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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

De Loach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

** FOR ORDERS LARGER THAN STOCK SHOWING BELOW, WE HAVE MORE STOCK ARRIVING ON WEDS 29th JULY. **

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.

The Pinot Noir is sourced from four vineyard sites across the Russian River: the BCD Vineyard, the Becnel Vineyard, the Heintz Vineyard and the Murray Vineyard. Each of these Russian River Valley Vineyards contributes their unique complexities to the final blend. The vines are grown on Huichica clay loam soils.

Crafted using traditional Burgundian techniques, the grapes were hand-sorted then fermented in small vats with all punch-downs done by hand. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels (25% new oak) to create a complex, multi-layered Pinot Noir.

Please click the blue link below to see a full tasting note for this wine from De Loach themselves.

De Loach Russian River Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Noir.

The 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir opens with inviting aromas of raspberry, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. Silky on the palate, the wine offers flavours of strawberry, rhubarb, clove and plum. It is well balanced with moderate tannins and bright acidity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£22.75

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

Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of 2014 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

The yet-to-be-released-in-the-UK 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition review of 2015 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, is one of the Napa Valley’s pioneering estates. The Raymond family arrived in Napa in 1933 and have become deeply connected to the valley’s winemaking origins. In 1970, they established a 36 hectare estate in Rutherford, which now comprises 121 hectares in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon. Raymond’s Rutherford and St. Helena estate vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic; and 100% of the winery’s power comes from renewable solar energy. Five generations of the Raymond family have created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, opulence and complexity.

In honour of the Raymond family’s first harvest in 1974, 40 years of exceptional wines are celebrated with the 2014 Napa Valley Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage in Napa Valley was one of the earliest harvested vintages in years. A warm spring led to early bud break and created the perfect environment for flowering and fruit set. With warm days and cool nights, the ideal balance of acidity with optimum, bright fruit flavours was achieved.

The grapes for the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from the vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, as well as select nearby growers. The estate vineyards are located on gravelly alluvial fan soils with good drainage, necessary for growing excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are diligently monitored throughout the growing season to balance the crop size and quality. Shoot thinning and leaf removal early in the growing season, followed by cluster thinning at véraison, help to achieve evenly ripened grapes with concentrated flavours.

The 2016 vintage across California was a near-perfect growing season. A mild winter and spring led to a steady mild July and August, followed by warm days at the end of the season for the perfect ripeness. With warm days and cool nights in the summer, grape growers were able to maintain ideal acid levels with balanced, concentrated fruit flavors.

This wine spent between 21 and 63 days on the skins, then was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, of which 30% was new. The balance was aged in twice and thrice used French oak. The final blend includes a small proportion of additional varieties for added depth and complexity. The wine was bottled unfiltered, contributing greater texture and presence to the mid palate.

With inviting aromas of dark spices and currants that mingle with fresh raspberry and blueberry, the round and plush entry is complemented by toasted oak and a fruit compote creating a velvety texture. Flavours of dark berry fruits and spice continue through to the long and rich finish creating a wine of great density.

Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Petit Verdot 4%, Merlot 3%, Malbec 2% and Petite Sirah 1%

ABV = 15.0%.

£39.25

Raymond Vineyards Reserve Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2018 edition review of 2014 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2014 - April 2018 Decanter review

The yet-to-be-released-in-the-UK 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 edition review of 2015 Californian Cabernet Sauvignon (see blue link below).

Raymond Reserve CS 2015 - Nov 2018 Decanter review

Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, is one of the Napa Valley’s pioneering estates. The Raymond family arrived in Napa in 1933 and have become deeply connected to the valley’s winemaking origins. In 1970, they established a 36 hectare estate in Rutherford, which now comprises 121 hectares in Rutherford, St. Helena and Jameson Canyon. Raymond’s Rutherford and St. Helena estate vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic; and 100% of the winery’s power comes from renewable solar energy. Five generations of the Raymond family have created a Napa icon, with an enduring reputation for elegant wines with a beautiful balance of finesse, opulence and complexity.

In honour of the Raymond family’s first harvest in 1974, 40 years of exceptional wines are celebrated with the 2014 Napa Valley Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 vintage in Napa Valley was one of the earliest harvested vintages in years. A warm spring led to early bud break and created the perfect environment for flowering and fruit set. With warm days and cool nights, the ideal balance of acidity with optimum, bright fruit flavours was achieved.

The grapes for the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were sourced from the vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena, as well as select nearby growers. The estate vineyards are located on gravelly alluvial fan soils with good drainage, necessary for growing excellent quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are diligently monitored throughout the growing season to balance the crop size and quality. Shoot thinning and leaf removal early in the growing season, followed by cluster thinning at véraison, help to achieve evenly ripened grapes with concentrated flavours.

The 2016 vintage across California was a near-perfect growing season. A mild winter and spring led to a steady mild July and August, followed by warm days at the end of the season for the perfect ripeness. With warm days and cool nights in the summer, grape growers were able to maintain ideal acid levels with balanced, concentrated fruit flavors.

This wine spent between 21 and 63 days on the skins, then was aged for 19 months in 100% French oak, of which 30% was new. The balance was aged in twice and thrice used French oak. The final blend includes a small proportion of additional varieties for added depth and complexity. The wine was bottled unfiltered, contributing greater texture and presence to the mid palate.

With inviting aromas of dark spices and currants that mingle with fresh raspberry and blueberry, the round and plush entry is complemented by toasted oak and a fruit compote creating a velvety texture. Flavours of dark berry fruits and spice continue through to the long and rich finish creating a wine of great density.

Cabernet Sauvignon 90%, Petit Verdot 4%, Merlot 3%, Malbec 2% and Petite Sirah 1%

ABV = 15.0%.

£39.25

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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