio lacks in elegance and multi-layered structure, it more than makes up for immediacy and approachability ... and this was already an approachable Sangiovese. It is very more-ish and a highly enjoyable glass of red wine (and that is to undersing its praises). Note that these are not shorthand terms for a wine that is 'too hot' - Chiara has managed to tame the heat and make a very well-balanced and excellent Sangiovese, espeially at this rice-point, but it inherently darker, blacker, riper and softer in nature than the 2016.

ABV = 14.0%.

£17.25

Cullen Red Moon Mangan 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their December 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Cullen Red Moon Mangan 2017 - December 2019 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines are produced with grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

This wine takes its name from the 'Red Moon' which occurs during a total lunar eclipse when the light filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere dapples the moon in red light. This penumbral lunar eclipse occurred on 11th February 2017 during harvest. The grapes are grown on a single vineyard in the Wilyabrup subregion of the Margaret River. The soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot are three varieties that are particularly well suited to growing in this area. In the 'Red Moon' wine, the Malbec provides the fruit power and colour, the Petit Verdot the length and texture and the Merlot the structure.

The 2017 harvest was challenging both in the vineyard and the winery. A traditionally wet winter was followed by slightly cooler than average spring and summer temperatures - a cold and stormy October contributing to a slow start in the vineyard. Fine conditions in November with below average rainfall and above average temperatures ensured veraison was only slightly delayed and the slow accumulation of flavour and ripeness ensured the fruit maintained good natural acidity levels. Above average rainfall in March made harvest decisions tricky but below average rainfall and fine weather in April supplied a nice finish for a vintage that has delivered great quality and quantity.

The grapes for this wine were hand harvested, destemmed and vinified with the emphasis on accentuating the fruit character of the grapes. Only wild yeasts were used. The wine was matured for nine months in French oak barriques, 10% of which were new. It received no additives except the requisite sulphur and was not fined.

57% Malbec, 37% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot.

This wine is medium red in colour with hints of ruby. On the nose, there are plum and cherry aromas that are accompanied by lifted floral notes. The palate has a very attractive blend of juicy dark cherry, blueberry and hints of spice. Well-balanced acidity is backed by fine grained tannins on the long savoury finish.

ABV = 12.0%.

£21.80

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 = 14.0%.

£17.20

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

** FOR ORDERS LARGER THAN STOCK SHOWING BELOW, WE HAVE MORE STOCK ARRIVING ON WEDS 29th JULY. **

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

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 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 Cazes, Cotes du Roussillon Rouge John Wine 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

This wine is from a terroir of clay-limestone with some schistose materials as well as siliceous pebble. Soil perfectly suited for the production of high quality wines.

A minimalist work in term of winemaking. The maceration is gently managed around 25°C, with 1 or 2 pump-overs per day. After 10 days the tank is emptied, and presses are kept separate to avoid any bacterial contamination. The wine is stored in a full tank for malolactic fermentation.

50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre.

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.65

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

Fatalone Primitivo Gioia Del Colle Riserva Speciale 2017 (1x75cl)

Fatalone are a small, historic, family winery. In the late 19th Century, ancestor Petrera Nicola decided to build his home within the winery and chose the hill called Spinomarino, for its lofty, well-aired and sunny position, among the best in the entire area of Gaudella (south-eastern area of Gioia del Colle) to grow Primitivo grapes. Fatalone's tradition of artisan vine-dressers can be traced back to that time. The land was cleared, with the trees replanted in another area of the property, and cisterns were dug out to ensure an adequate water supply. The excavated stones were used to build the ancient farm or Masseria. A triangle, carved on the highest stone of the building and used as a symbol for the winery, defines the farm as the oldest historical building in the countryside and as a cartographic point of reference. Nicola Petrera’s passion for Primitivo grapes has been handed down from father to son along with the following words: “Who loves and respects Nature, loves God and himself”.

In 1988, inside the small cellar dug out within the rocks, the first bottle of Primitivo DOC Gioia del Colle marked Fatalone (vintage 1987) was born. The brand name of the wine originated with Filippo Petrera (2nd generation), Nicola’s son, who was, in his time, nicknamed Il Fatalone. It quickly caught on becoming the family nickname. Fatalone translates literally into “Lady Killer” or “one who can boast to be an irresistible seducer of women” much like the legendary Don Juan. Filippo Petrera lived until the age of 98, metaphorically speaking between Bacchus and Venus, having breakfast every morning till his last day with half a litre of Primitivo and half a litre of fresh milk.

In 1987, Fatalone were the first winery to produce and bottle the Gioia del Colle DOC. Primitivo as a single varietal wine. Their winery, with its strict family management, has always practiced organic farming; since 2000, they have been Certified Organic by the Institute for Ecology and Ethics Certification (ICEA).

For this wine, there is spontaneous fermentation of the must in contact with the skin for 240-300 hours at controlled temperature and just with autochthonous yeasts. Open-cycle process with frequent pumping of the must over the pomace. Natural malolactic fermentation. No addition of sulphites during the whole vinification process.  Only after the end of the malolactic, re-integration of the sulphites lost during the vinification steps to restore the initial natural value.

This wine spends 12 months in stainless steel tanks, 12 months in Slavonic oak 750-liter-casks with the application of music therapy to optimize the spontaneous microxigenation process and improve the fining of the wine, 6 months in bottle.

100% Primitivo.

Ruby red intense colour with slight burgundy hues. Scent typical of very ripe fruits and slightly toasted wood and spices, with some balsamic notes. Full bodied, rich in minerality and freshness, balanced smooth taste of black sour cherry and plum tending to velvety with ripe fruity notes of blackberry and mulberry, and spices like clove and cacao. The feature that makes our natural authentic Primitivo of Gioia del Colle unique is the toasted almond aftertaste.

This wine is best when served with strong flavoured dishes like pasta with rich sauces, roasted beef, game, grilled meat as well as fish and aged cheese. The Riserva is also particularly fine with dark chocolate sweets.

ABV = 15.5%.

£16.55

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

** 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).

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

Il Palagio di Panzano Torgentile IGT 2015 (1x75cl)

For our article on Chianti Classico and Il Palagio di Panzano, click here.

Il Palagio di Panzano produces wines that mirror the unique character of the area. They are members of the Unione Viticoltori di Panzano and have made the decision to produce organic wine. For the family, sustainability for us is a synonym for “family-run”, too. They have the belief that they can guarantee the high quality of their wines by remaining as a small, family-run winery

The Torgentile is an unusual wine for the very heart of Chianti Classico country. It is 100% Merlot, but made with all the same love, care and attention used for Il Palagio's Chianti Classicos. Chianti Classico must (absolutely must) be 80% Sangiovese, and although that allows for a blend light on Merlot, it does not allow for a full Merlot blend... which is a shame given how very well it grows here. Hence, the Torgentile steps outside the Chianti Classico DOCG rules and into the denominazione of IGT Toscana which allows for the use of Merlot.

The grapes for the Torgentile are always harvested by hand from Il Palagio's single hectare of Merlot. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a maximum temperature of  28° for 21 days. Malolactic fermentation is then allowed to occur before a full 24 months of maturation in French oak barriques.

100% Merlot.

The Torgentile is bright ruby red in colour with light reflections. The aromas are intense with hints of red fruits, spices and oak. The palate is well structured and harmonious with well-rounded, persistent tannins. The finish is reminiscent of spices, oak and liquorice. 

ABV = 14.0%.

£18.00
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