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Antonio Caggiano Fiano di Avellino DOCG Bechar 2017 (1x75cl)

The Caggiano winery is based in the town of Taurasi, the heartland of Aglianico, which is the main focus of their production. Antonio Caggiano, the founder of the winery, designed one of the wineries himself - the most spectacular of its time in Campania. Today, thousands of bottles are laid down in its galleries - which are made of the local “tufo” stone.

The vineyards are planted in areas where the DOCG, Fiano di Avellino and Comune di Lapio are traditionally produced, at an altitude of 400m above sea level. The harvesting period is in mid October.

The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats before being aged for 3 months in bottle prior to release.

This Fiano has an intense gold colour. On the nose this wine presents aromas of apple, pears and banana. On the palate it has a full bodied rich and persistant flavours of tropical fruit and a refreshing acidity.

£16.00

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. Craighall is located directly opposite the main Ata Rangi home block. The 30 year old Mendoza clone of Chardonnay vines, with their characteristic 'hen and chicken' fruit set, are always low yielding. Soils here comprise a thin layer of well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed east to the Pacific Ocean.

Hand-picked fruit was whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. Unsettled juice was fully barrel-fermented in Burgundy barriques, of which 25% was new oak, using indigenous yeasts. Fermentation took place between 15-20°C. The lees were stirred during this time in all barrels and partial malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine was aged in barrel on the lees for 12 months before bottling.

A very alluring, restrained nose of citrus, white-flesh nectarine and citrus blossom leads onto a tight, fine palate with a subtly chalky texture. With no one, single flavour dominating, the 2015 is an intriguing, very complex and very complete Chardonnay with fabulous flow and persistence. Fully barrel fermented with 'wild' indigenous yeasts, this exceptional release has excellent cellaring potential.

£31.40

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2018 (see blue link below)

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - January 2019 Decanter review

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding 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)...

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Pinot Gris grapes come from the Lismore Vineyard at the edge of the Martinborough Terrace and achieve their optimum flavour profile towards the end of the growing season. As a result, the team harvests this varietal fairly late to obtain a wine closer to the richer style of Pinot Gris produced in Alsace, rather than the leaner, bone-dry style of Pinot Grigio common in much of northern Italy. The vines were planted in 1996.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest.

Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated with yeast and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 14-18°C. 20% of the wine was fermented in three year old 500 litre oak puncheons to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. In both cases, the wine was left on lees for several months. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to retain a crisp, balancing acidity.

Up-front aromas in this Pinot Gris are reminiscent of fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate is creamy, with flavours of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. On the long finish, the wine shows complexity and will develop with bottle age.

£23.00

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x 75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Ata Rangi SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. The grapes for this wine come from Lismore, Waiora, Walnut Ridge, Hau Ariki Marae and Sutherlands Block. Vineyard husbandry is important to Ata Rangi, including leaf plucking to keep the canopies open. Yields are typically low due to the cool, windy spring weather which affects fruit set and the lean, stony soils which are low in vigour and fertility. The vineyards are in conversion to organic certification and are accredited as 100% sustainable.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest.

The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc now takes the name Raranga (‘woven’ in Maori) to express Ata Rangi's range of winemaking techniques in the creation of their uniquely Martinborough style for this varietal. The grapes were hand-picked from 30th March – 11th April. 10% of the grapes were fermented on their skins for eight weeks, 4% was whole bunch fermented and the rest was fermented in stainless steel tanks and barrels. The juice was inoculated with cultivated yeasts and fermented in controlled temperature storage at 12-18°C.

This wine has aromas of spiced apple pie, lime and melon. On the palate, there are notes of candied lemon and cardamom. On the finish, the wine is creamy and savoury.

£16.05

Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Thomas Bachelder is often known as the first winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne. He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions - Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results. The Niagara Chardonnay is particularly fresh and lifted with aromas of white stone fruits, whereas the Oregon Chardonnay shows a more robust, honeyed character.

The grapes for this wine come primarily from the organically-grown Saunders Vineyard (Beamsville Bench) and the Wismer Vineyard on Twenty Mile Bench. The combination of Niagara's strongly continental climate and the Dolomitic limestone-rich soils of these vineyards, imparts great minerality and freshness to the final wine.

Years of making Chardonnay - in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy, in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada's Niagara - has taught Thomas to be as natural as possible in his winemaking. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation took place in specially selected oak barrels, followed by an extended ageing period which has made the wine broader on the mid-palate, more integrated, elegant, subtle, truer to its terroir and, surprisingly, less oaky.

Bright lemon-yellow in colour. On the nose, lifted ripe lemon notes mix with hints of white stone fruit and flinty mineral nuances. It is medium to full bodied on the palate with a scented stone fruit character and a long and complex mineral finish.

£29.35

Baron De Badassiere Picpoul De Pinet 2017 (1x75cl)

Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the south of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson.

The grapes for this wine come from selected vineyards around the Etang de Thau, planted on clay and limestone soils.

2017 was a challenging vintage in the Languedoc. A warm spring promoted good vine growth but this was halted when frosts hit the region in late April. Rain during flowering also reduced fruit set meaning yields were lower than previous vintages. However, the fruit that made it through is of a very high standard producing elegant and characterful wines.

The grapes arrived in the winery in the early morning and were macerated on the skins for a few hours, then pressed by pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at controlled temperatures of between 14-18°C for 16 days. No oak was used and the wine was bottled early to retain freshness and delicate aromatics.

Pale lemon in colour with a youthful rim. Crisp apple aromas are complemented by a citrus edge. On the palate, it has attractive weight, with a good balance of ripe, yellow plums and greengages and a fresh lime zest acidity that continue through the finish.

£9.70

Belisario Verdicchio Di Matelica Riserva Cambrugiano 2015 (1x75cl)

The Cantine Belisario co-operative was founded in 1971. Today, it is the biggest producer of Verdicchio in the Matelica DOC, a smaller zone than Castello di Jesi. The climate here is more continental than in Castelli di Jesi and the combination of warm days and cool nights gives a longer growing season, and lovely aromatic qualities to the wines.

Belisario's vineyards are situated inland, where the climate is more continental. This combination of warm days and cool nights gives a longer growing season, which in turn ensures good flavour in the grapes. Cambrugiano is a blend of grapes selected from some of the best vineyards included in the cooperative. They are situated at 400 metres above sea level where the average age of the vines is 35 years.

The 2015 summer in Le Marche was warm and sunny, with a great deal of heat in August. Some light rainfall helped to balance the growth cycle, creating healthy and well-balanced grapes.

The grapes were macerated on the skins for 12 hours before fermentation. Fermentation took place for 25 days at temperatures of 18-19°C. The wine was aged in a combination of 80% stainless steel and 20% oak barrels for 12 months before bottling. Malolactic fermentation took place.

Pale gold in colour, this wine opens with complex aromas of vanilla, honey and fresh floral notes. Full and rounded on the palate with stone fruit flavours with light touches of spiced honey and vanilla on the long finish. An elegantly structured wine with great poise and balance.

£20.25

Belisario Verdicchio Di Matelica Vigneti Del Cerro 2017 (1x 75cl)

The Cantine Belisario co-operative was founded in 1971. Today, it is the biggest producer of Verdicchio in the Matelica DOC, a smaller zone than Castello di Jesi. The climate here is more continental than in Castelli di Jesi and the combination of warm days and cool nights gives a longer growing season, and lovely aromatic qualities to the wines.

The south facing single vineyard from which fruit for this wine is sourced is located at 360 metres above sea level, with vines between 8 and 27 years old. The vines are planted at a density of 1,666 to 3,500 plants per hectare and yield approximately seven tonnes per hectare.

The grapes were pressed and the must cold settled before fermentation at 13°C for 20 days. The wine was then aged for four months in stainless steel tank before bottling.

Pale with green highlights. Abundant aromas of vibrant grapefruit, white flowers and hints of honey dominate the nose. The palate shows refreshing acidity, interesting mineral characters, a light hint of ripe fruit and a final burst of zingy lemon to lift the finish. A beautifully balanced wine, with a soft mouthfeel that retains a wonderful lifted, fresh character.

£14.45

Bellavista Curtefranca Vigna Uccellanda Bianco 2013 (1x75cl)

This estate makes Italy's finest sparkling wines from its 200 hectares of vineyard situated in the western part of the Franciacorta zone in a natural amphitheatre. The glacial soil is full of stones, and provides the ideal environment for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of their Franciacorta. Bellavista, meaning 'beautiful view' in Italian, was founded by Vittorio Moretti in the early 1970s, with the first vintage produced in 1979. In 1981, he met a young winemaker, Mattia Vezzola and this partnership transformed Bellavista into Italy's leading producer of quality sparkling wine.

The vineyards have some of the best exposure, character and expressive potential in the area. This has given rise to 107 small crus that express the intrinsic personality of the land and the subtle nuances of its character and personality. The grapes come from the Uccellanda vineyard, 4.14 hectares in size, in the Commune of Corte Franca at approximately 300 metres above sea level. The subsoil comprises glacial deposits of silt, sand and gravel that are rich in carbonate.

The spring was cool with decent rainfall, and the pattern remained the same until June. From then onwards, drought conditions kicked in lasting until mid September. Nevertheless, bud break took place as usual in most vineyards. The weather during harvest, which began as usual in early September and lasted through to the end of October, was mild. Rain towards the end of harvest meant that a more careful selection of grapes was required.

Harvest took place when the grapes reached optimum ripeness and were carefully selected on the vine. The must was fermented for 12 months in 228 litre oak barrels. The wine was bottled in the second spring after harvest and was matured for a further six months in bottle before release.

Yellow in colour with golden highlights, this wine shows lifted perfumes of yellow apples, quince and ripe fruits with a hint of vanilla. On the palate, it is rich, creamy and elegant with a long finish.

£35.00

Beronia Blanco Viura Rioja 2017 (1x75cl)

Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would come to La Rioja on holiday. The friends had a great love of food and wine and created their own gastronomic society in the area. They decided to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine,  specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both in international and domestic markets, producing pure and traditional Rioja wines.

The grapes were harvested at the end of September. This variety gives fruity wines with floral notes but also has noteable levels of acidity. The grapes underwent static maceration without de-stalking for 16 hours. Fermentation was carried out at a controlled temperature of between 14 and 16°C for 15 days. The wine then remained in bottle for two months before being released to the market.

This Viura has a bright yellow and green colour.  On the nose it is fresh with intense herbal aromas including fennel.  There is also a notable presence of white fruits such as pear and surprisingly also orange peel.  On the palate this wine is full, round and lively with aniseed notes which together with the fruit gives freshness.  It is long and persistent.

This young, fresh wine should be served well chilled and is ideal with salads, fish and white meats.

£10.00

Bertani Due Uve Bianco Pinot Grigio-Sauvignon Igt Venezie 2017 (1x75cl)

Due Uve is made from the combination of two grape varieties, chosen and put together to bring out the best in each other. The body and elegance of the Pinot Grigio, combined with the typical overtones of Sauvignon Blanc, make for a really original creation with great character and personality.

This wine comes from Venezia Giulia, which includes the provinces of Gorizia, Pordenone, Trieste and Udine.

The harvest is done at the beginning of September. Fermentation takes place off the skins in steel tanks at a temperature of 14° to 16° C. Ageing is done in stainless steel containers, followed by bottle maturation.

A straw-yellow colour. The typical aromas of the Sauvignon are tangy on the nose; sage, ripe peach, elderflower and green pepper. The Pinot Grigio dominates on the palate, with good balance between tanginess and crisp acidity. A lingering aftertaste. 

This is perfect as an aperitif, it goes well with salads, delicate-flavoured pasta dishes and white meat.

£10.20

Bertani Soave Doc Sereole 2017 (1x75cl)

This is the most up-to-date interpretation of Bertani’s Soave, a wine that has historically been present on the most prestigious tables all over the world. Sereole is a Soave with a lively and unmistakeable personality. It is made exclusively with Garganega grapes, the most elegant native white grape from the Verona area, grown in the Sereole vineyard, a veritable cru on the hill between Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone. The slightly late harvest, combined with fermentation of the must in large oak barrels, adds freshness and richness of flavour which marry well with a light ageing in wood, to give the wine plushness and complexity.

Sereole is a “cru” in the Soave Classica area, the Monte Tondo, situated between the municipalities of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone. The soil is clay-loam with good amounts of organic matter, which enriches and brings out the typical notes of this grape variety.

The grapes are picked by hand in the middle of October, when they are ripe and rich in aromatic substances. Destemming is followed by gentle crushing with partial contact with the skins at a low temperature of 7°C, followed by fermentation at a controlled temperature of about 16°C in 75-hl French oak barrels. Ageing takes place on the lees at the end of fermentation in large wooden barrels for about six months, followed by at least three months of bottle maturation.

Sereole is a straw-yellow colour with golden highlights. The floral bouquet has overtones of elderflower and pear, developing into sweeter aromas of yellow-fleshed fruits such as apricot, pineapple and melon. Plush on the palate, balanced with sapid notes that enhance the structure. Food pairings: This Soave has a superior balance and personality, Sereole goes well with starters, soups and white meat.

£11.85

Bertani Soave Vintage Edition 2016 (1x 75cl)

Soave was one of the first Italian wines to be recognised as “typical and fine” as early as 1931. Bertani’s Soave was the image of this wine in the world. With the Soave Vintage they try to make it in the original way but also as a modern Soave: the colour is slightly more intense, the wine is fresh and crisp. Fine and elegant with aromatic notes of ripe fruit, peach and pear, with vegetal sensations reminiscent of sage, mint and elderflower.

The grapes for the Soave Vintage come from vineyards in the Soave hills. The very complex soils are of calcareous origin with a clay-loam texture.

The harvest for this wine is done is two parts. The first harvest is when about 40% of the grapes are picked in the last ten days of September, crushed and fermented off the skins at 14°C. The second harvest is the time when the rest of the grapes are carefully selected and picked at the end of October, crushed and fermented on the skins at a temperature of 20°C, for 15 days. Ageing takes place on the lees at the end of fermentation in concrete vats covered with glass bricks. This allows a slow and gradual ageing, thanks to the constant conditions of temperature and micro-oxygenation of this historic container.

The Bertani Soave Vintage Edition is a shining yellow colour with golden highlights. It is intense on the nose, layered, surprising and unique. The intense notes are of white flowers and gooseberry, bringing to mind something original. It continues with notes of peach and apricot, suggesting its complexity and surprising personality. On the palate the acidity is vibrant, softened by intense notes of gooseberry, peach and apricot, all accompanied by a richness of taste that makes the aftertaste long and lingering. A white with a great personality and complexity, it goes well with flavoursome white meats and intensely-flavoured fish dishes such as creamed salted cod.

£15.40

Berton Vineyard Winemakers Reserve Vermentino 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Australia's "Other" Whites (see blue links below).

Berton Vermentino 2016 - November 2017 Decanter review

Berton Vineyards Winemakers Reserve Wines have been chosen by their winemakers as wines that stand out year after year.  They believe the Vermentino variety is perfect for the warmer regions of Australia due to its ability to retain freshness and acidity in warmer climates. Fruit for this Vermentino is sourced from two vineyards - from the Riverland and the Riverina.  The Riverina fruit has ripened really well over the past two years so this was used for the majority of the blend. For the 2016 vintage the fruit from Riverina was picked early due to rain in late January and the Riverland portion was harvested later.

The two parcels were kept seperate during the fermentation process, before being clarified and blended prior to bottling.

Both vineyard contribute to the final flavour of the wine. The Riverina vineyard lends delicate flavours of citrus and pear to the final wine whilst the Riverland vineyard adds tropical aromas and riper flavours of lychee and kiwi fruit. The resulting wine has aromas of tropical fruits combined with hints of pear and citrus which jump from the glass and follow through tp the palate creating a wine that is rich with a great depth of flavour and crisp acidity.

This dry, light-bodied wine is a perfect match for seafood and goes particularly well with calamari.

£10.05

Bigi Orvieto Classico Amabile 2017 (1x75cl)

Bigi’s first headquarters was in the former Franciscan monastery of La Trinità in Orvieto, but this was confiscated by the Italian state in 1870! Today they are based in their modern cellars at Ponte Giulio at the foot of the lofty walls of the old and ancient town. The winery with its avant-garde vinification equipment and collection of casks and barrels marries perfectly the modern technical production requirement with age-old tradition.

The signature wine of Orvieto, this wine is produced from hilly vineyards in the Classic DOC zone, enjoying clayey soil and southwest exposure. Vineyards have been cultivated in Umbria, “the green heart of Italy” and a crossroads between the north and the south, between the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas, since Etruscan times. When one speaks of Orvieto, one thinks of a beautiful walled city built on a tuffstone mound by the Etruscans, and known in the Roman era as Urbs Vetus (old city) - but also of the prized white Umbrian wine of which Bigi has been a leading producer for many years.

Orvieto Amabiles are richer than the dry Secco wines and could be described as medium-dry. Don’t let this put you off as this is an ideal bar wine; gentle and soft on the palate with subtle peach and almond fruit and enough freshness to carry that enticing sweet edge. Made from a combination of Trebbiano Toscano (Procanico), Verdello, Grechetto, Malvasia and Drupeggio grapes.

Fermented and aged in stainless steel. This wine offers a floral bouquet of hawthorn blossom with hints of musk and almond. Dry and full-bodied on the palate, Bigi Orvieto Classico has a lively flavor with a unique aftertaste of white peaches and bitter almonds. 

£9.35
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