(2017) A surprisingly high, almost marzipan-like note to this, a touch of elderflower and lightly tropical fruit character is quite arresting. The palate has a Brazil nut roundness, open and charming, easy to appreciate, but it does finish with exemplary freshness.
(2017) A rosé from Franschhoek in South Africa, which blends Bordeaux varieties and Syrah, and 10% of which was fermented in French oak barriques. The colour is a pale-to-medium salmon pink, and there's a bold, dry, small red berry fruitiness that leads on to quite a grippy, authoratitive palate for a rosé, concentrated and with a bit of grip and tannin to offset the soft berry flavours and cleansing acidity. A good gastronomic pink for salmon or paella perhaps.
(2017) The largest brand in the UK at present. A much more appley nose than the Devil's Corner, the hint of toffee and more richness, but stays pretty bright despite the sour lemon dry juiciness of the finish.
(2016) Ian Riggs is the winemaker of this terrific Semillon, described to me as "The best of the best," and bearing his initials - 'Ian Leslie Riggs'. Made in all stainless steel, pressed off the skins immediately it's a super selection of wines given extended bottle ageing. Taut minerals, wax and beeswax, the lemon rind hint of fatness. The palate has a vibrant, intense, bright and sherbet character. Great shimmering length.
(2016) When Nyetimber introduced the first vintage of their single vineyard Pinot and Chardonnay blend last year it raised many eyebrows, ambitiously priced at £75 - £90 depending on stockist. 4117 bottles of this 2010 have now been released (this was bottle #60), the colour a pale green with gold inflections, the nose very Champagne-like with biscuit and lightly yeasty aromas and then baked apple and a fresh citrus note too. In the mouth it is bright and clear, those fresher notes of clean, cut apple and lemon and lime, fine acidity and just a lovely hint of the sweetness of the dosage and gentle toast in the finish.
(2016) Cool-climate wines are becoming increasingly sought-after by wine lovers, and England is well placed to capitalise. For now it is really only sparkling wines that manage to deliver world-class in any real volume, whilst table wines often struggle to marry quality and price. This top Chardonnay from Gusbourne is fermented and aged in older French oak and has an oatmeal creaminess and gently nutty character allied to citrus and green apple. On the plate it is light and focused on a straightforward lemony fruit, a little of that barrel-derived richness and texture offsetting the acidity of the finish. It is for me a touch dilute through the mid-palate, and whilst a really good wine of some finesse, my enthusiasm is just tempered by it's £22 price tag.
(2016) A smokiness and meatiness, dry and savoury. The black fruit is inky and dense, lovely ripeness. So much pepper and spice and liquorice density and bittersweetness in a profound and concentrated expression of Malbec, though I would have asked for a little more light and shade.
(2012) Again there is a hefty 15.5% ABV here, though the nose seems a little purer, a little more peppery too, focused on lean and sinewy black berry fruit, a layer of cocoa and a whisper of exotic, almost floral top notes adds lovely complexity. On the palate this is firm, taut, with a fine depth of blackcurrant and some red fruit tones, and those spicy and peppery edges again. The tannins seem a little finer, though still grippy, and this has an air of precision that is just missing on the otherwise impressive 2005. Indeed the 2005 is the more highly regarded vintage, but based on the evidence of these two bottles, the 2006 get the nod from me.
(2012) A little honey, a little oatmeal, peach and nectarine aromatics. Lovely pate, limpid and juicy, with a deal more of that limpid, nectarine pulp and juicy tangerine acidity. Lovely quality here. Delicious and quite full bodied.