(2018) A highly unusual sparkling wine from Masi, masters of Amarone, who have used the same appassimento technique, drying grapes on straw mats, for the 25% Verduzzo in this blend, which is fermented along with 75% freshly-harvested Pinto Grigio. It's made by the charmat method as used in Prosecco, and has clear similarities to a good Brut Prosecco (this has around 9g/l of residual sugar), just a gentle effervesence and more of a herby and lemon peel grippiness on the palate, pear fruit and a bit of interesting texture too before a dry, nicely tart apple finish.
(2018) Distinctly off-dry with 23g/l of residual sugar, from the famed Hill of Cartizze where Bisol is the largest vineyard owner. Very pale, the bubbles are are tiny and persistent, aromas ultra-delicate, with white flowers, icing-sugar and candied lemon. In the mouth that sweetness is balanced by a rapier core of acidity, fine, incisive, giving real cut to the sherbetty and light peach fruitiness. A very fine Prosecco in such a different style to a wine like the Case Bianche for example.
(2018) A subtle but very fine and, in the end, charming Chardonnay this, it is a négociant wine made from fruit and must bought from long-term contracted growers, and only a small proportion of the blend sees oak. Apples, but ripe, a little pastry or vanilla covering, and hints of more tropical fruit are gentle and welcoming. In the mouth it is not the most concentrated of complex of white Burgundies, but the silky, vanilla-touched fruit and texture and the sweet fruited finish are most enjoyable.
(2017) What an absolute treat to open this 11-year-old Cabernet from Margaret River, and the family estate of Leeuwin. Under screwcap it is in perfect condition, showing a plum and sweet gamey character, notes of tobacco and herbal, gentle leafiness along with graphite adding complexity and precision. Clearly the product of a cool year, that leafy character is overpowered on the palate by the concentration of blackcurrant fruit, very pure and again precise, with really firm, tart, plum and cherry skin biting tannin and acid to tension the whole picture. Drinking beautifully. Note the price and stockist given is for the current vintage at time of writing.
(2017) Lovely wine, with a delicate creamy oak vanilla and has really charming fruit, masses of creamy cherry and bright raspberry, then a firm dark liquorice core. The endive bittersweetness of the acid and tannin core giving lovely length. UK stockist and price quoted at time of review is for the 2012 vintage.
(2017) A nice ripeness here, a lightly smoky overlay to juicy peach fruit and ripe red apple. There’s a touch of sweetness here, and a more dilute palate than the Tamar Ridge for example, but a balanced and tasty.
(2017) d'Arenberg is the largest biodynamic grower in Australia. From a nearly extinct clone, a parent of the Reynella clone. Very low yields. Foot-trodden. Very fragrant with a touch of leafiness and really tight, fresh black fruit, lovely tobacco and a deeper cocoa and mulberry plushness. Great balance, plenty of tannin but tight and fine into a long finish. Note price and stockist quoted at time of review are for the 2011 vintage.
(2016) It's as much about aroma and texture as it is about flavour in this dry, exotically-fruited and spiced interpretation of Gewurztraminer, with only 12.5% alcohol to retain juicy freshness, it stops way short of Gewurz tendency to be a little over-powering, and yet the lychee and Nivea cream aromas and fruit and spice flavours are terrifically expressive.