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White Wines

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2017 Esporao Reserva White (1x 75cl)

The Esporão project began in the Alentejo from an irrepressible desire to make the finest wines. This is the basis of everything they do. Part of the Alentejo’s montado ecosystem (cork oak forests), in Portugal, Herdade do Esporão has extraordinary conditions for agriculture – large thermal amplitudes, poor and various soils and extraordinary biodiversity that helps them produce in balance with the environment. With 691.9 hectares of vineyards, olive groves and other crops, they grow using organic methods .

Please click the blue link below to see an excellent and informative tasting note / information sheet about this wine from the winemakers at Esporao.

Esporão Reserva White 2017 - fiche technique  

£15.10

Alois Lageder Am Sand Gewurztraminer 2016 (1x75cl)

The Alois Lageder winery in Alto Adige comprises fifty hectares of the family's own vineyards, which are managed on the basis of biodynamic principles. Their holistic approach is reflected in their wine-growing activities, their long-standing relationships with numerous grape growers and an ambition to create awareness for agriculture that is in tune with nature.

This Gewürztraminer is a product of several sites with sandy soils in the Bassa Atesina of Alto Adige. Although the sites in Termeno, Magrè and Lake Caldaro are very hot, the individual components are strengthened with the help of a staggered grape harvest. That gives the Gewürztraminer freshness, minerality, depth and finesse. When possible, a portion of the grapes is harvested with noble rot.

To see an excellent tasting note and information sheet for this wine, produced by the team at Alois Lageder, please click on the blue link below.

£23.50

Ancilla Lugana, Lugana 2016 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2019 edition article Weekday Wines (see blue link below)

Ancilla Lugana, Lugana 2016 - April 2019 Decanter review

Ancilla Lugana is located on the shores of Lake Garda in North East Italy. The estate comprises two vineyards: La Ghidina, located in Lugana di Sirmoine, the heart of the production area of some of the most elegant whites in Italy; and Cadellora, situated in Villafranca di Verona. Run by Luisella Benedetti, the third generation of women to run this estate, who inherited the farm from her mother, who inherited in turn from her mother, named Ancilla. Ancilla was an extraordinary, energetic woman, who worked the fields and got up at 3am every day make her wine producing dream come true. Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, Luisella gave up her career in finance and took over the family business in the early 2000s. The lifelong commitment of her grandmother and mother is a passion now shared by Luisella, which is clear to see in this exciting and pure collection of Lugana wines.

The grape variety Turbiana is also known as the Trebbiano di Lugana, but not to be confused with the Trebbiano found elsewhere in Italy. Research indicates that it is more likely to have a genetic similarity to Verdicchio and is one of the few native grapes capable of ageing. The 15 year old vines are grown in vineyards in the Ghidina zone of Lugana. Trained on a vertical trellising system, the vines yield seven tonnes per hectare. The unique terroir here is made up of lime, clay and limestone soils.

100% Turbiana.

A proportion of the grapes were destemmed and pressed after some contact with the skins, while the remaining grapes were pressed as whole bunches. Fermentation took place slowly at low temperatures in stainless steel vats, in order to preserve the aromatics of the Turbiana variety. 10% of the must was fermented in oak barriques, with ageing on the lees for 15 months, adding complexity to the final blend. The wine was bottle aged for seven months prior to release.

A delicately floral bouquet with ripe yellow fruits leads to a rich and balanced palate of exotic fresh fruits. Well structured with a vibrant depth of flavour, this is an easy drinking style. A complex and creamy palate with spice, pineapple and green apple flavours and finishing on a long, tingling note.

A great aperitivo which also accompanies antipasti, fresh seafood dishes and pasta with seafood sauces.

£21.30

Anselmi Capitel Croce IGT 2017 (1x75cl)

Since taking over management of his family’s winery in the Soave district of northeast Italy’s Veneto region two decades ago, Roberto Anselmi has been motivated by an emotional and professional commitment to tapping the unrealized potential of the wines he grew up with. This has entailed a significant parting of ways with traditional vineyard and winemaking practices that have historically characterized the Soave district, and given birth to a new generation of north Italian white wines of unprecedented quality, character and finesse.

The Capitel Croce vineyard is situated on hilly terrain with southern exposure, covering just 2.5 hectares on the Zoppega hills around the town of Monteforte D'Alpone. The volcanic and rocky soil composition of the Capitel Croce vineyard offers excellent drainage and yields are kept low through densely planted vines.

This wine exhibits a straw colour and subtle vanilla and spice aromas are noticeable in the aromatics. On the palate there is a creamy texture, admirable finesse and complexity. It is surprisingly full flavoured both in concentration and length.

£20.65

Anselmi Capitel Foscarino Igt 2017 (1x 75cl)

Shows great depth and character, with ripe fruit reminiscent of peaches with floral elements, fresh balanced acidity and a long, persistent finish.

£18.30

Antinori - Bramito Della Sala Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Castello della Sala (where the grapes for Bramito are grown) is located in Umbria at approximately ten miles (18 kilometers) from the city of Orvieto. The soil, rich in clay on the whole, the vineyards with a fine eastern exposure, a climate characterized by cold – but not to excess – winters and warm summers in which fog plays a role in the ripening of the grapes: all these factors make Castello della Sala a spot with a very high potential for the production of fine white wine. Bramìto is produced from the grapes of the vineyards of the centuries-old Castello della Sala, located just a few miles from the city of Orvieto. A variety, Chardonnay, which finds, in this particular territory, soils which derive from fossil sediments intermingled with strata of clay and which endow the wines with much mineral character and much elegance as well. The first vintage of production for Bramìto was 1994.

This wine is 100% Chardonnay.

To see an excellent 2 page information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been produced by the team at Antinori, please click on the blue link below.

Antinori Bramito Della Sala Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

£20.10

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.

£16.80

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.

£23.15

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.

£16.15

Barbadillo Mirabras 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article: Revolutionary Road which covers sherry country's quiet revolution (see blue link below).

Barbadillo Mirabras 2016 - March 2019 Decanter review

This wine is inspired by the age-old methods of vinification of the Sherry district. The grapes come from Barbadillo’s ‘Cerro de Leyes’ vineyard in the Santa Lucía estate from Palomino vines planted in 1972.

Before being pressed, the grapes are prepared in a very traditional way known as ‘Soleo’ where the picked grape bunches are left in the sun to increase the sugar concentration. Manzanilla butts are then used for a traditional cask fermentation using the natural yeasts from the vineyard. The young wine is then transferred to stainless steel and cement tanks for 18 months, under a veil of ‘flor’ before bottling with minimal fining. The result is something unique and represents a journey back in time in termsof aromas and flavours; ones that might have been more familiar in the 19th century.

The wine has remarkable character for a Palomino white; pale golden colour, dry with good acidity, toasted maize and honeyed nose with an unctuous sensation on the palate, revealing flavours of yeast, bread crust and a hint of old oak.

£19.50

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.

£16.15

Bogle Viognier 2016 (1x75cl)

Appetizing display of luscious aromas with fresh apricot and pear fruit tang on the palate. Balanced by the clean, floral tones of honeysuckle blooms and orange blossoms, this wine was fermented cold in stainless steel tanks to allow the varietal character to shine.

£15.35

Boulevard Napoleon Grenache Gris 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2018 edition expert review of Languedoc whites (see blue link below).

Boulevard Napoleon Grenache Gris 2015 - August 2018 Decanter review

Named after the street the winery is located on in the village of La Livinière, Minervois, Boulevard Napoléon is the partnership between restaurant owner Trevor Gulliver and winemaker Benjamin Darnault. Seeing the potential in the vineyards located by his holiday home, Trevor started making the wines and then showed them to his other partner, chef Fergus Henderson, who was more than impressed, as were we! Each wine is a classic expression of the varietal grown on the dry, stony slopes of the south of France - yet they retain a vibrancy and definition that marks them out from the crowd.

Fruit is sourced exclusively from a 75 year old single vineyard situated on stony terraces in the high hills of La Livinière, in the Minervois region. Here, soils are predominantly limestone and clay with the age of vines averaging 70 years. The wines show brightness, ripeness, definition and character - elements which can be largely attributed to these older vines. Grenache grapes are picked in two passes, as both the Noir and Gris grapes are grown in the same plot.

Grapes were all harvested by hand into small cases before undergoing a slow and gentle whole bunch pressing in a bag press. After one day resting on its skins, the juice was racked off into one and two year old 225 litre barrels for fermentation. The finished wine was then aged in barrel on its lees for one year without racking. A light filtration occurred just prior to bottling.

One of the best examples of white wines from the Languedoc region. Aromatic, with citrus perfumes, this wine is rich and supple on the palate with distinct notes of smoke and liquorice. The finish is fresh, long and lingering.

£20.60

Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Alain Chavy 2016 (1x 75cl)

Alain Chavy produces restrained, structured, and long-lived white Burgundies from 17 acres of vineyards in Puligny-Montrachet. Alain and his brother Jean-Louis worked with their father from 1986 until his retirement in 1997. The brothers continued to work together until 2003 when they decided to equally divide the 32 acres belonging to Domaine Gérard Chavy. Alain established Domaine Alain Chavy in 2003 and moved to a grand, old house in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, where he lives with his family. Here, Alain constructed a new underground cellar—one of the few in Puligny—where he continues to refine his work in the vineyard and cellar.

This Bourgogne Blanc comes from young vines grown in Puligny where the wines typically show green and yellow fruit, firm acidity and distinctive minerality. This Bourgogne Blanc, while light in body, is taut and fresh in character.

Alain inoculates for fermentation and believes in keeping bâtonnage to a minimum. He uses a combination of 400-liter oak puncheons and up to 10% new Burgundian pièce for the Bourgogne Blanc. “We’re looking for a balance between the fruit and oak character,” explains Alain. “We want the wines’ minerality to show through.”

Wines from Puligny-Montrachet are typified by aromas and flavours of green apple and lemon, so tend to be tauter and firmer on the palate compared to wines from neighbouring villages. Ageing in a small percentage of new French oak barrels lends accents of toast and vanilla. This Alain Chavy Bourgogne Blanc, with its rich texture and toasted flavours, pairs well with white fish and shellfish and its naturally high acidity can counterbalance cream-based sauces. It also lends itself well to grilled fish, starches, butter, and toasted nuts.

£16.15

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Superiore 2017 (1x75cl)

The Bucci family has been growing grapes in the Marche since the 1700s. Current custodian, Ampelio Bucci has 26 hectares of vineyard on this 400 hectare estate, which is cultivated organically. Of these, 21 hectares are Verdicchio, spread over six separate vineyards. The old vines and low yields give wines of great intensity. Consultant winemaker at Villa Bucci is the legendary enologist Giorgio Grai, who has been there for nearly 30 years. He makes wines for ageing and complexity rather than freshness and simplicity.

The fruit for this wine comes from six vineyards, each with a different exposure and elevation, which contribute to greater complexity in the final blend. Yields are kept low and vineyard management is certified organic, with no herbicides or pesticides used. Soils are mainly calcareous (limestone), lending minerality to the wine, with around 30% clay which retains moisture during the hot summers. The average age of the vines is 35 years.

2017 presented some challenges for winemakers in the Marche. Spring frost affected bud growth, while the hot weather that followed during the summer months caused hydric stress. Nevertheless, Bucci has been able to make wines which are complex and show good acidity.

Vinification took place in the underground winery which is naturally cool so refrigeration is generally not necessary. The must was fermented in both stainless steel and Slavonian oak barrels of between 50 and 75 hectolitres in size and approximately 70 years old. Different vineyard parcels were vinified separately then carefully blended before bottling.

Golden yellow in colour, this wine has a layered bouquet with notes of vanilla, butterscotch and almonds. Aromas of mimosa and ripe Golden Delicious apples carry through onto the complex palate, which has a fresh finish. A refreshing mineral edge contrasts with ripe, round flavours of wildflower honey.

£15.20
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