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Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter in their January 2020 edition article, Top Washington (State) Buys (see blue link below).

Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2017 - January 2020 Decanter review

As the maker puts it: "It takes an unconventional winemaker to make a totally unexpected dry Riesling. One night, Charles was eating Chinese takeout and watching a fight scene in a notorious martial arts film when he had an idea: a killer white wine made to be paired with Asian food. Just like that, Kung Fu Girl was born. And it’s been kicking ass and taking names ever since".

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.

Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling grapes comes from Evergreen Vineyard vines, where they stretch across the steep cliffs overlooking the Colombia River. This makes for ideal Riesling growing conditions that rival those in Germany. This wine is made from 100% Riesling grapes, carefully cultivated and pressed at the winery. The wine is barrel-aged for only 2 months (using the sur lie method, ie leaving the wine on its fine lees). Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling is crafted to be approachable and ready to drink the day you buy it.

The wine is a party in a glass. Young and fun, bright balance and tropical fruit notes make this an easy introduction to the world of Riesling. White stone fruit, apricot and white peach aromas with honeysuckle undertones make it a stand out. These flavours are balanced with elements of lime zest, citrus blossom and a floral hint of jasmine.

This wine would pair well with any number of foods. It can very easily be enjoyed on its own but Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling is a match made in heaven with Korean BBQ, spicy curry any kind of Thai food and sushi. Snow crab, lobster, prawns, roasted chicken or grilled salmon would also pair well.

100% Riesling.

Residual sugar = 12.8g/litre (ie off-dry; there is a slight error on the tech sheet, as confirmed by the producer).

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Charles Smith Wines, please click on the blue link below.

Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2018 - fiche technique

ABV = 12.0%.

£16.05

De Loach Heritage Reserve Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

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. 

For the 'Heritage Collection' series, Russian River Valley wines are combined with those from selected premier cool-climate growing regions in California, particularly the Central Coast, to produce an approachable, good value range. De Loach practises sustainable viticulture and minimally intrusive winemaking.

After moderate temperatures through the long growing season, California’s 2018 harvest was exceptional. Harvest was later than in 2017 due to consistent growing conditions and cooler temperatures, which allowed the grapes to mature slowly and be harvested at a high quality.

100% Chardonnay.

The majority of the must was cool fermented in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures, to retain the fresh fruit flavours in the finished wine. The remaining fruit was barrel fermented, which produced a more richly textured wine. These wines were then blended together to produce a balanced, textured and fruit-forward wine.

This wine displays notes of orange blossom, pear and melon with herbaceous undertones. Immediately enjoyable, this wine is delightfully balanced with bright acidity and softness on the palate.

ABV = 13.5%.

£14.35

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Weekday Wines(see blue link below).

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016 - May 2019 Decanter review

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 cool, foggy Russian River Valley climate allows for slow ripening, ideal for Chardonnay to develop full flavour maturation. The fruit was hand harvested from select sites in the heart of the valley including the Boriolo and BCD vineyards, as well as from the Norris and Wallace vineyards nestled in the Chalk Hill region.

The juice was fermented in a combination of stainless steel tanks (40%) and French oak barrels (60%), of which 10% were new. The barrel-fermented portion of wine was aged for nine months and achieved full malolactic conversion. These techniques contributed to a wellbalanced wine with bright acidity and a rich, round mouthfeel.

100% Chardonnay.

This wine is pale straw yellow in colour, the nose of this Chardonnay immediately entices you with its rich aromas of vanilla and baked apple pie. It is lively with vibrant acidity that supports a medium-bodied frame of lemon marmalade and plenty of length, with touches of nutmeg.

ABV = 14.5%.

£20.90

Far Niente Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

** THIS WINE IS BOUGHT IN TO SPECIFIC CUSTOMER ORDER - WE DO NOT HOLD FREE STOCK. ORDERS PLACED BY 9 AM EACH MONDAY WILL BE MET WITH STOCK ARRIVING WITH US ON THE SAME WEDNESDAY FOR DESPATCH (and thus should be with UK customers by the weekend). **

The 2017 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their June 2019 panel tasting of Premium Californian Chardonnay (see blue link below).

Far Niente Chardonnay 2017 - June 2019 Decanter review

See also the techical note from the producer (click blue link below).

Far Niente Chardonnay 2018 - fiche technique

Far Niente, one of the earliest stone wineries, derives its name from the Italian phrase "Dolce Far Niente" (how sweet it is to do nothing). It was founded in 1885 and flourished until prohibition. Abandoned for over 60 years, the winery was purchased in 1979 by Gil Nickel. He started the long process of restoring it. Far Niente's quest to produce outstanding wines of distinctive character has led them to a philosophy that requires vineyard ownership. Today, they own 200 acres (3 different vineyard sites) of what many regard as some of the finest vineyard land in the Napa Valley.

Far Niente Chardonnay is a blend of superlative Napa Valley vineyards, many of which are located in a little-known area called Coombsville, a cool growing region nestled in the rolling countryside and protected by the hills east of the city of Napa. Coombsville offers the characteristic climate of Carneros, with less wind, along with deeper, well-drained gravelly loam and volcanic ash soils. The combination of these spectacular vineyards results in the subtle, tropical flavours, complex aromas and uncommon richness that we have long associated with Far Niente Chardonnay.

The 2018 season started out with dry conditions and low snowpack in January, but February and March brought heavy and much needed rains. Budbreak and flowering followed slightly later than in the previous vintages, but the moderate spring weather ensured an even set and abundant crop. Summer saw relatively mild temperatures with plenty of sunshine; the warm days were coupled with cool nights and foggy mornings. The Chardonnay harvest finally began just after ‘Labor Day’, and steadily continued for five weeks. Beautiful sunshine and moderate heat at harvest allowed the large crop to reach optimal flavour maturity with only gradual increases in sugar levels.

The grapes were brought to the winery in small bins and sorted by hand to assure the finest quality. Fermentation began in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and 85% was racked into French oak barrels to complete fermentation in the caves and old stone cellars. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation and was aged for 10 months on its fine lees for additional depth, complexity and texture. The maturation took place in French oak barrels (50% new, 50% used once).

This wine is 100% Chardonnay.

Aromas of citrus, melon and honeysuckle complement hints of white fig, gardenia and toasted hazelnuts on a background of mild toasted oak that adds supportive warmth and richness. A silky palate with a rich texture surrounds a sweet core of melon and citrus, with notes of white floral and toasted vanilla and spice, through to a long bright finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£62.20

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Aveta Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (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 2018 vintage (not yet available) was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 article on Stag's Leap (see blue link below).

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Aveta SB 2018 - 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 Danika Ranch estate vineyard, located adjacent to the Napa River in the Oak Knoll District, provides most of the fruit. Other is sourced from the Rancho Chimiles vineyard, just over the hill in the warm and clear reaches of Wooden Valley. The remaining grapes for this wine were sourced from key vineyards in Napa Valley including Beckstoffer Melrose in Rutherford, Solari in Calistoga and Bravo Zulu in Oak Knoll. Danika Ranch brings spicy peach, guava and grapefruit notes to the mix while the Rancho Chimiles Sauvignon grapes lend racy citrus, tropical fruit and mineral notes to the wine. Long-time grower Terry Wilson farms Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Musque at Rancho Chimiles for this wine.

The juice was fermented at cool temperatures in a mix of stainless steel (45%) and neutral French oak barrels (55%). The wine was aged on light lees for six months and was stirred every two weeks, providing some roundness to the wine’s texture.

100% Sauvignon Blanc. 

Intense fruit aromas of mango and gooseberry with hints of custard apple, herbs and citrus. The palate is dry and lively with crisp fruit flavours and a buttery lemony texture and refreshing acidity.

Pairs well with grilled oysters with mignonette sauce, grilled prosciuttowrapped shrimp, fresh fish ceviche with cilantro.

ABV = 14.0%. 

£24.80

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay 2018 (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. **

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their October 2020 article on Stag's Leap (see blue link below).

Stags Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay 2018 - 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 word Karia is derived from the Greek word meaning 'graceful', and this sums up the style that has been aimed for in the making of this Chardonnay. Karia comes from a tapestry of vineyards in the southern part of Napa Valley. For the 2013 offering, vineyards in the Atlas Peak District, Carneros, Coombsville (Arcadia vineyard) and Oak Knoll (Danika Ranch) contributed fruit in equal parts. The vineyards in Carneros, which are cooled in the mornings and evenings by breezes sweeping north from San Pablo Bay, contribute citrus and mineral notes to the wine. Arcadia vineyard brings perfume and delicate fruit characters while our estate vineyard at Danika Ranch provides bright, juicy apple and pear personality to the blend. The fruit was picked early in the morning to keep it cool and then was whole cluster pressed to preserve the freshness. Oak and malolactic fermentation were used in moderation to accent, rather than overwhelm, the fruit.

86% of the wine is barrel-fermented, while 14% is fermented in stainless steel. 30% of the wine goes into new French oak with eight months sur lie. 89% of the wine goes through MLF.

100% Chardonnay.

Generous and complex on the nose, which abounds with notes of lemon, orange blossom, fresh apples and toasted brioche. Mouth-filling and delicately spicy, but supremely elegant and refreshing. Try pairing this medium-bodied Chardonnay with grilled whole fish with lemons and capers, seared scallops drizzled with lemon-infused olive oil, or roast chicken.

ABV = 14.5%. 

£32.50
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