Has to be one of the best-value most impressive French red wines on the UK market. Special edition made for us by famed Chateauneuf grower Roger Sabon, the wine-maker is esteemed Didier Negron. Charmingly honest, hearty (15%!), herbal, dense and punchy, juicy red from the classic southern varieties of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault & friends. What a beauty, what a bargain.
Although full-bodied the wine has soft tannins and a silky texture - this is the beauty of Southern Rhone reds, ready to enjoy as soon as they're made, unlike Bordeaux or Burgundy. Grenache in this hot sunny heaven gives ripe raspberry and black cherry notes and depth, Syrah gives a classic black pepper spice and dark-chocolate grip. A cool fennel / mint edge and lift.
'Declassified' as Vin de France, but this is not a 'negoce' wine made from bought-in grapes: all the grapes come from Sabon estates, and winemaking is by Didier Negron, as per their top wines.
About Roger Sabon:
Domaine Roger Sabon came into being in 1952 when the family vineyards were split into three distinct entities (the other two being Domaine Chante-Cigale and Clos Mont Olivet).
Robert Parker, who awarded their 1988 vintage a perfect 100 rating, the first Chateauneuf-du-Pape so honoured, has this to say about Domaine Roger Sabon: This estate has been at the top of its game for many years and any partisan of Rhone Valley wines who has not yet tried a wine from Domaine Roger Sabon should make every effort to do so... This estate has been making exceptionally high-quality wines for years, but recent vintages seem to have risen to a new level of quality.
100+ year old vines, multi-award winner, total bargain. Tom Cannavan "Rich with black fruit, mint... tannins ultra silky, acidity juicy... well balanced as some creamy older French oak fills out the finish... delicious example of the style."
100% Sangiovese grown in E Jamu's finest vineyards in Valdarno Di Sopra DOC. In this debut vintage there are just over 1,000 bottles produced from organic (and certified) farming. After manually picking the top selection of grapes they are destemmed and softly crushed. The fermentation begins (and ends) with only natural yeasts helped along by a gentle daily pump over. After fermentation the juice is in contact with the skins for 15 days in cement vats before being run off to fine, older tonneau to rest for 18 months.
The colour is a gorgeous, bright ruby. The nose shows ripe red fruits, black cherries, fine and elegant floral character with gentle notes of black pepper, chocolate and vanilla.
Fine and elegant again on the palate - beautiful soft red fruits with gorgeously judged tannins. An elegant expression of Sangiovese with real finesse.
The legendary and completely wonderful Giampaolo Chiettini helps the young (very young!) Rocco (23!) and his sister Meca (24!) on their beautiful estate in DOC Valdarno di Sopra. A very exciting young estate to watch.
Parker 92/100 "...shows the ripeness of the very warm and dry year. It's structured and concentrated, quite different from the finesse of the Tondonia. Bosconia has always been more rustic and powerful and Tondonia all about finesse and nuance. There are dark plums and baking spices, a touch of singed leather, the fruit very strong to counterbalance the ageing in barrel. This is a powerful Bosconia."
Outstanding Chianti Classico Riserva from the cooler north west of Chianti. Grown on soils very similar to Felsina's vineyards in Berardenga, this cooler terroir in Argiano helps produce a wine of great energy, elegance and inherent harmony. La Vigna di San Martino ad Argiano is the personal project of Giampaolo Chiettini. Giampaolo spent a good number of years working alongside Paolo di Marchi at Isole e Olena where he fell deeply in love with Sangiovese and honed his skills and became a very highly regarded winemaker of the region. Antinori and Ca' del Bosco have also used Giampaolo's services over the years. He still consults and makes wine for the outstanding Castagnoli and brilliant newcomers Ejamu amongst others.
This personal project comes from a beautiful, tiny (1ha!) vineyard in Argiano in the San Casciano Val di Pesa commune. Organic Sangiovese grapes are destemmed and gently crushed then undergo wild fermentation with natural yeasts. The wine is bred in used tonneaux. Giampaolo's trained, light hand in the cellar has helped produce a really rather wonderful Chianti Classico Riserva. This 2020 knocked us out. Immense energy and focus to the wonderful fruit and character. Only 2,000 bottles produced. This wine proves utterly marvellous drinking now, but shall age gracefully and beautifully for many years. We can't wait to follow the evolution!
This Chianti Classico Riserva 2020 was one of only four wines to scoop the top score of 17.5/20 from Walter Speller on jancisrobinson.com in the "Chianti Classico Riserva 2020" section of his full report on the 2019 and 2020 vintages published earlier in 2023. Our Senior Buyer, Stewart Travers, had met and tasted with Giampaolo the month before the reports were published and similarly benchmarked the wine and then realised we were on to something very exciting indeed. Make sure you get on the allocation list early! And also make sure you grab a bottle of his immense Vin Santo 2017, here in tiny quantities!
Under Bond Orders
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Deep ruby in colour, this Merlot incorporates scents of rich black cherry and plum, displaying further complexity on the palate. Flavourful and medium bodied with hints of cedar and dark chocolate leading to a pleasing finish.
Las Condes Merlot has clean and intense aromas of ripe red fruits especially plums, cherries and strawberries accompanied with cinnamon notes. The palate offers these same flavours and confirms a well-balanced wine with soft tannins and a pleasant finish
52% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot. 33% new, 33% second-use, 33% third-use oak for 14 months.
Nicely integrated after 6 years in bottle and offering up sweet aromas of cassis and redcurrant, lively palate and plenty of body.
The Ripasso method beefs up the sometimes weedy Valpolicella by the addtion of Amarone lees which starts a second fermentation and adds body. With complex red fruit aromas, this well balanced full-bodied wine is velvety smooth with harmonious tannins
The sake yeast no7 is also at the basis of this creation. In contrast to the Sauvignon blanc, the sake culture is less easy to discover here ,. This is because the tannic structure of red wine predominates over the aromatic characteristics of this yeast culture. Some bottle aging will change this. But will this wine have a chance? The quality is already excellent. Lots of cherry and small red fruit in the smell and taste, with a refined and elegant aftertaste. No burgundy style, but classic and at a lonely height!
Francois Xavier AKA 'FX'. FX was vineyard manager for Tom Lubbe at Domaine Matassa for five years. He spent a further year with Domaine Danjou-Banessy. After such time this local lad set up in Espira to make his own wholly exciting wines.
Whole bunch fermentation in stainless-steel tanks for 5 days for this beautiful Mourvedre from very old wines. On the morning of the 6th day the grapes were pressed, and the juice transferred back to stainless-steel tanks to complete fermentation. Only the naturally occurring indigenous yeasts were used in the fermentation. The wine was then aged 5 months in tank. Prior to bottling a very low dose of sulphites was added. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Vivid, bright and wild wine.
A great vintage here in 2016. The wine is really hitting its stride in what shall be our final shipment (Autumn 2023).
In March 2021 Michaela Morris wrote in Decanter Magazine:
"With a strong commitment to the environment, the estates practises extend beyond the vineyard to include rainwater recovery, lighter-weight glass bottles, recycled packaging, and complete avoidance of single-use plastic. Intense spiced cherry aromas are lifted by aromatic herbs like sage, tarragon and fennel. There's a polished sheen to this, with the palate offering lovely purity, sneaky depth and fine tannins. It finishes with tart, tangy red berries. Very light on its feet and will be approachable soon". 92/100
Drinking Window: 2022 - 2032
In Vinous Media, Nov 2020, the wine was awarded 93/100
"A dusting of exotic spice, incense, sage, dried roses, black cherries and currants can all be found in the bouquet of the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino. Its silky in feel with a density of primary fruit mixed with stimulating acids and minerality that the young 2016s are becoming known for. Cooling herbal tones and hints of licorice add further depths, as a coating of fine tannin slowly settles in. This is classically structured and full of potential for the cellar, tapering off to purple-tinged inner florals over a hint of sour citrus and savory spice. Very nice. Drinking window 2024 - 2036".
Monica Larner in The Wine Advocate Nov 2020, 92/100
"Il Palazzone's 2016 Brunello di Montalcino unfolds to light and crisp fruit with lots of wild cherry, rose and blue flower. This is a silky and medium-bodied red with lots of lifted energy and zest. This is a very lively wine. That lighter approach gives this wine a more immediate and accessible approach, and it would pair well with pork or lamb chops. It represents a blend of fruit from three vineyard sites. Production is exactly 12,692 bottles. Drinking window 2023 - 2038".
Beautiful deep purple garnet. Nose of chocolate, cherry, violet and vanilla. Some liquorice. . Bitter chocolate, liquorice and vanilla. Some plum, blackcurrant and black cherry. The tannins are balanced yet well pronounced. Its a proper Primitivo.
We've shipped this wonderful 'Baby Brunello' from Il Palazzone for over a dozen years now. 100% Sangiovese from a blend of different vintages (the blend always includes some of the estates own Brunello barrels), primarily 2021.
Bottled on September 6th 2022. We have shipped the wine with an extra year in bottle as we feel these bottlings hugely benefit from some time to come together and show at their best. This long time favourite offers true character and unbelievable value its price.
The wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso, known in Montalcino as Brunello - all from the estates own Brunello di Montalcino vineyards.
The 2018 La Bauge is a classic Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir. It is a wine of great aromatics and character showing black cherry/cranberry fruit, rose petal, earth and spice. It has a lavish structure and rich wood scents. Balance is the key to this wine. A balance of oak and fruit, a balance of tannin and acid, and a balance of elegance and intensity. The "La Bauge" Pinots have a more integrated structure and suppleness early on, making them enjoyable now, though they will age well.
Remi Jeanniards neighbours say that he and his wife are always in the vineyards; even on 2nd January, they were seen out pruning the vines. Remi has just over 7 hectares of vines in and around Morey-St-Denis. The vines are much older than average, with all of his Vieilles Vignes village bottlings being at least 50 years old. This gives a natural concentration to the wines which are both well structured and elegant.
Dried fruits, figs, cherries, currants, and violets. Exciting. Less plush than the jeunes vignes, but more vibrant and intense. Supple tannins.