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(2017) Fragrant stuff, blending the custard and cream of barrel fermentation with the floral aspect of the Malvasia, and crunch of the Viura. Weighty and substantial with 14.5% alcohol, serve this not too cold to bring out the full bodied richness of the fruit, which is nicely counter-balanced by cool acidity and that mealy richness and texture.
(2017) A selection from the oldest Tempranillo vines on the property, this is meaty and earthy, a touch of tobacco spice, a touch of leather. On the palate the sweet ripeness of the berry fruit comes through, but so does plenty of alcohol and a slightly astringent character. Concentrated for sure, but a tiny bit over extracted too in my opinion.
(2017) Aged in new French oak for 15 months and a further two years minimum in bottle, this is a selection of the best Tempranillo fruit. Fine nose, the graphite and firm smoky character of the oak nicely set against tight blue/black fruit, blueberry and blackcurrant. Some tobacco comes through. In the mouth it is savoury, taut and firm, a real grip to the tannins and the oak a touch prominent, but it just about has the fruit density and sweetness to handle it. Spicy in the finish.
(2017) A fairly punishing 15.5% alcohol declared on the label for this selection of the oldest vineyards and best fruit that tops the range. Only 150 cases were produced. The colour is saturated and opaque and the nose closed and dramatically dark. Some cocoa perhaps? Definitely some dense, blue/black fruit coming through like damsons and blueberry. Subtle French oak. In the mouth this is voluptuous, smoky and creamy, full and dense and whilst clearly the onslaught of alcohol and oak is considerable, it seems better balanced than the Seleccion Personal, the grip of the oak tannins, bittersweet twist of fruit and acid, combining in a long, concentrated and powerful finish. Impressive of its fairly massive style.
(2017) Getting a Pinot Noir on the shelves at under £6 is a rare thing these days, and Nederburg have done not a bad job with this cherry cola-like, light and easy-drinking version. Cherry pits and briar on the nose, a touch of twiggy character, then the palate of modest red fruits - raspberry edged - light earthiness and a sour lemon acidity. It's no great Pinot by world standards, and a bit abrupt, but it is quaffable.
(2017) Despite hailstorms just around harvest time affecting some producers, 2015 seems to have been a very good vintage for Chablis following an excellent 2014. This has some classic flint and green-flecked, mineral notes, with a ripe, smooth orchard fruit quality beneath. On the palate that searingly dry mineral and lemon pith core drives through, but there's a hint of fat about the texture of this too, and the fruit, which is quite juicy and almost peachy, before the strict core of acidity reasserts.
(2017) At first glance this is classy looking with its gold label and 'Blanc de Blancs' the biggest message on the label, but scrutiny doesn't reveal much more except it is made in France, with the traditional method and is Extra Dry - which means sweeter than Brut. The Corney & Barrow web site reveals it is sourced from Savoie, but confusingly describes it as Chenin Blanc in one place, and Ugni Blanc in another. This was not my favourite wine of this small range: don't get me wrong, it is well-made and more than acceptable fizz, apple-scented and flavoured with a bready background, but the sweetness doesn't sit entirely happily with the acidity and the whole picture is just a tad non-descript.
(2017) This organic-certified Chardonnay comes from the Mâconnais in southern Burgundy and is made for Corney & Barrow by the family domaine of Dominique Cornin. It has a correct, appealing nose, marrying lemon and peach, with the slightest undertow of almond or nougat. The palate has plenty of zip, a tropical almost mango-like juiciness moving through to the fresh squeezed lemon of the finish, medium bodied and of very fine quality.
(2017) Made for C&B by the illustrious J-P Moueix of Pomerol, intriguingly the suggestion is that this is the perfect match for Murgh Tikka Makhani - a choice that surprised me, though I can see the logic in a wine with power and a bit of real grip that might well take on curry. Mostly Merlot, pencil-shaving notes over plum fruit, before a firm palate, the dark-toned fruit has a bit of bittersweetness, and the acidity gives the cut rather than the tannins which are sandy but not dominant.
(2017) Made by Bodegas Zugober, not a name with which I am familiar, this is Tempranillo, with a little Graciano and Mazuelo, Crianza indicating it has had a little oak ageing. Smokiness on the nose, a touch of briar or underbrush, and a dark red plum fruit. There's a sour orange tang to the berry fruits on the palate, the cherry-skin of the acids also adding to that fine edge. This stays juicy and enjoyably sweet and sour into the finish.