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2017 Esporao Reserva White (1x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 "Weekday Wines(see blue link below).

2017 Esporao Reserva White - May 2019 Decanter review

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 2017 (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

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was Awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of Italian Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2014 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

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 Riserva is only produced in the best vintages, with fruit from the oldest vines (between 40 and 50 years old on average) and the best sites. There are six vineyards with different exposures and elevations to obtain more complexity in the final blend of each wine. Yields are kept low and vineyard management is certified organic with no herbicides or pesticides used. Soils are mainly calcareous (limestone), giving minerality to the wine, with around 30% clay, which retains moisture during the hot summers.

The 2015 summer in the 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.

Vinification took place in the underground winery, which is naturally cool so refrigeration is generally not necessary. Vinification took place in stainless steel and Slovenian oak barrels of between 50 and 75 hectolitres, that are approximately 70 years old. Different vineyard parcels were vinified separately, aged for two years and then carefully blended before bottling.

An intense, complex and persistent bouquet of apricot compôte and spice with aromas of honey, beeswax, minerals and flint stone. Full bodied and with great depth, the wine finishes with hints of honey and nuts.

£28.40

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

Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

Buitenverwachting is a beautiful farm on the east-facing slopes of the magnificent Constantiaberg and barely 12km from False Bay. It originally formed part of the Constantia Estate, which was founded by Simon van der Stel, the first Governor of the new Dutch colony at the tip of Africa. Rooted in deep, decomposed granite soils and cooled by the temperate sea breezes from the surrounding oceans, Buitenverwachting wines are an expression of this unique climate. The slow ripening climatic conditions with cold nights and modest day time temperatures translate into fresh, crisp and full bodied wines.

Specialising in Sauvignon Blanc, the Constantia climate allows winemaker Brad Paton in conjunction with Viticulturist Peter Reynolds to ripen out all the under ripe green flavours. Most of the sites develop a unique “yellow” fruit flavours, such as melons, passion fruit, yellow apple and gooseberries.

This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

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

Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2017 - fiche technique

£11.60

Burja Bela 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their July 2019 article on Slovenia and Croatia (see blue link below).

Burja Bela 2017 - July 2019 Decanter review

Primoz Lavrenčič is a life long student of classical philosophy and applies it to his winemaking artistry. Primoz believes, that wines from different places, different cellars, different winemakers, all contain their own idea, or essence. Wines should be bottled as their own individual expression, sui generis. They are bottled as their own expression. Primoz find that wines that yield to the terroir are the freest in their individual expression. The wines he crafts are meant to act as a sort of proof for this thesis. He recognizes that the experience of a wine depends on the knowledge, culture and past experience of the drinker, thus it’s a fact that the same wine can generate different, even contradictory experiences.

The Lavrenčič family moved to Vipava in 1499, and like most who settled there, they took advantage of the favourable soils and climate and made wine.

Malvazija 30%, Welschriesling 30%, Rebula 30 %, other varieties 10%.

FERMENTATION TANKS: stainless steel.

YEASTS: natural.

MACERATION: 7 Days.

MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION: yes.

AGED IN: concrete eggs 30%, oak barrels 70%.

AGED FOR:10 months.

CLARIFICATION/FILTRATION:none.

VEGAN: yes.

ALCOHOL CONTENT: 12.5% vol.

TOTAL PRODUCTION:12,000 bottles.

ALTITUDE: 220-300 m.

SOIL: Flysch.

VINES - YEAR PLANTED:1953 – 2005.

VINE DENSITY: 7,000 vines/hectare.

YIELD: 1 kg per vine.

£22.35

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

Chateau Musar Jeune White 2017 (1x 75cl)

The wines of Chateau Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated in Lebanon's high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6000 years. In 1930, at just 20 years old, Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar, inspired by Lebanon’s winemaking tradition and his travels in Bordeaux. Musar Jeune White is an unoaked blend of Viognier, Vermentino, Chardonnay from youthful Bekaa Valley vines. Crisp and aromatic, this eclectic blend of French and Sicilian varieties has its own distinct personality – passionfruit, apples, elderflowers – and a dry, refreshing finish.

This wine is made using ⅓ Vermentino, ⅓ Viognier and ⅓ Chardonnay.

To see Chateau Musar's excellent tasting note and information on this wine, please click the blue link below.

Château Musar Jeune White 2017 - fiche technique

£15.35

Chateau Musar White 2009 (1x 75cl)

The wines of Château Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated in Lebanon's high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6000 years. In 1930, at just 20 years old, Gaston Hochar founded Château Musar, inspired by Lebanon’s winemaking tradition and his travels in Bordeaux.

Château Musar White is a truly unique white, made from ancient Lebanese varieties Obaideh and Merwah, dating back thousands of years. Reputedly, the ancestors of Chardonnay / Chasselas and Semillon, they are among only 6 indigenous grapes still commercially cultivated in Lebanon. The vineyards were planted between 50-90 years ago, at around 1,300 metres above sea level in the foothills of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains near Ain Arab on stony, chalky soils, and on the seaward side of Mount Lebanon in Baqaãta, on calcareous gravels. The vines remain phylloxera-free and are still on their own roots. Few vineyards of this calibre and history remain in the world.

To see Chateau Musar's excellent tasting note and information on this wine, please click the blue link below.

This wine is made using 2/3rd Obaideh and 1/3rd Merwah.

Château Musar White 2009 - fiche technique

£26.45

Clos Culombu Blanc 2016, Etienne Sauzet (1x75cl)

Founded in 1973 by Paul Suzzoni, this vineyard covers 39 hectares on the estate. Since 1986, Etienne Suzzoni, Paul’s brother, has been at the helm of the enterprise. Le Clos Culombu is situated between the Gulf of Calvi and the Montegrossu mountains, whose peaks reach 2000 metres. Situated only 2 kilometres from the sea and 8 kilometres from the mountain peaks, the vineyard enjoys a very particular micro-climate. The soil is worked in the traditional manner and minimal weed killer and chemicals are used. The yields are kept low to maintain quality. The are currently in the process of converting to biodynamic practices. The convictions of the team at Clos Culombu are clear: "Our philosophy is so simple, it's about staying humble but always doing your best."

The grapes undergo 6 - 8 hours of maceration in the press. Fermentation happens in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature of between 12 and 17 ° C. The wine is then allowed to mature on its lees for 5 months in stainless steel tanks.

This wine is made using 100% Vermentino.

The colour is almost clear with green highlights. it is expressive on the nose with aromas of grapefruit, tomato leaf and white peach. On the palate there is a very slight minerality which balances well with the fruit flavours.

This wine is certified as organic by ECOCERT and they are currently undergoing the process of becoming certified as biodynamic.

£17.50

Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their July 2019 panel tasting of Oaked New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - July 2019 Decanter review

Nestled under the southern foothills of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, Clos Henri is the wine estate meticulously established and organically run by the famous Sancerre wine growing family of Henri Bourgeois. Uniting 10 generations of winegrowing know-how from the Bourgeois family, Clos Henri crafts textural and elegant wines, capturing the intense Marlborough character with the aim to reveal the identity of the Clos Henri terroir and a true sense of place in the wines. From the three different soil types of the estate, partially comprised of a clay hill slope, the family uses the best of French and New World winegrowing techniques to capture the essence of Marlborough’s intense character and reveal the identity and depth of the Clos Henri terroir. Their ultimate objective is to "offer a wine that tells the story of its origin, whispers it is not French but Marlborough and voices that it is a craft from the specific Clos Henri terroir” – says Arnaud Bourgeois, General Manager of Clos Henri.

In the French tradition, the vineyard is planted in high density to encourage competition between vines and restrain vigour. This natural vigour control means the vines put more energy into the grapes, rather than the canopy - concentrating the berries. Dry farming (using no irrigation) also helps keep vigour under control. By stressing the vines to just the right level, it forces the roots to go deeper in the soil, thereby getting the purest expression of our terroir and showing more minerality from the river stone soil.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Clos Henri.

Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2016 - fiche technique

100% Sauvignon Blanc.

Alcohol: 13.5%. Residual sugar: <1g/l. Ageing potential: 5-6 years from vintage.

The nose is refined and complex showing some citrus notes evolving into white peach aromas, with underlying chalky minerality. Delicate on the palate, the wine is textural and rich from the lees aging with layers of minerals, citrus and profound acidity balancing this dry and elegant wine, followed by a long finish.

£21.35

Cos Pithos Bianco 2017 (1x75cl)

Three friends founded Azienda Agricola COS, in 1980: Giambattista Cilia, Cirino Strano and Giusto Occhipinti. The acronym of their last names is where the name for the winery – COS – comes from. On a shoestring budget, the three friends vinified grapes from their parents’ vineyards. In 1980, they were the youngest wine producers in Italy. They received an old family winery from Giambattista Cilia’s father Giuseppe Cilia and the nearby vineyard of bush trained vines, a total of 3.60.40 hectares in the famed town of Bastonaca. On October 5, 1980 they harvested their first vintage and made 1,470 bottles. COS began its adventure that would one day lead to the transformation of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.

The winery follows the principles of biodynamic faming in order to help the vines find and maintain a balance with nature in order to be able to express their true character and that of their terroir. For vinification, they decided to use terracotta vases that left no traces or aromas on the wine but were completely neutral vessels. In 2000, Pithos was born, a Cerasuolo di Vittoria that ferments and ages in amphora. They finished working on a building in Fontane, which in 2003 became the headquarters of the winery. In 2005, they made the first wine that bore the Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.) designation, the only one in Sicily. The harvest of 2007 saw the winery in a new location and was the beginning of use of only amphora. The winery got rid of the barrels that they had and use only 150 amphoras’, one of the largest of its kind. Today COS is associated not only with the success of Cerasuolo di Vittoria but also with rigor and quality. It’s thanks to these three friends that the region of Cerasuolo di Vittoria was reborn and the area around Vittoria is thriving with its extraordinary wines.

“Our goal isn’t to make wines that impress wine critics, but to make wine that expresses our great terroir" Occhipinti says.

Pithos Bianco is a cuvée where the grapes are macerated with the skins. The wine fermented in amphora and manages to be both supple and rounded in the mouth but at the same time grippy, spicy and herbal.

See blue link below for the a technical note from the winemakers at Cos.

Cos Pithos Bianco 2017 - fiche technique

£25.10

Cullen `Cullen Vineyard` Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was 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.

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.

74% Sauvignon Blanc, 26% Semillon.

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.

£21.15

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 link below).

Cullen Mangan Semillon 2014 - 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.

£21.15

Cullen Mangan Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017 (1x 75cl)

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.

The Mangan vineyard is dry farmed and maintained using a biodynamic approach to viticulture. Soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateric subsoils. The vineyard is located adjacent to the Cullen vineyard in Wilyabrup. The vines are cane and spur pruned.

The 2017 harvest was challenging both in the vineyard and the winery. A traditionally wet winter was followed by slightly cooler than average spring and summer temperatures - a cold and stormy October contributing to a slow start in the vineyard. Fine conditions in November with below average rainfall and above average temperatures ensured veraison was only slightly delayed and the slow accumulation of flavour and ripeness ensured the fruit maintained good natural acidity levels. Above average rainfall in March made harvest decisions tricky but below average rainfall and fine weather in April supplied a nice finish for a vintage that has delivered great quality and quantity.

54% Sauvignon Blanc, 46% Semillon.

All grapes were dry farmed, hand-harvested and sorted before crushing. Fruit was picked over three weeks at 10 to 13.8ºC Baumé, when it had reached the perfect level of freshness, richness and complexity. The Semillon was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks to preserve freshness and 9% of the blend was aged in one year old oak barrels for four months.

On the nose, complex aromas of gooseberries and citrus fruit combine with freshly cut grass. The textural palate has intense citrus fruit notes of lemon and lime rounded out by honeydew melon. These pure fruit flavours are sustained on a long savoury finish.

£20.15
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