The 2016 vintage was Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).
The grapes for this lively wine come from some of the best sites in the Avia Valley and were hand harvested in September. They then undergo a whole bunch cold soak for eight hours. They are then crushed and pressed and fermented for 14 days at controlled temperatures of 16C in stainless steel tanks. There is no malolactic fermentation.
Ailala Treixadura is pale gold in colour with lively reflections. There are clean, powerful aromatics on the nose with apricot, white flowers and a sort of saline, sea-shell undertone. Spices such as clove, mint and fennel are also present. The palate displays sweet lemon and ripe melon with plenty of zing and grapefruit peel. A wine of great complexity and style and with bags of character. Treixadura is truly a noble grape!
This delicate, noble white pairs excellently with all seafood; crab linguine, steamed razor clams, or pan-fried seabass.
"We are committed to showcasing know-how and talent by bringing together the new generation with centuries-old Burgundian traditions. Wood, a never-ending source of inspiration, is a part of all of the steps that go into the crafting of our wines."
Located in the heart of the Côte de Beaune, Meursault is one of the flagship villages and among the most reputed in Burgundy. In fact, Meursault is often referred to as the capital of Burgundy’s great whites.
The grapes are handpicked and fermentation takes place in oak barrels (35% of which are new) for between 3 weeks and 2 months. The wine is then aged in oak (20% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
This white Meursault is bright, luminous straw yellow in colour. The nose boasts a discrete touch of toast followed by elegant floral notes underpinned by fruity, light plum and pear aromas. The palate is powerful, well balanced and dense, with delicious flavours of brioche. The finish is long and very aromatic. This is ideal with fine fish, shellfish, white meats, poultry in sauce and full-flavoured cheeses.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).
Alter came highly recommended by Lalo Antón of Izadi. He had admired this small, family-run winery since their first vintage a couple of years ago marked them out as one of the most serious producers in the region. The winery was founded by José Pérez Pousa on the banks of the Miño river in 2014, with the wish to preserve the tradition of their native land, where wine has been produced since the 2nd century BCE. The wine is named ‘alter’ to mean ‘another wine more’ in Latin.
Alter has 24 hectares of its own vineyards, which are divided into 168 small plots planted with native white varieties: Treixadura, Godello and Loureira. The vines are on average 15-30 years old, planted on decomposed granite with sand and clay. The vineyards benefit from a perfect mesoclimate with good diurnal ranges particularly during the growing season ensuring the fruit is able to fully ripen while retaining fresh acidity. All harvesting is done by hand, plot by plot at the perfect moment to ensure optimum level of ripeness which elongates their harvest.
The harvest in 2017 was challenging across the whole of Spain with Ribeiro being no exception. Growers contended with spring frosts and summer hail but low rainfall meant grapes were perfectly balanced in sugar and acidity. Local grapes such as Treixadura and Loureira were less impacted than non-indigenous grapes.
Each vineyard plot and variety were fermented separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, the cool ferment retaining the aromatic intensity of the grapes. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on lees for three to four months to add depth before the final blend was assembled. The 2017 is made up of 80% Treixadura, 10% Godello and 10% Loureira.
This wine has a bright straw colour with elegant aromas of white flowers, green apple and grapefruit on the nose. The palate is lively with brisk acidity and flavours of white peach dominating. This is a remarkably balanced and well structured wine with a long finish.
See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.
(as can be seen from the data sheet, this wine is 'incredibly similar to' the more expensive Garzon Reserva Albarino...)
Pale yellow with greenish reflections, this Albariño is intense in the nose, with peach and citrus notes. The freshness and minerality mid-palate is superb, with remarkable acidity and a round, crisp finish.
Shows great depth and character, with ripe fruit reminiscent of peaches with floral elements, fresh balanced acidity and a long, persistent finish.
Castello della Sala (where the grapes for Bramito are grown) 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 derive from fossil sediments intermingled with strata of clay and which endow the wines with much mineral character and much elegance as well. The first vintage of production for Bramìto was 1994.
This wine is 100% Chardonnay.
To see an excellent 2 page information sheet and tasting note for this wine that has been produced by the team at Antinori, please click on the blue link below.
The Cervaro name derives from the noble family which owned Castello della Sala during the 15th century, the Monaldeschi della Cervara. The Antinori family purchased the estate in 1940. The first vintage of Cervaro della Sala to be produced was the 1985, marketed in 1987.
The 2016 vintage was characterized by a winter with frequent rainfall and by repeated and significant drops in temperature; the spring which followed was not particularly mild in its weather as well. The frequent but not particularly abundant rains between late April and mid-June, despite the important lowering of temperatures during the first ten days of May, favored the early and vigorous growth of the Chardonnay and Grechetto vine vegetation. This slightly precocious beginning of the vineyard’s cycle of growth gradually came back into balance during the month of July. A warm summer with positive temperature swings from daytime heat to evening and nighttime coolness assisted in the development of the aromatic components of the two grape varieties. The picking of the Chardonnay began during the last ten days of August and was followed by the Grechetto harvest, as usual two weeks later in time and which terminated in mid-September.
The grapes were picked during the earliest hours of the morning in order to assure that the grapes which reached the cellars were entirely whole and healthy, not stressed by high daytime temperatures. The attention given to the crop continues in the cellar thanks to the special design of the structure, conceived to take advantage of the force of gravity, avoiding mechanical intervention on the grapes and the must. After a brief four hour period of skin contact at 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) the must went into stainless steel tanks before going into oak barrels. Both the primary and the malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. After approximately three months the Chardonnay went back into the stainless steel tanks to be blended with Grechetto (which had been fermented separately in stainless steel). After bottling, the wine was aged in bottle for several months in the historic cellars of the Castello della Sala before commercial release.
The wine, a light straw yellow with brief greenish highlights, expresses rich, complex, and intense aromas. The notes of citrus fruit, pears, and acacia flowers are in perfect balance with the sweet and spicy notes of vanilla. The palate is supple but vibrant, elegant and well structured, characterized by the classic mineral sensations and by the light notes of hazelnut butter.
The first vintage of Santa Cristina was produced by Marquis Niccolò Antinori, father of Piero Antinori, in 1946. Over time, Santa Cristina has become a reference point for winemaking experts due to their commitment to achieving quality. The diligent care taken in the vineyard and meticulous cellar management have always been their incentive to continue with innovation and research. The resulting family of wines are original yet highly distinguishable for their unmistakable artisanal style, proof of the enduring connection between vineyards, terroir and man’s dedication to the land.
Casasole is an expression of Orvieto’s classic winemaking traditions; wines from this papal city were sent to ecclesiastical dignitaries and noblemen in Rome. It differs from Orvieto Classico Campogrande due to its residual sugars, light and natural to make it slightly sweet on the palate.
The 2017 vintage was characterized by a winter and spring which were, on the whole, both dry and marked by important, though little frequent, drops in temperature. These climatic conditions favoured a regular bud burst during the month of March. The absence of rainfall and the above average temperatures, which distinguished the period from the month of June up through the first ten days of August, accelerated the ripening of the grapes. The positive temperature swings from daytime heat to evening and nighttime coolness created by late August rains guaranteed the development of the aromatic component of the typical varieties of the Orvieto appellation.
The Procanico and Grechetto grapes were destemmed and given a soft and delicate pressing. The must which was obtained was chilled to approximately 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade) to favor a natural static settling of the impurities and then went into stainless steel tanks, where it fermented at temperatures held to a maximum of 64° Fahrenheit (18° centigrade). The fermentation was successively blocked by a sudden drop in temperature (to the freezing point) to preserve the natural sugars in the wine. The wine and its residual sugars were held at a low temperature up until the wine was bottled.
The 2017 Casasole is a straw yellow colour. The nose is intense and is characterized by the typical aromas of the native Procanico and Grechetto grape varieties and their notes of white fruit, Golden Delicious apples, bananas, and their hints of orange zest. The palate is lightly sweet with an excellent freshness.
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.
Thomas Bachelder is often known as the first winemaker at Le Clos Jordanne. He has now gone out on his own, together with his wife, Mary Delaney. In their first vintage in 2009, they made three Chardonnays from three different regions - Burgundy, Niagara and Oregon. Using the same winemaking techniques in each region (wild yeasts, minimal intervention and the same barrel makers), the difference in the wines is solely down to the vineyard which makes for some very interesting blind tasting results. The Niagara Chardonnay is particularly fresh and lifted with aromas of white stone fruits, whereas the Oregon Chardonnay shows a more robust, honeyed character.
The grapes for this wine come primarily from the organically-grown Saunders Vineyard (Beamsville Bench) and the Wismer Vineyard on Twenty Mile Bench. The combination of Niagara's strongly continental climate and the Dolomitic limestone-rich soils of these vineyards, imparts great minerality and freshness to the final wine.
Years of making Chardonnay - in Meursault and Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy, in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Canada's Niagara - has taught Thomas to be as natural as possible in his winemaking. Pressing of the grapes was therefore very gentle and fermentation was carried out only with wild yeasts. Malolactic fermentation took place in specially selected oak barrels, followed by an extended ageing period which has made the wine broader on the mid-palate, more integrated, elegant, subtle, truer to its terroir and, surprisingly, less oaky.
Bright lemon-yellow in colour. On the nose, lifted ripe lemon notes mix with hints of white stone fruit and flinty mineral nuances. It is medium to full bodied on the palate with a scented stone fruit character and a long and complex mineral finish.
Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article: Revolutionary Road which covers sherry country's quiet revolution (see blue link below).
This wine is inspired by the age-old methods of vinification of the Sherry district. The grapes come from Barbadillo’s ‘Cerro de Leyes’ vineyard in the Santa Lucía estate from Palomino vines planted in 1972.
Before being pressed, the grapes are prepared in a very traditional way known as ‘Soleo’ where the picked grape bunches are left in the sun to increase the sugar concentration. Manzanilla butts are then used for a traditional cask fermentation using the natural yeasts from the vineyard. The young wine is then transferred to stainless steel and cement tanks for 18 months, under a veil of ‘flor’ before bottling with minimal fining. The result is something unique and represents a journey back in time in termsof aromas and flavours; ones that might have been more familiar in the 19th century.
The wine has remarkable character for a Palomino white; pale golden colour, dry with good acidity, toasted maize and honeyed nose with an unctuous sensation on the palate, revealing flavours of yeast, bread crust and a hint of old oak.
Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the south of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomérols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson.
The grapes for this wine come from selected vineyards around the Etang de Thau, planted on clay and limestone soils.
The winter was marked by significant rainfall, and the rain continued into the spring. Flowering and fruit set took place in good conditions. Summer experienced very high temperatures, but there was no water stress caused to the vines because of the good water reserves supplied by the rain in winter and spring. Harvest began in the middle of August and lasted until the middle of October. Weather throughout the harvest period was excellent.
The grapes arrived in the winery in the early morning and were macerated on the skins for a few hours, then pressed by pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at controlled temperatures of between 14-18°C for 16 days. No oak was used and the wine was bottled early to retain freshness and delicate aromatics.
100% Picpoul de Pinet.
Pale lemon in colour with a youthful rim. Crisp apple aromas are complemented by a citrus edge. On the palate, it has attractive weight, with a good balance of ripe, yellow plums and greengages and a fresh lime zest acidity that continue through the finish.
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.
The south facing single vineyard from which fruit for this wine is sourced is located at 360 metres above sea level, with vines between 8 and 27 years old. The vines are planted at a density of 1,666 to 3,500 plants per hectare and yield approximately seven tonnes per hectare.
The grapes were pressed and the must cold settled before fermentation at 13°C for 20 days. The wine was then aged for four months in stainless steel tank before bottling.
Pale with green highlights. Abundant aromas of vibrant grapefruit, white flowers and hints of honey dominate the nose. The palate shows refreshing acidity, interesting mineral characters, a light hint of ripe fruit and a final burst of zingy lemon to lift the finish. A beautifully balanced wine, with a soft mouthfeel that retains a wonderful lifted, fresh character.
This estate makes Italy's finest sparkling wines from its 200 hectares of vineyard situated in the western part of the Franciacorta zone in a natural amphitheatre. The glacial soil is full of stones, and provides the ideal environment for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes used in the production of their Franciacorta. Bellavista, meaning 'beautiful view' in Italian, was founded by Vittorio Moretti in the early 1970s, with the first vintage produced in 1979. In 1981, he met a young winemaker, Mattia Vezzola and this partnership transformed Bellavista into Italy's leading producer of quality sparkling wine.
The vineyards have some of the best exposure, character and expressive potential in the area. This has given rise to 107 small crus that express the intrinsic personality of the land and the subtle nuances of its character and personality. The grapes come from the Uccellanda vineyard, 4.14 hectares in size, in the Commune of Corte Franca at approximately 300 metres above sea level. The subsoil comprises glacial deposits of silt, sand and gravel that are rich in carbonate.
The spring was cool with decent rainfall, and the pattern remained the same until June. From then onwards, drought conditions kicked in lasting until mid September. Nevertheless, bud break took place as usual in most vineyards. The weather during harvest, which began as usual in early September and lasted through to the end of October, was mild. Rain towards the end of harvest meant that a more careful selection of grapes was required.
Harvest took place when the grapes reached optimum ripeness and were carefully selected on the vine. The must was fermented for 12 months in 228 litre oak barrels. The wine was bottled in the second spring after harvest and was matured for a further six months in bottle before release.
Yellow in colour with golden highlights, this wine shows lifted perfumes of yellow apples, quince and ripe fruits with a hint of vanilla. On the palate, it is rich, creamy and elegant with a long finish.
Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would come to La Rioja on holiday. The friends had a great love of food and wine and created their own gastronomic society in the area. They decided to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both in international and domestic markets, producing pure and traditional Rioja wines.
The grapes were harvested at the end of September. This variety gives fruity wines with floral notes but also has noteable levels of acidity. The grapes underwent static maceration without de-stalking for 16 hours. Fermentation was carried out at a controlled temperature of between 14 and 16°C for 15 days. The wine then remained in bottle for two months before being released to the market.
This Viura has a bright yellow and green colour. On the nose it is fresh with intense herbal aromas including fennel. There is also a notable presence of white fruits such as pear and surprisingly also orange peel. On the palate this wine is full, round and lively with aniseed notes which together with the fruit gives freshness. It is long and persistent.
This young, fresh wine should be served well chilled and is ideal with salads, fish and white meats.