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Yealands Estate Black Label PGR 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...

Yealands Estate Black Label PGR 2017 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

When Peter Yealands shared his vision to become the world’s most sustainable wine producer, he already knew that the only way to craft truly beautiful, award-winning wines was in partnership with nature, and that compromising his deeply-rooted sustainability values was simply not an option. Today his philosophy holds true and forms the basis of Yealands' approach to winemaking. Peter’s trademark “can do” attitude is the stuff of legend. Happiest working the land at the controls of a bulldozer or digger, Peter has a track record of making pioneering, innovative plans come to fruition.

Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley is exposed to some of the toughest growing conditions in Marlborough; high sunshine and wind, cool nights and low rainfall which produces a smaller, thicker skinned berry with intense fruit flavours.  The cool site regularly commences harvest up to one week later than other sub regions of Marlborough. All three aromatic varieties sit on sheltered, north facing slopes. The soil is predominantly wind blown loess. 

Three aromatic parcels; Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer, were selected and harvested together. The fruit was crushed, de-stemmed then gently pressed, with the free run juice going to a stainless tank and the pressings portion going to a 1000L French oak oval and a selection of old French oak barriques. The free run juice in the stainless steel tank was settled for 72hrs and then the clear juice was then racked off to another stainless tank for a long cool fermentation to enhance the pure fruit flavours. The pressings portion in oak went through a natural fermentation and the french oak oval and barrels were stirred twice weekly post fermentation to develop structure and texture. Upon achieving a finely balanced blend, the wine was stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.

Brimming with concentrated notes of lychee and pear, underlying flavours of lime and mandarin and a touch of spice and ginger. The palate shows good fruit concentration, and a wonderful balance between texture, fruit weight and acidity, with a bright citrus finish.  Beautifully matched with all Asian cuisine, seafood, chicken and pork dishes.  This wine is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free diets.

£13.90

Yealands Estate Black Label Pinot Gris 2017 (1x75cl)

"Thinking differently is what we do at Yealands. Crafting award-winning wines in harmony with nature has seen us lead the world in sustainable winegrowing. But most importantly, it means great tasting wines which don’t cost the earth."

The Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley is exposed to some of the toughest growing conditions in Marlborough; high sunshine and wind, cool nights and low rainfall which produces a smaller, thicker skinned berry with intense fruit flavours. This Pinot Gris is made from two blocks from the Seaview Vineyard. One being, block L6M which is relatively flat and coastal and this site gives a pure mineral quality that is the structural backbone to the palate of the Single Vineyard Pinot Gris. The other parcel, block E6 that makes the Single Vineyard grade is located on a sheltered north facing slope, within the Seaview Vineyard. This pocket gives luscious ripe pear and quince aromas that makes this wine so alluring.

The two blocks were harvested over two days in mid-April. The fruit was crushed, destemmed then pressed gently prior to cold settling for 72 hours. A portion (10%) was racked directly to older French barriques to undergo fermentation. The balance was racked to a small stainless steel tank and fermented separately using a selected yeast. A long cool fermentation followed. The parcels were then kept on lees for a period of two months, with some stirring to help gain texture and structure. The wine was then blended, stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.

Brimming with concentrated notes of poached pears and melon, as well as underlying flavours of quince and a touch of ginger. The palate is full-bodied and luscious, showing wonderful balance between texture, fruit weight and mineral acidity, with a long dry finish.  Enjoy with poultry and mushroom dishes such as creamy pasta with porcini, or heavier seafood dishes.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and gluten free diets.

£13.55

Yealands Estate Single Block L5 Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical & tasting note from the winemakers at Yealands.

Yealands Estate Single Block L5 Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - fiche technique

The L5 block is known for its intense mineral and herbal character. Pure, lifted flavours of wild thyme and citrus characterise the nose. The palate is rich and textured, defined by firm mineral flavours that give the wine exceptional length.

£15.15

Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x 75cl)

The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details) but has alas now sold out at the UK importer. We offer the excellent 2018.

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Yealands' Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley is exposed to some of the toughest growing conditions in Marlborough; high sunshine and wind, cool nights and low rainfall which produces a smaller, thicker skinned berry with intense fruit flavours. This wine is a blend of two different blocks on the property – one warmer, sheltered inland block and a coastal block. The wine brings together in harmony the diverse spectrums of the blocks; the warmer site contributing the expressive aromatics and the cooler site giving the mineral backbone and length.

The two parcels of land in vineyard were  harvested individually over two days. The fruit was de-stemmed then pressed gently prior to cold settling for 72 hours. The clear juice was then racked off and each parcel was fermented separately using two different yeasts. A long cool fermentation followed to capture and enhance the pure aromatics. The wine was blended, stabilised and filtered prior to bottling.

Marlborough experienced a mild-to-cool spring period, which ensured that the vines naturally produced lighter than average yields. These mild temperatures then extended into the summer months, coupled with an unseasonal period of rain, which ultimately alleviated the drought conditions we had experienced over the past two years. Carrying lighter than usual crops along with the cooler weather meant vintage started only a week later than previous years.

This wine shows flavours of passionfruit and blackcurrant leaf with underlying notes of wet stone and thyme. The palate displays good weight and texture, with a focused mineral acidity which delivers fantastic length to the wine.

£12.40

Zorah Karasì Areni Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).

Zorah Karasì Areni Noir 2016 - September 2019 Decanter review

Zorik Gharibian, an Armenian based in Italy, worked with Attilio Scienza to find precisely the right location for this exciting project. After three years of research and detailed analysis of every aspect of the region, he finally bought the land in Vayotz Dzor. This is historically known as the most prestigious wine region in Armenia. The intention was to create a wine of the highest international quality. Winemaker Alberto Antonini and viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei brought a great deal of passion and planning to the project, as well as a profound understanding of how to make it a success.

Zorah has 15 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 1,400 metres above sea level and only steps away from a 6,100 year old winery. The vineyards are situated in the small rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayotz Dzor, Armenia's quintessential grape growing region for quality wines. Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soils are rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat. The indigenous vines are grown on ungrafted rootstock as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.

2016: a year characterised with initial frost and a rainy spring followed by a hot summer with high day-time temperatures and strong sunlight balanced with fresh cool nights. The day/night temperature differences averaging 20°C during the ripening season. The weather remained dry until the end of September with harvest commencing mid/end of October.

The grapes were harvested by hand into small 15 kilo crates. After destemming, the grapes were gently crushed. Fermentation and maceration on the skins took place in concrete tanks with no epoxy lining. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. The wine was aged partially in concrete tanks, partially in large untoasted wooden casks in order to soften tannins, but mainly in traditional Armenian amphorae (karas) of varying sizes which were sealed with wax and buried partially below ground to maintain a constant temperature. The wine was very lightly filtered before bottling, and spent a further six months ageing in bottle before release.

100% Areni Noir.

Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has complex aromas of red fruits, lightly spiced with an elegant toasted note. The palate reflects the exotic nose with hints of soft red fruits, dried mountain herbs and wild earth. Generous and soft with balanced, full-bodied structure and mature tannins before a long, evolved mineral finish.

£25.25

Zorah Karasì Areni Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).

Zorah Karasì Areni Noir 2016 - September 2019 Decanter review

Zorik Gharibian, an Armenian based in Italy, worked with Attilio Scienza to find precisely the right location for this exciting project. After three years of research and detailed analysis of every aspect of the region, he finally bought the land in Vayotz Dzor. This is historically known as the most prestigious wine region in Armenia. The intention was to create a wine of the highest international quality. Winemaker Alberto Antonini and viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei brought a great deal of passion and planning to the project, as well as a profound understanding of how to make it a success.

Zorah has 15 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 1,400 metres above sea level and only steps away from a 6,100 year old winery. The vineyards are situated in the small rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayotz Dzor, Armenia's quintessential grape growing region for quality wines. Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soils are rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat. The indigenous vines are grown on ungrafted rootstock as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.

2016: a year characterised with initial frost and a rainy spring followed by a hot summer with high day-time temperatures and strong sunlight balanced with fresh cool nights. The day/night temperature differences averaging 20°C during the ripening season. The weather remained dry until the end of September with harvest commencing mid/end of October.

The grapes were harvested by hand into small 15 kilo crates. After destemming, the grapes were gently crushed. Fermentation and maceration on the skins took place in concrete tanks with no epoxy lining. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. The wine was aged partially in concrete tanks, partially in large untoasted wooden casks in order to soften tannins, but mainly in traditional Armenian amphorae (karas) of varying sizes which were sealed with wax and buried partially below ground to maintain a constant temperature. The wine was very lightly filtered before bottling, and spent a further six months ageing in bottle before release.

100% Areni Noir.

Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has complex aromas of red fruits, lightly spiced with an elegant toasted note. The palate reflects the exotic nose with hints of soft red fruits, dried mountain herbs and wild earth. Generous and soft with balanced, full-bodied structure and mature tannins before a long, evolved mineral finish.

£25.55

Zorzal Eggo Blanc de Cal Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).

Zorzal Eggo Blanc De Cal SB 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

The awaited 2016 vintage (not yet available in the UK) won a Platinum Award for Best Argentinian White Single varietal - with a score of 95 points - in the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below).

Zorzal Eggo Blanc De Cal SB 2016 - 2017 DWWA review

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

The grapes are grown in high altitude, drip irrigated vineyards in Gualtallary, located in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine-growing valleys: the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea level in the highest vine growing zone, at the foot of Tupungato volcano. This zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 17°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit.

The grapes were gently pressed and combined in the cement eggs. Nature took its course and the alcoholic fermentation started naturally between 18 to 21°C. Once fermentation was complete, a partial malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was then left in the same cement eggs for five months, without separating it from the lees, which generated volume on the palate. It was bottled directly from the cement egg without any intervention to stabilise or filter the wine. The cement egg significantly helps with the structuring and stabilisation of the wine, through the natural movements that are created by this shape.

A characterful Sauvignon Blanc showcasing a strong struck-flint mineral intensity, combined with grassy and herbaceous notes. The wonderful volume and texture on the palate is balanced by a refreshing acidity through to the bright, flinty and persistent finish.

£17.05

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of South American Cabernet Franc  (see blue link below).

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2016 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentine reds (Altamira and Gualtallary) (see blue link below)

Zorzal Eggo Franco Cabernet Franc 2015 - October 2017 Decanter review

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this highly regarded winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

For the second year in a row, the 2017 vintage produced very low yields, but this resulted in excellent fruit concentration in the berries. It was a vintage of balance; there is a beautiful harmony between the acidity and sugar levels and the powerful aromatics.

The vines are grown in high altitude, drip irrigated vineyards in Gualtallary, in the Uco Valley. Gualtallary is situated at 1,350 metres above sea-level in the highest vinegrowing zone in the Province of Mendoza, at the foot of Tupungato volcano. This zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 17°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. The combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

The grapes were placed in cement egg shaped fermenters to allow fermentation to take place. The native yeasts were left to start working naturally. The egg shape of the fermenter facilitates vinification without the need for numerous pump-overs to extract components such as anthocyanin and polyphenols. Due to its ovoid shape, everything inside is constant movement, allowing gentler and more homogeneous extractions. Once the fermentation was complete, maceration with the skins took place over 40 days and the wine was then removed from the tank before being returned to the same egg shaped vessel for 12 months further ageing.

This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc.

A fine example of Cabernet Franc, this wine shows varietal purity with its aromatic expression of white pepper, green pepper and earthy notes highlighted by mineral overtones. The juicy fruit on the palate is direct and leads to a long satisfying finish. Serve with grilled steak with a wild mushroom sauce or tangy cheese.

£17.05

Zorzal Eggo Tinto de Tiza Gualtallary, Tupungato Malbec 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

Zorzal is an Argentinian boutique winery which has been dedicated to the production of high quality wines since 2008 and is located at the highest point of the Uco Valley. Hailed as one of the most exclusive and well-regarded areas for viticulture in Argentina, the terroir is revealed in the Zorzal wines through a respectful, non invasive winemaking process that puts austerity before exuberance and fruit before wood. The wines have rapidly gained international recognition. Founded by the Michelini brothers, who are outstanding in their passionate leadership in the vineyards and winery, this winemaking duo have become renowned as the trendsetters of the Argentinian winemaking scene.

Gualtallary is located in one of Argentina's most outstanding vine growing valleys: the Uco Valley and is situated at 1,350 metres above sea level. This is one of the highest vine growing zones in the Province of Mendoza, sitting at the foot of the Tupungato volcano - one of the highest peaks in the Andes. The zone is characterised by its combination of altitude, alluvial soils, sunny days, low rainfall and wide temperature ranges. The diurnal temperatures here oscillate between 35°C and 20°C, creating long, slow ripening periods, concentrating the flavours in the fruit. This combination of cool climate and very specific white chalky soil, gives the wine great structure and a delicious acidity.

For the second year in a row, the 2017 vintage produced very low yields, but this resulted in excellent fruit concentration in the berries. It was a vintage of balance; there is a beautiful harmony between the acidity and sugar levels and the powerful aromatics.

The alcoholic and malolactic fermentations took place in egg-shaped containers made of cement. Their shape helps to keep the liquid to move constantly, so the temperature is more consistent and the lees remain constantly in suspension. The resulting wine achieves a greater character and volume on the palate. Following the fermentation, the wine was aged for 12 months in the same container, with a view to conserving its pure, authentic character, without interference from any other influence such oak from another terroir.

100% Malbec.

A deep, intense and complex example of a Gualtallary Malbec, with the typical aromas of chalk, flint, and mineral tones. Structured and voluminous on the palate with a silky texture, this is poised and direct, with a refreshing quality. This is a gastronomic wine which pairs beautifully with red meats, pasta and rabbit.

£17.05

Familia Schroeder Saurus Select Malbec, Patagonia (Neuquen) 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 96 points, Gold and overall Trophy status (Patagonian Malbec Trophy, Argentinian Malbec Trophy) at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019 (see blue link below for review and their tasting note).

Saurus Select Malbec 2017 - IWC 2019 award and review

Patagonia is the most southerly wine producing region of Latin America, lying to the south of Mendoza and las Pampas. With considerable new investment, Argentinian Patagonia is fast emerging as the country`s most exciting cool climate vineyard, making elegant wines with balance and complexity in contrast to the more masculine reds of Mendoza. The region includes two important wine producing provinces, Neuquen to the west, at over 300m altitude beneath the Andes mountains, and the Rio Negro, which follows the long valley of the same name towards the Atlantic Ocean. These are semi arid, alluvial desert vineyards which benefit from constant sun and breezes that help mitigate disease. The vines are able to produce cool climate varieties including Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc with good aroma and concentration as well as perfect levels of acidity.

These lands are magical - they hide astonishing mysteries! When construction began to build the winery a dinosaur was unearthed and in tribute to this 75 million-year-old giant, the name Saurus was given in tribute! Alpataco is a tyre puncturing shrub commonly found in the Monte Desert, which lies southeast of the Atacama Desert in Chile, north of the larger Patagonian Desert, and east of the Andes.

Located at 39’ latitude South, in San Patricio del Chanar near Neuquen, the Schroeder vineyards are planted on gravelly soils and - combined with warm days and cool nights - provide near perfect conditions for grape cultivation. This is a distinguished range of wines with intense aromas and elegant tannins, well structured and with the best characteristics of each vintage.

Grapes were hand-picked and thoroughly selected. 40% fermented and aged six months in oak barrels. The other 60% was fermented and stored in steel tanks, this blend seeking to achieve a fine equilibrium of complexity/richness and fruit density.

This Malbec features an intense dark purplish red that shows maturity. On the nose it is complex - ripe red fruit aromas such as currants, plums and sour cherries melt with some spicy hints. Due to ageing in oak casks some vanilla, bitter chocolate and coffee notes are shown. The mouth-feel is pleasant and well balanced. The long, lingering finish is dominated by sweet, velvety tannins.

This wine is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

£15.50
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