(2021) Larry McKenna's Pinot Gris sees a little oak, and has a very pleasantly spicy, lightly floral aroma, the fruit being quite rich and deep: more baked apples and pears, some tarte tatin pastry notes too. In the mouth the sweetness of a little residual sugar emphasises the luscious fruit, lots of succulent nectaring leads to fine citrus, acid slices through rather beautifully.
(2020) An unusual blend of Pinot Noir, St Laurent and the white Arneis variety originally from northern Italy. Pale colour, strawberries and a leafy herbal character. The palate is dry and fruity, retaining that small underripe berry dryness of herbs and pomegranate. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2020) A lot of depth to the colour, and loads of aromatics here, with some game perfume, a touch of roasted chestnut and fine ripe cherry and red berry fruit, there’s a lovely softening character to this, good sweet fruit and a weight Pinot Noir that drinks beautifully. Price and stockist is for the 2017 vintage at time of review.
(2020) The most recent vintage on the UK market, aged in 100% French oak, around a third new. Lovely perfume here, elegant and fresh, with floral notes and a sense of fruit concentration. Some raspberry and cherry tones, lovely focus here. The tight structural elements, the fine cherry acids, all give it a bit of cut and freshness.
(2019) From the original 'cool climate' valley of Chile, Casablanca, where morning mists and proximity to the ocean moderate temperatures, this is lightly-oaked, and spends four months on the lees, giving it breadth and texture and a certain creaminess. Aromatically there's a bit of almost Sauvignon-like passionfruit, peach and notes of more exotic tropical fruits. In the mouth that leesiness gives a mouth-filling texture, and again the fruit is ripe and exotic, with mango and papaya, as well as a grapefruity note that continues into the finish to add a welcome acid counterpoint. Quite long, and a lovely style really, blending ripeness and openness, with a stylish, dry finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) Like the Kadette blend, 12 months in older oak. A little meatiness, a little stripe of grippy plum skins, there is a lot of juiciness and spice on the palate, less dense than the blend, juicier, although it doesn’t have quite the oomph of the Cape Bend. A style choice for the drinker between these two.
(2019) From 25-year-old estate vines on average, this spent 24 months in Nevers oak, 50% new. This is fragrant, with delightfully pure cassis, edged with graphite and nicely polished pencil-shaving character. Very ripe, intense sweet Cabernet, the tannins dry and tight and racy, the acid tangy like cherry skins, plenty of spice into the finish.
(2019) A Bordeaux blend of 74% Cabernet with Cab Franc and Merlot, given 24 months in new french oak. Very glossy and ripe fruit here, a touch of balsamic/gravy browning character, but copious sweet fruit and cedar. Lovely palate, the rounding character of the blend giving gently roasted and warming fruit depth, but a seam of pure black fruit. It’s a beautiful wine, with great concentration and balance.
(2019) From 63-year-old bush vines in a single vineyard, and 18 months in new Nevers oak. Big, meaty, aromatic nose, the sense of concentration immediately obvious, then the floral, rose and violet perfume is beautiful. Such sweet fruit, edged with chocolate and fudge, and such extraordinary sweet fruit, but silky tannins and integrated acidity does present a stunning picture of a totally convincing 'fine wine' Pinotage.
(2019) This spends 15 months in French oak, around 10% new. 50% Shiraz, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot. Lovely nose, overflowing with fruit a little lifted volatile character, some toasty oak beneath. Silky and smooth on the palate, there is plenty of sweet red and black fruit density, a stripe of tannin and good balancing acids. Good value from independents at around £11-£12, Majestic list it at £13.99 at time of review.