(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.
(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) Based on the Sauvignon Gris, this has sweet vanilla, a touch of nettle and notes of nuts and seeds leading on to a palate that is still quite fresh and primary. The oak is integrating now, and the fleshy weight and boldness of the pear and peachy fruit does enough to match it.
(2012) This Languedoc Sauvignon is partly aged in large (500 litre) barrels from Seguin Moreau. It has a really lovely nose, the vanilla and gently floral delicacy of the oak melding with quite ripe, slightly tropical fruit suggesting mango and necatrine, but with a citrus freshness too. On the palate this balances ripe, juicy stone fruit flavours with the little herby and lemony cut of the Sauvignon, the oak fading into the background but adding a subtle texture and richness. Balanced acidity keeps the finish fresh. An unusual and very successful style of Sauvignon Blanc, and well priced.