The late Deen De Bortoli created his Vat Series with the idea of developing a range of delicious, full-flavoured wines at an affordable price. Deen personally selected the blends and chalked the numbers on the vats to identify them.
Light golden in appearance, the nose has citrus, peach, pear, nectarine and honey and just a touch of oak.
The palate is rich, sweet and rounded with peach, citrus and a slight touch of refreshing acidity to give this wine a beautifully balanced and lingering finish.
Marco & Vittorio Adriano’s beautiful estate is centred on the village of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, a few kilometres south east of Alba and two or so west of Treiso, as the crow flies. They have 23 hectares of perfectly tended vines, and make excellent wines marked by real elegance, great purity of fruit and suppleness. They are wines that are carefully produced to give real pleasure. They also offer extraordinary value for money.
Their Moscato d’Asti is from 20 year old vines grown at 250 metres above sea level. After careful selection in both the vineyard and the winery, the grapes are gently pressed and the must fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel. When the wine reaches an alcohol level of 5% the fermentation is halted and the wine is transferred to temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where it rest for a few weeks before bottling.
Pale straw with hints of green the wine is very lightly sparkling with a nose full of white fruit aromas (apricot and peach) with notes of sage and citrus. Light and elegant on the palate the gentle sweetness and low alcohol make this the ideal wine to accompany light fruit puddings.
A 17 ha property just to the south of the village of Barsac that has been in the Guinabert family for over 350 years.
85% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle.
Pale golden straw in appearance, the nose is fresh with characteristic Botrytis honey and hints of apricots and marmalade. The palate is middle weight, not too sweet but very elegant. A delicious and very well balanced Sauternes.
The wines from the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise appellation are created by adding a neutral grape spirit to the partially fermented grape juice of the Muscat grape to produce what the French call a vin doux naturel (naturally sweet wine). The addition of the spirit kills off the yeasts and leaves the wine high in alcohol (15%) as well as high in residual sugar.
The house and cellars of Mme Castaud-Maurin’s lovely property are in the village of Beaumes de Venise itself, while the 17 hectares of Muscat à petits grains, 25% of which are in fact ‘noirs’, are on the lower slopes of Mont Ventoux – a quite beautiful situation.
The wine has a fine delicate character of almonds and apricots, and the use of black Muscat gives it a lovely orange tint in the glass.
Established in 1875 by Vito Curatolo Arini, the winery is now run by the fifth generation of Curatolos, making it the oldest family-owned Marsala producing business.
Their stunning label was designed by Ernesto Basile, a famous architect in Palermo in the latter part of the 19th century and is very much in the art deco style.
Temperature controlled slow fermentation at 20-25°C. The base wine is 12% in alcohol and has a minimum residual sugar level of 20 grams per litre. Alcohol, mistella (fresh grape must with added alcohol) and mosto cotto (concentrated fresh grape must which is traditionally “cooked” until it reduces to a third of its initial volume) are then added to the base wine, giving it a final alcohol content of 18%, the desired sugar level and the traditional flavour. The wine is then aged for over five years (minimum two years by law) in 150 hectolitre Slovenian oak casks.
Dark amber in colour, with aromas of dried figs, sultanas and caramel. This wine is round and soft on the palate with fresh notes of dried fruit, nuts and honeysuckle with a pleasant, sweet and clean finish.
Based in Yecla, in the hills inland of Alicante in south-eastern Spain, Bodegas Castaño is known for its huge efforts to promote one of Spain’s native varieties, Monastrell (Mourvèdre). The Castaño family owns over 410 hectares of vineyards 80% of which are planted with Monastrell.
The grapes for this wine are grown in vineyards at an altitude of 750m above sea level, from vines with an average age of just under 40 years.
After crushing, a long, cool maceration took place at 17°C to extract colour, aromas and the soft, sweet Monastrell tannins. Fermentation was stopped once the must reached 5-7% alcohol by volume by adding grape spirit. This ensured that residual sugar was left in the wine giving the lingering, sweet finish as well as the higher alcohol of a fortified wine. After fermentation, the wine was aged in French and American oak barrels for eight months before bottling.
Intense ruby colour, with notes of raisin, honey and dried fig along with plum jam aromas. The wine is deliciously fresh and sweet, with a rounded mouthfeel and extraordinary mouthwatering acidity that balances the sweetness of the persistent finish.
Pioneers of Nelson winemaking, Hermann and Agnes Seifried planted their first vineyards in 1973. Today Seifried Estate is one of New Zealand’s leading family owned wineries.
Named after Agnes Seifried, “Sweet Agnes” is 100% Riesling. The grapes were hand selected at the peak of ripeness with a large portion of the fruit shrivelled and raisined, caused by natural dehydration. The grapes were then gently pressed to release a very concentrated intensely flavoured juice. The grapes were picked, pressed and fermented in batches as grapes were selected during successive passes through the vineyard.
Sweet Agnes Riesling has bright pure concentrated fruit characters with citrus peel and floral elements. Palate entry is full and luscious with gorgeous zesty acidity as well as hints of honey defining the palate and balancing beautifully with the concentration and natural sweetness.
To the south of Bordeaux city, near Cadillac, Château Ricaud boasts an exceptionally diverse array of soils. Impressed by its quality potential and the architectural splendour of the château, Alain Thiénot (of Champagne fame) bought the property in 1980 and has subsequently put in place a remodelling plan to transform the estate into a benchmark Loupiac and to create a Côtes de Bordeaux worthy of the finest wines.
Loupiac lies across the River Garonne from Sauternes.
Set in a natural amphitheatre and surrounded by three streams, no other spot in the appellation is more affected by the alternating misty and very dry conditions essential to produce the fungus Botrytis Cinerea or “noble rot”.
Given its location, Château de Ricaud is one of the rare estates where this magic is guaranteed to take place and every year, allowing without fail, the incredible transformation to take place, creating wonderfully aromatic golden nectar.
100% Semillon, vinified and then aged in oak (20% of which is new) for 12 months.
Clear and bright in appearance, with lovely hints of gold. The Loupiac style places the emphasis on aromatic intensity, with a floral rather than hugely sweet character, lively and fresh on the palate.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants