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    Buying decisions from trend setting trade and The Buyer tastings

    Tasting: Wine
    Lungarotti Long Read

    Sophia Longhi: Meeting Lungarotti, the women of wine in Umbria

    When Giorgio Lungarotti passed away in 1999 he left his Umbrian winery in the capable hands of his wife Maria Grazia and their two daughters Chiara and Teresa. Together they have helped put Umbrian wine on the international wine map – but it has not been easy. Teresa was one of the first female oenologists in Italy while company CEO Chiara found that she was the only woman in the associations of which she was a member. Their style is individual and uncompromising and their wines, including the famous Rubesco, reflect the unique terroir of Umbria in all its power and elegance.

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Elizabeth Gabay MW on Tavel rosé – wine of kings and king of wines

    While recent fashion dictates that rosé is a wine that is only salmon pink and to be enjoyed al fresco, served from an ice bucket, the Tavel rosé wines are an altogether different beast. These are not for those looking for delicate aperitif rosés, but are more serious wines, preserving their heritage and just as happily paired with winter food as a summer salad. With skin contact ranging from 12 to a more traditional 72 hours, Tavel rosés have more colour, weight, structure, firm minerality and hint of tannin, compared to their Provencal counterparts. World rosé expert, Elizabeth Gabay MW, tastes a range of 30 Tavel rosé to highlight their different styles.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Ruinart extra

    Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009 & reality of climate change

    Bling gift boxes for luxury cuvées will be a thing of the past and Dom Ruinart is happy to be the first major Champagne house to ditch them in order to reduce carbon footprint, says chef de cave, Frédéric Panaïotis; “The time for action is now.” Speaking at the 50th anniversary launch of Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009, the morning after the devastating April frost, Panaïotis wants consumers to understand the effect climate change is having on the future of the region as well as how it affects the style of the Champagne they are drinking. A deep dive into the 2009 vintage, and the decisions he and his team have to make during increasingly early harvests made for enlightening and sobering listening. Peter Dean had an audience and tastes and rates the new cuvée in full.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Donnafugata

    How single vineyards shone at Donnafugata’s 2018 Etna tasting

    To many, Donnafugata is a byword for Sicilian wine, such is the company’s reach and influence. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year the company has 410 hectares of vines spread across five estates on Sicily, all with their own vinification and ageing facilities, and all producing wines with a mix of international and indigenous varieties. To highlight the wines from their most recently established winery on Etna, brother and sister owners, Antonio and José Rallo held a tasting to show the 2018 vintage, along with the spectacular work they are doing in their single vineyard sites.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Exton Park RB

    How Exton Park RB is taking a leaf out of Champagne’s book

    To achieve a House style and avoid the vagaries of the sometimes inclement Hampshire weather, Exton Park’s new range of English Sparkling Wines owes more than a passing nod to Champagne. Exton Park RB, or Reserve Blend, is a range of three wines that are all non-vintage and made from up-to 32 different base wines. David Kermode had an audience with winemaker Corinne Seely to find out how she is aiming to make Exton Park “an English Bollinger” and to taste and rate the new wines.

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    Tasting: Wine
    La Jefa

    Why Bodega Matsu has launched La Jefa – a white wine from Toro

    La Jefa is a new 100% wood-fermented Malvasia from pre-phyloxerra vines in Toro. It is the latest wine in the Bodega Matsu portfolio (the wines that have close-up photos of farmers), a project that has been trying to prove that the Toro region can make wines of real finesse – and save 100+ year old vines in the process. Peter Dean attended the all-whistles-and-bells global launch of the wine, hears from CEO Richi Arambarri and chief winemaker Raul Ache, and tastes and rates La Jefa alongside the new vintages of the other three Matsu wines.

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    Tasting: Wine
    French sparkling

    How a ‘real life’ French sparkling wine tasting had a real ‘spark’

    Justin Keay has seen the future of real-life wine tastings and they should be hosted outside – weather and venue-permitting, of course. But they also need to be run as professionally as ‘French Spark’ was. This was a physical wine tasting held last week, hosted by Business France, which highlighted a range of French sparkling wines that have yet to find distribution in the UK. Keay discovered a 100% Petit Meslier (a rare white-skinned variety), an Aligoté/ Muscat blend from the Rhône plus plenty of Crémant de Bourgognes that were impressive as well as great value for money.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Mornington Peninsula

    Roger Jones: 8 new Pinots from Australia’s Mornington Peninsula

    The last time Roger Jones had a Mornington Peninsula tasting, he was the host and the local recycling centre had to work overtime. No rave this year but the Pinot Noirs were tasting just as exceptional, making the case once again, Jones believes, that these wines are arguably the best New World Pinots there are. Matthew Jukes was the compere to this insight into ‘Australia’s Pinot Coast’, Jones had an ‘access all areas’ ticket, and here tastes and rates eight of the best.

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    Tasting: Spirit
    Portobello Road Long Read

    How Portobello Road Gin is reinventing the classic pours

    Portobello Road Gin has only been around for ten years but in that time it has established itself as both a bartender and consumer’s favourite. Part of the secret of their success has been that the distillery was set up by bartenders. One of those, co-founder Jake F Burger, took Fiona Holland through the thinking behind four of their classic expressions and why the company has one foot in the past in order to take two steps into the future.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Lécaillon

    Louis Roederer is changing the style of its top cuvée Cristal 2013

    Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Louis Roederer’s chef de cave, confesses to being more laid back these days – less obsessed with House style and letting the vintage and the grapes dictate the course of the winemaking more. Only the second vintage of Cristal to be made since transitioning fully to biodynamic farming, the Louis Roederer Cristal 2013 displays a number of changes in direction for the House – and there are more major changes in the pipeline. Peter Dean had an audience with Lécaillon at the UK launch of Cristal 2013, with Cristal 2008 constantly used as a reference point – the vintage he had previously declared was the best ever…

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    Tasting: Wine
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    Elizabeth Gabay MW: diversity of Pays d’Oc IGP Rosé 2020 vintage

    The Pays d’Oc IGP vineyard of South France is a cornucopia of vinous delights for wine lovers of all persuasions. It is a vineyard area that each year produces an astounding array of diverse rosé wines using the full palate of permitted grape varieties and styles. World rosé wine expert Elizabeth Gabay MW tastes through a range of the new 2020 vintage of Pays d’Oc IGP Rosé and highlights ones which use single varieties as diverse as Marselan and Petit Verdot, as well as blends.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Armit Italian

    10 white ‘pearls’ from a deep dive into the Armit Italian portfolio

    The Armit Italian portfolio tasting has always been a key date in the diary of serious wine buyers. Ever since John Armit set up in the company in the late 1980s, Italy has been Armit’s strongest suit. This year the company engineered an unprecedented access to the portfolio with buyers tasting up to 80 wines at home, including wines from its marquee producers such as Tenuta San Guido and Bruno Giacosa. In the first part of a tasting special Peter Dean picks 10 white wines that hit that sweet spot between accessibility and class, and focuses on wines that deliver outstanding value, at a time when the on-trade in particular needs to be buying more scrupulously than ever.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Lanzarote wines

    Why volcanic Lanzarote wines are set to have a bright future

    Lanzarote wines have a great future ahead of them, argues Justin Keay, who says that the vogue for wines from volcanic soils, plus the improving quality of the wines from the island is spelling good news for the growing number of wineries. In the past eight years the number of DO wineries on Lanzarote has almost doubled, with most of the winemakers at the top producers only in their 20s and 30s. Keay hones in on indigenous varieties Listan Negro and Malvasia Volcanica, and picks out four wines which are worth putting on your buying radar.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Austrian Tasting UK

    How the new Austrian Tasting UK was more than a sum of its parts

    Following last year’s triumphant annual tasting in London, Austrian Wine knew it had a job on its hands to replicate the success of its ‘real life’ event under Lockdown conditions. Austrian Tasting UK: The Stay-at-home Edition, as it was billed, was also hugely impressive as David Kermode discovered. Over 6,000 samples were sent globally, every winemaker had a chat room, there were seminars from key industry figures and more.

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    Tasting
    The stunning scenery of Alsace is matched by the world leading quality of its wines

    Millésimes Alsace goes online with first DigiTasting®

    There is quite a competitive set of wine regions that could compete to be both the most idyllic, but also the best at producing wine in the world. But with its combination of castles, towers and pretty villages, plus its spectacular range of white wines, serious Pinot Noirs and characterful Crémants, then Alsace would have to be one of the favourites. As we are currently not allowed to travel to see Alsace for ourselves, Les Vins d’Alsace has come up with its first DigiTasting® event that offers buyers the chance to meet producers online for one-to-one personal tastings, as well as pre-order samples to taste and take part in masterclasses and debates. Richard Siddle explains how it is going to work.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Cirsion 2018

    Why Bodegas Roda breaks all the rules with the new Cirsion 2018

    Bodegas Roda is a relatively new estate in Rioja but one which has made waves ever since it came onto the scene in the 1990s. Like many of the top bodegas it has an individual approach to how it makes its wine and is not afraid to break the rules. Its super-premium Rioja, Cirsion, for example is aged in French wood for just eight months and made from a selection of very old vines from over 30 vineyards. On the launch of Cirsion 2018, Peter Dean had an audience with the team and tasted the new wine alongside vintages from 2010, 2009 and 2004 to assess its unique properties.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Jolivet

    Pascal Jolivet on changing his Pouilly-Fumé to Blanc Fumé

    Was it the endless confusion between Pouilly-Fumé and Pouilly-Fuissé that led Loire producer Pascal Jolivet to change the name of his Sauvignon Blanc to Blanc Fumé for the UK market? Or was it because Blanc Fumé is the more common term by which Sauvignon Blanc used to be known? Victor Smart hears first hand from Jolivet as well as tastes the new 2020 vintage of the wine alongside three older vintages (2013, 2018, 2019) of Jolivet’s premium Sancerre Blanc “Sauvage”.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Explore Carnuntum

    Explore Carnuntum delivers an insight into Austrian wine

    The Austrian winegrowing region of Carnuntum hosted Explore Carnuntum, an online wine fair for importers and retailers from around Europe, in late March. Each estate in this small, quality-focused Austrian wine region, hosted its own one-hour online tasting, to present itself, its production, its focuses in export and distribution and its approach in the vineyards and cellar. A guided flight of six wines was shipped out in advance to each interested party with potential business ‘break-outs’ originating from those tastings. Lilla O’Connor, lately the UK head of Wines of Hungary, took part and tells us what it was like and what she discovered.

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    Tasting: Wine
    innovative wines Long Read

    Oz Clarke on the six most innovative wines of Louis Latour

    Normally the first quarter of the year sees Louis Latour Agencies show off its portfolio in the flesh, something that obviously could not happen this year because of Covid. So, instead, the importer enlisted the services of wine expert Oz Clarke to pick six innovative wines that he thinks are ‘unexpected’ and break away from the norm. The six innovative wines show off the pioneering side of Louis Latour – both as an eleventh generation wine producer in Burgundy – and the agencies for which it sells and distributes wines in the UK.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Cap Classique

    Roger Jones picks 7 top Cap Classiques in its 50th year

    Cap Classique, South Africa’s traditional method, premium sparkling wine, is neatly positioned between Prosecco and more expensive English Sparkling Wine or Champagne. As the category celebrates 50 years of production this year, South African wine expert Roger Jones looks back at the wine, the value it affords and picks a ‘magnificent 7’ that you should put at the top of your shopping list.

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    Instataste

    Tasting with pictures View All
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    • All the minerality of Jacquère is laid bare in this delightfully pure, crisp, single plot vinification of fruit grown 580m up in the alpine pastures of Savoie. From Domaine des Côtes Rousses, the wine is named after Armanaz, the mountain where Nicolas Ferrand's grandfather, the winegrower here, grazed his herd of Tarine cows in the summer. The vines are grown on red clay with limestone bedrock, and you really get a sense of the terroir – white fruit and wild meadow flowers. Quite a subtle wine, elegant and energetic with a streak of salinity that makes it a good match for fish, seafood, and Savoie cheeses. Took on a bruised apple Aligote-style after an hour or two in the glass. This is Nicolas’s 11th vintage of this wine, a 2017, still drinking well although five years is probably the maximum you want to keep it after bottling.
    • Who’s the daddy. Happy Sauvignon Blanc day.
    • The Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs 2009 is a ripe Blanc de Blancs that is finely balanced between showing off the generosity of the summer months but still retaining a steely freshness and elegance. It is at an exciting point between the vivacity of youth and a more mature stage of evolution – quite frankly delicious and approachable now but auguring well for the next two decades of ageing. To look at the wine is a medium shiny gold, the bead steady and fine. The nose has bright floral notes, ripe stone fruit, honeyed with an attractive nuttiness – fresh almond, marzipan, a lift of Cream Soda also. The attack is bright, fresh, crisp, the mousse then more voluminous on the palate, finishing on a lean mineral note. The flavour profile is complex and detailed, all the time finely balanced between ripe orchard and stone fruit, lemon sorbet, and more
    • 2020 is the first vintage that this third growth estate has made its Grand Vin out of five grape varieties – Cabernet Franc (3%), Petit Verdot (2%) and Malbec (1%) joining the customary Merlot (39%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (55%). The wine was matured in barrel for 16-18 months using 50% new barrels. The overriding impression is how approachable the wine is already, clearly well constructed with firm structure but also with a good degree of polish and finesse. Vintage or assemblage, there is considerable depth and complexity here. To look at the wine is deep ruby, with a purple rim; wonderful aromatics lure you into the glass – ripe, welcoming and complex: cherry, cassis, violets, light tar, cloves, earth, polished wood, liquorice, and a lift of Thai basil on the tail end. The palate is medium to heavy weight, ripe chalky tannins nicely integrated and so approachable now, fresh mid-palate,
    • One of those wines that just makes you go ‘Wow!’ – this is a spectacular Merlot/ Sangiovese blend from Chianti Classico that really makes the most of each grape variety and delivers a final wine that is firing on all cylinders in 2018. Whether it was the very good harvest or the change to the winemaking in 2017 – to assemble the blend and then let it spend a further 5-6 months in cement – this has a purity of fruit that I cannot remember from previous vintages sampled. On the nose you find a mix of red and black fruit, mulberry, dried rosemary, milk chocolate – quite broody; on the palate the mouthfeel is beautifully rich and creamy with gorgeous, silky smooth tannins. Rich and sumptuous but never too much on account of the wine’s superb balance – the acidity and grip of the Sangiovese framing the seductive red
    • Hard to think today (which is Viognier Day FYI) that 40 years ago there were just 70 acres of Viognier left in the world, mainly in the Rhône, now there’s well over 12,000 hectares. Influential Australian winery Yalumba has spearheaded its revival, using its expertise for making white wines in the Eden Valley to the fore. This wine being part of its Samuel’s Collection, which honours the estate’s founder Samuel Smith who established the winery in 1849. They’ve opted to make a ‘serious’ dry style with 60% of the fruit fermented and aged in French oak for 10 months with regular bâtonnage to increase the complexity, weight and creaminess of the wine. It can age well too as this 2017 testifies. To look at the wine is medium gold; The aromatics are complex, fruity and spicy with apricots, ginger, saffron and a touch of oak; On the palate it is
    • This is the third vintage of Ceretto’s Barolo Bussia made as a single vineyard wine, the fruit comng from the Bussia Soprana, the historical heart of the vineyard which, with its amphitheatre-like shape, creates a unique microclimate. 2017 was a tough, hot and dry vintage here but with biodynamic farming, smart picking and winemaking, the team has turned in a beauty. Pale garnet-ruby; Seductive aromatics of red fruit, dried herbs, petals, five spice and mocha lead you into an elegant wine with bright acidity, tasty clean red fruit on the mid-palate and finishing with soft, silky tannins. There’s structure as you’d expect with a young Barolo, keeping the wine focused and terrifically well balanced, but you could easily drink it now. My favourite of a portfolio tasting of the new 2017 vintage.
    • Modern, clean Rioja from Alavesa’s Torre de Oña, showing a rounded, concentrated style that is remarkably approachable in youth and could almost be classified as easy drinking. Medium ruby red, almost opaque at the core; the aromatics are unmistakably Rioja with smoky wood, toasty coconut, dark chocolate but there is a rich, intense fruity core that feels altogether more modern. On the medium weight palate, the fruit is concentrated and dark, ripe and intense, with oak and a dusting of cocoa powder. The tannins are chalky from the limestone soil that, combined with the power of the fruit, gives it a rounded mouth-feel, and allows the 14.5% abv to make its presence felt. The finish has an attractive blueberry/ blood orange twist. The combined effect is one of power with a good degree of elegance. Good choice if you’re looking for a crowd-pleasing Reserva to drink now. 94% Tempranillo with
    • Always a good introduction to the Ornellaia range, this third wine, Merlot-dominant, is fruit-forward, elegant, ready to drink now or keep for 2-3 years. 2019 was a tricky vintage here on the coast with a rainy spring delaying flowering, although a hot summer compensated, and has helped create a wine with a good deal of opulence. Medium ruby almost opaque; on the nose I get an immediate sense of Mediterranean herbs in the sun, ripe red fruit, roses, slightly earthy. Light on its feet on the palate, medium bodied, very elegant, almost sensual with ripe, silky tannins, fruity, beautifully balanced, the wine finishing on a just-ripe red plum note. 50% Merlot, 30% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, bottled a year earlier than the other reds in the portfolio with blending occurring after ageing in a mix of barrels and cement tank.
    • Cristal 2013 is a wine that is already multi-faceted, surprisingly so given its relative youth in the grand pantheon of prestige cuvées; the aromatics and flavours are complex, concentrated and pixilated, with floral and fruity notes interwoven with savoury. Pale to medium shiny gold, the bead is inviting with fine, steady bubbles; powerful, intense aromas of ripe fruit (yellow plum), citrus peel, lightly roasted hazelnuts and honey – there’s so much going on here. The colour and the depth of the aromatics suggests more evolution than there is. From the first taste it is clear that this is a young Champagne. The immediate attack has a pronounced salty note, then there’s an explosion of ripe fruits, soft, ripe, juicy and rounded, the mousse building with tactile energy and chalky freshness; the wine is highly textured, gently rasping your tongue with mineral, lime sorbet, and little spikes of detail – lemon
    • Defy Organic White Wine Tart, Abruzzo, Limpid/ pale straw; the nose is intensely floral and pretty, candied fruit, slight confected/ sherbet edge – like Raspberry Pez. On the palate the wine is fresh, immensely drinkable, especially from the shiny cold polished tin, the shape works well. The nose gives the notion of sweetness, that is not carried across on the palate – the wine is dry with a hint of fresh citrus/ sourness. It is designed to be drunk from the can and that works very well, less so from a glass.
    • Wood-fermented Malvasia from pre-phylloxera vines, some up to 150 years old, mixed with 5 other unnamed white varieties. This is a new ‘statement’ Spanish white from Vintae’s Toro project, that aims to show the world the real potential of these forgotten old-vine whites in Toro, which only make up 5% of the region, white grapes having been stopped planting in the mid-20th century. The grapes are spontaneously fermented in new 600-litre French oak casks with light toasting. To look at the wine is deep straw gold; the aromatics are complex with ripe stone fruits, wild honey, pollen, seasoned wood, a touch of tropical fruit (banana) and vanilla pod. The palate is medium bodied, oleaginous and creamy, rich and ripe but with a decent structure, the acidity balancing well. The wine is called La Jefa (meaning “The Boss”) and is the fourth wine in an old vine series, making wine in
    • Plavac Mali is a Croatian grape related to Tribidrag (recently discovered to be the ‘origial’ Zinfandel), which grows on the southern slopes of the stony Dingač appellation. When young the grape’s tannins can be bitter and the alcohol levels out of balance. With age, however, the wine is a real discovery. The wine has been aged in small oak barrels then stored in bottle ever since. On the eye the wine was clearly evolved, medium tawny, the aromas an intriguing mix of fig jam, smoke, liquorice, spice market. The palate was initially rounded with some totally-integrated tannins still framing the aged fruit – figs, currants, red liquorice, sweet tobacco. Although the alcohol was 15% ABV it was by no means ‘punchy’ or cloying – the med-high acidity of the grape keeping things in check. A real eye-opener. Skaramuča is the winery.
    • Pale to medium gold in colour, the aromatics speak very much of the proximity to the sea and the % of wine that is fermented whole bunch in barrel. There’s attractive ripe orchard fruit, grilled hazelnuts and a wisp of smoke; the palate is textured, bright, firm acidity, reasonably high alcohol at 14%, with a slightly burnt pineapple note that Oz Clarke rightly likened to the burnt jammy edge of the rice pudding, or burnt jam on his mum’s jam tarts – in a good way! The finish is intense and prolonged. RRP £14-15
    • Getting ahead ourselves but tomorrow is  #MalbecWorldDay   #worldmalbecday  and what better way than to mark by it than with these two luscious beauties from one of Argentina’s best and most consistent winemakers Luigi Bosca  @vinosluigibosca . These are from 2018 and are packed with the bright red fruits you expect from a quality Malbec but as they come from 990m above sea level in  #Vistalba  in Lujan de Cuyo they have that all important freshness and conformiting mouth feel that makes it easy to have another glass. Must save a bottle for tomorrow night though. Imported by  @bancroftwines   @culturalcomms   @winesofarg   @philcroz   #argentina   #malbec   #wine   #fridaywines  RS
    • Complex, dry Weiser Burgunder from the Pfälz which has good balance between lusciousness, ample mouthfeel and a core of crushed-rock acidity. The wine is made from fruit grown on the highest West and South-facing vineyards in the region; after fermentation it has long contact with the barrels and goes through full malolactic fermentation. The wine is racked before bottling but not filtered “to hold all the aromatics.” To look at the wine is limpid with a green-yellow hue and slight lack of clarity; the nose is complex, ripe and fruity, with notes of pear cake, honeysuckle, a twist of citrus, an intensity and tannic structure coming from a long time on the yeast; medium weight on the palate with an interesting balance between warm and creamy mouthfeel with a fine spine of acidity, minerality and tingly citrus.
    • 100% Syrah from Fattoria Le Pupille, (Toscana IGT) from two contrasting single vineyards in the Maremma, and with two different vinification approaches. The fruit from the larger, East-facing vineyard was fermented in open tonneaux with 5% whole-bunch, then matured for 15 months in the same vessels; the fruit from the smaller plot was vinified in terracotta jars, left on the skins for five months – the blend of the two wines is followed by maturation in a mix of new and aged 300l French barriques for 12 months and then bottled for three years. On the eye the wine is medium purple with light edging; the nose has wonderful freshness and depth, it is clearly Syrah - all black fruit, red plum, blue plum skin and pepper but has Mediterranean influences too – liquorice, cloves, spice, some savoury and earthy elements too, bit of beef stock. The palate is dry-stone
    • Of the four varieties that  @simonnetfebvre1840  is planting in the Auxois – Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – this Pinot Blanc lookalike is the one that is tasting the best to date. This wine is showing how this region is making wines of approachability, affordability and with a good deal of class. To look at the wine is pale yellow with an attractive bouquet of fruit and flowers, think a basket of mixed fruit, fruit salad, white flowers; the palate has a slightly waxy, chewy quality with green peach, greengage, a delicious creamy toffee note, ending on a slightly salty tang, that encourages a second glass. Nice balance, good acidity, really well made solid wine and at around the £13 retail mark it’s remarkable good value for money.
    • An exercise in how high altitude brings freshness to a wine. You might think this Italian grape in Argentina would produce a high alcohol beast of a wine, but this 2017 Barbera has great balance and finesse, as well as primary power. The vineyards lie 1900m up on the Western Cafayete Valley in Salta, where some of the world’s highest vineyards are located. Intense colour, almost opaque black, is matched by intense notes of violet, blackberry and blueberry; the palate is concentrated, luscious and primary with dense black fruits but also some blueberry pie and hints of red fruit (raspberries), there is also a green herbal element. The lack of oak ageing allows the quality to shine and produces an approachable wine with rounded, ripe and soft tannins. Not as nuanced as a Barbera from Piedmonte, but this has a wonderful structured core of acidity that makes it work splendidly
    • English take on a Chablis-style, part-barrel-fermented Chardonnay, from a Hampshire producer normally associated with sparkling English wine. The fruit was pressed whole-bunch from low-yielding vines in Essex and Kent. 14% was fermented in old oak barrels, 20% of the wine went through malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity. Water-clear and virtually colourless; the aromatics are floral with ripe orchard fruit – think meadow flowers, conference pear, apples, and a touch of grapefruit – the palate is fresh, crisp and tense, with high acidity, and washes of lemon and lime zest and flesh, with crisp, just-ripe apple, that refreshes the palate. You get a real tingle of mineral on the tongue. Given how good a summer 2020 was, one might have expected more fleshy, ripeness in the mid-palate – this is lean and high-toned, make no mistake, and is best treated as a gastronomic wine, paired with dishes with rich sauces.