(2022) A Syrah, Grenache and Carignan blend from the elevated Agly Valley in Roussillon, this is wine does not see any barrel ageing. Instead, it celebrates a floral-touched and juicy fruit brightness, some pepper and nutmeg spice joining plum and dark, glossy cherry fruit. On the palate there is intense fruit sweetness, really mouth-filling, but that spiciness and a herbal tang adds edge and interest, bold tannins and juicy acidity completing a picture of a big, impressive and chewy mouthful of intense and ripe red wine, fit for the barbie, steak or lamb. Watch the video for more information.
(2022) From terra rossa soils and a 52-year-old vineyard, this wine spent 18 months in French oak barrels of 300-litres, a combintation of new and older vessels. Showing a little more development than the Patrick of Coonawarra 2015, there is a bloody and gamy note that is appealing in the mix as notes of eucalyptus and blackcurrant emerge. Really nicely open, sweet, ripe and mature, there is a creamy and supple depth and width to the fruit profile, tannins chocolaty and rounded and cherry acidity perking up the finish. Highly drinkable and in a good place.
(2021) From 39-year-old vines, and all Gingin clone, fermenation of whole bunches in French oak barriques (30% new) with wild yeasts. Nine months of batonnage, before certain barrels were selected for this bottling. This has one of the most subtle, nutty, crushed oatmeal and almond characters on the nose, the fruit like melon and ripe Cox's pippin apple. Lovely sweetness as it strikes the palate, lovely ripeness and mouthwatering peach juice fruit, but it is soon swept up in mineral salts and lemon, a gently supportive underpinning of creamy oak, but glistening and pure into the finish. Great elegance and power.
(2021) As with the 2013 vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon marginally dominates the blend with 33%, then 32% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 17% Petit Verdot. This was a rather wet year, but a warm one, with warm and dry conditions for harvest. Winemaking follows a similar recipe for this wine each year, with only 25% new oak for the barrel maturation, the separate components blended after one year in barrel before further barrel ageing. This is a particularly silky and sleek Le Serre Nuove at this young stage, smooth black cherry and cassis aromas, melding seamlessly with creamy oak, a little graphite and tobacco. Terrific fruit sweetness and juiciness on the palate, with smooth, unruffled black fruit but edged with keen cherry acidity and taut framework of tannins. This has the hallmarks to be an exceptionally good wine with longevity too. Many merchants are offering this by the six-bottle case currently, at under £50 per bottle equivalent. Use the wine-searcher link.
(2021) From old bush vines, this is fermented in layers of whole bunches and destemmed fruit, matured in a combination of oak and concrete tanks. Elegant ruby colour, fabulous fragrance again, real spice and a natural feeling earthiness in the background, great fruit sweetness, and a lusciousness here balanced by very fine structure indeed.
(2020) Released only in the best years, this Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blend also included Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, and was aged 24 months in French oak, 60% of which was new barrels. Blood red in colour, it has a gorgeous nose, riven with pencil shavings and tobacco, plum and blackcurrant, and just that dusty green edge of refined Cabernet. In the mouth it is plush and supple, the creaminess and medium- to full-bodied richness of the fruit, married to spicy oak, taut, elegant and fine tannins and etched by acidity. A terrific wine this. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Creaminess and spices, lots of punchy apple and pear stone fruits, a touch of residual sugar evident, but it remains very, very fresh and flowing,succulent.
(2019) It's not just patriotism talking: this is fine Chardonnay, from selected fruit from the Boot Hill vineyard, whole bunch-pressed and fermented in French oak barrels (20% new), where it also aged for 10 months. Twenty percent of fruit was dropped mid-summer, to intensify flavour and concentration. Stylistically I guess it sits somewhere between Chablis with its 12% alcohol and cool-climate feel, and the Mâconnaise perhaps, that married to a creaminess and delicate but noticeable oak. There's flint and oatmeal on the nose, light almondy nuttiness and creamy orchard fruit. In the mouth that nutiness and delicate toast from the barrel matches up to firm, citrus and Cox's pippin fruit, the racy lemon and hint of salts in the finish adding to a sophisticated appeal.
(2019) Made with 30% whole bunches and very little interference to allow the natural extraction without too much force. Marelise thinks this is the best grape in South Africa. Dryland bush vines in Swartland, though there is also Botriver coming on stream, and a little in this blend. Light, elegant perfume, some nuttiness and dry reducurrant fruit. There is terrific crunch here, with spicy orange peel and clove, but that run of dry, small red berries carries through it. A leaner, more taut style, but I really enjoyed this.
(2017) A nice briary character, a high, incense and smoke character, with real floral lift. The palate has crunch and freshness, with a racy acidity and fine balance. UK stockist and price quoted at time of review is for the 2013 vintage