(2021) From 'up the hill' picked weeks after the lower level vineyards, around 40% new oak here, there's a more toffeed, creamy, even chocolaty character here that adds more depth, but there's a punch and fruit skin grippiness to this. The palate has lusciousness, but also great clarity, a wine with concentration and yet no weight, shimmering and bright acidity and taut tannins giving knife-edge balance to this.
(2021) Now here's a first for me: a wine from Gateshead in the northeast of England. The story is not quite what it seems, as the fruit was drawn from other areas of England, but it was vinified by Elise Lane at her urban winery in the city. It's also Fortnum's first English still wine. It opens with piercing summer hedgerow notes of elderflower and freshly cut hedging, the fruit is gooseberry and citrus. In the mouth there's a charming, spangle-bright fruity note, but the cool cucumber and minty, very summery character wins out. It is a tiny bit dilute in the finsh, something I often find in English Bacchus, but it is charming and has plenty of personality.
(2018) I visited the delightful Juve family in Spain in 2017 and was really impressed by the whole range of wines, including the previous vintage of this bone-dry 'zero dosage' cava made from the three traditional cava varieties and aged 36 months. All of the Juve y Camps vineyards had been certified organic in 2015, but they'd refrained from mentioning that on the labels until the long ageing for this, their flagship product, had been completed and it could be the first of their range to bear the stamp of certification. It remains a delightful, very refined cava, packed with citrus peel and red apple aromas and just hints of a biscuity richness from that long lees ageing. The palate has a twist of bitter lemon too, in a very grown-up and savoury style, filling the mouth with its elegant mousse, but with a cystal-clear finish.