(2020) This bottle was opened three weeks pior to re-tasting, as an experiment to see how well a wine preservation system called 'Repour' would maintain the condition of the wine. Read about Repour here. As suggested by Repour, I uncorked this three-week-old bottle to allow it to 'breathe' after its time with oxygen excluded from the wine. There was no hint of oxidation to colour or aroma, the wine seemingly very much the same as my initial tasting. In the mouth perhaps just a touch softer than previously, a touch more smoky bacon and grilled quality, but otherwise the wine was surprisingly fresh, the tannin and acid structure identical, and the overall enjoyment level the same, if not marginally improved. The Repour system certainly seemed to have avoided oxidation of the wine, and to have preserved its essential character extremely well.
(2020) Beautiful developed nose, all sorts of tarry and floral tertiary aromas, an ethereal lightness. Vanilla and anise wrap the red fruits on the palate, a harmonious and long wine, the grip of the tannins and spirit, balanced acidity, and purity of fruit all really charming.
(2020) This is just a touch weedy and less expressive compared to the singing Taylor's and Fonseca LBVs, not so charming for me. The palate is much better, crispness to the tannin and acid structure, the fruit dry with mouth-coating extract. Quite a big mouthful of robust Port in the end.
(2020) Quite meaty, quite a tarry and umami character, nuttiness too over the plummy fruit. Mouth-coating, full, creamy fruitiness and sweetness, a slick of cocoa, spice and quite long. Very lovely and resolved.
(2019) What a great example of how Margaret River is helping to redefine Austalian Chardonnay. Whole-bunch pressed, fermented in French oak with natural yeasts, and matured in a combination of small and large French oak barrels for nine months. It opens with a whiff of flint and gunpowder over ripe peach and pear, just a touch of creamy oak too. In the mouth it is sweet-fruited and intense, but there is great clarity and drive here too, the acid nicely judged and a taut precision to the finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) A single estate wine made from the Cortese grape, this comes from Banfi's vineyards in Piedmont. It's a gentle wine, opening with soft and discreet notes of yellow plum and pear, a touch of lime perhaps. In the mouth there's a sweet concentration of fruit, and a very good, vibrant, tangy bite of juicy lime fruit and acidity, a touch of green apple too into a lingering, fruit-dominated finish. I was given an RRP of £17.99 for this, but at its sub-£15 price it's a better proposition.
(2019) An interesting wine from the Louis Latour company, who are based in Burgundy but who have extensive vineyard holdings in Beaujolais just further south. This comes from the heart of the Beaujolais region, but it is not Beaujolais but 'Coteaux Bourgignons', because the wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir, which has had minimal exposure to oak, but which comes from chalk and limestone soils. It has terrific lift and buouyancy, violet florals and cherry leap from the glass, with a nice undercurrent of soft, truffly Pinot character. In the mouth it is savoury with plenty of tang from sour orange and cherry again, good tannins and plenty of sappy character to set against that core of sweet fruit. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2019) In Italy it's name is Pinot Grigio, but the grape variety is also known as Pinot Gris in France, and in recent decades world wine producers who grow and bottle the variety have tended to use these terms as a sort of short-hand for style - sometimes even quality. It's fair to say that the reputation of Italian Pinot Grigio has suffered from cheap, over-cropped and commercial wines that have become the staple of by-the-glass white wine in pubs and bars, the fairly indiscriminate choice of people who just want "an inofessive glass of white." So Pinot Grigio - as opposed to Gris - has an arguably deserved poor reputation among some wine lovers, but that does a huge diservice to many very good, very carefully made examples from the variety's heartland in the north of Italy, but also wines like this, made much further south, in Tuscany. Banfi's Grigio comes from vineyards in the southern part of Montalcino, and has genuine fruit sweetness and ripeness (rather than residual sugar) and a fair degree of concentration. Fleshy stone fruits and citrus on the nose lead on to an expansive palate, with Ogen melon and more lemon rind weight and citrus intensity, the acidity gentle but persistent, giving this easy drinking appeal for sure, but a bit of class, weight and authority too. A very nice example.