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Ca Rugate Monte Fiorentine Soave Classico 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 article on Soave (see blue link below).

Ca'Rugate Monte Fiorentine Soave Classico 2016 - May 2018 Decanter review

The family business has been handed down through the generations of the Tessari family since the early 1900s. The estate was renamed Ca'Rugate in 1986, taking its name from the volcanic hills where the vineyards are located. Now run by the fourth generation, Michele has brought with him a lively, passionate and entrepreneurial spirit. Considerable expansion has taken place in recent years with investment in a new technologically advanced cellar and expansion into the Valpolicella area with the purchase of vineyards in the hilly zone of Montecchia di Crosara. Ca'Rugate has been awarded the prestigious 'Tre Bicchieri' award rating from Gambero Rosso multiple times, making it one of the most awarded producers in the competition and has been hailed by the New York Times as one of the "Top Five producers of high end Soave".

The grapes come from the Monte Fiorentine vineyard in Brognoligo di Monteforte d'Alpone and are harvested at optimum maturity in the middle of October. The yields are 90-100 quintals per hectare. The vineyard soils are volcanic and rich in minerals, imparting a certain minerality to the final wine.

Fermented in stainless steel tanks at a temperature of 16 to 18°C for approximately 10 to 15 days, maintaining the freshness and aromatic qualities of the Garganega grapes.

Rich and golden in colour, a wonderful example of a Soave Classico, with beautiful layering of exotic, tropical fruits and a touch of minerality. Full and rich in flavour, this is a structured wine with a fresh, mineral finish. This wine is best enjoyed chilled, to accompany full flavoured dishes in creamy sauces, fish, soups and young cheeses.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£15.50

Ca` Morlin Prosecco Superiore DOCG Conegliano e Valdobbiadene NV (1x75cl)

Finding a Prosecco of consistently good quality from a respected producer that offers value for money can prove almost impossible. However, renowned winemaker Matt Thomson (of Alpha Zeta fame) has come to the rescue and now works to produce a real Prosecco - clean, fresh, soft, frothing, uncomplicated, gulpable and above all, affordable  with Andrea Morlin of Conegliano and a grower friend in a modern, compact winery tucked into the hills of this beautiful region. As of the 2015 vintage, all Ca' Morlin wines have been certified organic. 

Glera grapes for this Prosecco are grown on 12 hectares of vineyards in Asolo, a sizeable quantity in this fragmented zone.

The fruit was picked relatively late and cool fermented in order to preserve the delicate aromatics of the grape. Both the first and second fermentation take place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The 'spumante' style of Prosecco is fully sparkling, with more carbon dioxide retained at bottling. Due to the quality of the fruit, they have been able to utilise a lower level of residual sugar than is usual with Prosecco, so the wines are drier and more drinkable as a result. This prosecco is labelled as 'Extra Dry' so is a drier style but still has the characteristic fruitiness you expect from prosecco.

Asolo, Valdobbiadene and Conegliano are the three areas that produce DOCG Prosecco. This Asolo Spumante is soft, scented and grapey, with delicious lightness and a long lasting 'mousse'. Perfect as an aperitif, it is best served between 6-8°C.

£15.95

Cantina Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Lambrusco di Sorbara Premium NV (1x 75cl)

In 1850, Cleto Chiarli moved from the countryside to the town of Modena, together with his wife Lucia and their four children: Adalgisa, Oreste, Anselmo and Aristide. In 1860 he decided to dedicate himself to the making of Lambrusco. This proved to be a momentous turning point which would indicate the direction for future generations and which would bring about nothing short of a revolution in the selling of Lambrusco. The Company flourished and was able to reach an impressive production of one million bottles in 1910.

The wine undergoes a light maceration followed by a slow (or Pris de Mousse) fermentation in closed tanks. Lambrusco di Sorbara is an elegant wine which is pale and rosé-like and tends to be dry and lively.

Deep rosé in colour, with clear fragrances of strawberry and brushwood. This wine's taste is fresh, pervasive, mineral, and at the same time velvety and surprisingly pleasant. Dynamic.

£15.55

Cantina Colli Euganei `Rialto` Prosecco Frizzante DOC Non Vintage (1x 75cl)

The Cantina Colli Euganei, which is the biggest wine producer in the Veneto area, has around 950 members, run by Director Alessio Equisetto who shares our commitment to quality and value that shines through in the glass. The co-operative has a long history in the Veneto area.

The fruit for this wine comes from a co-operative with a long history in the Veneto area. Glera is the grape variety used in the production of Prosecco sparkling wine and was until recently also referred to as Prosecco. Changes in the laws governing the DOC mean that the grape can no longer bear the same name as the geographical area for non-DOC wines. The vineyards are on volcanic, calcareous and clay soils.

The grapes are cold-pressed and fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel to preserve the aromatic qualities of the grapes. Following the second fermentation, the bottles are filled under pressure so that it remains 'frizzante', or lightly sparkling.

Pale yellow in colour. A light, fresh wine that has a nicely-balanced structure, lightly floral aromas and attractive fruit flavours. Perfect as an aperitif.

£11.85

Cantina Di Monteforte Soave Classico Superiore Docg Vigneto Montegrande 2017 (1x75cl)

The Cantina di Monteforte co-operative is situated in the eastern part of Soave Classico and Soave. They have 1,200 hectares in total, part in Soave Classico and part outside the Classico zone, with some of the best vineyards in Soave Classico. 60% of their vineyards are on the hills, facing south and southeast, which gives wines that are riper and fuller than most others produced in Soave. The co-op has 600 members and harvests about 20,000 tonnes of grapes a year. Cool summer breezes blowing down the Alpone Valley from the foothills of the Dolomites to the north give warm days and cool nights, which helps with the accumulation of aromatic characters in the grapes. Matt Thomson works with Gaetano Tobin at the Cantina to produce these wines.

The grapes for this single vineyard wine are grown in the ’Montegrande’ vineyard, a south/southeast facing hillside site with superb exposure where vines are on average more than 30 years old. The vineyard is situated 250-300 metres above sea level and soils are volcanic in origin. This site produces wines that are riper and fuller than most others produced in Soave Classico.

The wine was made using small-batch vinification in mid-October. The grapes were pressed gently using special presses. The must was fermented in small barrels as well as 15 hectolitre barrels, where the wine remained for approximately one year until bottling.

This wine is 100% Garganega.

Pale gold in colour, this wine opens with a fresh, scented nose that shows hints of white fruit and the characteristic almond blossom notes of a top quality Soave. Honeyed, waxy and complex on the palate, with a lovely citrus twist on the finish, it is well balanced and long.

£9.85

Cantina Tramin Nussbaumer Gewurztraminer 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 93 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 Italy supplement article, My Dozen Dream Whites (see blue link below).

Tramin Nussbaumer Gewurz 2015 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

Cantina Tramin was founded in 1898 and has 310 member winegrowers who follow its strict directives on the cultivation of the vines. The vineyards are an integral part of the enchanting and picturesque landscape of the Alto-Adige region of Northern Italy and cover 260 hectares situated on the sunny slopes of the region at altitudes ranging from 250 to 850 metres above sea level. In 2011, Cantina Tramin gained the "Double Stella" award. This is given to a winery for achieving the prestigious 3 Bicchieri 20 times and is awarded by the Gambero Rosso.

The grapes are grown in a few select vineyards above the town of Tramin. The vines are trained to both the traditional Pergola system as well as the modern Guyot system and are 20 years old. The soil type is clay.

The grapes were crushed and briefly macerated to extract the aromatic characteristics of the grape. After pressing, the must was left to ferment at 18°C to 20°C in stainless steel tanks. The wine rested on the fine lees for 11 months, until bottled.

One of Italy's most awarded and elegant wines with intense aromas of rose petal, cinnamon and ripe tropical fruit with a touch of spice. Rich, with a full bodied texture and a balancing acidity which leads to a long, sustained and elegant finish.

A versatile wine which accompanies pork chops, veal and rich poultry dishes or Thai inspired cuisine.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£24.30

Carpineto, Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Carpineto Brunelllo 2012 - November 2017 Decanter review

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

Carpineto's Montalcino estate is one of the highest in the appellation at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, with 10 hectares of vineyard planted to Sangiovese Grosso on a dry farmed hillside. Planted at a density of 2.20 x 0.90 metres, which is the equivalent of over 5,000 vines per hectare, the vines are trained on a unilateral cordon system. The sedimentary soil has a galestro frame with clay accumulations dating to the Eocene era, some 15 million years ago. With a slightly northern exposure, the vineyard is surrounded by thick woods, which protect it from the warm and humid westerly winds that come up from the Maremma.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity levels and carefully selected. The fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats followed by maceration on the skins to extract flavour, colour and fine tannins. The wine was aged in Slovenian oak barrels for three years, followed by at least six months bottle ageing.

A mature Brunello showing a decisive and fine bouquet of hints of vanilla, deep red cherries, raspberry and a touch of liquorice. Elegant and well textured, with a warm and smooth palate and a long finish. Ideal with a bistecca all fiorentina, a fine roast leg of lamb with rosemary, pot roasted pheasant or fine, mature cheese.

£34.80

Carpineto, Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 (1x75cl)

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

In the beautiful olive and cypress-studded countryside between Florence and Siena lie the quaint hilltop villages of the Chianti Classico region. The wine of the same name is produced exclusively in this charming and beautiful area in stony soils.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats, followed by a skin contact maceration to extract colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was transferred to a combination of oak barrels and casks of Slavonian and French origin for a minimum of 12 months. It was then transferred back into stainless tanks briefly prior to bottling. The wine was bottle aged in temperature controlled cellars for a minimum of 10 months prior to release.

An inviting rich ruby red colour, with garnet reflections. Rich, velvety, full-flavoured and warming with hints of vanilla and raspberries, this is a very fine wine with silky tannins and a long, lingering finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£19.20

Carrick Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of New Zealand Chardonnay (see blue link below).

Carrick Bannockburn Central Otago - February 2018 Decanter review

It’s 20 years now since Steve and Barbara Green established the first of Carrick’s vineyard plantings on the Cairnmuir terraces at Bannockburn in Central Otago, extending the estate four years later. What was at the time a tangle of wild thyme and briar roses has become one of the region’s most successful producers. Francis Hutt wisely spent a year in the vineyards with viticulturist Blair Deaker before taking over as Carrick’s winemaker in 2011. A devotee of organic and biodynamic wines, he took particular pride in taking charge of Carrick’s first organic bottlings in 2012. Meanwhile, Steve Green somehow combines the roles of owner, general manager, assistant winemaker, marketer and overseas traveller with a position on the board of Wine New Zealand.

After gentle whole-bunch pressing, the chardonnay juice was gravity feed into French oak barrels, (10% new) with a high grape solids content to add interest and texture. All lots were fermented with indigenous yeast and the barrels were stirred daily during fermentation then left to rest and settle over the winter months.

Tropical fruits along with the cool climate attributes of Central Otago combine to make a truly amazing Chardonnay that could rival anything else in the world. It is a flinty elegant wine with good structure and balance. Barrel fermented in French oak.

Perfect with seafood and white meat dishes like chicken pie, prawn linguine and dover sole.

£17.95

Casa Ferreirinha Callabriga Douro Tinto 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 Vintage was Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Top Value (<£25) Portuguese Reds (see blue links below).

Ferreirinha Callabriga 2014 - November 2017 Decanter review

This historic producer, founded in 1751, was purchased by Sogrape in 1987. Today, they have 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions:  Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior.  The winemaking is headed up by the talented Luis Sottomayor, who manages to restrain the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Estevo and Papa Figos, allied to a wonderful depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Red and Quinta da Leda.

The grapes were picked from different sections of the Quinta da Leda estate as well as some neighbouring vineyards. Quinta da Leda's 76 hectares of vines were planted in collaboration with the Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro de Vila Real, where a study was carried out on clonal research to select the best varieties in the Douro. The findings decided the varieties to be chosen and planted on this estate, using only the best clones of each variety for grafting.

2014 was characterised by atypical weather. It was a particularly rainy year, with a cool summer, though there were heat waves recorded at the start of summer and the beginning of autumn. January was exceptionally hot but August was cooler than average. The harvested grapes had very well-balanced levels of sugar, acidity and phenolic compounds. The harvest took place at the start of September, and some rainfall was recorded in the middle of the month which made careful grape selection necessary.

The wine is made at the modern winery at Quinta da Leda. After full destemming, the grapes underwent gentle crushing before being transferred to stainless steel tanks and/or lagars (shallow, open troughs) where they underwent a long maceration to allow gentle extraction of colour, tannins and flavours from the skins. Once the fermentation was complete the wine was matured in used French and American oak (75% and 25% respectively) for between 12-18 months. The final blend is made with very careful selection after numerous tastings and analyses. The final wine is only slightly filtered before bottling.

Deep ruby in colour. The aroma is intense and very complex, with notes of black and red berries, pepper and pine needles along with attractive and well-integrated oak characters. On the palate, it has good body and acidity, high quality tannins, black fruit flavours and a hint of cocoa on the long and elegant finish.

£16.40

Casa Ferreirinha, Vinha Grande Douro Tinto 2016 (1x 75cl)

This producer, founded in 1952, is named after the legendary Porto matriarch Dona Antónia Ferreira. Affectionately nicknamed 'Ferreirinha' by her countrymen, the house pays homage to her memory and was the first house in the region dedicated to making light wines. Purchased by Sogrape in 1987, it has 520 hectares of vineyard in the Douro in all of its three sub-regions: Lower Corgo, Upper Corgo and Douro Superior. The winemaking is headed up by Luís Sottomayor, who restrains the Douro’s natural exuberance to produce wines that have a freshness, like Esteva and Papa Figos, allied to a lovely depth and texture, as with Vinha Grande Tinto and Quinta da Leda.

The selected grape varieties were sourced from the Quinta do Sairrão estate located at a high altitude in the Cima Corgo region. The mountainous vineyards here have schist soils with vines planted either in vertical rows or on traditional "patamares" (terraces). The selected plots are ideal for optimal maturation thanks to the hot days and cool evenings bringing out the fresh fruit character of the grapes.

The 2016 vintage had a generally dry, mild winter before continuous rain began at the end of winter and extended into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors contributed to disease pressure requiring work in the vineyard to combat mildew. Summer was mild with occasional heatwaves and generally cold nights. This long and balanced end to maturation helping to produce wines of superior quality.

Grapes selected for the Vinha Grande Tinto went through gentle crushing and destemming prior to temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Long skin contact during fermentation ensured optimal extraction, which was facilitated by pumping over and robotic plunging. Maturation took place for between 12 and 18 months in used French oak barrels. The blend was then selected based on both sensory and technical analyses. The wine was then lightly filtered before bottling. In addition, the wine did not undergo cold stabilisation, which may mean it will have natural sediment in the bottle.

This wine has a deep ruby colour and intense aromas of flowers, strawberry and raspberry fruit, a touch of black pepper and well-integrated oak. The voluminous palate has well-integrated acidity, velvety tannins, a delicate minerality and notes of red berries. The finish is elegant and long.

£12.90

Castello Nipozzano, Frescobaldi, Vecchie Viti, Chianti Rufina Riserva 2015 (1x 75cl)

Tradition, innate elegance and the essence of the Renaissance: Tuscany exudes an aura of timelessness that has inspired generations of the Frescobaldi family and is now an integral part of their vineyards. The Nipozzano Estate is located in one of the traditional areas of Chianti: Chianti Rufina, which is the smallest and most elevated Chianti sub-appellation. The 11th century castle is located in the heart of the prestigious Chianti Rufina, which holds the family cellar including wines dating back to 1864. The uniqueness of the Nipozzano terroir continues to produce wines with a wide range of aromas and extraordinary longevity.

2015 will be remembered for the excellent health and perfect ripening of the grapes, two significant results of a particularly good season. Supported by the warm spring days and plentiful water reserves stored during the winter, the vines began to bud in April. The scarce rainfall in May and June allowed the grapes to grow in a dry environment. Warm days in August and September encouraged a gradual ripening of the fruit with an excellent concentration of sugars and polyphenols.

The grapes are sourced from the oldest and most deeply rooted vines at the Castello Nipozzano vineyard. The vines are planted to a medium to high density of between 2,000 to 6,000 vines per hectare. They are spur pruned and trained according to the Guyot method. The soil is dry and stony but well drained, with a high clay and limestone content. It is poor in organic matter, encouraging deep root systems and stressing the vine to concentrate the flavours in the berries.

The grapes were hand-harvested from mid September to mid October and then gently pressed. Each grape variety was vinified separately, with fermentation taking place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures of less than 30°C. Fermentation lasted for 13 days, with a maceration period of 20 days with frequent pump overs. Malolactic fermentation occurred immediately afterwards. The wine was then transferred to large oak casks where it was matured for a period of 24 months, followed by three months in bottle.

This wine is made using Sangiovese 90%, Malvasia Nera 4%, Canaiolo 3%, Colorino 3%.

The nose shows great balance between floral notes of cassis, raspberry and spiced notes of vanilla. The richness of fruit follows through on to the complex palate with notes of blackberry and gooseberry enveloping beautifully integrated tannins. Pairs well with classic dishes such as a rich Tuscan soup, pappardelle with wild boar ragù and delicate game dishes.

£25.15

Castello Nipozzano, Montesodi, Toscana 2015 (1x 75cl)

Tradition, innate elegance and the essence of the Renaissance: Tuscany exudes an aura of timelessness that has inspired generations of the Frescobaldi family and is now an integral part of their vineyards. The Nipozzano Estate is located in one of the traditional areas of Chianti: Chianti Rufina, which is the smallest and most elevated Chianti sub-appellation. The 11th century castle is located in the heart of the prestigious Chianti Rufina, which holds the family cellar including wines dating back to 1864. The uniqueness of the Nipozzano terroir continues to produce wines with a wide range of aromas and extraordinary longevity.

The castle of Nipozzano is the most famous property of the Frescobaldi family. It was built around the year 1000 in the heart of the Chianti Rufina area on the hills that overlook the river Arno. Due to the perfect balance of altitude, soil and a cool, ventilated microclimate, the grape varieties enjoy ideal conditions for perfect growth. The vineyard covers 18 hectares and is situated at 400 metres above sea level with a south westerly orientation. The soils are dry and rocky limestone with calcareous clay, which are well drained and poor in organic substances. The vines are over 20 years old. They are trained according to the Guyot method and are planted at a density of 5,850 vines per hectare. The wines of the estate have been cherished since Renaissance times for their balance and longevity.

The grapes were hand harvested in early October. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at less than 35˚C and lasted for 10 days. Maceration lasted for 30 days including the alcoholic fermentation with periodical stirring to obtain maximum colour and softer tannins. The wine went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 18 months in oak.

This wine has an intense aroma profile with hints of cherry, strawberry, plum and dried flowers. The palate is warm and savoury with soft evolved tannins resulting in a wine which is harmonious and balanced. A wonderful match for Porcini mushroom pasta or liver parfait.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£31.35

Castello Pomino, Pomino, Bianco 2017 (1x 75cl)

Intensely floral with frangipani and jasmine aromas combining with the fruity notes of apricot and quince. Generous and lively on the palate with exotic flavours of tropical fruit and fresh cardamom, this wine has a balanced structure and a persistent finish.

£15.05
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