(2022) Like the Fox Run, this is unoaked and has around 12.5% alcohol. Greengage and lemon notes, not a lot of flint to the aromas of this Chablis, the palate similar to the Fox Run in a way, with that suggestion of orchard fruit sweetness swept up in a lemony, pithy and salty acid structure. There's perhaps a hint of more roundness here. pH: 3.3, Acidity: 7.4g/l, RS: <2g/l. Not in the UK at present, this has an RRP of 16€ in France.
(2022) Stonecroft boasts the oldest Syrah vines in New Zealand, planted by Dr. Alan Limmer in 1984. This flagship wine contains fruit from these vines and is a selection of the best French oak barriques, in which the wine matured for 20 months (40% new). Only 110 cases were produced. This shows little sign of the five years it has under its belt, the colour bold and deep, and the aromas surging from the glass, of thick, blue-black fruit, cedary spices, tobacco and leather. Amongst all of that there is a higher, kirsch-like bright note too. In the mouth there's plenty of toasty, chocolate-deep oak wrapped around the black fruit, but there is an elegance too, a fresh and tart plum skin bittersweetness, fine acid balance and a long, harmonious finish that's all about the intensity of the fruit.  Very impressive, though no UK retail listing at time of review.
(2022) From Calatayud and vineyards at between 600 and 1000 metres altitude, this is Grenache from vines planted in the 1940s. There's a smokiness and dried rosemary and thyme character to this on the nose, very firm blue/black fruits and polished wood notes. In the mouth the expansive mouthfeel fills with blueberry and damson plum,  edged with a liquorice and endive bittersweetness. That slightly herbal charcter adds another edge, as does the concentration, heft of 15.5% alcohol and powerful tannins and acidity.
(2022) A lovely and in many ways typical, fresh and fragrant Provence pink, this is from a well-established producer, but new to the UK thanks to FromVineyardsDirect. Unusually, it is almost all Syrah: 84% along with 16% Grenache. Refined and pale in colour, it has a strawberry bon-bon nose, gently floral and with a touch of citrus zest. In the mouth very fruity and charming, plenty of vivid raspberry and white peach, and long with balanced acidity for gastronomic appeal.
(2022) A little like the Amarone's of the Veneto, Governo is an ancient technique of making wines in Tuscany, partly from dried grapes. Made from 100% Sangiovese grown at 300 metres altitude, it spent a few months in used French oak barriques. Interesting, smoky and herbal nose here, a touch of leafiness and quite meaty tones to the black plum fruit. In the mouth there is plenty of juiciness, but a lean, gripping tannin adds a chewy and serious edge. Some cherry inflections to the acidity, and a concentrated finish.
(2022) Gamay from vineyards in the south of Burgundy and Beaujolais, weighing in with a hefty 14% alcohol. It has a fragrant cherry fruit nose, something a little firm too, like graphite or perhaps a twiggy briar character. The palate has that firm edge too, perhaps the alcohol adding to the slightly firmer nature. For me, the charm of the fruit on the nose just lacks a little on the palate, but especially with food, that structural element comes into its own.
(2022) Lugny is in the most southerly part of the Mâconnais, with vineyards at 235-380m on limestone soils. 100% Chardonnay, made without oak. There's a hint of flint and wet river stones to this, the fruit between nutty apple and lime. In the mouth it's sharply defined by pithy lemon acidity, running through a slightly broader apple mid-palate.
(2022) Fans of Whispering Angel will notice a slightly more gastronomic, mineral and meaty character here, Esclans cuvées from this point up seeing some barrrel fermention, of Grenache, Cinsault and Vermentino. Peachy-pink, this is in some ways a sweet spot on price and quality for the whole, impressive range: intense, concentrated peach fruit, but with a keen raspberry edge of mouth-watering tartness, minerals and a touch of savoury tannin into a long, shimmering finish.
(2022) I have to say I absolutey loved this super-pale, crystalline blend of Grenache from volcanic soils, and Roussanne grown in rocky vineyards surrounded by garrigue scrubland. There is some rose-hip and Love Hearts confectionery brightness, but the palate bursts through with a winning combination of sweet, ripe peach fruit, a waxy lemon rind acidity and a long, beautifully balanced finish.
(2022) From the Languedoc, still following the Provence template, if a little deeper in colour, this has raspberry and peach aromas, a little bit of gravelly character too. In the mouth that peach fruit is edged by alcohol and acidity to give this the merest hint of phenolic grip, but it softens in the finish to be quaffable and food friendly.