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At Taurasi, Aglianico finds its ideal territory – uncontaminated, volcanic and impenetrable – giving life to a full and balanced wine. Fragrant aromas of Maraschino cherry, cinnamon and nutmeg are complemented by undertones of vanilla and anise. Full of juicy black fruit flavours, the palate is full-bodied and well balanced with sweet, soft tannins with an aromatic, persistent finish.
A grape of great tradition, Aglianico is considered to be one of the noblest and important varieties in the South of Italy. This historic region of the Apennine countryside is known as Irpinia and it has a unique terroir and climate in which vineyards coexist with fruit trees, olives and aromatic herbs. The winds here divert a beneficial rainfall which creates a microclimate in Irpinia that differs from Campania, the winters though brief are snowy and cold and the summers can be wet and prolonged. The soils are uniquely volcanic, sandstone and marl. Each vineyard is closely monitored with a meteorological station, and the technologies of the new state-of-the-art wine cellar ensures that each vintage comes as close to perfection as possible.
Finca Allende, the estate created by the exuberant Miguel Ángel de Gregorio, is located in the hill town of Briones in the Rioja Alta. “Allende” can be roughly translated as “further”, reflecting the property’s philosophy to go further and further towards creating the perfect Rioja.
Made from 100% Tempranillo and aged for 14 months in new French oak, the Allende Rioja Tinto has in the glass an intense cherry colour with purple hints. On the nose, fruit sensations of blackberries, blueberries and black fruits dominate the perfectly integrated tones conveyed by ageing in wood barrels that provide flavours of cedar and tobacco.
It is serious and lively on the mouth with power and a great balance; broad and flavoursome combining fruity freshness and the elegant structure of a wine that is suitable for ageing.
This is a fabulous Chardonnay from South African winemaking star, Kevin Grant. His wines are highly regarded for their minimalist, non-interventionist winemaking style. This 2020 skin-fermented Chardonnay is a world-class South African barrel-fermented Chardonnay.
In the glass, it is subtle yet intense, with hints of sun-warmed tropical fruits, gentle peach and vanilla. Fresh on entry with crisp acidity, subtle tropical notes and neatly integrated toasty oakiness. A New World wine in provenance but Old World in stylistic leaning.
Spontaneous and complete barrel fermentation and subsequent ageing in specially selected French oak barrels sourced exclusively from Burgundian coopers, comprised part of a gentle, minimalist, non-interventionist winemaking approach employed after the “bludgeoning” that occurred at the press. In this way, Ataraxia have crafted an astonishing and arrestingly authentic wine interpretation of a terroir ideally suited to Chardonnay.
This wine is made from Santorini’s indigenous grape variety Assyrtiko (pronounced Ah-SEER- tee-koe) which is renowned for combining full flavoured maturity while retaining considerably high acidity. The grapes are produced exclusively from vineyards in the Episkopi, Akrotiri and Pyrgos regions, at elevations of between 50 to 250 metres above sea-level.
The vines are between 70 to 80 years old(!!) and produce a bone dry wine, with an explosive mineral core surrounded by delicate notes of fresh lemon zest and floral hints. Refreshing with a crisp, mineral finish.
An intense and aromatic example of Spain’s iconic variety, Albariño. Aromas of stone fruit combine with floral notes and chalky, mineral nuances. Deliciously refreshing and balanced with deep fruit flavours enveloped in an enticing smoky character and a long, fresh finish.
The grapes for O Con come from a single vineyard ‘Sobre a Mina’ in the DO Rias Baixas in the North West of Spain. The old, low yielding 70-year-old Albariño vines are planted at a density of 1,000 to 2,000 vines per hectare and produce grapes with concentrated flavours. The vineyard is situated on a hillside at an altitude of between 50 to 100 metres above sea level, where it is influenced by cooling sea breezes from the Atlantic. The vineyard is cultivated in the traditional manner and the schistous soils imbue the wine with an intense character and mineral style. The grapes are manually harvested at optimum maturity.
Elena Walch is a leading Alto Adige wine estate and this stunning Pinot Grigio is from a Cru vineyard in the hills overlooking Lake Caldaro, in the “Castel Ringberg” estate. The moderating influence of the lake and the strong afternoon drying southerly wind known as “Ora” contribute to the balanced, elegant character of the wine.
In the glass a clear straw yellow colour characterises the Pinot Grigio Vigna “Castel Ringberg”. A complex variety of fruits, especially ripe pears and lime blossom, as well as spicy sage notes inform the bouquet. Structure and elegance, power and harmony dominate the palate, combined with creamy fullness and density. A single vineyard Pinot Grigio with a lot of character!
This versatile wine goes with many dishes based on vegetables and fish. The lively and well balanced acidity of the wine and the rich aromatic range also make it ideal as an aperitif.
Fruit for Paringa Estate’s Peninsula Pinot is sourced from their own vineyards in Red Hill and from a few other carefully selected vineyards around the Peninsula.
In the glass, it has perfumed aromatics of violets, ripe cherries and plum which are trailed by some anise, fresh herb and spice notes. Delicious cherry and plum fruits inundate the mouth, underpinned by subtle anise, light forest floor and spicy fresh herb infusions. Supple mid-palate feel with velvety tannins, finishing with a lick of bright acidity. Excellent power wave with a long moreish aftertaste. Drink over the next 4-5 years – will keep a lot longer if you avoid the temptation!
This white wine is made from the dark-skinned red variety Nerello Mascalese.
In the glass it has complex aromas of pineapple, wild floral notes and spice that combine with hints of liquorice, herbs and mint. These aromas give way to a fresh and fruity palate. Dry and full flavoured with mineral notes leading to a satisfying finish.
The grapes for this wine come from a 15 hectare vineyard is situated in the Contrada Feudo S. Anastasia at an elevation of approximately 620 metres above sea level, where warm days and cool nights encourage a long ripening period concentrating the flavours in the grapes while retaining balancing acidity. The vines are grown in volcanic soils, which are rich in minerals and fossils. The soil is permeable to air and water and is rich in pumice stone and microelements, which allow the plants to produce a complex aromatic profile.
This cracking cool climate Chardonnay by cult Mornington Peninsula winery, Ten Minutes by Tractor, opens with floral, white flower and lime citrus notes that lift from the glass, an enticing entree to lovely sweet citrus fruit on the front palate and a burst of white peach and nectarine. This wine has great concentration and a fine long mineral and textured finish.
Brokenwood Hunter Valley Shiraz is an icon of the region, it typifies the excellence of the Brokenwood winery. This 2019 is a stunning example of young Hunter Shiraz, fresh, supple with impressive length. Dry herbs and unctous dark fruits are completed by a lovely texture in the mouth.
Bruno Giacosa is considered to be one of Piedmont’s most highly regarded producers, their wines are some of the most highly sought-after in the world. Sadly the great man passed away in 2018 but since 2011 winemaking has been overseen by his protegé Dante Scaglione, together with his daughter Bruna Giacosa.
This perfect everyday drinking wine from a magnificent vintage is made from Arneis, the noblest white grape of Piemonte, which means ‘rascal’ in the local dialect. Grown in the sandy soils of the Roero it lives up to its name with its playful and lively charm.
The sand of the Roero region gives elegance and minerality to this wine, while the aromas lean towards exotic fruit, confit citrus notes and white flowers. Crisp and refreshing – a delicious Arneis from a master of the variety.
Chardonnays from the Tarraford vineyard are exceptional and the best description I have ever seen writer is by Australian wine writer Mike Bennie, so here it is:
The One That Goes All Minerally. Huge mineral feel, indeed, you paste this into the section under Wine Minerality in an encyclopaedia. All pebbles and talc in perfume, sure, some citrus, citrus blossom, faint bread dough notes, but you’re drawn to the flint and element rocky notes primarily. The palate does the same, flint, wet slate, smooth pebbles rolled around the palate, olive brine, green apple juice and lime comes in too. Feels quite firm despite a sense of juiciness and being dart-shaped and long. Finishes with the faintest kiss of salted nuttiness. Just beautiful. Poised and fine.
95 points, Mike Bennie
Owned by actor Sam Neill – of Jurassic Park, The Piano and Peaky Blinders fame – Two Paddocks is a fabulous winery in Central Otago that produces outstanding Pinot Noir and Riesling.
This Estate Riesling from the 2013 vintage is estate-grown at Earnscleugh, near Alexandra, in the Red Bank Vineyard and is a brilliant wine that will excel with food. Aromas of sweet mandarin, lemon & lime flower and minerals drift from the glass. On the palate, it is dry with vibrant flavours of lime and lemon, crisp green apple and thyme laced elderflower that build across the palate to a long dry finish.
A prestigious property in the Margaux appellation, Château la Tour de Mons has been part of the Médoc landscape since the 13th century and since 2012 it has belonged to the portfolio of the Grands Crus Châteaux and benefits from the advice of the famous oenologist Éric Boissenot.
Marquis de Mons is 2nd wine from this chateau and this offering comes from spectacularly generous and supple 2015 vintage. Aromas of refined mulberry, cassis and fresh tobacco with a touch of roasted meat around the edges, alongside a hint well-handled oak. Medium-full bodied with lovely balance and impressive concentration, finishing with soft, satisfying broad-grained tannins.