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White Wines

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Casa Ferreirinha Planalto Douro Branco 2017 (1x 75cl)

The earlier 2015 vintage was awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of Douro Table Wines (see blue link below).  It is subjective, of course, but we judge the 2017 to be of at least a very similar quality.

Casa Ferreirinha, Planalto Branco 2015 - June 2017 Decanter review

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. 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 Luis 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.

This white blend comes from relatively high-altitude vineyards above the river Douro. The grapes were harvested by hand in the highlands and plateaus of the region and were selected for their balance between phenolic maturity and excellent freshness. The soil in the Douro Valley is schistous; a slate-like metamorphic rock that is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties.

2017 was a very warm and dry year for the Douro with almost every month from December 2016 to August 2017 recording below average rainfall. Average temperatures were much higher than normal, especially in the crucial spring months of March, April, and May. This meant that the vine’s growing cycle was much more advanced than usual, often being one or two weeks ahead of the expected schedule. The advanced maturation of the vines and grapes coupled with heatwaves in June and July meant that the 2017 harvest was destined to be one of the earliest ever recorded. Harvest began in the last week of August and finished in most areas by the end of September, a time when most harvests usually begin.

On arrival at the winery of Casa Ferreirinha in Vila Real, the grapes were destemmed and softly crushed. They were pressed and the must clarified by static decanting at low temperatures. This was followed by a long alcoholic fermentation at controlled temperatures between 16ºC-18ºC. After fermentation, around 20% of the wine was aged in used casks for three months, the remainder held in stainless steel tanks.

This wine is made using Viosinho 25%, Malvasia 20%, Fina Arinto/Pedernã 15%, Códega 15%, Gouveio (Verdelho) 15%, Moscatel 5%, Rabigato 5%.

This wine is lemon yellow in colour with golden lights. On the nose, intense floral notes stand out with hints of tropical fruit and earthy, slightly shrubby tones. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with a lively and well-integrated acidity, alongside floral notes and touches of white peaches. The finish is long and fragrant.

£9.20

Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande Douro Branco 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2017 edition review of Duoro Table Wines (see blue link below).

Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande Douro Branco 2015 - June 2017 Decanter review

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 schistous 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 season experienced a dry and mild winter. Strong and persistent rainfall from the end of winter continued into spring, accompanied by periods of low temperatures. These factors affected flowering in lower-level zones, with high rainfall reducing the quantity of grapes produced. Summer was mild, with some spikes in temperature, and nights were generally cool. These conditions contributed to a long and balanced maturation, giving high quality fruit.

The grapes were hand-picked and selected in the vineyard and on arrival at the estate's own winery. They were then destemmed and gently crushed in a pneumatic press. Vinification took place with skin maceration in order to extract the right aromatic qualities. The must was gently pressed and transferred to stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels at controlled temperatures of 14ºC-18ºC. The wine was subject to bâtonnage and following completion of fermentation, was matured for eight months.

This wine was made using Viosinho 45%, Arinto/Pedernã 30%, Gouveio (Verdelho) 10%, Rabigato 10%, Códega 5%.

This wine is golden in colour with an intense aroma of white peaches and tropical fruit. Floral notes, subtle minerality and well-integrated oak. On the palate, this wine is full-bodied with a lively acidity and good length on the finish.

£12.30

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.

£13.00

Castello Nipozzano, Mormoreto, Toscana 2013 (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 grapes were hand harvested and then softly pressed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at less than 30°C and lasted for 12 days. Maceration lasted for 28 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in barriques immediately following alcoholic fermentation. The wine was aged for 24 months in barrique and six months in bottle.

Ruby, red with violet highlights. Aromas of blueberry and blackberry are followed by black cherry and balsamic notes. On the palate the tannins are textured and dense. It is rich and velvety with a very long finish maked by eucalyptus and balsamic notes. A terrific partner to slow-cooked meat dishes, marinades and stews.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£66.25

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

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) in June 2018 (see blue link below)...

Catena Alta Chardonnay 2016 - Wine Advocate/Parker June 2018 review

During the 1990’s, Bodega Catena Zapata set new standards for Argentine wine. In an effort to produce a super-premium wine, the winemaking team of Catena began in-depth investigation into the yields from specially selected, high altitude vineyards, identifying the individual lots that produce the best fruit. 

These vines undergo a careful thinning process, leaving only a select few clusters, resulting in remarkably complex, aromatic and flavorful fruit. Through the application of natural techniques, these grapes are transformed into Catena Alta. The Catena Alta Chardonnay is produced from two of the Catena family vineyards - Adrianna, at almost 5,000 feet elevation and Domingo, at 3,700 feet elevation. The Adrianna vineyard's pebble covered soil and cool climate are ideal for growing Chardonnay. The fruit from Adrianna has a purity of flavors and a minerality that is particular to this vineyard and cannot be found anywhere else in Mendoza. Meanwhile, the sandy loam soils of the Domingo vineyard contribute white stone fruit and good acid balance.

Whole clusters are pressed and then 100% fermented in 500-litre French oak barrels with natural yeasts at low temperatures and with aggressive battonage. Aged for 14 months in French oak. 30% does not undergo malolactic fermentation. First-, second- and third- use barrels used.

The Catena Alta Chardonnay presents an intenese greenish-yellow color. The nose offers ripe white fruit aromas such as pears and peaches that are interwoven with delicate citrus and floral notes, such as jasmine. The palate shows rich and concentrated ripe pear, apple and apricot flavors with a light note of minerality. The wine finishes long and complex with crisp, mineral acidity.

£20.50

Catena Appellation (Tupungato) Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

See/click the link below for data on this wine from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Appellation Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

This wine has the unique expression of cool and high altitude vineyard sites.  Tupungato vineyards lend citrus notes with a crisp finish and a rich unctuous mouthfeel.  The wine has a beautiful pear and citrus flavors with crisp fresh minerality.  The wine is a delicate greenish color with light yellow notes.  The aroma is of fresh white peaches and pineapples and jasmine and magnolia.  The mouthfeel is tangible and rich yet clean and fresh on the finish. 

£13.55

Catena Chardonnay 2017 (1x 75cl)

See/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

The Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of three high altitude vineyard sites. The wine shows an intense greenish color with yellow notes. The extraordinary combination of these vineyards offer honey and tropical fruit flavors while lending notes of citrus, pears, peaches, and white flowers with a strong minerality and a delicated note of vanilla. The mouthfeel is clean, with a fresh, clean acidity.

£13.60

Cave De Hunawihr Gewürztraminer Reserve 2017 (1x75cl)

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

Sheltered from oceanic influence by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semi-continental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, and this lengthens the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25-year-old vines grown in vineyards running along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village, at an altitude of 250-320 metres. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé which gives soils composed of clayey limestone marl and chalky gravels.

Yields were low in 2017 due to the frost, but the quality of the grapes was very good. The harvest started earlier than normal, at the beginning of September.

This Gewürztraminer was made from a blend of micro-parcels from the Hunawihr vineyards, picked at optimum ripeness. The temperature-controlled fermentation took place between 16-18°C for three weeks, followed by four months in stainless-steel tanks to settle before careful filtration. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place.

This wine has a nice pale, straw yellow colour with an elegant silver tint. The nose is very complex with very delicate aromas of lychee, mango and particularly rose. Full-bodied, this off-dry wine has a refreshing acidity with roses lingering on the long finish.

£14.60

Cave De Hunawihr Pinot Blanc Klevner Reserve 2017 (1x75cl)

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

Sheltered from oceanic influence by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semi-continental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, and this lengthens the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards running along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village, at an altitude of 250-320 metres. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé which gives soils composed of clayey limestone marl and chalky gravels.

This Pinot Blanc is a blend of micro-parcels from the Hunawihr vineyards. The temperature controlled fermentation took place between 16-18°C for three weeks, followed by four months in stainless steel tanks to settle before careful filtration. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place.

Pale, almost luminous yellow, with an elegant silver tint. Very fresh and striking on the nose, with citrus aromas and a floral hint. Rich and silky, this is a full-bodied wine with good balance and fresh acidity. A lovely bouquet of lemon and pear continues on the long finish.

£12.95

Cave De Hunawihr Pinot Gris Reserve 2017 (1x 75cl)

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

Sheltered from oceanic influence by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semi-continental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, and this lengthens the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards running along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village, at an altitude of 250-320 metres. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé which gives soils composed of clayey limestone marl and chalky gravels.

Yields were low in 2017 due to the frost, but the quality of the grapes was very good. The harvest started earlier than normal, at the beginning of September.

Grapes were taken from selected small plots from the Hunawihr vineyards. Temperature-controlled fermentation took place between 16-18°C for three weeks, followed by four months in stainless-steel tanks to settle before being filtered carefully. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to preserve the purity of the fruit.

This wine is pale yellow in colour with a silver tint. The nose is fresh and intense with floral and pear aromas. On the palate, elegant flavours of pear and apricot are matched with a subtle smokiness. Sugar and acidity are beautifully balanced on the long finish of this food-friendly wine.

£14.65

Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2017 (1x75cl)

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

The 5.6 hectare Rosacker vineyard is north of Hunawihr, a small village between Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr. This is also where the famous parcel of Clos St Hune is located. It lies 260-330 metres above sea level, facing east/south-east, with heavy, clay soils rich in calcium and magnesium, with limestone pebbles. The vines are on average 35 years old.

Yields were low in 2017 due to the frost, but the quality of the grapes was very good. The harvest started earlier than normal, at the beginning of September.

All of the grapes were harvested by hand. There was a gentle cold settling of the must for 48 hours before fermentation at control temperatures of 16-18°C for three weeks, with selected yeasts. The wine aged for four months in stainless steel tanks on the lees with regular stirring and then some further time resting in tank before being filtered and bottled.

This wine is light yellow in colour with an elegant silver tint. On the nose, there are delicate nuances of lime and grapefruit. It is complex and fresh on the palate, with aromatic hints of citrus fruits with beautifully acidity and a zesty finish.

£17.65

Caves de l Ormarine Les Prades Picpoul de Pinet 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their April 2019 Panel Tasting on the Picpoul de Pinet (see blue link below).

Caves de l'Ormarine Les Prades Picpoul de Pinet 2017 - April 2019 Decanter review

The grapes used for this wine come from one south-facing vineyard 10-30 metres above sea level in the Languedoc Roussillon region of Southern France. The 30 year old vines are planted on a chalky clay plateaux, rich in Cretaceous limestone and loaded with quartz gravel chippings. Grapes are harvested in September at night to retain freshness and acidity.

Grapes are carefully sorted in both the vineyard and winery, with analysis of ripeness being carried out before picking. At the winery, they are destemmed and crushed, with skin contact for 3-4 hours to draw out the aromatics. After pressing, fermentation lasts 10-15 days at 16°C in cement tanks. The wine remains on its lees for 1 month with twice weekly battonage. Malolactic fermentation is prevented so that the wine can retain its crisp acidity and fresh primary fruit characters. The wine is fined, filtered and bottled and released whilst young and fresh.

The Les Prades Picpoul de Pinet has a clear, brilliant yellow colour with green tints. It has fine fresh, fruity and floral aromas. The aromatic persistance is good with overtones of citrus fruit. The flavours are lively, fresh with lemon and floral touches followed by a light refreshing grapefruit finish. Serve with fresh seafood, grilled fish, salads, or drink on its own as an aperitif.

£10.85

Ceres Composition Riesling 2015 (1x75cl)

The Ceres wine brand is the result of a collaboration of brothers Matt and James Dicey. Their grapes are always grown to a high standard. This means a lot of hand care and attention and low yields to ensure concentrated and intensely flavoured grapes. Yields are restricted to a maximum of 6t/ha and all grapes are hand harvested.

To find out more about this excellent wine please click the blue link below.

Ceres Composition Riesling 2014 - fiche technique

£17.90

Cesconi Olivar 2016 (1x75cl)

The four Cesconi brothers have transformed their family estate in the village of Pressano, in the past decade. Whereas they previously sold all their fruit to the co-op at Lavis, today they are making some of Italy's most exciting white wines. All their vineyards are now farmed organically and biodynamically. Stylistically, their whites are more intense and perfumed than those from Friuli and slightly lighter, without the weight or fat that some of the top Friuli wines have. Their reds, on the other hand, have more weight than their Friulian counterparts.

The brothers now have 21 hectares of vineyards in and around the village of Pressano situated 300 metres above sea level. The vineyards are located on the west-facing Pressano hill and have red soils originating from sandstone of the Triassic period. Most of their vineyards are now trained to guyot at a planting density of 7,000 vines per hectare, as opposed to the traditional pergola style used in much of Trentino. In general, guyot gives lower yields and riper, more flavoursome fruit that in turn results in wines of greater power and balance. The vines are on average 25 years old.

Each variety was picked and fermented separately in large oak casks and French oak barriques. The wine was aged in the same casks for ten months. After the final blend was assembled during the spring following the harvest, the wine was bottle-aged for a further six months.

A light gold wine that shows layered aromas of ripe stone fruit such as apricot and peach with notes of white flowers. A fresh, citrus character in the mouth is rounded out by the vanilla notes from the oak ageing and complemented by a touch of minerality. The long finish is floral and fragrant.

£22.25
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