(2023) Gosset's pink is a blend of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, 8% of the Pinot vinified as red wine. The wine does not go through malolactic conversion, and is aged a minimum of three years on the lees. Interesting factoid: Cellarmaster Odilon de Varine prefers to blend it in black glassware, so he is not influenced by colour, but by taste and aroma alone. The nose has a lovely pillow of biscuit and custardy creaminess, but there's keen, small red berry fruit too. The mousse is mouth-filling, and this is immediately dry and crisp with 8g/l dosage, shimmering with elegant, lemony, almost minty fresh acidity. The savoury berry fruit is nicely weighted through the mid-palate. Watch the Wine of the Month video for more information.
(2022) From one of the pioneering estates of the modern era, and a vineyard that runs from 860- to 950 metres. Fermented with indigenous yeasts, 75% in old barrels, it was matured on the lees with stirring and pnly partial malolactic. Lovely oatmeal and toasty crushed almond aromas over ripe stone fruits, a hint of flint. Lovely, mouthfilling fruit that becomes peachy-sweet, but the cool-climate structure with firm acidity and a taut finish balances really very nicely. Note price and stockist are for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2022) A de-alcoholised blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Catalunya, with fewer than 100 calories in the whole bottle, Torres has been producing this for well over a decade now. It has a slightly neutral but wine-like nose, small, dry red berries like redcurrant and cranberry. In the mouth there is some sweetness, quite a slippery texture and what feels more like a saline rather than acidic finish. Once again this is only recommendable in the context of being alcohol-free.
(2021) Tinged with green, this is one year older than the Framingham example and has a more intense slate and mineral character, touching into those petrolly aromatics, but also quite honeyed and luscious fruit. Lots of sweetness on the palate, both ripe peach and nectarine, onto mango, but also some residual sugar (over 20gl) and beautifully done I must say. I tasted this wine early in 2021 noting its delightful bon-bon sweetness, and depth of nectarine and mango fruit, and it still has that lime-fresh acidity in a gorgeous wine.
(2019) The blend is 53% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 7% Pinot Meunier, with a small percentage fermented in oak barrels, and a dosage of 8g/l. Having spent 34 months on the lees there is a biscuity character aromatically, but really this is driven by the Pinot fruit, bold and lemony, though the bruised fruit complexity is there. On the palate the ripeness of the fruit from this vintage is evident, quite fat lemony fruit with a hint of peach, very good acids adding structure, and a nice earthy/yeasty savoury note too. A rounded, mouthfilling style and very good.
(2018) Nosiola is a native grape of Trentino in the far north of Italy, often harvested late to make sweet Vin Santo wine. But here Bottega Vinai (a brand of the super-coop of the area, Cavit) has made a crisp, fresh and dry Nosiola with broad appeal. The variety takes its name from nocciola, the Italian word for hazelnut, the grape said to have a nutty flavour, and indeed, there is a nuttiness here, as well as firm pear and gentle spices, before the palate reveals its bright, focused and juicy fruit, licked with salts and finishing with a dry lime peel lick of precise acidity. A lovely grown-up wine that has broad sipping and food-matching appeal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2016) Very tight, lightly oily,  such crunching, vibrant aromas and flavours even after five years, a touch of Chablis-like oyster shell, but also fat, limey flavours and hints of the tropical. So youthful and fresh with a great future ahead.
(2016) Though wine is made across New Zealand's North and South Islands, the North is now producing excellent examples of the 'bigger' red wine styles - Bordeaux and Rhône-style reds. Hawkes Bay has emerged as a centre of excellence for the Syrah grape, and this is a fine example, so aromatic with its lifted pepper and violet notes offset by the juiciest cherry and blackberry fruit. On the palate the oak is beautifully polished, it has that hint of balsamic, meat-stocky character, but copious fruit set against the smooth tannin and acid backdrop. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2015) What a terrfic wine this is, the nose so utterly Riesling with paraffin and beeswax notes, loads of lime and a fine suggestion of ripe and exotic fruit too. There's some honeycomb and orange on the palate, the sweetness is delightful and mouthfilling, and again 10% alcohol and a rapier zip of lime acidity means it finishes as clean as a whistle. Terrific. Price is for a half bottle.