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Chateau Puy Guilhem, Fronsac 2009 (1x75cl)

The stunning 18th-century Château Puy Guilhem is located on the hills of Saillans, overlooking the appellations of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion. The vineyard covers 14.5 hectares and is situated at the highest elevation of the Fronsac appellation, where the quality soils produce rich, concentrated grapes. The vineyard is manually cultivated following a sustainable philosophy and renowned consultant oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt vinifies by parcel, creating hand-crafted, fruit focused and beautifully balanced wines.

2009 is widely cited as an outstanding vintage. The growing season was almost perfect, with a long, fine, warm summer and crucially, cooler nights which helped to retain balancing acidity. The wines are intensely ripe and rich.

The appellation of Fronsac is on the right bank close to Saint-Emilion. The wines are dominated by Merlot. Château Puy Guilhem’s vineyard is situated in an elevated position of the appellation, atop high quality soil composed of a mix of clay and silt, which imparts structure to the wine. The vineyard is managed sustainably without the use of herbicides. Cover crops of grass are grown between the vines and manged with light tilling.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats and lasted for 24 to 48 hours. The fermenting must was manually pumped over, with daily observations to check the evolution of the skins. Maceration lasted between three to four weeks to extract the desired levels of colour, flavour and tannins. The wine was aged for 12 to 16 months in French oak barrels, of which 50% were new and 50% was of one year.

100% Merlot.

A mature and traditionally styled Bordeaux showing ripe and fleshy black berried fruits with a lovely savoury and earthy finish. A powerful yet elegant red with ripe berried fruits enhanced by a subtle note of oak spice. Full bodied, with juicy fruit and an attractive savoury note on the finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£23.40

Chateau Saint-Esteve, H de M, Corbieres, 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition panel tasting of Corbières (see blue link below).

 

Château Saint-Esteve, H de M, Corbieres, 2017 - April 2020 Decanter review

Situated in the south of France, near the Mediterranean coast, the estate is located in the heart of Corbières, on the terroir of Boutenac, with its clay-limestone soils and round pebbles, in a century-old pine forest. Château Saint-Estève revels in the beauty and the charm of a protected landscape. This is a special place: the estate echoes to singing cicadas in summer, sits among magnificent pine trees and visitors can admire the garrigue, blue sky, protruding rocks and magnificent nature.

Owner Eric Latham has been cultivating the Château's 120 ha of vineyards since 1984. The adventurous and daring spirit of the family, has been strongly influenced by the experiences of their ancestors and their bold lifestyle choices. For example, his great-grand-uncle, Hubert Latham, an aviation pioneer, was known for his attempts to cross the Channel and his rivalry with Louis Blériot. Eric's grand-father, Henry de Monfreid - after whom this wine is named - was a famous adventurer, photographer and writer, native to Corbières and best known for his exploits in the Red Sea.

Carignan and Syrah principally grow on the lands of Saint-Estève; Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Cinsault (also varieties of the Corbières appellation) to a lesser extent. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Caladoc are also present in addition for the production of IGP wines. The red varieties naturally dominate although Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat are also grown.

Although the Château itself sits within the Boutenac cru, this wine, the H de M, is drawn from vineyards that lie outwith that demarcation and classes as 'standard' Corbières .

Syrah 60%, Carignan 20%, Grenache 10%, Mourvedre 10%.

For more/full details of this wine, see the blue link below for a detailed data sheet from/by the Château themselves. <NB: an additional precision to information listed there, having checked with the producer is: 50% of the wine is aged in barrels which are 2 to 3 years old.>

Chateau Saint-Esteve, H de M, Corbieres - fiche technique

Garnet colour with ruby glints. Intense nose of ripe fruits (blueberry, blackcurrant), spices and vanilla. In the mouth, cocoa and praline notes. Tannins are silky and round. Carignan brings elegance and freshness to this distinguished wine.

ABV = 14.0%.

£14.95

Chateau Simard, Grand Cru, St-Emilion 2010 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS NOT HELD IN STOCK BUT QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THE WEDNESDAY. **

Although a small and relatively little known estate, Simard enjoys a sought-after position in amongst some of the premier estates of St-Emilion, including the mighty Ausone.

Château Simard is a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru which belongs to the very famous Vauthier family, who also own the world-renowned Château Ausone. Chateau Simard has been classified as Saint Emilion Grand Cru from the 2008 vintage. It has an enviable address on the sunny southern slopes of Saint Emilion. It has an excellent exposure and predominantly clay soil, mixed with sand and gravel. 

Stepping back to 1870, in those days, Chateau Simard was a much larger vineyard. In an effort to expand the wine trade in St-Emilion, to help in the shipping of their wine, a railroad was established that runs through the bottom of the Saint Emilion appellation.

However, the tracks were placed right in the middle of the Simard vineyard, cutting it in half. A new wine was created out of the now-split vineyard, Chateau Haut Simard.

Chateau Simard was purchased by the Maziere family in the 1920’s. Today, the estate is owned by Alain Vautheir, a direct descendant of Claude Maziere, who managed Chateau Simard since 1954. Alain Vauthier manages Chateau Simard and Chateau Haut Simard with the able assistance of his daughter, Pauline Vauthier. Pauline Vauthier is in charge of the winemaking of Château Simard’s 40 hectares of vines.

The 48-hectare, Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Haut Simard is in reality two separate parcels. The larger 40-hectare parcel used for Simard is planted to 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc. The remaining 8 hectares are reserved for Chateau Haut Simard, which is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.

Chateau Simard has a completely different aging process as the wine does not see any new oak for the aging. Instead, the wine of Chateau Simard is aged in concrete vats. Fermentation is in concrete vats; maceration is for ~30 days, depending on the vats. 100% malolactic fermentation is encouraged; there is no oak aging.

80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc.

The blend each year reflects the vineyard's makeup of Merlot with small parcels of Cabernet Franc. The wine has attractive, up-front fruit with a fairly long finish that is drinking well presently but also could be cellared for a number of years.a brick-like hue and mellow aromas of leather, pudding spice and leaf tea aromas. The palate offers rich, raisined fruit and fine-grained tannins.

On average, the production of Chateau Simard is close to 12,000 cases per year.

ABV = 14.0%.

£26.70

Chateau Siran 2012, Cru Bourgeois, Margaux (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS NOT HELD IN STOCK BUT QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THE WEDNESDAY. **

 

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in November 2018 (see link below).

Chateau Siran 2012, Margaux - November 2018 Decanter review

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For further reviews, see link at foot of this page.

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Produced from soils made up of a deep layer of gravel, the wines of Siran are typical of the great Margaux growths. Both powerful and delicate, they express the perfect balance between tannin, fruit and acidity. They are long-ageing wines, which over time develop sweetness on the palate, giving a characteristic silky and velvety mouth-feel. Made from a subtle blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, Château Siran generally expresses finesse, femininity and silkiness rather than the raw power and virility of some Médoc wines. The high percentage of Petit Verdot, which can be as much as 15% of the final blend in some years, brings a spicy finish which enhances the unique character of the wines of Château Siran. Château Siran displays charm when young but is also a wine of very long ageing potential. Wine enthusiasts particularly appreciate the complexity of its aromas that it develops over time.

For more detail on this this, the 2015, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Chateau Siran 2012, Margaux - fiche technique

46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc.

By way of tasting notes and further reviews, please see the link below.

Chateau Siran 2012, Margaux - tasting notes amd reviews

ABV = 13.5%.

£30.00

Chateau Talbot, 4eme CC, St-Julien 2015 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS NOT HELD IN STOCK BUT QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON THE WEDNESDAY. **

 

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in December 2017 (see link below).

Chateau Talbot, 4eme CC, St-Julien 2015 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

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"A big, rich wine for St. Julien with plenty of power and concentration, which enables it to carry plenty of spicy and toasty oak. The tannins need some time to soften, but the elegant finish says that from 2020 this should really impress. 94 points. James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, February 2018.

having been tasted earlier...

"A refined yet chewy young red with lots of blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Full body, ripe tannins and a fresh and clean finish. 92/93 points". James Suckling, jamessuckling.com, March 2016.

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Château Talbot comprises 110 hectares of a single vineyard in the heart of the Saint-Julien commune, an outstanding appellation as it counts no fewer than 11 Classified Growths/Crus Classes. Ideally situated on the banks of the Gironde estuary on hilltops of alluvial gravel carried by the Dordogne River from the Massif Central and from the Pyrenees by the Garonne, Château Talbot’s terroir is exceptional. The estate has a rich history. Its name originates with Connétable Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, governor of Guyenne as well as being a famous English military commander, who was defeated at the battle of Castillon in 1453.

For winemaking detail on this, the Grand Vin, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the Château themselves.

Chateau Talbot, 4eme CC, St-Julien 2015 - fiche technique

Cabernet Sauvignon 66%, Merlot 31% and Petit Verdot 3%.

A dark purple color already shows the depth of this vintage. Refined and floral aromas on the nose with red fruits combined with a delicate and precise oak. Dense, silky and fleshy on the palate with a great elegance of fine tannins. A deep length finishing with black fruits. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£73.20

Chateau Tour Des Gendres Bergerac Rouge Le Classique 2016 (1x75cl)

Here are the thoughts of the de Conti family of Chateau Tour des Gendres: "We are innovative and determined winemakers, passing on our savoir-faire actively. The personality and success of our wines is thanks to our authenticity and typicality… The Muscadelle à Petits Grains & the Malbec are historical Bergerac grape varieties, present in the Appellation for nearly a thousand years. We continue learning how to work with them naturally, through winemaking and blending, all the while reflecting on and doing something for our terroir and the environment. Since we started farming organically, we have learnt a lot about the nature, and we continue learning and trying new things with the new arrivals and generations… We are continuously evolving!"

After the grapes are brought to the winery, the bunches are destalked, then the grapes are then left to macerate for 4 days at a cold temperature before fermentation. The fermentation and ageing on the lees occurs in stainless steel vats, with a 20 day maceration period. Filtration is minimal.

This wine is 60 % Merlot40% Malbec.

This wine has a bright garnet-coloured touch. The aromas are very elegant; a fresh nose of red fruits, fresh cherry. The mouth is intriguing – it has a lovely body and soft tannins.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£11.65

Chateau Tour Des Gendres Bergerac Rouge Le Classique 2017 (1x75cl)

Here are the thoughts of the de Conti family of Chateau Tour des Gendres: "We are innovative and determined winemakers, passing on our savoir-faire actively. The personality and success of our wines is thanks to our authenticity and typicality… The Muscadelle à Petits Grains & the Malbec are historical Bergerac grape varieties, present in the Appellation for nearly a thousand years. We continue learning how to work with them naturally, through winemaking and blending, all the while reflecting on and doing something for our terroir and the environment. Since we started farming organically, we have learnt a lot about the nature, and we continue learning and trying new things with the new arrivals and generations… We are continuously evolving!"

After the grapes are brought to the winery, the bunches are destalked, then the grapes are then left to macerate for 4 days at a cold temperature before fermentation. The fermentation and ageing on the lees occurs in stainless steel vats, with a 20 day maceration period. Filtration is minimal.

This wine is 60 % Merlot40% Malbec.

This wine has a bright garnet-coloured touch. The aromas are very elegant; a fresh nose of red fruits, fresh cherry. The mouth is intriguing – it has a lovely body and soft tannins.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£11.65

Chateaux Ollieux Romanis Atal Sia Corbieres Boutenac 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition panel tasting of Corbières (see blue link below).

Chateaux Ollieux Romanis, Atal Sia, Corbieres-Boutenac 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

Located in Boutenac, just south of the village of Corbières in the Languedoc region, Ollieux Romanis is now one of the largest privately owned wineries in Corbières, spanning some 130 hectares. First planted to vine in the 11th century AD, Ollieux Romanis actually came into existence as a farm producing grains, olives, and mutton in Roman times, some eight centuries earlier. It was the Durban-Latreille family who saw its potential and began planting it to vine. Soon, a priory was formed and the domaine flourished, as tending to the vine was part of the monks’ daily religious ritual, for production of the holy sacrament.

Through the Middle Ages Les Ollieux became part of the Abbey of Fontfroide and then subsequently changed hands many times. Today it is owned and maintained by the Bories family, who settled at Les Ollieux some 200 years ago.  Pierre Bories is assisted by winemaker Jean-Pierre Amiques.  There are some very interesting  and unusual terroirs featured at the domaine, including Mediterranean red clay, sandstone, and puddingstone. Along with the requisite Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Marsanne, and Roussanne, the Bories also cultivate Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Merlot, and Mourvèdre, the ‘unapproved’ varietals going into their fun entry-level VdP label Capucines.

Les Ollieux is currently working its way to fully organic status having dispensed with herbicides and pesticides in the late 1990s. Instead, Pierre composts with marc, or the leftover solids (sins, seeds, pulps, pits) of his grapes and olives after pressing. 80% of the harvest is done manually (rare for such a large estate) – all grapes for Atal Sia (their high end cuvee) and Corbieres Classique red and white harvested manually.

Atal Sia translates to “let it be” in the local Languedocien dialect and is the perfect expression for this wine, which beautifully translates the authenticity of the terroir in Boutenac.

The grapes for the Atal Sia are grown on the pudding stone (over sandstone) terroir of Boutenac. This is a lush confection of Carignan 40%, Grenache 30%, Mourvèdre 20% and a dollop (5%) of Syrah for spice. No oak here, yet this is still a deep and intense wine with black fruits, orange peel, spice and liquorice and a smooth, silky, almost sweet palate.

The grapes for this wine are harvested manually before undergoing whole cluster maceration. Once the winemaking process is complete, the wine spends a year maturing in the bottle before being released for sale. 

This has had no oak influence, yet is still a deep and intense wine with characteristics of black fruits, orange peel, spice and liquorice, as well as a smooth, silky, almost sweet palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£20.50

Chiara Condello Romagna Sangiovese Predappio (normale) 2016 (1x75cl)

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 this wine, which combines with one for a rare Roero DOCG Nebbiolo.

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.

Harvested late September/early October 2016. 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).

ABV = 14.0%.

£16.95

Clos Cibonne, Cuvee Tradition Tibouren rouge, Cotes de Provence 2019 (1x75cl)

** PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE RED VERSION OF THE HIGHLY-RATED ROSE IN THE AUGUST 2010 edition of DECANTER (and not the rose itself, despite being the same price, having a similar name and a similar bottle and label!) **

** WITH US ~13th JULY! **

The property of Clos Cibonne dates back to 1797 when the Roux Family purchased it from Jean Baptiste de Cibon, captain of the royal marines of Louis XVI. In 1930, André Roux modernized the winery in order to pursue his goal of producing top quality wines at the estate. This revival ignited an era of fame for the rosés of Clos Cibonne.

In the 1980s, hard times fell upon the estate and it drifted without clear direction until Bridget, André Roux’s granddaughter, and her husband, Claude Deforge, took it over in the late 1990s. Their immediate goal was to bring the estate back to its former grandeur. By renovating the cellars while preserving the tradition of aging in old foudres, the family began to re-establish the vaunted reputation of the domaine. Thanks to their effort, Clos Cibonne once again lives up to its standing as one of the 18 Crus Classés in Côtes de Provence.

NB: There are 18 estates in the Côtes de Provence classed as Cru Classé – a designation created in 1955, as much as 22 years before the appellation itself (!), their reputation based on history rather than commonality of terroir

The heart of the estate is their Tibouren. André Roux was a great fan of this native grape variety and believed it to be the ideal grape for the region. As part of his revitalisation, he replaced all of the estate’s Mourvèdre with Tibouren. Tibouren had been in drastic decline since the onset of the phylloxera blight. An ancient Mediterranean variety reputedly favoured by Julius Caesar, it was transported over the Alps by Napoleon’s troops and took root in Liguria as Rossese. Here in Provence, it makes thirst-quenching, smoky, sapid pinks, and earthy, red-fruited fine reds. 

Clos Cibonne soon became synonymous with Tibouren and received special permission from the AOC to list the grape on its labels.

The estate’s 15 hectares of vineyards are located a mere 800 meters from the coast and are surrounded by hillsides in the base of a bowl that faces the sea. This topography creates air circulation that allows for perfect maturation of the grapes and helps to reduce vintage variation.

Organic production, albeit without certification yet.

For more/all the winemaking detail, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the Clos itself; it does feature some interesting translationIt features the 2017 bottle in image; the fiche applies to all vintages.

Clos Cibonne, Cuvee Tradition Tibouren rouge - fiche technique

90% Tibouren, 10% Grenache.

For a tasting not, see link above.

ABV = 14.5%.

£22.50

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

Te Kahu means 'the cloak' in Maori and refers to the mist that envelops Giants Winery in the Tukituki Valley. Legend has it that this mist was used to protect a mythical Maori maiden from the sun as she visited her lover Te Mata.

The grapes are completely destemmed before fermentation begins in closed top stainless steel tanks with the yeast being innoculated into the must. The wine then spends 17 months maturing in oak barriques (18% are new) before being fined, filtered and released for sale. 

To see Craggy Range's information sheet for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Te Kahu 2015 - fiche technique

76% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec.

The Te Kahu is a deep crimson red. It has complex aromatics of ripe plum, a touch of cassis, fresh rosemary and roasted meats. The palate is generous and approachable but also has a high level of sophistication with fine grained tannins enveloping a dense body of succulent black fruits. This wine has the ability to age for around 12 years from vintage.

ABV = 14.0%.

£21.70

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

** FOR THOSE SEEKING THE 2017 VERSION OF THIS WINE (THAT FARED WELL IN THE FEBRUARY EDITION OF DECANTER), WE HAVE LEARNED THAT CRAGGY RANGE ARE NOW NOT RELEASING THIS WINE IN THE UK UNTIL LATE 2020. LIKE YOU, WE'RE PRETTY DISAPPOINTED.

The forthcoming (not on release in the UK yet) 2017 vintage was awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their February 2020 edition panel tasting of New World, single-vineyard Pinot Noir (see blue link below).

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2017 - February 2020 Decanter review

THAT SAID, THIS, THE 2016, AS ATTESTED TO HERE - AND FULLY AVAILABLE - IS RATHER FINE. **

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.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Craggy Range.

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

The grapes for this wine are picked by hand.  The wine is fermented in a combination of stainless steel vats and oak, then is matured for 10 months prior to bottling.

Matt Stafford, the chief winemaker at Craggy range describes the Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir as "a dark and brooding Pinot Noir, grown at our secret place in Martinborough, with a wonderful depth and beauty."

100% Pinot Noir.

The wine has a bright red cherry colour with a crimson hue. Seductive aromas of dark cherry, dried rose petals, thyme and damp earth. Beautifully varietal, elegant and long on the palate. Medium weight red fruit richness and fine-grained tannins are drawn out long across the palate by acidity to create a finish which is savoury and dry.

This wine matches perfectly with duck dishes. It can be cellared for 5-7 years from vintage but only if you can resist opening it before then!

ABV = 13.9%.

£28.10

Dandelion Vineyards Menagerie of the Barossa Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro 2017 (1x75cl)

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%.

£14.55

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

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
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