(2020) Made from the local Encruzado grape in the mountainous Dão region of Portugal, this was made by winemaker Carlos Lucas in association with Wine Society buyer Jo Locke MW. Unoaked, the nose is immediately fresh and herb-tinged, but has a certain nuttiness and hint of weight and richness too, the fruit mostly about citrus and no doubt the 370-metres altitude of the vineyards adding to the sense of vibrancy. In the mouth it is full-textured and quite luscious, hinting at Ogen melon and ripe red pear, but the flashing citrus and hint of mineral salts to the acidity extends the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) The wine is based on the 2014 vintage (60%) with reserves from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 making up the other 40%, and aged five years on the lees, this bottle disgorged in October 2018. Very delicate, ethereal nose, fresh-sliced apple and a touch of something jasmine-like and floral, then some biscuity autolytic notes come through. In the mouth it is ripe and quite sweet. The dosage was not revealed for this wine, but it has some residual sweetness as well as fruit ripeness I think, but all beautifully refined and poised, fresh and with a touch of saline into the finish.
(2020) The entry level for the white wines tasted here is a blend of 70% Gros Manseng, 25% Petit Courbu and Arrufiac. Lovely and appealing nose, plenty of zippy but tropical fruit, peach and nectarine over-flowing with these primary aromas, then a lovely hint of oiliness to the texture, a real bitter orange tang to the acidity, pithy and zesty, and a keen, long edge to the finish. Great value and very stylish.
(2020) From a cooler year when the naturally high acid of the Manseng Noir had to be managed, this has a little more of a tapenade, spicy character, but still that same easy-going fruit and a nicely dry, savoury finish showing charming plush fruit.
(2020) This Spanish red, grown near Valencia, is 100% Bobal, a common variety in this part of Spain. It's a big-hearted, warm hug of a wine, overflowing with spicy dark fruits, a little bit of liquorice and, on to the palate, creamy but grippy tannins giving a nicely rustic bite to the full berry fruit. The acid balances nicely too, in a gastronomic and very honest wine. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) Softening colour, bloody, ripe, dried blood and oxide, but all the sweet and ripe character of fruit is beneath. Big creamy mouthful of Syrah, all the sweetness and plushness you cold want, but creamy and softly spicy, a generous acidity in the finish to give it terrific length. Possibly not for long ageing now, but In a lovely place. Price and stockist is for the most recent vintage at time of review.
(2020) Fruit from Bridge Pa, aged 15 months in barrel (35% new). Moves in the bacon fat spectrum, creaminess, spices and pepper, but more about the plush black fruits, little wild garrigue notes. The palate has great firm juiciness, the creamy and pure fruit, but that slightly wild and gamy side adds so much to the complexity and interest. Price and stockist is for an earlier vintage at time of review.
(2020) Fruit is from Bridge Pa, 100% Syrah that spends eight months in barrel. Pale crimson colour, nice stony, mineral character, small, dry redcurrant fruit, little spicy notes, a touch of cream and flesh fills out the palate, but the acidity of tart raspberry comes through to keep this fresh and agile.
(2020) Hand-picked from its own vineyards in Marlborough, Dog Point's Sauvignon is bright, crisp and super-fresh, more typical in Marlborough style than the barrel-fermented 'Section 94' cuvée, with huge punch and verve. Passion fruit is there, with tropical notes suggesting lychee and guava, a touch of capsicum, but really all about the fruit. In the mouth the texture has some richness and mealiness to it, the citrus blast of the acidity balanced perfectly against that more unctuous, tropical fruit into a dry and beautfully balanced finish. Typical and yet not, this is a fine example of Marlborough's unique Sauvignon style.