(2017) Seven Springs has come a long way in a short time, including scooping a 'silver' in the Decanter World Wine Awards for this wine. Aged in 300-litre barrels for a year, it has toast and vanilla, but the cool harvest has also created a touch of green - fig and greengage - that gives lovely tension and aromatic complexity, the wild yeast ferment adding a savoury aspect. In the mouth it has bold, fresh acidity to offset the ripe stone fruits, teetering on tropical, but drier and more restrained as it finishes with fine clarity.
(2017) Not the most expensive wine in the Seven Springs line-up, but you know I really enjoyed this. Only 12.5% alcohol, but crammed with flavour and a lovely creamy texture too, it flirts between nectarine sweet juiciness and the zest of fresh squeezed lemon, and slipped down very easily indeed with chicken in a garlicky, lime and ginger-spiced marinade.
(2017) As always, the Sauvignon Blanc from Seven Springs is about intensity and concentration, about drive and minerality as much as flamboyance. Having said that, there is an edge of cut grass and nettles on the nose, as well as a hint of tropical fruit, along with plenty of citrus and apple skins. On the palate delicious intensity, a streaking mineral and lemon zest freshness, dry, with a shimmering quality of fruit giving shine and brilliance. The best vintage yet for this I think.
(2017) From Sicily and made from a blend of grapes including the local Insolia and Cataratto, but also a little Chardonnay, this is like walking through a lemon grove into an apple orchard. It's all about filigree lightness and clean, delicate flavours in a light-bodied format, and yet there is some real fruit concentration on the palate and a long, crisp finish as those lemon groves hove into view again. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) There have been several quite successful attempts recently to introduce a new generation of drinkers to the delights of fortified wine like Sherry, Port and Madeira. Here's a novel idea, where Croft have blended Fino Sherry with aromatic elements based on English spring water and cordials, introducing gentle fizz and notes of elderflower, mint and lemon. With only 5.5% alcohol it opens with a definite note of the Fino, nutty and saline, but also those hedgerow aromas that are very summery. In the mouth that dry Sherry nuttiness continues, a lovely underpinning to the delicate sparkle, sweeter flavours from the cordial, and plenty of citrus and mint freshness. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2017) Who'd have thunk it? A fresh as a daisy, zipping and vibrant white wine from the baking heat of the Douro Valley, engine-room of big robust reds and, of course, Port. The secret here from Port maestros the Symington Family is altitude, grape choice, and early picking. A blend of aromatic varieties including Voishino, Malvasia and Moscatel, it has a heady perfume, all white flowers, tropical fruit and citrus - maybe even a hint of a Sauvignon-like elderflower in there too. The palate has a bit of weight, but lovely freshness, ensured by a grapefruity bite of acidity. Watch the video for more information and food-matching suggestions.
(2017) A really fresh and original take on Viognier from the high-altitude vineyards of Orange, not far from Sydney. This is a variety that can tend towards being overblown, with too much fat, ripeness and alcohol, but harvested here at just 11.5% it's like a turbo-charged Vinho Verde. A slight spritz added to that impression, but that may just be the extreme youth of this 2017 wine, as often a touch of C°2 shows through in newly bottled aromatic whites. Beyond that, lemon sherbet and a touch of juicy yellow apricot skins onto the palate that bursts with vivacious flavour, a touch of sweetness off-setting a big lemony core of acid. Rather delicious and the low alcohol making it so easy to drink - or pair with aromatic Oriental food perhaps?
(2017) This is a single vineyard Gavi, from one of the region's real white wine experts. Beautifully clean and clear on the nose, there's a sherbetty touch to crisp and cool apple, just a suggestion of something mineral and salty. In the mouth there is great concentration here, but zero gravity: it flows freely across the palate, taut apple and lemons, medium-bodied, but super clean and fresh in the finish again, ozone fresh, finishing long as it tapers to a point. A seriously good, subtle, but decisive Gavi.
(2017) A blend of Colombard and Chardonnay, with drops of Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Manseng and Ugni Blanc, this plays the pungent, elderflower and passion fruit character to the hilt aromatically, but perhaps it's the Chardonnay that adds a little more peachy richness and weight to the mid-palate, plenty of zingy tropicality too, a real fireworks mouthful of wine to sip on its own, or pair up with a goat's cheese salad or soufflé.
(2017) From the long-established négociant house of Chanson, this is an impressive Chablis, showing much more of the flint and minerality one might hope for on the nose compared to some Chablis at this price, and with an intensity to the palate, the fruit showing even a hint of tropical ripeness, but all constrained and restrained by its acidity, sharp lemony focus and sweeping acidity. Rather a good wine this from head winemaker Jean-Pierre Confuron, and the purchase of Chanson by the Bollinger family seems to be stepping up quality impressively.