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Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir 2010 (Single Vineyard) (1x75cl)

Established in 1992, the Dicey family owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn region of Central Otago on the famous Felton Road and have acquired land over the last ten years to build up to over 40 hectares, including six single vineyard sites. Their portfolio vineyards spans Central Otago from Gibbston to Lowburn Valley and on to Bendigo home still under Mount Difficulty at Bannockburn.

Central Otago provides New Zealand’s only continental climate, combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Bannockburn area, in particular, is one of the few sites outside of Burgundy that lends itself to the growing of the pernickety Pinot Noir grape; Mt Difficulty craft wines in the Burgundian style whilst stamping the uniqueness of the terroir to produce structured and serious wines. Not content with growing superb Pinot Noir, they are also known for their aromatic whites and grape varieties such as their grower series Lowburn Chardonnay and Estate Chenin Blanc.

Winemaker-in-chief Matt Dicey has a lifelong association with the wine industry and is a fourth-generation vigneron. After achieving a Masters Degree in Oenology and Viticulture, Matt spent four years gaining experience overseas.

As with all New Zealand wines, Mt Difficulty adhere to strict sustainability practices and constantly strive towards organic production.

Mount Difficulty is the name on the leading wines. The ‘second label’ is named Roaring Meg; these wines are produced in a more fruit-driven, early-drinking style and have become a mainstay of the Mt Difficulty stable since their introduction in 2003.

See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Mt Difficulty.

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir 2010 - fiche technique

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.

The single vineyard wines and are made in limited quantities and are not produced every year. This wine has the distinctive classic Pipeclay cherry and blackberry with a slight spice kick and lovely light violet floral notes. Rich and sensuous mid palate the wine finishes strongly with a combination of fruit and finely grained structured tannins.

£45.65

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

** ONLY ~80 BOTTLES REMAIN UNTIL END OF VINTAGE ON UK STOCKS **

Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The 2010 vintage of this wine was a huge hit when it featured in Decanter (www.decanter.com) recently, being awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of Australian Rieslings. The 2014 vintage scored 98 points and was rated Outstanding (see blue links below).

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

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

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

Planeta Eruzione Bianco 1614 Carricante 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2019 review - Italy's best whites for food (see blue link below).

Planeta Eruzione Bianco 1614 Carricante 2017 - May 2019 Decanter review

As sampled at Exel Wines' November 2018 tasting. See here for the report of that evening.

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.

This wine is made using 90% Carricante, 10% Riesling.

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

Planeta Eruzione 1614 Carricante 2017 - fiche technique

£22.75

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.

£15.30

Valdivieso Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (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.

Grapes here are obtained from the Chada vineyard, located in the Maipo Valley. This valley, more than any other of the Chilean valleys, is recognized for producing high quality Cabernet Sauvignon wines. The hot summers and soft autumns contribute to obtain an optimum maturity, where the fruit develops great aromas, powerful structure, soft tannins and all the characteristic elegance of the Cabernet Sauvignon from this Chilean terroir.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Harvest is by hand in the last week of April. The bunches go through a meticulous manual selection and are then gently destemmed. The fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, taking some 7 to 10 days at a controlled temperature of 26° to 28°C. The must is pumped back over the pomace three times during the day. The wine stays 7 to 14 days in post-fermentative maceration to extract the best colour and tannins available. The wine is stored for 12 months in French oak barrels, of which 35% are new.

Deep ruby ​​red with violet tints. Complex in the nose. Fruit aromas are of ripe blacks fruits, especially blackberries and black cherries. Menthol notes are mixed with subtle spices like vanilla, cinnamon and coffee. Elegant on the palate: full bodied, structured with marked but silky tannins. The fruit is balanced with a rich acidity that imparts fine longevity to the wine.

All told, an excellent, well-balanced Chilean Cabernet.

£15.35
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