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 rests 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.
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.
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.
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.
Originally started by a group of growers, SIVIPA (Sociedade Vinicola de Palmela) is now the company name enveloping all wines made by the Cordoso family. Whilst Filipe Cordoso is in control as winemaker, the vineyards are still owned and maintained by his siblings and cousins, distributed as inheritance from previous generations.
The main winery is that of Quinta do Piloto, in Palmela. This winery, along with its concrete fermentation vessels, dates back beyond that of SIVIPA, as it has been in the Cordoso family for 3 generations.
Their 400 hectares of vines can mainly be found on the flat, sandy soils of the penisula, to the East of Palmela with the Moscatel (Muscat) grown on higher altitude sites.
The sweetness of this wine is achieved by adding grape spirit at an early stage in the fermentation process, taking the alcohol level up to 17%.
The wine displays all the hallmarks of classic muscat from Portugal. A lovely rich golden colour, it has dried fruit, caramel, spices, florals and especially citrus orange peel on the nose . The palate is sweet marmalade flavours, and the 140 g/L residual sugar is balanced by great acidity.
Delightful paired with fruity puddings or just on its own!
A mature wine from the renowned Sauternes property of Château Filhot.
“Gold Reserve” 1998 is a light and elegant style. Not the sweetest of Sauternes but full of dried fruit and marmalade flavours. It is well suited as an aperitif or to partner rich savoury dishes such as rich pâtés, or cheeses (especially Roquefort). If you want to use it as a dessert wine choose a light, fruit dish.