Jancis Robinson MW OBE 17/20 "Transparent ruby. Very zesty and fruity with a real undertow of structure. Lovely pure fruit. No hint of a lesser appellation. A real beginning, middle and end to this wine. Soaringly pure fruit yet lots to get your teeth into."
Old vine Garnacha and Carinena planted as long ago as 1930. Concentrated, dense and pure black fruit in the palate. This Montsant has character. It is lively and fresh. Lots of quality aromas such as pencil lead, graphite and charcoal. The concentration does not compete with the gentle and expressive fruit.
This wine is the result of a romantic selection of 100% garnatxa. Magic old vineyards of 70-90 years old that have a real unique taste.
Tasting this wine is akin to being in an Auditorium listening to acoustic music.
Harvesting the grape when it is fully ripe and have achieved the complete tannin ripeness. Selection by hand in the vineyard during unloading to the destemming machine in the cellar. Then 15 days of maceration with the skin with several pigeage every day. Pressing using a small vertical wooden pressing machine.
Spiritually balanced, it offers copious floral cassis and blueberry fruit on the nose with fine delineation and purity, a bouquet that goes out to seduce. The palate is full-bodied, with a touch of burnt toast on the edgy entry, followed by a wave of earthy, black fruit that lacquers the mouth with superb minerality. Magic silky tannins. Nectar of fruitiness. The finish is off dry with firm grip and a saline touch on the aftertaste.
Oz Clarke 96 points (2014 vintage) "Wonderfully exhilarating Garnacha from the fringes of Priorat. It has shimmering blackcurrant and apple flesh fruit, mouthwatering acidity and a slap of herbs, and yet you can still taste the heat in the grapes."
Truly outstanding Garnacha.
What a beauty. An insanely ancient grape variety and wine region - they were making this long before the Romans arrived in the south of Italy. The winemaking, though, is super-modern, the result silky and astonishingly rich. We know that Parker and his team like a big glossy wine and I proudly quote them: "This is a big wine with a capital B"
Parker 90/100 of the 2015 vintage (and frankly down in the baked south there's barely any vintage variation)
"You gotta love the little spider depicted on the front label of this wine. It refers to the mystical cult of Tarantism practiced in this part of Southern Italy in which a tarantula bite is believed to send women (mostly) into an all-night frenzy. Tarantism is revived and widely popular today as a rave-like dance craze. The 2015 Aglianico del Vulture Piano del Cerro is packaged in a very heavy glass bottle. It pours out slowly to reveal dried blackberry, spice, Spanish cedar and campfire ash. This Aglianico is virtually impenetrable in appearance. The oak-driven tannins are sweet and spicy. This is a big wine with a capital B."
Of the 2016
"a smoky and tarry wine showing thick concentration. It has a chewy and rich texture and lots of barbecue spice on the close. From presentation to finish, this has all the trappings of a big boy wine for those who enjoy this sort of heft and meatiness."
Bursting with dark berry flavours of blackberry, dark cherry and plums, this Shiraz has soft and supple tannins and a white pepper finish.
The fruit for Aloe Tree hails from the increasingly fashionable west coast of the Cape.
Cool nights and sea breezes combine to extend the growing season, resulting in perfectly balanced, ripe grapes. The iconic Aloe Tree image is sure to be familiar to anyone who has travelled widely through the Cape and is an important part of the biodiversity which South Africa is famous for. The characteristic silhouette provides a backdrop to one of the most spectacular wine regions in the world where wines grow in harmony with the thousands of plant species that make up the Cape Floral Kingdom.
The grapes come from selected vineyard blocks on the west coast. The extra warmth in this area helps develop the full body and ripe flavours of this variety. The vines are planted on Karoo clay soils that add body and texture to the wine. The vines ages vary from 10 to 25 years old.
Once the grapes arrive at the winery, the fruit is gently pressed and only the free run juice is used. Using selected yeasts the juice then undergoes fermentation at between 18-22 degrees Celsius for 5 days. Because of the depth of flavour, it requires less oak treatment compared to other grape varieties and matures on French oak for 3 months to improve body and texture. During fermentation the wine is pumped over 3 times a day for colour extraction.
A deep cherry colour with violet tints. Nose is intense with aromas of ripe red seasonal fruit, subtle hints of violets, rosemary and a touch of black pepper. This Bobal shows distinctive power, vibrant fruit, freshness with soft and ripe tannin.
Bobal, ancient and native to the parched plains inland from Valencia grows in gnarled bush-vines like the Shiraz of Barossa. Yields are small and concentration epic. This slinky number is dark and dense but wonderfully juicy, with a coconut spice from oak barrels. A forgotten corner of the wine world, but gosh what a bargain.
Bobal is Spain's second most widely planted red grape but is far less familiar to most wine lovers than the most widely planted, Tempranillo. This good-value, unoaked example is grown at high altitude on north- and south-facing slopes by the Altolandon estate, 90 minutes north of Valencia. Deeply coloured, it has some of the rusticity that is associated with the grape, with attractive, slightly spicy blue- and blackberry fruit. Fairly simple, with lightly grippy tannins and good acidity - try it with lamb chops.
Part of the world-class Hess Family estates of Napa. Parker 90/100. One of the highest vineyards in the world. Complete, multi-layered, complex and astonishing value for such a polished beauty. Spice box, touch of char, chocolate, so broad, evolved, SO serious, dramatic and intense. The Cab Franc adds a perfect lift to the chunky Malbec - surprising that this blend isn't seen more often. Thoroughly recommended.
Deep ruby red in colour with a purple hue, this wine displays
intensely fruity red berry aromas of raspberries and cherries, floral
notes and a touch of spice and chocolate. Well structured, fresh
and fruity on the palate with soft, rounded tannins and a long
Amarone is made by allowing the grapes to partially dry and shrivel for up to 120 days, usually on straw mats. (This process is called appassimento or rasinate (to dry and shrivel) in Italian). This concentrates the remaining sugars and flavours, giving a rich and deep wine, with intense red fruits and a juicy palate. Some oak ageing increases structure and imparts subtle warmth and body.
Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara from vineyards in the Veneto region. Deep ruby colour. Aromas of cherries, plums, oak, chocolate and spices. On the palate chocolate, blackberries, cherries, oak, plums and spices. A fruity, spicy and balanced Amarone
A blend of both estate fruit and some fruit purchased from their good friends and neighbours, this is designed as a medium bodied, juicy, earlier drinking style, but still with the silky texture and fine tannins typcial of the Ashton Hills estate.