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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

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2013 (1x 75cl)

An intense, complex and persistent bouquet of apricot compote and spice with aromas of honey, beeswax, minerals and flint stone. Displaying a full body with an exceptional layered richness. With opening, the wine`s primary aromas of grape and floral touches develop into spice, aromatic herb, flinty and mineral notes, with hints of honey and nuts on the finish.

£25.50

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2014 (1x75cl)

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.

Vinification takes place in the underground winery, which is naturally cool so refrigeration is generally not necessary. Vinification takes place in stainless steel and Slovenian oak barrels of between 50 and 75 hectolitres, that are approximately 70 years old. Different vineyard parcels are 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.

£27.85

Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

The wine has a pale lemon yellow colour and a bouquet reminiscent of green figs with hints of gooseberries and an intrusion of green peppers. The wine is dry, full bodied and has a long lingering finish.
 

£10.70

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

Chateau Musar Jeune White 2015 (1x 75cl)

Musar Jeune White was first produced in 2006 with newly planted varieties, Vermentino (40%), Viognier (30%) and Chardonnay (30%) – expressing vibrant fruit flavours of grapes from young Bekaa Valley vines. The 2015 vintage was harvested in August, Chardonnay was the first to arrive at the winery on the 10th with a yield of 10 hl/ha, Viognier followed on the 13th, with 15 hl/ha and Vermentino was picked last on the 26th August with a yield of 15 hl/ha. The vines used for the Musar Jeune White are from our organically certified vineyards and come from 2 different vineyard terroirs: Chardonnay and Vermentino are grown on limestone based soils while the Viognier comes from vineyards with silty soils.

 

The Chardonnay and Vermentino were particularly expressive in 2015 with exotic fruit aromas of pineapple, bananas, lychees and hints of honeysuckle and jasmine. The Vermentino, native to Sardinia and Corsica adds citrus leaf aromatics, refreshing acidity, good richness and minerality. This is a crisp, well-structured wine of medium body with a long fruity and floral after taste.

 

Serve gently chilled with grilled seafood, Mediterranean vegetables & Thai cuisine.

£13.74

Chateau Musar White Gaston Hochar 2008 (1x 75cl)

Chateau 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.

 

The Chateau Musar White 2008 is an immensely appealing honey colour with a nose and palate of orange blossom, honey, toasted bread, almonds and basil. A very well balanced wine with good fresh lemon acidity and a long finish of citrus leaves, vanilla and honey. It is rich and concentrated but still elegant and subtle about its richness.

 

The style is reminiscent of a dry Sauternes or a mature white Graves: rich and intensely zesty, with very complex, long-lasting flavours. As such, the wine benefits from decanting and is best served at around 15° C (‘cellar cool’ rather than chilled) with fine foods of similar richness: duck and spicy Asian dishes, goat cheese, baked apple pie/tarte tatin.

 

£27.25

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

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

De Loach Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013 (1x 75cl)

Enticing aromas of citrus and melon invite you to explore further. On the palate, bright acidity is touched with a delicate oak influence, with flavours of lime and lemon mingled with tart apple. This medium bodied wine spreads slowly across your palate towards a brilliant finish of creamy vanilla.

£17.68

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 Dard Et Ribo Saint Joseph Blanc 2012 (1 x 75cl)

Having started in 1984 with just one inherited vineyard hectare in the heart of the Saint-Joseph appellation, the production of this now 8.5 hectare estate is still tiny. After befriending each other during their wine studies, René-Jean and François were among the first Northern Rhône winemakers who intervened as little as possible in grape growing and winemaking, in a time when ’natural’ hardly existed as a term.

René-Jean Dard says that they're not looking to make great wines, their focus is to make wines that let themselves drink well, there's a Japanese word for that, he adds : Nomiyasui, which could be translated as drinkability, the ability to be drunk with ease and pleasure. Wine is not made for tasting, he says, it's made to be swallowed and fully enjoyed.

There is no unecessary intervention in the vineyard or the winery - they use natural yeasts and still trample about 10% of the grapes by foot as this helps to start the fermentation. The wine can spend up to 20 days in the open topped wooden fermentation vats but this varies as each wine is tasted every morning to assess it's development. The wine then spends time on the fine lees before bottling.

Pure Roussane that manages to be both rich, creamy with golden honey notes and racey and mineraly at the same time. A real treat. The vineyard is organic and the wine is made with no added sulphur.

£29.95
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