Faugères AOP Calmel & Joseph, 2015/17
Beautiful cherry red hue with dark black tints. Aromas of undergrowth, garrigue and a touch of mint on the first nose. The wine is honest and clean on entry, with notes of game and mushrooms. Spicy notes of thyme, rosemary and lavender come through after the glass is swirled a few times. The tannins are prominent and reveal ripe fruit aromas. This wine has a very strong personality yet expresses itself with finesse and elegance.
Felton Road – Pinot Noir Bannockburn, Central Otago 2014
The nose leads with cinnamon, vanilla and more red fruits than the typical dark cherry from this warmer 2013 vintage. A soft and comforting mouthfeel that is broad and expansive. Being a blend of our three Bannockburn vineyards, this contributes various layers of generous ripe fruits and creamy textural elements. The wine has a pleasant rusticity to the structure adding complexity and depth. Hints of liquorice on the long enveloping finish. Can be enjoyed now for a more youthful expression but will evolve and develop over the next 10 years.
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.
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 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 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 Rioja Alta SA Gran Reserva 904 – Rioja DOC 2009
– Outstandingly intense cherry-red; clean and bright. The nose reveals a bouquet of great aromatic complexity, with balsamic notes of vanilla, toasted caramel, mint chocolate, tea leaves and cinnamon that gives way to elegant notes of stewed fruits and prunes. Creamy well-balanced mouthfeel, with a harmonious freshness and smooth, well-tamed tannins that leave an elegant complex finish.
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 …
Macán Clásico, Bodegas Benjamin de Rothschild & Vega Sicilia, Rioja DOC 2014/15
– 2015 – The sweetness of the 2015 vintage is evident in this Macán Clásico with its ripe bramble nose but there is an intriguingly scented note to the bouquet which makes it extremely attractive. Full of crunchy, fresh red fruit, this is a refreshing, elegant and moreish Rioja. The tannins are all in evidence; they are pert yet incredibly fine suggesting that, whilst this can be enjoyed now, it has the structure of a much more serious wine.
Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva Rioja DOC 2010
– This wine is only made in “excellent” or “very good” vintages. It undergoes nearly two-and-a-half years ageing in highest quality oak barrels, followed by further ageing in bottle before release. Showing great complexity with notes of roasted coffee, spice, plum and strawberry. Powerful in the mouth with fleshy fruit and nuances of toasty, well-integrated oak leading to a long, balanced finish. Can be drunk now with grilled meats or game, or cellared successfully for the next 10 years.
Marqués de Cáceres Reserva Rioja DOC 2012
– Attractive colour with luminous highlights. Soft spice and refined oak on the nose with a depth of jammy red berry fruits. Luscious and intense on tasting with pleasant tannins that mingle with fresh and mature fruit. Finishes with delicious, long-lasting flavours.
Merlot “Grain d’Automne” Pays d’Oc IGP Domaine Bergon, 2017
Plummy dark fruit flavours combine with subtle toasty notes. A medium to full bodied wine, displaying smooth overtones and a lingering finish.