(2020) Beautiful oak component, creamy, nutty, a touch of Jack Daniels aroma, and combines so nicely with the fruit. Palate has sweet, ripe fruit, verging into mango and pineapple, the fatness of the acid helps give an impression of generosity.
(2020) From Bannockburn, youthful cerise colour. Quite smoky, a touch of reduction blows off. Nutty and supple fruit beneath, a little hint of woodsmoke and roasting embers but good, nutty and dry fruit comes through, tight tannins and acid structure, Somthing nicely herbal about this, giving edge and freshness to the fruit.
(2020) From the old vines opposite the winery, rich and warm, a little meat-stock and truffle depth, the fruit has a stripe of seriousness, the tannins quite firm and the acid has that orange tang and bite, cherry pits and a touch of endive bittersweetness. Price quoted is for the 2017 vintage.
(2020) A wine I've tasted many times over the years, made in partnership with the Mosel Valley's Dr Loosen. It has a gossamer light, floral nose with plenty of lime fruit and a hint of something exotic: lychee, maybe even ginger. On the palate it dry, but with so much sweet, pretty fruit, but a decisive, racy acidity too. As always with this wine, I can heartily recommend it, though for me the price remains a little steep compared to similar wines.
(2019) This new Gran Reserva from the historic La Rioja Alta joins their tremendously good portfolio of wines. It is utterly classic Gran Reserva in many ways, opening with those fragrant American oak barrel notes of marzipan and coconut, but a terrifically plush depth of fruit that also hints at game and truffle. A blend of 95% Tempranillo from forty-year-old vines with 5% Graciano, there is concentration and elegance on the palate. The wine remains juicy and vital to the core, shimmering with spices and depths of velvetty fruit, smooth tannins and creamy acidity. Beautifully balanced, what a treat this would be if you are looking for something special for Christmas. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) I've often found the Verdjo wines from the Rueda region in northern Spain to be a bit too imitatative of New World Sauvignon Blanc, but here Ramón Bilbao is trying to do something different with the grape and the region. Made from the estate's oldest vines, it was fermented in concrete 'tulip-shaped' vats then aged in French and Hungarian oak, with regular batonnage. That has resulted in an obvious creaminess on the nose (unexpected in Rueda Verdejo), subtle nut and honey notes to tropical fruit with a more subdued elderflower and passion fruit character. In the mouth the sweet ripeness of the fruit is the first impression, but that nutty and creamy underpinning of both flavour and texture adds an extra layer. Acidity is well-judged, a gentle lime and red apple presence to extend the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) The blend is 70% Corvina, with 25% Rondinella and Molinara, with no appassimento of the grapes. A light balsamic richness, deep cherry and a touch of creaminess from 20% oak ageing. Plenty of sweetness but smooth tannins too, fresh acidity, and a light but elegant finish.
(2019) Similar grape blend as the regular Costasera, from the same vineyard, but has 10% Oseleta. Appassimento never less than 120 days. The Oselleta has a real impact again, giving, like the Toar and pure Oselleta also tasted, a firm, graphite character, tightening up the picture, and the ripe cherry and florals just showing throug beautifully. The beautiful sweetness of the fruit here is all-encompassing, with a salty touch to the acidity, such ripe chocolaty tannins and fabulous length: fruit, elegance, touches of cocoa and spices, but all about freshness and tang.
(2019) This has been my 'Wine of the Week' a couple of times in previous vintages and is a delightfully fresh summer blend that seems to defy the hot conditions of the Douro. Floral and lime freshness and limpidity. Gorgeous texture and big thwack of seaside salinity and pithy lemon fruit in a terrific little wine at the price.
(2019) All made from estate-grown fruit, the blend is Viosinho and Arinto, 50% matured in new 500-litre French oak for 6 months. The oak here just adds creaminess, a hint of almond, then grapefruit and more salty minerality into a long, shimmering finish. Very good value.