(2018) The full five years this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay spends on the lees in bottle offsets and gives richness to the very low dosage of 3g/l, and along with 40% reserve wines results in a wine that is chalk dry, but not aggressive. There's a lovely lick of seashell salinity on the nose, joining fresh lemony fruit but with a developed breadiness beneath. In the mouth it is very keen and crips, the lively mousse carrying more salts and citrus, a dry apple core acidity and just little vestiges of nuttiness and biscuit in quite a complex character, finishing dry but not austere.
(2018) From Turkey, a popular red blend of two local varieties, Öküzgözü and Boğazkere, partly aged in oak and made with the help of a Californian consultant winemaker. Aromatically it is attractively red-fruited and spicy, reducrrants and a suggestion of pomegranate seed crunchiness. In the mouth it is dry, quite rustic, with strong tannins and a liquorice twist of sour, bittersweet acidity squeezing the red fruits into a dry finish, something akin to a northern Italian red perhaps. Watch the video for more information.
(2018) Aged only in stainless steel tanks, in contact with the lees, there's a bold, assertive creamy pear fruitiness on the nose here, with a little exotic undertow. In the mouth that succulent, ripe orchard fruit has weight and texture, a little guava or mango gives both sweetness and a welcome sour edge, the rounded, custardy, generous acidity adding to the succulence.
(2018) The 2015 vintage of this delightful rosé made my 'Wine of the Week', and this 2017 follows in the same vein of pale, lacework-light character from one of Turkey's best grape varieties. Delicate passion fruit and underripe white strawberries, a lovely finish that also balances between sweet and downy peach and raspberry, and its decisive core of acidity to give excellent freshness and tang. Delightful.
(2018) From the clay soils of Lucán de Cujo, at 1,050 metres in the Andes foothills, this is 100% Malbec. The colour is dark, but not opaque, a glimpse of light leading on to a vibrant, zingy aromatic, fresh with blueberry and cherry, lifted notes sage and violet too, which are all very pure and appealing. In the mouth there's a mineral character to this, stony and graphite-like, the savoury fruit is there too, in a pert and agile wine that benefits from its directness. Herby, tangy and fresh in the finish.
(2018) From a 2015 base, with 2013 and 2014 reserves, 55% is Chardonnay from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, 38.5% Pinot Noir from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, the assemblage made with 6.5% oak-aged Pinot Noir red wine from the 2014 vintage, and also from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. This was fermented in stainless steel with a dosage of 6.5 g/l. A certain ripe, juiciness of Chardonnay dominates this release, yet underneath the lush fruit is a lurking complexity of fine, summer berries. A light rosé style, made using the “assemblage" method, it is eminently drinkable, with surprisingly versatility at the table. Drink: 2018-2020, when it has the potential to score 90/100.
(2017) A rosé from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah that comes in a striking, screen-printed bottle in the style of Art Nouveau artist Émile Gallé, released to celebrate the domaine's 60th anniversary. It has a pretty nose of dry red fruits touched with rose-hip and pink grapefruit. On the palate it is quite a powerful wine, full and with a bit of acid backbone and hint of tannin.
(2017) A non-vintage wine from organically certified vineyards in Abbruzzo, 100% Montepulciano, and the estate lying in a national park were wolves - lupi - have been sighted amongst the vines. It has quite a deep garnet-hued pink colour with bold cherry aromas. It's so different from so many Provence and Provence lookalikes, vinous with a hint of prune or currant. In the mouth there's a lightly oxidised feel to this. Not having tasted it before I am not sure if that is an intentional part of its style, but it's bottled under screwcap, so I imagine it is. It's dry, balanced, but lacking a little fresh fruitiness arguably.
(2017) Made from equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir by the hugely talented Dermot Sugrue of Wiston Estate, from Wiston fruit and fruit of neighbouring vineyards, this has a gentle note of toffee and nuttiness to otherwise very pure and clear fruit, the rolling but crisp mousse leading on to a pristine palate, fairly straightforward, but deliciously mid-weight with its sense of roundness and excellent acidity.
(2016) Every time I taste a red Karasi I am reminded of Pinot Noir. Most of the wines I've tasted have been in a very soft, open style, long-aged in oak, but though still Pinot-esque this is all crunch and bold cherry juiciness, a touch of prune or raisin, but fresh, just rounded out with a sheen of oak into the soft but still structured finish.