(2022) Blending 55% Chardonnay with Pinot Noir, this has 4g/l of dosage and spent eight years on the lees, disgorged 15th June 2020. In years of exceptional quality some of the vintage is held back, for that extra ageing and late disgorging. What an exquisite wine it is, having spent 2,471 days in Jansz' cellars, part fermented in barrel for seven months. The nose is sumptuous, blending hazelnut and vanilla tuilles with ripe peach and pear, a touch of fresh, earthy mushroom and suggesting terrific depth to come. On the palate the creamy mousse gives way to very sharply-defined citrus, that backing of a more earthy, yeasty meatiness, then dating acidity to finish.
(2021) Fermentation with wild yeast for this wine, with a higher portion of Petit Verdot (compared to previous vintages) and a small portion of Malbec in the blend. 18 months in French oak barriques (44% new). Very intense in colour, there's lift and fragrance here for sure, some smokiness and roasted chestnut, a touch of blood and savoury tapenade and a substantial base of black fruit. In the mouth immense sweet fruit forms a solid core, with lots of energy from the juicy acidity, tannins roughening like plum skins, and the barrel component enhancing the dark espresso roast of the finish.
(2021) Fermented in a combination of amphora and stainless steel, this is 98% Pinot Gris plus just one percent each of Muscat and Gewurztraminer. Whole-bunch pressed and wild fermented, it matures for eight months in oak. The colour is quite a deep amber/orange, gently hazy, with aromas of orange and bitters - very negroni-like - with small redcurranty fruit and a subtle smoky grassiness too. Full of interest. In the mouth it is bone dry and equally fascinating. That negroni comparison continues here, the bitter orange and very grown up, Fino-like flavours and character into a long finish that always hints at fruit sweetness beneath the cloak of nutty and dry flavours.
(2021) Garrus is made from a single vineyard of nearly 100 year-old Grenache vines, blended with a little Rolle (Vermentino), and fermented in new and second-use French oak barrels of 600-litres, where it is aged for a further 10 months with batonnage.
The colour is still delicate and appealing, but the nose is intriguing: the herbs and light floral and summer fruit scents are there, but it seems deeper, it seems as though it is a rosé that is holding something in reserve and not putting it all there from the start. In the mouth it is bone dry, and though there's a hint of passion fruit and even mango, that is soon tempered and calmed by a serious bit of structure, salts and lemon acids yes, but also an intensity of small red berries from cranberry to redcurrant, the concentration seeming to build in the mouth. It's a wine that plays mind-games with you, seeming like a typically fresh, floral and herb-strewn Provence pink one minute, perhaps a delicate and feminine Pinot Noir the next, and yet with the texture and balance of a fine white wine. Truly something exceptional and will cellar positively too.
(2020) From 30-year-old vines in Provence, 17,000 bottles were produced in this first commercial vintage. Much more suave and smoothly solid aromatically than the Pierres Dorées, deep scents of plum and cherry, spices and tobacco, a little chestnut earthiness. Very different indeed from the wine from Beaujolais. In the mouth there is much more structure here, firm grip from the tannins, good lively acidity, but the fruit does retain that little bit of crunch that keeps it fresh. A more substantial wine, spicy and savoury, a counterpoint to the Pierres Dorées elegant charms.
(2017) This Blanc de Noirs sourced only from Grands and Premieres Cru villages spent some nine years slowly developing in Gosset's cellars. Bottled with only 5g/l of residual sugar, and made from 100% Pinot Noir, it has a burnished light gold colour and immediately involving aromas: it is meaty and dense, with pastry notes and lemon, but there's a sense of grip and concentration too. In the mouth it is a glorious mouthful of Champagne: concentrated, searingly intense, yet shimmering with light and elegance. A delicate, featherweight mousse and fine, long acid structure sees to that, the sheer weight of the initial attack tapering beautifully to a crisp, focused and precise finish.
(2016) The presentation is astonishing: a black neoprene cover opens to reveal a black lacquered wooden case and, cossetted in its velvet lining, a metallic purple bottle with pewter front and rear labels. But to live up to this price tag takes much more than the considerable layers of bling, and the Champagne itself was an excellent example of its off-dry style. A blend of 2006, 2007 and 2008 vintages, the cepage is 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier, with a dosage on the lower limit for demi-sec at 33g/L. The initial impression of this pale gold wine with its streaming bubbles is of toastiness, with plenty of buttery, brioche and vanilla character and of truffly developed aromas too. There is baked apple pie crust and caramelised apples. On the palate the sweetness is beautifully balanced by the acidity, a lime-like fruitiness and good length with a creaminess and mouth-filling richness. As someone who is generally not a huge fan of the demi-sec style, a very good example by any reckoning.
(2016) Cooled by nearby ocean breezes, Craggy Range's Kindnappers Chardonnay comes from a single vineyard and has a quite delicate nose, natural feeling with some older oak adding savouriness and very gentle toast, and clean orchard fruit just hinting at more exotic lime and peach. Very fresh, very linear on the palate, the salt and citrus drives this cleanly, a tangy finish, restrained and very European in style, and delicious. On sale at time of writing reduced to £13.95 at winedirect.co.uk
(2011) Has been in bottle for six years. Beautifully mineral nose, with exquisite stony and gently waxy aromas. Palate is filled with wonderfully punch fruit - apple and ripe, juicy creamy textured fruit with huge tang and verve but has such fabulous persistence and intensity.