(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.
(2016) There's a gorgeous sense of ripeness and quite opulent, succulent fleshiness where peach and fragrant nectarine skins melt into a touch of almond and sweet earth. In the mouth its a Wild Sauvignon with so much texture, the creaminess and the little disruptive graininess of tannin and grapefruit acidity, against that flood of creamy and rich, fleshy stone-fruit density. With its 14% alcohol a substantial expression of this wine that will show at its very best with food.