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    Buying decisions from trend setting trade and The Buyer tastings

    Tasting: Wine
    New World Chardonnay

    “I come from a Chard. Down Under.” New World Chardonnay unwrapped

    The cooling influence of the Southern Oceans on the New World Chardonnay of Australia and New Zealand – this was the subject of last week’s fascinating tasting pitting three wines from each country. Natasha Hughes MW and Ronan Sayburn MS introduced wines from Black Estate, Bannockburn, Kooyong, Villa Maria, Neudorf and Ghost Rock while New World wine expert Roger Jones tasted all six wines and gave his verdict.

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    Tasting: Wine
    A.A.Badenhorst

    When Roger met Adi – tasting A.A.Badenhorst then and now

    For chef and wine consultant Roger Jones, visiting A.A.Badenhorst back in 2014 was the first South African winery he and his wife Sue had ever visited. The Joneses were bowled over by Adi Badenhorst’s 2012 White Blend, despite having showed up unannounced in a ‘limo’ and dressed in Henley Regatta finery. Seven years later and Jones is tasting the same wine again, but this time in chilly Wiltshire, alongside a sumptuous selection of Adi’s new wines. After the tasting Jones sits down with Robin Davis, head of importer SWIG, to ask him about the value of these Zoom tastings.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Sassicaia 2018

    Sassicaia 2018 celebrates its 50th year firing on all cylinders

    8 has always been Sassicaia’s lucky number and so it has proved once again with the spectacular 2018 vintage, writes Peter Dean. To make it even better Sassicaia 2018 is the 50th anniversary release. But although 2018 was a cool ‘classic’ vintage in Bolgheri it was by no means easy, as Tenuta San Guido’s Priscilla Incisa della Rochetta explains live and direct from Tuscany. Full tasting notes plus Guidalberto 2019 and Le Difese 2019.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Taylor's Vintage Port 2018

    Why Taylor’s Vintage Port 2018 is right for our strange times

    Taylor Fladgate delayed the release of its new vintage ports including the Taylor’s Vintage Port 2018 until now to respect hospitality. It has maintained pricing on the Taylor’s, and the Croft and Fonseca are both ‘early-drinking’ which suits the UK market where we are drinking more port than ever. But what is also out of the ordinary is to get a third-in-a-row Taylor’s classic vintage – in a year when the drought was so bad that the source of the Douro actually dried up. Peter Dean got the story and gives full tasting notes.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Saffredi 2018 

    Saffredi 2018 is another stunning vintage for Fattoria Le Pupille

    The release of Saffredi 2018, the 31st vintage of the flagship wine of Fattoria Le Pupille, is further testament to the brilliance of Elisabetta Geppetti and her team who had the foresight and instinct to envision a Super Tuscan coming from the then unfashionable slopes of Maremma. Following on the back of the 2017 – the estate’s 30th anniversary vintage – Saffredi 2018 is also another example of how individual each of the flagship wine’s vintage are. In addition to full tasting notes on the 2018, Peter Dean looks back over 31 years of Saffredi and tastes 21 vintages to assess its evolution.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Gayda 2019

    Commercial sense meets brave winemaking at Domaine Gayda

    Hailing from the Loire and with skills honed under Marc Kent at Boekenhoustkloof, winemaker Vincent Chansault has been getting all the right notices since he started making wines at Domaine Gayda in the Languedoc. Chansault is a bold winemaker and is constantly pushing the envelope with exciting blends, techniques and a variety of ageing vessels. David Kermode talks to him about the estate’s various ranges, tastes through a wide selection of the new wines, and finds out why at Gayda he has the freedom to truly express himself as a winemaker.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Boekenhoutskloof

    Marc Kent on Boekenhoutskloof’s outstanding 2018 vintage

    The Chocolate Block is one of South Africa’s greatest winemaking stories and, with 740,000 bottles now produced annually, it has become one of the country’s most robust premium brands. Marc Kent, the colourful MD and technical director of Boekenhoutskloof, has a particular knack of blending this wine along every one of his estate wines whose 2018 vintage has just been released to widespread acclaim. Platter’s has made the estate its winery of the year and Tim Atkin MW has given one of his rare 100 point scores to Porseleinberg 2018 and made Boekenhoutskloof winemaker Gottfried Mocke his South African winemaker of the year. Peter Dean picks up the story.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Barbadillo Reliquia

    Barbadillo Reliquia – are these the rarest sherries in the world?

    So rare are the Barbadillo Reliquia sherries that only 81 half bottles are going to be released worldwide, with just 17 of the PX, which comes from Pope John Paul II’s personal barrel. Some of the most intense expressions, these four wines are almost essences or perfumes, writes Peter Dean. In an exclusive tasting he samples the Reliquia quartet with Barbadillo oenologist Montse Molina and confesses that they are some of the most extraordinary liquids he’s ever put in his mouth

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    Tasting: Wine
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    How Buscema is changing Nicolás Catena Zapata 2017

    In the five years since taking over the role of winemaker full-time at Catena Zapata, Fernando Buscema has been justifying the notices he was getting as one of Argentina’s most promising stars. He has a number of fingers in a number of pies – oenological, academic and entrepreneurial – and his LinkedIn page already boasts the likes of Lafite, CARO and now Catena Zapata. His sole responsibility there is to make luxury blend Nicolás Catena Zapata, a wine that he is taking in a bold new direction. He explains how to Peter Dean, as well as tastes the new Nicolás Catena Zapata 2017 alongside the 2015 and 2016 vintages.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Chanson 2019

    10 of Chanson’s best Domaine wines from Burgundy 2019

    The portfolio tasting of Domaine Chanson is always a hot ticket in the wine writer’s calendar. For the pandemic-hit 2019 vintage tasting, however, Chanson came to us – a 10-wine sample that showed off the négociant’s strong suit, namely wines from the 45 hectares it owns in and around Beaune. It was also an opportunity to assess the quality of the 2019 vintage in Burgundy – a much-lauded collection of wines where the reds, in particular, have pretty fruit and outstanding balance.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Chateau d'Issan

    Chateau d’Issan unveils changes at Rule of Five tasting

    Every five years from 2000 to 2020 Chateau d’Issan has an outstanding vintage. At a Rule of Five tasting, which launched Wine Lister into chateau-specific marketing events, vintages 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015 were tasted, while co-owner of this old Margaux estate, Emmanuel Cruse, predicted even greater things for the 2020 vintage. After acquiring seven hectares of vines last summer the Grand Vin of Chateau d’Issan will have Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in for the very first time.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Vite Colte

    How Vite Colte wants to make inroads into the UK on-trade

    Vite Colte, the upmarket Piedmontese co-operative winery, is hoping to make major inroads into the British on-trade, when it bounces back into action, with its competitively-priced Barbera d’Asti and impressive range of Nebbiolos. Ahead of the latest release of the new Barbera d’Asti in the New Year, The Buyer was given a sneak tasting along with some of Vite Colte’s Barolo and Barbaresco labels. They made a good impression not just on Geoffrey Dean but also on noted Italian wine experts, Stephen Brook and Andrew Jefford.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Chenin Blanc

    6 of the Best Loire Chenin Blancs picked by region expert Jim Budd

    As wine regions go The Loire is still one of the most neglected and under-valued in the world. It is also one of the most diverse regions, with arguably the world’s most diverse grape, Chenin Blanc, in its arsenal of varietals. In order to shine a light on Chenin Blanc’s diversity and value, Loire wine expert Jim Budd picked six of his favourite wines and explained how Chenin Blanc has had a renaissance over the past 30 years, particularly in the Anjou region.

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    Tasting: Wine
    François Labet

    François Labet: a taste of iconic and affordable Burgundian wines

    LM Archer travels to Beaune to meet François Labet, one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in Burgundy, and the largest producer of Clos Vougeot Grand Cru. His two estates, Domaine Pierre Labet and Château De La Tour, are not just about making premium, iconic wines, however, his outstanding value Vielles Vignes Pinot Noir outsells the nearest other red Burgundy that Bidendum sells, by three to one. Archer hears first-hand about Labet’s minimalist approach to both viticulture and winemaking and samples a range of his wines, including the Corsican Pinot that he makes under his own name.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Coulanges-la-Vineuse

    Why Clos du Roi is a case for upgrading Coulanges-la-Vineuse

    Will Coulanges-la-Vineuse, one of Burgundy’s lesser-known appellations, be getting a designation upgrade in the same way that Pouilly-Fuissé has in the south? LM Archer thinks so, especially given the quality exhibited by the wines of Domaine du Clos du Roi that sometimes blend Pinot Noir with ancient grape variety César. There is even one Pinot Noir that is non-vintage and is made by blending at least three different vintages together in one cuvée.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Life During Lockdown: the discoveries of Justin Keay

    With the barbers shops shut in his region, wine expert Justin Keay has stuck to what is truly essential – discovering exciting new wines and wine regions without leaving the comfort of his own home. He has travelled to Georgia, the Lebanon, Lombardy, Chianti, Greece (all through Zoom), and discovered a range of fascinating and somm-friendly wines along the way. As is Keay’s love of the ‘grape unknown’ he raves about wines using Negroamaro, Susumaniello, Nero di Troia, Timorasso, Marawi and Begleri amongst others.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Roger Jones’ Top 10 wines of 2020 & which pairs with BBQ octopus

    While most wine experts have been content with mini-samples sent to them for the virtual tastings that have become de rigeur in 2020, Roger Jones has simply gone downstairs into his award-winning wine cellar and dusted off a few real, life-sized bottles. The semi-retired chef also has a food-pairing lens to look through – hence this year’s challenge to find out which wines (if any) work with char-grilled octopus, a dish he is rather partial to cooking at all hours of the day and night. And talking of barbecues – he is the only member of The Buyer’s tasting team that has picked a Bordeaux First Growth to go with a South African Brai.

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    Tasting: Wine
    5C2CC2B7-357E-4647-B3C5-A80AD298A558 Long Read

    With 20/20 hindsight – Peter Dean’s Top 10 wines from 2020

    2020 for the wine writer was a real game of two halves – tasting in the flesh whilst mingling round the spittoon, then tasting alone on Zoom, trying not to talk about Covid. But the drinks trade’s speed and ingenuity in facilitating online tastings meant that it was easy to appreciate how exceptional 2020 was for new wines, irrespective of how difficult life in hospitality had become. For The Buyer’s drinks editor, Peter Dean, 2020 was ‘the year of drinking differently’ – it was a year of discovery (virtual or not) with some interesting finds unearthed in his Top 10 wines of 2020.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Geoff

    SA & Australia dominate Geoffrey Dean’s Top 10 wines of 2020

    As a former professional cricketer, wine expert Geoffrey Dean has been used to ‘rain stopping play’ on many an occasion. But, like the rest of us, he has never had to contend with Covid-19 sending everyone back into the pavilion. Before the pandemic prevented international travel, however, Dean visited South Africa and Australia where he made a number of key vinuous discoveries which he shares with us in his Top 10 wines of 2020.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Good riddance 2020: David Kermode’s Top 10 wines

    International travel – the lifeblood for wine experts – was restricted this year, making it nigh-on impossible to visit wine regions and meet winemakers face-to-face. David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, was one of the lucky ones, managing to visit New Zealand, France, Greece and Italy which has greatly influenced the wines he has picked as his top 10 wines of the year. Kermode also attended a spectacular last hurrah at wine industry favourite haunt The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, with top marks to James Smith at Vranken Pommery for having the foresight to have booked what turned out to be the last big wine launch at Roger Jones’ restaurant. So what’s going to happen in 2021 James?!

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    Instataste

    Tasting with pictures View All
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    • Outstanding fruit expression characterises this blend from Taylor Fladgate’s Quinta de Vargellas in the Douro Superior (which forms about 50% of the blend) and Quintas Terra Feita and Junco in the Pinhão Valley. Dense and almost opaque black, with a fantastically intense bouquet of rich black fruit, mint, fresh linen and a touch of white pepper; the palate is broad, rounded, rich with an undercurrent of fine, dry tannin that lets you know this is a Taylor’s vintage port and this is for keeping – not drinking now. Elegant, hedonistic blend of fresh, intense black fruit with real power and grip on the palate. £325.00 per 6x75cl IBD. (7,800 cases made)
    • An Aussie Chardonnay that seems to have one foot in both camps – the plush rich style of 10-20 years ago and the taut acidity-driven wines of more recent years. It’s a nice balance with the oak treatment not dominating (10 months in French hogsheads and puncheons – 20% new). Very pale yellowy gold; nutty, buttery, creamy nose, with ripe orchard fruit; the palate starts off open and rounded with nectarine, saline, cream, followed by lean, taut, intense Yozu acidity, that zings off the tongue. There are real contrasts throughout this wine and the good thing is that it works splendidly.
    • GG, single vineyard dry Riesling from one of the masters of the Rheingau – their highest level dry Riesling. Even with 14 years on the clock, the mouthfeel is so vibrant and fresh and the wine still so well balanced. The mid-shiny gold colour and the aromatics show some clear evolution. The nose is complex, with apricot, lemon, pineapple, ripe orchard fruit, honey and oily rag; the palate is light-medium with the firm acidity giving the wine the structure the rest of the elements need to be able to shine individually and collectively. Riesling never ceases to amaze me.
    • A new single vineyard wine from Neudorf, the organic producer in Nelson, New Zealand. The fruit comes from a block of 10-21 year old vines growing on clay gravel soil, just a bit higher than Home Block that is also one of Neudorf’s single vineyard Chardonnays. The fruit is 100% whole bunch-pressed, wild yeast, 100% barrel fermentation (8% French oak medium toast), then a year on full solids followed by 4 months in steel on fine lees. Pale yellow gold; classy, savoury nose of a high class Chardonnay – dried apple, green tea, shucked fresh pistachio, crushed rock, subtly toasted noble wood; the mouthfeel is textural, tightly wound acidity which builds on the lengthy finish with a mouth-watering splash of sea spray, terrific balance and harmony. The oak is perfectly judged; a wine with real life to it, commendable given the hot and arid 2019 season here.
    • Sassicaia 2018 is firing on all cylinders make no mistake. It is a landmark vintage, not just noteworthy because it is the wine’s 50th anniversary, nor because it is one of their ‘lucky’ 8 vintages, but this is up there with some of the finest wines this estate has ever produced. It seems that the wine sits best with a cooler, classical vintage like 2018 where the extended, hassle-free hang-time of the fruit has led to a phenolic ripeness that brings with it added complexity, depth of flavour and bright acidity. To look at, the wine is medium ruby-red; the aromatics are beautiful and elegantly perfumed, a bit shy at so young an age but, with time in the glass, it slowly reveals red plum and blossom and a green tea leaf character with a subtle menthol lift; the palate is really something and true to the finest Sassicaia –
    • A hint of reduction, but just enough to bring complexity to this impressive full-flavoured, rich textured Chardonnay from Piccadilly Valley. Bright, shiny gold; yellow peach, nectarine with toasty oak and a touch of gunflint (nicely tempered and integrated). The medium weight palate has a nice line of acidity and a leanness, with notes of key lime pie and a white pepper quality on the textured finish. Whole bunch, in barrel (35% new oak) for eight months, malolactic stopped when they feel they are at a ‘sweet spot’. Great balance.
    • Spectacular Brunello from a 5-star vintage that is being touted as the best in the past 20-30 years (even more so than the landmark 2010 vintage). Only produced in the best vintages, the grapes from this 11.7 single vineyard also produce the estate’s Riserva which is released one year later than the Pianrosso. The wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso, it ages for 36 months in 20-62hl Slavonian oak followed by eight months in bottle. To look at the wine is pale garnet; the nose is stunning and complex, – fruity and floral with black cherry, pot pourri – but then revealing dark, savoury notes, rosemary, smoke, coffee, red licorice, wild mushrooms – the wine just offers up more and more layers. In the mouth the wine is medium-weight, has the silkiest of tannins, firm structure with a wash of fresh juice with plum, cherry (black and morello) and a taut
    • If these producers are not on your radar they should be. This is a first rate Limoux Blanc (Chardonnay, Chenin, Mauzac) from a small producer South of Limoux in the Languedoc. The winemakers, Marie-Claire and Pierre Fort, trained under Dagueneau, who encouraged them to make wine in this particularly good terroir, in fact Didier also designed the label (newer vintages have undergone a refresh) and also supplied some of the barrels. The hamlet of Roquetaillade is high, rests against a limestone cliff, and has the cooling effect of both the Atlantic and also nearby Pyrenees. It has been trying to obtain its own AOC, such is the particular freshness they get in their Chard and Pinots. But treat them like a wine of class and give them the bottle time they deserve – this 2012 was firing on all cylinders and could easily last another decade. It’s a bone-dry white
    • Biodynamic Chardonnay from the Languedoc Roussillon that uses no sulfur at all and is an excellent example of an entry level ‘natural’ wine that is true to its grape variety and can also be a crowd-pleaser. Winemaking: No sulfur or ‘oenological inputs at any stage of the winemaking or bottling process’. Cold-settled, temperature controlled fermentation started quickly, wine is then racked to keep some fine lees which will be the anti-oxidant base of the wines during their maturation before the bottling. Tasting-wise the wine is light-to-mid gold; really interesting and complex nose – ripe grapes (!), pears poached with ginger, fresh herbs, blossom; palate is fresh, light, surprisingly elegant, nice crushed rock texture. You can pick this up for £11.79 which is remarkable value for a wine that has so much complexity and thought and obvious care gone into the winemaking process.
    • The Chenin Blancs of Savennières always need a bit of time in bottle to temper their austerity (recent examples are becoming earlier-drinking). This fine example is in a sweet spot – bone-dry but ample bodied, a touch of honeyed creaminess but still with an assertiveness of acidity that balances the wine perfectly. On the eye it is light gold; aromatically complex it has sweet fennel biscuit, nashi pear, dried tart apple, quince; the palate is ripe and rounded on entry becoming more structured mid-palate, less complex flavour-wise with notes of poached pear and mandarin flesh. Delicious.
    • Nagy-Somlói Furmint, Kolonics, 2018 A good example of an ‘Estate Furmint’ probably the most important category of Furmint in Hungary – meaning it is a blend of different vineyards, represents the estate’s house style and is partly or fully aged in oak. The vines are grown on Somlo which is a hill made from volcanic rock and gives the wine a distinct mineral vivacity and texture. Although it is a dry wine it has a fullness and richness that, if this was a Chenin Blanc, would be at Sec-tendre or Demi-sec level. Medium gold and looking older and sweeter than it actually is; the aromatics are really honeyed with a fresh pollen note, there’s also quince, apple, and the tiniest hint of some tropical fruit (banana?). The wine is light-medium bodied, the palate fresh and ample, dry but with a wash of fresh juice, lovely mineral core with tart orchard
    • Textbook, elegant German ‘Pinot Noir’ with immense purity and finesse from Leiner in the Pfälz. This is a single vineyard wine from Leiner, using a selection of clones and, since 2000, increasingly more Burgundian clones. The decision to use 500-litre barrels and not barriques is a good one because the wine has structure but very little wood influence, the 30% whole bunch gives it a slight crispiness and leads to a fine balance. Light ruby, so light in fact that you could read a book through it; the wine has a softly-spiced, pretty nose with cranberry notes, red berries and a touch of allspice; the palate is light to medium weight, so approachable, fine and pure that you could so easily just put a straw in the bottle. (Leiner wines are available in the UK through Rebellious Goods)
    • Forcada, Varietat Recuperada no.23, Penedès, 2016, Torres Half of the fun of drinking this debut release of Forcada, a near-extinct grape, is the background story. As part of its program to save ancestral grape varieties, Torres put an advert in local newspapers in Spain 30 years ago asking for people to come forward if they had an unusual vine in their gardens. As a result they have identified many ‘forgotten’ varieties, and started cultivating some commercially. Forcada is one such variety. It’s a one with a long growing cycle, is vigorous and productive. The vines were planted 450m up on the Alt Penedès on clay soils. Pale gold; it has a suprisingly aromatic intensity of fresh herbs, white blossom, fresh linen; on the palate it is so fresh and elegant with very fine citrus notes and a lovely mix of fine-textured dryness and fresh juice. Tasted blind it comes across
    • First release since 2015 for this, Fonseca’s second label, a blend from Quinta do Panascal in the Távora Valley and Fonseca’s estates in the Pinhão Valley. 2018 is described as a cross between the fruitiness and freshness of the 2016 vintage and the structure and power of the 2017 – the quality was not there to declare a vintage port but that’s why Guimaraens is often such a good buy (120 IBD for 12 X 37.5 cl). At such an early stage in its life, it’s a little broody on the nose, but then reveals flashes of cassis, fresh juicy blackcurrants, black cherry and plum, lovely elegance. The palate is firm and structured (much more so than the Quinta da Roeda tasted alongside) but opulent at the same time. The balance is fine with a voluptuous mix of flavours: blackberry preserve, Pontefract cake, creme de cassis, black plums, the palate
    • Supposedly near the end of its drinking window but this bottle was in such a sweet spot – dense but so elegant with tannin structure and balance carrying the power of the fruit. It wasn’t plummy or jammy or tasting too extracted. Decanted for 2 hours and paired with slow cooked beef cheek on spiced red cabbage and a truffled cauliflower cheese with Tunworth cheese. It was a great match. The wine is a tribute to the Barossa’s 19th and early 20th century heritage made with very old vines (some 140 yo) and using old style techniques including a crusher that dates from 1880 driven by a 1912 motor. There was a real connection to the great wines of the Southern Rhône. Opaque, almost black; aromatics are complex and voluptuous – black fruit, aniseed, black pudding, earth with also a pretty, floral lift; the medium-full palate has beautiful balance, silky
    • The third drought vintage was kind to the Syrah sourced from the estate’s two Swartland farms Porseleinberg (80%) and Goldmine – the fruit was healthy with less skin-to-pulp ratios resulting in lower alcohol wines with elegant, refined fruit. 40% whole-bunch fruit was used, and matured in 2500-l French oak foudres and 600l demi-muids for 18 months ageing. Tasting: Medium purple, the wine has superb purity on the nose: plums, violets, pepper and a hint of coriander seed. The tannins are ripe and sleek, with a keen acidity. It’s still a pup but will build into an impressive wine make so mistake. Just don’t try saying the name of the winery - especially after a couple.
    • Fascinating to try an artisanal Greco di Tufo of this quality, elegance and complexity. It’s the second only vintage of a personal project from Antonio Capaldo, the head of Feudi di San Gregorio, using their winemaking team and facilities. It is intended to show off the terroir of Irpinia, the central part of Campania and one of its key grapes, Greco di Tufo – a low yielding grape which packs a good deal of concentrated flavours and acidity. Pale to medium yellow; attractive and complex both on the nose and palate; the aromatics are quite elusive but, with time in the glass, reveal herbaceous (wild fennel), floral (white rose), nutty and fruity (grape skins) qualities. Medium bodied, well balanced and with good integration – there are no individual components or flavours that hog the limelight – this is an ensemble piece held together with firm, citrusy acidity, that has a
    • This monopole has become the emblematic cuvée of  @domainechanson  and responsible for some of the best wine of the Premiers Crus appellation. It’s a 3.8 ha mid-slope site whose excellence can be traced back to at least the 14thCentury where it was referred to as ‘Fae’ the Latin word for East – its orientation. The soil is complex, composed as it is of clay and limestone. To look at the wine is pale ruby; the aromas are complex and intriguing – red and black fruit – black cherry, bramble fruit, earth and toasted spice. The palate has weight and intensity but is precise at the same time with terrific balance, layers of dark fruit and minerality. There is more flesh on the bones than Clos des Marconnets, riper fruit profile with more weight and intensity, and a long spicy finish. Really outstanding.
    • A Rioja white that is a Grand Cru Burgundy in all but name. By that I mean that the wine is all about the magnificence of the terroir and the intuitive simplicity of the winemaking - carefully tended organic vineyards planted on terraces 800m high on clay-calcareous soil, a mixture of grape varieties, winemaking skill and the non-excessive use of old French oak. Telmo Rodriguez is one of the leading producers in Rioja and prefers not to talk about the 9 grape varieties used in this field blend (none of which are Viura!) – rather concentrating on the terroir. This 2013 vintage was mid-shiny gold; complex and changing in the glass, aromatics include ripe yellow fruits, herbs (rosemary, wild , fennel), a touch of liquer; the crushed rock texture lends power and depth to this elegant wine, it’s medium bodied with layers of flavour – yellow fruits, minerality, fennel –
    • Flagship wine of Fattoria Le Pupille in Tuscany’s Maremma, this is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant Super Tuscan that always punches above its weight. The blend of the 2018 is Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (32%) and Petit Verdot (8%) with the wine having spent 18 months in French oak, 70% new. Where the 2017 was more red cherry, Victoria plum and cola, the 2018 veers more towards black fruit, the colour an almost opaque dark ruby. The aromatics are less sweet than 17 but just as complex with notes of mulberry, black cherry and currants, with time in the glass there is a fresh Mediterranean herb element, woodfire embers, dark chocolate and sweet tobacco. Medium-weight on the palate, the register, structure and balance are all superb, with finely judged ripe tannins, a reserved intensity and wonderful depth of flavour. Gorgeous and impressive, this will only get better with time. 15% ABV