Finca La Emperatriz – Reserva, Rioja DOC, Spain 2012
A ruby red wine, very brilliant, with medium to high colour intensity and slightly tinted legs. Very intense on the nose, with initially complex, mineral aromas originating from the soil. This is followed by notes reminiscent of cigar boxes and sweet dairy products, with a hint of black fruits and orange peel; very elegant. Very intense in the mouth; a spirited wine with good acidity and medium strength on the palate. A friendly, enveloping sensation in the mouth, with a fruity and mildly spiced finish. Enjoy with Stews and casseroles.
Bodegas la Emperatriz
Bodegas la Emperatriz is great find. A picturesque estate in the heart of Rioja Alta which has been winning awards since the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878, when it was owned by the last empress of France, Eugenia de Montijo. Now owned by the Hernaiz family since 1996, the estate boasts 67 years old vine Garnacha and Viura, and produces Rioja’s only single estate Crianza. Their wines have proved a huge hit with wine critics across the globe and are widely listed in Madrid’s Michelin starred restaurants.
Fonseca – Vintage Port, 2007
94 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2007 Fonseca Vintage Port is opaque purple-colored with a high-class perfume of lavender, Asian spices, pencil lead, incense, and an amalgam of black fruits. On the palate it is voluminous with layered, succulent fruit, outstanding density, and excellent integration of tannin, acidity, and alcohol. The long finish and the wine’s impeccable balance suggest a lengthy evolution and a drinking window extending out to 2045.” (2/2010)
96 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“A limpid purple garnet core. The nose is quintessential Fonseca, like a riotous party reaching its crescendo in the glass. Macerated black cherries, eau-de-vie, damson, fig and a touch of Seville orange. Then what is fascinating is that the uproar dies down with aeration, becomes more focused…as if the host has asked everyone to quieten down. The palate is powerful and spicy on the entry, sweet ripe black berried fruits, a touch of spice, fig and apricot, lovely cohesion and weight building towards a deeply joyous finish that lacquers the mouth in port-like reverie. Perhaps more approachable than the 2000 or the 2003 at this stage, this is a marvellous Fonseca.” Neal Martin May 2009 – Score 96
94 Points Wine Spectator
“A subtle yet powerful young Vintage Port, with freshly sliced plum, citrus and mulberry on the nose. Full-bodied and medium sweet, with a solid core of powerful tannins and a long, balanced finish. So tight and reserved. Muscularly structured. Best after 2017.” (5/2010)
Fonseca has belonged to the first rank of Vintage Port producers since the mid-nineteenth century. Fonseca Vintage Ports are noted for their luscious fruitiness which develops great opulence and complexity with age. Wines born of inspired winemaking and a thorough understanding of viticulture and terroir, they appeal, perhaps more than any other house’s Vintage Ports, to the enthusiast and connoisseur.Vintage Ports represent the finest produce of a single exceptional year. Unlike Ports which age in wood, Vintage Ports will continue to age and improve in bottle for decades, their character bearing the imprint of both vineyard and wine maker.A constant thread that runs through the history of Fonseca is the family’s close involvement with the making of the firm’s Vintage Ports. Throughout the 20th century, the making of Fonseca Vintage Ports was overseen by only four family members, Frank, Dorothy, Bruce and David Guimaraens and this has helped to make Fonseca one of the most stylistically consistent of Vintage Port producers.The firm’s Vintage Ports are drawn from its own quintas or estates: Cruzeiro and Santo António in the Pinhão Valley, which have contributed to the firm’s Vintage Port blend for 100 years, as well the Távora Valley property of Panascal. Fonseca is unique among Port houses in making three different types of Vintage Port.
Fonseca Vintage Ports are released only when a year produces outstanding wines with long term ageing potential. These classic Vintage Ports are a blend of wines from Cruzeiro, Santo António and Panascal. Cruzeiro contributes concentrated black fruit flavours and firm tannic ‘grip’. Panascal adds an opulent luscious fruitiness and a dense velvety texture. Finally, Santo António brings complexity and vibrancy with its fine scented character and fresh acidity.
Although they can be enjoyed when young, Fonseca Vintage Ports will continue to improve in bottle for many decades. They have the stamina and aromatic potential to last for over a hundred years. Attracting the highest scores and auction prices, they are favoured not only by fine wine enthusiasts but also by collectors and investors.
The wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel. Small, freshly-picked, intensely flavored Patagonian strawberries (from the foot of the Andes) are added to the wine. The result is a fruity, fresh and delicious all natural sparkling wine.The color and appearance is deep, luscious, and salmon pink with strawberry pulp floating in the wine.
Guiseppe Campagnola – Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore, Veneto 2016/17
Deep ruby red colour. Elegant, complex aromas of ripe fruit. In the mouth, soft, rich flavours typical of the best Valpolicella, lengthening into a pleasantly bitterish finish.
89 Points Wine Enthusiast (2011 vintage)
“Mouthfuls of black cherry, raspberry, nutmeg and cinnamon abound in this wine. It boasts a beautiful structure coupled with elegant freshness. Drink now through the next few years.” K.O. (11/1/2013)
87 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“The 2011 Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore shows a delicate and almost ethereal side to Ripasso that is otherwise very difficult to find in this category of hearty Italian red wine. Leather, tobacco, spicy oak and molasses frame lighter nuances of forest berry and cassis. The mouthfeel is crisp and lean.”
Valpolicella, Verona, Veneto.
Corvina Veronese and Corvinone Veronese 80%, Rondinella 20%. Bunches are hand picked.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.
“The Giuseppe Campagnola brand has existed since 1907 and has seen five generations at the helm of its winemaking operations. Today, the estate buys fruit from more than 50 growers who collectively farm 80 hectares in the area, 30 of which are located in Valpolicella. The Campagnola brand refers to various wines made in the Verona area and the Caterina Zardini brand is specifically for wines made in Valpolicella.”
Herdade do Esporão – Alandra Branco, Alentejo, 2018
It is floral, fragrant and delicate, with lime and citrus aromas enhancing a fresh and fruity palate.
Herdade do Esporão – Alandra Tinto, Alentejo, 2018
Youthful, ruby colour. Fresh berry, fruity aromas. Fresh, bright, packed with red fruits and some soft tannin.
84 Points Wine Enthusiast (2011 vintage)
“This wine is a blend created using grapes sourced from vineyard sites, giving it a ripe, full-bodied character. It is smooth, almost New-World in style, but with an edge of tannins and acidity. Drink this wine now.” — R.V. (12/1/2012)
Herdade do Esporão – Monte Velho Branco, Alentejo, 2017/18
Crystal clear, pale straw colour. Fresh white stone fruits with citric notes. Firm, intense and well balanced palate, persistent aromatic fruit with a long finish.
86 Points Wine Enthusiast (2013 vintage)
“Soft and round, this is a wine that has the warmth of the Alentejo coupled with a tangy, fresh slice of lemon. Blending Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Perrum, it’s a wine to drink now, or just age for a few months.”
Herdade do Esporão – Monte Velho Tinto, Alentejo, 2017/18
Clear deep ruby colour. Berry fruit aromas with some complex subtle toasty notes. Elegant palate with good depth of fruit and a fine tannic structure.
85 Points Wine Enthusiast (2012 vintage)
“A solid, dry, gently tannic wine that has a full and fruity character. Acidity and a dry core provide structure, while black berry and dark cherry fruits offer ripe contrast. It’s a wine to drink now and until 2019.”
Herdade do Esporão – Quatro Castas, Alentejo, 2017
Deep colour and intense. Aroma scented with berries, ensnared in subtle spicy notes.Solid and dense palate with creamy texture, highlighting the ripe fruit wrapped in fine tannins give it structure and a long and elegant finish.
90 Points Wine Enthusiast.
“Still young and showing fresh fruitiness, this wine needs time to calm down and broaden out. Made of four classic varieties in the Esporão vineyard, it’s dense, stalky and still full of tannins. Give this wine until 2016.”
Klippenkop – Pinotage, Robertson, 2017
A deep purple tint on the rim with delicious flavours of ripe strawberry, banana, juicy plums and rich, red cherry. Produced in an early drinking style with well integrated wood and a soft, smooth finish.
Klippenkop is an export label of the Robertson Winery situated in the Cape Winelands.
Established in 1941, Robertson Winery is recognised today as one of South Africa’s leading cellars. The fertile Robertson Valley with its variety of meso-climates and soil conditions create a wide spectrum of terroirs, allowing the estate to produce an exciting diversity of wine styles.
The winery has a long-standing tradition of dedicated grape-growing families, some of whom are 4th generation growers. Today, no less than 35 families, cultivating some 1900 hectares of vine, take pride in contributing to the success of the winery. Working in close partnership with our viticulturist, Briaan Stipp, they are committed to identifying the vineyard sites best suited to specific cultivars and to nurturing the grapes to optimum flavour and varietal character.
The fruit was sourced from 35 specially selected grape growing families in the Robertson Valley. Vines are grown in deep cool alluvial soil that is rich in lime and receives an annual rainfall of only 280 mm per year. Fruit was harvested very early in the morning from the last week of February to the middle of March. The Chenin Blanc vines are planted on the riverbanks with a row direction from northwest to southeast to utilize the prevailing sea breeze. The sea breeze cools down the fruit, extends the ripening period and builds up concentrated flavours in the grapes. The average annual rainfall is supplemented by controlled drip irrigation from the Breede River.
Gentle pressing of the grapes followed by using a Pneumatic bag press to capture the delicate fruit component. The wine was made reductively to prevent any oxidation and to ensure that natural flavours of the grapes could be retained. Fermentation happened slowly in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 18 days at 13¢ªC.
An appealing light straw colour. Full-bodied wine with powerful varietal flavours of pineapple, granadilla, melon and green apple. Good structure with lovely balancing acidity
La Bascula – Catalan Eagle Branco Terra Alta (organic), 2017
Catalan Eagle white is 70% Garnacha Blanca, 20% Viognier and 10% Roussanne. Pale straw colour with an aromatic nose of peach, pear and hints of spice. On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied, with a refreshing acidity and elements of peach, apricot and lime zest.
La Bascula – The Charge Rioja DOC, 2014
The Charge red is made from grapes from all over the Rioja region – 75% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha. Aromas of berries and warm spices which leads to a palate with beautifully complex dark and spicy fruit and refreshing acidity, balanced by fine vanilla flavours from oak maturation, as well as hints of coffee.
La Ruffe “les Cuvées Rares”, Calmel & Joseph, 2015/16
Purple-red robe. A very expressive nose that opens with notes of chocolate and spice, followed by citrus fruit and white flower aromas. There are also hints of pure fruit, reminiscent of freshly-picked, crushed grapes. On the palate this is a clean and lively wine with subtle notes of small red berries and scrubland herbs. The tannins are elegant, discreet and well-integrated. The balance and originality of this wine gives it its “cuvée rare” status.
Clay limestone and blood-red “ruffes” soil typically found in the Terrasses du Larzac.
Jancis Robinson 201617 + / 20 : A sleeping dragon …
Le G de Château Guiraud, 2016
– Château Guiraud is one of the few properties to be located within the village of Sauternes itself (the only other being its illustrious neighbour Château Yquem). Alongside sweet wines they also produce an organic dry white.
Fermented in barrel and aged for 7 months on its lees, this wine has great texture and depth. Crisp gooseberries, honey and just a touch of blossom.
Le G de Château Guiraud, 2017
– With its rich expression and assertive personality, the G de Château Guiraud 2017 embodies with brilliance the style and charm of the Château Guiraud brand.
Certified as an estate practicing Organic Agriculture since 2011, Château Guiraud reigns over a prestigious terroir with a wide variety of soils. This rare complexity helps build the style of great wines that seduce each year with their consistently excellent quality.
– Along with an intense aromatic expression, complexity and elegance, the palate also offers the perfect balance of textural density and a zippy, refreshing tension. A beautiful vintage full of flavour, which will radiate in its youth but blossom fully only with age.
Louis Latour – Mâcon-Lugny “Les Genièvres”, 2017
Pale gold in colour, with a beguiling aroma of fresh apples, lemon curd and toasted citrus fruits atop a palate of fresh and crisp green-apple acidity, buttery and peachy fruit and a long, warming finish.
90 Points James Suckling.
“This is a bright and crisp chardonnay that makes you feel France with sliced lemon, apple and mineral character. Medium-bodied, crisp and delicious. Drink me.”