(2019) Spring was rainy and mild with early budding, and although summer was dry in general, Montalcino experienced three significant rain events, limiting stress and supporting complete maturation of the grapes. The blend of Merlot and Sangiovese spent 12 months in a mix of new and used barriques. Lovely fruit here, quite lifted compared to the Luce, herb and floral notes joining succulent black fruit on the palate, generous and silky, certainly more approachable at its young age than Luce, but still with complexity and, I suspect, capacity for longevity.
(2019) Spring brought abundant rains and lower than average temperatures, then a hot summer. During the flowering in June, rain and wind resulted in clusters with fewer berries, then the summer was hot and sunny for optimal ripening. Luce reported "outstanding quality in the harvested fruit." Yields of 30 hl/ha, 24 months in barriques of which 90% were new. Fine spices and sweet damp earth over the more figgy black fruit, this has breadth and sweetness to spare, massive coffee and sweet black fruit, it is a more upfront style, but delightful. I can find no UK stockists for this vintage at time of review.
(2019) A mild spring was followed by a long cool summer, with good rainfall but dry condition in September and October for good development
in the grapes. The yield was 30 hl/ha, and the recipe was for 18 months in barrique, but with 100% new French oak. This was the second bottle after the first decanted bottle was corked, so closed and needing oxygen, but obvious concentration and packed sweetness of fruit, very smooth tannins, beautifully resolved, and the Merlot dominating strangely, almost certainly down to the bottle having just been opened. Obvious coffee depth and structure. Drinking beautifully.
(2019) First released in 2003, 2013 brought a rainy spring and early summer, but followed by a hot, but not extreme, summer providing ideal ripening conditions. 100% Sangiovese harvested at 34 hl/ha, the wine spent 24 months in Slavonian oak barriques, only 10% of which were new. Perfumed and lifted compared to the Luce, tobacco and spices dominating the sappy cherry. More sour acidity here, proper Italianate acidity, draped with the red and black fruits into a long, spicy finish.
(2019) After heavy spring rains the summer was almost ideal, with dry days and significant day-night temperature differentials to ensure balanced, concentrated berries. The Sangiovese and Merlot was harvested with a low yield of 28 hl/ha, and ageing once again for 24 months in 85% new French oak barriques. Back slightly more onto the firm, taut, precise black fruit style, sveltee and glossy with a slightly balsamic note too, and though juicy and with that tangy sour cherry to the acids, just a little less giving than the 2014.
(2019) The traditional appelations of the Languedoc-Roussillon region have lived slightly under the shadow of the dynamic 'Vin de Pays d'Oc' (later changed to IGP d'Oc), classification that relaxed the rules about what varieties could be planted and style of wine made, to put a new breed of wines on the map. This comes from the best villages of the Roussillon, a blend of fairly equal parts Syrah, Carignan and Grenache, from low-yielding vineyards. It's a particularly fragrant example, unoaked to allow the lightly ashy lift and bright cherry and blackcurrant fruit shine through. On the palate it is generous and smooth, a creamy and chocolaty texture and depth with loads of sweet black fruit, easy tannins and gentle acidity, giving it balance and charm. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) Last tasted over a decade ago, this now has a fair amount of amber on the rim and is pale and transluscent. The immediate aroma is of damp woodland undergrowth and fresh-picked truffle, earthy and lightly spiced, the red berry fruitiness sits elegantly beneath. In the mouth the concentration of sweet, ripe flavour surprises. There's lightness and a floating, gossamer character to this, the fruit so silky and joyously sweet, yet racing and delicate, touches of rose-hip and pulpy strawberry to a much grippier, more savoury liquorice and edive bite, which adds a lovely sense of bittersweetness. It has simply huge length, the precision and clarity of the fruit driving, always driving, but the resolved tannins and wonderful acid balance extending the finish. An outstanding wine by absolutely any measure, and although now prohibitively expensive, it joins the list of my greatest Burgundy experiences.
(2019) What a lovely Sauvignon Blanc, and quite a different expression from the Loire big hitters of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Part of that is down to the 18 months this unoaked wine stayed on the lees, meaning that even with only 12.5% alcohol it has texture and creaminess as well as vivid fruit. There's a touch of honey and apricot to the otherwise pristine apple and citrus aromas and flavours, nuttiness from the lees ageing rather than anything grassy, and a rounded, balanced finish.
(2019) Made from old bush vines of 50% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, plus Syrah and Carignan, this is a substantial and meaty wine, deep in colour and aroma, with plum and tobacco, and yet a glimpse of something floral and violetty too. In the mouth there is terrific black fruit sweetness, an initial surge joined by grippy, firm tannins and tart plum-skin acidity to give this tension. Again that one dimension is soon expanded as a fresher red fruit character joins, though it is structure and a fair heft of alcohol that gives it a powerful finish.
(2019) Made from 100% Chenin Blanc, this is a wine made by the traditional method with long secondary fermentation in individual bottles. It pours with fine bubbles, a pale straw colour, and immediately attractive nose; crisp and fruity but with enough creamy character from its time on the lees. In the mouth it's a lovely, easy-drinking style, very fresh and free-flowing with orchard fruits and a zippy lemony acidity that is delicate and summery, with no tartness, into a finely-honed finish.