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`Cullen Vineyard` Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River (Australia) (see blue link below).

Cullen Sem/SB 2015 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Fruit is sourced exclusively from the Cullen Vineyard. The soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateritic subsoils. The vineyard is certified biodynamic and vines are dry-farmed. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are trained on a Lyre trellis due to their high vigour giving a great area for the leaves and fruit to grow on and enabling fruit to reach proper physiological ripeness.

2015 presented excellent growing conditions. From October to March weather was mostly dry with little rainfall. A warm ripening period resulted in fruit arriving at the winery in superb condition. Good rains enhanced the growing season with luckily no rainfall at all during the harvest period. Low yields and ideal ripening have resulted in elegant and perfumed wines of great purity.

The fruit was hand-harvested, and barrel-fermented using natural yeasts, with no acid additions and limited fining. 74% of the wine was aged in new French oak for five months, adding complexity and depth to the wine.

This wine shows a delightful combination of fresh cut grass, spicy and vanillin oak aromas supported by tropical notes. Vibrant fruit flavours are lifted by citrus notes. A very complex wine with lovely stone fruit nuances and toasty characteristics.

£20.65

Cesconi Nosiola 2015 (1x 75cl)

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.

Nosiola, the only grape variety native to Trentino, is planted on the edge of the woods on west-facing vineyards, some with slopes of up to 30° at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level. Soils are shallow but very rich and moderately calcareous, with friable base rock from the triassic period which releases minerals slowly and continuously into the soils. The vines are 30 years old on average and are pergola trained in the traditional manner, with 3m between rows and 0.60m between vines. Yields are approximately seven tons per hectare.

Some of the grapes were de-stemmed and macerated for four to five days until the cap was formed, at which point the fermenting must was joined together with rest of the juice obtained directly from pressing the grapes. The fermentation continued in stainless steel containers and large acacia barrels. The acacia wood allows for a balance between the advantages of winemaking in wood, and the preservation of the fine, delicate bouquet of Nosiola. The wine remained in contact with the lees for about nine months before being bottled at the end of the summer.

A lovely pale lemon colour. The nose is fresh and lively, expressing the wine's mountain character, with notes of grapefruit and elderberry. The palate is savoury but delicate; the moderate alcohol content and high acidity enhancing its depth and finish.

£14.80

Chereau Carre Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 'La Griffe' 2013 (1x 75cl)

“Sur Lie” means the wine was matured on its lees until bottling, giving it an attractive “prickle” on the palate and nice weight. Clean tasting with crisp acidity and a bright, dry minerality.

£8.88

Colome Torrontes 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and an Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their 2016 World Wine Awards(see blue link below).

 

Hess Colome Torrontes 2015- 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

 

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.

The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley and greater difference between day and night temperatures, ensures a longer growing season which in turn leads to a more intense accumulation of flavour in the grapes. The large difference (25°C) between day and night also aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. Fermenation was slow, using selected yeasts at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for three months before bottling in June 2015. It then spent a further two months ageing in bottle before release.

Intense gold in colour with green tones, this wine has a bright floral nose with the citrus aroma of grapefruit and a hint of spice. In the mouth it is fresh and well structured with a crisp finish. Elegant and fruity with tropical notes to the fore.

£10.62

Colome Torrontes 2017 (1x75cl)

The previous (2016) vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition review of Argentinian whites (see blue link below).

Colome Torrontes 2016 - October 2017 Decanter review

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. In 1854, his daughter Ascensión, who was married to José Benjamín Dávalos, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards (of four hectares each) planted in that year are still used to make wines. Located in the Upper Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, not only is Colomé the oldest winery in Argentina, but it also claims to own the world's highest vineyard.

The high altitude of the Calchaqui Valley and greater difference between day and night temperatures, ensures a longer growing season which in turn leads to a more intense accumulation of flavour in the grapes. The large difference (25°C) between day and night also aids the retention of natural acidity within the grapes. The climate here is dry with very little rainfall, on average around 120mm per year. Soils are sandy with layers of gravel which aid drainage. The vineyards are all farmed biodynamically.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. Fermenation was slow, using selected yeasts at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks for three months before bottling in June 2016. It then spent a further two months ageing in bottle before release.

Intense gold in colour with green tones, this wine has a bright floral nose with the citrus aroma of grapefruit and a hint of spice. In the mouth it is fresh and well structured with a crisp finish. Elegant and fruity with tropical notes to the fore.

£11.25

Cullen `Mangan Vineyard` Margaret River Semillon 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 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).

Cullen Mangan Semillon 2015 - November 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Although the weather in 2014 leading up to and during the vintage was warm, the fruit produced by all varieties was exceptional. There was no rain in January, February and not even until the end of harvest in March. The resulting low yields, balanced pH and great acid levels translated into wines of great flavour and style.

Harvest in 2014 delivered Semillon fruit of outstanding quality. The grapes at the Mangan vineyard were hand picked and sorted before being pressed and naturally fermented with no acid additions and limited fining.

This wine has ripe tropical and citrus notes which are prominent on the nose. The palate shows attractive florality, white peach, citrus and pineapple nuances with an underlying minerality.

£19.35

De Loach `Heritage Reserve` Chardonnay 2015 (1x75cl)

Displays nicely integrated citrus and honey notes that intertwine perfectly with tropical flavours of pineapple, papaya and mango. This wine is soft and lingers long on the palate. 

£13.45

De Loach `Heritage Reserve` Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

Displays nicely integrated citrus and honey notes that intertwine perfectly with tropical flavours of pineapple, papaya and mango. This wine is soft and lingers long on the palate. 

£14.15

Dobogo Furmint 2015 (1x75cl)

Tokaj is a region bordered by the rivers Bodrog and Tisza in the north-eastern corner of Hungary, 120 miles from Budapest. It consists of 28 villages spread over the Tokaj hills at approximately 220m above sea level. Founded in 1869, the Dobogó estate is in the centre of Tokaj and today belongs to Izabella Zwack, the youngest member of the Zwack family (the producers of Hungary's famous liqueur, Unicum).

Grapes were grown in the 35-year-old vineyards of Betsek and Szent Tamás in Mád. Both vineyards are planted with three of the permitted Tokaj grape varieties - 60% Furmint, 30% Harslevelú and 10% Muscat Lunel, although for this wine, only Furmint was used. Yields were restricted using short spur pruning which ensured that the vines did not yield more than one kilogram of fruit per vine. Soils in this area are volcanic.

The grapes were harvested by hand. Fermentation took place using natural yeasts in three and four-year-old Hungarian oak barrels of 300-500 litre capactiy. After undergoing battonage, or stirring of the lees, for a period of six months it was aged for one year before bottling.

This, according to winemaker Attila Domokos is one of the most lean and mineral Furmints in the history of Dobogó dry whites. It captures Mád, Tokaj and the philosophy of Dobogó excellently all in one. It is pale golden in colour and sparkles in the glass. The minerality of Tokaj appears undeniably on the nose, embroidered with fresh citrus and hints of orange peel. Rich and characterful on the palate.

£17.75

Domaine Christian Binner Les Binner Saveurs 2014 (1x 75cl)

The Binner estate was established in 1770. The family owns nine hectares in Alsace but only six hectares are cultivated with vines. They are a certified organic producer and also practice biodynamic farming. They produce "natural wines" using very few additives and no technological manipulations. 

This is a highly aromatic and floral wine with spicy notes. Green apples, pear, lemon drops, peach and lychee mingle seamlessly on the palate with minerality, floral and sweet spice flavours. This is a dry style of wine which has a long finish.

£12.06

Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne 2013 (1x 75cl)

Domaine Etienne Sauzet, located in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, is arguably one of Puligny's finest domaines. The domaine was established in the 1920s and at its height, had 12 hectares of vines. Etienne's daughter inherited the vineyards and left them to her three children. As a result the vineyard holdings total less than nine hectares. Today, the next generation has taken over with Emilie, Jeanine’s daughter, running the domaine with her winemaker husband Benoît Riffault. Etienne Sauzet purchases grapes from family and trusted growers. They have been practicing biodynamic viticulture for the last seven years. The portion of new oak in the cellar has also been reduced in recent years to allow the elegance of the fruit to shine through.

Gerard calls this wine 'the Chablis of Puligny'. Soils are calcareous and poor. The Domaine practices sustainable viticulture. All vineyard work, such as debudding to control yield and open up the canopy, are done by hand, as is harvesting. Vines are Guyot trained.

Grapes were hand harvested and subjected to sorting in the vineyard and at the winery if required. Whole bunches were pressed in a pneumatic press for two hours, which gave a gentle pressure to keep aromatics and delicate fruit aromas and flavours. Fermentation took place in old barrels and lasted approximately one month. The wine was aged in 20% new oak for 12 months, while the remaining 80% was aged in older oak aged between two and three years. Using a small proportion of new oak allowed the elegance of the fruit to come through while adding a delicate complexity. The wine was aged for a further 9-10 months in stainless steel tanks after racking off the fine lees. Fining was performed with bentonite, before light filtration and gravity-fed bottling.

This Puligny 1er Cru is all about minerality and length. This is an elegant, almost austere wine with superb precision and depth.

£65.34

Domaine Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne 2015 (1x 75cl)

Domaine Etienne Sauzet, located in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, is arguably one of Puligny's finest domaines. The domaine was established in the 1920s and at its height, had 12 hectares of vines. Etienne's daughter inherited the vineyards and left them to her three children. As a result the vineyard holdings total less than nine hectares. Today, the next generation has taken over with Emilie, Jeanine’s daughter, running the domaine with her winemaker husband Benoît Riffault. Etienne Sauzet purchases grapes from family and trusted growers. They have been practicing biodynamic viticulture for the last seven years. The portion of new oak in the cellar has also been reduced in recent years to allow the elegance of the fruit to shine through.

Gerard calls this wine 'the Chablis of Puligny'. Soils are calcareous and poor. The Domaine practices sustainable viticulture. All vineyard work, such as debudding to control yield and open up the canopy, are done by hand, as is harvesting. Vines are Guyot trained.

2015 experienced a warm summer with little rainfall, which brought the harvest forward. The Chardonnay grapes were harvested at full ripeness and the resulting wines are full of stone fruit characters, with more richness and lower acidity levels than the wines of 2014.

Grapes were hand harvested and subjected to sorting in the vineyard and at the winery if required. Whole bunches were pressed in a pneumatic press for two hours, which gave a gentle pressure to keep aromatics and delicate fruit aromas and flavours. Fermentation took place in old barrels and lasted approximately one month. The wine was aged in 20% new oak for 12 months, while the remaining 80% was aged in older oak aged between two and three years. Using a small proportion of new oak allowed the elegance of the fruit to come through while adding a delicate complexity. The wine was aged for a further 9-10 months in stainless steel tanks after racking off the fine lees. Fining was performed with bentonite, before light filtration and gravity-fed bottling.

This Puligny 1er Cru is all about minerality and length. This is an elegant, almost austere wine with superb precision and depth.

£78.25

Domaine Gramenon Cotes-Du-Rhone Vie On Y Est 2015 (6x75cl)

In December of 1978 Philippe Laurent and Michèle Aubéry-Laurent bought a barn and 12 hectares of old vines in Montbrison.  Their first harvest took place in 1979 with their first cuvee being the Ceps Centenaires. As time has passed they have extended their vineyards as well as buying new plots of land and they now have 25 hectares of land under vine. The vineyard is now certified as organic.

This wine was hand picked and has undergone both an alcoholic and malolactic fermentation before spending 6 months in oak.

£122.10

Domaine Saint-Nicolas Michon Haut des Clous, Fiefs Vendeens Chenin Blanc 2014 (6x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2017 edition review of Loire Dry Chenins (see blue link below).

 

Fiefs Vendeens 2014 - February 2017 Decanter review

 

An elegant, fully dry Loire Chenin from the Fiefs Vendéens appellation; whereas much of the Loire’s better-known Chenins originate from way upstream in the Touraine or Anjou-Saumur, this comes from just where the river spills into the Atlantic below Nantes.

 

Indeed, Domaine Saint-Nicolas is precisely why Fiefs Vendéen is known. Michon are biodymanic producers and the Hauts des Clous is the epitome of their art. It has a progressive intensity with great tension and freshness, apple and peach aromas, a very smooth texture and long finish. There are not many dry Chenins like this.

 

£147.90

Elgin Ridge Chaos White Blend 2016 (6 x 50cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition article 30 Great New World Buys under £30 (see blue link below).

Elgin Ridge Chaos White Blend 2016 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

Brian and Marion Smith sold their successful London IT business to pursue their dreams of making outstanding wines in small quantities. After much searching they found the perfect setting to fulfill their ambition in the Elgin Valley of South Africa. The vineyards are certified as organic and biodynamic.  Maddox the Percheron horse helps with weed control as do the ducks that run through the vines eating any weeds that Maddox has ploughed up! 

"Chaos White is the expression of the fruit for which cool climate Elgin wines are known, paired with winemaking techniques - stepping away from the norm - to showcase the versatility of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon." says Elgin's winemaker Kosie

Please note that this wine is presented in a 50cl bottle.

£108.60
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