(2023) A single quinta vintage Port from the Quinta da Roêda, just upstream from the village of Pinhão. Deep crimson, spices and cocoa flit around very dark berry fruits. There's a touch of curry leaf, and balsamic notes that are dark and subtle. The palate is exceptionally smooth and silky, the plum and blackcurrant gloss of fruit melts into a bittersweet chocolate and raisin fudge depth, a nice zestiness to the acidity extending the finish.
(2023) Launched in Britain 40 years ago, Bin 27 is blended from selected reserve Ports that have been matured in large, seasoned oak vats. Deep, vibrant crimson in colour, fenugreek and curry spices dominate, coal and chocolate beneath. The sweet palate (95g/l residual sugar) is thick and unctuous, very smooth with an intense blueberry and black cherry fruit, finishing with bitter dark chocolate bite and warmth, and balancing acidity.
(2019) Moreau's Petit Chablis is a wine on the dry but fruity side - is there a smidgeon of Chablis 'minerality'? Perhaps, but really this majors on a peach downy fruitiness, lime and a palate that shows more of that quite concentrated peach and apricot, a refreshingly zesty grapefruit acidity keeping it bright and focused. Note that a Louis Moreau Petit Chablis bearing a different label is in Waitrose, Majestic and others.
(2019) A recent addition to Marc Kent's portfolio, not labelled as Boekenhoutskloof, this is a mid-priced wine made from Swartland fruit. This new vintage was very young, with the pear drop note of fermentation and peachy fruit. Very clean and pure, a bright lemon and apple fruit, and good acidity, orange in the finish.
(2015) Made by ace Portuguese winemaker Rui Reguinga, this wine from the Tejo region is mostly Touriga Nacional with a splash of Syrah. It has a lovely nose - dry and curranty, with a hint of woodsmoke and black plum, but immediately suggests a refreshing, forward style. The palate has deliciously juicy and chocolate-touched richness of black fruit, that hint of briar, earth and smoke is lovely, giving this a lingering finish and good deal of complexity.
(2011) 12%. Let's face it, making sparkling Sauvignon Blanc in the prime Marlborough region is not something the world would have seen had it not been for a huge grape glut since 2008 and the need for winemakers to get creative. What we have here may have been born of necessity, but what fun it is: the nose is clean and citrussy, with just a hint of tropical, mango-like fruit. The herbal aspects of Marlborough SB is quite subdued, and a small proportion of barrel-fermented Chardonnay adds a little creamy, mealy touch. On the palate it has a buoyant personality with plenty of keen-edged lime fruit and acidity and despite a touch of easy-drinking residual sugar, a basically dry finish. Surprisingly successful this.
(2011) 13%. There's a touch of honey and honeysuckle floral character here, as well as a hint of vanilla (from some barrel ageing), but the crunchy apple fruit is the driving force. On the palate quite a full texture and plenty of apple again, a hint of residual sweetness and sour lemon acidity pushing through.
(2011) 14.5%. Clare Valley. Typically big, creamy, vanilla and cream nose with lots of cherry-edged, dark bramble fruit. Big and very, very sweet fruit on the palate, which floods across the tongue with lots of keen black fruit, all given a bit of a gamy, robust earthy and spicy edge. Loads of flavour here, that little crisp cherry-skin edge adding nice freshness into the finish.
(2010) Comes from the higher quality parts of the vineyard, fermented in Burgundian French oak and aged 10 months. Beautifully creamy, hazelnut nose, with aromatic spices and notes of fennel and flint. The palate has a core of salty minerality, with a creamy texture, but quite a tight, focused fruit quality - citrus and fresh cut apple juiciness, with an orangy note to the acidity. Quite lean and delicious.
(2010) Very aromatic - lots of pepper and lots of floral aromatics, with little notes of ginger and even a certain smokiness. On the palate it is fruity and fresh, with really good acidity and a lovely freshness in the finish. A really nice, easy drinking Viognier that it not too phenolic or rich.