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Caballo Loco 17 NV (1x75cl)

The winemaker's own technical sheets appear below (click blue links) - the Spanish inclusion may seem a little leftfield, but includes regional and other info that have yet to be put onto the English version

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - English

Caballo Loco 17 - fiche technique - Spanish

Valdivieso's top wine and stable star, the Caballo Loco is known around the world and each year changes merely its edition and, technically, not its vintage. It brings together every Cabollo Loco made since 1992 (the year of version 1), in what is, effectively, a solera system (as used for sherry and brandy de Jerez).

The idea for Caballo Loco was inspired by the legendary Ribera de Duero, Vega Sicilia Único Gran Reserva, which is produced using the solera method. This is the winemaking technique used for sherry and brandy de Jerez production, in which barrel-aged wines from different years are progressively and fractionally blended for reasons of both complexity and consistency.

The first Caballo Loco was produced in 1994 (Caballo Loco 1) and made from a blend of 50% of that year’s vintage with an aged blend from 1992. 

The resulting wine is bottle-aged for at least 18 months before release onto the market, and being a blend of wines from different years, there is, of course, no vintage on the label.

The grapes for the premium Caballo Loco come from four different vineyards in central Chile. The blend of the new wine varies each time it is made. Number 1 for example was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir, whilst later editions have contained varieties as diverse as Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carménère. Only Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are ever-present, these being blended with the best grapes from the other varieties that were most successful in the particular year (and best suited to create the intended balance of the Caballo Loco).

Each bottle of this version 17 therefore comprises:

- 50% version 16 and

- 50% of grapes from harvests from 2012 and 2013. New for version 17 was Carignan from Melozal (a sub-region of Maule) and Syrah from Limarí. This variety brings to the Caballo Loco another dimension of complexity, with balanced freshness and acidity.

The result is a wine of great concentration, quite unlike any other on the market. There is intense mature berry fruit on the nose and richness on the palate with velvety tannins, and so many layers of flavours that the wine is almost impossible to describe in detail. The secret blend of grapes from different vintages create intense aromas of dark cherry, coffee, and rich fruitcake. Full bodied on the palate with a beautiful lingering structure. 

It is a unique - some say crazy - wine, which is quite incomparable. It has great aromatic complexity and in the mouth, and an ageing potential of at least 10 years.

£33.75

Urlar Riesling 2016 (1x 75cl)

** CURRENTLY UK-EXCLUSIVE TO EXEL AND OFFERED FOR THE FIRST TIME HERE **

** THIS IS A PRE-ORDER ITEM. PLEASE CONTACT US TO DISCUSS A POSSIBLE ORDER. **

"Fragrant and feminine with aromas of sweet mandarin and red apple, some florals rose layers and fresh wet rock soil ideas. Dry on the palate with vibrant acidity then flavours of citrus – both lime and lemon, some barley sugar and apples. Wild flowers and honeysuckle, long finish, a great aperitif and very tasty wine. Drink now and through 2030".

94 Points, Cameron Douglas MW

 

"Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with taut and finely concentrated, bright aromas of lime fruit with subtle notes of white florals, honeysuckle and suggestions of toasty nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is tightly bound with an elegantly concentrated core of lime fruit, white florals and minerals with suggestions of honey and toast,  The palate is crisp with a fine-textured line of fruit extract and phenolics, with underlying thirst-quenching acidity.  The wine has very good linearity and carries to a long, lingering, soft-textured, dry finish.  This is a taut and finely concentrated dry Riesling with lime, floral and mouthwatering mineral flavours on a dry, textural palate with good linearity. Serve as an aperitif and with shellfish over the next 4-5 years.  Hand-picked fruit, WBP and cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 6.0 g/L RS, TA 8.2 g/L and pH 3.0.  Certified BioGro organic".  

18.0+/20, Raymond Chan, Dec 2017 

 

Proudly family-owned, Urlar Estate produces outstanding single vineyard wines using organic and biodynamic principles. Urlar is a Gaelic word that means “the Earth”. Their desire is to bring an abundance of life back to our ancient soils so that the drinker can discover the purity of flavour inherent in the land. Their journey from the highlands of Scotland to the stony soils and cool climate of Gladstone, Wairarapa has cemented a love for all things pure and true.

100% Riesling.

Only some 175 cases of this are made each year!

In the vineyard, in keeping with traditional techniques, the grapes were hand harvested with each bunch passing over a sorting table to ensure only the ripest of bunches were selected. The bunches were then gently pressed to avoid unattractive phenolics.

In the cellar, aromatic (German) yeasts - together with low fermentation temperatures - ensured the uniqueness of flavours from the site were captured. After a period on its lees (for 5 months) to add mid-palate weight and texture the wine was carefully filtered for bottling.

In homage to its stony origins, this dry styled Riesling has an underlying mineral thread throughout. Aromas include lime zest, granny smith apples and citrus which combine beautifully with a rich palate texture. A tight mineral thread runs the length of the palate making it delicious to drink now although cellaring for five years or more will be richly rewarded. It stands up well to lightly spiced tapas, Asian food and handles strong cheeses well.

Residual sugar is around 6-7g/litre - so on the cusp between dry and off-dry.

£14.50

Paul Jaboulet Aine Saint Joseph Le Grand Pompee 2016 (1x 75cl)

The winery was originally founded in 1834 by Antoine Jaboulet in the Northern Rhone Valley. This famous Rhone winery was bought by the Frey family in 2006. The Freys, owners of Chateau la Lagune in Bordeaux, saw the potential of the vineyards. They brought renewed energy to this corner of France. Since the takeover, Caroline Frey has successfully transformed the entire range, putting more emphasis on greater fruit expression and dramatically reducing the amount of new oak. The only way is up for this transformed domaine.

The name Le Grand Pompée comes from Victor Hugo’s novel Legende des Siecles. In the 9th century, the Grande Pompée – the faithful companion to Charlemagne – fought against the Moors on the right bank of the Rhône. A famous line from the book reads: “And wine, that wine beloved of the Grand Pompée.

100% Syrah. The grapes for this wine are de-stemmed, crushed and fermented at controlled temperatures. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak vats before release.

The Le Grand Pompée is deep ruby red in colour with violet hues. It has a rich and concentrated nose of very ripe red fruits, sweet spices and finishes with some liquorice notes. It is a harmonious wine with rounded tannins.

£22.55

Planeta Alastro Bianco 2017 (1x 75cl)

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

See blue link below for the excellent, 2017 fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Planeta.

Planeta Alastro 2017 - fiche technique

£13.10

Urlar Select Parcels Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (1x 75cl)

** CURRENTLY UK-EXCLUSIVE TO EXEL AND OFFERED FOR THE FIRST TIME HERE **

** THIS IS A PRE-ORDER ITEM. ORDERS WILL REACH CUSTOMERS IN LATE MAY OR FIRST WEEK OF JUNE. WE DO HAVE A VERY LIMITED AMOUNT OF SPARE STOCK INCOMING THEN THAT CAN BE ORDERED BELOW. FOR STOCK BEYOND THIS (ie you arrive to find the "Buy" button disabled), PLEASE CONTACT US TO DISCUSS A POSSIBLE ORDER. **

"Very attractive bouquet of both variety and sense of place – a mix of sweet citrus fruits and peaches with some barrel spice and lees layers. Dry, high acidity, layers of flavours and textures, spice and ripe fruit. Long detailed finish, complex, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2026".

95 points - Cameron Douglas, MW

 

"Bright straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim.  This has an elegant and slender nose with finely concentrated and softly presented aromas of green stonefruits, gooseberries, fresh herbs and subtle nutty nuances.  The aromatics build in intensity with aeration to show depth and presence, unfolding mineral notes.  Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has restrained flavours of green stonefruits and gooseberries, fresh herbs, hints of lanolin and nutty notes.  The palate is stylish in presentation with fine textures and balanced, lacy acidity.  The wine carries to an elegant, lingering, nuanced finish.  This is a stylish oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruit, gooseberry, herb and nutty flavours on a finely nuanced palate. Match with herb-marinated seafood and poultry dishes over the next 3 years.  Select vineyard parcels, given some skin contact and full barrel-fermented in seasoned French oak to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on less with some batonnage and partial MLF.  The wine is a barrel selection.  Certified BioGro organic".  

18.0/20 - Raymond Chan

 

"Full of personality, this is a weighty (14% abv), complex style of Sauvignon Blanc. Barrel-fermented and oak-aged for 10 month, it has concentrated, ripe, tropical fruit flavours, impressive complexity and a well-rounded, lasting finish".

 Michael Cooper (New Zealand's Listener magazine, March 2018)

Proudly family-owned, Urlar Estate produces outstanding single vineyard wines using organic and biodynamic principles. Urlar is a Gaelic word that means “the Earth”. Their desire is to bring an abundance of life back to our ancient soils so that the drinker can discover the purity of flavour inherent in the land. Their journey from the highlands of Scotland to the stony soils and cool climate of Gladstone, Wairarapa has cemented a love for all things pure and true.

See this blog on Urlar, especially regarding their organic credentials.

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

Urlar Select Parcels Sauvignon Blanc 2015 - fiche technique

£18.00

Wieninger Wiener Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

Fritz Wieninger is considered a pioneer of the “New Vienna” wine movement, combining a sense of modernity and progress with the traditions of the region and of his family, who have been making wine for over 100 years. “I try to use the numerous facets of my grape material,” Fritz says. “To be able to show the differences in site and vintage and to get the character of the vineyard into the bottle – this is my greatest challenge.”

This wine is a blend of Riesling grown in both Bisamberg and Nussberg. 25% of the grapes are sourced from Bisamberg, where the soil is sandy loess, and the remaining 75% is grown on the limestone chalky soils of Nussberg. Blending fruit from these contrasting sites adds depth and complexity to the final wine.

2016 was a difficult vintage. April experienced extreme frosts and hail storms, which resulted in a large percentage of crop loss. The following summer was wet, which caused high disease incidence. Luckily, weather in early autumn was far more favourable resulting in good quality fruit with balanced acidity and powerful aromatics.

Once at the winery, a period of maceration took place for five hours and the grapes were gently pressed. Temperature controlled, cool fermentation occurred using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness and purity. The wine aged on fine lees for approximately three months in order to add roundness to the wine. No oak was used in the winemaking process and bottling took place in January.

The wine is fragrant, fresh and shows complexity. The palate is elegant, light and tasty with a vibrant acidic structure. The subtle spice and citrus freshness make this wine an ideal companion for classic Austrian cuisine.

£15.60
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