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`Cullen Vineyard` Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Margaret River (Australia) (see blue link below).

Cullen Sem/SB 2015 - Dec 2017 Decanter review

Cullen Wines is a certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered estate, with their philosophy summed up in three simple words; ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. It is one of the oldest and most awarded family wineries in Wilyabrup, in Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. First established in 1971 by Dr Kevin and Diana Cullen and now run by their daughter Vanya, the winery has built an outstanding reputation for fine certified biodynamic wines that receive critical national and international acclaim. All wines produced are sourced from grapes grown on the Cullen and adjoining Mangan Estates. Both are certified biodynamic, to allow the soil to be nurtured and the wines to reflect their sense of place.

Fruit is sourced exclusively from the Cullen Vineyard. The soils are old, granite and gravely sandy loam, overlaying lateritic subsoils. The vineyard is certified biodynamic and vines are dry-farmed. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are trained on a Lyre trellis due to their high vigour giving a great area for the leaves and fruit to grow on and enabling fruit to reach proper physiological ripeness.

2015 presented excellent growing conditions. From October to March weather was mostly dry with little rainfall. A warm ripening period resulted in fruit arriving at the winery in superb condition. Good rains enhanced the growing season with luckily no rainfall at all during the harvest period. Low yields and ideal ripening have resulted in elegant and perfumed wines of great purity.

The fruit was hand-harvested, and barrel-fermented using natural yeasts, with no acid additions and limited fining. 74% of the wine was aged in new French oak for five months, adding complexity and depth to the wine.

This wine shows a delightful combination of fresh cut grass, spicy and vanillin oak aromas supported by tropical notes. Vibrant fruit flavours are lifted by citrus notes. A very complex wine with lovely stone fruit nuances and toasty characteristics.

£20.65

Antica Enotria Rosso IGT Puglia 2015 (6 x 75cl)

Awarded 92 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 Italy supplement article on Puglia (see blue link below).

Antico Enotria Rosso Puglia 2015 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

These grapes reached the peak of ripeness during the first week of October. After harvesting and slightly crushing, the grapes were left to macerate on their skins and ferment at a controlled temperature for 8 days, then the wine was aged in steel tanks for 8 months before bottling.

Deep ruby red colour and violet nuances with a characteristic bouquet of cherries and forest berries. On the palate this wine is soft, dry, whit nice tannins and a good freshness.

£57.00

Benoit Courault La Coulee 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Organic and Biodynamic Wines (see blue link below).

Benouir Courault La Coulee 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Benoit Courault is a young and established vigneron in Faye d’Anjou, a little village south of Angers along the Layon river. Not a son of a winemaker, early on, Ben decided to study wine. He went to Beaune. From 2003 until 2006, he worked with the famous vigneron Eric Pfifferling from Domaine L’Anglore in Tavel.

Back in his native Loire, he found 5ha of vineyards and started his estate in 2006. Benoit’s aim is to propose authentic wines of excellent quality produced with a constant concern for the natural balance of life cycles, a statement that you will find on his label “Vignes cultives dans le respect du vivant”. Ben’s practices are simple and traditional, organic farming, use of the horse, natural vinification, very little use of sulfites, no fining and no filtration. 

£18.80

Bianchi `Famiglia Bianchi` Organic Malbec 2014 (1x75cl)

Intense red violet colour. Red fruit notes such as raspberries mix with prunes, spices, tobacco, chocolate and a hint of coffee on the nose. Full-bodied and smooth on the palate with rounded tannins. Notes of coffee and bitter chocolate from the oak ageing add complexity to the mature red fruit character on the long, well-balanced finish.

£15.00

Bodega Cecchin Graciana 2015 (6x 75cl)

The (now-unavailable) 2014 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2017 edition review of Best Organic & Biodynamic Buys Under £30. This new vintage is also thoroughly excellent!

Cecchin Graciana 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

The first members of the Cecchin family came from Italy to Argentina in 1910 and found work in the local vineyards.  In 1959, Jorge and Pedro Cecchin fulfilled their dream of owning their own land by acquiring 11 hectares of vineyards and olive groves, and the winery which dates back to 1901. Bodegas Cecchin have been certified organic both in the vineyards and in the processing of grapes since 2005.

In addition to the vineyards which are planted with a wide range of varieties, Bodega Cecchin also has peach and apricot orchards, olive groves and walnut and almond groves to add to the biodiversity of the estate.   

The wine is fermented in 12000 litre vats at a controlled temperature after which malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur.  The wine is then filtered but not fined before bottling.

The grape variety of Rioja shows a relaxed countenance in Mendoza. The fruit is soft - more on the strawberry side - with a touch of liquorice and herbal seasoning.  

 

£70.50

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2013 (1x 75cl)

An intense, complex and persistent bouquet of apricot compote and spice with aromas of honey, beeswax, minerals and flint stone. Displaying a full body with an exceptional layered richness. With opening, the wine`s primary aromas of grape and floral touches develop into spice, aromatic herb, flinty and mineral notes, with hints of honey and nuts on the finish.

£25.50

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of Italian Icon Wines (see blue link below).

Bucci Verdicchio Classico Riserva 2014 - Feb 2018 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 takes place in the underground winery, which is naturally cool so refrigeration is generally not necessary. Vinification takes place in stainless steel and Slovenian oak barrels of between 50 and 75 hectolitres, that are approximately 70 years old. Different vineyard parcels are vinified separately, aged for two years and then carefully blended before bottling.

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.

£27.85

Buitenverwachting Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (1x75cl)

The wine has a pale lemon yellow colour and a bouquet reminiscent of green figs with hints of gooseberries and an intrusion of green peppers. The wine is dry, full bodied and has a long lingering finish.
 

£10.70

Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2015 - January 2018 Decanter review

Burn Cottage Vineyard Property is a twenty four hectare estate in the foothills of the Pisa range in Central Otago, New Zealand. The vineyard is owned by the Sauvage family which also owns an estate in the Pfalz region of Germany, as well as several fine wine importing and wholesaling companies in the United States. 

"At Burn Cottage we believe in minimal intervention winemaking. Our task is to discover the genius of the site and of the individual vineyard blocks within and to allow the wines to reveal it. We believe in minimizing sulfur usage and avoiding all additives whenever possible. We avoid the use of cultured yeasts, bacteria, associated nutrient products and filters. We avoid racking whenever possible and do wine work according to lunar and celestial rhythms."

The property was purchased in 2002 by husband and wife Marquis and Dianne who brought in Ted Lemon as their winemaker in 2003. It had been grazed by sheep for as long as can currently be remembered. There were, and are, no immediate vineyard neighbours. The site was much coveted in the region for it is sheltered from both northerly and southerly winds by large hills and forms a beautiful, protected bowl, much like a modern amphitheatre. The wines produced here are all biodynamic. 

The winemaking at Burn Cottage reflects biodynamic principles with low intervention. There is no addition of yeasts or bacteria for fermentations, with minimal sulphur use and no filtration before bottling. The Pinot Noir contains a skilful use of 24% whole-bunch fermented grapes to achieve a lifted fragrance. The wine was aged in French barrels, 22% of which were new oak.

The 2015 vintage has wonderfully complex aromas of fern leaf, rhubarb, potpourri and rose petal contrasted with more mineral notes of dust, graphite and gravel. The palate possesses a lovely sweet attack without ever becoming cloying and it melts into supple, fine tannins which need a few years to completely marry to the wine. Nevertheless, the overall impression is silky and sensual. Excellent acidity lends great vibrancy to the palate and the wine ends on a long, lingering finish. The rich, silky completeness shows the great potential of this property. This wine will reward patience and can be cellared for up to 8-10 years.

£53.46

Cambridge Road Syrah 2011 (1x 75cl)

From a biodynamic vineyard in Martinborough, this Syrah is a ripe and smooth wine with black cherry and plum flavours and a touch of peppery spice and tar.

£34.25

Cambridge Road Syrah 2013 (6x75cl)

From a biodynamic vineyard in Martinborough, this Syrah is a ripe and smooth wine with black cherry and plum flavours and a touch of peppery spice and tar.

£229.65

Cazes `Ego` Côtes du Roussillon Villages 2013 (1x75cl)

Domaine Cazes is situated in Rivesaltes in the Roussillon. With 220 hectares of vines planted, Domaine Cazes is the largest certified Organic and Biodynamic estate in France. It was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes and the wines are still made by the fourth generation of winemakers, headed up by Emmanuel Cazes. The family make a range of interesting dry wines alongside the regional specialities, Vin Doux Naturels. They took the decision to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Based on their view that the natural environment needs natural preparation, they plough the soils and use only natural ingredients as treatments, arranging their work according to the lunar calendar.

Maison CAZES is set in the sunniest French region. Since the family started farming biodynamically, they have found that the vineyards are healthier and the vines are stronger, with longer roots. There is also more freshness and minerality in the wines. Vines grow on clay and limestone soils, covered by 'galets roulés' (the 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). The low yielding vines are about 30 years old, and produce 30 hectolitres per hectare.

Harvest was delayed by up to three weeks due to a late flowering accompanied by cold and wet weather. An Indian summer lasted through to the end of October and provided vital assistance to the final ripening stage given the warm days, cool nights and dry northerly winds. The wines have ripe fruit and bright, lively acidity.

The three varietals were totally de-stemmed and de-stalked before being put in separate stainless steel vats. Only naturally occurring yeasts were used; no yeast was added to the must. Fermentation was temperature controlled at 28°C. The residual matter was circulated by pump-overs and the sediment was broken up by hand twice a day to extract the best qualities. The wine was macerated for four weeks before pressing after which it underwent malolactic fermentation.

The nose reveals great aromas of ripe black and red fruits. On the palate, these melt with leather and liquorice notes, and soft, velvety tannins. This is a round and rich wine with wonderful balance as well as a pleasantly refreshing acidity. Long finish with hints of black pepper.

£15.85

Cesconi Nosiola 2015 (1x 75cl)

The four Cesconi brothers have transformed their family estate in the village of Pressano, in the past decade. Whereas they previously sold all their fruit to the co-op at Lavis, today they are making some of Italy's most exciting white wines. All their vineyards are now farmed organically and biodynamically. Stylistically, their whites are more intense and perfumed than those from Friuli and slightly lighter, without the weight or fat that some of the top Friuli wines have. Their reds, on the other hand, have more weight than their Friulian counterparts.

Nosiola, the only grape variety native to Trentino, is planted on the edge of the woods on west-facing vineyards, some with slopes of up to 30° at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level. Soils are shallow but very rich and moderately calcareous, with friable base rock from the triassic period which releases minerals slowly and continuously into the soils. The vines are 30 years old on average and are pergola trained in the traditional manner, with 3m between rows and 0.60m between vines. Yields are approximately seven tons per hectare.

Some of the grapes were de-stemmed and macerated for four to five days until the cap was formed, at which point the fermenting must was joined together with rest of the juice obtained directly from pressing the grapes. The fermentation continued in stainless steel containers and large acacia barrels. The acacia wood allows for a balance between the advantages of winemaking in wood, and the preservation of the fine, delicate bouquet of Nosiola. The wine remained in contact with the lees for about nine months before being bottled at the end of the summer.

A lovely pale lemon colour. The nose is fresh and lively, expressing the wine's mountain character, with notes of grapefruit and elderberry. The palate is savoury but delicate; the moderate alcohol content and high acidity enhancing its depth and finish.

£14.80

CHAMPALOU Vouvray Brut NV (1x 75cl)

Pale straw in colour with extremely elegant bubbles and a fine mousse. The palate is fine and elegant with well balanced acidity and a crisp dry finish.
£15.12
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