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Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rouge 2016 (1x75cl)

Pascal Jolivet was founded in 1987 and is one of the most dynamic domaines in France’s Loire Valley. Based in Sancerre, the domaine now owns 70 hectares of vineyards spread across the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. The domaine supplements the estate holdings with additional fruit sourced from long-term contract growers some of the prime sites of the region including ‘Les Caillottes’, ‘Le Chêne Marchand’ and ‘Le Clos du Roy’. Pascal shares his philosophy with winemaker, Valentina Buoso: to work in harmony with nature to produce wines with purity of fruit, a linear character and minerality, allowing a natural expression of the vineyard to give the wines a sense of place.

Jolivet own 42 hectares of vineyard in Sancerre at an altitude of between 200-400m, close to the villages of Bué, Verdigny and Ste Gemme, 3.5 of which are planted with Pinot Noir. Located close to the Loire River and surrounded by forest creates a relatively mild micro climate for the vineyards. The soils are a mix of chalk and clay. The vines are trained using the vertical shoot positioning system.

After 10 days of cold maceration the juice is fermented for 15 days at 22°C in stainless steel using only naturally occurring yeasts. After fermentation, the wine spends a further year maturing on its lees, giving a subtle, rich complexity to the wine before bottling. All parcels are vinified separately and are blended just before bottling.

100% Pinot Noir.

Jewel coloured with delicate aromas of red fruit. Elegant and subtle spicy flavours are the main characteristics of this pinot noir leading to a clean, pure finish. Pair with duck salads, pork, charcuterie and cheese.

ABV = 12.5%. 

£19.75

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Cotes du Rhone Rouge Secret de Famille 2016 (1x75cl)

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

This, their “everyday” (if Jaboulet can ever be described as “everyday”) Côtes du Rhône brings all that winemaking experience to bear brilliantly for not much more than a tenner. 

Soils: Shingle with clay, stony “argillaceous limestone” soil, pebbles.

Traditional vinification with long vatting, controlled fermentation temperatures. Aged 75% in stainless steel tanks, 25% in large French oak vats for 12 months. Syrah (40%) and Grenache (60%).

It is elegant, fruity and full-bodied and brings together the Grenache and Syrah in a rather more powerful, spicy (yet balanced) form than we find with most Côtes du Rhône. The nose is characterized by notes of black fruit, exotic spices (curry and sandal wood) with a rounded and delicate mouthfeel.

NB: fans of Jaboulet's Parallele 45 red may like to note that this is exactly the same wine under a different (off-trade) label: the same is true of the Parallele 45/Secret de Famille white CdR.

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.25

Paul Jaboulet Ainé Cotes du Rhone Rouge Secret de Famille 2018 (1x75cl)

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

This, their “everyday” (if Jaboulet can ever be described as “everyday”) Côtes du Rhône brings all that winemaking experience to bear brilliantly for not much more than a tenner. 

Soils: Shingle with clay, stony “argillaceous limestone” soil, pebbles.

Traditional vinification with long vatting, controlled fermentation temperatures. Aged 75% in stainless steel tanks, 25% in large French oak vats for 12 months. Syrah (40%) and Grenache (60%).

It is elegant, fruity and full-bodied and brings together the Grenache and Syrah in a rather more powerful, spicy (yet balanced) form than we find with most Côtes du Rhône. The nose is characterized by notes of black fruit, exotic spices (curry and sandalwood) with a rounded and delicate mouthfeel.

NB: fans of Jaboulet's Parallele 45 red may like to note that this is exactly the same wine under a different (off-trade) label: the same is true of the Parallele 45/Secret de Famille white CdR.

ABV = 14.0%.

£12.25

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **

** WE HAVE TAKEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF FREE STOCK AND THESE BOTTLES ARE AVAILABLE BELOW. **

** WINES WILL BE DELIVERED IN EARLY OCTOBER.**

 

"Although the fruit sourcing has changed from the old days, the 2018 Crozes Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert remains a solid offering in the Jaboulet lineup. Violets accent blackberries and plums on the nose, while the palate is full-bodied, lush and velvety, underscored by doses of salinity and licorice on the lengthy finish. 93-95 points".  Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019

_____

"The 2018 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert comes from deeper, pebbly soils and is a full-bodied, opulent wine. Notes of blackcurrants, tobacco leaf, ground pepper, and melted licorice all flow to a full-bodied wine that has tons of baby fat as well as sound underlying structure. 92-94 points"Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019

Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux. Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. Domaine de Thalabert, property of Paul Jaboulet Aîné since 1834, is the oldest vineyard in the appellation. The Crozes Hermitage vineyard is the largest of all the Northern Rhône Valley appellations and extends over 11 communes situated in the Drôme, on the left bank of the Rhône. A former farmhouse that belonged to the Gounon family, the building and its enclosure now house Jaboulet's first LPO (= French RSPB) biodiversity refuge, Clos Gounon. 

The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.

Click this link for Wine Advocate's review and opinion of the 2018 Northern Rhone harvest

Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).

See the link below for more details of the wine and winemaking from Jaboulet themselves.

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Domaine De Thalabert 2018 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz/Syrah. 

For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.

ABV = 13.5% (estimated, not known until bottled)

£24.95

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Jalets 2016 (1x75cl)

** UK STOCKS ARE LOW - WE SUGGEST CALLING US BEFORE ORDERING TO CHECK AVAILABILITY. **

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

The name Les Jalets comes from the soil nature of the vineyards, located in the plain of Les Chassis, stemming from the word jalets,  is the Old French word for the pebbles left by alpine glaciers, as famously found at Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Average vine age is around 25 years. 

100% Syrah. Grapes were destemmed, crushed and subject to a thermo-regulated alcoholic fermentation then vattied over 3 weeks. Ageing/elevage  was in old French oak vats for 12 months.

Bright ruby red in colour with a violet hue. Round and concentrated. This fruit-driven red Crozes Hermitage is a classic. It shows the real typicity of the area (red berries, liquorice, spices, peppers). On the nose, it is intense but approachable, with perfumes of red berries and a touch of spice. On the palate, it is smooth and rich, with more liquorice on the finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£20.80

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Jalets 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2020 edition's Weekday Wines (see  blue link below). 

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Jalets 2017 - June 2020 Decanter review

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France and to one of its greatest names.

The name Les Jalets comes from the soil nature of the vineyards, located in the plain of Les Chassis, stemming from the word jalets, is the Old French word for the pebbles left by alpine glaciers, as famously found at Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Average vine age is around 25 years. 

100% Syrah. Grapes were destemmed, crushed and subject to a thermo-regulated alcoholic fermentation then vattied over 3 weeks. Ageing/elevage  was in old French oak vats for 12 months.

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

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Jalets 2017 - fiche technique

Bright ruby red in colour with a violet hue. Round and concentrated. This fruit-driven red Crozes Hermitage is a classic. It shows the real typicity of the area (red berries, liquorice, spices, peppers). On the nose, it is intense but approachable, with perfumes of red berries and a touch of spice. On the palate, it is smooth and rich, with more liquorice on the finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£20.80

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Chapelle 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **

** WE HAVE TAKEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF FREE STOCK AND THESE BOTTLES ARE AVAILABLE BELOW. **

** WINES WILL BE DELIVERED IN EARLY OCTOBER.**

 

"Jaboulet's 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle features scents of crushed stone, violets and cassis. It's a classic trio, backed by a wine that's full-bodied, rich and powerful yet also airy, somehow carrying intense plum and black olive flavors without any sense of heaviness or excess weight. Then the wine finishes long and softly dusty, with tannins that accentuate its savory character, picking up delicious hints of licorice at the very end. The proportion of new oak has been trimmed back to a very reasonable 20% and is hardly noticeable in the wine. 98-100 points". Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019

"A deep, powerful, primordial wine, the inky hued 2018 Hermitage La Chapelle offers tons of crème de cassis as well as a liquid rock-like minerality, peppery herbs, burning embers, and graphite aromas and flavors. The palate mirrors the intensity of the bouquet and is full-bodied, concentrated, and tight, yet still packs a huge amount of baby fat. The 2018 is a beautifully pure, balanced, massively endowed La Chapelle that will need a decade of cellaring and keep for 3-4 decades with no problems.  97-99 points." Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019

Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with this wine, Hermitage La Chapelle, being its most famous. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux.  Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. Hermitage La Chapelle is named after the small hermit's chapel built in 1235 on the Hermitage hill, the wine regularly rivals Bordeaux 1st Growths for its incredible array of flavours - fruity and enticing when young but acquiring complex leathery and gamey overtones with age.

La Chapelle comes from the blending of the greatest western terroirs of the Hermitage hill. The Roucoules terroir, as well as the generous side of the Meal and Les Greffieux, are complemented by the Bessards deepness and Varogne's freshness.

Click this link for Jaboulet's map/schematic of their Hermitage plots

The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.

Click this link for Wine Advocate's review and opinion of the 2018 Northern Rhone harvest

Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).

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

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage La Chapelle 2018 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz/Syrah.

For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.

ABV = 14.5% (estimated, not known until bottled)

£159.00

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS IS AN ADVANCE (pseudo-en-primeur) OFFERING OF THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED 2018 VINTAGE. **

** WE HAVE TAKEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF FREE STOCK AND THESE BOTTLES ARE AVAILABLE BELOW. **

** WINES WILL BE DELIVERED IN EARLY OCTOBER.**


"The 2018 Hermitage La Maison Bleue offers up aromas of mocha, raspberries and a hint of black olive. It's full-bodied, velvety and plush, with a finish that's marked by hints of maple syrup and a slightly open-knit quality. It should drink well for at least a decade after release. 93-95 points." Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, December 2019

_____

"The 2,000-case 2018 Hermitage La Maison Bleue comes from the eastern side of the appellation and is a much more fleshy, opulent wine compared to the more mineral-laced La Chapelle. Jammy blackberry and cassis fruit, notes of ground herbs, graphite, and violets, full-bodied richness, beautiful concentration, and a great finish all make for a compelling Hermitage. It’s going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age. 94-96 points." Jeb Dunnuck, December 2019

_____

Jaboulet produces some of the world's greatest wines in the Rhone Valley, with Hermitage La Chapelle being its most famous wine. It was for many years run by Gérard Jaboulet, who was one of the great ambassadors for Rhône wines, tirelessly travelling the world and spreading the Gospel according to the Holy Grail of Hermitage. He died suddenly in 1997 and the firm has been run by Philippe & Jacques Jaboulet, until 2006 when the real estate entrepreneur Jean-Jacques Frey purchased the wine company.

The Frey family has  of long standing in the Champagne region and are owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux. Jacques and Nicolas Frey are now involved in the day-to-day running of the Maison Jaboulet, while Caroline Frey (pictured right), the eldest daughter, is at the helm of the wine-making team. Under Caroline’s leadership, in 2006, the vineyards earned Sustainable Farming status while Jaboulet's winegrowing is in the course of conversion towards biodynamic certification. 

Jaboulet produces wine from 26 different appellations in the Rhône. Along the Petite Pierrelle street, not far from the stream of Torras and the road where the blackbirds sing, lies the pretty Maison Bleue. Leaning against the Hermitage Hill, one of the most beautiful vineyards in the world, this small stone house with blue shutters was once a real haven of peace for the winegrowers: a place to work, rest and share located in the heart of a legendary terroir. Today, this house of winegrowers has regained new youth. Winegrowers and horses take there shelter from time to time. Grapes come from the most easterly vineyards of the hill, where soils are deeper, less stony and slope flatter.

The autumn of 2017 was exceptionally dry. Winter 2017-18 was moderately watered and did not fully offset the water deficit. The winter season was very cool, temperatures returned to normal at the beginning of April resulting in later budburst. The whole spring was regularly and correctly watered. Temperatures remained and sometimes were above normal. These alternating hot and rainy periods led to very rapid growth of the vine. Phenology progressed very quickly and the season became early. At the beginning of July, temperatures were getting hotter/ the sanitary state of the vineyard was excellent, berries were juicy, well inflated and often larger than last year. The few rains in August allowed to unlock the situation and the harvest of September took place in a summer atmosphere under particularly heavy heat.

Click this link for Wine Advocate's review and opinion of the 2018 Northern Rhone harvest

Grapes were hand-picked, sorted on the plot, in small crates. The vatting period lasted around 4 weeks with gentle extractions. Aged in French oak barrels (20% new).

See the link below for more details of the wine and winemaking from Jaboulet themselves.

Paul Jaboulet Aine Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2018 - fiche technique

100% Shiraz/Syrah. 

For tasting notes, we refer you to the reviews above.

ABV = 14.5% (estimated, not known until bottled). 

£48.50

Perfiles Malbec Calcareo, Trapiche 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintagewas awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their on-line October 2017 review (see blue link below)

Perfiles Malbec Calcareo, Trapiche 2015 - Oct 2017 Decanter review

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. Led by Daniel Pi, their Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. It is in this way that Trapiche has become Argentina's largest fine wine exporter.

The vineyards for the Calcareo, as one might imagine, have a calcareous soil profile, and lie at more than 1,300 meters above sea level. Fighting to survive in these unique, extreme conditions, the vines have developed a resistance that results in robust, vibrant wines.

The fruit for this wine is harvested by hand following a process of careful bunch selection. After destemming, the juice undergoes fermentation initiated by natural yeasts in small concrete vats for a period of 15-18 days at 23°-25°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of 60 hl capacity for 6 months.

The tannins play a huge role in this wine´s profile. It is bursting with flavour with a balanced delicious length. This demonstrates how Malbec responds to different soils in nearby vineyards - to be compared with Trapiche's Perfiles 'Textura Fina'. Grown on limestone, this has more lifted, floral aromas, alongside toasty oak. The texture is more delicate and satiny, and yet it still displays fine concentration and length.This Malbec is very full of structure, flavour & intensity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.75

Perfiles Malbec Textura Fina, Trapiche 2018 (1x75cl)

The history of Trapiche begins in 1883, in a small vineyard called El Trapiche, in the district of Godoy Cruz, Mendoza, where the grapes for the first fine wines were grown. With more than 130 years of experience, Trapiche has earned its place as a pioneering brand in the introduction of French vines, the production of varietal wines, the import of French oak barrels and the use of stainless steel tanks. Led by Daniel Pi, their Director of Winemaking, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries such as France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. It is in this way that Trapiche has become Argentina's largest fine wine exporter.

The fruit for this wine is harvested by hand following a process of careful bunch selection. After destemming, the juice undergoes fermentation using natural yeasts in small concrete vats for a period of 15-18 days at 23°-25°C. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of 60 hl capacity for 6 months.

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.

100% Malbec.

This demonstrates how Malbec responds to different soils - here, it's from vines grown on fine textured soils, rich in clay and silt - to be compared with the Perfiles Calcareo. Grown on clay soil, this has lovely creamy damson flavours, beautiful velvety texture and lovely lingering finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.65

Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2015 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

The grapes are sourced exclusively from family owned vineyards in Treiso (Il Bricco, San Stefanetto and Bongiovanni) and in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio (Rocche di Massalupo).

The grapes are hand-harvested, then gently pressed and fermented on the skins for 20 days at 25 to 26°C in stainless steel. 35% of the wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak (a third new) for 30 months. The remaining 65% spends three years in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.

This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible aging potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins.

Serve with red meat dishes, game or seasonal truffle, mature cheeses.

ABV = 14.0%. 

£49.30

Pio Cesare Barolo 2015 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

Barolo is a unique wine that encapsulates the wide spectrum of terroir of this exciting region. Frustrated by the fact that non-single vineyard Barolos are often described as “regular”, he decided to take action and defend the pride and joy of his region’s most celebrated wine by printing his request on his label: “Please, don’t call it regular”.

The grapes come exclusively from his family’s owned vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (Ornato, Collaretto, Lirano), Grinzane Cavour (Gustava and Carzello), La Morra (Roncaglie) and Barolo-Novello (Ravera).

The grapes are hand-picked, then gently pressed and fermented at 25° to 26°C. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks, with skin contact for 20-25 days. The wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak for three years: 70% in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks; 30% in barriques.

Winter in 2015 began with heavy snowfalls in January which supplied  the land with excellent water reserves. February was mild, bringing an early start to the growing cycle, a pattern which continued until harvest. Budding began earlier than 2014, with flowering taking place in the middle of May. There was heavy rainfall between flowering and fruit set which was very beneficial later in the season due to drought and warm weather in late June and July. Thanks to this timely rainfall, and the snowfalls in January, the vines did not suffer undue water stress. Consequently, harvest took place about ten days earlier than 2014. Green harvesting was targeted and precise. High temperatures meant that the crop was exceptionally healthy, with minimal impact from fungal disease. However, canopy management was important to protect the grapes from the sun’s rays. Grapes achieved optimal maturity and ripeness, with good sugar concentration, balanced acidity and excellent structure, making 2015 an age-worthy vintage.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo. 

This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible ageing potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins. It still needs one year in oak for the best maturation.

Ideal with steak tartar, truffle, porcini dishes, duck, guinea fowl, veal, braised beef, cheese. Serve at 16-18°C.

ABV = 14.5%.

£49.30

Pio Cesare Dolcetto Dalba 2017 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

The grapes for this wine come partly from family-owned vineyards in Serralunga d’Alba (the Ornato estate), Grinzane Cavour (Cascina Gustava) and Treiso (Il Bricco)and partly from vineyards belonging to established growers. The growers have been working with Pio Cesare for generations and work according to their direction and with strict quality controls.

Frost and drought affected yields across the region, and the heatwave over summer resulted in a shorter ripening period than usual. This may stunt aromatic development, although cool nights have preserved the characteristic high acidity of the region’s reds.

The grapes are hand-picked and then gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel vats at cool temperatures to retain the aromatic qualities of the varietal. The wine is then aged in stainless steel until bottling the following March.

This wine is 100% Dolcetto.

Deep coloured, the Dolcetto has lovely berry and black cherry fruit with a slight herbal undertone. Fragrant and structured with good body and a touch of spice on the finish.

Mushroom or beetroot dishes, tomato based pasta, pizza or truffle dishes.

ABV = 13.0%. 

£17.70

Planeta Plumbago 2017 (1x75cl)

An Exel shop super-favourite!

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Planeta Plumbago 2017 - fiche technique

100% Nero d'Avola.

A saturated purple-mauve that you look forward to drinking. Plumbago is dominated by aromas of ripe plums and wild blackberries and has pleasantly complex aromatic hints of incense, jasmine and black truffle. The tannin texture is varied and combines its soft, sweet and seductive aspects, like a Sacher torta, with the harder, more direct and austere elements of a block of Modica chocolate.

ABV = 14.0%.

£13.70

Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was 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).

Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

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The 2014 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal, 98 points and Best in Show status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

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Fan of the Seggio? Do try this impressive, Chianti-located Bordeaux blend from Poggio al Sole!

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One of the most exciting estates to have emerged from Italy in recent years, Poggio al Tesoro is a 70-hectare property in Bolgheri acquired in 2002 by the Allegrini family. The first vineyard they bought, Le Sondraia, is next door to Ornellaia and was previously rented by them. It is 12 hectares in size and is planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.

‘Seggio’ is the name of the creek that runs through Bolgheri - its course from above is represented on the label. This wine is produced from different plots of vineyards in the Poggio al Tesoro estate. The Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in the Via Bolgherese vineyards, at 53 meters above sea level. Here soils are deep, with coarse-grained red sand, that is gravelly and well-drained with a layer of clay at 120 centimetre below the surface. The other varieties are grown on the Le Sondraia vineyard, at 35 meters above sea level. Its soils are clayey with well-drained sandy silt and high concentrations of magnesium and iron. The average age of the vines is 17 years and they are spur-pruned and cordon-trained.

2016 is/was another vintage to remember, defined by many as one of the earliest on record in Bolgheri. After a rather mild winter, albeit with heavy rainfall, the spring months enjoyed regular rainfall that fostered uniform bud development. The summer months were dry and breezy with some rain showers in early September and the pre-harvest period saw wide variations in day-night temperatures which encouraged phenolic and aromatic ripening while maintaining acidity levels. The resulting grapes were harvested in perfect health. Vintage 2016 promises intriguing wines with marked varietal personality, good structure and great ageing potential.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique / technical note from the winemakers at Poggio al Tesoro.

Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2016 - fiche technique

50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot.

The grapes were destemmed and softly pressed. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 28-30°C for 12 days. Malolactic fermentation was carried out naturally in barriques in November. The wine was then aged for 15 months in 225-litre French oak barriques from Allier (30% new, 70% second use).

This wine has an intense ruby red colour, and there are red berry and cassis aromas with mineral and spicy notes on the nose. The palate is medium bodiedand the tannins are elegant and silky. The wine has a lively finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.30
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