(2017) Would I class this as semi-sweet or fully sweet? It's probably somewhere in upper Spätlese to Auslese territory (in fact, Kevin tells me it has 38/gl of residual sugar), but is a truly glorious Riesling, brimming with sweet nectarine and mango, a definite touch of Botrytis honey and barley sugar, and a zesty touch of lime peel. It has such luscious fruit sweetness on the palate, more of that peach and apricot flesh juiciness, tropical notes, and a riveting core of grapefruit acidity. It's easy to over-mark sweeter wines, but this is incredibly well done and utterly delicious.
(2017) With 30g/l residual sugar, this was sent straight to barrel for fermentation with ambient yeast. Wooly, lanolin quality and a little waxy, with nectarine and has lots of orange and peach, and nicely balanced.
(2017) Medium-sweet perhaps with 70g/l of sugar, a vineyard block is managed specifically for this. Picked early, fermentation is stopped leaving the sugar quite high. Gently smoky and apple-scented, with an absolutely delicious shimmering freshness and lightness. Kabinett in style, with lovely balance. Price quoted is per bottle equivalent, but sold by the 12-bottle case only.
(2015) One of the great, great names of the Loire valley on superb form, this demi-sec or 'half dry' Chenin Blanc is everything that so many others of this style might aspire to. Such intriguing honeyed richness here, swirling with light smokiness and vanilla, but whilst hinting at the ripe and exotic it is the mineral and gravel notes that are adding so much more complexity. Quite luscious, the orangey brightness of the acidity playing against gorgeous ripe apple and more exotic nectarine sweetness, it is long and utterly beautiful.
(2015) We kick off the whites with an unusual 'moelleux', literally meaning 'mellow', off-dry white made from late-harvested Gros Manseng grapes in the South-west of France. With only 11.5% alcohol this is such a charming little wine, succulent with honey, nectarine and herb aromas, before the palate that is limpid and rich, but with a streaking apple acidity to balance. The winemaker suggests drinking with Comte cheese, and I'd throw Mimolet or even Parmesan into the mix too, but a delicious wine.
(2015) One of the few wines shown by Majestic in their spring press tasting that was not on special offer, but I loved this 8.5% alcohol Mosel Riesling. With 70g/l of residual sugar it has a noticeable sweetness, but like all the best German Rieslings, spine-tingling acidity too. The honeysuckle and perfumed character is lovely, hints of nettles and of ripe stone fruits. That gorgeous trick that only Germany seems to pull off time after time, with luscious, endorphin-rush sweetness but staying vital, balanced and sharp as a tack. 89
(2014) >From Elgin, this off-dry Riesling has only 10.5% abv. Ferricrete is the soil (clay over shale) on which the Cluvers grow the grapes for this wine, which is waxy and herby, but deliciously fruity and flavoursome too. There's no shortage of refined, acid-etched clarity and purity, the flavoursome sweet apple and the floral edged finesse, all in perfect balance.
(2014) Peach and citrus, a push-me-pull-me nose that swings from savoury to sweet and is quite tantalising. The palate is off-dry - decisively so - with a lovely balance of apple and shimmering, light, floral-edged fruit. Fine and balanced finish, almost Kabinett suyle, and delicious for light fruity desserts.
(2014) Again from the Mosel, a Kabinett with just 8% abv. A hint of toastiness and flintiness, a nice freshly cracked stone wisp of gravelly character. Gorgeous palate, with a weight of sweet mango and peach, then the shimmering coolness of its running water clarity and acidity giving knife-edge balance. Delightful summer drinking.
(2013) And only 10% abv for this cuvée that is sold in M&S. The name refers to the Ferrecrete or Coffeklip shale on which is it grown. Delicate, more sherbetty tones here, with apple and that touch of waxiness coming through, seems very delicate and Kabinett in character. Deliciously light on the palate, 18g/l RS, pure, long, off-dry finish with that tight sherbet lemon character.