(2019) Beautiful lift to the nose here, violets and sweet spices, a slick of black fruits and lightening touch of raspberry in there too. Rich but freshness too, a graphite edge to black cherry and cassis, smooth and fine tannins and beautifully integrated acidity.
(2019) Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Aragonez. Perfumed and quite leafy, a vegetal hint to floral and cherry. Deeper and meatier than the Sossego Tinto, a liquorice twist of bittersweet tannin, acid and dark fruit.
(2019) Lovely glimpse of flintiness to the pure apple and pear fruit, very pure and delightfully fresh, this entry level Chenin shows the attention to detail and precision given throughout the Forrester range. It's all about the fruit in this wine, made in stainless steel, and with a sense of limpid purity.
(2019) A wine I have admired for many, many years, FMC is Chenin at its most opulent. From low yielding bush vines planted in 1974, it is harvested at full maturity and fermented with wild yeasts in new 400-litre French oak barrels. Some botrytis is always part of the harvest here, though the 9g/l of residual sugar is easily absorbed by the acidity and structure. Honeyed, nutty and ripe, there's a quince and fig touch to this, before a luxurious palate, rich with honey and nectarine, sheer acidity will ensure longevity too. Price and stockist quoted at time of review are for the latest vintage.
(2019) Lovely biscuit character, attractive light gold colour. Sweet and very attractively done, there is 35g/l of sugar here. Mouth-filling weight and full fruit flavour, and of course good acidity to offset the strawberry fruit flavour and sweetness.
(2019) From an estate owned by Louis Jadot, but run quite autonomously by Guillaume de Castelnau, this is serious Cru Beaujolais, aged in barrel. A little initial funkiness blows off quickly to reveal a charming nose, decidely Gamay with its floral and watercolour paint lift, but with a deeper fruitiness and touch of game adding complexity. In the mouth the sweet fruit impresses in its purity, ripe and tart cherry and black berries, and there is grip here, a firm spicy tannin and very good acidity. This improved with air and might well benefit from ageing a little, or decanting an hour before serving.
(2018) Just a beautiful rosé from Bellavista. one of Franciacorta's bigger houses where all base wines are barrel-fermented. From south-facing vineyards this is more or less equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. An attractive pale colour and the prettiest aromas, small wild strawberries, peach down and watermelon, all lightly touched by creamy vanilla. On the palate the mousse is very fine, very elegant, and though there is that soft and seductive strawberry, the acid balance is perfect and the shimmering length of the wine is terrific.
(2018) This was the stand-out wines of this tasting, not only for its handsome wax-embossed bottle, but for the atyptical intensity of the stuff within. From a single plot (plot #86) of the estate's vineyards lying at 230 metres altitude, there is some skin-contact maceration and a very low 7g/l of residual sugar to make for a more serious style, a frothy mousse revealing white flowers and lemon, yes a touch of icing sugar character, but peaches and salts in a complex picture. In the mouth intense and dry, a charge of electric sour acidity, real mineral saltiness, but softened by the peach down fruit too. So dry, intense yet voluminous, this is the pick of the Prosecco bunch. This vintage is not stocked in the UK at time of review.
(2017) Hugh didn't bring this to our tasting, but was so keen that I should try it that he sent me a bottle within days of our meeting. And I can absolutely see why: it may not come from the Legacy 'Grand Cru' vineyards, but what a terrific Chardonnay, the nose glittering with Chablis-like gunflint minerality, a lime precision and ripe apple beneath. The palate has surprising squirt of tropical, mango-like fruit ripeness, very juicy grapefruit too, then the mineral acidity starts to kick in, and a little creamy component, to give this texture and mouth-feel, the finish long and tapering in a most elegant way.