(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.
(2016) From the Italian lakes comes this crisp and aromatic white, made from the local Turbiana grape. Fresh as a daisy, this is in many ways a subtle wine, yet it is also a decisive one. The nose has pretty floral and ripe, crisp apple notes, a hint of something like waxy lime or lemon rind. Is there a hint of creaminess from some barrel component? On the palate it strikes with real fruit sweetness, an intense, almost tangerine-like blend of fruit and acidity, intense and turning a touch saline to leave a mouth-watering finish despite the abundant fruity charms. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) I'm a fan of Turkey's Kalecik Karasi grape variety, having previously made a red wine supplied by The Wine Society my Wine of the Week. But this is a truly delightful rosé example, exhibiting the most charming fresh peach aroma - like picking up a fat white peach on a summer's day and sniffing the downy skin - citrus peel and a hint of fresh ginger. It's colour is a pale, Provençal salmon, and the palate shimmers with more of that peach juice freshness and delicacy, married to pitch-perfect acidity. Just gorgeous and undoubtedly one of my favourite rosés of the year and in several independent retailers. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2016) Oak is one third each of new, 2nd and 3rd use barrela. Juicy and lightly minty, with some chocolate and earthy creamy notes. It has pretty big tannins, chewy and dense, a spicy and balanced finish.