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.
This sweet 'Liastos' is a blend of local grapes that sun dry (7 days in shadow and 2 days in direct sunlight) giving us a concentrated juice with density of aromas and taste. The wine has been aged in 225lt oak barrels for 12 months.
Intense bouquet of ripe peach and apricot combined with delicious overtones of marmalade and honey flavours. Rich mouthfeel with bright acidity and a long aromatic aftertaste.
Franco Lourens spent some years working with the great Chris Alheit before settling to focus entirely on his own range of wines. This is a breathtakingly self-assured range and almost in the blink of an eye places Franco into the very top bracket of top-end New Wave SA producers. Franco is a leading light of South Africas New Wave and champion of old-vine Chenin, among others. He is inevitably set to join the likes of Chris Alheit, Eben Sadie, Adi Badenhorst, Duncan Savage et alia in the shimmering constellation of New Wave South African stars. BUT - and here's the rub - since Franco is still relatively unknown, the prices do not yet reflect how sensational the wines really are. Since mid-2020 Franco has shared cellar space with another great new vigneron Lukas van Loggerenberg in Paarl.
"35% Verdelho, 21% Chenin Blanc, 19% Colombar, 18% Grenache Blanc (five days skin contact) and 7% Palomino sourced variously from Stellenbosch, Swartland and Piekenierskloof. Expressive aromatics of pear, peach and citrus plus floral perfume and hay while the palate has good fruit definition, well integrated acidity and a gently savoury finish, some light phenolic grip adding interest. Subtle and intricate".
Classic Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc from a declassified 3ha plot in Pouilly-Fumé. Fragrant, with pure juicy fruit and a slight grassy edge. Grown and made by David and Shirley Maudry at their dynamic young estate, Maison Lispaul.
This hazy hoppy New England IPA bursts with juice citrus and lush tropical fruit notes. Super refreshing with a smooth body and soft mouthfeel.
Brewed as part of a series of collaboration beers with Cambridge Wine Merchants.
A wine from an amazing single site with vines older than 90 years. Carignan on black schistous marl. Aged for 20 months in barrels. Possibly Roussillon's most elegant expression of the grape?
Made from a majority of Grenache, this most impressive wine is powerful and truly mouth watering. Red fruit notes with a long palate and lingering mature tannins.
An absolute must for Rhone wine experts, from a true flagship wine grower.
Francesco Giuntini created this single vineyard wine with Franco Bernabei in 1979. They wanted to produce a wine to best represent the character and quality of Rufina and Selvapiana Sangiovese. Only produced in the best vintages.
This wine shows tremendous depth of colour with great intensity on the nose. The palate is powerful and fruit packed with ripe raspberry and spicy cherry fruit, supported by a touch of herbs and violets, robust tannins and a long, fine finish which is the hallmark of the Selvapiana wines.