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Baron De Badassiere Picpoul de Pinet 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.

The grapes for this wine come from selected vineyards around the Etang de Thau, planted on clay and limestone soils.

The winter was marked by significant rainfall, and the rain continued into the spring. Flowering and fruit set took place in good conditions. Summer experienced very high temperatures, but there was no water stress caused to the vines because of the good water reserves supplied by the rain in winter and spring. Harvest began in the middle of August and lasted until the middle of October. Weather throughout the harvest period was excellent.

The grapes arrived in the winery in the early morning and were macerated on the skins for a few hours, then pressed by pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at controlled temperatures of between 14-18°C for 16 days. No oak was used and the wine was bottled early to retain freshness and delicate aromatics.

100% Picpoul de Pinet.

Pale lemon in colour with a youthful rim. Crisp apple aromas are complemented by a citrus edge. On the palate, it has attractive weight, with a good balance of ripe, yellow plums and greengages and a fresh lime zest acidity that continue through the finish.


Boulevard Napoleon Grenache Gris 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition expert review of Languedoc whites (see blue link below).

Boulevard Napoleon Grenache Gris 2015 - August 2018 Decanter review

Named after the street the winery is located on in the village of La Livinière, Minervois, Boulevard Napoléon is the partnership between restaurant owner Trevor Gulliver and winemaker Benjamin Darnault. Seeing the potential in the vineyards located by his holiday home, Trevor started making the wines and then showed them to his other partner, chef Fergus Henderson, who was more than impressed, as were we! Each wine is a classic expression of the varietal grown on the dry, stony slopes of the south of France - yet they retain a vibrancy and definition that marks them out from the crowd.

Fruit is sourced exclusively from a 75 year old single vineyard situated on stony terraces in the high hills of La Livinière, in the Minervois region. Here, soils are predominantly limestone and clay with the age of vines averaging 70 years. The wines show brightness, ripeness, definition and character - elements which can be largely attributed to these older vines. Grenache grapes are picked in two passes, as both the Noir and Gris grapes are grown in the same plot.

Grapes were all harvested by hand into small cases before undergoing a slow and gentle whole bunch pressing in a bag press. After one day resting on its skins, the juice was racked off into one and two year old 225 litre barrels for fermentation. The finished wine was then aged in barrel on its lees for one year without racking. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling.

One of the best examples of white wines from the Languedoc region. Aromatic, with citrus perfumes, this wine is rich and supple on the palate with distinct notes of smoke and liquorice. The finish is fresh, long and lingering.


Domaine Louis Latour Chardonnay Grand Ardeche 2016 (1x 75cl)

Maison Louis Latour is one of the most innovative producers in Burgundy whilst maintaining its traditional image. In 1979, with a view to expanding the business, the valley of the Ardèche river with its clay and limestone-based soils was chosen as the ideal location to produce top-quality Chardonnay wines.

The Grand Ardèche comes from the best vineyards, carefully selected every year when harvesting begins. The grapes are pressed and the must is placed immediately in oak barrels made by the cooperage at Latour, where the wine will age for approximately 10 months, like the great wines of Burgundy.

The Grand Ardeche is made traditionally in oak barrels and undergoes complete malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 8 to 10 months in oak barrels (20% new) which are from the Louis Latour cooperage, made of French oak and are medium toasted.

All the flavour and almost all the complexity of a Meursault for a third of the price! Oak-aged for 10 months, the colour of this Grand Ardèche 2016 is characterized by a pale golden colour. This wine offers lovely notes of brioche, almond, fresh apricot and vanilla. The ample mouth reminds aromas of almond paste and vanilla. There is a nice finish. 

We like this because it's from a Burgundy producer of great fame and does everything that a fine, rich white Burgundy does without the cost. It's wonderfully rich and creamy: a "mock Mersault", if you will.


Grange Des Rocs Picpoul de Pinet 2018 (1x75cl)

Picpoul is an ancient white-wine grape variety of the traditional and prolific Languedoc-Roussillon wine region in southern France. The name Pique-poul translates literally as "stings the lip", and is a reference to the grape's mouthwateringly high acidity.

The Grange des Rocs range is produced from vineyards located along the Mediterranean coast of southern France. Low yields and a ruthless approach to quality control means that behind the label lie some of the best value wines in the Languedoc. They use a cultivation method know as lutte raisonée which means that while they follow many of the principles followed by organic growers they do not wish to be bound by all the restrictions that this can bring.

The grapes for this wine are harvested by hand. Fermentation takes place over 12 - 15 days using a temperature controlled environment in stainless steel vats using carefully selected yeasts. It is then left on its fine lees for 8 months before filtration and fining take place prior to bottling.  While sulphur is used during the bottling process it is not used during the winemaking process.

This wine is 100% Picpoul.

This wine has a light delicate fragrance with floral and fruit aromas as well as a hint of minerality. It is a dry wine which has light and subtle flavours and is best served with seafood and fish or is perfect as an aperitif.

This wine is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans as it was fined using bentonite.


La Croix Gratiot Picpoul De Pinet Coteaux de Languedoc 2017 (1x75cl)

Owned by brothers Yves and Hugues Ricome for over 30 years, Domaine La Croix Gratiot covers 27 hectares in Montagnac in the Coteaux du Languedoc. After years of selling to the local co-operative, Yves started bottling his own wine in 2005. His daughter Anaïs has now taken charge, after working for some time in New Zealand with Matt Thomson, and makes wonderfully pure wines that reflect the potential of the local varieties with which she works.

The Picpoul grapes grow close to the commune of Mèze on a chalky plateau. The proximity of the zone to the sea means cool maritime breezes moderate the climate, making it ideal for growing this white grape variety. Its naturally high acidity is retained to give a wine of real interest and liveliness.

The grapes were harvested at night to ensure the grapes were cool when arriving at the winery. This meant that the delicate fruit character was kept fresh before pressing and the aromatic style of the wine was guaranteed. The wine was fermented and stored in stainless steel which ensured no oxidation of the precious stone fruit character. A cool fermentation (around 15°C) also helped preserve the fruit purity. The wine rested in the winery for three months before release.

Bright yellow in colour with vibrant citrus, pear and spice notes on the nose. The palate is full but extremely well balanced, with fresh Picpoul acidity and pure fruit flavours. The finish is long and mouthwatering, with complexity of stone fruit, spice and minerality.


Leduc Viognier Igp Pays Doc 2018 (1x75cl)

After harvesting, the grapes undergo an short skin maceration. After a gentle pressing and meticulous settling, the juice is collected and fermented. Ageing takes place in stainless steel tanks.

The Leduc Viognier has a vibrant, luminous colour with green hues. On the nose, peach, apricot and almond aromas prevail with a refreshing yet fruity palate with a smooth and round finish.

Excellent with spicy foods, grilled chicken or fish. A great match with sushi and sashimi.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.0%.


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

This oaked Chardonnay is from the region to the east of Carcassonne. It is presented with Burgundian packaging, yet has more natural ripeness than a Mâcon and more savoury character than the New World. 

If you are looking for a Burgundian style of white wine for less than a tenner, this is perfect for you!

The start of the 2018 growing season was blighted with frost in mid Spring and then perhaps higher than ideal rainfall but this poor start led into an ideal, long, dry period from late spring through to Harvest. Night harvested by machine in order to limit oxidative stress and maintain freshness. The producer's own comments on the vintage: "we were very happy with our ’18 vintage wines.  The winemakers just had to work a bit harder than usual to find the right quality.

Grown predominantly on calcareous clay soils around the Languedoc's St-Chinian with an average vine age of 40 years old. 

Direct pneumatic pressing followed by racking. 100% of the blend is fermented and aged with medium and med/high-toast French oak staves to produce a rich, buttery, nutty style. No use of malolactic fermentation is employed. The wine is kept on its fine lees for 4 months post-fermentation with regular batonnage to add texture and complexity.

100% Chardonnay.

Residual sugar = 2.9g/litre (ie dry).

It has lemon and vanilla on the nose with a round, fruity body and a hint of vanilla oak character. It has more ripeness than some of its Burgundian counterparts and it has more savouriness than wines that are typical of the New World; it is an intriguing wine that is sure to impress.

This is a highly versatile, lightly-oaked Chardonnay - ideal by the glass - and also fantastic with large/flake flsh, shellfish and white meats. Would also pair well with cream sauces and lightly spiced dishes.

This wine is suitable for begetarians and vegans.


Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition's "Steven Spurrier's Fine Wine World" (under £20); (see blue link below).

Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

The cellars at Mas de Daumas Gassac were formed in the foundations of a Gallo-Roman mill; they now house 400 Merrain oak Bordeaux and Burgundy barrels; one in seven is replaced each year. There are two cold water springs under the cellar’s floor, nature’s own air conditioning system, which slows the alcohol fermentation down to between 8 – 10 days. This slow process means the complex savours have time to develop, something that doesn’t happen with modern high-tech fermentation. As they say at the winery: "Wisdom needs time to develop, so do a wealth of flavours!" 

Chemical fertilisers and synthetic matter have no place at Daumas Gassac. They only use compost based on manure produced by ewes from the Larzac.

The Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc is pale straw in colour with scents of tropical fruits and toasted nuts. Fresh and floral on the palate, the texture is firm and waxy with flavours of green apples and tropical fruits. The finish lingers with firm acidity. This wine is a tremendously versatile wine to pair with food.  Some suggestions we have are asparagus, red peppers à la Languedocienne, fresh salmon in pastry on a bed of wild fennel, grilled swordfish steaks and roast pork with ginger and pears caramelised in vinegar.

To see the winemaker's notes on this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc 2017 - fiche technique


Mas La Chevaliere Viognier De La Chevaliere 2018 (1x75cl)

Mas La Chevalière was established near Béziers in 1995 by Michel Laroche, after 10 years of searching for the right vineyards. The 40 hectares comprise high altitude, cooler sites for whites and hillside terraces for reds. The wines are classified Indication Géographique Protégée because irrigation is used to avoid heat stress (and hard, bitter characters in the wines) in the southerly, sunny climate. The conversion to screwcap for the majority of wines took place at the same time as in Chablis.

Winemaker Géraud Blanc supplements the estate fruit with grapes from 50 growers with whom he has long-term purchasing partnerships. Grapes for this Viognier were grown at higher altitudes in Minervois, Béziers, Agde, Bédarieux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Cévennes, which give fresh, varietal aromas and elegance to the wine. They were harvested in mid-September during the cooler, early hours of the morning.

The winter was marked by significant rainfall, and the rain continued into the spring. Flowering and fruit set took place in good conditions. Summer experienced very high temperatures, but there was no water stress caused to the vines because of the good water reserves supplied by the rain in winter and spring. Harvest began in the middle of August and lasted until the middle of October. Weather throughout the harvest period was excellent.

The Viognier grapes were whole-bunch-pressed, then left to settle for 24 hours before beginning their fermentation, for 12 days at 15°C, in stainless steel vats. No oak was used and there was no malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the natural acidity and crispness. After six months in stainless steel there was a light filtration in order to preserve the natural fruit character and body of the final wine.

100% Viognier.

Light gold in colour with fragrant aromas of orange blossom and spice touches. This Viognier has delicate apricot and white stone fruit character on the palate, with a lingering aromatic and fresh finish.


Terrasses de la Mer Picpoul De Pinet 2018 (1x75cl)

One of the oldest Languedoc grapes, the Piquepoul has been growing near the Thau Lagoon for centuries. White is the most common, though both blush and black grapes are to be found. As early as 1618, the botanist J.B. Maniol cited Piquepoul as one of the best known Languedoc grapes in his work Sylve plantarium. It grows in a dry climate, so the end-of-season humidity helps grapes fill out and finish ripening. The grapes grow in loose bunches, are oval shaped and come off easily. That is why, in the olden days, trays were often placed beneath the vines to catch falling grapes!

Terrasses de la Mer is made in the L'Etang de Thau area of the Languedoc. 

It is a crisp, dry and refreshing wine. It is bone dry and refreshing with flavours of lemons, apples and a mere hint of almonds as well as other citrus and sweet green pepper. This is an easy drinking wine which goes well with shellfish, seafood and pasta dishes as well as soft and creamy goat's cheese.


Vignoble Du Sud Foncalieu Sauvignon Blanc Vin de Pays dOc 2017 (1x 75cl)

A good example of Sauvignon Blanc from the South of France. Classic flavours of refreshing citrus fruits and gooseberries balanced with a delightful acidity make this ideal with light food.

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