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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.

£23.15

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.

£33.70

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.

£18.45

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.

£17.15

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.

£16.30

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.

£12.80

Castello Montauto Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Cecchi 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was Awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of Vernaccia di San Gimignano (see blue link below).

Castello Montauto Vernaccia Di San Gimignano, Cecchi 2016 - May 2018 Decanter review

Cecchi's success all began back in 1893, when company founder Luigi Cecchi became a professional wine taster or ''palatista'' – a surprisingly widespread profession in Europe at the time, and one which paved the way for the bottling of the first wines under the family name. The international success of the Cecchi wines was secured under another Luigi – the founder’s grandson – and now the fourth generation, in the shape of brothers Andrea and Cesare Cecchi, are at the helm.

The grapes were vinified off their skins, undergoing a cold, temperature controlled, pre-fermentative maceration. The 15 day fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at a cool 15°C. After fermentation, the wine was aged for a period of at least 3 months in the bottle.

This wine is an aromatically rich wine, with fine, floral scents and hints of bitter almond. Exquisitely balanced by crisp, citrus freshness and a beguiling perfume.

£12.85

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.

£31.20

Castello Nipozzano, Vecchie Viti, Chianti Rufina Riserva 2014 (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.

Winter 2014 saw higher than average temperatures, while spring’s mild climate contributed to an early budding of the grapevines. A crisp summer with well distributed rains brought the growing season back to its normal progression, while heat waves at the end of July and beginning of August positively affected the véraison. The temperature differences between night and day supported a gradual ripening of the fruit.

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 softly 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.

Nipozzano Vecchie Viti boasts a lovely ruby red colour, luminous and brilliant. The nose exhibits great balance between floral notes of apricot and spiced notes of rosehip and vanilla. Fresh, complex and persistent on the palate with beautifully integrated tannins, this is silky and harmonious. Notes of raspberry, currant, and gooseberry lead to a finish of cocoa and white pepper. Pairs well with classic dishes such as a dense Tuscan soup, pappardelle with wild boar ragù and delicate game dishes.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£24.00

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.

£14.75

Castello Pomino, Pomino, Pinot Nero 2016 (1x 75cl)

An explosion of fruity aromas; a prevalence of cassis and dark, ripe cherry is followed by delicate hints of chocolate. Smooth on the palate, with vibrant red berried notes, combined with hints of liquorice and intriguing notes of Mediterranean herbs such as thyme. Long and persistent on the finish.

£23.60

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Agostino Petri Chianti Classico Riserva 2014 (1x75cl)

The historical origins of Castello Vicchiomaggio can be traced back to the 5th century. The present owners, the Matta family, acquired the property in 1964 and restored it back to its former splendour. The estate, with 150 hectares, is one of the largest in the area, and of these, 32 hectares are dedicated to the vine. Castello Vicchiomaggio produces several styles of wine, from the traditional to the innovative. In order to achieve this, the estate has been carefully classified according to its soil type and exposure. All production and winemaking is supervised by John Matta. The hallmark of John's wines is elegance, perfumed, stylish and all have beautiful balance. These wines truly show off the Sangiovese grape at its best. Vicchiomaggio is consistently classified amongst Italy's top estates and John Matta has been named IWSC Italian Winemaker of the Year four times in the last 14 years.

The grapes are sourced from the Agostino Petri vineyard. The vines are trained on the cordon system and are grown in a marl and clay soil.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled tanks with medium length maceration on skins. Matured in French oak barriques for six months and then in large oak barrels of 25 to 50hl, for a further nine months.

A perfumed and elegant wine with a great structure and bouquet reminiscent of chocolate and walnuts. Opulent, with a wonderful complexity and a silky, lingering finish.

Serve at room temperature to accompany roast or grilled meats, game and Tuscan bean stew.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£18.45

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Castello Vicchiomaggio La Prima Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013 - May 2018 Decanter review

The historical origins of Castello Vicchiomaggio can be traced back to the 5th century. The present owners, the Matta family, acquired the property in 1964 and restored it back to its former splendour. The estate, with 150 hectares, is one of the largest in the area, and of these, 32 hectares are dedicated to the vine. Castello Vicchiomaggio produces several styles of wine, from the traditional to the innovative. In order to achieve this, the estate has been carefully classified according to its soil type and exposure. All production and winemaking is supervised by John Matta. The hallmark of John's wines is elegance, perfumed, stylish and all have beautiful balance. These wines truly show off the Sangiovese grape at its best. Vicchiomaggio is consistently classified amongst Italy's top estates and John Matta has been named IWSC Italian Winemaker of the Year four times in the last 14 years.

The vines are grown in La Prima vineyard where the soils are marl and clay. Gran Selezione is a DOCG Chianti category and is produced exclusively with grapes from single vineyards or selected from the estate's best-suited vineyards. In addition to having stricter technical and organoleptic characteristics, Gran Selezione wines can only be released to the market 30 months after the grape harvest, having spent at least three months in bottle. These features place this at the summit of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled tanks, with regular pump-overs of the cap to ensure the desired levels of aeration. The wine was matured in French oak barriques for a period of 18-24 months.

A complex bouquet showing aromas of blueberry, cocoa, esspresso and a touch of toasted oak. Full, velvety and complex flavours shine through on the sublimely smooth palate leading to a long and elegant finish.

A superb pairing for a succulent Sunday roast, a juicy rack of lamb, a fine Italian Bistecca Fiorentina or a rich mushroom ravioli.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£34.50

Cecchi Chianti  Docg Flask 2016 (1x75cl)

Intensely aromatic with notes of violets. Well balanced on the palate with classic Chianti character.

£11.40

Cecchi Chianti Classico Riserva Riserva Di Famiglia 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Cecchi Riserva di Famiglia Chianti Classico Riserva 2013 - May 2018 Decanter review

It was Cecchi who started a journey that led to what now can be defined as a perfect blend between innovation and tradition. It is in the ability to predict the future that one of the secrets of Cecchi Family success lays; a sort of gift handed down from father to son. Every step forward taken by the winery throughout its history has been preceded by careful and thorough experimentation, and it is the respect for tradition that has always led the family in making its daily decisions.

The production of this Riserva wine derives from a deep knowledge of the area of Chianti Classico and represents a special selection produced only in the best years. The vines are situated at an average altitude of 250 metres above sea level and the main grape variety used is Sangiovese, which represents over 90% of the blend together with Cabernet Sauvignon.

The prolonged maceration during the alcoholic fermentation, the careful pressing and the malolactic fermentation favour a rapid stabilisation of the wine before its ageing, which is carried out partially in oak casks and partly in small oak barriques. The period of ageing is a minimum of two years, followed by further ageing in bottle.

Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia is certainly the most representative wine of Cecchi. Produced only in years in which the grapes reach the quality desired it comes from the area of Castellina in Chianti. The colour of excellent limpidity is of an intense ruby red. The aroma reveals broad and ethereal notes of ripe fruit and spices. The structure is elegant.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£20.45
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