(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.
(2018) Another Brut Prosecco, so with less than 12g/l of residual sugar, this is a forthy and crowd-pleasing style, though with a deal of elegance and refinement. The nose is filled with crisp pear aromas, with delicate floral and icing sugar nuances, before a palate that has a good backbone of acidity, and that moderate sugar giving both a hint of sweetness and a nice lemony, sours freshness to the flavour profile.
(2018) A blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Tannat from a single, high-altitude vineyard in the Agrelo sub-region of Mendoza, this is a serious red blend that spent 18 months in French oak barrels. Interestingly however, it also uses augmented reality to tell the story of the vineyard, a beautifully done and entertaining adjunct to the stuff in the bottle: download the app, point your phone at the label, and the label 'comes to life' to tell the story in words and pictures. As for the wine, its a lovely Bordeaux-style blend, graphite and peppery spice layering ripe blackcurrant fruit on the nose, the medium-bodied palate creamy and juicy, chewy but slick tannins and an agile cherry-pit acidity giving length to the wine's volume. At time of review there are limited retailers of the 2015 vintage, and Corking Wines are listing the 2016.
(2018) A selection of the base wines that Toni thinks have the greatest capacity to age. 42 months in bottle for this wine, made from the three Cava grapes plus 25% Chardonnay, and only 6g/l dosage. Deep and nettly, bready aromas, with a wonderful development giving nuttiness and toast in the mouth, a broad sense of richness, the finish complex and layered. Stockist and price quoted at time of review are for the 2011 vintage.
(2017) There's a whisp of ginger and cinnamon on the nose, then spangle-bright tropical fruit, just an edge of something green and capsicum-like. In the mouth the fruit is sweet, and for me just doesn't quite integrate as it should with the rush of a slightly green acidity. It's very drinkable, but just missing its mark for me.
(2017) The Cabernet component comes from vines planted in 1958 according to the back label, in a powerful red with lots of spice, pepper and bold black fruit, a hint of menthol and balsam too. In the mouth the fruit is sweet and rich, quite bright and not overripe or Porty, the tannins slightly rustic slightly and, like the Chardonnay, fairly abrupt acidity that for me is just not quite smoothly integrated.
(2017) Really lifted perfume here, lots of florals and tobacco spices, a bold blackberry fruit but hints of juicy red berries too. Creamy and sweet on the palate, a real flood of sweet fruit and a certain fleshiness, a touch of coffee from quality oak adding more smooth tannin to the finish. Note stockist and price quoted at time of review is for the 2013 vintage.
(2016) Note that the price is for a magnum (two bottles equivalent) of Moët & Chandon's non-vintage Brut, though the price does reflect seasonal Champagne discounting - on average it's nearer to £60-£70. Magnums always feel so good, as does this with its biscuity but bright and elegant nose, and raft of apple fruit moving through to a per, lemony finish that's also très easy to drink. A brilliant superior party stand-out.