(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.