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.
All of Allegrini’s impeccable wines are produced from estate-grown fruit from their 90 hectares of vineyard in the communes of Sant’ Ambrogio and Fumane. Across the range and from vintage to vintage, they have superb fruit, balance, intensity, length, elegance, tipicity and, above all, drinkability.
Each wine has winemaker Franco Allegrini’s distinct stamp of quality, but every one has its own distinctive character. They are among the elite of the world’s best producers of red wines.
The south-east facing vineyards are located in the hills of the Valpolicella Classico region at 150-250 metres above sea level. The soil there is very varied but mostly chalky, of volcanic origin. The vines are 32 years old on average.
The grapes were de-stalked before crushing, after which fermentation occurred at 25-31ºC in temperature-controlled stainless steel. Maceration lasted nine days and malolactic fermentation took place in December. The wine was held in stainless steel tanks until bottling in mid-February where it spent a further two months before release.
Ruby red in colour, with purplish-blue highlights. Fragrant fruit with prominent notes of dark cherries are echoed by fresher hints of pepper and aromatic herbs, typical of Corvina and its genetic cousin Corvinone, the historic varietals of this appellation. Whilst young, the Valpolicella is impressively lively and fresh and with age it takes on a fuller, rounder character.
El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOC sub-zones of Rioja Baja, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.
Grapes for the Rioja Rosado – 90% Tempranillo & 10% Garncha – are sourced from Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. The soils are mainly limestone and clay. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks at 15-20ºC over a period of 15-20 days. No malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur and the wine is bottled without ageing.
Lively pale pink in colour. The nose displays aromas of strawberries and raspberries. The palate is dry, with a wide range of red and dark fruits including strawberries and cherries. The finish is crisp with hints of fruit and flowers.
El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker Cesar Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.
This wine is made from 91% Viura, 5% Verdejo and 4% Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards in the Rioja Alta and El Coto’s Finca Carbonera vineyard which, at 840 metres, is the highest in the entire Rioja region.
The grapes, upon arrival at the winery, are protected by a carbon dioxide blanket that avoids any oxidation. The same gas is used for cooling the grapes before being gently pressed in pneumatic presses. The must is then allowed to settle before the clear juice is fermented at low temperature using selected yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel vats – this enhances the extraction of white fruit aromas. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place and the wine was bottled without ageing to maximise freshness and crisp acidity.
The wine is pale lemon in colour with aromas of peaches, apples, citrus and tropical fruits. On the palate, it has lively acidity leading to a dry, fruity finish.
The Castaño family owns over 410 hectares of vineyards in the Yecla DO in south-eastern Spain.
80% of these vineyards are planted with the native Monastrell (Mourvèdre) variety. Castaño symbolises the best of what southern Spain has to offer: rich, warm climate wines made from grapes grown at altitude and transformed into robustly modern wines. For several generations, Bodegas Castaño has been a pioneer in the region.
This wine is 100% Monastrell from Las Gruesas and Pozuelo vineyards which are situated at an altitude 750m above sea level. The average age of the vines is 35 years old.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for 8-10 days at 24-26°C. 50% of the wine was then aged in stainless steel tanks with the remaining half aged for six months in oak barrels of which 40% were new, 40% second fill and 20% third fill. The oak used was 75% French and 25% American.
Intense cherry red colour. Outstanding fruity expression with plums, figs and berries, intense mentholated balsamic aromas and perfectly integrated wood notes. Soft and silky on the palate, with elegant ripe tannins and a long, pleasant aftertaste.
The fruit for this wine is grown in special, selected old vineyards with excellent south-east exposure, where growers have reduced their yields quite considerably to produce excellent quality fruit.
The grapes are harvested very ripe, gently pressed and immediately cooled to preserve their aromas. A slow fermentation takes place at 18°c, avoiding any skin contact. The wine is then aged in stainless steel containers.
Characterful aromas with slight hints of flint, ripe peach and pear. The wine is full-bodied and rich, with excellent balance.
A family winery that was founded in 1918 as Bodegas Arjona, but in 1983 the Navajas family became the sole shareholders and changed its name to Bodegas Navajas.
Navajas believes that the quality of the wine begins in the vineyards and for this reason they monitor and control the vineyards which belong to their growers in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja.
The Tinto is 95% Tempranillo & 5% Mazuelo.
All the grapes are hand picked at the end of September/begining of October. Fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel vats using natural yeasts. The wine is blended before the malolactic fermentation takes place which is followed by a further few months ageing in steel prior to bottling.
Bright cherry red in colour, the nose is full of ripe red berries and a touch of spice. The palate is dry and soft with juicy fruit, gentle tannins and fine balancing acidity.
From the south of France near Sète, just down the motorway from Montpellier, Picpoul de Pinet is a refreshing, crisp, dry white wine.
Very pale straw in the glass, the floral aromatics on the nose lead to a crisp dry palate with fruit nicely balanced by acidity and fresh, citrus zest. There is almost a salty tang to the finish. A perfect seafood wine – the Muscadet of the south if you like.
Domaine Delsol has 5 hectares of vineyards next to the Etang de Thau producing definitive Picpoul.
The front label of the bottle and the gates to the domaine depict a pair of armoured war elephants that commemorate the passage of Hannibal, through what was to become the vineyards of Domaine Delsol, in 218 BC on his way from Carthage to sack Rome.
The Kalfu ranges are linked to the sea creatures depicted on the labels:
Molu means ‘where the sun sets’ – historically it was believed that during the day stars would hide in the sea and become starfish.
The grapes were harvested by night and then carefully transported to the winery. Prior to fermentation, a cold maceration was carried out for a period of 12 to 14 hours to increase contact between juice and skin. The fermentation was carried out slowly, maintained at a constant temperature of between 13 and 16ºC, which allowed for extraction of the fruit and mineral aromas characteristic of Chardonnay. After fermentation, it was left to rest for 6 months on its lees, with regular bâtonnage. About 15% of the wine was agedin French oak for six months.
On the nose, this wine is elegant and expressive, notable for its tropical fruit aromas, such as papaya and pineapple, which blend with gentle notes of citrus. A well-rounded wine with good volume, delicious acidity and a gentle finish.