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 four Cesconi brothers have transformed their family estate in the past decade. Whereas the family previously sold all their fruit to the co-op at Lavis, today they are making some of Italy’s most exciting wines.
The brothers now have 21 hectares of vineyard in and around the village of Pressano situated at an altitude of about 300 metres. All their vineyards are now managed organically. All of Cesconi’s white wines, and the Moratel, are now sealed under stelvin – yet another sign of this family’s forward looking vision.
A blend of 40% Merlot, 40% Lagrein, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Teroldego.
Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats with two weeks maceration. The wine was then transferred into 225 litre French oak barrels (of which 20-30% was new oak) for 10 months ageing.
Youthful violet notes shine through this ruby coloured wine. The nose offers considerable aromatic complexity, with aromas of wild cherry, raspberry and blackcurrant. The palate is supple and pleasing while presenting a firm tannic backbone typical to clay soils.
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.
The Dureuil-Janthials are one of the oldest families in the village of Rully, and they can be traced back to 13th century. Vincent Dureuil has today firmly established himself as one of the top growers in this village, being equally at home with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. His first vintage was in 1994 and in just a few years, he has gained a great reputation for top quality wines. His whites are mineral and expressive, and his reds are juicy and fruit-laden.
Domaine Dureuil-Janthial comprises 17 hectares, mainly in the Côte Chalonnaise, but also with holdings in the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. They produce wine in 20 appellations and have been certified organic since the late 2000’s.
Vincent’s cellars are very deep and cold and all fermentations, malolactic processes and stabilizations take much longer than is ordinarily the case. This, together with low yielding, old vines contributes to the great richness and complexity which all of his wines demonstrate.
The Mercurey Rouge is from a 0.9 hectare vineyard planted with 40 year old vines. After careful sorting the grapes are cold-macerated for 8 days followed by fermentation using natural yeasts. The wine is aged for 18 months in oak, a third of which is new.
The wine shows good colour with a nose full of dark fruit aromas, hints of spice and “forest floor.” The palate is full and rounded with excellent fruit – cherry, red berries – and spicy flavours. The finish is long.
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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