(2019) Mostly Garganega and made in stainless steel tanks, with 40% Sauvignon Blanc which sees a little barrel fermentation. Mealy and pear fruit, an Asian pear crunch and into a limpid, mouth-filling palate, a lemon rind sense of fat and acidity. Good freshness, with a touch of exotic sweet fruit, but finishing dry.
(2019) A wine from Trentino, further west than Valpolicella and closer to the Austrian border. The Conti Bossi Fedrigotti family has 600 years of history on the estate, making wine for more than 300 of them, and today, like Serego Alighieri, Masi takes care of winemaking and commercialisation of the family's wines. Mostly Chardonnay with Traminer, it's not quite as aromatic as I expected, but there is a trace of floral character that blossoms on the palate. The oak is discreet and gently oatmeally, but the crisp orchard fruit, just edging towards exotic, balances with nicely judged, dry and lightly saline acidity.
(2019) Dried herbs and dried cherry, mostly Corvina but 16% of Sangiovese in this wine, introduced by Massimilla’s father due to the family’s Tuscan roots. Dusty and ashy aromas. Good sweet fruit, with 14% Molinara also giving some spice, but good freshness and acid, a fresh style of red.
(2019) A sweet earth character here, more of that dusty cherry from this blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara, but a more concentrated style with 30% appassimento from the double fermentation system. That fragrance from the cherry wood is there, with a strong palate showing some coffee and plummy fruit, lots of spice into the well balanced finish.
(2019) From a vineyard bought by the family in 1353. More tobacco and cherry and floral lift and perfume, that slightly ashy quality. The lovely sweetness of ripe cherry and juicy, plump currants, and a beautifully judged residual sugar, but set against it keen, cherry skin acidity and tight tannins, with an underpinning of violet and bittersweet dark chocolate, a deliciously balanced wine. Around 60g/l residual sugar. Price for 50cl.
(2019) Meaty, dense stuff on the nose, with that concentrated, dry graphite character. From a limestone vineyard I visite, the palate has real meatiness, dry, touched with coffee and a little game. Real firmness here, a savoury umami grip and bit of muscle and sinew to the tannin and acid framework, plenty of chewiness here, but once again really good freshness. Should cellar for a decade plus.
(2019) On New Zealand's North Island, Hawke's Bay has carved out a formidable reputation for Syrah, Bordeaux varieties and Chardonnay, but this is a bit different: made from the grape of Beaujolais, Gamay, partly with carbonic maceration, and only 12.5% alcohol. From what's described as "an incredible vintage," this comes from a vineyard planted in 1995 and has an expressive and varietal nose, crammed with crushed plum and cherry, that hint of watercolour paint-box so typical of Gamay, and a tug of earthy, beetrooty character. In the mouth the fruit ripeness and sweetness is turned up a notch above a typical Beaujolais, vibrant and etched by an agile acidity and bit of tannic grip, it is balanced and delicious. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) It's a common misconception that Australia is a country with a very young wine industry and, therefore, only very young vines. In fact, vines have been established for almost 200 years, and with Phyloxerra never reaching many vineyards regions it also boasts some of the oldest, still productive, vineyards in the world. The label here declares 'Ancient Vine', and that's no marketing BS: this Semillon vineyard in the Barossa Valley is an astonishing 130 years old. Made by David Franz (son of the legendary Peter Lehmann), it is unoaked, but spent 10 months on the lees in tank to build flavour and texture.
Pale lemon in colour, it opens with notes of lemon jelly and pollen, the bee theme continuing with a touch of beeswax, something a litle creamy too. On the palate it burst with vivacious flavour. There's a surge of lemon - fat and sweet rather than tart and thin - plenty more peach and citrussy, orangey flavours too, and the rich, slightly chewy texture adds to the intrigue. The natural concentration of these old vines is apparent, the intensity never letting up into a long finish, that flits with sweetness, but indeed finishes dry, licked by salt and lemons. This 2015 is listed at Harvey Nichols at time of review though not on their web site, but the 2017 has slightly wider distribution.
(2019) Brolio means ‘Clos’ in the local dialect, this is a single vineyard IGT Veronese wine. Same blend as Toar, and a small production. More ripeness and richness compared to the Toar, with 30% dried Corvina and 24 months in 600 litre casks giving both meatiness and openness, the initial hit of sweet plum and cherry fruit giving way to lovey acidity and firm tannic structure.
(2019) The blend is 70% Corvina, with 25% Rondinella and Molinara, with no appassimento of the grapes. A light balsamic richness, deep cherry and a touch of creaminess from 20% oak ageing. Plenty of sweetness but smooth tannins too, fresh acidity, and a light but elegant finish.