(2020) This organically-certified Pinot comes from a producer new to me, located between Beaune and Nuits-Saint-Georges, where Jean-Louis is assisted by his sons Frédéric and Laurent. It has quite a deep but not opaque colour, and a charming nose: firm and cherry scented, with briar and a hint of gamy perfume, but there's a ripeness and succulence to the fruit quality too. In the mouth there is good sweetness to the fruit, but it is sappy and lithe, a little spicy, smooth tannins and very nicely balanced juicy acidity, for a lovely glass of Burgundy that will cellar for several years.
(2020) I see from my database that I did taste a Sauvignon/Semillon blend from Hollick way back in 1998, but it was still something of a shock to see this: a Sauvignon Blanc from Coonawara, normally associated with South Australia's premium Bordeaux-style red wines. It's certainly packed to the rafters with character; abundant and pungent herbaceous and elderflower aromas, pea-shoots and tropical fruit, then the palate showing just a little bit of a sweet-sour character for me, the vivid exotic fruit surely a little residual sugar against lemon-jelly acidity.
(2020) There is some Cabernet Franc blended with the Tannat here, in a forward and juicy Madiran from Southwest France. Spices, black plum and some floral highlights aromatically, some oak too giving a little creamy and chocolaty background note. The fruit on the palate is very sweet on first impression: real blackcurrant and blueberry, almost pastille sweetness, quite soft in texture and structure for Madiran, though acidity and a little liquorice or endive bittering quality tightens up the finish.
(2018) Not a million miles away from that other great medium-sweet, gently sparkling wine style, Moscato d'Asti, here Torrontes presents a fragrant bouquet of wild flowers, nettle, orange and peach, before a palate that has plenty of sweetness and a light, gossamer mousse, before bright mandarin orange acidity balances the finish. Very unusual, great for Christmas morning with a mince pie, or with Thai cuisine.
(2016) Labelled as an "Exceptional Parcel Release," this top of the range Clare Valley Cabernet from Wakefield is produced in tiny, hand-numbered quantities (mine was #113) and was aged in a mix of new and used French oak for around eight months. I loved the nose, mixing the eucalyptus and minty cassis ripeness of the Cabernet with something much more savoury and olive-like, some balsamic notes too. In the mouth it is sumptuous and rich, the thick black fruit filling the mid-palate, but again it never loses that savoury freshness, a little meatiness and grainy tannin grip and good acidity extending the finish. It's a substantial wine that must have a decade or more of cellaring potential.
A fresh but fairly easy nose, soft apple fruit and a tang of lemons. The palate has an easy-going character too, with lots of biting, fresh-sliced apple offering fruit and acidity, but there is some Chablis saltiness too. A good wine with some genuine Chablis character.