Savennières is renowned for making some of the finest dry Chenin Blanc in the world. The wines are noted for their intensity of flavour and nerve and energy.
It is a small appelation (145 hectares) on the north bank of the Loire just to the south west of Anjou.
This estate was created in 2007 when Philippe Fournier amalgamated two existing estate. The vineyards are now certified organic with low yields (25hl/ha), and a purely manual harvest conducted by making several passes through the vineyards.
“La Croix Picot” is from vines grown on a clay/schist soil. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels and then for a further 6 months on its fine lees in larger oak vats.
It is a dry, full bodied Chenin Blanc with succulent mouthfeel, intense aromas and extraordinary ageing potential. The wine does not undergo the malolactic fermentation to enhance the freshness and bouquet.
The Manetti family has owned Fontodi since 1969 but have been in Chianti for centuries. Though they have always made wine, their primary business is still the production of Chianti’s finest terracotta at their factory in Ferrone. Giovanni Manetti has run the property since 1980 and ensures the wines are as meticulously made as the vineyards are immaculately tended.
Their 80 hectares of vineyard, 90% of which are Sangiovese, are situated in the prime “conca d’oro” (golden shell) of Panzano, and over the past six years these have been converted to organic viticulture. Giovanni is now following biodynamic principles to obtain the best quality fruit.
100% Sangiovese – the quality of the Sangiovese grapes from the Fontodi vineyards obviates the need for Merlot or other varieties as a remedial blender.
Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for two weeks, during which time the cap was punched down twice a day. The wine was then racked into 225 litre French oak barriques (Troncais and Allier) where it remained for 12 months before bottling. The wine was matured in bottle for six months before release.
Deep ruby red in colour, with perfumes of sour cherry and plums with notes of leather and tobacco. Great depth of flavour, with juicy fruit and supple tannins, giving the wine a silky-smooth texture. This wine has a great structure and a fine mineral note on the finish.
Larry Turley and his winemakers Tegan Passalacqua and Karl Wicka produce great wines from some of California’s oldest, dry-farmed Zinfandel vineyards. They have managed to persuade the owners of some of California’s finest old vineyards to let them take total control of viticulture; farming organically, reducing yields to extremely low levels and picking very late.
Winemaking is gentle and totally unmanipulated, with very gentle extraction. Only natural yeasts are used in fermentation. The wines are matured for 14-16 months in 75% French, 25% American oak barrels (25% new) and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Juvenile is made from young vines that have been replanted in several of Turley’s old vine sites. The vines that make up Juvenile range in age from about 6-25 years, and include fruit from several of their best vineyards across California, including Hayne, Ueberroth, Pesenti, Salvador, Vineyard 101, Fredericks and Kirschenmann.
La Nerthe can trace its history back to 1561 making it one of the oldest estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The 90 hectares (225 acres) of Château La Nerthe are certified as “Organic growing” from 1998 by Ecocert – the French organisation of organic certification.
In recent times, the purchase of the estate by the Ricard family in 1985 has allowed the true potential of this fine property to be realised. Since 2008 wine maker Christian Voeux has been in charge of production with the emphasis on modern, approachable Châteauneuf.
The grape varieties used at La Nerthe are: Grenache 53 %, Syrah 27 %, Mourvèdre 15 % and Cinsault 5 %, from vines with an average age of 40 years.
Traditional fermentation in cement tanks is followed by 12 months ageing in a mixture of oak barriques and much larger foudre.
Garnet red in appearance, the nose is red and black fruits with spice and leather – a really “warm” nose.
The palate is all spicy dark fruits with pepper and fine tannins.
This fine Morey-St-Denis domaine was created by Joseph Arlaud just after WWII and today extends to some 15 ha. Whilst his son Hervé is still involved he leaves most of the work these days to his children Cyprien and Bertille. The Arlaud family have farmed organically for several years and today they also follow a biodynamic regime in the vineyards and winery.
They always harvest manually and since 2004, under the guidance of Bertille, have used horses to plough the vineyards. Soil compaction can be a real problem and heavy machinery only adds to the problem whereas the horses have a lighter touch. Currently there are two horses working the Domaine, “Nougat” and “Okapi”.
Once harvested, the grapes are carefully sorted and de-stemmed but not crushed. Fermention is carried out using indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled cement tanks. The wines are aged in French oak barrels (15% of which is new wood) for 14 to 16 months before being bottled, unfined and unfiltered, according to the lunar cycle.
Arlaud’s Gevrey-Chambertin is from a 1 hectare vineyard and has a deep ruby / purple colour with a nose full of plum and black fruit aromas with hints of earth and leather. The palate is full and rounded with notes of strawberries and raspberries supported by fine tannins, lovely freshness and elegant acidity.
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