(2020) Giovanni Rosso's Etna red is mostly Nerello Mascalese, with small amounts of other local varieties. It is matured in French oak barrels of various sizes. The colour shows a little tawny on the rim, but it is quite ripe and smoothly solid on the nose, a little wisp of exotic, incense-like smokiness and firm black and red fruits. In the mouth the game and truffle character is more pronounced, but there's a piercing freshness about this, a zest of orange or kumquat bitterness, small, firm berries and plenty of spices too. It's a solid and powerful wine, and yet has agility too. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Decanted for three hours to allow this baby just a chance of opening up slightly. It pours a youthful but pale colour with a broad Amber rim. Taut, firm, graphite and briar aromas, hints of curling woodsmoke and spices, some floral notes floating somewhere above very firm cherry pit notes. Compact and tightly furled. The palate tight as a drum currently, but so beautifully composed, fruit, creamy tannin and generous but firm acids all perfectly balanced. Some tobacco spice and a touch of truffle and polished wood adding a layer of depth. So young, needs years - probably decades - but very, very elegant and refined indeed.
(2020) Ageing is in 5,000-litre casks for this Langhe Nebbiolo. A 2018, the colour is garnet with a little amber on the rim and the nose is firm and fairly ungiving at this stage, some small red fruits, raspberry freshness. It is firm and just a touch lean on the palate at this stage, but beyond that the purity of the fruit is very fine, and the balance and structure of the wine good, plentiful cherry acidity and fine tannins. This could loosen up a little over a year or two in bottle.
(2020) From the volcanic slopes of Etna, this is 100% Nerelo Mascalese from 25- to 60-year-old bush vines. It has an orangey hue to the pink colour, and a fascinating nose, immediately quite earthy and complex, plenty of red berries and a ripe, peachy tone, but somehow quite savoury. In the mouth it treads a fine balancing line between that charming and sweet fruit character, and something more gastronomic and juicy, but it's dry and really quite long. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2020) A delightful, dry Côtes de Provence rosé that's mostly Grenache with 25% Cinsault, 8% Syrah and 7% Carignan, the nose is crammed with small red berry fruits, cranberry and redcurrants, a touch of lemon rind too. Some lees contact in tank lends texture on the palate, and it is super dry and tangy-fresh, a real sense of citrus juiciness is mouth-watering, in a delicious and gastronomic rosé perfect with a salad Niçoise or seabass or bream. Watch the video for more information.
(2020) From the Los Lingues vineyard in Colchagua, 60 kilometres from the Pacific coast, this is 100% Carmenere, 85% of which was aged 14 months in new and second-fill French oak barrels, 15% in large un-toasted oak vats, and a further 12 in bottle before release. It is a glossy, ripe wine aromatically, deep black cherry and blackberry aromas, a refined graphite and cedar in the background. In the mouth the fruit is really intense, there's a hint of raisiny intensity, but more of the cherry flesh and tartness, the stripe of tannin from fruit and barrels, a little toastiness, and pert acidity all giving it a nice sense of freshness in the finish despite the fruit concentration and grippiness.
(2020) The winemaking recipe here is exactly the same as for the 2017, with fruit from Los Lingues and matured in 85% small French oak, 15% in large untoasted barrels, for 14 months, but of course from a cooler year. From Los Lingues around 360 metres above sea level. This harvest was three weeks later than 2017, with an extremely cool spring and warm summer. In 2017 it was hot from beginning to end, hence the earlier picking. More savoury, more earthy and a touch more herbaceous, like undergrowth, cool, in profile. The fruit is sweet and ripe on the palate, a pure blackcurrant character, fairly brisk tannins and acids giving grip and juiciness, and it finishes quite tangy with sour cherry freshness.
(2020) The Higuera vineyard in the more southerly region of Maule is the source of this wine. Maturation is 85% in French oak, but no new oak, and 15% in untoasted oak casks where it spends 12 months, plus six months more in bottle before release. Maule vineyard planted in 1994. Beautifully aromatic, real perfume here soaring from the glass, super ripe and creamy berries, spices and a kirsch-like lift, perhaps a little hint of the pyrazine greenness, but only a hint. Flooded with fruit on the palate, ripe, fleshy, chocolate-smooth tanins, and absolutely delicious to drink. There is spice and some grippiness in the finish, in a powerful and luscious wine.
(2020) Also from Colchagua Valley, but this time from Lolol, 20 kilometres closer to the Ocean than Los Lingues. Winemaking is identical to CA1, combining 85% small French oak and large untoasted foudres. More lifted, a little volatile character (in a very positive way), with a hint of acetone to floral and cherry and a hint of white pepper. Great sweetness in the mouth, a light balsamic touch, but then the very grippy tannins kick in, lots of powdery, dry structural tannins dry the mouth, good acidity too, balancing the sweet fruit and touch of chocolate. The character is quite different, mostly to do with aromatic perfume and that freshness in the finish.
(2020) A change of pace here, with a blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Tempranillo coming from the Casablanca Valley, just 22 kmilometres from the coast. The Syrah is raised for 14 months in untoasted oak foudres, the Tempranillo in amphorae. That treatment adds a savoury, tapendade and charcuterie character, a touch of ashy quality or leafiness (but not green), and a meatiness blending with red fruit freshness on the palate. It's a wine with lovely sweetness and textural weight in the mouth, and that sense of meatiness and savoury grip with balanced acidity into the finish.