(2018) Nosiola is a native grape of Trentino in the far north of Italy, often harvested late to make sweet Vin Santo wine. But here Bottega Vinai (a brand of the super-coop of the area, Cavit) has made a crisp, fresh and dry Nosiola with broad appeal. The variety takes its name from nocciola, the Italian word for hazelnut, the grape said to have a nutty flavour, and indeed, there is a nuttiness here, as well as firm pear and gentle spices, before the palate reveals its bright, focused and juicy fruit, licked with salts and finishing with a dry lime peel lick of precise acidity. A lovely grown-up wine that has broad sipping and food-matching appeal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) From a single block of old Gin Gin clone Chardonnay on clay/loam soils that retain moisture and need little irrigation. Again this was whole-bunch pressed into larger French oak barrels and fermented with wild yeast. It spent 10 months ageing in barrel (40% new). Much more obvious Brazil nut oak, but also a little bit of flinty reductive character. Lovely palate, the acid powerful and intense, but a hugely decisive wine without losing fruit or charm. Lovely wine from a winery that does not own vineyards, but sources this fruit from the cooler South of the region. Note stockist and price quoted is for 2015 vintage.
(2017) Very soft, elegant and approachable, light bodied and terribly pretty, the sweetness of the fruit, a touch of rosy red apple, and the framework yielding and elegant. A little hint of briary, damp undergrowth to add interest.
(2017) This has a real lift and perfume, a touch of Sandalwood but also a kirsch-like, floral and cherry brightness. Much firmer on the palate than the straight Holm Oak Pinot, more depth but does not lack finesse. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2014 vintage.
(2017) Flinty, sulphide note, gives an Epsom salty edge, broadening to a ripe fruitiness. Pleasing palate, just a hint of sugar to soften the picture with quite sweet, peachy fruit moving into a pithy grapefruit finish. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the 2015 vintage.
(2017) This has a touch of honey too, but mostly sherbetty and bright with that waxiness. A big, dry, uncompromising palate, with streaking acidity, chalky and citrussy, that pushes through beautifully: not aggressive, but very firm. Note: stockist and price are for the 2015 vintage at time of review.
(2017) Made from pre-Phylloxera Shiraz vines, some over 100 years old, this was matured in oak hogsheads (300-litre barrels), 65% of which were new, and a blend of 95% French oak and just 5% American. Such lifted aromas with eucalyptus and tomato leaf, masses of energy, blackberry and bright but dark-hued fruits. Such cool, sophisticated flavours on the palate, there’s an almost pastille quality to the fruit, a certain femininity, certainly real raciness and energy, the fruit sweet and mouth-filling, the tannins polished to a perfect sheen. Utterly delicious right now, but undoubtedly will cellar for decades.
(2016) Zinfandel appears on the shelves as cheap 'blush' wines, but it has a far more noble heritage than that, producing some excellent, if large-scaled, red wines in Calfifornia. This from old vines and aged in oak for 10 months is opulent and creamy, the nose having real brightness with notes of pomegranate and cherry, as well as a creamy, chocolaty spice. In the mouth it is big, generous and deeply fruity, loads of sweet fruit married to plush oak, but there is spice and a cherry lift to the acidity. Crowd-pleasing stuff of it's bold style. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2016) Made from 100% Garnacha (Grenache), this has a fashionably pale peachy/salmon colour and pretty nose with dry red fruits, some floral notes and a cool watermelon character. Bone dry, it has more tight reducurranty fruit and a bit of texture, in a savoury, food friendly dry style.
(2016) A blend of 80% Listán negro with Tintilla (closely related to the Trousseau variety of Jura) and a little Listán Blanco, only 40% sees older 500-litre barrels. Pepper and mineral freshness, very sappy, with lots of pepper and cherry in the mouth, and a briary freshness. Drink: 2015-2020