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Baron De Badassiere Syrah 2017 (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.

£8.35

Cazes 'Ego' Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2018 edition article by Oz Clarke, The world's best Grenache buys (see blue link below). The 2014 has been long sold out at Cazes and in the UK, and we rate the 2015 vintage more highly (2015 was a far superior vintage in Roussillon generally).

Cazes `Ego` Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2014 - June 2018 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.

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.

£17.25

Ch De Chambert Cahors Grand Vin 2012 (1x 75cl)

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.

£36.20

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 300m. The soil, mainly clay with a red iron oxide component, is ideally suited to producing refined and ageworthy wine. 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. Harvest takes place by hand.

The 2012 season was demanding. 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 véraison to the 20th August. The period of post-véraison 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.

The grapes for this wine were naturally fermented at temperatures between 25-30C. The wine was left on the skin for 25 days, with daily pump overs and punch downs. The free-run and pressings were separated before malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in barrels. The wine was aged for 12 months in 2nd and 3rd used French oak barrels.

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

£21.65

Chateau De Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2014 (1x 75cl)

The previous 2012 vintage was awarded 96 points/Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of Provence and 93 points/Highly Recommended status in their September 2017 edition review of Provence Reds (see blue links below). 

Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2016 Decanter review

Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2017 Decanter review

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.

2013 had a growing season dominated by rain and moderately cold temperatures. The cool, wet spring caused a slight delay in the ripening process. Far from worrying the winemakers at Chateau de Pibarnon, they were delighted with the conditions which gave them results that reminded them of the great years of the 1980s. Summer was dry and warm throughout the day and cold at night. This was perfect and allowed for a slow maturation. Harvest was delayed by approximately 15 days which allowed them to harvest the grapes when they were fully ripe. 

2013 is a structured, well-built vintage. It is full bodied but the flavours then develop to give a sense of smoothness, sweetness and fruity tannins on the palate. The wine's character shows the skill of the winemakers in producing a wine with good levels of maturity as well as balanced tannins and minerality.

£33.40

Chateau Maris Minervois Organic 2016 (1x75cl)

When Robert Eden and Kevin Parker bought the vineyard in 1997 they wanted to make the best wines in the Languedoc while working in harmony with nature – that is without applying pesticides or other chemicals. They looked at natural ways of rejuvenating the soil using compost. Biodynamic preparations were added to one organic compost pile and another was left alone. They quickly discovered that the biodynamic pile contained far more living organisms and there was no doubt about the right course of action for the vineyard as a whole. Thanks to biodynamic methods, the vines are now healthier and the quality of grapes is better. Chateau Maris is now a 79-acre estate divided into a multitude of small vineyards on the hillside above the village of La Liviniere, the first Cru Classe of the Minervois, in the Languedoc region. They have been certified by Ecocert since 2002, Biodyvin since 2004, Demeter since 2008 and BCorps since 2016.

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

Chateau Maris Minervois 2016 - fiche technique

£13.00

Chateau Mourgues Du Gres Costieres De Nimes Rouge Les Galets 2016 (6x75cl)

Syrah predominates in this blend of Grenache with a little Point de Marselan and Mourvèdre. The vinification is carried out without sulphur for more purity and brilliance of the fruit (but a small amount is added before bottling to ensure the stability and aging potential of the wine). Maceration takes between 15 to 21 days. Maturing takes 12 to 15 months in concrete tank for a wine combining roundness, freshness and balanced. Deep purple colours affirm its intensity.

The aromas are generous, with black fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry, blueberry) licorice and cocoa.  The tannins blend in harmony with the wine where red fruit and liquorice and violets are the dominant flavours. Its mineral finish contributes to the balance of the wine. aThis wine goes particularly well with the following dishes: duck with figs, rabbit with prunes,  tajine and cheeses. Serve around 15 ° to exalt its fruit and its freshness.

£69.85

Chateau Tour Des Gendres Anthologia Rouge 2008 (6x75cl)

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. They are certified organic and use careful vinification techniques to ensure the truest expression of the terroir and vintage.

Chateau Tour Des Gendres Anthologia Rouge 2008 is predominantly Merlot with intense almost opaque appearance with a complex nose of black berry fruit, licorice 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 Leon Barral Faugeres La Valiniere 2014 (1x75cl)

A superb biodynamic wine, 'La Valiniere' is a blend of 80% Mourvedre and 20% Syrah and is one of the finest wines to emerge from the south of France in the past few years. Owner Didier Barral follows a non-interventionist that produces wines of great depth and character, of which 'La Valiniere' is a typical example. As with many Mourvedre-dominated wines, 'La Valiniere' 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.

£47.55
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