(2020) Made from 100% Chenin Blanc, quite a rich colour to this, with a touch of copper to the green, and plenty of toast, nuttiness and autolytic richness on the nose, Cox's pippin fruit and touches of preserved lemon. The palate has a mouthfilling style, with abundant fruit sweetness and I'd guess a relatively high dosage, lots of apple here - again nutty English apples, a little bit of phenolic grip like lemon peel or melon rind, and a finish where the inherent sweetness is balanced by good acidity. This bottle disgorged July 2020.
(2016) From the Bréchain climat of the Montée de Tonerre opposite Grand Cru Blanchots. Emmanuele’s father planted the first vines in Bréchain in 1982. More charcter here, with a richness and salty presence again, that has a delicate fruitiness and a nutty character, a pleasing drink. Balanced, fresh cut apple juiciness, a tiny bit tart in the finish.
(2016) A little bit tanky and cold ferment charcter comes across as a bit generic at first, but the nice saltiness and dry chalky acid comes through quite nicely. Juicy and attractive, a bit of grip.
(2015) With a clear nod towards Châteauneuf du Pape in its packaging, this is in fact a IGP Pays d'Oc blend of Marsanne and Viognier, relatively light (which suggests crisp and fresh) at 12.5% abv. With a hint of Emerald to the colour, the aromas are indeed fresh and lifted, with a lovely honeysuckle perfume to stone fruits and juicy apple. In the mouth it strikes a lovely balance; one the one hand quite fat and filled with sweet fruit, on the other cool and crisply defined by a hint of spicy creaminess before a rush of palate-cleansing acidity.
(2013) >From estate grown fruit in the Colchagua Valley, this is a 50/50 blend between the two varieties, with only 30% of the Chardonnay fermented and matured for three months in French oak. Pale green, it has a fairly low-key aroma, the soft mealy note of ground almond and a touch of apple emerging. On the palate the super-sweet fruit is juicy and fresh, with a hint of tropical fruit richness and more of that apple and pear, especially in the acidity. The oak adds a touch of nut and vanilla in the finish.
(2013) >From Lolol, a cool, Pacific-influenced area of coastal Colchagua, a higher proportion (55%) is again fermented and matured in French oak, this time for six months. The cream and cashew of the oak dominates the nose, but the signature apricot and peach of the variety comes through very nicely, with little nuances of nuts and of spices. On the palate it is full and powerful, with 14.5% alcohol and plenty of ripe, rich concentration. The sweetness of fruit meets some alcoholic heat just in the finish. I guess whether you prefer this to the Reserva above depends on your liking/tolerance for the bigger style of Viognier, but I'd certainly drink more of the Reserva.
(2013) Dark and vibrant colour, A little more green and vegetal on the nose than the 2011 'Cuvée Colchagua' for sure, just slightly reduced. Decent fruit, a bit green and grainy, with some supporting creamy oak and a fairly nice overall balance. A savoury wine, leaner and needing food more than the fresher 2011. 86
(2013) Colchagua-sourced Carmenère, 40% of which was matured for six months in French oak. It has an explosively bright crimson/purple colour and plenty of red liquorice and kirsch lift, floral and tight charcoal notes too. In the mouth it is fruity and chocolaty, an expansive core of ripe berries and black plum nicely supported by the oak, and a bit of rustic grip and alcohol (14%) combining to leave the finish robust, spicy and moreish.
(2013) This is a deep, dense and strapping style of Syrah, the nose thick with leather, plum and spices, not a lot of light and shade, but plenty of muscle. On the palate there's something a little disjointed about this: there is that ripe and grippy plummy fruit, but also a fairly astringent aspect from very firm tannins and a slightly tart acid, that feels unnatural. The spices and the lick of chocolate are there, and it has that brawn and muscle, but it just doesn't hang together in an altogether appealing way. 85
(2012) >From the relatively cool Adelaide Hills, often the source of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, this lightly-oaked Merlot has cedar and spice on the nose, a touch of lifted green herbs and floral notes, and juicy plum fruit. The palate is fairly lean in style, despite a fairly hefty 14.5% alcohol, as grippy tannins and acidity, and a certain spiciness, are set against the fruit. There's spice again in the finish in a wine that doesn't fall into the soft and soppy Merlot trap, and which has the structure and serious edge to make it a fine match with lamb or venison.