The Gran Sasso wines are made by winemaker Filippo Baccalaro and display a freshness and directness of fruit that sets them apart from other wines from this area.
Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Filippo and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri.
The grapes were handpicked. On arrival at the winery, only 10% of grapes were put in fermentation tanks with their stems – all others were destemmed before fermentation and skin contact that lasted for 15 days. Continuous racking and punch-downs took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at a controlled temperature of 28°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in 80% stainless steel tanks and 20% oak barrels.
Made in an early-drinking style, this wine is ruby red with violet highlights. Cherry, sour cherry and blackberry aromas are supported with an intense balsamic note. The palate is full bodied with good, supple tannins supporting the juicy fruit. Well-balanced with good structure and a long finish.
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.
Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero, the duo behind A Mano, have worked in the wine business for most of their lives.
Elvezia is a northern Italian wine marketing expert and Mark is a Californian winemaker. They fell in love with Puglia and, when they decided to start their own label, made it their home. They pay high prices for the best grapes from 70-100 year old vines and focus solely on quality and a modern style. After over a decade of vintages, they are now getting access to some of Salento’s best grapes.
The Negroamaro grapes for this wine are grown in an 11 hectare vineyard, in the heart of Salice Salentino. An old vineyard, it is dry farmed and trained on trellises to prevent the sensitive grapes suffering from sunburn.
On arrival at the cellars, the grapes were pressed, destemmed and cooled to 18°C and the must was allowed to ferment at its own pace. After racking in mid-November, the wine remained in an underground cement tank where the temperature did not exceed 10°C until bottling under stelvin closure.
Deep ruby in the glass. Aromas begin with crushed berries, black cherries and spices followed by a light floral note. The exuberant palate is full and rich with lingering spice on the finish.
The Colonge family have been making wine in this part of the Beaujolais region since 1789. Lying in the heart of the northern, Cru, area of the region, they are based in the commune of Lancié. The estate comprises 37 hectares divided between 4 appellations: Fleurie, Brouilly, Beaujolais-Villages and Beaujolais.
Colonge’s Beaujolais-Villages is the epitome of what Beaujolais is all about. Light, fresh and full of juicy fruit.
A lovely deep crimson in appearance, the nose is bursting with crunchy red fruit and sweet spice, backed up by a touch of pear drop and strawberry. The palate emphasizes the ripe red fruit flavours backed up by good acidity and silky tannins that give way to a finish of strawberry jam notes.
The Pfaffl winery is situated in the village of Stetton in Austria’s Weinviertel (wine quarter) within Niederösterreich (lower Austria), not far from Vienna. Today the estate comprises 90 hectares and is run by Roman Pfaffl and his sister Heidi Fischer. Roman looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker with Heidi running the administrative and marketing side of the business.
The Dot Austrian Peach Riesling is very pale in appearance with a soft and fruity nose reminiscent of (yes, you guessed it!) peaches. The palate is dry and soft, extremely well balanced with a distinct “mouthfeel” and a hint of richness. The finish is very long and persistent.
Owned by François Ravel, this 400 hectare estate near Pierrefeu is based on schistous terraces in the Massif de Maures.
A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre & Carignan, with 10% of Tibouren, a Provençal variety that does particulary well on schist soils and that adds aroma and complexity to the blend.
After a short maceration period, to extract the lovely salmon pink colour and the flavour, the grapes are gently crushed in a low pressure pneumatic press. The juice is then fermented and aged in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
Dry, fresh and very elegant the wine exhibits fruity and floral notes and a lovely structure in the mouth. The finish is long with excellent balancing acidity.
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.
100% Tempranillo from low yielding vines from each of the three sub zones of the Rioja: Baja, Alta and Alavesa.
The Tempranillo grapes are fermented in El Coto’s Oyón cellar in large, temperature controlled stainless steel vats that are fitted with advanced technology for the strict control of fermentation and maceration temperatures and colour extraction. The aim, to achieve the right balance between structure and balance in the wines.
The wine is then aged for a minimum 12 months in selected 225 litre, American-oak barrels and then for at least 6 months in bottle before release.
Bright ruby-red in colour, the fresh fruit aromas are preserved on the nose together with typical liquorice aromas from the oak and hints of vanilla. In the mouth good balance. Silky, velvety with good intensity.
De Bortoli’s “Regional Reserve” series is composed of regional wines from premium vineyards across Victoria, Australia. The Regional Reserve Pinot Noir is from several vineyard sites in the Yarra Valley that are vinified separately before being blended and aged in old French oak.
“A vibrant, perfumed Pinot Noir with strawberry and cherry fruit notes, soft, gentle spicy flavours with plumpness and juicy acidity.”