(2022) From a tiny 1.3 hectares of the original Tiers Vineyard in Piccadilly, that owner Brian Croser replanted in 2003 with new French clones, with a 1.5 metre, dense planting regime. It's a wine with immediate aromatic drive, gunflint and a wisp of smokiness, some nutty, spicy oak and plenty of juicy citrus and succulent peach fruit. The palate is equally sharply focused, with a sense of crackling acid at the core, but draped with stone fruit succulence and a fat lemony presence. A lot of wine here, long and bursting with both fruit and acid intensity, its arguably not subtle, but it is striking and very delicious.
(2022) This vineyard was re-planted in 2003 with French Dijon clones, with very close spacing (1.5m x 1.5m), across the road from the Old 1979 Chardonnay block of the Tiers vineyard. It has real intensity; a hint of buttercup to the colour and a hint of grippiness like citrus peel and sharp apple, as well as a peachier underbelly. In the mouth that firm, decisive lemon pith character persists, one-third new French oak adding creaminess to the gentler and sweeter mid-palate fruit, swept up in acidity and the wine's strict (no malolactic) grippy finish.
(2022) Louise Rose's flagship Viognier was harvested over a two week period, presumably to balance acidity and the unctuous ripeness Viognier can achieve. That's done ever so successfully in this 13% abv wine, which spent 10 months in French oak. It is rich, the nose crammed with white flower and apricot notes, a creamy almond oak quality beneath. The palate has such lovely weight, textured and full, succulent with ripe, ripe fruit, orange acidity adding lovely tang and brightness. It's a wine that risks overloading the senses, but thankfully never does thanks to its precision and refinement.
(2022) Wild-fermented in French oak, with 10 months ageing in barrels of various sizes, this comes from elevated Eden Valley vineyards planted in 1980 and 1995. Pale gree/gold in colour, it is peachy, full and creamy on the nose, with twist of confit lemon and hint of something spicy and nutty. In the mouth it very nicely straddles full texture and palate-weight, and crispness, with no shortage of apricot and peach fleshiness of fruit, and a taut core of acidity that is quite pithy and lemony-dry, smoothed by the barrel component.
(2021) From an ex-apple orhcard in cool Lenswood, some old vines here dating back to the mid 80s. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically. Very subtle, cool, precise and restrained, a touch of flint. The oak is almost transparent here, the wine staying cool and oh so precise on the palate. With only 12.5% abv it's much more Chablis-like I suppose. Concentration and intensity, but nothing too flashy. Lemony, juicy and zesty, salinity into a balanced finish. Subtle and taut.
(2020) The first tasting notes I can find for previous vintages of this wine is for the 1999 vintage, which had 14.5% alcohol and almost 6g/l of residual sugar. I scored that wine 85/100, and noted it being "fat and, for me, overpowering (with) hot alcohol." Oh how things have changed - this wild yeast-fermented 2017 has 13.5% alcohol and just 1g/l of sugar, and is all the better for it. There's masses of peachiness and apricot fruitiness, but a lovely bittering edge too, something like grapefruit or lemon pith, or orangy angostura bitters to add an edge. Louisa also thinks this wine will cellar well.
(2017) Glowing golden colour, developing toasty, honeyed aromas, but that sense of fat and generosity is still cut by terrific apple juiciness and streaking lime and salt acidity. Note price and stockist given at time of review is for the 2009 vintage.
(2017) A little bit funky and reduced at first that blows off to reveal more floral characters and lemon rind a touch of nettle herbs. The palate cool and beautifully elegant, the acid already integrated, fat orangy and honey element, zesty and pure into a long finish.
(2017) Quite a deep colour, the most fragrant floral and jasmine edges to that buttery wax development. The palate has great richness, but shot through with pure shimmering mineral acidity. Delightful.
(2017) Wonderfully developed nose, with loads of toastiness, minerals with that touch of petrol/paraffin, and a lightly earthy character all joining the limey fruit. In the mouth, beautifully honed, river stone minerals and salts and endlessly long. Fabulous and probably still capable of another 10 years of cellaring: these wines really do need age.