From a breathtaking 0.5 hectare site on Chaban at 400+ metres altitude that was passed on to the Roudier family by the retiring Jean-Marie Teysseire, a legendary figure in Cornas and Saint-Peray. The Syrah vines are 80++ yrs of age on granitic soils including a portion of the mineral baryte, a clear crystal/quartz looking mark that gives the wine its mysterious sounding name. The vines are deeply established on this steep hillside, cut into terraces and oriented East/South-East. An utterly beautiful, natural granite amphitheater that protects the vines from the cold winds.
Beautiful Syrah expresses all its power and finesse on this wonderful Cornas terroir. The debut vintage of this full-bodied terroir wine - which doesn't initially appear to be representative of the "Northern Rhone 2021" vintage - spring frost, harvest rain affected. But from what we have tasted, Cornas in general appears little affected, likely due to the elevation of the vineyards and the gradients of the slopes. So watch out for sleeping Cornas bargains like this from 2021.
The wine has a fairly classic Cornas nose, on the palate it is voluminous, lush and suave but fresh and balanced with real tension and energy. The wine is pure and very long. All the fruit destemmed, no oak breeding (all in stainless steel) with a four week maceration. A true terroir wine from a great Cornas site.
This 2021 is very impressive now and shall reveal its elegance and finesse over the coming years.
What a wine!
"The 2021 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard is one of the highlights among the 2021s I tasted from Joey Tensley. Vibrant and driving in feel, the Colson Syrah is endowed with tremendous character. Blue/purplish fruit, gravel, incense, menthol and lavender all take shape as the 2021 shows off its striking beauty. There is so much to look forward to." Antonio Galloni. 95pts
Hisenda Miret comes from the old vines planted on the Cal Miret estate. It is an almost extinct Grenache in the Penedès that will captivate you with its attractive elegance and its sweet mouthfeel.
"This bold red marries ripe flavours of cherry, red plum and vanilla with tangy, citrusy acidity in a lively, sweet-tart character. Notes of mountain herb, spice and cocoa add interest. Angular yet generous."
Wine Spectator Magazine
This Chenin Noir is aromatic and floral with rosehip and hibiscus leading to sweet, ripe young strawberries. It's richer than the other Lampyres wines, and needs a bit of breathing/decanting time to show its full wares. Nice tension and with a fresh, gently peppery finish. Serve cool. Outstanding from the superb talent that is 'FX'.
Charles Melton's Nine Popes is a nod to the great wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is as rich, powerful and beautifully balanced as the best examples from the Rhône in France. Almost a permanent feature in Matthew Jukes' 100 Best Australian Wines.
The wine is aged on lees for 24-28 months in French oak, of which 60% is new oak. The wine is then naturally settled and bottled without fining. Nine Popes is deep red in colour with a floral bouquet. The palate is structured and spicy with sweet red fruit and floral flavours which will develop further over time. It is rich and complex in the Popes tradition.
Another perennial favourite, this is an old vine Syrah-dominated cuvee that comes from vines around the village of Roaix, which is northeast of Gigondas. Its vibrant ruby color is followed by terrific notes of blueberries, blackberries, pepper and resinous herbs, and it has a kiss of vanilla that will be completely integrated by the time this sees the inside of a bottle. This is a medium to full-bodied, ultra-pure beauty.
The grapes were picked early and cold-fermented in stainless steel for two weeks to retain fruit delicacy. Only free-run juice was used. Following a three week fermentation period, the wine was clarified and bottled before being cellared at the winery for five years prior to release.
While bottle ageing in the Tanunda cellars, the wine has developed an attractive bright straw colour. Aromas of lemon curd, lime rind and honey are evident on the complex nose and are complemented by hints of lanolin and beeswax on a soft rounded mid-palate that superbly balances this lively, zesty wine.
Glorious old vine Mourvedre from the wonderful Yves Falmet (who is as vegan as his wines). Yves has a single, steep vineyard of old vine varieties planted in southern Saint-Chinian. Mourvedre cannot be used 100% and be called Saint Chinian, so this is a Vin de France. Silky, fine and long, with vibrant fruit, great balance and perfect ripeness. An amazing value wine.
Famously delicate and sexy pink
At the March 2022 Taste Champagne (300 wines) I have to say this stood out as one of the most delicious "drinking Champagnes" on show - and there were some very Showy wines on show that day. A huge success for us, easy to forget just how gorgeous it is - firstly it is so very savoury, forget the cherry fruits, it's more like Xmas cake, rhubarb, forest floor, nettle and nutmeg. When the glass is empty the aromas persist. This is Grand stuff, the stuff of deluxe cuvee, truly epic. And a dinner wine too. A cunning counsel for you - don't serve it too cold, err on the cellar-temperature side.
March 2022. Of course the whole Billecart range is exceptional and impressive but the 'basic NV is a STEAL! Seriously, super-tight with Silex and citrus, grippy and bracing. On best-ever form.
Westwell's Ortega Rose is fermented in stainless steel tanks at cool temperatures to retain freshness and purity. For this Rose we?ve co-fermented with ripe Regent to add notes of bright red crunchy fruit.
It has a nose of wild strawberries and honeysuckle with flavours of redcurrants, bramble fruits and a twist of white pepper on the finish. Delicious on its own or with seafood, chargrilled fish, salads or light pasta dishes. Best served chilled (8-10C).
This is an astonishing and almost perfect expression of Gewurztraminer; floral, smoky and spicy, then terrific concentration and balance and length, with some juicy sweetness detectable and adding to the enjoyment of the whole. Very, very fine.
The sedimentary limestone geology, mostly located on the Vosges mountains foothills in Alsace, has always been the prime choice for producing long lived and structured Gewurztraminer wines. The presence of clay, more or less important, brings a cooler element in the soil, slowing down the ripeness process and preserving better acidity. The presence of limestone influences the aromatic profile and texture of the wine. They become more spicy, less floral, with a recognisable tighter tannic structure so crucial for the balance of the wine. Gewurztraminer, more than any other in Alsace, requires an accomplished skin ripeness. Failing so can end up in an over aromatic, not complex and bitter wine. The quality of the terroir will help greatly, but so does harvesting later! Since the acidity is naturally low, harvesting later isnt affecting the wine as much as other grapes that would suffer more from acidity loss. All the grapes going into this wine are sourced from the estate's top single vineyards or Grands Crus, where they use the 'younger' vines.
Pale yellow colour. The nose shows a restraint, almost mineral, smoky aromatic expression, so typical from a limestone soil. It eventually opens up and reveals ripe citrus, exotic fruits in a very elegant way. The palate shows a surprising freshness and acidity, and finishes with a balanced delicate sweetness. Clearly this wine will benefit from further ageing in order to allow it to express its full potential.
A blend of Genache Blanc, Gris and Noir, from ancient 90 year old vines in the ancient and quite amazing 'C|os des Escounils' that the brothers are developing and working on re-establishing it's other potential vineyard areas. This is beautiful, racy, elegant wine that is softly textured and very modern in its freshness and balance.
This beautiful Margot 2022 (named after FX's little girl, Margot) is utterly divine modern, natural Roussillon Rose.
The make up in this organic wine is 50% old vine Grenache Noir (grown on schist) seeing whole bunch and maceration on skins for 7 days and 50% direct press Carignan Noir (grown on clay). The naturally fermented juices are blended after malolactic fermentation. Tank aged for five months. A very low dose of sulphites at bottling. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Coming in at a delightful 11.5% alcohol. A beautiful label drawn in school by young Margot also!
On the nose, notes of dark berries and plum supported by hints of licorice and a floral lift. Dark and brooding on the palate, with tightly wound layers of rich, black and blue fruits with hints of dark chocolate and spice, finishing long with savoury tannins
Attractive, fruit-driven Shiraz. Cherry red with hints of dark plum and chocolate on the nose. The wine is seamlessly balanced with sweet lifted fruit, subtle oak and soft tannins, a delicious wine made to enjoy now.
A very special wine from ancient plants of two of the rarest and very best vines for Soualnes terroir, Grenache Gris and Carignan Gris. This really does have everything. It's floral, honeyed orchard and citrus fruits added to its sumptuousness, its layers of texture and bright but not too spiky acidity. Very long with great balance and so much interest. Divine stuff that is here in tiny quantities.
The Mol-B Vinho Branco Frisante is made from shows gentle, floral and fruity aromas, whilst the palate is soft with a sparkle and bright grapey fruit with a touch of fresh mango and citrus to the fresh, delightful finish.
Excellent as an aperitif and also pairs well with fish, shellfish, salads and grilled vegetables.
This seamless blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet has created an enticing wine that exceeds all expectations. Ripe fruits of dark cherry, blackberry, plum and raspberry are complimented by the secondary notes of vanilla and mixed spices. The silky, satin like fruit profile, encompassed by lovely ripe tannins, cascades effortlessly through the palate providing fantastic depth and the WOW factor.
Silky, elegant red with berried fruits, rich and complex palate and well integrated new oak. David Baverstock, the godfather of modern Portuguese wines, is the winemaker. Blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon. 12 months in American (60%) and French (40%) oak barrels. After bottling, the wine aged 8 months in the bottle.
Fruity, brambly and supple, this distinctly Argentinian Malbec will impress with generous lashing of plum, blackberry and hints of vanilla spice.
About the winery:
Bodega Sottano was founded in 1890 by Mr. Fioravante Sottano who settled in Mendoza after moving from Italy. Today the estate is a byword for quality, modern Mendoza wines that express a delicious sense of place.
100% de muscat à petits grains. Low yield, manual harvest, prime vineyard site. Rose petal, musk, great power.
Intensely perfumed sweet wine with aromas and flavours of apricots, peaches, honey and raisins. Delicious served chilled. Bernardins is one of the best estates in the village.
Simon Coulshaw makes natural wines: no cultured yeast, enzymes, chemical tannins or fining product and farming with respect to the environment, although the domaine isn't certified organic.
Full bottle 1,126 g. 65% Grenache Noir, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan, organically and biodynamically farmed. Out of the 22 ha that Simon Coulshaw has under vine, 16 are in Faugère and 6 in Pézenas. But, as Coulshaw points out, they are more than 30 km from Pézenas, so while vineyards for the appellation are typically on villafranchian and clay-limestone soils or on black, grey and blue schist, this vineyard is on golden schist. (Coulshaw at this point goes into a charming rhapsody about how beguilingly beautiful schist is...) Le Pech Mege is a single vineyard, the most isolated of all his Pézenas vineyards. Spontaneous fermentation, stainless steel, low sulphite additions, minimal interventions. Coulshaw recommends that this wine is drunk cooler than room temperature. I'd pop it in the fridge for 1015 minutes to get it down to around 16 °C/61 °F.
It's rare that a Languedoc wine (or any wine, to be frank) can pull off the tightrope balance of pert, outright cheeky freshness and straightforward fruit whilst being pretty dense and concentrated at the same time. This wine defies the laws of gravity. At its heart, there is a deep tobacco-leaf wrapped, chocolate-streaked, umeboshi-plum and soy-umami savouriness, notes of reduced beef stock and game glimmering in the gloaming. But radiating out towards the edges of the wine is this confident, gregarious, sap-filled mulberry fruit and puppy-playful acidity that seems to roll around with gleeful abandon. Supple, lightly astringent but fully ripe tannins. A wine of the vineyard, of the vintage; a wine that shines with a sense of who and what it is. GV (TC)
When to drink 2022 2026
Published on 29 Nov 2021
Date tasted 29 Nov 2021
Reviewer Tamlyn Currin
This Syrah blend with soft black fruits and spice has been shaped by the sunbaked rocky soils of the unmistakable and very definate Faugeres terroir. A herbal, spicy bouquet is followed by youthful red cherries and supple mineral character derived from the schist rich soils. One of our greatest value wines.
100% Grenache Noir bred in clay Amphora from this exciting young grower, Francois Xavier AKA 'FX'. FX worked with 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 which we are introducing the UK for the first time.
100% Grenache Noir grown in Espira-de-l'Agly, Roussillon. Organic viticulture. Hand-picked, macerated on skins for eight days with whole bunches. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in clay amphora for eight months. Super-low sulphite addition, once before bottling.
This Claret is fresh and balanced. The blend is Merlot-based and the wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, giving a nice aroma of spice and wood smoke. The palate is fleshy with a hint of plum, the tannins fine and firm, leading to a generous finish. Drink now to 2036
A beautifully put-together claret, made from 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc from vineyards located on cool limestone soils. The terrific Stephane Derenencourt consults here. Lovely extraction with lots of fruit, ripe tannina nd acidity. Long and complex and able to age although beautiful now.
On our hunt for decent alcohol-free wines this came out as a winner. A light yellow with green tint in colour, aromas of ripe tropical fruit, flavours of yellow peaches and gooseberries complimented by a fresh acidity.
This wine will pair well with most seafood, and of course drinks well on its own.
Alcohol Free wines have just natural ingredients but techniques to ensure it is alcohol free vary. This includes removing sugar pre fermentation to more sophisticated techniques of spinning the alcohol out through cones. In the UK drinks that are between 0.05% and 0.5% ABV are classed as non-alcoholic.
A beautiful, precise Rasteau wine. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre woven together to produce a very elegant style. A complex nose of baked plums, blackberry, garrigue herbs and hibiscus flowers. Very fine balance on the mid-weight palate. Simply irresistible and utterly moreish. Bravo!