(2020) Vaillons is often one of my favourite Premier Crus of Chablis, this coming from just two parcels of vines on the famous Kimmeridgian soils. It's a lovely style - relatively soft aromatically, with a certain succlence and ripeness to the fruit and just subtle flint and herbal notes. The underlying terroir minerality is there on the palate, super-fresh and riven with cleansing minerality, and yet that succulence is there again, the mid-palate acid core restraining a burgeoning fruit ripeness to lovely, long-finishing effect. £17.99 by the mixed six. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2020) From a single vineyard in the Côte de Nuits Fixin appellation, vinified in oak fourdres and aged in barriques, this has a medium-deep colour and, as always with this producer, delightful aromatics where those floral and lifted, almost camphor like notes meld beautifully with berry fruit and subtle oak spices. There is earthiness and honesty here. In the mouth the sweetness and pulpy textural weight of the fruit is a treat, the acid and tannin axis sharpening things up but never, ever dominating: it stays supple and fruity, spicy too, into a long, fresh finish. Seriously lovely stuff. £29.99 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) White Côte de Nuits Villages is relatively rare, and indeed only two barrels of this fine Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in Fixin. Fermented in wooden foudres and aged one year in barrique, it has a Brazil nut opulence on the nose, quite Meursault-like, buttery, the palate brimming with ripe fruit, succulent pear and Ogen melon, very juicy, and a beautifully balanced white Burgundy with texture and charm to spare, but the cleansing acidity is framing everything very elegantly. £24.50 as part of a mixed six.
(2020) Just like the white wines, Pierre Bourée only vinifies his red wine in oak vats and ages in barrel. This Gevrey is classic stuff, quite a pale ruby colour and offering a nose that is distinctly and attractively fruity - red berries and cherry - but with such lovely and complex counterpoints of violet and old roses, hints of truffle and game, and a dusting of vanilla. On the palate it strikes a genuinely lovely balance between that fruit concentration and more ethereal, mineral and cherry-skin acid edges, a hint of coffee and truffle again in the finish. Quite firm, quite serious, and a terrific village wine that is surely capable of a decade of cellaring. £44.99 by the mixed six.
(2020) What a delightful nose on this village Puligny, vinified and matured in oak barrels for 14 months. There is oak, but it is fragrant and creamy, floral edges and hint so exotic spices rather than anything too obvious, with a gossamer fruit quality beneath; floral-edged stone fruits and crisp pear. In the mouth, nuttiness and Cox's pippin apples, very good acidity in a fine lime and mineral line that runs through the buttery ripeness and oak toastiness into the finish. Mixed six price is £44.99
(2020) A total of 971 barrels of this wine were made, with Tempranillo from old vines in Ramón Bilbao's highest vineyards in Rioja Alta, situated at over 700 metres above sea level. It spent 14 months in a combination of French and American oak and is a big mouthful of wine: opulent with rich, chocolaty berry fruit, tobacco and exotic and musky spices, it's that intensity of blackcurrant and mint fruit that drives through. Joining it on the palate are suede-like creamy tannins and well balanced cherry acidity, giving light and shade to the wine, so the finish is spicy and fruity, but fresh too. Modern but substantial. Note that some retailers have moved on to the highly-regarded 2016 vintage already. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) From a legendary vintage, this second-growth Margaux is absolutely exemplary classic Bordeaux: only 12.5% alcohol and a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Merlot, at 33 years old the colour is surprisingly dense and ruby at the core, the broad rim only just fading to pink/amber. Heavenly, pure classic nose of pencil shavings and truffle, a little dried blood note and plenty of black, small berry fruits. There is perfume to spare here, from the gamey to the floral. Decanted for half an hour or so, it is clearly a wine just edging towards the downslope, the tannins a little dry, a bit of brick dust character, but is gives such pleasure and is such a terrific wine. Balancing meatiness, elegance, firmness and yielding softness so well, it has sweet fruit on the mid-palate but does dry just slightly towards the long finish, suggesting it should be drunk up soon to enjoy this gorgeous wine at its best.
(2019) From Lodovico Antinori’s estate in the Upper Maremma, only 40% of this blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot spent a short time in French oak barrels. What a beautifully perfumed wine this is, crushed raspberry and incense floating from the glass, a touch of darker blackberry and a hint of spice. On the palate it combines plush, sweet and dense, ripe fruit with great agility, a breezy freshness to the acidity and the oak adding just a sheen of nutty breadth to the crisp, fruity finish. Delightful. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2019) From old vines in the Riverland, carefully made with different techniques for different parcels of vines, with portions wild-fermented, some aged in older oak barrels, some in concrete tanks, this is juicy and forward, wth a full aromatic expression, lifted peppery notes, florals, and juicy berry fruits. In the mouth it's no shrinking violet with 14.5% alcohol, yet it is breezy and bright, fruit rushing through the mid-palate with spices and a tart rasp of plum skin acidity, the picture fruity but keen and grippy in the finish. Quite a lot going on at its modest price. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) What a great example of how Margaret River is helping to redefine Austalian Chardonnay. Whole-bunch pressed, fermented in French oak with natural yeasts, and matured in a combination of small and large French oak barrels for nine months. It opens with a whiff of flint and gunpowder over ripe peach and pear, just a touch of creamy oak too. In the mouth it is sweet-fruited and intense, but there is great clarity and drive here too, the acid nicely judged and a taut precision to the finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.