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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

Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2017 (1x 75cl)

This top value Pinot Grigio reflects the expertise of acclaimed winegrower Alois Lageder, and the wines he selected from vineyard sources in the "Tre Venezie" (Alto Adige, Trentino and Veneto) - acknowledged as one of Italy's prime regions for quality white wines.

A fourth generation winery owner and winemaker in Alto Adige, Alois Lageder's long-standing credibility with wine growers gives him access to some of the region's best Pinot Grigio wines for this special selection.

Alois Lageder carefully selects the wines on-site; they are sur lie-matured in stainless steel tanks, then blended and bottled at his Lšwengang winemaking facilities. Riff Pinot Grigio reflects the origin of its prime growing area in style and character, and demonstrates all the varietal's best characteristics: good structure and intensity on the palate, balanced with lively acidity.

Most vineyards in the region are located on the slopes of the foothills of the Dolomites, a part of the Alps that dictate the climate and bless the region with some of the most prized alluvial soils. These soils are composed of dolomite, a limestone made of fossil deposits of an ancient ocean that covered this region 4.6 million years ago. The name riff (German for reef), thus refers to the Dolomite's geologic origin.

The vineyard sources for most of this Pinot Grigio contain a substantial amount of dolomite limestone which has an obvious impact on the wine's character and style. It is because of the contribution that these fossils (limestone) make to the wine's character that they have been chosen to be incorporated into the label design as a reminder of its geological origin.

To see an informative information and tasting note and on this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio 2017 - fiche technique

£10.55

Alpha Zeta 'P' Pinot Grigio 2018 (1x75cl)

Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.

The fruit for this wine is grown in special, selected old vineyards with excellent south-east exposure, where growers have reduced their yields quite considerably to produce excellent quality fruit.

The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no addition of sulphur. The juice was naturally settled and racked and cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation which took place at 12-14°C. The wine was held in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks before bottling. 

100% Pinot Grigio.

The wine has aromas of ripe peach and pear and slight hints of flint. It is refreshing and crisp on the finish, with attractive Pinot Grigio characters.

£10.00

Alpha Zeta 'S' Soave 2018 (1x75cl)

Alpha Zeta was created in 1999 by UK wine importer, David Gleave MW, and New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson with this belief in mind. They realised that the key is to marry local grape growers with impeccable winemaking. All Alpha Zeta wines are made from indigenous grape varieties grown in the hills north-east of Verona.  The flavours of the grape shine through in the glass offering great value, quality and balance. Matt works with local Veronese grape growers in hillside vineyards to select parcels of fruit, rather than buying in bulk wine. They have worked together to reduce yields and the grapes are now picked later. In this way, they have been able to improve grape quality and obtain riper flavours.

Grapes are sourced from hillside vineyards in the Soave area, where the climate is moderate. The volcanic soil is poor and granitic so the vines are put under stress helping to produce superior quality fruit.

The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and pumped to the press with no sulphur addition. The juice was chilled immediately and naturally settled. Cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation, which took place at low temperatures (12-14°C) in order to retain fruit flavours. The wine remained in tank until bottling to maximise freshness.

This wine is 100% Garganega.

This is a pale lemon coloured wine, with clean, bright aromas of almond blossom. With fresh acidity, the palate is ripe and concentrated, full of apple and pear flavours. The finish is lively and crisp.

£8.35

Amalaya Blanco de Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2017 (1x75cl)

The previous 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Amalaya Torrontes-Riesling 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Amalaya translates to ‘hope for a miracle’ in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level. It is a part of the Hess Family Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as the other Hess Estates. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘.

The Torrontes and Riesling grapes were grown on the Finca San Isidoro vineyards. These are located in the Cafayate Valley in the very heart of the Calchaqui Valley, distinguished for being the highest wine region in the world. The climate here is very dry, with just 150mm of rain in an average year and a huge thermal amplitude of around 20°C. The soils here are rocky, poor and sandy so the roots of the vines are forced to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a huge concentration of flavour within the fruit.

Overall, the Calchaquí Valley enjoyed optimal conditions in 2017, with perfect balance between quality and quantity. The weather during the growing season was excellent, with no spring frost, allowing good fruit set and resulting in healthy grapes.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. The grapes underwent cold maceration for four days, followed by a slow fermentation using selected yeasts, at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. 80% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks with 20% aged in French oak for 10 months.

This wine is made using Torrontes 85%, Riesling 15%.

Intense gold in colour, this wine has pronounced aromas of grapefruit and lemon peel. Delicate and silky on the palate with great freshness and crisp acidity on the distinctly mineral finish.

£10.20

Amalaya Blanco de Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2017 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Amalaya Torrontes-Riesling 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Amalaya translates to ‘hope for a miracle’ in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level. It is a part of the Hess Family Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as the other Hess Estates. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘.

The Torrontes and Riesling grapes were grown on the Finca San Isidoro vineyards. These are located in the Cafayate Valley in the very heart of the Calchaqui Valley, distinguished for being the highest wine region in the world. The climate here is very dry, with just 150mm of rain in an average year and a huge thermal amplitude of around 20°C. The soils here are rocky, poor and sandy so the roots of the vines are forced to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a huge concentration of flavour within the fruit.

85% Torrontes, 15% Riesling.

The grapes went through a double selection process, firstly in the vineyard and then again on the sorting table at the winery. The grapes underwent cold maceration for four days, followed by a slow fermentation using selected yeasts, at low temperatures to retain the varietal fruit character. 80% of the wine was aged in stainless steel tanks with 20% aged in French oak for 10 months.

Intense gold in colour, this wine has pronounced aromas of grapefruit and lemon peel. Delicate and silky on the palate with great freshness and crisp acidity on the distinctly mineral finish.

£10.30

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 San Vincenzo 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.

Anselmi's land under vine presently covers a total of 62 acres, high in the volcanic, calcareous hills of Soave and Monteforte d’Alpone. This area offers optimum drainage and microclimates especialy as Anselmi's vineyards are planted exclusively on the hills and not in the flat riverbed areas. The perfect southern exposure and elevated hillsides, volcanic tuff and rocky/calcareous slopes, together with severe pruning and green harvest, further reduces crop yields, ensuring maximum concentration.

The grapes are de-stemmed and then soft pneumatic pressed are used. The must goes thorugh cold maceration on skins for added depth and extract and the fermentation takes place at 16 C. After that the wine rests in steel vats for six months with natural yeast and no decanting. A further period of 3 months of bottle maturation before release. Roberto’s wine-making artistry sculptures the extraordinary material provided by superb terroir and vineyard management into a range with incredible depth, breadth and longevity.

Fruity, youthful style, reminiscent of nuts and peaches, already exhibits the trademark Anselmi complexity. No wood maturation, clean crisp flavours, long finish. Recommended with seafood and lighter white meat dishes such as steamed fish fillets with scallion-ginger oil, boiled lobsters with tarragon butter or braised pork chops with dill sauce.

 

£14.25

Anton Finkenauer Kreuznacher Riesling QbA trocken 2015 (1x 75cl)

In 1925 the winery of Anton and Carl Finkenauer was split as the two brothers wanted to go their own way. Since then there have been two wineries with the same name situated just a few metres away from each. Weingut Anton Finkenauer is a family company offering well made and attractively priced wines with an annual volume of 60,000 bottles.

The grapes were cool fermented to retain the fruity character with a good balance of acidity.

The wonderful balance between sugar and acidity found in this wine, makes it a good example of the wines from the Nahe region. A young, dry, streamlined and fruity wine with just a hint of refreshing spritz on the palate. The perfect accompaniment to seafood, particularly oysters, green Niçoise salads and creamy Camembert.

£9.90

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

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. Craighall is located directly opposite the main Ata Rangi home block. The 30 year old Mendoza clone of Chardonnay vines, with their characteristic 'hen and chicken' fruit set, are always low yielding. Soils here comprise a thin layer of well-drained alluvial soil deposited on what was the original course of the river as it flowed east to the Pacific Ocean.

Hand-picked fruit was whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. Unsettled juice was fully barrel-fermented in Burgundy barriques, of which 25% was new oak, using indigenous yeasts. Fermentation took place between 15-20°C. The lees were stirred during this time in all barrels and partial malolactic fermentation occurred. The wine was aged in barrel on the lees for 12 months before bottling.

A very alluring, restrained nose of citrus, white-flesh nectarine and citrus blossom leads onto a tight, fine palate with a subtly chalky texture. With no one, single flavour dominating, the 2015 is an intriguing, very complex and very complete Chardonnay with fabulous flow and persistence. Fully barrel fermented with 'wild' indigenous yeasts, this exceptional release has excellent cellaring potential.

£31.50

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

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
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