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Tastings & Features

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Valdivieso Single Vineyard Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (1x 75cl)

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is shown by their Single Valley Lot/Valley Selection and Single Vineyard wines. The whole range encapsulates everything that Chile excels at: rich, vibrant flavours and smooth, glossy textures - and the wines deserve the multitude of gongs they have picked up in recent years. Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

The vineyards here are located in the Leyda Valley, enjoying a strong influence from Leyda's maritime climate, due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. This area is cold, therefore ideal for Sauvignon Blanc and its preferred slower ripening. This allows for greater retention of acidity and greater aromatic qualities. The objective is to make a wine that is a true reflection of this area, through an optimal combination of soil, climate and vine.

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Harvest is by solely by hand in the second week of March. Traditional winemaking methods are employed, with the aim that the wine is a faithful reflection of the terroir from which it comes. The clusters are taken directly to the presses. The must undergoes a natural fermentation in barrels, driven by 'wild' yeasts, present in the grapes. To ensure successful fermentation, there is no addition of sulfur dioxide. The wine is kept in barrels of 500 litres, the barrels being of 100% French oak, and kept in contact with its lees for 6 months. Malolactic fermentation is not allowed to occur, in order to retain the crisp natural acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

Bright with noticeable green highlights. Has an elegant aromatic profile, studded with aromas of white fruits, mixed with a soft vegetable character with green chilli notes. This is a most fruity Sauvignon Blanc with more body than is usual: a direct result of the barrel fermentation and lees contact. It is unctuous and of a rich acidity that refreshes the palate, combining fresh fruit flavours and mineral characters with vinification techniques of 'wild ferment', to produce a wine of great elegance and balance.

£14.80

Man O War Dreadnought Syrah 2015 (1x75cl)

The Man O’ War story begins with a special piece of land which has a rich history. Located at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, Man O’ War is a stunning array of coastal hillsides with high cliffs and pristine beaches forming a ruggedly beautiful coastline. It was along this coastline that Captain James Cook came to anchor during his first voyage around the islands of New Zealand in 1769. Upon sighting the ancient stands of magnificent kauri trees ashore, Cook noted in his journals that they would make ideal masts for the Man O' War battleships of the Royal Navy. Thus, the name Man O’ War was bestowed upon this unique land. With a desire to protect this treasured land’s natural beauty and sense of history for future generations, the owners purchased the four contiguous farms that now form the 4,500 acres of Man O’ War in the early 1980s. 

Typical aromas for Dreadnought Syrah include a smoky peat character that provides a savoury edge to the overt blueberry and pepper aromas, that mix of savoury and sweet that is reminiscent of the Northern Rhone is style. This wine has excellent fruit accessibility with a richly textured palate restrained with a streak of acidity and a mineral edge derived from a small portion of stem inclusion all supported by a classic Dreadnought tannin structure creating a complex and harmonious wine with plenty of ageing potential.

To see a comprehensive information sheet for this wine from the winemakers at Man O' War, please click on the blue link below.

Man O' War Dreadnought Syrah 2015 - fiche technique

£29.70

Pauletts Aged Release Polish Hill River Riesling 2012 (1x75cl)

The 2010 vintage of this wine was a huge hit when it featured in Decanter (www.decanter.com) recently. The current 2012 vintage (remember: it is an aged release!) is now newly available and also quite excellent; this is perhaps a more elegant version of the 2010, but still with heaps of intensity and plenty of age development (with more to come for cellar keepers).

The 2010 vintage was awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Rieslings (see blue link below).

Pauletts Aged Release Polish Hill River Riesling 2010 - April 2018 Decanter review

See also here for Decanter's assessment of Australian Riesling vintages (click blue link below).

Decanter Australian vintage summary

And, for extra info, here's Paulett's own data sheet/fiche technique on the 2012 (published before being badged as an Aged Release, but exactly (and we mean exactly) the same wine!).

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2012- fiche technique

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the clim2ate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide,this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

Neil Paulett holds back a small parcel of Riesling from the most successful vintages for an extended maturation in the winery`s cellar. After 5 years this dry Riesling has blossomed into an expressive golden wine, with a nose of lemon zest and acacia with hints of honey and toast but with an underlining crispness. Citrus flavours of lime are evident and with a delightful freshness and acidity through to the finish.

This wine is superb with oysters and prawns or spicy Asian dishes.

£15.90

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage of this wine was a huge hit when it featured in Decanter (www.decanter.com) recently. The current 2017 vintage is now newly available and also superb; indeed, as the below vintage table (also from Decanter) shows, 2017 is already talked of by some as the best Riesling vintage in Australia for over 15 years.

The 2014 vintage was awarded 98 points and rare Exceptional status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Riesling  (see blue link below) .

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

See also here for Decanter's assessment of Australian Riesling vintages (click blue link below).

Decanter Australian vintage summary

Clare Valley is one of Australia`s oldest wine regions and is probably best known for its Riesling wines. Polish Hill River is a sub-region one and a half hours drive north from Adelaide. Named after the Polish settlers of the mid 1800s, the climate is ideal for premium grape growing with a combination of consistently good winter rains, hot summers tempered by cool nights and a long ripening period.

Pauletts' reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly deserved with consistent skill and care from vintage to vintage. Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy oenology course in the early 1970s and spent a further ten years honing his winemaking skills at Penfolds before buying his own property in the Clare Valley. Located some 90 minutes north of Adelaide,this lovely property now extends to 150 hectares with 47 planted with vines. Since the first vintage in 1983 there have been many accolades both at home and internationally. These wines are a true reflection of the region and are of outstanding quality.

The Clare Valley yields one of the world`s great styles of Riesling. This youthful, aromatic, dry wine has intense mineral and floral aromas on the nose. These aromas follow through on the palate leading to flavours of lime, citrus and white blossom. Tropical fruits and citrus dominate the fresh, racy acidity and a distinct minerality comes through on the palate leaving a fantastic, clean finish.

This wine is a good choice to accompany seafood, especially prawn, crab, oysters and bass and mildly spiced Thai stir fry and seafood curries.

£13.15

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2014 (1x75cl)

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is shown by their Single Valley Lot/Valley Selection and Single Vineyard wines. The whole range encapsulates everything that Chile excels at: rich, vibrant flavours and smooth, glossy textures - and the wines deserve the multitude of gongs they have picked up in recent years. Well-travelled Kiwi winemaker, Brett Jackson, has settled in Chile and much of Valdivieso’s success in recent years can be credited to his talent.

100% Cabernet Franc.

The fruit comes from the La Rosa vineyard, situated in the DO of Sagrada Familia, itself in the Curicó Valley region. This vineyard is now 50 years old. The vineyards hare are all located in a small valley very close to the coastal mountain range. North-facing, it is protected from the cool-cold breezes that blow along the Mataquito River: this is a very warm place by Chilean vineyard standards. 

The grapes were harvested by hand in the third week of April.

The bunches go through a meticulous manual selection before being gently destemmed. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks over a period of 7 to 10 days at a controlled temperature of 26° to 28°C. The must in fermentation is pumped back over  the pomace layer (remontage/remontado) three times a day. The wine is left some 7 to 14 days in post-fermentative maceration to extract further colour and tannins. The wine is then stored for 12 months in French oak barrels (100%), 35% of which are new. 

Intense dark red color and of great aromatic complexity, especially at this price point. Aromas of red fruits (cherry, raspberry and plum), combines with a spicy peppery aroma and subtle notes of vanilla, bitter chocolate and black pepper. The fruit is thus well complemented with elegant species from the stay in barrels. Soft in texture, its structure is accompanied by round tannins. Ripe and rich on the palate, with good concentration of flavour and the elegant structure any serious Cabernet Franc should possess.

£15.35
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