(2018) From the same vineyards as 'Pure' this elegantly packaged, pale wine is also a similar blend so presumably a selection of the better plots or tanks. There's a delightful icing sugar-dusted confectionery character, fruity and fresh, with a hint of raspberry and small whitecurrants. In the mouth it's pretty much bone dry again, and once more has that saline lick to the lemony acidity, the fruit quite savoury but hinting at peach and rosy red apple. Handsomely packaged, it's another lovely and delicate wine.
(2018) From the Judean Hills in Israel, a kosher wine made from 100% Cabernet Franc grown at 650 metres altitude. A pale- to medium salmon pink, the nose here is lovely, crammed with crushed rasperberry and redcurrant, rose-hip and tiny floral notes. In the mouth it is bursting with fruit, a peachy sweetness cut by a tang of grapefruit to the acidity. Long and beautifully tangy and fresh. No UK stockist for this 2017 vintage at time of review, so stockist for an earlier vintage shown.
(2018) This rosé is a 'Vin de France', so the Merlot fruit could have come from anywhere, presumably at least some from Bordeaux where the Rothschild brands are based. It has plenty of warming red berries, a fashionably pale colour and a gentle touch of honeysuckle. I found the acidity just a little lemony and tart for my personal rosé taste.
(2018) Composed of 67% Grenache, along with 30% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier, this rosé comes from vineyards around the Yatir forest in the Judean Hills, and is a kosher wine. Fairly deep pink in colour, aromas are quite delicate, a touch of cherry bubble-gum, then a drier, lightly earthy and small red berry fruit. Very nice fruit in the mouth, with that dry juiciness of cranberries, a hint of sweetness, and a long finish. Rather expensive compared to some better value wines here, but very good. £22.49 if bought by the case.
(2018) The MacMurray Ranch is former home of Hollywood film star Fred MacMurray, now a wine estate in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma in California, and today owned by the Gallo family. The region is most famed for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but this Pinot Gris is very attractive, the nose suffused with a fig and quince richness, and a warming layer of baked apple as well as some spiciness. In the mouth it has loads of sweet, ripe fruit, a little toasty underpinning suggesting some lees ageing, but very good orange acidity that gives the wine's considerible length and concentration very good balance to the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) In my tasting notes database you'll find every vintage tasted from 2002 to 2007, often multiple times, but for some reason this wine dropped off my radar a little. Since Michel Rolland set up Clos de los Siete in 1998 the Seite (seven) founding partners and wine labels have become Cuatro apparently, but this wine is still very much in the same style, which is big, bold and luxuriously oaked and fruited. However I do find the sometimes slightly aggressive extraction and oak has subsided slightly, and while this has all the opulence, power and depth of flavour as always, it is firm rather than phenolic, and is most enjoyable.
(2018) A 'super-Tuscan' from 100% Sangiovese and a single vineyard planted in 1991, it spends 14-18 months in new oak barrels and a further 12 months in the bottle before release. There is a slick of vanilla that smoothly coats dark berries and brighter, almost floral cherries, again plush with tobacco and some cedary spices, and deeply inviting. On the palate a hint of gaminess on the nose translates into a wine that has a meaty presence, the spicy, firm tannins backing up sweet berry fruits, firmer than the Chianti Riserva, and long, pure and tapering nicely in the finish to a fine spices and fruit extract finish.
(2018) This is a Malbec-based blend, also with 30% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, from three carefully chosen blocks in the high quality Altamira sub-region of the Uco Valley, at 1,100 metres. Sandy soils have good drainage through gravel, and there is limestone too. The blended wine is aged for around 16 months in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new. There's a huge sense of plushness and depth aromatically, a pool of blue-black plum and blueberry, the delicate touch of Parma violet adding perfume. In the mouth it is silky and dense, medium- to full-bodied, and a great wash of chocolate-touched, fleshy plum fruit fills the mid-palate. Some grippy, quite chewy tannin grabs the finish, a sense of graphite and cedar earthiness and minerality, the balance from its good acid structure extending the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) A Bordeaux Blanc blending 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, the grassiness and bold stone-fruit aromas of the Sauvignon just about dominate the nose, but there's zesty lemon and a touch of chalky minerals too. On the palate this is keen and focused, with none of the tropicality of some Sauvignons, instead cool orchard fruit bite and plenty of zipping citrus freshness leave it tongue-tingling and juicy. Seafood and sushi would seem like natural bedfellows.
(2018) Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache is the recipe for this wine from Roussillon, the French appellation just across the border from Spain, but this is a selection of the best small plots of vines. Fabulous depth on the nose: a shimmering pool of red and black fruit, slicked with a little smoke and vanilla, but a fascinating touch of meat-stock just in the background. This is clearly serious stuff, layered and complex in the mouth, though it explodes with a ripe blackcurrant bittersweetness. Bold, chewy and quite a mouthful of wine.