(2019) I'm a fan of Disznókő's regular dry Tokaji, but this new wine takes selected small plots of Furmint and blends 17% Harslevelu, the two main grapes of sweet Tokaji, and ages the components in 225-litre and 500-litre barrels to quite different effect. In some ways it reminds me of a good Chablis, mineral and taut, yet with an undeniable fruit density at its core. Hints of salts and leafy green herbs join cool orchard fruits on the nose, just a touch of nutty barrel character, with a super-dry palate that has natural concentration to spare, real pithy citrus intensity, and spices adding to the lingering finish. Intense and yet quite subtle in its way, it a lovely, intelligent wine from Disznókő. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) From magnum. A complex year with early budding but violent hail storms, but a very good summer and low yield. 69% Pinot Noir and 31% Chardonnay, disgorged December 2018 with 8g/l dosage. Creamy without the more developed hazelnut and coffee nuances of the 1983. Delightful richness, nutty apple and some exotic notes with glimpses of papaya and spiced orange. On the palate it has great length and that mouth-filling creaminess, there is some toast and buttery Brazil nut richness that fills the finish to join lovely sweetness of fruit and racing acidity. Fabulous wine. Price quoted at time of review for 75cl and not this disgorgement.
(2019) From magnum: a fine summer and mild autumn compensated for a difficult spring and delayed growing season. A blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay, disgorged December 2018 with 8g/l dosage. Fine copper tinged colour, this has a lovely creaminess and developed character, but is very fresh, quite custardy with a touch of coffee and hazelnut, a touch of truffle too. The palate has great freshness, a direct lemon character, a sour thrust of acid driving the lightly earthy, nutty richness. Price quoted at time of review is for 75cl, and not this disgorgement.
(2019) From magnum, and tasted and scored blind. Spring frosts resulted in large losses and extremely low yields. There was a lack of cultivation in 1917 and 1918, the vineyards sited in combat zones. Cepage unknown, disgorged 1969. Deep, burnished colour. Clearly very old. Like and older white Burgundy, with waxed parcel string, nutty apple and hints of truffle and toffee. Fabulous sweetness and a trace of bubbles on the palate. The palate filled with sweet fruit, clearly very old, but there's a freshness here from magnum, a hint of buttery Brazil nut fat, and that sweet finish of both fruit and, I suspect dosage, but wonderful and still showing great balance. Turns out to be the 1918 vintage. Pinot Noirs from Bouzy and Aÿ, almost no Verzenay because Phylloxera had decimated the vineyards, Mesnil sur Oger for the Chardonnay. Not available to purchase.
(2019) From magnum. The hottest year since 1962, but also rainy which helped soils in water deficit. Dry September suited Chardonnay in particular. 65% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, disgorged December 2018 with 8g/l dosage. Quite a glowing golden tinge to this. Rounded, arguably slightly more attenuated, not the direct creamy elegance of the 1989, but has fine biscuity character, a yellow plum fruitiness, but the palate stretches with the rounded, sweet fruit mid-palate and again very good acid balance. Long and shimmering, though the 1989 wins for its exquisite length and balance. Stockist at time of review is for 75cl and not the same disgorgement.
(2019) A blend of local varieties Touriga Naçional, Tinta Roriz (a.k.a Tempranillo) and the Syrah grape of France, which is not an unusual marriage down in the Algarve, which is more experimental than Portugal's more established wine regions. Spicy, richly-fruited and dark in colour, it is crammed with sweet and ripe berry and plum fruit, tobacco and some coffee tones before more of the same on the palate. Terrifically intense and sweet fruit, ripe to overripe flavours verging on prune and currant, but with good balance from its rustic tannins and freshening acidity. A big, warming mouthful, terrific for wintery dishes or firework celebrations perhaps. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) The first vintage from Adrien Surain, the latest generation of the family to take over the reins of the estate, this is boldly packaged in a Burgundy-shaped bottle, no doubt meant to disrupt the classic Bordeaux scene as much as the name 'Popcorn'. A powerful wine with 15% alcohol, it has an intensely deep and dark crimson/black colour, the nose vinous with black vine fruits and plum, a nicely spicy tobacco edge too. In the mouth it is smooth and dense, but does seem to have a little edge of tannin and acidity to give a touch more structure, a touch more energy compared to the 2015 for example, a twist of liquorice joining the plummy dark fruits.
(2019) The colour is deep and saturated, the nose offering plummy aromas, a touch of dark chocoalte and a little highlight of brighter cherry. In the mouth the wine is dense and feels quite powerful, and yet is driven by its fruit and rich texture, both tannins and acidity good, but in the background, giving the wine a creamy sense of richness.
(2019) Again, 100% Merlot for this vintage, and an appealing nose, the touch of spicy-chocolate to the ripe, dark vine fruits, is there a hint of charred toast there too? Quite plush and ripe on the palate, the tannins a tiny bit grippier than the 2015, giving a crisp edge to the finish, perhaps just a little extra length too with fresh acidity. Enjoyably honest and fruit-forward.
(2019) The fact that the hot Douro Valley produces crisp and fresh, dry white table wines still comes as something of a surprise to many. Generally grown on the higher slopes, often orientated to the cooler north, the vineyards are harvested a little earlier which can produce wines wines like this one with good fruit, modest alcohol (12.5%), and retaining good natural acidity. It is an aromatic blend of many local varieties including Moscatel and Malvasia, unoaked, allowing the bright, floral and tropical fruit aromas to take centre stage. On the palate it is a genuinely lovely white wine, enough sweet mandarin orange and nectarine fruit to please everyone, but a lovely stripe of lemon zest acidity to give balance and length. Note that there are many independent stockists of this wine (use wine-searcher) but showing the 2016 or 2017 vintage. Stockist quoted is the only one showing 2018 at time of review, but do check as vintages move on all the time. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.