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(2018) Sourced from cooler coastal vineyards, the nutty and toasty aroma of oak is there, but so too is a fresh, cool orchard fruit and citrus rather than anything overtly tropical. Bone dry on the palate, this is a really good example of the 'new Chardonnay' from the sunny Californian vineyards, with masses of pithy acidity and zesty fruit flavour just buttressed by creamy and nutty oak.
(2018) How fascinating to return to a wine I last reviewed 11 years ago, and which is another 'forgotten' bottle retrieved from my own cellar where it has lain quietly for over a decade. The colour is now much paler with a touch of warmth to the ruby core. Although it certainly has not stood still under screwcap in 11 years, it seems clearly to be the same wine, with the softening development I would hope for and expect. An autumnal, earthy and woodland character that is very Pinot Noir has joined the fruit, still in the cherry pie and spice spectrum, the creamy and slightly coffee-ish oak is still there but has also mellowed, and the nice sour orange acid framework sits very well to balance. I never intended to cellar this modestly-priced Pinot for 11 years, and arguably it may be on the down-slope now, but my word what a delightful discovery, giving plenty of enjoyment. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for more current vintages.
(2018) Pouring a pale gold colour, this creamy and nutty Chardonnay shows plenty of complex sulphide character too, with flint and cordite as well as nutty apple fruit. Wild yeast ferment and 11 months in barrel gives good complexity, and the palate follows with a powerful concentration of orchard fruit, wreathed in smokiness and toast. A touch too much obvious oak perhaps, but there's a lot going on and a lot to like. No UK stockist at time of writing.
(2018) Despite the barrel-fermentation (with indigenous yeasts) and 10 months in 25% new French hogsheads, it's leesiness and reduction that drives this aromatically, a light Chablis-like whiff of flint and a touch of cheesiness, but more attractive than that sounds. In the mouth there is sold apple fruit, nutty and dry, hinting at sweeter stone fruits, then that creamy and nutty oak and the salty tang of acidity kicks in and pushes through into a long, stylish finish. Not in the UK at time of writing.
(2018) Luis Pato, the king of Barraida wines, is surely some sort of genius, crafting unusual white wines like this from Bical, Cerceal and Sercealinho (a cross of Cerceal and Alvarinho) with 12% alcohol, a modest price, yet capable of such significant ageing. In truth this was a re-discovery of a wine I'd rather forgotten about in my wine racks, but what a treat: aromatically it has so much in common with a fine dry Riesling, that whiff of minerals and beeswax, clear apple fruit, and a lovely sherbet-lemon tang. On the palate it is light and lissome, plenty of zesty acidity but a dazzling fruit-salad palate finishing long and glittering. Note, price and stockist are for a more current vintage at time of review.
(2018) Made in stainless steel tanks and 100% Verdejo, this is the pungent, straightforward, Sauvignon Blanc-like face of Verdejo, from vineyards planted in 1998. Elderflower and passion fruit on the nose leads on to quite a full, texturally rich palate, where some creaminess has been formed by lees ageing, the fruit spectrum from tropical to a lime-like, slightly waxy finish that is citrussy and clean with plenty of ripe fruit sweetness.
(2018) A year older than the straight Rueda Blanco, but the Collection cuvée is also fermented in new French oak barrels rather than steel, so is quite a different prospect. Creamy, mealy on the nose, there's a touch of chalky quality and elderflower pungency has been tamed to good effect, just a touch of gooseberry and a hint of more tropical lychee against the barrel-influenced creaminess. In the mouth it has an almost Chablis-like firmness and minerality at first, though the fruit character of the Verdejo does come through to add more zing and vivacious punch, into a long, firm finish.
(2018) With 14.5% alcohol and a minimum of 18 months in new French oak barriques, this 100% Tempranillo red is given a bit of real welly, rich, deep and overflowing with black fruit and creamy oak notes on the nose, the palate too is a symphony of chocolate, creamy blackcurrant and swirling smokiness. It's substantial OK, with ripe but fairly blocky tannins, but a nice cherry acid does add a little light and air. Long, spicy and fruity, it's big in scale, still youthful and tight, and very well done of its style.
(2018) The largest production red wine in the Loess portfolio, with 50,000 bottles, but still with all of the Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo) from their own vineyards. It spends nine months in lightly-toasted French oak, and the nose is very much about tight, glossy, black plum and damson fruit, a touch of fine graphite character, a touch of balsamic character. In the mouth it is firm, both fruit, and the tannin/acid framework, and finishes just a touch more harshly than I'd ideally like.
(2018) The 12 months in new French oak certainly marks this aromatically, much more so than the 'Inspiration' cuvée, but it's a lovely quality of cedary, Sandalwood and plump, glossy black fruit, that is bold, spicy but fruit-filled and appealing. The palate has a beautiful sweetness and ripeness of plump, succulent black fruits, a sheen of creamy oak overlaid, and a nice sense of juiciness thanks to tight tannins and a balanced acidity. This is certainly more sleek than the 'Inspiration', not to obvious as the 'Collection', and is arguably my favourite of the three reds. Price is approximate: it's €16.50 shipped from Spain.