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(2024) Another fabulous slice of Australian heritage, this is a fortified wine of unknown age – possibly 1970s? Note of hessian or new laid carpet, caramel and walnut, but is there a hint of Sauvignon zip? There's a streak of espresso bittersweetness that acts to cleanse and propel this. An intriguing wine and holding up really well. Enjoyed this rarity. No alcohol level was stated on the label, so a guess at 15% has been entered by me. It's also difficult to say with this great age whether the wine was lightly fortified or naturally sweet.
(2024) Dry, gentle aromatics, becomes quite smoky and nutty, a peppery quality. Fruit is about prunes and fresher glimpses of blackcurrant. It is moving into a faded, slightly rancio character but really enjoyable. Possibly a blend of Shiraz and Touriga Nacional.
(2023) Madeira is undoubtedly one of the world's great wines, but arguably one of the most overlooked. The volcanic Portuguese island of the same name lies far out into the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco. It is from here that the tradition of these wines, fortified with spirit to withstand long sea voyages, began. Madeira normally has some sweetness, and the level of sweetness traditionally follows through the four most important grape varieties in order: Sercial wines are usually the driest, then Verdelho, Bual, and finally Malmsey, normally the sweetest.

This 15-year-old example of a Verdelho wine is a glowing amber to tawny in colour. The nose has that wonderfully evocative shellac character, old polished wood with a sheen of beeswax and varnish, and a nutty walnut and marzipan depth. In the mouth this is sweet and rich, brown sugar and intense raisin and walnut flooding the palate, with marvellous bitter orange acidity biting down on the long, spicy, tobacco-infused finish. Terrific and world class wine. Price is for 50cl.
(2023) The Sercial grape traditionally makes the driest style of Madeira, and indeed this example has only around 15g/l making it only semi-sweet. The colour is a burnished, glowing amber. The nose is fabulous, from Seville orange to walnut to raisin and milk chocolate. In the mouth it has weight and creamy texture, and while those luscious Muscovado, walnut and apricot flavours flood the mouth, it's the beautiful energy endowed by sparkling acidity that gives this terrific impact. Tannins are modest, and the spirit brings only the gentlest heat to the spicy, fruity finish. Marvellous stuff. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. Price for 50cl. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2023) A rare beast, a tawny Port blended from wines matured for five decades in oak casks, a collector’s edition released in very limited quantities. A dark tany/caramel in colour, the nose is resinous and deep, polished wood, meatiness of umami, plus clove and cinammon spices. In the mouth, extraordinary raisiny intensity, marmalade and mollases coating prune, and yet intense angelica brilliance too. Plenty of acidity against the chocolate richness of the finish.
(2023) A single quinta vintage Port from the Quinta da Roêda, just upstream from the village of Pinhão. Deep crimson, spices and cocoa flit around very dark berry fruits. There's a touch of curry leaf, and balsamic notes that are dark and subtle. The palate is exceptionally smooth and silky, the plum and blackcurrant gloss of fruit melts into a bittersweet chocolate and raisin fudge depth, a nice zestiness to the acidity extending the finish.
(2023) Six grapes in the blend here led by Touriga Nacional, in a wine from the single quinta of Vargellas. It has 99% of residual sugar. Pouring a dramatically dark and opaque crimson-black, the nose is delightful, delicate floral and raspberry nuances around a core of darker, plum and liquorice. So deliciously sweet and full on the palate, the tannins and the spices are there giving a dry background character, but the elegant and sweet fruit moving into chocolate makes this a joy to drink now, or to cellar for a decade or more. Decant off sediment. Use the wine-searcher link to shop around as prices for this wine vary quite markedly. The quoted stockist is the cheapest we could find at time of review.
(2023) A blend of Ports with an average age of twenty years, originally foot-trodden in lagares, but slumbering in the Noval cellars ever since. Half bottles are also available at around £30.
(2022) Atamán is a Vermouth made from a base of fine Manzanilla Sherries from Barbadillo's bodegas in Sanlucar, that is inspired by very old Vermouths found in the bodega's cellars. It is blended with aromats including wormwood, quassia and rosemary, to produce a fabulous Vermouth. Yes it would make a fascinating Negroni, but in truth it is delicious to simply sip, over ice if you prefer. There's a huge depth of caramel at first, then the herbal top notes show through aromatically. In the mouth it is sweet with 140g/l of residual sugar, but the astonishing bitterness of the herbal additions builds and dominates the finish for a very grown-up and utterly delcious wine for rich fruit or chocolate desserts, or simply to sip and contemplate the meaning of life.
(2021) Ruby at the core with a broad tawny rim, Noval's 2007 Colheita is a single vintage Port of very high quality that was aged for 13 years in wooden barrels at the Noval cellar. That means it is a wine with wonderful maturity and instant drinkability, unlike Vintage Ports which often require decades after release to show their best. There are deep, soulful aromas of walnut and old polished wood, a twist of Seville orange and delightful hint of shellac in the mix. In the mouth terrific balance of sweetness and cherry-ripe fruit, with those aged notes, a liquorice intensity and concentration and such a creamy texture, flowing seamlessly into a sweet, beguiling finish with outstanding length. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
Displaying results 0 - 10 of 275