(2023) What a very nicely perfumed Pinot from cool climate, coastal vineyards in the Casablanca Valley. Fifteen percent of the wine was aged in French oak for eight months. Moderately pale but bright ruby in colour, the aromatics really do sing: the oak adds a gentle chocolaty toast, but heady violet and rose scents, and bright kirsch-like cherry and raspberry lead the way. There's a sweet character on the palate, I suspect a little touch of residual sugar, but that makes it creamily easy to drink. The buoyant fruit quality is backed up by some toast and juicy orange acidity. A carefully constructed Pinot that, at its price, delivers a nicely rounded package. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) 100% Pinot Noir from mature vineyards in Casablanca, a pretty cherry cola-touched nose with some rose-hip and floral highlights to red and black summer berries. In the mouth it is so pure and elegantly framed, the supple fruit and juicy acids very pleasing into the finish, tannins almost imperceptable, but then they do subtly support the long finish.
(2022) Merlot matured in used barrels for 10 months to round the wine, without imparting significant oak flavour. Quite plummy, vinous and dark with a hint of violet. The palate has a buoyant and joyous raft of blackcurrant fruit, touched with softening chocolate tones, yet the brisk cherry acidity skips along on the finish. There is spice, and the acid could even be slightly prominent for some, but a mouth-watering style to finish.
(2015) Cabernet Franc is the great red wine grape of Bordeaux's 'right bank' as well as the Loire Valley in France, and yet it is a variety that does not always travel well, finding nothing like the global popularity of its cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon. And yet when it is ripe and made well it offers a wonderful combination of full-fruited richness and an energised, lively personality. This is a terrific example of that, ripe and sweetly packed with blackcurranty fruit, yet so agile with its cherry and raspberry lick of red fruit acidity, svelte tannins and sappy and refreshing edge.
Like an excellent Loire red (or even a fine Cru Beaujolais in some ways), but with the dial turned up to 11. Watch the video for my full review and for specific food matching suggestions.
(2010) This has tiny proportions of Viognier, Merlot and Syrah in the blend too, though the nose is classic, earthy Pinot, with a touch of mushroom and truffle, soft red berry fruit and something quite sappy. On the palate there is a nicely rounded fruit quality, but that green-tinged, sappy character continues with some savoury, cedary notes and plenty of crisp tannin and acid to give it real bite through the finish. A nicely-pitched style, with a bit of complexity.