(2022) A Chinon from the Loire Valley and a very hot year. Couly Dutheil is an estate that has moved from new barrels, to old, to now no oak: this cuvee is all made in steel. Plenty of floral and even exotic notes here, substantial meatiness too, a big wine (15.5% alcohol) but it does carry that rather well, as aicidty is retained and the grippy tannins give extra bite and clarity. Stockist is for a previous vintage at time of review.
(2019) From vneyards in Paardeberg. Bright cherry lips and candy floss, backed up with Grenache dry nuttiness, complex, the oak toasty beneath and a touch of meat. The racy acidity is glorious on the palate, savoury orange, Aperol orangey bitters, peppery spice then excellent red fruit. Lovely freshness and cherry brightness.
(2019) From a single 38-year-old vineyard in Darling aged in old French barrels. Fabulous perfume, vanilla and cream yes, but the florals are all there, some violet and rose petal, a slight nuttiness in the background. Pomegranate juice on the palate, cherry and the smokiness and touch of rhubarb and bitters acidity is lovely. Long with good structure even though light and elegant.
(2019) Durbanville and Stellenbosch fruit, vines aged between 35-55 Years. Eight months in French, older barrels. Creamy and waxy lanolin notes, the palate full textured and leesy, rich, a lovely fat lemon acidity and fine lime leaf and floral notes flitting about as it develops. Lovely.
(2019) Chenin, Semillon, Sauvignon, part of the Chenin Blanc and the Semillon were fermented in new French Oak. Ian says "13 years after bottling, this wine has finally entered its ideal drinking window." Delicious creaminess and the Sauvignon (only 9%) not too green, giving this lovely ripeness and rich texture.
(2016) Lots of flint, fresh-cracked river stones, a delightful sense of purity to it, a tiny note of nuttiness, but all very compact, composed, elegant and tight. The palate is riven by a cleansing salty minerality. Real running mountain stream clarity to this, a touch of grippy fruit skin comes through (plum and apricot), but it is the drive of the salty, fresh, ozoney clarity that is so covincing. One that will need more time than the Vaulorent for example, but a great wine
(2016) A fair bit of prominent oak on the nose of this, with toast and smoke, and a lovely racing acidity at the core. It has a strictness about the structure of the wine, with real concentration and a biting acid, as well as some flinty reduction, but really the power and fruit concenttation drives this. Might nudge up a point or two with some time.
(2016) Forty percent of this Cru is made in oak. Instantly it seems more complex, with more schist and flint, and a nutty character too, the gentle toasted almond very appealing. Mouth-filling and ripe, so much more weight here and more ripe juiciness than the Vaillons, quite a different style but then the finish is lean and super fresh, with the lick of salty acidity powering through.
(2016) A little barrel compoment. Soils very stony, on the border with the Portlandian soil, all stones and clay. Certainly a little more flint and seashell minerality here, the palate riven with a strict defining acidity, it gives such a lean, elegant stony character on the palate, but there is such lovely apple freshness, and the perfect delicate balance and length.
(2016) Forty percent was made in oak (as is Vaudesir). Beautiful, serious white Burgundy nose, the flint is there, but there’s a toast and charming nutty character, and sweet, ripe orchard fruit. It’s aromatically like a serious 1er Cru Puligny perhaps, but then the palate brings that salty acidity swinging back through, cutting effortlessly through that clay-derived richness of texture and fruit. Such a juicy orange and peach tone beneath the acidity and the minerality, a hint of coffee smokiness adding and extra layer of intrigue. Fabulous.