(2019) Comes only from the slopes with long sunset exposure - hence the name - and at least 90 days appassimento, followed by 24 months in oak - mostly large barrels - and a year in bottle. Delightful dried cherry and herbs, a nice note of mneatness, but elegance too. Andrea says it is a "25 year wine." In the mouth lovely lifted cherry and floral aromas come to fruition, delicate and energetic flavours despite being a big wine - a gentle giant - with such lovey precision yet warmth and weight with that touch of sweet dried fruit in the finish.
(2019) Small production from a single vineyard at 400 metres with clay-rich soils, the vines 100% pergola-grown, with average age of around 45 years - some 60 years old. A really bright, almost rhubarb touch to very sweet cherry fruit, touches of tobacco and dried rosemary perhaps, very aromatic. The palate has masses of deep, sweet fruit, with definite sweetness here, and although there are dried cherry and raisin flavours, there is no hint of oxidation or overripeness really: just an intensity into a long, smooth and sweet finish. This should have considerable ageing potential too.
(2019) From a windy vineyard and 100% limestone and rocky white soil. Dried herbs and a more austere nose, taut and dusty aromatics, immediately appears more serious than the Campolongo, with a dried herbal character. The palate too has a drier character - I suspect a little drier technically, but the profile so different, so much tighter and higher in acidity, tight tannins and a graphite sense of precision to this. Long too and finishing with great fruit concentration, it has fine length and I suspect needs more time when it may well merit a higher score too.
(2019) Beautiful, resolved nose, a touch of delightful oxidation, coffee and chocolate but still that cherry ripe red fruit clarity. In the mouth it is silky and dense, a flood of quite meaty and fleshy black fruit, super ripe tannins and lovely plum and cherry skin acidity giving length. A beautifully resolved and complete wine.
(2019) Similar grape blend as the regular Costasera, from the same vineyard, but has 10% Oseleta. Appassimento never less than 120 days. The Oselleta has a real impact again, giving, like the Toar and pure Oselleta also tasted, a firm, graphite character, tightening up the picture, and the ripe cherry and florals just showing throug beautifully. The beautiful sweetness of the fruit here is all-encompassing, with a salty touch to the acidity, such ripe chocolaty tannins and fabulous length: fruit, elegance, touches of cocoa and spices, but all about freshness and tang.
(2019) This wine was bottle in May 2011 and spent 90 months - seven and a half years - on the lees. It is composed of 68% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier. It received a dosage of 9g/l. Savoury, reserved nose, nothing too toasty of developed aromatically, just a sheen of creaminess on the lightly nutty, firm stone fruit aromas. On the palate the dosage gives a hint of sweetness, but that's swept up in a rush of acidity, lemony and zippy, the extra time on the lees perhaps adding a rounded touch of light toast and cream again into an elegant finish with good length.
(2019) The blend is 53% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 7% Pinot Meunier, with a small percentage fermented in oak barrels, and a dosage of 8g/l. Having spent 34 months on the lees there is a biscuity character aromatically, but really this is driven by the Pinot fruit, bold and lemony, though the bruised fruit complexity is there. On the palate the ripeness of the fruit from this vintage is evident, quite fat lemony fruit with a hint of peach, very good acids adding structure, and a nice earthy/yeasty savoury note too. A rounded, mouthfilling style and very good.
(2019) It's not just patriotism talking: this is fine Chardonnay, from selected fruit from the Boot Hill vineyard, whole bunch-pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (20% new), where it also aged for 10 months. Twenty percent of fruit was dropped mid-summer, to intensify flavour and concentration. Stylistically I guess it sits somewhere between Chablis with its 12% alcohol and cool-climate feel, and the Mâconnaise perhaps, that married to a creaminess and delicate but noticeable oak. There's flint and oatmeal on the nose, light almondy nuttiness and creamy orchard fruit. In the mouth that nutiness and delicate toast from the barrel matches up to firm, citrus and Cox's pippin fruit, the racy lemon and hint of salts in the finish adding to a sophisticated appeal.
(2019) The Symington family produce this meaty and fruity red from organically-grown Tinta Barocca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, from the largest organic-certified farm in the Douro. There's a delightfully lifted floral and herbal, tobbaco and spice aroma, all floating over black fruit. On the palate it is firm, with a dry and tannic framework that does really call out for food, but the savoury, dark and robust black fruit is there. Some retailers, including Waitrose, have moved on to the 2017 vintage which I have not tasted, but it is usually a reliable wine that I have tasted over many vintages. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) This is a terrrific Champagne from Bruno Paillard, an equal blend of Chardonnay from Oger and le Mesnil and Pinot Noir from Mailly, of which 20% was barrel fermented. It has been aged for 10 years in the Maison’s cellars, seven of which were on the lees. It was disgorged in September 2017, and has a low dosage of 5g/l. With very fine and persistent bubbles, it has elegantly brioche- and biscuit-like notes that sit among creamy and nutty aromas, but lovely fruit freshness too, a direct, crisp character even with the leesy and biscuity autolysis of age. In the mouth the rolling mousse has luxurious texture and firmness, the fruit is all about crunchy Asian pear and citrus, then the delicate hazelnut and oatmeal character comes through. The finish is long, elegant, and although dry, there is charm, ripeness and no lack of approachability. A very fine Champagne this, pin-point accurate and taut, yet in no way austere or difficult.