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Agricola Tiberio Pecorino 2019 (1x75cl)

2017 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition regional profile of Abruzzo (see blue link below).

Agricola Tiberio Pecorino 2017 - April 2020 Decanter review

While working for a local winery, Riccardo Tiberio stumbled across a parcel of very old Trebbiano Abruzzese vines in the hillside village of Cugnoli. Though similar in name and vine appearance to the common Trebbiano Toscana, that is where the resemblance ends. This rare grape variety produces subtle, vibrant herb-scented white wines. This chance encounter changed Riccardo Tiberio’s fortunes and that of his family. In 2000, Riccardo purchased those same vines and another 21 hectares which he planted with the indigenous varieties Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano Abruzzese and Pecorino. Riccardo’s passion for wine has been instilled in his children who have since taken over the running of the estate. Cristiana Tiberio is in charge of the winemaking and Antonio takes care of the vineyards. The estate has established a well-deserved reputation for its award-winning Pecorino wines, but their best wine is the Chablisesque Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Fonte Canale, made from the aforementioned 60-year-old Trebbiano Abruzzese vineyard. Today, Tiberio wines are among the best and most authentic wines in Abruzzo.

- Vineyard: cultivated using to the Guyot system at 300 metres above sea level. Organic farming.

- Vinification: cold maceration for 8-10 hours and alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts in steel vats.

- Aging/elevage: 6 months in steel vats.

Pecorino 100%.

Intense aromas and flavours of sage, rosemary, green fig, peach, yellow melon. Full bodied and fresh with a lingering minerality, this is excellent now and will last at least another year.

ABV = 13.5%.

£13.55

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

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition panel tasting of Alternative South American Whites (see blue link below).

Amalaya Blanco De Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2018 - October 2019 Decanter review

The 2016 vintage was also 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 Blanco De Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2018 - 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.

The temperatures recorded during the winter were lower than average, with heavy snow in July. The lower temperatures continued into September and October, which slowed down bud break. 2018 was the driest of the last four vintages. Temperatures increased, well above average, from February to April. The increase in the temperature increased the sugar levels and polyphenolic maturity, resulting in high concentration of aromas and flavours in the 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.

85% Torrontes, 15% Riesling.

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.

ABV = 12.5%.

£10.30

Amalaya Blanco de Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2019 (1x75cl)

The 2018 vintage was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition panel tasting of Alternative South American Whites (see blue link below).

Amalaya Blanco De Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2018 - October 2019 Decanter review

The 2016 vintage was also 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 Blanco De Corte Torrontes / Riesling 2018 - 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.

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.

85% Torrontes, 15% Riesling.

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.

ABV = 13.0%.

£10.35

Antinori - Bramito Della Sala Chardonnay 2018 (1x75cl)

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.

Antinori Bramito Della Sala Chardonnay 2017 - fiche technique

ABV = 12.5%.

£20.10

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2018 (1x75cl)

** WHEN STOCK BELOW DEPLETED, PLEASE NOTE WE EXPECT MORE IN BY 8th JULY **

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2020 edition article on Orange Wines (see blue link below).

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2018 - July 2020 Decanter review

The 2017 vintage (alas, no longer available) was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition article The Joy of Clay on amphora-produced wines (see blue link below).

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2017 - September 2019 Decanter review

Founded in 2002, Aphros is a project designed to combine ecological and economical aspects to create true sustainability. Their belief is that nature and labor should combine in a meaningful way and they seek to capture this through biodynamic viticulture, letting the uniqueness of the land shine through the fruit for inimitable wines. Loureiro and Vinhão have grown in these vineyards for centuries and serve as the reference point for the region.

The grapes are sourced from the Lima sub-region and the vines of Casal do Paço are situated in a south facing amphitheater north of the Lima River on gentle slopes with cool Atlantic breezes.

The winemaking is traditional, taking place in the basement beneath the main house. The cave is buried and naturally cool and damp. They once again straddle the line between modern and traditional character with the addition of modern stainless steel equipment and traditional open top lagars, granite stone tanks, for red wine production.

To see an information sheet and tasting note for this wine from Aphros, please click on the blue link below.

Aphros Phaunus Loureiro 2018 - fiche technique

This unique reading of the lively Loureiro grape replaces its usual perfume with earthy, baked apple aromas and adds a fine but grippy seam of tannins into what is a savoury yet quite electrifying wine.

ABV = 11.5%. 

£21.30

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

** ARRIVES INTO STOCK WEDS 8th JULY - ONLY A FEW CASES AVAILABLE! (MOVE QUICKLY!) **

La Bergerie du Capucin (LBdC) extends over more than 15 hectares on Pic Saint Loup land in the communes of Lauret and Valflaunès. For LBdC, wine is a family affair, its beauty and bouquet reflecting the values transmitted from generation to generation. The original Bergerie stands only a few km from the vineyard and modern winery. Jeanne, a beautiful shepherdess on the high plains of the Bergerie du Capucin - inspire their first wine, reminding  of the delicate, round characteristics of our family wines and the hill paths she trod each day.

At up to 650 metres in altitude and ~30 kilometres from the Mediterranean - on the first spurs of the Cevennes and Massif Central - the Pic Saint Loup appellation abounds with the perfume and purity of the most northern (and among the most elevated) of the Languedoc appellations; holm oaks, garrigue scrubland, pines, thyme, laurel and rosemary. Fruit springs to life from the heart of varied soils, chalky-clay on marly sub-soils, and forge their character over contrasting seasons. In winter, the soil receives enough water to balance out the moderately dry summer and the huge - but crucial - swings in temperature between day and night. The exacting and contrasting Pic Saint Loup land, its soil types and climate, are all reflected in the traits of the wines of Pic St-Loup. 

See this excellent article by Andrew Jefford - from Decanter (www.decanter.com) in October 2017 - for far more detail on both Bergerie du Capucin and the Pic St Loup appellation.

For BdC's white rarity and show-stopper, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical and tasting note from the team at Bergerie du Capucin.

The Larmanela blanc is released under the banner of IGP of Saint Guilhem le Désert, rather than under an AOP/AOC (the Pic St Loup AOC does not (currently) allow white wines). 

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc, Pic St Loup - fiche technique

Additional note from discussion with winemaker Guilhem: Elevage in 225-litre barriques. Only 4 barriques are produced each year. Those 4 actual barrels are all from the same cooper, of ages/uses thus: one new, one used-once, one used-twice, one used-thrice. The contents of the four barriques are then blended for the <1000 bottles of Larmanela blanc made each year. 

100% Chardonnay.

ABV = 13.5%.

£24.95

Bigi Orvieto Classico Amabile 2018 (1x75cl)

** DURING THE CURRENT CORONAVIRUS PHASE, WE ARE UNABLE TO SOURCE THIS WINE (THE IMPORTER HAS CEASED SUPPLY). WE OFFER A NEAR EQUIVALENT AT THE SAME PRICE, click this link. **

Bigi’s first headquarters was in the former Franciscan monastery of La Trinità in Orvieto, but this was confiscated by the Italian state in 1870! Today they are based in their modern cellars at Ponte Giulio at the foot of the lofty walls of the old and ancient town. The winery with its avant-garde vinification equipment and collection of casks and barrels marries perfectly the modern technical production requirement with age-old tradition.

The signature wine of Orvieto, this wine is produced from hilly vineyards in the Classic DOC zone, enjoying clayey soil and southwest exposure. Vineyards have been cultivated in Umbria, “the green heart of Italy” and a crossroads between the north and the south, between the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas, since Etruscan times. When one speaks of Orvieto, one thinks of a beautiful walled city built on a tuffstone mound by the Etruscans, and known in the Roman era as Urbs Vetus (old city) - but also of the prized white Umbrian wine of which Bigi has been a leading producer for many years.

Orvieto Amabiles are richer than the dry Secco wines and could be described as medium-dry. Don’t let this put you off as this is an ideal bar wine; gentle and soft on the palate with subtle peach and almond fruit and enough freshness to carry that enticing sweet edge. Made from a combination of Trebbiano Toscano (Procanico), Verdello, Grechetto, Malvasia and Drupeggio grapes.

50% Trebbiano, 20% Grechetto, 10% Malvasia Bianca, 10% Verdello, 10% Drupeggio.

The fermentation of wine is stopped before all its sugars are transformed into alcohol, yielding a medium, off-dry taste. The residual sugar level is ~27g/litre, making it classically off-dry.

Fermented and aged in stainless steel. This wine offers a floral bouquet of hawthorn blossom with hints of musk and almond. Dry and full-bodied on the palate, Bigi Orvieto Classico has a lively flavour with a unique aftertaste of white peaches and bitter almonds. 

ABV = 12.0%.

£9.80

Bodega Garzon Estate Viognier 2018 (1x75cl)

Bodega Garzón is a family owned winery in Maldonado on the Atlantic coast in southern Uruguay. They pioneered viticulture in this area over 10 years ago, and have since become the standard-bearer for premium wines from Uruguay. In November 2018, their pioneering status was recognised by Wine Enthusiast with the ‘New World Winery of the Year’ award.

The vineyards at Bodega Garzón are a patchwork quilt of 1,150 individual plots of around 0.2 hectares in size, each plot carefully chosen for a specific variety according to its soil and microclimate. The winery is specially designed to operate as sustainably as possible, and is the first winery outside North America to pursue LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Built on natural terraces, the winery uses cutting-edge technology and operates using a gravity system to ensure quality and energy efficiency at every stage of production.

A relatively mild winter brought forward budbreak by about two weeks. There were average levels of rainfall in spring and early summer, however the drought which followed in January caused a severe water shortage. Therefore the viticultural team used drip irrigation, thus ensuring perfect maturation of the grapes. Despite the water shortage and subsequent irrigation measures, veraison was uniform. Optimum maturation was also aided by cooler nights which are becoming more common in the region. The wines from this vintage, with its early start and generally favourable climatic conditions, are elegant and fruit-forward.

For full details of this unusual but superb wine, we would point you towards Garzon's own, excellent fiche technique/data sheet (click here).

100% Viognier.

This Viognier is rich yet fresh with white peach and floral characters. Elegant but intense on the finish, this wine delights the palate with fresh fruit and complementary minerality.

ABV = 14.5%.

£13.05

Bodega Garzon Reserva Albarino 2018 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 edition panel tasting of Alternative South American Whites (see blue link below).

Garzón Reserva Albariño 2018 - October 2019 Decanter review

The 2017 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition feature on Uruguay  (see blue link below).

Garzón Reserva Albariño 2017 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

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

Garzón Reserva Albariño 2016 - 2017 DWWA Decanter review

Bodega Garzón is a family owned winery in Maldonado on the Atlantic coast in southern Uruguay. They pioneered viticulture in this area over 10 years ago, and have since become the standard-bearer for premium wines from Uruguay. In November 2018, their pioneering status was recognised by Wine Enthusiast with the ‘New World Winery of the Year’ award. The vineyards at Bodega Garzón are a patchwork quilt of 1,150 individual plots of around 0.2 hectares in size, each plot carefully chosen for a specific variety according to its soil and microclimate. The winery is specially designed to operate as sustainably as possible, and is the first winery outside North America to pursue LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Built on natural terraces, the winery uses cutting-edge technology and operates using a gravity system to ensure quality and energy efficiency at every stage of production.

Located 11 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, the estate has more than 1,000 small vineyard blocks covering hillside slopes, which benefit from varying microclimates, different levels of humidity and an intense canopy management. Well-draining granitic soils and cooling Atlantic breezes allow the grapes to ripen steadily. The vineyards are surrounded by lush forests, palm trees, rocky soils and granite boulders. This single vineyard Tannat comes from a site which is cooler than the other blocks on the estate, with steep slopes, thin soils and excellent drainage thanks to the predominance of ballast in the upper layers.

A relatively mild winter brought forward bud break by about two weeks. There were average levels of rainfall in spring and early summer, however the drought which followed in January caused a severe water shortage. Therefore the viticultural team used drip irrigation, thus ensuring perfect maturation in the grapes. Despite the water shortage and subsequent irrigation measures, veraison was uniform. Optimum maturation was also aided by the cooler nights which are becoming more common in the region. The wines from this vintage, with its early start and generally favourable climatic conditions, are elegant and fruit forward.

The hand-harvested grapes were pressed before being fermented in stainless-steel tanks at a cool 17ºC for two weeks. The wine then spent a further 3-6 months on lees for added complexity.

For full details of this unusual but superb wine, we would point you towards Garzon's own, excellent fiche technique/data sheet (click here).

100% Albariño/Alvarinho.

Pale yellow with a green hue, this Albariño is intense on the nose with peach and citrus aromas. The freshness and minerality on the midpalate is superb, ably supported by a remarkable acidity which frames the juicy fruit on the crisp finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£15.75

Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino, Rias Baixas 2010 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK! **

** ALSO SEE PACKAGING NOTE BELOW AND PLEASE INDICATE PREFERRED PACKAGING IN YOUR REQUEST. **

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

 

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

 

Also awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition's Spanish supplement article, Spanish Wines You Should Have In Your Cellar: The Top 24 (see blue link below). This was the highest-scoring of those 24!

 

Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino Rias Baixas 2010 - November 2019 Decanter review 

Also, don't miss the slightly-less-lees-aged - but slightly more 'classically' Albariño-like - Monte Alto 2016 from Fillaboa: in our view, every bit as spectacular (espeially £-for-£) as the 1898.

Fillaboa, meaning “the good daughter” in the Gallego dialect of northwestern Spain, produces some of the rarest and highest quality wine from the ever-more-esteemed DO of Rías Baixas. Bodegas Fillaboa’s estate is focused exclusively on the cultivation of Albariño, the star white wine of the region, famed for its freshness, complexity and compatibility with local seafood. Bodegas Fillaboa is owned by the Masaveu family, which traces its winemaking history back to the 14th century. The family re-invested itself in Galician wine production, culminating with the purchase of Bodegas Fillaboa in Salvaterra de Miño in 1988.

Today Fillaboa is home to a tasting facility and formidable art collection housed in a 15th century Romanesque castle near the River Miño that forms the border between Spain and northern Portugal. In a region where most wineries make wines from purchased grapes, Fillaboa stands apart for its exclusive use of estate-grown fruit, ensuring quality control and consistency from vine to bottle. The estate’s deep devotion to quality is perfectly reflected in the Selección Finca Monte Alto, one of the very few single-vineyard estate wines produced in Rías Baixas, a racy white wine that sings with granite minerality and showcases Albariño’s quintessential freshness.

For more grape-growing and winemaking detail on this spectacular and award-winning wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the makers themselves. On one specific point we have been asked by a few customers, the wine now being taken/supplied to customers is from the third batch of the 2010, this having been on the lees for 8 years and bottled in August 2019. It relates to the longer-aged wine discussed in the second Decanter review above.  A fourth batch is impending, bottled in December 2019 (if you would like to/rather try this, please contact mark@exelwines.co.uk).

Bodegas Fillaboa, La Fillaboa 1898 Albarino Rias Baixas 2010 - fiche technique

As the DWWA panel said of it and as our tasting note: "Eight years ageing for this Albariño from the granite-soiled region of Rias Baixas has left the wine a glowing gold in colour with beguilingly developed aromas of nuts, sweet balsam and wet moss on old stones.  The wine is unoaked, so all of that aromatic richness is coming from the fruit itself and time's work on it.  In the mouth, it is rich too, but dryly so, gracious and expansive, and beginning to hint more clearly at ground stone than to the summer fruits and flowers of youth, with that incipient nutty richness providing further complexities.  A blind-tasting puzzle - and a very delicious dinner-party white.  Drink 2019-2021"

ABV = 13.0%.

Note below the packaging options for the product: bottles can be despatched in either format (please state preference in comments box in order). We will seek to despatch at no additional carriage charge, but if the packaging necessitates additional carriage, we will be in contact to cover that. We have priced the wine as competitively as we can, and cannot easily do so and cover unlimited additional carriage!

 

£29.95

Bodegas Fillaboa, Seleccion Finca Monte Alto Albarino, Rias Baixas 2016 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK! **

Awarded 95 points and a Gold medal at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (for this, the 2016 vintage) - click link below for that review.

Bodegas Fillaboa Seleccion Finca Monte Alto Albarino 2016 - DWWA18 review 

Rather wowed as we were by this wine, we at Exel have also recorded a video tasting of the Monte Alto 16.

Fillaboa, meaning “the good daughter” in the Gallego dialect of northwestern Spain, produces some of the rarest and highest quality wine from the ever-more-esteemed DO of Rías Baixas. Bodegas Fillaboa’s estate is focused exclusively on the cultivation of Albariño, the star white wine of the region, famed for its freshness, complexity and compatibility with local seafood. Bodegas Fillaboa is owned by the Masaveu family, which traces its winemaking history back to the 14th century. The family re-invested itself in Galician wine production, culminating with the purchase of Bodegas Fillaboa in Salvaterra de Miño in 1988.

Today Fillaboa is home to a tasting facility and formidable art collection housed in a 15th century Romanesque castle near the River Miño that forms the border between Spain and northern Portugal. In a region where most wineries make wines from purchased grapes, Fillaboa stands apart for its exclusive use of estate-grown fruit, ensuring quality control and consistency from vine to bottle. 

The estate’s deep devotion to quality is perfectly reflected in this wine, the Selección Finca Monte Alto, one of the very few single-vineyard estate wines produced in Rías Baixas, a racy white wine that sings with granite minerality and showcases Albariño’s quintessential freshness.

Selección Finca Monte Alto is crafted with grapes from our Monte Alto plot. This emblematic plot lies at 150 m above sea level on 6.7 hectares of land. Only around 10,000 bottle are produced, depending on the vintage. The vineyard is around 28 years old and the vines grow on a trellising structure; the soil has a sandy loam texture with a lot of pebbles due to its proximity to the Miño River.

For more detail on the wine and winemaking, see the days sheet from Fillaboa below (click link).

Bodegas Fillaboa, Seleccion Finca Monte Alto Albarino 2016 - fiche technique

Albarino 100%.

It is a very aromatic wine, with great structure; smooth, soft and delicate on the palate. It has high aromatic intensity, notes of ripe fruits, apple and citrus fruits. Reminiscent of bakery products, brioche and subtle toasty notes which begin to emerge over time in the bottle (see also video tasting above).

ABV = 13.5%.

£18.95

Bodegas Naia Naiades Verdejo (barrel fermented) 2016 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK! **

The 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2019 online article, Discovering Rueda (see blue link below).

Bodegas Naia, Naiades Verdejo 2014 - October 2019 Decanter review

Located on the left bank of the River Duero, the winery dedicates itself to the production of high quality white wines from their meticulously-cared-for vineyards, most of which were planted more than 40 years ago in the destrict of La Seca, one of the most highly renowned cru of the region. With its 23.5 ha of vineyards, and through working closely with local growers, it also has access to vineyards beetween 80 and 130 years old.

Since the first vintage in 2004, Bodegas Naia has established itself as one of Rueda’s star producers. Winemaker Eulogio Calleja crafts wines with great depth which, like the striking labels, stand out from the crowd. While most modern Rueda tends to be in a simple, aromatic, technological style, here the maturity of the vines, strict grape selection and extended lees ageing give wines with delicacy, ripe yet restrained stone fruit characters, lovely texture and the ability to age.

This is an extraordinary, barrel-fermented wine from ancient, pre-phylloxera Verdejo vines, widely regarded as one of Spains finest white wines.

These fine grapes come from 5 acres of ungrafted, bush-vine Verdejo planted on the sandy soils of La Seca, widely regarded as the finest cru in Rueda back in the 19th century. Barrel fermentation, and 8 months ageing in all new, 500-litre, French oak barrels.

See also the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Naiades Verdejo (barrel-fermented) 2016 - fiche technique

Verdejo 100%.

Intense aromatics of ripe melon and pears balanced by leesy, yeasty notes. The palate is soft and textural with well-integrated, toasty oak characters, kiwi and grapefruit acidity and impecable balance. A deliciously bitter twist on the finish maintains the interest right though to the next sip.

ABV = 13.5% (according to UK importer, 14% according to producer).

£19.95

Bodegas Protos Rueda Verdejo 2019 (1x75cl)

** NB: NEW BOTTLE DESIGN/SHAPE **

The 2017 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of Rueda (see blue link below).

Bodegas Protos Rueda Verdejo 2017 - March 2019 Decanter review

The guiding philosophy of Protos is "Quality above all". For this reason, the whole process leading to the production of their wine undergoes an in-depth analysis. The vineyards are controlled exhaustively by both technicians and experts throughout the growth cycle, yielding a production of the highest quality. This also gives them in-depth information about all the grapes to be used before they reach the winery.

Harvesting for this wine is done at night, is 100% manual and the production was gathered in 20-kilo boxes; the grapes are then spread over sorting tables. This allows them to guarantee that only completely healthy, whole grapes reach the fermentation tanks. After fermentation this wine spends a further 3 months resting on its fine lees (indeed, the 2017 and 2018 vintages have been labelled, as per the photo, as a sobre lias).

100% Verdejo.

This wine has a greenish straw colour and is bright and clean. The Protos Verdejo is powerful yet fruity with green apple, citrus and tropical fruit aromas as well as white blossoms, fragant herbs and fennel hints. The flavours are very fresh, with good acidity,  fruity, well balanced flavours. It is a complex wine, with a long finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.80

Boundary Line Chardonnay 2017 (1x75cl)

Pushing back the boundaries - that's exactly what's going on with these voluptuous, fruit-packed wines. Very much for those wine lovers who prefer the frankness of a single varietal to the erudition of a blend. The winemaker has taken parcels of fruit from across South Australia's sun-drenched vineyards, and crafted wines of maximum freshness. They are the ultimate expression of varietal, and the perfect entry into Aussie wines.

The grapes are sourced from vineyards throughout the Riverina region on vines that have been spur pruned. The vine age is varied. Vines are planted roughly 1.8m apart with 3.6m between the rows to allow machinery access.

The grapes were cold fermented in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures to retain the fruity aromatics.

Chardonnay 100%.

Concentrated, fruity aromas of citrus and melon lead to a soft, delicate palate with gentle hints of oak to add complexity.

ABV = 12.5%.

£7.50

Bucci Verdicchio (di Castelli di Jesi) Classico Riserva 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition expert tasting of Verdicchio (see blue link below).

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2016 - May 2020 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 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.

100% Verdicchio.

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.

ABV = 13.5%.

£28.85
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