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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.

£19.70

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.

£17.45

Antinori - Castello Della Sala Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Castello della Sala 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 endow the wines with much mineral character and elegance. The first vintage of production for Bramìto was 1994.

The 2017 vintage was, in general, characterized by an absence of rainfall and by a winter with temperatures below normal seasonal averages. A late frost during the month of April caused a reduction of production, particularly in valley-floor vineyards. The hot and dry climate of the summer months assisted in the early ripening of the grapes and guaranteed a crop of excellent healthiness. Drip irrigation was employed in certain vineyards to avoid excessive stress on the plants. The constant, and customary, attention to the  growth and  development of the vines and grapes, along with careful and timely picking, assured the harvest of healthy grapes characterized by an excellent freshness, capable of producing a wine of much balance between acidity  and alcohol. The picking of the Chardonnay for Bramìto began towards the second week of the month of August.

The must and the skins produced by the destemming and pressing were chilled to a temperature of 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) and went into stainless steel tanks for a brief (two to four hour) period of maceration aimed at extracting from the skins all the elements responsible for the aromatic and flavour profile. The must was then fermented, partly in stainless steel and partly in barrel, at temperatures held to 61-64° Fahrenheit (16-18° centigrade); only the barrel-fermented part went through a malolactic fermentation. The various lots were then assembled in preparation for bottling.

The 2017 Bramìto shows a straw yellow colour. The nose is characterized by delicate white flower notes followed by light sensations of citrus fruit. The palate is crisp and with a good body, vigorous, and with pleasurable mineral notes which make the finish and aftertaste enjoyably savoury.

£19.15

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 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

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

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

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.

£15.20

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.

£20.45

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.

£15.44

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.

£15.10

Ca Dei Frati Lugana Brolettino 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition regional profile of Lugana (in Veneto) (see blue link below)

Ca Dei Frati Lugana Brolettino 2015 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

The Dal Cero family has transformed their Cà dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 160 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality and today they remain the best producer in Lugana.

The secret to the success of the Ca' dei Frati wines is the outstanding vineyards. Most producers in the zone crop at high levels and train the vines high. At Ca' dei Frati, the vines are trained low, newer vineyards have a higher density of planting and yields are well below the average for the area. All grapes are grown in Ca' dei Frati's own vineyards, which are located on the south banks of Lake Garda, near the town of Sirmione. The vines from which 'Brolettino' is made were planted in 1971, with clay soils. The training system is single and double Guyot and the yield is nine tonnes per hectare.

2016 saw a hot and dry summer in Lombardy. A cool spring with some rainfall was followed by a hot June and July. Large shifts between day and night time temperatures throughout August helped to balance grape ripening and produce healthy, ripe grapes with refreshing acidity.

Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks after which the wine was transferred to small 225 litre barriques for 10 months. Malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place in a selected number of barrels. The wine then aged in bottle for three months before release.

Pale golden in colour, this wine opens with aromas of stone fruits and a touch of vanilla spice from the oak ageing. The palate has rich peach characters, with a creamy, honeyed texture lifted by stony minerality. Intense and concentrated through to the fresh finish.

£21.10

Ca Dei Frati Lugana I Frati 2017 (1x75cl)

The Dal Cero family has transformed their Cà dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 140 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality, and today they remain the best producer in Lugana. The quality of the wines is attributable directly to Igino Dal Cero's obsession with detail. All their fruit is picked by hand; he ensures there is no skin contact as he wants to retain delicate perfumes and enhance the supple texture; he has changed his mind on malolactic fermentation and now inhibits it in order to give the wine the lift he feels it benefits from; and he is now convinced that ageing on lees from end of fermentation gives him greater richness on the palate and the wonderful flintiness on nose that makes this wine so Burgundian in character.

The winemakers at Ca dei Frati have produced an excellent tasting note for this wine. Please click the blue link below to see this.

Ca Dei Frati 'I Frati' Lugana 2017 - fiche technique

£16.30

Ca Rugate Monte Fiorentine Soave Classico 2016 (1x75cl)

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

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

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

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

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

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

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£15.35
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