(2020) First tasting of the grape variety Nuragus for me, but apparently it is quite widely planted on Sardinia. Made in stainless steel with no skin contact, and coming from limestone soils, this is clearly intended as a fresh and direct white wine, and the bouquet is of fresh-sliced pear - not the pear drop notes of fermentation, but fruity and delicately summery. In the mouth this has the typical Antonella Corda intensity and concentration, a sweep of very mineral acidity punching through in a Chablislike style. Crying out for some seafood I think. Not in the UK at time of review.
(2020) In some ways I enjoyed drinking this most of all of Antonella Corda's wines Cannonau (Grenache), here made in a very Pinot-like, soft style, the colour pale and warm on the rim and the aromas of sweet damp earth, tobacco spices and savoury dark fruits as well as a touch of pulpy strawberry adding to the charm. In the mouth the fruit is elegant and precise, with a good framework of spicy tannin and keen acidity, but again that open-knit, Pinot-like texture and overall character and balance, it is delicious and charming. Price and stockist quoted is for the 2019 vintage.
(2020) From a a seven hectare vineyard sited at 200 metres above sea level, and planted on limestone soils, this is a powerful and intense white wine, yet fragrant too. A little talcumy, quite exotic perfume, almost Riesling-like, then orange peel and waxy lemon rind. In the mouth the substantial 14% alcohol shows in texture and palate weight, with very juicy peach and apricot fruit, a broad mouth-filling presence, sweet, but soon swept up in a rush of zesty citrus acidity. Maybe a meaty fish like halibut or monkfish for this one.
(2020) A new wine from Antonella Corda, Ziru is a skin-contact fermented Vermentino, aged in amphora for 10 months, with only around 3,000 bottles produced. The nose is truly distinctive: nutty and dry with notes like seeds and dried pulses, more nutty apple fruit, a hint of Acacia honey and lemon rind. In the mouth a rush of sweet orchard fruits, really quite juicy, the acidity saline and fresh, but the fruit drives the finish. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
Part of Lidl's Wine Tour, made up of limited parcels, this is Brut, and employs all three of Champagne's principal varieties. Foamy and lively in the glass, the nose has a yeasty, lightly nutty edge to red apple fruit. In the mouth, there is a definite sweetness - presumably this is at the higher end of the Brut scale - and that impression of sweetness plays through to the finish, though acidity does balance. Straightforward stuff, and worth its £10.99 price.
(2020) Only 1,800 bottles are produced of this cuvée, from a plot within a plot: half a hectare of the monopole vineyard, Clos Marey-Monge, identified as having one of the highest surface densities of clay in Burgundy. It has quite a rich, ruby colour, and a beautifully spicy and fragrant nose. There is a pot-pourri mix of florals and anise, Sandalwood and all sorts of exotic, incense-like aromas, with savoury red plum and small black fruits. Immediately a little more feminine than Pommard's normally quite sturdy character, but it has great presence. In the mouth there's a suave density to this - not just the creamy plushness of the smoothing oak, but an intensity to the fruit too. Sweet and solid, it's again a combination of full and glossy black fruits and more lifted raspberry and even pomegrante, slicked with a dark cocoa bean underpinning. There is good grip and savouriness that pushes into the finish, creamy and ripe tannin, but retaining lovely freshness. Long, pure, elegance with power, the fruit beautifully integrated into its savoury, taut balance. Available on allocation.
(2020) Many of us will remember the 'Beaujolais Nouveau Run', the mad dash to have the first bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau, always released on the third Thursday of November, back in the UK and on dining tables the same day. Now England's Hush Heath has taken on the French at their own game, releasing their Pinot Nouveau on the same day - remarkably enough, a wine harvested less than two months ago on September 23rd, and which saw a brief stopover in French and American oak barrels. It is vibrantly purple in colour, with loads of toast and smokiness, then the palate has really bouyant black fruit - tannins are smoothed into transparency, and there is a hint of cherry sweetness, but the finish is dry with the oak adding some more of that toasty, coffeeish richness. The acid balances in a wine that is good fun, but more than that, a fascinating and youthful interpretation of easy-drinking Pinot.
(2020) Pale pink in colour, this is fine and aromatic, quite a punchy red fruit nose, and yet there is a light earthiness and yeastiness, something a little ozoney too, In the mouth crisp and crunchy, a bracing green apple twang of acidity against cool, tart raspberry and peach or apricot skins, that little hint of phenolics, and a long, very focused finish. Winemaker PJ Charteris was at pains to say he was not going for a 'pink' wine, more a 'light bronze'. I am guessing that's partly to do with the price: a £30+ New Zealand rosé would require a huge leap of faith from the purchaser. Fact is, athough an excellent wine, that price does seem steep compared to the A1, or indeed, A2.
(2020) The family resemblance to the big brother A1 is umissable here, that same wild and delightful perfume running the gamut from pot-pourri spice to summer berries to hints of truffle. In the mouth deliciously sweet and giving; a generous wine with ripe and supple red fruits filling the mid-palate, and the tannins a little softer and more creamy than the A1 at this stage, absolutely pin-sharp acidity though, and those subtle, gentle spices and vanilla rounding the finish. Drink now while waiting for the A1. It's irresistable. No retail stockists listed at time of review, so price and stockist is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Fabulously perfumed, real complexity and aromatic layering here, the core of sweet and pulpy red fruits, plenty of clove and cardomom spice, vanilla, those sweet truffle and beetrooty notes too in a very arresting picture. Lovely juiciness and firmness on the palate, with a stripe of tannin and a dry, tangy olive and cherry bite to the acidity, but the fruit stays sweet through the mid-palate, the texture builds as the chalkiness of the tannins smooth the finish, the fruit and acid precision and brightness is excellent. A beautiful wine, which PJ expects to have at least 10 years of cellaring potential.