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Antonio Caggiano Fiano di Avellino DOCG Bechar 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

£16.15

Argento Esquinas de Argento Malbec 2017 (1x75cl)

Established in 1998 in Argentina’s most famous wine region, Mendoza, Argento has been the leading Argentinean wine brand in Europe for the last ten years. Mendoza’s high altitude vineyards, desert-like climate and natural irrigation from Andean snow melt create the perfect conditions to produce world-class fruit. The winemaking team at Argento first set out to unlock the extraordinary potential of Malbec and reveal its vibrant, velvety character and intense fruit flavours. Expanding on their success with Malbec, Argento now applies the same philosophy to producing Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Bonarda and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Esquinas represents the vibrant, urban Buenos Aires, where life happens on the streets. Each one of the Esquinas de Argento labels pays tribute to the emblematic corners (esquinas) of the city, where the colours, the movements, the sounds and the people give the town its captivating energy. “Esquinas: where life happens”.

The fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks at 22-28°C for 7 days. The wine is then micro-oxygenated prior to malolactic fermentation. The wine is then aged for 6 months in 60% French and 540% American oak.

Dark purple with bluish glints, this superb Malbec offers vibrant aromas of cherries, ripe plums, blackberries and truffles. Unctuous in the mouth with notes of plum and sweet cherry, with a touch of chocolate and cinnamon from oak aging, leading into a long lingering finish with velvety tannins.

£11.15

Argento Seleccion Malbec 2017 (1x75cl)

Established in 1998 in Argentina’s most famous wine region, Mendoza, Argento has been the leading Argentinean wine brand in Europe for the last ten years. Mendoza’s high altitude vineyards, desert-like climate and natural irrigation from Andean snow melt create the perfect conditions to produce world-class fruit. 

At Bodega Argento they are very proud of Argentina’s wine heritage and the unique terroir of Mendoza. They are dedicated to making wines that express a true varietal character. Fruit purity, freshness, vibrancy and elegance are the distinct hallmarks of the Argento style.

This wine undergoes a stainless steel fermentation at 77-80°F for 7 days. Once this part of the winemaking process is complete, the wine is aged in oak for 6 months (60% French and 40% American oak).

This superb Malbec has a deep violet colour and offers concentrated aromas of black cherries and chocolate notes. The rich blackberry and black currant fruit flavours are rounded off perfectly by soft, supple tannins.

£9.50

Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato 2016 (1x75cl)

The Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato has truly been a labour of love for Arianna: "Il Frappato stems from a dream which I had when I was a girl to make a wine that knows the land that I work, the air I breath, and my own thoughts. It is the wine that most resembles me, brave, original and rebellious."

This wine is organic and is therefore made without any chemical intervention. The grapes were harvested during the first 10 days of October before a 30 day fermentation using only indigenous yeasts occurred.  The wine was then moved to large Slavonian oak barrels and was allowed to mature for 14 months before being bottle without the use of any filtration. 

Frappato  is an Italian red grape variety, mostly planted in Sicily and thought to be related to Sangiovese. This wine has a light red hue to it but the nose is very complex with notes of cherry, raspberry and white pepper. On the palate there are flavours of strawberry and raspberry fruit, complimented by herbs, flowers, black tea, salt and minerals. 

£29.15

Arianna Occhipinti SP68 Rosso 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage (now depleted) was awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Best Organic & Biodynamic Buys Under £30 (see blue link below).

OcchipintiSP68 - December 2017 Decanter review

70% Frappato, 30% Nero d’Avola. Organic (not certified). Suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.

Arianna’s home town of Vittoria lies in the far south of Sicily just to the west of Ragusa. It is here that she has been making wine for the past ten years under the tutelage of her uncle, Giusto Occhipinti who owns and runs the famous COS estate.

The grapes are manually harvested before 15 days of maceration on the skins. Indigenous yeast is used for the fermentation after which the wine is aged for 6 months in concrete vats and 1 month in bottle before release, There is no filtration prior to bottling.

Slightly turbid purple/red in the glass showing aromas of wild cherries, plum and mulberry with just a touch of raspberry lift. There are hints of flowers, leather, smoke, spice and herbs with wafts of liquorice, earth and mandarin rind. In the mouth the initial attack of fruit is awash with wild cherry sheathed in tobacco leaf with supporting fruit flavours of dark plum and blackberry. Nice cooling gravelly finish.

 

£19.45

Ashbourne Pinotage 2015 (1x 75cl)

Named after Anthony Hamilton Russell’s great, great grandfather, Lord Ashbourne, who was Lord Chancellor for Ireland in the late 1800’s, Ashbourne is now a 100% Pinotage sourced from a beautiful 113 hectare property in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley on the eastern border of Hamilton Russell Vineyards.

This Pinotage has been 100% barrel matured for 10 months in 400 litre barrels and 4.5 months in 2000 litre barrels and has undergone 100% malolatic fermentation. The 2015 was an extraordinary vintage – it started a full 2 weeks early and finished over a period of 4 weeks (February 20th) instead of the customary 7 weeks. The grapes were extremely healthy with thick skins and an unusually low juice content and the resulting wines are fuller and more sumptuous and concentrated than the 2013’s and 2014’s. Full ripeness was achieved surprisingly quickly despite slightly cooler temperatures between December and March. This makes 2015 cooler than the celebrated 2013, 2012 and 2009. A much drier and slightly warmer spring than usual, in part accounts for the early harvest, combined with a drier and slightly warmer than average January. 2015 was the first organic harvest (with some biodynamic features) for Ashbourne with great results.

From the maiden release in 2001, this benchmark wine has redefined South Africa’s own red grape variety, Pinotage, with its classic, refined styling and unique complex character. This is a wine unlike anything else, intense, rich and savoury with a beautiful underlying minerality.

£33.90

Assyrtiko, Ktima Kir-Yianni 2017 (1x 75cl)

Kir-Yianni was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris, one of the leading figures in the Greek wine industry, when he left the Boutari Wine Group, the premium family wine company that his grandfather established in 1879. Today, Stellios Boutaris, a member of the fifth generation of winemakers, leads Kir-Yianni into the next phase of its history, by dynamically exploring the cornerstones of the Kir-Yianni philosophy: the desire for innovation, respect for tradition and using his knowledge of the wine, from the grape to the end consumer.

The vineyard lies at an altitude of 700 meters within the viticultural zone of Agios Panteleimon, in the Amyndeon Appelation in Northwestern Greece. The vineyard’s mean yield does not exceed 40 hl/he. The soil is sandy and poor, thus offering the possibility of producing wines of exquisite quality and rich aromas. The microclimate of the region is characterised by cold winters and warm summers, while the four neighbouring lakes contribute to the creation of a mild continental climate. This Assyrtiko is produced from young vines that are between 6-8 years-old.

The grapes are cold soaked in order to maximize the extraction of aroma precursors into the must. Following racking, the must is inocculated with selected yeasts. After the end of the fermentation, the wine matures for a period of 4-5 months on fine lees, thus gaining more volume and complexity.

On the nose the wine displays aromas of white fruits and flowers. On the palate, the citrus acidity balances with the warm alcohol and the round mouthfeel of the wine, and finishes with a lingering aftertaste. This is a fine Assyrtiko wine with an intense character produced from young vines growing on the mountainous vineyards of Amyndeon.

Intense, with refreshing acidity and firm structure, Assyrtiko is a wine ideal for pairing with a variety of foods including fish fillet roasted or poached, fried cod, oven-roasted stuffed squid, pasta in white sauce and white cheeses. 

£12.15

Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2016 (1x 75cl)

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

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

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

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

£31.55

Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

2016 started well with a gentle spring that encouraged even flowering and fruit set across the vineyards. Early summer was calm, without the winds that plagued 2015 and the vines were in great shape to deal with a hotter than average February. March saw a return to cooler conditions, a perfect finish to the season.

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Crimson is a wine which was inspired by a love of New Zealand's native 'Christmas Trees', the rata and pohutukawa trees. Sales of this wine support Project Crimson, a charitable conservation trust which plants and protects these trees. The Pinot Noir grapes for Crimson are produced from 10-20 year old Martinborough vines in Lismore, Waiora and Walnut Ridge blocks.

The grapes were hand picked and 100% destemmed, keeping as much whole berry fruit as possible. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted between two and six days. The must was inoculated with indigenous yeasts and hand plunged during fermentation that lasted two to three weeks. The wine was racked into barrel, of which 20% was new oak, where it remained for a further nine months after malolactic fermentation until bottling in February 2017.

The 2016 very much shows a turning point from vibrant youth to tension and complexity that more mature vines bring. Aromatically this wine offers layers of flavours: violets, dark cherry and plum, notes of bitter chocolate and tobacco with a hint of game. There is a fresh vibrancy on the palate of acid and smooth tannins pulling the wine through to a long, salivating finish.

£22.05

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2019 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2018 (see blue link below)

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - January 2019 Decanter review

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017 - Sept 2018 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Pinot Gris grapes come from the Lismore Vineyard at the edge of the Martinborough Terrace and achieve their optimum flavour profile towards the end of the growing season. As a result, the team harvests this varietal fairly late to obtain a wine closer to the richer style of Pinot Gris produced in Alsace, rather than the leaner, bone-dry style of Pinot Grigio common in much of northern Italy. The vines were planted in 1996.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest.

Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed in a Willmes membrane press. The resulting juice was then cold settled, inoculated with yeast and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of 14-18°C. 20% of the wine was fermented in three year old 500 litre oak puncheons to give extra weight and complexity to the final blend. In both cases, the wine was left on lees for several months. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to retain a crisp, balancing acidity.

Up-front aromas in this Pinot Gris are reminiscent of fresh cut pear, custard, pecans and lychees. The palate is creamy, with flavours of fresh walnut and a hint of smoke. On the long finish, the wine shows complexity and will develop with bottle age.

£23.15

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x 75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs (see blue link below).

Ata Rangi SB 2016 - August 2017 Decanter review

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Ata Rangi vineyards are situated in Wairarapa, just north of Wellington. The grapes for this wine come from Lismore, Waiora, Walnut Ridge, Hau Ariki Marae and Sutherlands Block. Vineyard husbandry is important to Ata Rangi, including leaf plucking to keep the canopies open. Yields are typically low due to the cool, windy spring weather which affects fruit set and the lean, stony soils which are low in vigour and fertility. The vineyards are in conversion to organic certification and are accredited as 100% sustainable.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest.

The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc now takes the name Raranga (‘woven’ in Maori) to express Ata Rangi's range of winemaking techniques in the creation of their uniquely Martinborough style for this varietal. The grapes were hand-picked from 30th March – 11th April. 10% of the grapes were fermented on their skins for eight weeks, 4% was whole bunch fermented and the rest was fermented in stainless steel tanks and barrels. The juice was inoculated with cultivated yeasts and fermented in controlled temperature storage at 12-18°C.

This wine has aromas of spiced apple pie, lime and melon. On the palate, there are notes of candied lemon and cardamom. On the finish, the wine is creamy and savoury.

£16.20

Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2016 (1x75cl)

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.

£29.50

Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 (1x 75cl)

The Colombini family traces its roots back to the middle ages when, among other things, it had a hand in governing the city-state of Siena. During the twentieth century, the Fattoria dei Barbi was headed by Pio Colombini, then by Giovanni, and then by Francesca. It is currently run by Stefano Cinelli Colombini. Each of these family members helped to develop the estate as part of a long-standing family tradition. The Cinelli Colombini family’s philosophy has always been that of marrying state-of-the-art technology with tradition in order to improve their wines without ever altering their classic character.

This red wine has been produced since 1892 and has received many awards for its quality. This wine is the heart of Barbi's production and it is made with 100% Sangiovese grapes from their best vineyards in Montalcino.

Before fermentation, the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists of cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation, the wine aged in small-medium size oak barrels (2,25 – 15 hl) for several months. Later it completed the ageing process in larger oak barrels, for a total period of two years and then is bottled at least 4 months before being released for sale.

Powerfully structured, this is an austere, warm, amply flavoured wine with a deep ruby to brick-red colour and a richly complex, dry, full and soft palate. A muscular, full-bodied wine with great richness.

£35.30

Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva 2011 (1x 75cl)

In this wine, the typical characteristics of the Brunello, great body intensity, complex and developed aromas, capability for long aging, are stressed. In the “Riserva”, everything is extraordinary, but nothing is excessive. It is a Brunello that respect the character of elegance typical of the Barbi farm, demonstrating at the same time wine of great potency. It is a selection done amongst the best barrels and it is produced only in the best harvests. The aging is of five years of which three in barrels: the refining in a bottle is of at least six months.

Before the fermentation the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists in cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation the wine aged in small-medium size oak barrels (2,25 – 15 hl) for the first months Later it completed the aging in larger oak barrels, for a total period of three years. This Brunello Riserva is bottled at least 6 months before being released for sale.

Brick red in colour with earthy brown edges. The nose is pronounced and complex, offering an entertaining array of red and black berry fruits, spices and oaky aromas. The palate is medium to full bodied with a richly complex middle and an everlasting, elegant finish. The tannic structure that dominated the wine in its youth is beginning to mellow and allow mature, secondary characteristics to show. A stunning wine with enormous appeal. This wine has the structure to allow it to age for up to 25 years.

 Brunello di Montalcino is the King of Tuscan wines. It should accompany strongly flavoured meats and game, it is definetely a wine to be contemplated, and such is the perfect partner to accompany a selection of cheeses at the end of a good meal.

£72.95
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