(2023) Made in stainless steel and matured on fine lees with occasional batonnage, this comes from selected parcels of vineyards in Episkopi. A particularly vibrant, aromatic and vivacious example, salts and citrus dominate the nose. The palate has a frozen grapefruit iciness, the sherbetty brightness of the nose echoed here. Zingy and sparkling with fruit and acidity.
(2023) From a Pinot Noir focused (obsessed?) estate I have followed for several vintages, this is a concentrated and powerful, yet balanced expression. The nose has balsamic-drizzled cherry and even strawberry notes, just lovely fragrance with florals, herbs and spices all in the mix. The palate shows delightfully ripe and sweet red and black berry fruits, nicely etched by its acidity and a herbal edge, and the support of some oak and firm but ripe tannins underpinning the finish. A very good vintage of this wine, and undoubtedly a wine with 10 years cellaring potential.
(2022) This vineyard was re-planted in 2003 with French Dijon clones, with very close spacing (1.5m x 1.5m), across the road from the Old 1979 Chardonnay block of the Tiers vineyard. It has real intensity; a hint of buttercup to the colour and a hint of grippiness like citrus peel and sharp apple, as well as a peachier underbelly. In the mouth that firm, decisive lemon pith character persists, one-third new French oak adding creaminess to the gentler and sweeter mid-palate fruit, swept up in acidity and the wine's strict (no malolactic) grippy finish.
(2022) From an expansive, east-facing slope that has 25% clay, 15% active lime. Fruit was destemmed and fermented with vineyard yeasts, before being transferred to French wooden cuves and barrels for 18 months. Around 4,850 bottles produced. Beautifully svelte and more muscular than Angel Fire perhaps. Full silky fruit, but dark, brooding and intense. So sweet and plush on the palate though, with fabulous liquorice intensity, enough earthiness and spice to add extra savouriness.
(2022) A steeply inclined, east facing block boasting 30% clay, and 15-20% active lime. Foot crushed and whole bunch pressed, with vineyard yeast ferment in used French oak barrels. 20 months on lees in barrel, then six months stainless steel prior to bottling. Around 2,700 bottles produced. Subtle at first. Thrust of lemon, succulent mandarin orange fruit and acidity. Fruitier than the Field of Fire for me, but still a vin de meditation, and still showing that saline streak across the mealy flavours and texture of the finish. It's horses for courses for which you prefer between these two lovely Chardonnays.
(2022) This steep, north-facing block was planted between 2000-2002 on coarse, shallow soils that are 15% clay, 5-10% active lime. Fruit was destemmed before fermentation in tanks with yeasts from the vineyard, before being transferred to French oak cuves and barrel for 18 months. 4,850 bottles produced. Fine stripe of liquorice here giving intensity, but it's plush, with perfumed, floral-touched black fruit, cherry, plum and damson. There's a real juiciness, a jewel-like shimmer to this on the palate, energising acidity and taut tannins seeing to that.
(2021) Again that darker hue, but not at all dense in colour, the terroir speaks again, a lifted, beguiling perfume showing rose-petal and delicate red fruit aromas as well as a twist of something darker discreetly in the background. Dry tannins add a little grip and then the intensity of acids and compact, juicy fruit is delicious. Great energy.
(2021) Made with 30% whole bunches, there are purple youthful tones to ruby, and this has the first real notes of minerality for me in the Les Suchots cuvée. Taut, with a little iron character, but savoury, dark cherry fruit, licked by vanilla and briar. So savoury, with fruit driving towards a long, beautifully balanced finish of great finesse.
(2021) In 2013 the blend was slightly dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon with 36%, then 32% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 12% Petit Verdot, and it was a late harvest with a cool spring and autumn delaying growth. It is eight years younger than the 2005 of course, but seems to be a of much firmer character generally (possibly because of the upped Cabernet content), with firm black fruit on the nose and a savoury, liquorice bite to the acidity and fruit on the palate, tart berry skins giving grip and energy, a fine, long and flowing finish, though that slightly more austere edge is always there.
(2020) From Tenuta sette Cieli's organic vineyards, this is 100% Cabernet Franc, fermented with indigenous yeasts and spending 24 months in French oak, 40% of which was new. It pours a very dense, opaque dark crimson, the nose offering some tapenade and charcuterie notes, but beneath a weight of glossy black fruits. A little hint of mint. In the mouth the creamy weight of smooth, unruffled black fruit flows across the tongue. There is an underpinning of coffeeish oak, very silky tannins and fine black cherry acidity, but the fruit dominates into a long finish. The Tannins reassert in the finish, and I suggest decanting this or cellaring for a few years. A very nice wine.