(2021) From an ex-apple orhcard in cool Lenswood, some old vines here dating back to the mid 80s. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically. Very subtle, cool, precise and restrained, a touch of flint. The oak is almost transparent here, the wine staying cool and oh so precise on the palate. With only 12.5% abv it's much more Chablis-like I suppose. Concentration and intensity, but nothing too flashy. Lemony, juicy and zesty, salinity into a balanced finish. Subtle and taut.
(2021) A little bit nutty, fragrant, a slightly lighter, tobacco-infused lift to this. Very much more medium-bodied that the fuller wines before it in this line-up, a certain dustiness and Old World character, savoury, a touch of leather and tobacco and the fruit is good but noticeably less sweet, edged with cedar and more prominent acidity.
(2021) From the Eden Valley in Barossa, made following biodynamic principles, the vineyard here was planted in 1989 on sandy loam over sandstone bedrock, and the wine spent 18 month in French oak barriques, 20% of which were new. A touch of tapendade on the nose, plenty of black fruit, a gentle earthiness. It really does blossom - positively bursts through - on the palate, with such a welterweight of creamy and supple minty black fruits, very sweet and ripe. Not heavy, but quite large-scaled, against the fat of the fruit is cedar and spices, chocolaty smooth tannins and pert cherry pit acidity to balance. Lovely, and a slightly different expression again from the other regional examples here.
(2020) Murray and Matt had lined-up all of their 2010 wines for me to try, but sadly the Chardonnay was corked, so this 2013 was pressed into action. Made with 70% Mendoza clone, the oak is all French. There is almond, oatmeal, plenty of reductive notes, but a big grapefruit tang and brilliant orange fruit and acidity, the two melding together so seamlessly into a long, poised and tapering finish. Fabulous. Price and stockist quoted are for the most recent vintage at time of review.
(2020) Made mostly from the fascinating Mendoza clone of Chardonnay which has a 'hen and chick' propensity, developing different sized berries. That means a higher skin to juice ratio and keener acidity than more regular fruit growth. Fermented and aged in French oak barrels, 15% new, from organic vineyards and made with natural yeasts and minimal filtration, it's a carefully crafted - but in some ways very un-crafted - wine that displays enough of the flinty, reductive character that is so appealing, without losing sight of the fruit. A creamy almond sheen to the fruit, the palate delivers a smooth and refined continuation, oatmeal and light vanilla notes over gorgeous tropical fruit, sliced through with lime and grapefruit, the swirl of smoke and flint enduring. It's a cracking Chardonnay. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Alfrocheiro blend, each component fermented in stainless steel then aged separately for 12 months in new and used French oak before blending. Very sophisticated wine, herb and garrigue character, fudge-like creaminess and keen-edged black fruits. Juicy and deliciously cool and creamy, mint-edged black fruit smoothly fresh into the menthol finish. Note price and stockist quoted at time of review is for an earlier vintage.
(2019) Several varieties in this fascinating wine, 40% Encruzado, 30% Gouveio, 12% Semillon and 18% unidentified field blend, with wines from the 2005, 2006 and 2009 vintages, it spends an average of 10 years in barrel. This is only the third release of this wine, 7000 bottles. Again some mint and vanilla characters, plenty of barrel influence, creamy and waxy, and still with some herbal and lightly truffle character, but the freshness and clarity is excellent. What an interesting wine, salts and sour lemon giving intense character.
(2019) New to the market, this wine from the Cima Corga is the first release. A little lighter in colour, bright, again hugely floral aromatics, lots of lift and elegance. Real juiciness, real elegance, there is a grippy edge to the tannins to add a ruffling quality, great cherry skin and pert, dry red fruit acidity. Delightful.
(2019) Mostly made up of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional, with 15% Tinta Roriz and 10% Tinto Cão, this was aged for 16 months in French oak (75% new). This is the wine that, during maturation, could become Barca Velha or Reserva Especial, and only 17 have been produced since the first release in 1960. Sumptuous, cedar and graphite edge robust, meaty fruit, a peppery lift too in a lovely, complex but open and generous style. Meat stock and densely chocolate and fleshy plum fruit, but tannins but full and ripe. It's a big wine, but worthy of its 93-point score from me.
(2019) A Rhône blend of 49% Syrah, 45% Grenache and 6% Mourvèdre, the Syrah for The Gypsy comes gravel soils over clay, the Grenache from decomposed granite at 450m altitude. It spent two years in French oak, all new. A sonorous, deep nose melds cocoa and cedar with lots of plum and brighter cherry fruit. On the palate it's a wine that beautifully marries that richness and depth with an agility through a certain peppery spice, taut tannins and a very good acid framework. Yes it has a chewy character, but fruit and freshness too.