(2018) From typical grapes of the Pacherenc appellation, 50% Gros Manseng plus Petit Manseng, Courbu and Arrufiac, this is a light, fragrant dessert wine, not too sweet, but honeyed and quite exotic with papaya and mango aromas, the palate quite creamy and full-textured, clean limey flavours and a good balance of acidity into the finish. For the lightest, least sweet desserts, foie-gras or more subtle blue cheeses. Price for a 50cl bottle.
(2018) Substantially more Carignan in this 2010 (71%), again from 65-year-old vines, along with 25% Syrah and 4% Grenache Noir. Yields of 13 hl/la and 71% of the blend spending 20 months in 500-litre barrels, old and new. It's a full percentage point lower in alcohol, and pours a medium plum colour, woth a broad, light rim. Fine graphite and dried blood character to red fruits on the nose, becoming very nicely sweet-fruited on the palate, ripe summer berries and a firm tannic underpinning. There's a dry, liquoricy touch of extract, but then freshness too with elegant acidity. Long and enjoyable now, but I probably would not cellar too much longer. Tanners has the wine as an 'oddment' at time of writing but there are other by the case stockists.
(2018) Made from the three traditional Cava grapes, with around 8g/l sugar dosage. This spends 24 months ageing on the lees, and is Juve y Camps' entry level wine. It has a lovely, deep citrus nose, with a certain weight and pulpy, stone fruit fleshiness, then a clear and precise palate that is crisp though retains that fruitiness and light silkiness of texture. Very fine.
(2017) Noval is one of the greatest names in Port production, and I can also heartily recommend the 10-year-old version of this wine which is much cheaper at around £20 for a full bottle if you shop around, but this 20-year-old - the average age of the wines in the blend - is in such a sweet spot that it had to be my choice. It is mellow, nuttier and more figgy than the Kopke Colheita tasted alongside, deeper and more ruby-tinged, and the palate is just a raft of chocolate, sweet berries, tobacco and spice, the long elegant finish so beautifully balanced between the sweetness, a bittersweet marmalade acidity and seamless alcohol. Majestic stuff. Price for a full bottle and quite widely available - use the wine-searcher link.
(2017) Unusually, this wine is being offered in magnum or half bottle only (note price quoted is for a half bottle). It's mostly Touriga Franca, but as is normal for Port there's a host of other varieties in the blend inlcuding Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca and Touriga Nacional. It's a beautifully solid and in its way, 'masculine', style of Port, with rich black fruit, chocolate and a hint of kirsch cherries on the nose. Sweet, smooth, mouth-filling and luscious, the spirit is already elegantly amalgamated with the fruit and creamy tannins, and it retains very good acid freshness. Drinking so nicely, but no doubt capable of considering cellaring - especially those magnums.
(2016) The Symington family have been farmers and winemakers in Portugal's Douro Valley for generations, and table wines play an increasing part in the business. This organic blend of Touriga Nacional with a handful of other varieties if wonderfully aromatic, a real potpourri of spices and flowers, vivid cherry fruit and exotic Sandalwood. In the mouth it has plenty of fruit too, red highlights and deeper black fruit notes, a nicely roughening hint of tannin and fine balance in its medium-bodied format. Watch the video for food-matching ideas and more information.
(2016) Ripe, figgy touches, both ripe and edged with herbs and vegetal notes in an interesting mix. Such equisite lime and lemon juiciness and thirst-inducing saline freshness, long and just deliciously tangy and drinkable.
(2016) A very small proportion of barrel vinification for this, again older barrels and for a shorter time than the Vaillons as wine from this soil cannot support so much wood. Meaty and earthy on the nose, a dry apple fruit and touches of wild herbs and spice. Sweet fruit, ripe and though not quite the fullness if structure of the Vaillons, gorgeous fleet footed stuff.
(2016) From a very steep, 38% gradient that is "all rocks." Fabulous nose, so much complex sulphide flinitness, so much intensity, floral edged and strongly fruity, but with that great mineral and brine freshness at the core.
(2015) I have to say I absolutely loved this slightly bonkers wine. Made in north-western Romania by the progressive Carmele Recas, which has an English owner and Australian winemaker, it is an unlikely blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Feteasca Reara and Muscat Ottonel, along with the red wine grape, Cabernet Franc, but made as a highly aromatic white wine. Ageing in oak barrels gives an inviting toast and honey depth to the nose, but it is such wonderful spikes of perfume that really power this, from floral to herbal and from tropical to citrus, it's aromatic fireworks in a glass. On the palate the fruit is explosive too, bursting with ripe peach and pear, a mandarin orange brightness, and then a core of lemony acidity that streaks through the finish. Watch the video for my full review and for specific food matching suggestions.