(2019) A terrific traditional method sparkling wine from the organic and biodynamic estate of Dirler-Cadé. The blend is 45% Pinot Gris, 35% Auxerrois and 20% Pinot Noir, in a 'zero dosage' wine with a negligible 0.9 g/l of residual sugar. It is immediately sheer and glacial, the cool, crisp fruits on the nose joined by subtle nuances of nettles and herbs, a tiny hint of the yeasty character from its time on the lees. In the mouth it is intense and invigorating, not at all tart of mean, but just riven with it zippy acidity and bold fruit concentration.
(2017) Glowing golden colour, developing toasty, honeyed aromas, but that sense of fat and generosity is still cut by terrific apple juiciness and streaking lime and salt acidity. Note price and stockist given at time of review is for the 2009 vintage.
(2016) This has a touch more weight than the White Stones, but a similar integration of all those mineral and crisp fruit elements on the palate, and very good length.
(2016) Smooth and chocolatey stuff, with plenty of dry extract character, sweet black fruit. Very juicy on the palate, well judged with dry but fine tannins.
(2015) Beautiful colour with some emerald glints and stream of miniscule bubbles across the glass. Lovely bruised fruit, bruised apple and hints of toffee. There is nuttiness, of hazelnut and some floral top notes. The palate is rich without being broad, with such a lime zest core of acidity and concentration. The mousse is persistent yet fresh and soft, the breadiness and nuttiness is there, but wonderful alertness and clarity.
(2011) A little bit of barrel ferment. Very bright, focused, limey and clean with sherbetty tones, with lots of really crisp, lemony fruit and a lovely crispness and focus. Has lovely dryness and mineral, river-stone freshness. Lots of punch and currant dryness.
(2010) A bold, light- to medium colour, with a nose of subtle, creamy, soft red berries. On the palate this has a pleasingly tart juiciness, with a ruby grapefruit edge to those softer, more earthy fruit flavours. I like the little twist of dried herbs too, which is typically Sangiovese, and the cherryish bite to the acidity. A really nicely-pitched, savoury style.