Pale lemon in colour, Dry River Pinot Grigio displays a powerful bouquet of citrus blossom, lime and grapefruit aromas. On the palate, classic Pinot Grigio flavours of green apple, pear and tropical fruits helping to give balance to the wines crisp, crunchy acidity prior to a surprisingly long finish untypical of this grape variety.
This is simply outstanding wine for the money, soft super-juicy ripe plummy fruit and a long full-flavoured finish.This easy-drinking wine comes from Chile's renowned Valle Central Region, where long hot days are followed by cool nights. This temperature difference ensures the grapes ripen slowly, so they develop maximum flavour.
New wine laws from the 2020 vintage prohibit the use of the Appassimento (partial drying) technique for white grapes from Veneto, so sourcing of the Garganega for this lovely wine has moved to Puglia. The blend of Garganega & Sauvignon remains the same, with Sauvignon Blanc still coming from Veneto. Partial maceration with dried grapes and cold fermentation enhances fruitiness and elegant aromatic notes. The change has resulted in even better wine, that's perfect as an aperitif, with delicate first courses or white meats and fish.
Another outstanding Mourvedre-led Languedoc Rose. Yves Falmet has spent time selecting the best plots on his single slope of vines in Creyssian Saint-Chinian for the production of a fresh (12% abv) Rose. Pale pink colour, with classic, deep and full Mourvedre aromatics leading to a medium bodied, fresh palate that is citrus led with tangy tamarind, stony deliciousness and good minerality. This is an utterly outstanding bargain. A very serious, utterly drinkable Rose.
100% Viognier from gore soils on Les Méjeans at Larnage, hand harvested in early morning, steel vat fermented at 18°C, raised 9 months, malo blocked.
A quite serious but relaxed and lovely, aromatic, floral, juicy but bright drinking Viognier. Delicious as an apero or with semi hard goats cheese, peaches and charcuterie. A classy drop indeed.
Big heady scent of dark fruit, leather and tobacco. Much more medium bodied compared to some of the recent vintages with good acidity and balance. Length is good with dry tannins, many years of life over which this will be enjoyed
Meerlust's gorgeous iconic Bordeaux blend - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot.
100% Syrah from Larnage, destemmed, steel vat fermented, raised 9 months, unfined. Pleasing aromas with red fruit, pepper and savoury notes of freshly baked bread. Charming, drinkable and quite delightful Syrah. A class entry-level from this outstanding new domaine.
Natural Petit Verdot raised in amphora by vigneron Simon Bertschinger. The winery is based in Fos, but the vineyards are just south of Faugeres in the clay foothills. Simon is doing some remarkabke stuff with some interesting grape varieties. Bright and vigourous but with depth and focus. Brilliant wine.
Francois Xavier AKA '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.
Ninety percent Syrah (thirty years old) and ten percent Carignan (eighty years old) on schist terroir. Skin macération for seven days followed by whole-bunch fermentation in cuve and then bred in a 10hl Amphora for eight months. Just 2g/hl sulphites added just before bottling.
"Certified organic wine. A blend of 35% Muskat Ottonel, 25% Goldmuskateller, 20% Muskateller, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Grüner Veltliner. Fermented with skins in an old open-topped wooden vat and aged in old oak and amphorae. No added sulphites. TA 4.5 g/l. Old-fashioned bottle (Burgunder Madeleine) and jokey pictorial label.
Very cloudy mid gold. Fabulous nose: intensely aromatic, lightly floral, apricot, orange, lime, dried grasses, the complexity of the blend and the winemaking working together. Intense freshness too, gentle grip, a touch of baked apple but not overly oxidative. You could drink this on its own, despite the firm tannin texture, or with food. Long, complex and mouth-watering, delicious. Full-throttle skin-fermented white yet fully harmonious, showing how well suited the aromatic varieties are to this style of winemaking, if handled with care and not overdone. Utterly refreshing but not in the least simple."
Domaine des Escaravailles was established in 1953. With over 60 ha of vines, most of them planted on hillsides in Rasteau, this is a serious estate that remains somewhat under the radar. It is run by Gilles Ferran, who graduated first in his class at the University of Montpelliers School of Oenology (the number two graduate that year was his best friend, Philippe Cambie, who unfortunately passed away last year). Daughter Madeline has now taken the reigns after her studies and various extensive experience. The wines have never been better.
The name of the domaine comes from the nickname given by the people of Rasteau to a priest in 17th century who wore a long black coat and owned the farm at the time. Escaravaille means beetle in Oc.
Pure and elegant. Nothing rustic here. Fresh and perfumed, with lifted acidity working seamlessly against the robust structure. (Starred First)
Natural wine from Simon Coulshaw: no cultured yeast, enzymes, chemical tannins or fining product. 90% 130 yr old-vine Cinsault, 10% Syrah.
I was instructed to chill this a bit before tasting. It was in the fridge for about 25 minutes and then left out for 10 minutes before tasting. Fresh red-berried nose. Hurrah! Here is another Languedoc producer who 'gets' Cinsault. Perky, bright, raspberries and with that lovely telltale Cinsault salty-sweet tang that always reminds me of the best prosciutto or jamon. A bit of white pepper and ground cumin tangled into feather-light sinews of tannin. This is absolutely YUM. Tapas/aperitivo wine, without a doubt. I could drink this all summer long. GV (TC)
Natural, biodynamic and vegan. Grenache, Carignan and now (for the first time) Mourvedre from 80 year old vines, Made without filtering or fining. Pale but gorgeous mid red colour. At first on the nose, you are like "What even is that?". Whatever it is, you know that you like it. Elegant, subtle fruit is intermixed with gentle herb, earth and savoury charachters. Deep and wonderful. On the palate the wine is elegant and deep again, but not heavy in the slightest. Ruffled fruit and savoury notes with minerality and real finesse. These wines are like no other from the Roussillon. Outstanding.
This is the magnum.
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".
Established in 1446, Etienne Parahy is known as the first owner of the vineyards and the estate 'Puig Parahy'. In those near 600 years, the estate has passed through 19 generations to current owner and vigneron Georges Puig (the first son of each new generation is named 'Georges'). Nestled in Les Aspres region, a wonderful mixed-soil and fresh terroir of the Roussillon which is found between Mt. Canigou and the Mediterranean sea. The estate has a rich history producing outstanding rancio sweet wines that develop and live for decades, sometimes even centuries. Bottles from the 1800s are still available today. The estate was replanted in 1878 after phylloxera wiped out all of the vineyards. Many of these vines are still producing wonderful old vine fruit of outrageous quality that is carefully and naturally handled to produce a great range of dry table wines and VdNs of many styles.
This is special wine. Ancient vines of Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre and native, wild yeasts from this historic Roussillon estate have produced this pale, bright and gorgeous mid-red coloured wine - looking exactly like a current hipster favourite. The nose is alive with prickly bright fruits intermixed with beautiful secondary and tertiary aromas of old books, furniture and childhood memories of churches and other magnificent and curious things of wonder. The palate is equally as interesting and as equally sparkly bright and refreshing. But so rewarding, resolved and complex. An utter marvel from this unsung fresh terroir in the magnificent Roussillon.
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.
Dom. des Lampyres Calentu Rouge 2021 13.5% alc
100% Grenache Noir grown in Espira-de-l'Agly. 100% hand harvested. maceration on skins for 8 days with whole bunches. Fermentation in stainless steel vats. Aging in clay amphora for 8 months.
Production 2300 bottles.
The only addition is 2 g/hl of sulfur at bottling.
Bottled "with the moon" May 2022
After Gian Luca completed his Masters in Viticulture and Oenology after 11 years of study and worked as a wine consultant across Italy in 2011 he started his own small winery in the heart of his native Langhe. Within 3 years he won the Gambelli award for Young Winemaker of the Year. His small Segni di Langa estate is located in Roddi in Barolo country and working sustainably he takes a very minimal interventionist approach allowing each vintage to showcase itself. Making his wines in the 'garage' beneath his house he typifies the small scale, high quality, personal style of winemaking.
60% Barolo village, 370m. 40% Dogliani Village, 350 to 550m. North / North-East facing.
From north facing vineyards that are well-protected from the hot sun. After fermentation with only natural, wild yeasts the wine is then aged in amphora and large Stockinger barrels. Gian Luca is a bit a dab hand with Pinot Nero, having started producing it prior to turning his hand to Nebbiolo and the rest.
Truffley, with the scents of sous bois and woodland earth. Leading to spicy cinnamon and clove and piercing fruit - cherries, redcurrants and pomegranate. Fine, long, pure and vibrant Pinot Nero.
A lovely red Crozes produced with fruit from the Domaine's established 50-year-old plus vineyards in eastern Les Chassis at Mercurol and in the south of Les Chassis at Pont de L'Isere. Both sites are marked with the classic Chassis terroir of red clay limestone with large, rolled pebbles. This cuvee in 2022 has elegance and lift, with suave, deep but charming fruit that has a lovely lush quality mixed with classic, complex iron notes, a nice tension and a lovely freshness. The tannins are beautifully judged here. Drinking now is a lovely experience, but this shall show well for a good few years to come. A gorgeous Crozes-Hermitage.
Vendome are an established Domaine but have only started producing their own wines in the last couple of years. The wines have been very warmly received in both the French and international wine press in the debut 2020 vintage and in the following far trickier 2021 vintage. We are very happy to have struck up a relationship with the Domaine at such an early stage. The whole range is impressive across the board. Their classic red Crozes a great place to get acquainted.
50% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette (planted 1950) from 0.9 hectare on very stony alluvial soils at Sablet and 10% Roussanne on Gramiller at La Montagnette at Rasteau. The wine sees ferment in 80% steel vat, 20% old oak cask. Then bred for 6 months. 2,500 bottles produced.
The nose is all freshly cut juicy pears and gorgeous white flowers - so pretty, utterly charming. More fruit and flowers to the palate's silky juice. This is medium-bodied, elegant and long Southern Rhone white wine with fine acid. Really jolly drinking and great with delicate fish or simply as the classiest aperitif.
Billecart-Salmon's exceptional prestige cuvée rosé was created in 1988 as a tribute to the Houses co-founder. Less than 10% of the Pinot Noir is vinified as red wine. The grapes used to make the red wine are from Valofroy, a plot of old vines on the slopes of Mareuil-sur-Aÿ with a southern exposure. Billecart-Salmon Elisabeth Salmon Rosé is not always released in chronological order, but rather when head winemaker François Domi believes it is ready for release.
A luminous visual presence with soft shimmering coppery reflections and a deep salmon pink hue. Aromatics of refreshing citrus peels and red berry jelly. Beautifully refined and mature olfactory notes, releasing a distinctive perfume of scented soft spices and wild rasberry pulp. On the palate , flavors of tangerine, blood orange and apple tart. A fullbodied mouthfeel, evoilving towards a chalky edge and a lingering finish of citron zest and red and white currants.
Fruit! Glorious fruit! Oh my, what a delicious wine made up of Alicante Bouschet 70% and Grenache Noir 30%. The very friendliest Alicante we have ever tasted. Dreamy, sweet blueberry and fresh blackberry fruit that is pleasingly aromatic, juicy, seamless that sits just right on the palate. Perfect for when you want the pleasures of gorgeous fruit with nice depth and presence but with a delightful lightness of touch because of the moderate alcohol (only 12% abv) and pleasingly light, soft tannin. Utterly great on its own or with lighter meat dishes. Wonderful and unique. "Rhonejolais", if you will.
This winery makes Noble One - the top Oz sweetie for many years - so its no surprise that this cheeky half massively over-delivers on quality, winning many trophies for best value dessert wine. Loads of juicy tropical fruit.
White Provence wines are a bit of a hidden treasure, little-known outside France but well-loved by wine buffs around the world. This example is typical, and very good value. Nice, mouth filling texture, the style reserved rather like Chablis. Delicate nose with notes of white flowers and citrus. Well balanced in the mouth, it is fresh, with great vivacity and a hint of bitterness with salty aromas. Nice length.
90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano and 5% Garnacha from Rioja, Spain. The wine spends 20 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels. Inviting aromas of ripe black cherry, nice vanilla notes and a touch of balsamic. The wine tastes smooth and round in the mouth with lots of tart black cherry fruit, sweet spice notes, licorice and more vanilla.
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.
Sourced from selected premium vineyards this classic Australian Chardonnay combines sumptuous aromas of peach and pineapple with complementing ripe tropical fruit flavours on the palate, all perfectly balanced with a subtle citrus zing.
Intense dark red with a hint of violet. The bouquet gives an impression of sweet earthiness and lifted florals, blueberries, fresh tobacco, white pepper and spice. Pure florals, red berries and a silky texture.
This lively little single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is bursting with vibrant zesty citrus fruit and a hint of exotic guava. Hugely refreshing, this crisp and aromatic wine is endlessly quaffable. Soft super-juicy ripe fruit and a long full-flavoured finish.