(2021) Casa del Bosque is something of a Sauvignon specialist, and winemaker Meinard Bloem says the change over the years has been to let the wines be more 'natural' and not try to force particular aromatics. From a vineyard very close to the coast on sandy soils. Very nice, gentle herbal character, more tomato leaf than green bean, with a fine citrus freshness, joined by a touch of tropical character on the palate, plenty of acidity to counteract just a hint of sweetness.
(2020) Composed of equal parts Chardonnay (from Chouilly, Avize and Mesnil-sur-Oger) and Pinot Noir (from Mailly, Verzy and Vezernay) only the second vintage of Hemera spent 12 years on the lees, and has a modest dosage. What a beautiful golden glow to this 14-year-old Champagne. The aromas are somehow golden and glowing too, a burnished hazelnut and brioche richness from its 12 years on the lees, golden toffee moving into a Seville orange and truffle. But against the depth and richness, there is a luminous edge to this; a keen mineral and salt undertow of freshness. On the palate the mousse is fine and creamy, and that sense of saline, mineral, terroir intensity is striking. It is a Champagne with autolytic nutty characters and that pure core of citrus running through it, but that edgey, mouth-watering ozone-fresh finish in many ways defines this wine.
(2019) With 25g/l of residual sugar, this 12-year-old wine from a warm vintage has around 25% Botrytis fruit in the blend. There is a lovely hint of barley sugar, golden Sharon fruit and yellow plum, beautifully balanced sweetness, a gorgeous weight and full texture, glittering acidity. Orange peel and clove hints and the first wine with the correct age to develop complexity says Sybille. Fabulous.
(2019) Made with skin contact during six weeks of fermentation, this is dry, unfiltered and spends a further period of six months in old Fuder (Foudre) large barrels. Light cider notes, a touch of wheat beer yeastiness, the fresh lemon juicy palate refreshing, bone dry impression on the finsih and clean. 7g/l of residual sugar.
(2019) Like the 2017, fermented and marcerated on skins for six weeks. After pressing the wine is aged in old 1,000-litre Fuder barrels for a futher six months. Immediatey more aromatic compared to the 2017, orange peel and clove, juicier, perhaps a little less 'orange character' at this stage, but beautifully drinkable.
(2019) Fantastically dry, searing salt and lemon mineral acidity is the first thing that strikes about this wine, though it is softened on the palate by 8g/l of residual sugar. It has real concentration and substance despite being gossamer light. A bad spring frost delayed ripening and reduced the crop in 2017, but a very good summer meant harvest was actually a little early.
(2019) Lovely hints of nettle and wax join the fresh, clean and zipping citrus, again a distinct salty mineral tow to this. A lightly waxy and creamy texture to the acidity here giving a touch of roundness, with 7g/l of residual sugar. Markus suggests serving not too cold - 15 degrees C or so. There's a softened edge to the acid, but absolutely no lack of balance. A lovely, approachable wine.
(2019) A little more gold creeping into the colour, smells a little more ripe and has that touch of beeswax again, fat limey notes. The palate quite weighty, hinting at nectarine, but before that can take any hold, acidity sweeps in, cutting this with salts and pithy lemon into a long finish. 9g/l of residual sugar in this essentially dry wine.
(2019) Beautiful apricot and taut apple and pear, creamy, just a hint of nuttiness. Salts and minerals of acidity cutting through the fruit. The finish is lovely, the acid just hits the spot perfectly, with taut white fruit flavours and real energy.
(2018) Introduced by Château Suduiraut a few vintages ago, 'Lions' is not so much a second wine, as a contemporary alternative to the slightly richer, age-worthy traditional Sauternes. Still made from Suduiraut's own immaculate vineyards of botrytis-affected Semillon (with a touch of Sauvignon Blanc), the glowing golden colour leads on to a glorious nose, soaring from the glass with ripe apricot, honey and glycerine, a marmalade richness following through to the palate, a little biscuity rounding of vanilla from its time in oak, then lemon rind, zesty acidity to cut through the rich texture. It does have freshness and directness, making it very appealing now, but I'd wager there's cellaring potential too. Price quoted for a half bottle. Watch the video for food-matching ideas and more information.