(2013) Made from a selection of the best parcels of vineyard, all more than 30 years old and harvested with a very low yield. The wine is aged for 22 months in all-new French oak barrels. It is interesting approaching this wine knowing that I was looking for the Brett component, and I did find it - though nowhere near as pronounced as in my French tasting. There's just a touch of that elastoplast (band-aid) character in the background, a character that moves between cedary and savoury to lightly animal, but difficult to pin down. One thing is certain, the robust black fruit and sense of graphite is allowed to show more clearly. In the mouth this has the same delicious, juicy and sweet blackberry and plum fruit that I found first time round, with a stripe of liquorice and chicory firmness to the spicy, grippy tannins. It is just a touch short, the 15% alcohol also adding a bit of heat, but it has lots of substance and style. Overall, I still think this is an imperfect wine. Returning to it again and again in the glass over an hour my opinion flitted between definite Brett and something wild, tarry and gamey that was less easy to pinpoint. My final conclusion is that Brett is there, but for whatever reason it is not nearly so pronounced as the first bottle (maybe the bottle had been open much longer, or the wine came from a different barrel?). I enjoyed this much more and would score it
(2013) This 100% Nebbiolo from Piedmont comes from a single vineyard called 'Casot', but according to James "an administrative oversight means this wine is not allowed to put (it) on the label." It was aged two years in large, old casks. This has a lovely nose, the tar and roses of maturing Nebbiolo is there, with a crisp-edged, juiciness to the red and black fruit, a touch of something charcoally, and a layer of toast and charriness beneath. On the palate this has beautiful sweetness of fruit, a savoury black olive twist counteracting the berry fruits. It is supple and lithe, the tannins grippy but fine, and the overall sense of freshness and balance is delightful. No shortage of stuffing to age a while yet, but approachably fruit and elegant now.