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(2018) The 2015 vintage is being hailed as one of the best ever in the resurgent Beaujolais region, where recognition for the quality of wines from the 'Crus' of Beaujolais has soared. This comes from one of the very best, most Burgundian Crus, Morgon, where ninth generation winemaker Gérard Lagneau works with 60-year-old vines. Deep-coloured but bright, the nose has lovely crushed violets and summer berry fruits, a little stripe of game and meatiness adding interest. In the mouth this is truly gorgeous: there's a precise minerality to this that belies its 14% alcohol, the flood of sweet, so obviously ripe and plump, cherry and red berry fruit etched by fine acidity and smooth, fine-grained tannins. An exquisite Morgon really, well-priced at £14.50, but reduced to £13.00 at time of review. A fabulous bellwether for the 2015 vintage. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) From an estate-grown single vineyard, and predominantly from the Gin Gin clone. The wine was barrel fermented and aged in a mix of new and used French oak. Very discreet, just gentle spearmint and toast but the fruit fresh and pristine. Juicy and firm on the palate, the acid is the spine of this, apple and taut and fresh salt and mineral flavours persisting into a balanced finish.
(2018) Made from the Gin Gin clone, this spend 10 months in new and older French oak, both barriques and larger puncheons. Mealy and almondy, a touch of roasted orange, lovely nuttiness and a touch buttery. Ripe and full, on the palate - much more so than the Lenton Brae - verging on the tropical, but still with gorgeous acids. Stockist and price quoted at time of review is single bottle equivalent, but available only by the case.
(2018) A higher proportion of fruit from the south of the region than the first two wines. This was whole-bunch pressed to extract only free-run juice, fermented and aged 11 months in new and older barrels, with regular lees stirring. It's the first wine to exhibit the complex sulphide character, a touch of flint and roasted quality, but again very clean. Fine, balanced, quite fat lemon rind character, delicious balance again, the mint and vanilla just filling in against that salty background. Only 12.5% alcohol here, perhaps a combination of the cooler southerly vineyards and earlier picking
(2018) Another wine that is 100% Gin Gin clone, whole-bunch pressed into French oak (25% new) with spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts. No malolactic. Very subdued, a touch of saltiness but very subtle - too subtle? The palate has plenty of lemony fruit, good drive from the acidity, just a touch of nuttiness filling in
(2018) From a single block of old Gin Gin clone Chardonnay on clay/loam soils that retain moisture and need little irrigation. Again this was whole-bunch pressed into larger French oak barrels and fermented with wild yeast. It spent 10 months ageing in barrel (40% new). Much more obvious Brazil nut oak, but also a little bit of flinty reductive character. Lovely palate, the acid powerful and intense, but a hugely decisive wine without losing fruit or charm. Lovely wine from a winery that does not own vineyards, but sources this fruit from the cooler South of the region. Note stockist and price quoted is for 2015 vintage.
(2018) Heytesbury is a selection of the best vineyards and fruit. 100% Gin Gin, the recipe again was for pressing straight to barrel and fermentation with wild yeast. Lees were stirred regularly during nine months ageing in 57% new French oak. Subtle wild ferment earthiness and nuttiness, a juicy directness, firm and acidic, it stays quite grippy and intense, but very good fruit. This has length and a good balance and certainly the fruit and infill of creamy oak to give lovely balance.
(2018) Though pressed straight to French oak barriques (50% new), this was inoculated with selected yeasts and did go through malolactic fermentation during its 18 months in barrel. It still has nice earthiness and a nicely 'dirty' component, a suggestion of real savouriness to come and something of an orange fruit character. The palate has plenty of that meaty umami character, there's juiciness and a touch of toast, but a long, dry and savoury wine.
(2018) This is the only wine that see 100% new oak, all French and all small barrels. 100% Gin Gin fruit is given some skin contact, with some barrels fermented with wild yeasts, others inoculated, spending a further 11 months in barrel, Lovely delicate perfume here, gentle creamy and almond oak influence, a touch of mint. The palate has ripe fruit in a nice mid point between sparky, juicy, tingling acid and a hint of the tropical as the fruit tightens up to mint and lime leafy juiciness.
(2018) In 2013 the blend was 30% old vines Pinot Noir from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ (parcels: Faubourg D'enfer, Croix Blanche, Pruche), 25% Pinot Noir from Aÿ (parcels: Cheuzelles, Pierre Robert, Le Leon), 35% old vines Chardonnay from Mareuil-sur-Aÿ (parcels: Beauregard, Ramonette, Buisson Saint Loup) and 10% Chardonnay from Oiry and Chouilly. Fermented in stainless steel from the coeur de cuvée, with a dosage of 6.5 g/l. On paper, this vintage was similar to 2012, with a combination of high acidity and high potential alcohol.  However, unlike the previous vintage, flowering was much later, leading to a late September and early October harvest. Cuvées from this year possess a minerality, freshness, and coolness of fruit that reminds me of 2008. The Hebrart 2013 Special Club is especially fine, with its throttled back aromatics and desirable austerity. This Champagne will certainly take a while to show its hand, but I have no doubts that given time, it will give the 2012 a run for its money and possibly earn a score of 94/100 too. Drink: 2024-2032.