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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.

£31.80

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.

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 Pompee 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.

£21.30

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

£12.50

Wieninger Wiener Riesling 2016 (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.

£14.45

Paul Jaboulet Aine Crozes Hermitage Rouge Les Jalets 2016 (1x 75cl)

Since the early 19th Century, Paul Jaboulet Ainé has been synonymous with quality wine in the Rhône Valley. Jaboulet’s Hermitages - white and red - and most of their upper wines - are the stuff of legend. The 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 and to one of its greatest names.

The name Les Jalets comes from the soil nature of the vineyards, located in the plain of Les Chassis, stemming from the word jalets,  is the Old French word for the pebbles left by alpine glaciers, as famously found at Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Average vine age is around 25 years. 

100% Syrah. Grapes were destemmed, crushed and subject to a thermo-regulated alcoholic fermentation then vattied over 3 weeks. Ageing/elevage  was in old French oak vats for 12 months.

Bright ruby red in colour with a violet hue. Round and concentrated. This fruit-driven red Crozes Hermitage is a classic. It shows the real typicity of the area (red berries, liquorice, spices, peppers). On the nose, it is intense but approachable, with perfumes of red berries and a touch of spice. On the palate, it is smooth and rich, with more liquorice on the finish.

£20.25

Trimbach Riesling Reserve 2016 (1x 75cl)

Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

The “Réserve” quality is the result of a rigorous selection of fully-ripe grapes from the Ribeauvillé region. It defines a structured, balanced wine, which is both fruity and subtle.

White flowers, lemon notes and minerality touch on the nose. Fresh and vibrant, grapefruit and citrus, white peach, this wine has a long finish which is a sign of a beautiful future for the wine. This elegant Riesling, dry and precise, is a worthy accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes. It pairs well with sauerkraut, fish (fried, grilled, smoked, in a sauce, raw…), and white meats. The best vintages can be kept for ten years.

£18.55
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