(2022) The indigenous Malagouzia variety was thought to be extinct in Greece, until rediscovered by Vangelis Gerovassiliou in the 1970s. Since then it has thrived and gained popularity, here in the hands of the very modern Alpha Estate in Macedonia. The 'Turtles' is a single vineyard, named because of the protected turtle nesting site within this vineyard. It has an alluring nose, definitely aromatic with hints of jasmine and leafy green herbs, a cool lemony fruit too. In the mouth it has a really nice texture, gently slippery with those clean flavours of white peach and firm pear, good acid balance and a hint of saltiness to add to the gastronomic credentials. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) From producer Larry Cherubino, 100% Riesling from 20-year-old vineyards, it is dry with only 2g/l of residual sugar. Almost clear as water with a touch of green. The nose is quite subdued, just a little salty and gently waxed lemon note. Very dry, with apple cores and lemon pith, so mouth-watering, a leafy green herb note too. The finish is chalky and talcumy, but bone-dry. You will see this listed as coming from Mount Barker, where Larry Cherubino used to source fruit, but the wine is now 100% from Frankland River.
(2022) This blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir is partially fermented in oak and spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees. It is Brut, and opens with a very fine sense of minerals and small, summer blossom aromas. The fruit is elegant, with raspberry and redcurrant. In the mouth the mousse is cushiony and rich, with rosy red apple and those fragrant summer fruit and floral notes, ending with some richness but very good clarity, a pleasing touch of mouth-watering bitterness. A delicious, elegant and successful style.
(2022) Winemaker James Ceccato explained that, perhaps due to climate change, Botrytis has been less reliable than usual over the past few years as the need to leave the grapes on the vine late into the season is at risk from rain events. This wine comes from 45-year-old vineyards planted on clay, and spends 12 months in French oak before bottling with 162g/l of residual sugar. Honey and lemon curd notes on the nose are also quite delicate, with floral aspects. The palate has richness, but it's not the full-on viscous and oily style, plenty of sweetness offset by some dry extract and good acidity, for a slightly lighter but delicious style. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for a previous vintage. Price is for a half bottle.
(2021) From eighteen-year-old vineyards in Kakheti, this is from one of the bigger producers, the wine quite widely available. It was fermented in and spent five months in qvevri and again has quite a deep yellow-to-amber colour. There's an orange and apricot quality on the nose here, juicy and citrussy, a suggestion of honey and light waxiness too. In the mouth the fruit is significantly sweeter than the Château Mukhrani Qvevri white, again some honey, but then a salty lemon core of acidity pushes on to the bone-dry finish.
(2020) Owned by Rioja's La Rioja Alta, Lagar de Cervera is one of the star names of Rías Baixas vintage after vintage. This has a really zippy, brightly-illuminated character, stone fruits but verging into tropical territory, and the preserved lemon tang of citrus and salt. In the mouth it is loveable and easy to drink, a hint of young wine spritz and a keen line of acidity giving both sipability and excellent fish and seafood-matching potential.
(2020) Another very dense and dark wine, staining the sides of the glass. Darker, earthier and more leathery than the Offley, brooding is the word, liquorice and tar and dark mulled fruits. In the mouth super sweetness here - sweeter than the Offley in perception at least, with a dusty, chocolate-deep edge to the mulberry and blueberry fruit. Smooth and chocolatey in terms of its tannins too, that sweetness carries through confidently, set against a juiciness of cherry and cherry skins acid, spices too, in a very deeply flavoured and powerhouse Port that will need time. No UK stockists of this listed at time of review, but Hic! wine merchant has the 2016 so an indicative price has been based on that.
(2020) Lovely nose, a bloody edge to the deep, plush fruit, plenty of spice and a sheen of oak. Very juicy, ripe blueberry and cherry, a cherry skin grip of acidity and very fine tannins. Juicy to the finish. Price and stockist is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2019) Half of this Reserve Chenin Blanc from a 38-year-old vineyard is barrel fermented, spending nine months French oak, 20% new. What a lovely nose, creamy and ripe, almondy and with just a sheen of oatmeally oak. Great freshness on the palate of apples and lemons, but the barrel maturation in-filling with that creaminess and density. Great value, and will undoubtedly age.
(2016) A particularly birght and zippy Albariño this one, punchily limey and crisp clean apple fruited, with a little floral edge adding interest. Despite the low alcohol it packs a flavour wallop, lots of citrus, lots of clean, lean orchard fruit and just hints of peach or nectarine flitting at the edges. A very nice example.