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Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico 2018 (1x75cl)

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

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Clasico 2018 - July 2020 Decanter review

Altos Las Hormigas is based in Luján de Cuyo, the only officially recognised appellation within Mendoza and one of the region's premium vine growing areas. The estate is known as a Malbec specialist with a reputation as one of the country's top five producers of this particular variety. Alberto Antonini and fellow Tuscan, Antonio Morescalchi, were so impressed with the vineyards in the area around Mendoza, following their first trip to Argentina in 1995, that they persuaded a few friends to join with them in buying this estate. The estate covers 88 hectares with 56 in production.

Most of the fruit for the Clasico is from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo with sandy loam soils. This is supplemented with some fruit from the high altitude vineyards of the Uco Valley, both of which bring different characteristics to the wine. The area has a semi-desert climate with little rainfall and hot days and cool nights. The soils are deep which delays ripening and avoids hydrological stress.

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.

Grapes from different vineyards were vinified separately before the final blend was assembled. After a careful double sorting process, the grapes were gently pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts in order to express the character of each of the selected vineyards. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks between 24-28°C for 10 days. Each tank is tasted three times a day to determine what is needed. The wine is then aged for a minimum of nine months in concrete vats.

100% Malbec.

This Malbec is deep violet-red in colour. The nose displays characteristic notes of red fruits, raspberries and freshly picked plums with white pepper. This wine is all about freshness - the palate is supple and juicy, with soft but structured tannins and a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.65

Berton Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com(see blue link below).

Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard's estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

The grapes come from the Barossa Valley, in South Australia. Situated at a latitude of 34° South, the region is made up of rolling hills and valley floors. The growing season often sees hot, warm weather with temperatures of 35°C, which can result in vine stress, helping to concentrate the flavours in the berries. The wide diurnal temperature differences help to retain balancing acidity. Some of the grapes come from Berton's original vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the climate is cooler. The vine age is varied, but all vines have been spur pruned and are generally trained on a single wire cordon trellising system. The vines are planted at approximately 1.8 metres apart with 3.6 metres between the rows, to allow machinery access. The soil styles in the vineyards are varied, ranging from clay, to limestone and sandy soils, with each terroir adding its own characteristic to the final wine.

In 2017, the vineyard saw a wet winter followed by mild summer conditions, which provided the vines with good access to water and a long ripening period. This combination resulted in a great season. Cool nights allowed excellent flavour development in the grapes resulting in wines with concentrated flavours and balancing acidity. Harvesting took place during the last few days of April and first week of May.

The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular skin submersion in order to extract the required colour and flavour from the grapes. After fermentation, the wine was pressed off into stainless steel tanks where it completed malolactic fermentation in the late autumn. The wine was then racked off into both French and American oak barrels resulting in a rich, spicy complex Shiraz.

Shiraz 100%.

The Reserve Shiraz is deepest dark red with a very youthful and vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe black cherries and blackberries with hints of eucalypt and spice. The rich and full palate displays soft flavours of plum skin, mulberry and hints of vanilla and blackberry, These abundant flavours are underpinned by fine vanilla from the oak and defined by exciting spicy tannins.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.25

Berton Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 96 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2017 edition review of New World Cabernet Sauvignons (see blue link below) in which it emerged as the runaway Number One.

Berton Reserve 2014 - April 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten's most important partners. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

Good winter rainfall was a perfect start to the 2016 growing season. Above average temperatures resulted in early budburst with most varieties. The mild to warm and dry conditions continued with good rainfall in both November and December producing ideal conditions for véraison. February saw the arrival of hot dry weather and with no rainfall or disease pressure, ripening accelerated rapidly resulting in an early harvest for the reds. The 2016 reds are stand outs - rich ripe juicy wines with great length and great depth of colour.

The grapes come from two parcels of fruit within the same vineyard, in the prized Terra Rossa region of Coonawarra. One block is on a slightly more elevated area of the vineyard, which produces more subtle fruit characters. The warm days are moderated by off-shore breezes and the rich red loam over free draining limestone soil is the foundations for the Coonawarra's justified reputation for producing premium quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

The grapes were fermented in stainless vertical sweep arm fermenters for 10 days between 22 ° and 28°C on premium French oak until dry. Each parcel of wine was then pressed at 0.5 Baumé through a bag press and clarified via centrifuge into stainless steel storage tanks. The parcels were then transferred into new and old French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels for 12 months. Only the best parcels were selected and carefully blended to arrive at this exceptional wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon 99%, Shiraz 1%.

This shows intense and generous black fruit aromas with hints of chocolate, eucalyptus and mint. The Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet has an impenetrable black colour with a vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe blackcurrant and blackberries with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. The rich and harmonious palate displays abundant flavours of prune, plum jam and mint, underpinned by fine toasty French oak and defined by a soft yet dense tannin profile.

ABV = 14.5%.

£13.75

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 (1x75cl)

** ALAS NOW ALL GONE -  WE NOW OFFER THE AWARD-WINNING, HIGHLY-RATED 2011 (click link for product page and here for our comparison of the two vintages). **

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of 2010 Riojas (see blue link below).

Bodegas Olarra Cerro Anon Rioja Gran Reserva 2010 - March 2019 Decanter review

"I bought six of these and unfortunately I have given three away to friends. We opened it last night and decanted as per the instructions of your shop staff. The wine is truly spectacular and I am working out how to break in to my friend's flat to steal back the wine I gave him. I have never been moved to comment on a bottle of wine by email. Thank you for the spectacular experience. Another 6 please. I won't be as generous with the next lot!"

- regular (anonymous) Perth customer [who ultimately bought another 12]

In case you missed it reaching this page, here's our article on the Decanter review and this wine.

Bodegas Olarra was created in 1973. Situated on the outskirts of the city of Logroño in Rioja Alta, their winery – a Y-shaped building designed to make optimum use of the space for both production and ageing of the wine – is known as “the Cathedral of La Rioja”. From the beginning, the winery has known how to combine the traditional methods of production and ageing with the most advanced modern techniques of viticulture and vinification. A favourable geographic location, gives the vineyards all the ingredients to produce good fruits. Indeed the clay and chalky soil is watered by the rain and the Ebro river. This area also benefits from warm sunshine and the influence of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. In 1978, Bodegas Olarra achieved their first Gold medal for a Cerro Añon wine in the tenth International Wines and Spirits Competition in the UK. Numerous awards followed from then on, proof of the outstanding quality of their wines.

Grapes for the Gran Reserva are drawn solely from Olarra vineyards; these are located primarily in Rioja Alta, but also in Rioja Alavesa to a lesser extent. Vines in these vineyards are all grown in the traditional way. The average age of the vines is over 30 years. Most of the vineyards sit on a clay-rich soil in Rioja Alta and on limestone-clay soils in Rioja Alavesa.

Harvests took place later than usual in 2010, well into late October, when the fruit was considered to have reached full ripeness; this slower, steadier ripening accounts for much of the quality of this harvest (generally) and the 2010 Gran Reserva (in the specific). Subsequent selection ensured that only grapes in healthy shape made it through to the vinification process. 2010 was a great year in the history of the quality of grapes on the Olarra estate. 

Tempranillo 80%, Mazuelo 10%, Garnacha 5%, Graciano 5%.

Fermentation and maceration lasted for a total of 19 days and were performed in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of 28ºC. Later on, the wine was racked into new French (Allier) oak, 225-litre casks/barricas where the malolactic fermentation took place, followed by a stay on the lees for a little over two months, with regular batonnage.

By the end of that winter, the wine was already being racked into new oak barrels, where it remained for a further six months. After this, the rest of the oak ageing - up to the total 27 months - was conducted in different barrels again: Allier and American (Missouri) oak, all with a medium toast, and with different ages spanning from brand new to 5 years. After fining with egg whites, the wine was bottled and stored in Olarra's bottle cellar for 45 months, before it started to be released.

The Gran Reserva 2010 shows a deep red colour with shades of ruby on the rim of the glass. On the nose, at the time of original release, it revealed a delicate balance between ripe red berry aromas and those of spices and smokiness. Over time, this developmental bouquet has grown more complex, showing aromas of leather, tobacco, coffee beans and raisins. On the palate, it is full and round, thanks to its long period in the bottle. Mouthfeel is as firm, elegant and smooth as one should expect from a great Rioja Gran Reserva, with a surprisingly long and fresh finish.

ABV = 14.0% (NB: the figure stated in the Decanter review is incorrect, based on the value stated on the bottle).

£14.95

Carpineto Dogajolo Toscana Rosso 2017

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition review of Best High Street Italian Reds (see blue link below).

Carpineto Dogajolo Toscana Rosso 2017 - May 2020 Decanter review

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

This was a unique vintage due to the severe drought that affected the vineyards, which resulted significantly reduced yields and a limited production. The wines show excellent concentration of ripe fruit flavours.

The vines are grown in the heart of Tuscany in sand, clay and limestone soils.

Whole bunches were carefully selected at harvest. The grape varieties were vinified separately, as they reached maturity at different times. Fermentation took place in stainless steel vats at 25°C, followed by 15 to 20 days maceration with frequent aerations, pump overs and punch-downs of the cap for optimal polyphenol extraction. Towards the end of fermentation they were blended and placed in small wooden casks where they slowly completed alcoholic and malolactic fermentation.

Sangiovese 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20% and other varieties 10%.

Modern Tuscan style displaying red cherry flavours with a rich mouthfeel, smooth and juicy. An innovative baby Super-Tuscan, Dogajolo combines the power and deep flavours of a young wine, with the elegance and balance from the oak ageing. Full bodied, yet soft on the palate with fruity cherry notes interlaced with coffee, vanilla and spice, this is complex and well-developed. 

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.50

Casa Ferreirinha Papa Figos Douro Tinto 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 95 points, Gold and overall Trophy status (Portuguese Red Trophy and Great Value Red between £8 and £12) at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019 (see blue link below for review and their tasting note).

Papa Figos 2017 - IWC 2019 award and review

This historic producer, founded in 1751, was purchased by Sogrape in 1987.  Today they have 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions:  Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior.  The winemaking is headed up by the talented Luis Sottomayor, who manages to restrain the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Estevo and Papa Figos, allied to a wonderful depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Red and Quinta da Leda.

About 25% of the grapes for Papa Figos come from Casa Ferreirinha's Quinta da Leda estate, and the rest from producers owning north-facing vineyards at relatively high altitudes. The soil in the Duoro Valley is made up of schist - a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. 

The golden oriole (papa figos in Portuguese) is one of the rarest birds in the Douro region. An attractive, brightly-coloured migratory bird, its uniqueness and rarity make it the perfect inspiration for this lovely wine.

The 2018 vintage saw a cold and dry winter which was followed by an extremely wet spring which replenished water reserves in the soil but also affected flowering and increased disease pressure on the vine. These factors significantly reduced the yield but a hot and dry summer allowed for a balanced maturation and the fruit harvested was of excellent quality

After gentle destemming and crushing, the grapes were transferred to stainless steel tanks. Intense maceration is achieved by pumping over. After maceration, the wine is run off the solids, the free-run wine is kept separate from the press wine. Malolactic fermentation was encouraged in controlled conditions. The blend was selected and remained in stainless tanks throughout the winter. 25% of the total of the blend spent eight months in used French oak barrels, and the final blend was bottled after 12 months.

35% Tinta Roriz, 30% Tinta Barroca, 20% Touriga Franca, 15% Touriga Nacional.

This wine is ruby red in colour with violet nuances. Intensely aromatic with fresh black fruits, red berries, heather, chocolate and balsamic savoury spice on the nose. The spicy red fruit profile follows onto the full bodied palate that balances smooth tannins with well-integrated acidity on the long lasting finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£11.60

Catena Appellation (San Carlos) Cabernet Franc 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THURSDAY. **

The 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American Cabernet Franc  (see blue link below).

Catena Appellation (San Carlos) Cabernet Franc 2015 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. Owned today by Nicolás Catena and his daughter Laura, Bodega Catena Zapata is known as the pioneer of fine wine from Argentina, and Nicolás is recognized as the vintner who revolutionized wine quality in Argentina. A trained economist, Nicolás began this revolution in the early 1980s and continues to challenge himself and his team to make wines that can be counted among the best in the world. His measured approach to viticulture has taken its place in wine history as the pioneer of Malbec and high-altitude viticulture.

Catena wines, first launched in 1992, set a new standard for quality in South America. The wines immediately proved the quality potential of Argentina and garnered the first outstanding reviews for Argentine wines from worldwide media. After more than 20 years, the wines of Catena continue to lead the way in Argentine viticulture and winemaking. The family and the winery’s employees take great pride in carrying on the tradition that began over a century ago.

For this wine, see/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Appellation (San Carlos) Cabernet Franc 2016 - fiche technique

100% Cabernet Franc.

This wine is a purple colour with red ruby tones. The nose offers elegant aromas of spices, and fresh herbs as thyme and rosemary, red berries, cassis and raspberries, with layers of cedar. The mouthfeel is full and rich with cassis, raspberries flavours and notes of black pepper and oregano. The finish is bright and fresh with finely grained tannins.

ABV = 13.0%.

£14.45

Chateau La Fleur Grands Landes, Montagne St-Emilion 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of the St-Emilion satellite appellations 2015 vintage (see blue link below).

Château La Fleur Grands-Landes Montagne St. Emilion 2015 - April 2018 Decanter review

The Durand family has owned the seven hectare estate in the Montagne district since the 18th century. In 1969, M. Carrère, Mme Durand's husband took over the estate, shaping it to its current form. Since 1997, his daughter Isabelle Carrère, oenologist from Michel Rolland's team, has been running the estate having taught viticulture and oenology for 10 years.

The vines are grown on slopes in clay soils. The vineyards are carefully managed throughout the year, with debudding, manual removal of the vine-shoots, leafthinning and green harvesting all being carefully performed. Chemical fertilisers are not used; instead vegetal based compost is added moderately to the soil having monitored its equilibrium. A manual harvest takes place when the grapes are slightly overripe to get a better phenolic maturity of the skins and the pips.

Generous flowering took place followed by a hot, dry early summer. August was slightly cooler and damper, followed by good weather in September enabling the grapes to reach full maturity. Generally the harvest took place earlier than the previous year. 2015 has been cited as a great modern Bordeaux vintage of excellent quality.

The grapes were carefully sorted by hand after a total destemming on the sorting table. 20% of the wine was bled off. A cold maceration took place prior to fermentation, which lasted three to four days. The fermentation was carried out in temperature controlled stainless steel vats, with daily pump-overs and lasted for three weeks. The wine was then matured, with 80% aged in vats and 20% in oak barrels.

Merlot 80%, Cabernet Franc 15%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%.

A medium bodied Bordeaux , with spicy, dark fruits and herbal notes combined with earthy hints. A beautifully balanced wine with silky tannins and a light finish. A lovely match for beef wellington or barbequed chicken.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.0%.

£14.60

Cuatro Pasos Mencía DO Bierzo 2017 (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.

As well as their work in pioneering the whites of Galicia, Luciano Amoedo and Katia Álvarez of Martín Códax also make this red wine in Bierzo. The Bierzo DO lies further inland from Rías Baixas, with a slightly warmer climate where Mencía is the native variety.

The discovery of four bear footprints in a magnificent vineyard in the highest areas of the Bierzo inspired the name of this wine - Cuatro Pasos or Four Steps. The wine is made from 100% Mencía grapes that are chosen from old vines (over 80 years of age), planted in slate soils.

Frost affected the valleys of Valtuille and Villafranca while the higher areas of Villadecanes and Otero were not as badly affected. The drought conditions through the summer resulted in smaller grapes and clusters which alongside the frost damage saw a reduction in yields. Despite this, the quality of the fruit harvested was high.

After destemming and crushing, the grapes were macerated at 12ºC before being fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats at 24-26ºC. After vinification the wine was matured for two to three months in oak barrels (75% French, 25% American).

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Cuatro Pasos Mencía DO Bierzo - fiche technique

100% Mencia.

This wine is morello cherry red in colour with violet hues. The varietal aromas of red fruits dominate the bouquet with subtle hints of vanilla from the oak. On the palate, it is elegant and well-balanced, with a fruit driven finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.90

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was 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.

Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled 'typist' Zar Brooks, his winemaking wife Elena and growers Carl Lindner and Brad Rey, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia's leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: 'Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards identified by Carl Lindner and Brad Rey across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.'

At the end of the old vine garden path at Dandelion Vineyards, there is a historic ‘Menagerie’ field blend of three grape varieties, adjoining blocks of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro at Gomersal in the Barossa.

After hand picking selected bunches of the Menagerie field blend on 22nd April, winemaker Elena Brooks let the whole bunches ferment together in open top fermenters with ambient yeasts. Punching down of the cap took place over 14 days, before basket pressing in old French oak barriques. The wine was then matured for a further 12 months in the oak barrel, before bottling without fining or filtration to capture the vinous essence of the blend.

See also blue link below for the excellent technique/technical note from the winemakers at Dandelion Vineyards..

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie Of The Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 - fiche technique

80% Grenache, 15% Shiraz, 5% Mataro (ie Mourvèdre).

The wine is deep red with youthful violet hues, with a nose that offers an intriguing mix of rose petals and lifted red fruits, berries and a hint of cinnamon and Asian spice. The palate offers wild cherry, damsons and mulberries, coupled with an impressive structure balanced by spicy oak. The wine is opulent, with intense red berries balanced by soft velvety tannins and supple oak.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.80

Domaine de la Charmoise Marionnet Gamay de Touraine 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

The Marionnet family arrived in Soings, in the eastern part of Touraine (30 km south of Blois), in the middle of the last century. Their vineyards were completely replanted and expanded between 1967 and 1978. The total vine area is today some 60 hectares, producing some 400,000 bottles of red and white wines. The cellar is fully equipped with stainless steel vats and modern winemaking technology.

Domaine de la Charmoise is mainly planted with Gamay for red wines and Sauvignon for whites. Gamay covers an area of ​​33 hectares. Average yields are around 55 hl/ha. Sauvignon occupies an area of ​​~20 ha. The soil is of a type locally known as perruche (= parakeet!), composed of flint, clay, silica and gravel. The estate is located at the highest point between the Loire (to the north) and the Cher (to the south). Thanks to its position, the most easterly of Touraine, the domaine benefits from a continental climate conducive to Gamay and Sauvignon. In addition, a favourable microclimate ensures both excellent maturity and good protection against one of the upper Loire's main hazards: spring frosts.

The harvest is entirely picked by hand with great care and this, the domaine tell us, intriguingly, is “almost exclusively by women”. The clusters undergo rigorous selection and a severe sorting if necessary. These are then placed in vats intact for intracellular fermentation/(semi)-carbonic maceration, yielding a most elegant wine with a brilliant ruby ​​red/purple color. On the nose and palate, it's a real explosion of strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrant, kirsch, coffee, and bonbons anglais. It's a "pleasure wine", and - (al)so say the domaine - "a wine for an entire meal" (best served chilled).

This wine is made using 100% Gamay.

ABV = 13.0%.

£13.05

Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American signature grapes (see blue link below). 

Dona Paula Estate Malbec 2017 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

Doña Paula is a leading, modern winery at the forefront of exploring and investing in new, high quality wine regions in Argentina. Established in 1997, they own all of their vineyards covering 700 hectares. These vineyard sites are located in the best subregions within Mendoza including Ugarteche, Altamira, Gualtallary and Tupungato. The vineyards have always been cultivated using sustainable methods, maximising the true expression of terroir. Continuous innovation in vineyard management ensures Doña Paula produces top quality wines from one year to the next.

The grapes were sourced from two of Dona Paula's best estate vineyards: Finca Alluvia in Gualtallary, situated at 1,350 metres above sea level and Finca Los Indios, located in Altamira, Uco Valley at an altitude of 1,100 metres. The soils are stony in the first location and sandy loam in the second, but both have a high calcareous content. This Malbec displays the characteristics of its cool climate origins and the wide diurnal temperature differences. The daily diurnal temperature range is excellent for the production of quality grapes; the nightly cooling-off extends the ripening period, allowing the grapes to develop rich varietal characteristics while retaining balancing acidity. The vines are grown on espaliers, using drip irrigation and the vineyards are cultivated using sustainable agricultural practices.

2018 saw a return to higher yields, after the low yielding vintages of 2016 and 2017. Doña Paula had a record harvest in 2018, with the highest average in the province. The growing season was dry, with very low rainfall and average temperatures, which resulted in fruit with optimal ripeness. 2018 is being hailed as a classic year for Mendoza.

The grapes were hand-picked, prior to a gentle destemming without crushing the berries. A cold, pre-fermentation maceration was carried out. Fermentation took place at low temperatures, followed by a post-fermentation maceration of 15 to 20 days, extracting colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was then racked to first, second and third-use French oak barrels for a period of 12 months.

100% Malbec.

Intense violet in colour, this estate Malbec has enticing aromas of plums, black cherries, liquorice and spice, backed by subtle mineral and graphite notes. Great balance and freshness on the palate, with a deep concentration of ripe fruit, soft tannins and a persistent finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.40

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah (Shiraz) 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK (SEE AMOUNT HELD BELOW) BUT MORE IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR DESPATCH ON THE THURSDAY. **

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 panel tasting of South American Syrah (see blue link below).

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2016 - October 2020 Decanter review

The Errazuriz Estate was founded in 1870 when Don Maximiano Errazuriz planted his first vineyards at Panquehue in the Aconcagua Valley - 100 km north of the Chilean capital. Recognising that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano's descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business. Eduardo has overseen the modernisation of the winemaking technology at this historic Estate whilst maintaining a distinct identity for its wines. Dedicated to producing estate grown wines of superior quality, Errazuriz has built a reputation as the 'Premier Family Wine Estate of Chile'.

Errazuriz's philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, "from the best land, the best wine." Vina Errazuriz believe in the concept of terroir and strive to produce the finest wines by controlling every stage of the winemaking process, from grape growing in the Aconcagua and Casablanca valleys, to winemaking with the most natural techniques. An emphasis is placed on the delicate handling of the wines, with the aim of producing wines with elegance and complexity.

The Errazuriz Winery was established in 1870 when the founder Don Maximiano Errazuriz first brought vines to the area. The beautiful original 1870 building still stands with the spectacular underground cellars still being used. Two brand new winery buildings were completed in 2010; one for Max Reserva wines and one for thef lagship wines. The Don Maximiano Icon Winery is an architecturally stunning masterpiece with oak fermenters and environmentally friendly ground-source heating/cooling. Sitting alongside the original 1870 building, these new developments show the importance of respecting our heritage whilst having a clear vision for the future. Both were showcased by Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson in the 7th Edition of The World Atlas of Wine as benchmark examples of a state-of-the-art modern winery. In October 2017, Errazuriz became Chile’s first recipient of the Robert Parker Wine Advocate Extraordinary Winery Award for Best Chilean Winery 2017.

The grapes for Max Shiraz primarily come from Max vineyards in the Aconcagua Valley. Located in the interior of the valley, the vineyard soils have a predominantly silty texture and are of colluvial origin. The special conditions of nutrition and drainage of the diverse soils help control plant vigor, producing balanced fruit loads with small bunches and berries.

The challenging vintage of 2016 performed different scenarios through the season, with a cool spring and a warmer than average summer. A rainy and cool October was followed by pleasant spring days in November, promoting a healthy flowering and fruit set. At the beginning of the summer temperatures gradually increased, reaching during January temperatures higher than the historical averages. February was warm, with oncoming sunny weather interspersed with cool morning fog, prevailing through to the end of the growing season. All of this conditions delivered wines of outstanding vivacity and character.

The grapes were handpicked early in the morning and inspectedon a double selection table, crushed, and desposited into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. Maceration period ranged from 12 to 25 days. The wine was aged for 12 months in French oak barrels, 25% of which were new.

See also the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Errazuriz Max Reserva Syrah 2016 - fiche technique

100% Syrah. 

Beautiful and bright ruby red with violet highlights. The wine shows aromas of red fruits such as raspberries, cherries accompanied by notes that remind of blueberry tart, along with a hint of tobacco and black pepper. In the palate it feels fresh and juicy, with a medium to long persistence, fine tannins and a pleasant sensation that surrounds the palate.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£12.35

Herdade do Peso Trinca Bolotas Alentejo Tinto 2019 (1x75cl)

** STOCK WITH US ON MON 28th SEPTEMBER **

** NB: this is the 2019 vintage. The 2018 vintage was the DWWA20 winner. There are very few bottles of the DWWA-winning 2018 vintage left in the UK: ours have gone already. The delay in the DWWAs this year means the vintage has sold through before the awards could be made! The 2019 is still excellent! **

The 2018 vintage (now depleted in the UK) was awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

The Guedes family had always rated the quality of the Herdade do Peso grapes – they had been using them in their Vinha do Monte wines since the early 1990s – and jumped at the opportunity to purchase the estate in 1996. Situated in the south of the Alentejo, in the sub-region of Vidígueira, the Herdade do Peso estate covers a total of 457 hectares, 160 hectares of which are currently planted with vines. Winemaker Luís Cabral de Almeida makes expressive and generous wines that reflect the warmer climate of the Alentejo.

Despite its southerly location, Vidígueira is one of the cooler Alentejo sub-regions and benefits from cool Atlantic air funnelled inland from the coast by a gap in the surrounding mountains. Limestone soils help to control vine vigour and lend elegance to the wines. All of the Herdade do Peso vineyards are sustainably farmed and an on-site dam provides much-needed water to irrigate the vineyards during the Alentejo summers.

After destemming and gentle crushing, the must was left to macerate for three to four days prior to fermentation, to increase the wine’s aromatic and phenolic complexity. Alcoholic fermentation took place at a controlled temperature of 26ºC with gentle pumping over to preserve the fruit and extract smooth tannins. After malolactic fermentation, 70% of the wine was kept in stainless-steel tanks with the remainder aged in used French oak barrels, for six months. The wine was lightly fined and filtered prior to bottling

44% Alicante Bouschet, 40% Touriga Nacional, 16% Aragonez/Aragonês.

This wine is intense ruby red in colour. On the nose, there are vibrant aromas of red fruits and floral nuances - courtesy of the Touriga Nacional, On the palate, it is well-balanced, with smooth tannins and a lively, refreshing acidity. A perfect food wine with excellent structure and a lingering finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.45

Journeys End The Pastors Blend Cabernet Merlot 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).

Journeys End The Pastors Blend Cabernet Merlot 2018 - April 2020 Decanter review

Among the long rolling south-facing slopes of the Stellenbosch winelands, caressed by cool coastal breezes, lies the boutique winery and vineyard, Journey’s End. With only a handful of premium, hand-crafted wines produced here, the focus is very much on quality. In 1995 the Gabb family (originally from Shropshire, UK) took control of this picturesque wine farm surrounded by 20 ha of gorgeous vineyards. They have invested heavily in both the vineyards and the winery since then – with the estate growing to 120 ha by July 2011. The family’s philosophy is one of minimum intervention. The aim of which is to create top-quality, single-vineyard and appellation wines that intricately integrate the tension between remaining true to the terroir, and finding their own unique expression of it.

The Gabb family invest in the community by helping the local church and working closely with the Pastors.

The grapes were handpicked early in the morning and stored in the cold room overnight. They were hand sorted and destemmed before being pumped into stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The grapes underwent a 72-hour cold soak before the temperature was lifted to stimulate fermentation and the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc juice was separately inoculated. The fermentation lasted 12 days. A one week extended maceration ensured suitable extraction of tannins giving the wine structure. All cultivars were matured separately and then subjected to a 14 month barrelling period (second and third fill French oak barrels) before being blended, fined, stabilized and bottled.

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Merlot 29% and Cabernet Franc 11%.

This old World style red blend displays rich dark red fruit aromas including blackcurrant and ripe cherries. These aromas are also experienced on the palate and are accompanied by sweet tobacco and Christmas cake characters. This wine has a well-integrated tannic structure showing elegance and lengthy finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£13.40
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