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Barros Colheita Port 1996 (1x75cl)

** STOCK WITH US THURS 1st OCTOBER **

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

Having celebrated their 100th year of trading in 2013, Barros Port is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious companies producing and trading in Port. Much of their success comes from Colheita Ports - old Tawnies from a single year matured in cask for a minimum period of seven years. Their expertise in Colheita Ports has established them as the stand out producer of this style. Barros leaves their Colheita Ports to mature in cask until being hand bottled to order. The loss of wine from evaporation (known as the 'Angel's Share') is much higher in comparison to bottle ageing. It is a sacrifice they are willing to make and one that helps them achieve unsurpassed quality in their Colheita wines. In June 2006, Barros was integrated into the Sogevinus Group who are growing the brand in international markets.

The vines are grown on terraces cut into the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley. The vines have been planted along the terraces of the greatest slopes, the vinha ao alto, which translates as "vertically planted vines". The vineyard soils are schist greywacke ante-Ordovician, with some granitic formations. This soil is rich in nutrients and has useful water retention properties. Traditionally, the vines in the region are grown low, close to the ground. The single or double Guyot and unilateral and bilateral cordons are the methods most frequently used for training the vines. Trellises are not permitted for Port Wine grapes. The grapes are manually harvested, once they have reached the optimum maturity according to the variety.

Barros Colheita 1996 is produced by the traditional Port method. The grapes were destemmed, crushed and underwent a careful skin maceration to extract colour, aromatics and fine tannins. Fermentation took place in vats with constant pump overs during fermentation. Temperatures were controlled and maintained at between 28 to 30°C, until the desired Baumé was reached. At this moment, grape brandy was added, which is known as the ‘benefit’, resulting in a fortified wine with perfect balance. A wine of exceptional quality, from a single harvest.

Tinta Amarela 25%, Tinta Barroca 25%, Tinta Roriz 25%, Touriga Francesa 25%.

Bright brown-tawny colour with slight reflexes of red. The wine reveals a complex bouquet of dried fruits. In the mouth it is delicate with a very balanced acidity, wonderful sweetness and excellent length.

ABV = 20.0%. 

£37.60

Bergerie du Capucin Larmanela blanc 2018 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

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

Bergerie du Capucin, Dame Jeanne Rouge, Pic St Loup 2018 (1x75cl)

** THE LITTLE BROTHER OF THE HIGHLY ACCLAIMED LARMANELA AND VERY WELL WORTH THE INVESTIGATION! **

Awarded a Silver medal and 90 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

"A blend of Syrah with 25 per cent Grenache and 5 per cent Mourvèdre (Exel note: this varies year-to-year, see blend mix below), this is a pure, bright and zesty red blend, entirely aged in tank. There’s a wildflower and thyme sweetness to the aromas, a little meaty richness and a twist of orange peel, too – but everything in moderation and just proportion.  Pure and poised.  91/100" - Andrew Jefford, of the 2015 (see his article linked below).

See here for awards for this wine and also for others from La Bergerie du Capucin.

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 this wine, the Dame Jeanne rouge 2018, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Guilhem and the team at Bergerie du Capucin. Lest there be any doubt, the Dame Jeanne is not oak aged.

Bergerie du Capucin Dame Jeanne rouge, Pic St Loup - fiche technique

65% Syrah, 17½% Grenache, 17½% Mourvèdre.

A gentle, sweet encounter with woodland berries and spicy aromas, the red hue of Dame Jeanne exalts the soft, fresh and delicate fragrances of our garrigue scrubland populated by green oaks. Created from the marriage of the three essential Pic Saint Loup grape varieties of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. This wine is the perfect accompaniment throughout a meal, from white meats to a chocolate dessert.

ABV = 14.5%.

£16.00

Bergerie du Capucin, Larmanela rouge, Pic St Loup 2017 (1x75cl)

** PLEASE COME BACK IN A DAY OR TWO FOR MORE NEWS - WE ARE JUST SECURING MORE STOCK, AND EXPECT TO HAVE THIS HERE IN MID-LATE OCTOBER! **

** In the meantime, we have stock of the Larmanela's little brother, the Dame Jeanne - recommended! **

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Awarded a Gold medal and 96 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

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See here for more on this new 2017 vintage ...

... and here for details of the 'original' 2016, quality in Languedoc reds and the DWWA award (click link for details).

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See here for awards for this wine and also for others from La Bergerie du Capucin (click link for details).

___

The 2016 vintage was awarded both Platinum and Best in Show medals and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

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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.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the team at Bergerie du Capucin

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

Additional note from discussion with winemaker: those barrels are 100% French eco-responsible oak: one-third new, one-third single-use and one-third double-use. The Larmanela draws from BdC's oldest and finest Syrah vines.

99%+ Syrah, tiny balance of Grenache.

For our tasting note, we hand over to the DWWA20 judges:

"Exquisite smoky black fruit, kirsch and sweet vanilla oak interwoven with rosemary and thyme herbal characters; serious and concentrated with ripe tannins and a delightful contrasting freshness".

See also this tasting video (1'18") of the 2015 vintage.

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.95

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition's panel tasting of Valpolicella Ripassos (see blue link below).

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016 - May 2020 Decanter review

We have created a 3-minute video tasting of this Ripasso.

In 1957, the Bertani family bought the Tenuta Novare, a unique place in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area. The estate is situated in a green hollow, in a sort of natural amphitheatre, where the vineyards alternate with woods and lush nature. It is an extraordinary land where constant water is guaranteed by 7 natural springs. Amarone Bertani wouldn’t be the authentic and distinctive wine we know today, if this unique place didn’t exist.

Tenuta Novare has a continuous and unusual alternation of soils: clay at the bottom of the valley, calcareous soils rich in iron and manganese and soils rich in basalt, ideal for producing grapes destined to making great red wines.

The mild climate, as shown by the presence of cypresses and olive trees, defines this welcoming and noble profile of Valpolicella.

From this same site, the Catullo Ripasso is produced, an elegant, balanced and harmonious wine with a classic style made with the second fermentation ripasso technique.

70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016 - fiche technique

This is a wine of medium body, with gentle spicy notes of vanilla and chocolate and the typical notes of cherry, black cherry and white pepper. On the palate, freshness and drinkability (typical of Valpolicella) combine with a silky tannic structure and an intense aromatic persistence, more typical of Amarone. Fresh, soft and sapid finish.

Exel note: it has a markedly lower residual sugar level than many ripassos.

ABV = 13.0%.

£34.40

Bertani Recioto della Valpolicella 2015 (1x50cl)

Bertani produces Recioto with two grapes grown in the hills of the Valpantena, the same varieties used to make Amarone. They use the smallest bunches with the best exposure to the sun, then dried on the traditional “arele”, bamboo racks, for about three months. The typical notes of cherry are brought out by the unusual ageing in cherry wood barrels and eventually become a concentration of morello and sour cherry. Recioto is dense and velvety but never cloying; it leaves the palate clean with an aftertaste of walnuts that makes it unique among sweet wines: sweet, intense red with elegant oak tannins.

From vineyards in the Valpantena sub-zone to the North of the city of Verona, in the communes of Quinto, Grezzana, and Santa Maria in Stelle. The soils range from calcareous marls in the east to iron-rich calcareous clays in the west. The harvest takes place at the end of September. As only pristine bunches are selected, the harvest is strictly by hand only.

The grapes are taken to the drying rooms where they rest in single-layer crates for about 150 days. Fermentation initially takes place at a very low temperature (4°-5°C) and then reaches 18°C, then it is stopped before all the sugars are transformed into alcohol. Ageing happens in 30-hl cherry wood casks, for about 12 months, followed by a period of at least three months of bottle maturation.

80% Corvina Veronese and 20% Rondinella.

The wine has an intense ruby-red colour, with a multitude of aromas on the nose: from the typical notes of plum, cherry and raspberry to hints of vanilla spice, hay and cocoa. On the palate is full, fragrant and intense. The sugars are not high, leaving a long aftertaste of fruits of the forest, chocolate and liquorice. It goes well with cakes and jam tarts, it is intriguing when paired with young and medium-matured cheeses as well as candied fruit. It also goes tremendously well with chocolate.

ABV = 13.0%.

£23.75

Berton Reserve Barossa Shiraz 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Show at the Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com(see blue link below).

Berton Reserve Shiraz 2015 - August 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard's estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

The grapes come from the Barossa Valley, in South Australia. Situated at a latitude of 34° South, the region is made up of rolling hills and valley floors. The growing season often sees hot, warm weather with temperatures of 35°C, which can result in vine stress, helping to concentrate the flavours in the berries. The wide diurnal temperature differences help to retain balancing acidity. Some of the grapes come from Berton's original vineyard in the Eden Valley, where the climate is cooler. The vine age is varied, but all vines have been spur pruned and are generally trained on a single wire cordon trellising system. The vines are planted at approximately 1.8 metres apart with 3.6 metres between the rows, to allow machinery access. The soil styles in the vineyards are varied, ranging from clay, to limestone and sandy soils, with each terroir adding its own characteristic to the final wine.

In 2017, the vineyard saw a wet winter followed by mild summer conditions, which provided the vines with good access to water and a long ripening period. This combination resulted in a great season. Cool nights allowed excellent flavour development in the grapes resulting in wines with concentrated flavours and balancing acidity. Harvesting took place during the last few days of April and first week of May.

The wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks with regular skin submersion in order to extract the required colour and flavour from the grapes. After fermentation, the wine was pressed off into stainless steel tanks where it completed malolactic fermentation in the late autumn. The wine was then racked off into both French and American oak barrels resulting in a rich, spicy complex Shiraz.

Shiraz 100%.

The Reserve Shiraz is deepest dark red with a very youthful and vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe black cherries and blackberries with hints of eucalypt and spice. The rich and full palate displays soft flavours of plum skin, mulberry and hints of vanilla and blackberry, These abundant flavours are underpinned by fine vanilla from the oak and defined by exciting spicy tannins.

ABV = 14.5%.

£14.25

Berton Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2014 vintage was awarded 96 points and rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2017 edition review of New World Cabernet Sauvignons (see blue link below) in which it emerged as the runaway Number One.

Berton Reserve 2014 - April 2017 Decanter review

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten's most important partners. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

Good winter rainfall was a perfect start to the 2016 growing season. Above average temperatures resulted in early budburst with most varieties. The mild to warm and dry conditions continued with good rainfall in both November and December producing ideal conditions for véraison. February saw the arrival of hot dry weather and with no rainfall or disease pressure, ripening accelerated rapidly resulting in an early harvest for the reds. The 2016 reds are stand outs - rich ripe juicy wines with great length and great depth of colour.

The grapes come from two parcels of fruit within the same vineyard, in the prized Terra Rossa region of Coonawarra. One block is on a slightly more elevated area of the vineyard, which produces more subtle fruit characters. The warm days are moderated by off-shore breezes and the rich red loam over free draining limestone soil is the foundations for the Coonawarra's justified reputation for producing premium quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

The grapes were fermented in stainless vertical sweep arm fermenters for 10 days between 22 ° and 28°C on premium French oak until dry. Each parcel of wine was then pressed at 0.5 Baumé through a bag press and clarified via centrifuge into stainless steel storage tanks. The parcels were then transferred into new and old French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels for 12 months. Only the best parcels were selected and carefully blended to arrive at this exceptional wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon 99%, Shiraz 1%.

This shows intense and generous black fruit aromas with hints of chocolate, eucalyptus and mint. The Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet has an impenetrable black colour with a vibrant garnet hue. The aromas are powerful and complex with a wealth of fruit ranging from ripe blackcurrant and blackberries with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. The rich and harmonious palate displays abundant flavours of prune, plum jam and mint, underpinned by fine toasty French oak and defined by a soft yet dense tannin profile.

ABV = 14.5%.

£13.75

Berton Winemakers Reserve (The Black) Shiraz 2018 (1x75cl)

Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten's most important partners. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.

2017 in Padthaway saw a wet and slightly warmer winter, which resulted in later bud burst than usual. The ripening period was slow and gradual with perfect weather conditions to allow flavours and colour to develop to full maturity.

Predominantly sourced from the vineyards in Padthaway, South Australia, where the soils are sandy loam over clay, formed on old lagoon sediments. These sandy soils lead to poor nutrient and water retention which helps to concentrate the flavours in the fruit. The vines are grown on single wire trellises, ensuring an open canopy. Drip irrigation is used in the vineyards to manage the water supply and reduce evaporation, as water is applied directly above the roots.

The parcels of fruit were fermented in stainless steel vertical fermenters for four to six days at temperatures maintained between 26 to 30°C. Wine was then bag pressed at 1° Baumé and left to ferment until dry. It was then racked onto French oak for malolactic fermentation. The wine was clarified via centrifuge into stainless steel storage. Once all parcels were completed, the final cuvée wascarefully blended and prepared for bottling.

Grape Shiraz 92%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5% and Durif 3%.

The Winemakers Reserve Black Shiraz is an extreme example of this Australian Shiraz with deep colour and aromas of blackberry and plum over toasty coffee and spicy oak. The palate is full flavoured and intense with rich plum, blueberry and mocha notes. The tannins are ripe and dense imparting great structure and length to the palate.

ABV = 14.5%.

£10.20

Bethany Old Quarry Fronti 75cl (1x 75cl)

With some of the oldest vines in the Barossa, Bethany Wines has special place in the region’s winemaking story. Johann Gottlob Schrapel and his family arrived from Silesia on the George Washington in 1844. This was just eight years after South Australia was settled. Like many Silesian migrants, they travelled by ox cart to Bethany (Bethanien), and established the Barossa’s first settlement. Johann planted the first vineyard in 1852 from cuttings carried from Europe. He built a wine cellar and had reputation as a winemaker. Despite this our family were grape growers for the next four generations.

In 1981, fifth generation brothers Robert and Geoff established Bethany Wines. They built a winery in the quarry where the early pioneers had hewn stone for their homes. They crushed 2 tonnes of Shiraz and Riesling, launching the next chapter of the Schrapel wine story. The early 1980s were tough for Barossa grape growers. A glut followed a red wine boom and grape prices fell below production cost. The State Government wanted growers to pull out old Shiraz and Grenache vines. They encouraged growers to plant new varieties or leave the industry. Fortunately, the brothers chose to establish a tradition of winemaking from this undervalued yet irreplaceable resource of old vineyards.

Almost 40 years on, Bethany Wines are a vibrant family company that plays a significant role in the Barossa community. Tania Schrapel continues the legacy of the business, sharing the same passion for the vineyards, for crafting fine wines, and for the future working alongside her father, Geoff and Uncle, Robert.

The unique Old Quarry Fronti is a blend of aged white wines picked from ancient bush vines grown on Betany's Homestead and Quarry vineyards. Predominately Muscat a Petit Grains, Muscadelle and Semillon, with a little Pedro Ximenez, the grapes are harvested late in the season to achieve rich and intense flavours. Fortified with brandy spirits, these individual wines are aged for an average of 6 years in oak casks. 

The fruit is handpicked late in the season when fully ripened at 15 to 17 Baume. The juice colour of the late harvested grapes is a rich golden amber that is evident in the finished product. The grapes are crushed and left together with the skins for 3 or 4 days before pressing. Fermentation is initiated until the right baume is reached and then the wine is fortified with brandy spirit and transferred in old oak barrels to mature for an average of six years before bottling.

The grapes are sourced from the Homestead Vineyards in Bethany and are some of the oldest vines on the estate. The Barossa was well known in earlier years for its fortified wines and the older plantings reflect their popularity in that era. The vines are trained on a single wire, hand pruned in the winter and the grapes are harvested late in the season as the vine’s leaves are turning their autumn colours. Due to their age, the vines are very low yielding and this adds to the intensity of flavours.

Residual sugar = ~70g/litre.

The finished wine is deep golden, amber colour and displays a rich, fragrant nose of orange marmalade, hints of honey and treacle. The full bodied and lingering velvety palate create this deliciously rich and smooth fortified wine.

ABV = 18.5%

£15.00

Bianchi Late Harvest Semillon 2013 (1x37.5cl)

The Bianchi family winery was founded in 1928 by Italian immigrant Valentin Bianchi. It now covers 350 hectares of vineyard, situated 750m above sea level in San Rafael, about 240km south of Mendoza city. This is a cooler area than Mendoza's major vineyard areas of Luján de Cuyo and Agrelo because it is further south, which helps the flavours and perfumes develop more gradually, resulting in more aromatic wines. The estate is now run by the third generation of the family and has undergone a gradual transformation in the past few years, modernising both the winery and the vinification processes. Finca Los Primos comprises a range of excellent value varietals. Famiglia Bianchi, Particular and Enzo are each a step up in concentration and depth of fruit, from older and lower yielding vineyards.

The grapes for this wine are grown on the Doña Elsa Estate, situated in Rama Caída, San Rafael, Mendoza at 750 metres above sea level. Rama Caí­da is among the coolest areas of San Rafael, with sandy calcareous soils of alluvial origin. Harvest took place by hand.

The growing season began warm, then turned and remained cool, producing fresh wines for the 2013 vintage. Much needed spring rains and an absence of a major frost led to a good fruit set as Argentine winemakers reported normal to 25% higher yields. A cold spell hit Mendoza during the middle of March, delaying maturation and picking. The heat returned for harvest from early March to mid-April and as a result, the grapes had high acidity levels and low alcohol.

Bianchi follow the traditional French methods for making Sauternes and other similar dessert wines. After naturally occurring botrytis formed on around 40% of the grapes, the best were selected and picked by hand at the end of May, well after the regular grape harvest. Fermentation was in French oak barrels and continued until the cold winter temperatures stopped the process. In the spring, the fermentation started again, until it finally finished naturally due to the combination of alcohol and naturally high sugar concentration. The wine remained in barrels for 12 months until a blend of the best of the barrels was made just prior to bottling.

90% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc.

Residual sugar = ~80g/litre (ie sweet but not hugely so). 

A rich golden colour with inviting perfumes of honey, citrus rind and stone fruits. Full-bodied, with appealing juicy stone fruits alongside gentle vanilla complexity and lively citrus acidity. Perfectly balanced with a lingering finish.

ABV = 13.5%.

£8.00

Bigi Orvieto Classico Amabile 2019 (1x75cl)

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

Blandy's Maderia Duke of Clarence 3 Years Old (1x75cl)

The Blandy’s are unique in being the only family of all the original founders of the Madeira wine trade to still own and manage their own original wine company. The family has played a leading role in the development of Madeira wine throughout its long history and in the economic development of this remote Atlantic Island and members of the family continue to live on Madeira, maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1811. Blandy’s Madeira remains totally dedicated to the traditions, care, and craftsmanship of Madeira Wine making and has been owned by the same family for 200 years and seven generations.

Tinta Negra 100%.

Deep golden brown color with honey and raisins on the nose, rich full bodied and soft textured; a great after dinner drink.

ABV = 19.0%.

£14.55

Bodega Cecchin Graciana 2018 (1x75cl)

At Bodega Cecchin, they play Rugby and make wine....although not at the same time. In these parts the oval ball and grapes like Carignan are revered as in areas of the Corbieres and Fitou. Although the origin of the Cecchin family is Italy having emigrated to Argentina in 1910. In 1959 Jorge and Pedro Cecchin fulfilled a dream and bought 11 hectares of vines in Mendoza and the current now much larger estate is run by their grandson Oscar Alberto. 

The crops in all three of the estates that make up Bodega Cecchin have been certified for organic farming as of 2005. Cecchin‘s handling and processing in the winery is also certified as organic from 2005, so its wines are subsequently certified organic.

Bodega Cecchin also farms biodynamically, but only in a small portion of the vineyards (just 2 hectares in each of the three estates). This is because biodynamic farming is too labour-intensive to be implemented over a larger area of vines. Bodega Cecchin owns not only vineyards planted with a wide range of different grape varieties, but also peach, fig and apricot orchards, olive, walnut and almond groves. The planting of these different crops is necessary to comply with the rules stipulated by the organic certifying agency, OIA.

Giving birth to an organic wine is to foster a natural environment where vines live together with other plants, favoring ecological balance. Their vines welcome a rich variety of vegetation that grows in chemical-free soil.

They pick the fruit at the precise moment, treating it with respect, giving it time and space. This way, their farming and production procedures carry a stamp of “no chemicals” all through the process, preserving the environment. Their wines, oils and grape juice have been produced with the same philosophy for more than 100 years.

100% Graciana. 

Cecchin Graciana is a marvellous deep red with aromas of spice, vanilla and raspberry notes. Round and smooth in the mouth, there is a perfect combination of tannins from the wood and wine, which gives a long and very satisfying aftertaste.

ABV = 13.5%. 

£12.15

Bodega Colome, Lote Especial Finca Colome Salta Tannat 2018 (1x75cl)

** WITH US THURSDAY 8th OCTOBER (small possibility of being a day or so after) **

** ONLY SMALL QUANTITIES OF THIS WINE ARE AVAILABLE, AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS. SO, FOR NOW, LIMITED TO 4 BOTTLES PER CUSTOMER. **

Awarded a Platinum medal, Best In Show medal and 98 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

Bodega Colomé was established in 1831 and is the oldest working winery in Argentina with one of the world’s highest vineyards. The winery is in the far north of Argentina in the Upper Calchaquí Valley and is thought to have been founded by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar. Today, the winery has 140 hectares of biodynamically run vineyard planted at altitudes of between 1,750 and 3,111 metres above sea level. The ‘Lote Especial’ wines are made from special parcels of fruit from the estate vineyards.

The fruit comes from a single plot in the Colomé vineyard that surrounds the winery, located at 2,300 metres above sea level in the Calchaquí Valley. The high altitude and large diurnal range (up to 25°C difference) ensure the grapes ripen steadily over a long growing season and retain good levels of natural acidity. The vines are planted on complex soils of sand, clay and granite. The area has very low rainfall and the vineyards have drip irrigation systems installed.

The grapes were harvested by hand and carefully sorted in the vineyard and then again at the winery on the optical sorting table. After fermentation in small stainless-steel tanks, the wine was aged in barrel for 12 months before bottling.

100% Tannat. 

This wine is deep ruby in colour. On the nose, there are aromas of black fruits, spice and floral notes. On the palate, it is complex and structured with firm tannins and fresh acidity.

Or, as DWW20 said, "Few wines caused more of a stir amongst our judges this year than this Tannat from the extreme high-altitude vineyards of Argentina's Salta. It wasn't the fact that it was an impenetrable midnight black in colour, nor was it the fact that the wine needs plenty of air and agitation to wake up its aromatic profile: both are common features of Tannat the world over. The real surprise was the drama and purity of its fruits, drenching the tongue and lifting aromatically in the mouth: this was a Tannat of ravishing chic and elegance, and a far cry from the sometimes burly and clumsy flavour presence Tannat shows elsewhere. No fan of Argentina's remarkable red wines should miss this."

ABV = 14.5%.

£18.95
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