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Valdivieso Valley Selection (Single Valley Lot) Chardonnay, Gran Reserva 2016 (1x75cl)

Naming note: this wine has been available under two different names, hence the bracketed title(!), despite being the same wine. It was previously badged as the Single Valley Lot, but has now joined the fleet of Valley Selection wines from Valdivieso. Technically, the new label is entitled to draw grapes from a slightly wider area of the Leyda Valley, although we believe it will make almost no noticeable change to the wine.

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.

Based in Lontué in the Curicó Valley, Valdivieso has a wealth of vineyards and the quality of their terroirs is best 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.

100% Chardonnay.

The vineyards are located in one of the coldest areas of the Leyda Valley. Because of this proximity to the sea, the coastal haze is more prolonged during the day exerting all the coastal influence of the valley. Under these conditions the fruit ripens slowly, maintaining its natural acidity and the delicate citrus aromas of Chardonnay.

Harvest is by hand in the first week of April. Grape bunches go through a meticulous selection and are then pressed directly. 50% of the volume is fermented in stainless steel tanks, and the other 50% is fermented in French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation is not not allowed to occur, thereby preserving immediate fruit and acidity. The wine is stored for 12 months in French oak barrels (50%) and stainless steel tanks (50%).

Attractive and brilliant yellow green colour. Intense aromatic profile, pineapples, lemon rind and grapefruit with soft vanilla notes. Lively, crisp and refreshing acidity with citric flavours, full bodied, and a long, ripe finish. 

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.20

Valdivieso Valley Selection (Single Valley Lot) Viognier, Gran Reserva 2018 (1x75cl)

Naming note: this wine has been available under two different names, hence the bracketed title(!), despite being the same wine. It was previously badged as the Single Valley Lot, but has now joined the fleet of Valley Selection wines from Valdivieso. Technically, the new label is entitled to draw grapes from a slightly wider area of the Curico Valley, although we believe it will make almost no noticeable change to the wine.

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.

Please click the blue link below to see an excellent information sheet from Valdivieso themselves.

Valdivieso Valley Selection Viognier 2015 - fiche technique

Viognier 100%.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.30

Planeta Mamertino DOC 2017 (1x75cl)

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

The 2015 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition article on Sicily (see blue link below).

Planeta Mamertino 2015 - May 2018 Decanter review

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.

For this particular wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Planeta.

Planeta Mamertino 2016 - fiche technique

60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Nocera.

Brilliant, intense ruby colour with dark violet reflexes. Explosive nose with notes of Mediterranian maquis, blue fruits and jammy berries. On the palate thick but refined tannins, well integrated with the oak.

ABV = 13.5%.

£20.65

Valdivieso Valley Selection (Single Valley Lot) Merlot, Gran Reserva 2018 (1x75cl)

Naming note: this wine has been available under two different names, hence the bracketed title(!), despite being the same wine. It was previously badged as the Single Valley Lot, but has now joined the fleet of Valley Selection wines from Valdivieso. Technically, the new label is entitled to draw grapes from a slightly wider area of the Rapel Valley, although we believe it will make almost no noticeable change to the wine.

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 for this wine are situated in the Rapel Valley sub-region of Chile's Central Valley where the hot, dry summers allow the grapes to ripen steadily before being harvested. These conditions deliver grapes with soft and silky tannins, distinctive aromas of currants and nuts.

Bright dark red with slight violet reflections. Aroma of fresh red fruits, cherry, plum and spicy notes. Soft and elegant, with silky tannins that deliver good volume and structure. Sweet and rich plum fruit with just a small hint of spice. It is full bodied with hints of cocoa and vanilla.

100% Merlot.

This is a rich and sumptuous Merlot at an incredible price.

ABV = 13.5%.

£12.25

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage (not yet available in the UK) was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - July 2019 Decanter review

"Moderately weighty and flavoursome Sauvignon Blanc with rock melon, guava and capsicum flavours. Soft, fruity acidity, with a silken texture and just a hint of sweetness. Impressive purity." 

92 Points, Bob Campbell, MW, 14 Feb 2018

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 Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - fiche technique

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Hand harvested from the Templars Hill Vineyard in the Bannockburn area of Central Otago. The grapes are gently pressed and cold fermented in stainless steel and left on its lees for two months to retain maximum varietal fruit character and complexity. Herbaceous aromas combine with ripe gooseberry on the nose. The palate is full of citrus and grapefruit flavours intermingled with cut grass and a long tropical fruit finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.75

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - July 2019 Decanter review 

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.

For this wine, a NZSB with a definite twist (light use of oak), see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Mt Difficulty.

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

A combination of the warm ripening season and various fermentation techniques has resulted in a multi-faceted wine which faces off with lemon curd, white blossom, a hint of passionfruit and a backdrop of dried hay. Plush citrus notes introduce the wine before moving into a broadly textured mid-palate. A lovely acid line interplays with lemon rind and wild flowers on the finish. This wine is ideal for summer evening drinking.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.75
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