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Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Reserva 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points by Robert Parker/Wine Advocate.

The 2011 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2017 edition review of Premium Rioja (see blue link below).

Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Reserva 2011 - March 2017 Decanter review

Click here here for a (Spanish but subtitled) short video on this wine.

Pedro Vivanco, a shrewd businessman who made his fortune in the wine trade, started producing wines way back in 1915. Starting out as a wine merchant, he became a substantial vineyard owner, and went on to build a portfolio of his own bodegas. Quietly and steadily he grew Vivanco into a major player on the Rioja stage. The family now owns seven bodegas and some 400 hectares of vineyard, with other wine interests in Navarra. Dinastia Vivanco is now one of Rioja’s leading producers, making modern styled Riojas with the focus firmly on bright, juicy fruit flavours. The Vivanco wines are made exclusively from the family’s vineyards, where intimate knowledge of the sites enables them to create some superb Rioja, packed full of rustic charm and fresh fruit flavours.

A selection of vines in Briones, Rioja Alta which are 35 years old on average, grown in mainly chalky-clay soils.Each grape variety is picked by hand and taken in small individual tubs. All the grapes are placed in a cold room for 36 hours before being processed on the cluster and berry sorting table. Picking of the Tempranillo grapes starts in early October, with the Graciano harvest starting at the end of the month.

Each grape variety is vinified separately. After mild crushing, the grapes are fed by gravity into small French oak vats where they ferment and are left to macerate for 20 days in contact with the skins at a controlled temperature of 30 °C with light pumpovers. Malolactic fermentation takes place in small French oak vats. The wine is then aged for 24 months in new and second-year barrels made with French and American oak. The wine is fine-tuned for several months in French oak vats before being bottled and laid down for the next 24 months.

90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano.

Intense, purple-red, with a brick rim evincing barrel ageing This wine offers aromas of cinnamon and sage surrounded by fruity notes of cherries and blackberries underscored by a mineral component. Deep, and ripe on the palate, with a velvety, silky, enveloping mouthfeel. Perfect with all kinds of meats, stews, game dishes, mushrooms, strong aged cheeses, etc. Ideal with tapas or just with some dark chocolate.

ABV = 13.0%.

£16.50

Domaine Brusset, Gigondas, Les Hauts de Montmirail 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

On this family-owned estate, established in 1947, the Brusset family has managed to combine the savoir-faire of traditional winemaking with the new techniques introduced by each generation. The founder, André Brusset (1910-1999), his son Daniel, and his grand-son Laurent: three wine-growers and wine-makers with a variety of experiences have all contributed to the distinctive character of the Domaine Brusset, where three generations have complimented each other to achieve the best results. The Domaine Brusset is located in the heart of the southern Côtes-du-Rhône valley vineyards, at Cairanne. With a total of 70 hectares, their vineyards extend over 5 prestigious appellations : Gigondas, Cairanne, Rasteau, Côtes-du-Rhône and Ventoux.

50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre.

To see Brusset's information sheet - including full vineyard and winemaking detail - for this wine please click on the blue link below.

Domaine Brusset, Gigondas, Les Hauts De Montmirail 2017 - fiche technique

A very deep, dark crimson. A rich, fruity, spicy and complex aroma. Very round and powerfull, long-lasting flavour. Consistant tannins, pleasantly woody with a deeper flavour of blackberry and chocolate.

or, as the DWWA19 panel put it:

"This complex yet seductive red has headily floral, sweet-fruited scents and lush, soft-textured, stony, perfumed flavours. Plum, strawberry and damson rarely attain this level of fragrant charm, and there's an almost sour-fresh note of ripe acidity, too".

ABV = 13.5%.

£33.60

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 the 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 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 = 12.5%.

£13.05

Domaine De La Tour Du Bon Bandol Rouge 2013 (1x 75cl)

This property was established in 1925 as a farm with its first vines being planted in 1931. It is still in family ownership and produces interesting and enjoyable wines at a reasonable price point.

Each vintage forms a unique story. As often happens with this wine the senses become mixed, encompassing animal, vegetable and mineral elements.

Purplish to brick red depending on the age of the wine, its sustained colour is bright yet dense. This wine is accessible and has a beautiful aromatic complexity. These are specifically related to the grape varieties that are part of this wine. The fruitiness of Grenache brings kirch notes against the spicy accents of the more peppery Mourvèdre. As for Cinsault, it connects the whole. The palate has a tannic structure, sometimes powerful in its youth which becomes fleshy and silky as it gets older. It can be enjoyed now with a rib of peppered beef, or after a few years it will be a superb match for a leg of lamb with beans.

This wine was made using Mourvèdre 60%, Grenache 30%, Cinsault 8%, Carignan 2%.

£22.00

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Rouge 2017 (1x75cl)

This Burgundian domaine has been a family estate for nearly 200 years. Erwan Faiveley, 7th generation, took the reins in 2006 from his father when he was only 25. They have earned their reputation as one of Burgundy’s finest and most trusted, with an unparalleled selection from the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise totalling over 120 hectares.

2017 is an early vintage. Harvests started on August 29th, the grape clusters were dense and compact thanks to excellent flowering in late May. Favourable climate conditions gave charm and generosity to the wines. 2017 is a classic style of vintage that can also be enjoyed in its youth.

The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. The proportion of de-stemmed grapes and whole clusters varies depending on the vintage. The wines are pumped over twice daily in order to extract colour, tannins and aromas from the skin of the grapes. After a 15 to 19 day vatting period, the alcoholic fermentation is complete. The free-run wine is run off using a gravity system whilst the marc is pressed slowly and gently in order to extract an exceptionally pure press wine. The wines are aged for 12 months in French oak barrels (10% of which are new oak) which have been selected for their fine grain and moderate toast. The wines are left to age in our cellars at consistent, natural hygrometry and temperature.

100% Pinot Noir.

Deep ruby red in colour with notes of fresh red fruits and spice on the nose. This wine is a pleasure to drink thanks to its smooth, fruity attack and delicate, silky tannins. This well-balanced and intensely aromatic wine will win over wine experts and amateurs alike.

Serve with rib of beef marinaded in thyme, a platter of cold cuts, soft cheeses such as reblochon.

ABV = 13.0%.

£20.10

Domaine La Barroche Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Signature 2012 (1x75cl)

Julien Barrot, of Domaine la Barroche, is one of the young, emerging talents of the southern Rhône. After Julien completed his winemaking course in Montpellier he backpacked around the vineyards of France and Australia, thirsty for knowledge and eager to expand his experiences. He came back and joined his father in 2002, more convinced than ever of the importance of terroir. Julien's enthusiasm and passion rubbed off on his father and together they agreed to release the first Domaine-bottled wines in the 2003 vintage. For thirty years previously Julien's father Christian had been working the vineyards and making wine but selling it off in bulk to local merchants. Though Christian is still around to lend advice, he entrusted the entire Domaine to Julien as of the 2006 vintage. The estate is small, encompassing 12 ha, and is planted to the traditional varieties including Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Terret Noir and Clairette. The average age of the vines is 60 years old and one third of the vineyard is more than 100 years old (Grenache.) Grapes are hand picked, wines are fermented in concrete vat and aged in a mixture of large old wooden foudres and smaller oak barrels. The wine is handled gently, everything is done by gravity, and extractions are gentle. This has rapidly become a stellar Domaine.

In the vineyard the vines undergo rigorous bud pruning. Furthermore, green harvesting and leaf thinning are done. The picking is carried out entirely by hand, with sorting in the vineyard and again in the cellar.

Wine-making takes place in underground concrete vats. There is destemming of underripe stalks. The wine stays on the skins for over 4 weeks. Gentle extraction happens during this time. Ageing is done in old oak casks and 600 litre barrels which have been previously used for 1 to 3 earlier vintages. The wine is not filtered before bottling.

A blend of 14 parcels, mainly old vines Grenache (~62%), with 20% Mourvedre and the balance made up of Syrah (~12%) and Cinsault (6%).

This is an unique, elegant, silky and opulent wine that invariably expresses its distinctive qualities. It also shows great class thank to its deep colour, floral bouquet, freshness, cocoa flavours and delicate aftertaste. This offers wonderfully velvety ripe forest berry fruits, hints of strawberry, bullace sloe and damson. Glorious, crisp clear fruit flavours, enchanting and beguiling whilst boasting a more savoury, complex undertone of herb, sandalwood, salt and pepper.

"Potpourri and dried Provençale herbs on the nose. In the mouth it is rounded, immediately juicy and intense, but piercingly fresh. A pâté de fruit, red and black fruit character on the palate is accompanied by very fine but ample tannins. It's intense but lifted, structured, complete and harmonious. Very long and well balanced" (said Decanter, in late 2017, of the 2016).

ABV = 15.0%.

£32.00

Domaine Maillard Pere Et Fils Aloxe-Corton 2016 (1x75cl)

Domaine Maillard was founded in 1952 by Daniel Maillard, whose family have been viticulturists in Burgundy since 1766. Domaine Maillard now covers 19 hectares. His two sons, Alain and Pascal ensure the future of the estate and continue to respect the culture of the vineyard.

This Aloxe-Corton is drawn from vines averaging 40 years in age. Grapes are picked by hand to ensure that only the best grapes are used. Fermentation lasts some 12 to 15 days with 1-2 punch-downs per day. It is aged for 18 months in 228-litre French oak barrels (Burgundian pièces), of which some 25% are new. It is then bottled after only a light filtration to preserve the full integrity of the wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

An opulent and ripe, red wine with flavours of strawberry fruit. Wonderfully expressive and powerful in the mouth it finishes with soft silky tannins and an animal richness so typical of Pinot Noir.

Only 4,000 bottles made each year!

ABV = 13.0%.

£33.90

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

El Circo Garnacha 2018 (1x75cl)

El Circo means 'the circus', and each of the varieties in this range is represented by a different circus performer. The wines are made by the co-operative located in DO Cariñena. A new, modern winery was built in 2002. Winemaker Marcelo Morales Calderon is Chilean, having previously worked for Carmen and Veramonte among others. He came for the 2000 vintage and stayed, as he was excited both by the quality of the fruit and the high standard of the facilities at his disposal.

The soil, where the short bush vines for this Garnacha are grown, is poor. The vines are planted on unirrigated land. The grapes ripen slowly, allowing their full potential to come through.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, with regular pump overs. Maceration took place for 10 to 15 days with natural malolactic fermentation.

Ruby red with purple hues, this Garnacha has intense aromas of ripe red fruit such as strawberries and cherries followed by a touch of spice. On the palate, it has smooth, firm tannins with a racy acidity and a very fruity finish.

£8.15

El Coto, Coto de Imaz Rioja Gran Reserva 2012 (1x75cl)

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.

The 2010 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2017 edition review of Premium Rioja (see blue link below).

Coto De Imaz Gran Reserva 2010 - March 2017 Decanter review

El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known of Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.

Grapes for the two Coto de Imaz wines are picked exclusively from El Coto's estate in Cenicero in Rioja Alta, where the soils are limestone and clay.

The 2012 vintage was marked by drought, which had an effect on both grape volume and grape quality in some places, but also resulted in a significant quantity of very high quality wine. Rains in late September had a positive effect on ripening and harvested grapes were well balanced and healthy. The Rioja Control Board/Consejo Regulador rated the 2012 vintage Very Good.

After harvest, only the best grapes were selected for this wine, as the maceration on the skin lasts for three to four weeks. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 22-27ºC. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The resulting wine was then aged in new French and American oak for a minimum of 24 months before bottling.

The Gran Reserva has a brilliant ruby-red colour with tinges of brick red. Mature and elegant, the wine’s rich aromatic complexity is initially subtle, revealing itself more and more as the wine breathes. Toasted oak nuances and coconut give way to notes of leather and damp earth from bottle ageing. On the palate, silky, rounded tannins accompany fresh red berries, dried raisins and spicy notes. This is a complex wine with exceptional concentration and a long finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£21.20

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Cab Sauv Merlot Malbec 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014 - April 2020 Decanter review

Please see some notes written for us by Esk Valley's winemaker, Gordon Russell, regarding this new 2016 vintage.

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve CS-Merlot-Malbec 2016 - winemaker notes

Situated in the north of New Zealand's picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is the Esk Valley Estate winery. The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels, and Marlborough, as both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality.

Esk Valley is a boutique winery, but it is unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the winemakers at Esk Valley have had to make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way.

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Wines are made from grapes sourced from specific, lower-yielding, intensively-managed blocks of vines. Thety are widely recognised as being amongst the best wines of their kind in New Zealand. Along with The Terraces, this is Esk Valley’s most iconic and revered collection of wines.

This, the Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Red is also the wine which pioneered the use of Malbec in Bordeaux-style blends in New Zealand.

It is only made in the best years/harvests and its blend varies from year to year in order to optimise use of the very best varieties in that year (which explains the changing % mix, names and labels across the vintages).

The fruit is hand picked, de-stemmed, then loaded into Esk Valley’s open-top concrete fermentation vats where it is hand-plunged and left in its skins, before being pressed off into barrels for malolactic fermentation.

Each vineyard parcel is fermented and aged separately before blending. 40% of the 2016 wine went in to new French oak barrels (the other 60% to older barrels) for 17 months, creating a wine that is full bodied and powerful, but elegant and food-friendly too.

"This is a wine that has been made to age well in the bottle, I can quite confidently predict that it will still be drinking beautifully in fifteen years." – Senior Winemaker, Gordon Russell

Cabernet Sauvignon 38%, Merlot 32%, Malbec 30%.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Esk Valley.

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve CS-Merlot-Malbec 2016 - fiche technique

This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of the finest of New Zealand's red wines. Since the initial 1990 vintage, this is the first Cabernet-based vintage reflecting the nature of the season and Esk's desire to produce the finest wine possible. Deeply coloured, showcasing black cherry, fruitcake, tobacco and subtle oak spice, this is a dry and complex and age-worthy wine.

ABV = 14.0%.

£22.00

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014 (1x75cl)

** ALL NOW GONE, BUT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EXCELLENT, CABERNET SAUVIGNON-RICH AND RECENTLY-RELEASED 2016 VINTAGE IS ALSO AVAILABLE (click link) AND RECOMMENDED!

SEE THAT PAGE FOR WHY THE ESK LEAD WINEMAKER THINKS IT MAY BE BETTER STILL!  **

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

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014 - April 2020 Decanter review

Situated in the north of New Zealand's picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is the Esk Valley Estate winery. The winery sources fruit from Hawkes Bay, including the world-renowned Gimblett Gravels, and Marlborough, as both regions consistently produce grapes of an extremely high quality.

Esk Valley is a boutique winery, but it is unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the winemakers at Esk Valley have had to make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way.

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Wines are made from grapes sourced from specific, lower-yielding, intensively-managed blocks of vines. Thety are widely recognised as being amongst the best wines of their kind in New Zealand. Along with The Terraces, this is Esk Valley’s most iconic and revered collection of wines.

This, the Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Red is also the wine which pioneered the use of Malbec in Bordeaux-style blends in New Zealand.

It is only made in the best years/harvests and its blend varies from year to year in order to optimise use of the very best varieties in that year (which explains the changing % mix, names and labels across the vintages).

The fruit is hand picked, de-stemmed, then loaded into Esk Valley’s open-top concrete fermentation vats where it is hand-plunged and left in its skins, before being pressed off into barrels for malolactic fermentation.

Each vineyard parcel is fermented and aged separately before blending. 60-70% of the wine goes in to new French oak barrels, creating a wine that is full bodied and powerful, but elegant and food-friendly too.

"This is a wine that has been made to age well in the bottle, I can quite confidently predict that it will still be drinking beautifully in fifteen years." – Senior Winemaker, Gordon Russell

Merlot 54%, Malbec 31%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Esk Valley. NB: it's a small thing, but we know how eagle-eyed some of you are ... Esk V have used the wrong bottle image on this sheet, being that for a year in which Cabernet Sauvignon was the better/more prominent Cabernet!

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc 2014 - fiche technique

This Winemakers Reserve blend is widely regarded as one of the finest of New Zealand’s red wines. The 2014 vintage is deeply coloured with aromatics hinting at black fruits including cherries and blackberries, with hints of cedar and smoke. The flavours, typical of Gimblett Gravels Merlot blends tend toward fruitcake, cherry, chocolate and oak spice. The palate is soft and mouthfilling showcasing the high percentage of Merlot and finishes dry and long. This is a fine vintage for this blend.

ABV = 14.0%.

£21.00

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

Felix Solis Avantis Heredad de Altillo Rioja 2018 (1x75cl)

Spain’s most internationally famous wine region is renowned for creating top quality wines with exceptional ageing ability. It lies in northern Spain, by the side of the River Ebro from which the region’s name derived. Elegance and poise is the hallmark of the wines shaped in this ancient region. The variety of its soils, together with the combination of modern and traditional growing practices allow winemakers to produce a wide range of wines that exhibit different personalities, always within the framework that their long-established Qualified Denominación de Origen demands from them.

The grapes are harvested at just the right moment. A cold maceration process for 48 to 72 hours extracts their skin colour and fruity aromas. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a temperature between 21 and 23 ºC) for 8 to 10 days.

100% Tempranillo.

Deep cherry red colour with touches of violet. Aromas of red fruits, strawberries and flowers that mirror perfectly on its palate. Smooth and fresh fruit on the palate. Long and pleasant finish.

A good companion to rice, pasta with sauce, grilled meat, cheese or salads.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£8.75
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