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Baron De Badassiere Syrah 2018 (1x75cl)

Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the south of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson, at the Cave de Pomérols cooperative.

The Syrah grapes for this wine were grown in vineyards around Badassière in the Languedoc in the south of France. This region benefits from a sunny, warm climate which encourages ripe flavours in the wines, while the coastal breezes help retain freshness and aromatics.

Following the drought of 2016, there was a great sigh of relief when 2017 began with a rainy winter. This replenished the dwindling water reserves and ensured that the vines didn’t undergo excessive levels of water-stress during the growing season. Unusually cold conditions for spring led to frost in some parts of the vineyards which destroyed some of the nascent buds. Nevertheless, a problem-free summer led to the grapes achieving optimum levels of ripeness and the harvest took place from mid-August to mid-September.

The grapes were macerated on their skins, then pressed in the pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at a controlled temperature of 20°C - 23°C for 20 days.

This wine is deep red in colour, with complex spicy aromas leading to a rich structured palate, supple tannins and long length. Well-balanced with freshness that lifts the finish.

£8.65

Cazes 'Ego' Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 feature, Weekday Wines (see blue link below).

Cazes 'Ego' Côtes Du Roussillon-Villages 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family makes a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison Cazes is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by 'galets roulés' (the 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

2017 was a very early vintage thanks to the good water reserves in the soil and the mild temperature from February. The warmer temperatures in July and August aided the vegetative cycle. The grapes were picked early, when the optimal sugar and acidity levels had been obtained.

40% Grenache, 40% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre. The three varieties were 100% de-stemmed and before being put in separate stainless steel vats. Only naturally occurring yeasts were used; no yeast was added to the must. Fermentation was temperature controlled at 28°C. The residual matter was circulated by pump-overs and the sediment was broken up by hand twice a day to extract the best qualities. The wine was macerated for four weeks before pressing after which it underwent malolactic fermentation.

As well as being biodynamic and organic, this wine is suitable for vegans.

The palate is bright with ripe red and black fruit aromas and rich liquorice notes, balanced by delicate tannins. This wine has a remarkable balance, thanks to its good acidity and freshness. Long finish with white pepper flavours.

£14.85

Chateau de Chambert Cahors Grand Vin 2012 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Gold status at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019 (see blue link below for review and their tasting note).

Chateau de Chambert Cahors Grand Vin 2012 - IWC 2019 award and review

Château de Chambert lies 30 kilometres west of the town of Cahors, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Owned and run by Philippe Lejeune since 2007, with the additional support of consultant winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt, the estate has already garnered considerable attention in France and is top critic Michel Bettane’s ‘One to Watch’. The elegant, modern wines are made from the deep-coloured Malbec variety, which traditionally produced the ‘black wines’ of Cahors.

Chambert’s vineyards are situated at the highest part of the South Quercy limestone plateau, at an average altitude of 300 metres above sea level. The soil is mainly clay with a red iron oxide component. This is ideally suited to producing a refined style of wine that is fresh in its balance (similar soils can be found in the Chablis Grand Cru vineyards). Due to its location between the Atlantic and Mediterranean the area has a unique meso-climate which takes effect especially towards harvest when hot winds from Africa warm up the grapes, aiding ripening. Leaf-thinning and green harvesting take place where necessary, to ensure lower yields of well exposed fruit. The vines are 25 years old and yields are low at around 28 hectolitres per hectare. All grapes are hand-harvested.

The 2012 season was marked by heterogeneity. A dry winter period led to an unusually warm month of March with temperatures above average. Bud-burst took place at the beginning of April and was immediately disturbed by a month of cool and wet weather. May was warmer and drier than usual, June was rainy but then July was relatively dry. This four-month period of unstable weather took its toll on the vines and delayed veraison to the 20th August. The period of post-veraison was warm and dry and eased the disease pressure, and advanced the maturity of the grapes. Harvest began on 10th October and finished with the top parcels a week later, in perfect harvesting conditions.

Each plot was vinified separately. Gentle extraction occurred through a combination of slow pumping and plunging, before a slow fermentation with indigenous yeast at 25-30°C. The wine underwent post-fermentation maceration for 30 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels where the wine aged for 14 months (50% new French oak barrels, 25% second use barrel, 25% third use barrel).

Complex characteristics of red fruit, violets and silky round tannins. A generous and rich wine with a powerful structure. Ripe tannins and dense fruit is accompanied by elegant acidity, giving the wine tremendous potential for ageing.

£36.30

Chateau De Chambert Cahors Malbec 2014 (1x75cl)

Château de Chambert lies 30 kilometres west of the town of Cahors, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Owned and run by Philippe Lejeune since 2007, with the additional support of consultant winemaker Stéphane Derenoncourt, the estate has already garnered considerable attention in France and is top critic Michel Bettane’s ‘One to Watch’. The elegant, modern wines are made from the deep-coloured Malbec variety, which traditionally produced the ‘black wines’ of Cahors.

Vineyards are planted with 85% Malbec and 15% Merlot at the highest part of the South Quercy limestone plateau (causse), at an average altitude of 300 metres above sea level. The soil contains two distinct geological components; red clay with high concentration of red which lends the wine power, spice and black fruit aromas; and white clay with limestone similar to that of Chablis, which produces minerality and finesse. Located between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the unique mesoclimate takes effect especially towards harvest when hot winds from Africa aid grape ripening. Careful leaf-thinning and green harvesting ensure well exposed fruit. The vines are 25 years old and yields are low at around 28 hectolitres per hectare. The grapes are hand-harvested.

Warm weather early in the year brought the 2014 bud-burst forward to 19th March, two weeks earlier than average. Summer began with a beautiful, dry June, but July and August suffered from intermittent rain, which increased disease pressure and slowed ripening. A warm, dry September allowed full sugar and phenolic ripeness, and healthy vines, with the long growing season encouraging complexity and concentration. The harvest started with on 3rd October, and was completed by the middle of the month.

The grapes are separated by parcel and vinified spearately. After a pneumatic press, the free-run juice and pressings were separated. Fermentation took place with ambient yeasts at controlled temperatures of 25-30°C, and the cap was managed by a combination of pump-overs and plunging. The fermenting must spent 25 days on skins. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. The wine was matured for 12 months in french oak, 20% of which were new.

This wine is beautifully dark and intense in colour. On the nose, it has refined ripe fruit aromas of blueberry and violet. On the palate, the tannins are silky and round and the mineral character on the finish balances the black fruit and ripe flavours.

£21.80

Chateau De Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2015 (1x 75cl)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chateau de Pibarnon Rouge 2015 - fiche technique

£34.40

Chateau Tour Des Gendres Anthologia Rouge 2008 (1x75cl)

Chateau Tour Des Gendres has been owned by the family of Luc De Conti since the early nineteenth century when Luc’s grandfather Vincenzo moved to Bergerac from Italy. A wonderful character and a fine wine-maker, Luc de Conti’s exuberant wines reflect his personality. Luc is a true Vinarchiste, looking for purity and intensity, the maximum expression of the potential of the grapes. In the vineyard the soil is nourished with seaweed and silica treatments to encourage microbial activity. According to him the soil is lifeless (“a cadaver”) and it is a fifteen-year process to rid the ground of pollutants. Manual picking and selection of ripe grapes is essential; on the top cuvées there are several tries in the vineyard, and the wine will only be released if it reaches the highest of standards. The blends will also change according to the physiological ripeness of the grapes. This vigneron even riddles the grapes on the vine, giving them a quarter turn. Madness or pertinence or the countenance of sublime perfection? They are certified organic and use careful vinification techniques to ensure the truest expression of the terroir and vintage.

The Anthologia Rouge is fermented in 500-litre barrels which are turned (roulage) to give a gentler extraction. Power and sweetness allied to refinement and purity – the crowning achievement of a true Vinarchiste.

80% Merlot, 20% Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc (exact blend of these last three is not specified, but thought to be around 10%/8%/2%).

Chateau Tour Des Gendres Anthologia Rouge 2008 is predominantly Merlot with intense almost opaque appearance with a complex nose of black berry fruit, liqorice and spice. Full bodied with firm yet sweet tannins and a rich, opulent finish. It is easy to understand why Luc’s wines are considered some of the best and most exciting of the region.

£49.50

Domaine D’Aupilhac Les Truffieres Montpeyroux 2015 (1x 75cl)

The wine is a deep violet colour, the aromas are intense - a melange of cocoa, vanilla, leather, undergrowth or herbs and one cannot fail to be impressed by the richness of the palate which mingles pleasant substance with satisfying fullness.

 
£19.30

Domaine De La Tour Du Bon Bandol Rouge 2016 (1x75cl)

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 is made using Mourvèdre 53%, Grenache 27%, Cinsault 10%, Carignan 10%.

£23.40

Domaine De Roudene Fitou Cuvee Jean De Pila 2014 (1x75cl)

In Occitan, the language of the Oc, fita means border or frontier and Fitou sat on the border of France and Catalonia. The climate is Mediterranean with long hot summers and mild winters. The dry winds of the Pyrenees, help to make this region one of the driest in France. This is a land of magically shaped mountains, ravines, tablelands where shrubs scented with thyme and lavender grow, and the dizzy medieval citadels preside over an extraordinary countryside. Fitou, like other appellations, has a wonderful variety of landscapes, climbing from the sea and lagoons to the white schistous escarpments and the limestone plug of Mont Tauch.

Domaine de Roudène, located in the pretty village of Paziols, is divided into small parcels. This superb wine from the consistent Domaine de Roudène estate. The wine is made from grapes grown on the terraces of argilo-calcaire soil. It is a blend of Carignan (50%), Grenache (30%) and Syrah (20%). Everything is done traditionally; harvest is by hand when grapes have reached full phenolic maturity whilst a long cuvaison of twenty-one days and pigeage helps to extract all the aromatic components.

The wine is bright and purple with blueish tints, with a fine complex nose of confit fruits, red and black berries suffused with peppery spices and notes of bay and clove. The feel of the wine in the mouth is fresh and lively and the tannins are fine and supple. And for food? Terrine of wild hare, dishes with a rich mushroom / truffle sauce and boned baked shoulder of lamb are all sensational accompaniements to this wine.

£12.00

Domaine Le Roc Des Anges Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Rouge Segna De Cor 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition article on organic and biodynamic wine production in Languedoc-Roussillon (see blue link below).

Domaine Le Roc Des Anges Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Rouge Segna De Cor 2017 - August 2019 Decanter review

Marjorie and Stéphane Gallet, both incomers from other parts of France (Côte-Rotie and Normandy, respectively), have constructed a biodynamic wine sanctuary (certified 2014) in the Vallée de l’Agly, a nearly deserted vineyard land dominated by co-ops and famous for producing fortified wines. The locals continue to abandon vines every year because the yields are tragically low and make it one of the most difficult places in France to make a living in vineyards.

Since she began the project in 2001 (at age 23), Marjorie’s intuitive and peaceful contemplation have resulted in wines that carry a signature of purity, focus and elegance unlike anything made in the region. They are low alcohol, hands-off, mind-on wines bottled by varietal from single sites on specific and unique soil compositions. In smell and taste, their structure and style more closely resemble that of their earthy and salty cousins from the middle of France’s Loire Valley.

Roc des Anges’ biodynamically farmed (since 2011) vineyards sit in one of the lowest yielding areas of the Roussillon in the Vallée de l’Agly, a north-facing amphitheater closer to the mountains than the sea and between the villages, Latour-de-France and Cassagne. Cool air from the mountains rushes in at night, creating an extreme diurnal shift, which contributes to the development of complexity in the grapes. Margorie said that the nighttime cold also makes it almost impossible to have a dinner outside, even during the summer. The sun, the intense winds and the nutrient-spare but character filled soils (mostly schist) all contribute to the concentrating of the grapes and their resulting wines. 

Segna de Cor ('Blood of the Heart') is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Carignan and 20% Syrah produced from the estate's youngest vines (15-30 years of age).

Technical: Whole bunch, manual harvest. A traditional press is used, exerting the mildest of pressure, extracting juice. Vinification is in concrete tanks ranging between 24 and 50hl, and the shape of the tanks and the level of the fill determine appropriately gentle extraction. Ageing takes place in two types of containers; concrete – which exalts the aromatic purity and freshness of the wine - and wood (for about 30-40% of the elevage) in the form of one-to-three year old barrels.

Dark cedar in colour.  Aromas of blackcurrant, cassis and dark chocolate on the nose. These are joined by black cherry and spicy notes on the palate. Ripe tannins and a very smooth mouthfeel make this an excellent match with rustic stews and roast meats.

£15.70

Domaine Leon Barral Faugeres La Valiniere 2015 (1x75cl)

Didier Barral represents the thirteenth generation to grow grapes in the tiny hamlet of Lenthéric, within the confines of the Faugères appellation deep in the heart of the Languedoc. While his forebears made a living off of cultivating the vine, Didier took the family business to the next level when he began estate-bottling and commercializing his wines on a larger scale in 1993. Named for Didier's grandfather, Domaine Léon Barral is a beacon of revolutionary winegrowing: shortly after founding the domaine, Didier decided that biodynamic practices were the best choice for farming his thirty hectares of vineyards. He has pioneered numerous innovative agronomic techniques with the goal of establishing his vineyards as a self-sustaining ecosystem. This Renaissance man, naturalist, and biodynamic expert commands tremendous respect among his peers for his visionary approach to topics like soil management, pest control, and drought mitigation in his vineyards.

Didier Barral is one of the champions of the biodynamic movement in France and is highly respected among his peers for his uncompromising respect for the environment in which he lives and works—meaning the entire ecosystem surrounding his vineyards. Didier’s red Faugères, grown in rugged schist soil, displays power, rusticity, and incredibly fresh, pure fruit. Treat it as you would the wines of Gramenon and Magnon—organic, living beings that demand care and respect. His Faugères ages beautifully in a good cellar.

A superb biodynamic wine, La Valinière is a blend of 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah and is one of the finest wines to emerge from the south of France in the past few years. Maceration takes place for 3 to 4 weeks with regular, manual punch-downs in cement tanks. After maceration, the must is lightly pressed with an old, wooden, vertical basket press. This wine is aged for 24 to 26 months in barrel (10% new oak). The Syrah in this cuvée comes from a north-facing parcel of vines.

Didier Barral produces wines of great depth and character, of which La Valinière is a typical example. As with many Mourvèdre-dominated wines, La Valinière is intense and velvety with savoury and 'gamey' flavours. There are also notes of cloves and cinammon. The Syrah completes the package by contributing black fruit and a touch of pepper. The acidity and tannins are well balanced making this an ideal food wine.

£48.60

Domaine Louis Latour Pinot Noir Domaine du Valmoissine 2016 (1x75cl)

Although equipped with the most modern tools and equipment, the winemaking methods at Domaine Louis Latour remain simple and traditional. The Louis Latour style is an auspicious combination of the richness of nature and the skill of man's labour. They respect the natural rhythm of the vines and make wines in harmony with nature, with the aim of offering full expression to the elegance and the balance of the great terroirs of Burgundy. 

At Maison Louis Latour, we imprint each wine with an individual style that our customers can rediscover year after year.

Domaine de Valmoissine is located on the site of the ancient monastery and university of Valmoissine at 500 metres above sea-level. This guarantees sunshine during the summer months whilst remaining cool at night and limits the possibility of spring frosts. The vineyard's southern exposure gives the raisins perfect maturity at the same time as the Grands Crus of Corton. The yield is small in order to ensure perfect maturity and concentration of the grapes, the factors that create the best quality wines. This results in an elegant wine with remarkable finesse.

The Pinot Noir Domaine de Valmoissine is a fruity wine, offering a soft and silky palate with soft tannins.  It matches well with grilled red meat, cheese and red fruits.

We like this because we love the accessible fruitiness of this Pinot Noir (far less austere than many French PNs) that makes it perfect for many different dishes.

£12.75

La Garenne Syrah 2018 (1x75cl)

A modern take on a traditional style - the winemaking is gentle and controlled, vinifying seperate parcels in order to maximise the fruit characters of each before blending and bottling.

This deeply coloured Syrah has attractive cherry and pepper flavours which are offset by the wine's meaty and bitter chocolate aromas. This wine has a full bodied palate with great length and has a well-balanced structure.

Well paired with Mediteranean type dishes, stews or red meat dishes.

£8.75

Languedoc Syrah Grenache Maris 2017 (1x75cl)

Robert Eden, a biodynamic winemaker, has built the world’s first hemp cellar with Château Maris.

When the vineyard was purchased in Languedoc, the initial yields were lower than expected. The soil was dead, due to the previous farmer’s overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, so we looked at ways of rejuvenating it, using compost.  Biodynamic preparations were added to one organic compost pile and another was left alone. After a while the biodynamic pile container far more living organisms so the decision was then made.

It was a business decision since the vines are now healthier and grow longer – and the quality of grapes is better.  The entire estate is certified by both Demeter and Biodyvin. The fertilizer is compost made from local cow and sheep manure plus some horse manure.  Yields are 32 hl/ha on average and the entire estate is hand harvested. Chateau Maris is now a 79-acre Biodynamic and Organic Estate (certified by Demeter since 2008, Biodyvins since 2004, Ecocert since 2002 and NOP) divided into a multitude of small vineyards on the hillside above the village of La Livinière, the first cru classé of the Minervois, in the Languedoc region.

When you purchase any Château Maris wine, you are really getting great tasting wines that are produced and brought to you with minimal environmental impact, at the best price possible in the most ethical way possible.

To see the winemakers' tasting note for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Languedoc Syrah Grenache Maris 2017 - fiche technique

In previous years, an AOC Minervois, declassified to AOC Languedoc in 2017.

£13.15

Les Mougeottes Pinot Noir IGP Pays d'Oc 2018 (1x75cl)

The Les Mougeottes wines are from the region to the east of Carcassonne. Ripe grapes are essential for a good Pinot Noir. The full aromatic potential has already been developed, but the sugar content should be relatively low in order to pre-serve the variety's elegant style. For that, a part of the crop is harvested quite early and ferments at low temperature exalting fruity aromas. The other part, fully ripe, under-goes a traditional, long maceration. About one third ages in French oak barrels for many months adding a lot of complexity to the wine.

This wine has a clean and precise bouquet with black cherries and raspberry aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit and a silky long finish.

£9.20
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