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Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2017 (1x75cl)

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Charles Smith.

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Merlot 2017 - fiche technique

The maker says: "When Hollywood’s surprise hit Sideways suddenly spawned anti-Merlot sentiments everywhere, Charles set out to rebuff the movie’s unflattering depiction of this great varietal. One sip of this bold, sultry creation and you’ll know he succeeded at making Merlot sexy again".

More traditionally put: This wine is made by Charles Smith, a self–taught winemaker who brings his rock and roll spirit to the vineyards of Walla Walla, Washington. As a romantic young man, Charles Smith moved across the world to Denmark to follow his love for his girlfriend at the time. In Scandinavia, he became a recognized manager for rock bands such as The Raveonettes. While travelling on the road with these bands, he developed his passion for wine. In 1999, he moved back to Washington, opened a wine store and became friendly with a French winemaker, later convincing him to move to Walla Walla to make wine together.

The aromas are that of cherry, cedar and black cherry, with an intense cherry, blackberry and some tobacco on the finish which is clean and lingers for a full mouth feel.

89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec.

Letting this wine sit in the glass for 10 to 15 minutes will help to enhance the flavors and bring out the aromas while burning off any surface alcohol. The best foods to pair with this wine are lamb chops, steaks, pork chops, beef stew and hearty soups. This wine can also be enjoyed by itself due to its rich velvety texture on the palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£16.05

Columbia Valley Syrah Chateau Ste Michelle 2017 (1x75cl)

Please click on this link to see a most informative video about this wine which has been made by Ray McKee, red winemaker at Chateau Ste Michelle.

"Great wine can only come from Italy or California" was the misconception Chateau Ste Michelle’s founding fathers set out to prove wrong when they first broke ground and pioneered the Washington wine region, shortly after the repeal of Prohibition in the USA. They have certainly opened our eyes to some of the wonderful wines that Washington State has to offer.  Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one for red and one for white. The whites are made at the Chateau in Woodinville, WA, while the reds are made at their Canoe Ridge Estate winery in Eastern Washington.

100% Syrah.

To read Chateau Ste Michelle's excellent tasting note and information on this wine please click on the blue link below.

Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Syrah 2017 - fiche technique

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.20

Ore Winery, Dundee Hills AVA Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

Ore Winery produces small batch wines from grapes sourced from some of Oregon’s top vineyards. Established in 2012 by Mike Wenrick, Ore Winery produced 400 bottles of Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir in our first year.  Since production was so limited, great attention was given to the winemaking process. Ore wines are produced and bottled at the SE Wine Collective on SE Division Street in Portland, Oregon.  Since  2012, Ore Winery has grown production steadily to around 300 cases per year. Mike’s winemaking philosophy is simple: start with a perfect ingredient, Oregon’s best wine grapes and honour the individuality of the grape throughout the winemaking process. 

From the heart of Pinot Noir country. Maresh Vineyard is a historic and highly sought-after Oregon vineyard within the Dundee Hills AVA and Willamette Valley (an AVA being the US erquivalent of France's AOC/AOPs and Italy's DOCs and DOCGs), established by one of the first families to plant Pinot Noir in Oregon.

100% (Maresh Vineyard) Pinot Noir from a 1/3 acre, experimental block planted in 2000 just north of the historic vineyard with a mix of Dijon, Pommard and Wadenswil clones.  It is tasting great now and will cellar well. 

Clone: Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 115, 667 and 777.

Barrels/cooperage: French oak: 33% new, 33% young and 33% neutral.

Production: 90 cases (!!).

Fermentation: wild yeast fermentation.

The 2016 vintage is Mike's favourite wine made to date. It has an intense nose of savoury burnt herbs that gives way to a palate of crushed plum, rich mushroom earthiness and a super luscious tannin. Intriguing aromas of herb and tomato leaf in this Oregon Pinot Noir, followed by lovely, rich flavours of earth, mushroom and crushed plum.

ABV = 13.0%.

£49.20

Orin Swift Machete 2017 (1x 75cl)

The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, so in 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of Zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the brand to what it is today.

Syrah 45%, Petite Sirah 40%, Grenache 15%.

To see the winemaker's infomation and tasting notes for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Orin Swift Machete 2017 - fiche technique

ABV = 15.2%.

£51.10

Seghesio Zinfandel 2017 (1x75cl)

Now owned by Crimson Wine Group, who own Pine Ridge, Seghesio remains focused on its family roots with Ted Seghesio making better wines than ever before. The astonishing concentration of flavours that Seghesio achieve in their wines can be attributed to the age of the vineyards, some of which were established as far back as 1895. Italian consultant Alberto Antonini has assisted in improving the quality of their Sangiovese (which is sourced from the oldest vineyards of the variety in California) and his influence can also be seen in the ripe, juicy, approachable style of Zinfandel that has become Seghesio's hallmark. Displaying freshness, purity of fruit, balance and elegance that can be difficult to achieve with the variety, the Seghesio Zinfandels have scooped trophies and Gold medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine Challenge for a number of recent years. Although best known for their reds, Seghesio also produces a delicious Arneis, another traditional Italian variety, which is sealed under Stelvin to retain its superb aromatic character.

Grapes were primarily estate-grown from the Home Ranch, River Road, Lone Oak and San Lorenzo vineyards in Alexander Valley, and the Cortina vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. Aggressive hand canopy management was maintained throughout the season. Yield management techniques were employed to ensure even ripening and to keep crop loads in balance.

2015 was equal measures of good and bad weather. Drought early in the season threatened grape set and winegrowers were fearful there wouldn’t be enough water to support the vegetative cycle. But rains in February and April helped to counter this coupled with warm sunny weather during late summer and early autumn. Harvest began early in August and despite lower yields showed great aromatic and flavour potential.

During fermentation the must was divided into three parts and each was vinified in a different way. 20% of the grapes were punched-down by hand in small open-top fermenters, 60% went under pump-over fermentation in closed-top stainless steel tanks with delestage and the remaining 20% was fermented in stainless steel rotary-tank. Fermentation on the skins lasted 7-12 days. The wine was barrel aged for 9 months in 60% American oak (of which 12% was new), 40% neutral French oak and neutral Hungarian oak. 

85% Zinfandel , 9% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah/Shiraz, 3% Carignano/Carignan.

Full of the spicy, lush black fruit of the Alexander Valley. Wild raspberry and blackberry flavours emerge on the palate along with the structure of the cooler Dry Creek Valley. Balanced and elegant.

ABV = 15.0%.

£24.95

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON WEDNESDAY. **

The 2017 vintage (not yet available) was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 article on Stag's Leap (see blue link below).

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

Considered one of the “first growths” of Napa Valley, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars produces renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards. Founded in 1970, the winery brought international recognition to California winemaking and the Napa Valley when the 1973 SLV Cabernet Sauvignon won the now famous 1976 Paris Tasting, also known as the “Judgment of Paris.” Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ three estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons - CASK 23, SLV and FAY - are among the most highly regarded and collected Cabernet Sauvignons worldwide.

The story of CASK 23 began during the harvest of 1974. Back then, the winery enlisted the help of celebrated winemaker André Tchelistcheff. As he tasted through various lots of new wines from that year, one lot from S.L.V. was so beautiful and deliciously distinct the winery decided it should be bottled separately. It was named CASK 23 for the large wooden cask in which it was aged. Today, the wine is a blend of the most distinctive fruit from the S.L.V and FAY vineyards, resulting in a wine of extraordinary depth and richness balanced by restraint. Over the years, CASK 23 has become one of the most highly regarded and collected wines worldwide.

CASK 23 is a tale of two vineyards that come together in a harmonious blend. For the 2016 offering, 52% of the fruit is from S.L.V. (blocks 3B, 2A) and 48% is from FAY Vineyard (blocks 7A, 7B, 10A, 3A, 5C3, 9, 12A). Specific blocks within these adjoining ranches provide distinct attributes to the wine. Vines planted in volcanic soils on the eastern hillsides of S.L.V. and FAY give CASK 23 its structure, concentration, spicy intensity and elegant tannins; those grown in the alluvial soils in the middle and lower sections of the two vineyards add vibrant fruit flavors, a supple mid-palate and perfumed aromatics. After malolactic fermentation, the lees were stirred daily for several months to add richness to the wine. Each lot was vinified and aged separately for the first year allowing the characteristics of each block to develop, while adding subtle spice notes. In the second year of aging, the lots were blended together to let the flavors harmonize, becoming one in CASK 23. Overall, the wine was aged in small new French oak barrels for 21 months.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The deep purple-black colored barrel sample of 2016 Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon features compelling, youthful notes of freshly crushed red and black currants, black cherries, kirsch and mocha with nuances of Marmite toast, roasted nuts, underbrush and truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a very firm frame of super ripe tannins supporting the multilayered flavors, finishing on an epically long, lingering fragrant earth note. Beautiful.

ABV = 14.5%. 

£273.00

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Fay Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON WEDNESDAY. **

The 2017 vintage (not yet available) was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 article on Stag's Leap (see blue link below).

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Fay Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

Considered one of the “first growths” of Napa Valley, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars produces renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards. Founded in 1970, the winery brought international recognition to California winemaking and the Napa Valley when the 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon won the now famous 1976 Paris Tasting, also known as the “Judgment of Paris.” Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ three estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons-CASK 23, S.L.V. and FAY-are among the most highly regarded and collected Cabernet Sauvignons worldwide.

The FAY vineyard is where the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars story began. Established by pioneering grape grower Nathan Fay in 1961, it was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in what is now the Stags Leap District. At the time, conventional wisdom maintained that the area was too cool for Cabernet Sauvignon. But tasting Nathan Fay’s homemade Cabernet in 1969 was a defining moment for the founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Here was land capable of producing a wine that could rival the best in the world. Within a year an adjoining ranch, now known as S.L.V., was purchased. And, in 1986, the winery purchased Nathan Fay’s vineyard and named it FAY in his honor. The first vintage of a single vineyard FAY Cabernet Sauvignon was 1990.

FAY vineyard remains one the great Napa Valley vineyards, producing fruit with an abundance of supple red and black berry character, voluptuous perfume and a luscious, fine-grained texture. Almost three quarters of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the 2016 blend comes from blocks in the lower and middle sections of the FAY vineyard, which give the wine its classic red-fruit tones and aromatic top notes. The balance was sourced from the upper section (eastern blocks) of FAY, which tends to be more powerful and lends structure to the wine. When the various lots are blended and aged in French oak barrels, the resulting wine gives us the classic expression that is a hallmark of our estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, “an iron fist in a velvet glove.”

Although bud-break in Napa Valley was early in 2016, the season was much cooler than normal. We didn’t get the usual high heat in July and August, which provided for a longer hang time for the grapes. Overall, quality was high and particularly at our FAY and S.L.V. estate vineyards. The grapes in FAY and S.L.V. ripened uniformly and while yields were a bit lower than average, the flavors were great, and the tannins were soft and supple. The harvest was smooth and progressed from varietal to varietal with the Sauvignon Blanc coming in first, then the Chardonnay, and time in between to transition to the reds. In late September, we started bringing in Cabernet Sauvignon from across the valley for our ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon and it was interesting that the grapes – all the way from the cooler Coombsville area up to the warmer parts of St. Helena – ripened at the same time. We completed the Cabernet harvest in October.

With this vintage, Winemaker Marcus Notaro used careful barrel selection to marry the unique characters of FAY vineyard to the barrel type and toast level to further enhance the fruit in the wine. In addition, he added 2% Cabernet Franc to the blend for the first time which adds an accent of blueberry spice. This is first crop of Cabernet Franc, which replaced the Petite Verdot that was originally planted in FAY.

98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc. 

Generous and inviting, the 2016 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon has vibrant aromas of ripe raspberry, blueberry spice, and boysenberry with a touch of nutmeg. The palate is loaded with blueberry and black cherry flavors wrapped around soft and silky tannins. Bright berry notes linger on the persistent finish. Try pairing this estate-grown Cabernet with Maitake mushroom risotto, maple-glazed salmon or grilled buffalo burgers with caramelized onion & Havarti cheese.

ABV = 14.5%.

£155.85

Stags Leap Wine Cellars SLV Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS HELD IN NO OR LOW STOCK BUT IS QUICKLY BROUGHT IN TO ORDER. ORDERS PLACED BY 9am EACH MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH ON WEDNESDAY. **

The 2017 vintage (not yet at the UK importer) was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 article on Stag's Leap (see blue link below).

Stags Leap Wine Cellars SLV 2017 - October 2020 Decanter review

Considered one of the “first growths” of Napa Valley, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars produces renowned Cabernet Sauvignon from its historic Stags Leap District estate vineyards. Founded in 1970, the winery brought international recognition to California winemaking and the Napa Valley when the 1973 SLV. Cabernet Sauvignon won the now famous 1976 Paris Tasting, also known as the “Judgment of Paris.” Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ three estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons - CASK 23, SL. and FAY - are among the most highly regarded and collected Cabernet Sauvignons worldwide.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The 2014 SLV Cabernet Sauvignon offers generous aromas of cocoa powder, graphite, blackberry and baking spice. A broad, silky entry fills the mouth with dark berry fruit and dark chocolate flavors. The palate is rich and concentrated with round tannins that are present but enjoyable and inviting. The wines structured tannins, rich fruit, and pleasing minerality point to this wine’s ability to age.

Enjoy with Osso Buco, filet mignon or a hearty wild mushroom risotto.

ABV = 14.5%.

£156.00
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