The Chocolate Block
The quest to understand the name of this wine and the wine itself is now the stuff of legend.
The wine is full-bodied with a rich, smooth mouthfeel. The finish is charry and long, with hints of maraschino cherry, pimento olives and sweet tobacco.
The Chocolate Block is a blend of:
Cabernet Sauvignon (8%)
This is an excellent example of a good quality wine for an excellent price. The aromas are of ripe red fruits with a good balance of oak which is the result of 3 months in oak barrels. It is a very well balanced and fresh medium bodied wine that has a long and pleasant finish.
Perfect for a mid week glass of wine with friends!
2012 Peter Lehmann Layers, Barossa Valley Red
64% Syrah/Shiraz , 13% Tempranillo, 12% Mourvèdre, 11% Grenache/Garnacha. The colour is vibrant red with a burst of dark cherry and spice on the bouquet leading to a softly textured finish. Shiraz delivers fruit depth and structure, while the Tempranillo is firm and savoury. Mourvedre brings a wild earthiness and all are bound together by the aromatic and spicy nature of Grenache which softens the palate.
Peter Lehmann Wines works with over 140 growers across the length and breadth of the Barossa Valley region, with access to over 750 individual vineyard sites. The fruit for this wine was sourced from premium vineyard sites across the region.
Each variety is individually fermented to dryness on skins then matured in old French and American oak for seven months prior to bottling under screwcap to ensure consistency of quality.
Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. "I'll take your grapes and turn them into wine," he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. "But I'll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine." They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a huge chunk of its old vines. Since its first vintage, the Peter Lehmann winery has championed Shiraz and Semillon, the two great traditional varieties of the Barossa. The Layers blends use these two varieties as a base upon which to build a wine that expresses the new face of the Barossa, using varieties that are new or innovative. These smartly packaged wines show that while Peter Lehamann is a traditional winery, it continues to be as innovative today as it was 40 years ago.
2016 Merlot, Montes Alpha, Colchagua
90% Merlot , 10% Carmenère. Ripe red fruit and blackcurrant leaf on the nose with a spicy plum fruit on the palate, this soft, juicy Merlot is made in a very approachable, versatile style.
Montes was established in 1988 by Aurelio Montes, Douglas Murray, Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, with the aim of producing the best wines in Chile from the best regions. The Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon, first produced in 1987, broke the mould for premium wines in Chile. Since then, Alpha has developed to become the core range in the Montes portfolio. The grapes and sites are carefully selected in order to ensure varietal integrity and complexity. Viticulture is hands on rather than mechanical or industrial.
2012 Bodegas LAN, Rioja Reserva
92% Tempranillo , 8% Mazuelo. This wine is intense garnet in colour. Aromas of bright red fruits are layered with notes of vanilla and spices from oak ageing. The palate is exceptionally well structured and fleshy. The complex fruit and oak aromas are concentrated and long-lasting on the finish.
Grapes are selected from 30-40 year old vines from Bodegas LAN’s long-standing winegrowers in the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa subzones. Sloped plots of calcerous clay soils with good drainage and sun exposure produce grapes of excellent flavour concentration.
Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, at temperatures between 28-30°C and lasted for three weeks. During fermentation, pumping over was used to maximise extraction of colour and flavour. The wine was then aged in a mixture of American and French oak for a minimum of 16 months, followed by a 24-month period of bottle ageing.
Founded in 1972, Bodegas LAN lies in the heart of Rioja Alta. The name LAN comes from the initials of the three provinces of the Rioja Designation of Origin: Logroño, Álava and Navarra. María Barúa has been the head winemaker and technical director since 2002, and brings both scientific expertise (with an academic background in chemistry in addition to her oenology degree) and local knowledge (having been born and raised in Rioja). Together with her young and energetic team, María focuses on using the latest advances in winemaking to ‘express the virtues of the land’.
Amalaya `Gran Corte` Calchaquí Valley
This wine is deep ruby red in colour, with aromas of red and black fruit with spicy, vanilla notes imparted from the oak. This is a concentrated fruit forward wine with rounded, supple tannins and a long finish.
85% Malbec , 9% Cabernet Franc, 6% Tannat
Dominique Morel, Beaujolais-Villages
Dominique's philisophy is to make wines that he likes to drink. Sourced from parcels of old bush-vines, his Beaujolais-Villages has plenty of fruit and a rounded mouthfeel. It encapsulates the approachable style of Beaujolais-Villages.
The vineyards face south west and cover 12 hectares. The Beaujolais-Villages is sourced from densely planted bush vines, which seem to give a degree of bramble-fruit potency more akin to the region's Cru wines. The average age of these goblet-trained vines is 45 years with an average yield of 50 - 55 hectolitres per hectare. Soils here are poor, stony and granitic, accounting for the perfume and finesse so characteristic of the good wines of this region. The grapes are all hand harvested.
Pre-fermentation maceration of the whole bunches was followed by semi-carbonic maceration. Dominique allowed the temperature to rise for a couple of hours only, which helped with the extraction of colour, aroma and tannins. Then, after chilling, the fermentation took place over seven to eight days. Minimum handling techniques were employed and the wine stayed in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks after fermentation.
At its best, Beaujolais is a deeply pleasurable wine and Morel's wines encapsulate this style better than most. Dominique Morel has 12 hectares of vineyard in Beaujolais and Fleurie. The vines are up to 70 years old, something that accounts for the intensity of his wines. To sum up his philosophy, Morel says: "I make wines that I like to drink, with lots of fruit, good colour and a rounded mouth-feel''.
2018 Pinot Noir "Innocent Bystander", Yarra Valley
100% Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir has beautiful fruit which shines through its velvety mouthfeel and soft, savoury tannins. Only large, old oak barriques are used to age the wine, keeping the fruit character to the fore. This Pinot Noir has aromas of boysenberries, cherry and cranberry with earthy notes of dried spices. On the palate, this wine has a velvety mouthfeel with soft savoury tannins which make a lovely finish.
This wine is produced from a number of vineyards that span the Yarra Valley from Paul's Range at Dixons Creek in the north across to Bastard Hill in the very cool southern Upper Yarra. The vineyards were chosen in particular for their high diurnal temperature range, resulting in wines with high natural acidity and low pH. Yields are less than seven tonnes per hectare.
All grapes were hand picked and destemmed, with 10% kept as whole bunches. The must was cold soaked for four days before fermentation took place in stainless steel open fermenters with daily hand plunging. The wine was matured in a combination of French oak (10% new) and stainless steel tanks for nine months.
This winery changed hands in May 2016, with one family company, Brown Brothers, taking it off the hands of another, its founder, Phil Sexton. So associated is Innocent Bystander with the Yarra Valley that the new owners made the intelligent decision to build a new winery in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps. They quickly signed contracts with all the grape growers that Phil used for Innocent Bystander, so that the style of the wines remains unchanged. This regional and varietal style, reflecting the soil, climate and topography of the cool climate in the Yarra Valley is the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built.
2018 Akarua Pinot Noir, "RUA", Central Otago
100% Pinot Noir. A typically Central Otago Pinot Noir, with a core of fresh, juicy red berry fruit and uninhibited by heavy oak influence, made in an early-drinking style. Multi-award-winning, it has subtle savoury characters, soft supple tannins and a touch of spice. This Pinot Noir has a bright cherry-red colour in the glass and lifted floral aromas with bright notes of red fruit. On the palate, this well-defined Central Otago Pinot Noir exhibits red berries, savoury characters and a touch of spice. Supple tannins complement the wine's acidity leading to a long finish.
All fruit was sourced from the Akarua Estate vineyards in Central Otago. The vines are approximately 21 years old and grow at an average of 270 metres above sea level on a north-westerly facing slope. The vines are planted on alluvial, sandy loam based soils overlaying schist rock.
Grapes for the 'Rua' were cold soaked for five days before fermentation commenced and the cap was punched down twice daily. The wine was given another six days on the skins post fermentation to provide the tannic backbone it requires. It then spent seven months ageing in 100% French oak barriques, of which 10% were new.
The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north-facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50-hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. We were introduced to Akarua through the late Tony Jordan, who was the first to make their sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and was one of the world's leading experts in sparkling wine production. He had always believed in the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz and finally realised his ambition to make premium sparkling wines here when the first Akarua sparkling wines were released in 2011.
2019 Pfaffl Blauer Zweigelt "Wien.2"
Blauer Zweigelt: 70%, Pinot Noir: 30%. The cherry fruit and supple texture of Zweigelt is united with the delicate strawberry and elegance of Pinot Noir. The sandy, chalk of the Bisamberg promotes finesse and complexity in this Viennese blend. Dark ruby red; berry fruit on the nose: blackberry, some raspberry and full cherry fruit. Soft tannins on the palate, compact body with some hints of strawberry, juicy and spicy finish.
The vines are approx. 25 years old. To profit from the rising ground heat and to reach a high foliage-wall they use a trellis training system at about 60-90 cm high and apply the guyot cutting system. The grapes are destemed and pressed squeezed and the must was fermented at a controlled temperature of 28°C for 20 days in stainless steel. Ageing takes place in 80% stainless steel and 20% used barriques, the wine was bottled in Burgundy-bottles with screw caps.
The family estate in the Southern Weinviertel region belongs to one of the most well recognised names in the Austrian wine business. Siblings Roman Josef Pfaffl and Heidemarie Fischer with their parents Adelheid and Roman Pfaffl are still deeply rooted in their homeland. Together they carry the best of the Weinviertel out into the world. Today, the family cultivates 90 hectares of vineyards, which are embedded like islands in the landscape, spread over 11 municipalities in the Weinviertel region and the capital, Vienna.
Pedro Parra `Pencopolitano` Itata Valley Cinsault/Pais
The wine has lifted aromas and is well-balanced with vibrant acidity, red fruits and soft tannins. The minerality from the granitic soils carries through from the nose to the long finish.
67% Cinsault , 33% Pais
Tinpot Hut Pinot Noir
This Pinot Noir is ruby red in colour with a purple hue. It has intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry and plum mingle with a hint of redcurrant. Savoury mushroom and toasty oak characters complete the attractive nose. On the palate, it has classic black cherry notes that dominate and are supported by hints of bramble, reflecting the aromatics. Structurally, the tannins are soft and silky, and well-balanced acidity ensures good length and weight.
Tinpot Hut wines are made primarily from fruit grown on winemaker Fiona Turner's vineyard in Blind River. Fiona, who has worked with Matt Thomson for a number of years, supplements her own grapes with fruit from other growers in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. The tinpot hut that gave its name to Fiona's wines is an old mustering hut in the remote hills between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The huts were used as a base for musterers as they rounded up the sheep that had been in the hills from spring to autumn. The name links Marlborough's past as a sheep farming centre with its current state as one of the world's most dynamic wine regions.
Sangiovese di Toscana, Caparzo CASE OF 6
Bright ruby colour with hints of violet. Intense, fruity, bouquet, with ripe blackberries, wild strawberries and spice. The palate has a warm brambly feel, full of soft ripe fruit and a peristant spice to the finish. Easy drinking.
Sangiovese sourced from the three different estates of Elisabetta Gnudi Angelini. The vineyards are found in Montalcino, Castelnuovo Berardenga and Magliano. To ensure optimum fruit quality, the grapes are harvested at different times and vinified separately. Vinified in stainless steel to retain fruit and freshness. The final blend is made just before bottling and the wine is aged for 1-3 months in bottle before being released.
Great with panzanella, sausages with white beans, spaghetti with tomatoes and basil.
Wild Earth, Pinot Noir
Wild Earth Pinot Noir has a deep purple colour. On the nose it is perfumed with dark cherry and plum aromas together with violets and savoury notes of leather, mushroom and smoke. Medium-full bodied, the palate is full, even and accessible. Flavours of dark cherry and berry fruit shine though while the fine-grained tannins and well-integrated acidity give character and structure to the wine.
Wild Earth founder Quintin Quider is an expatriate Californian who has spent many years living on the South Island. He has gathered a small, dedicated team to produce his Wild Earth range in Central Otago. Established in 1998, Wild Earth Wines owns 35 hectares of vineyards in two of the region's finest locations - at the end of Felton Road overlooking the Kawarau River and in the North Lowburn district beneath the imposing Pisa Range.
SILVER Sommelier Wine Awards 2017
GOLD International Wine Challenge 2017
- Vegan, Vegetarian
2016 Mitolo Cabernet Sauvignon, "Jester" McLaren Vale
100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Bright and fragrant with signature Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of blackcurrant, menthol and tobacco leaf. Full bodied with ripe black fruits, dark chocolate and lifted herbaceous notes. The liqueured Morello cherry character contributed by the component of Amarone fruit adds to this richly textured wine which is framed by ripe tannins and mouth-watering acidity.
The grapes come from the Willunga district of McLaren Vale, where there are heavy grey loam soils over sandstone, intermixed with black Biscay clay. These soils, combined with the maritime climate, contribute to an even ripening period and the development of rich fruit flavours and ripe tannins.
20% of the grapes were left to dry on 10 kilogram drying racks for seven weeks in the traditional Amarone manner to concentrate flavour. The fruit was fermented on its skins for six to ten days at cool temperatures to enhance the pure berry fruit flavour. Natural malolactic fermentation occurred before the wine was racked. The wine was then aged for nine months in used French oak barrels.
Mitolo is a family owned winery established in 1999 by Frank Mitolo. Mitolo's vision is to create individual, handcrafted premium wines built on passion and an uncompromising commitment to quality. Winemaker Ben Glaetzer became a partner in the business in 2001. The fusion of Frank's intimate knowledge of the land and business acumen with Ben's winemaking talent has led to the creation of one of Australia's most exciting wineries.
El Coto 'Coto de Imaz' Rioja Gran Reserva
This wine is a brilliant ruby-red colour with tinges of brick red. Mature and elegant, its rich aromatic complexity is initially subtle, revealing itself more and more as the wine breathes. Toasted oak nuances and coconut give way to notes of leather and damp earth from bottle ageing. On the palate, silky, rounded tannins accompany fresh red berries, dried raisins and spicy notes. This is a complex wine with exceptional concentration and a long finish.
90% Tempranillo , 10% Graciano
Finca Flichman Dedicado `Gran Corte` Uco Valley
This wine is deep ruby in colour. On the nose, there are rich aromas of blackberries, eucalyptus and chocolate with a hint of black pepper. The palate is full and plush with soft tannins.
77% Malbec , 13% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Pedro Parra `Imaginador` Itata Valley Cinsault
Aromas of cranberry and wild herbs with vibrant acidity and fine tannins. The minerality from the granitic soils carries through from the nose to the long, refreshing finish.
Gabrielskloof `Syrah on Sandstone` Bot River
Artesa Organic Rioja [Organic]
Artesa Organic Rioja spends up to 6 months in barrel. In order to ensure its organic status, the only barrels that can be used to mature this wine are either those that have previously held other organic wines, or completely new barrels. Artesa Organic is therefore matured in a high proportion of new barrels each vintage. The result is a wine at a very affordable price-point that has had the benefit of maturation in the best possible new oak!
Vibrant plum and cherry aromas combine with smoky, herbal notes. The palate is complex with juicy bramble fruit, black pepper, and lifted, savoury characters.
Great with hearty dishes.
2018 Tufarello, `Vigneti Canosini` Nero di Troia
100% Nero di Troia. Deep ruby red in colour with garnet highlights, the 2018 Vigneto Canosini has an intense, long-lasting and fruity perfume. It has great structure and well-balanced tannins.
Canosini is an old, 30 hectare, bush-trained vineyard which produces fruit of outstanding quality. On the right bank of the Ofanto river, the area lies nearly 20 kilometres from the Adriatic Sea between 105 and 140 metres above sea level.
On arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed and gently crushed before fermentation and maceration on the skins in stainless-steel tanks between 30-32°C for 15 days. After fermentation, the wine was aged in barriques for four months.
Another of the enterprising Valentino Sciotti's projects, Tufarello is made by the Farnese winemaking team at their winery where Dennis Verdecchia is in charge with Alberto Antonini as consultant. The wine is made from the Uva di Troia (also known as Nero di Troia) grape that is grown around Canosa di Puglia in southern Italy. The name attests to its Greek origins (Troy) and it is said to take its name from the nearby town of Troia, named by the Greek invader Diomedes.
2018 Pinot Noir Jean-Claude Boisset, "Les Ursulines", Bourgogne
100% Pinot Noir. Bright ruby red in colour with pronounced aromas of wild strawberry and raspberry with hints of black pepper. On the palate, flavours of juicy red fruits and sweet spice are well-balanced with bright, lifted acidity and round, silky tannins. An excellent value Red Burgundy.
The fruit for this wine comes from old vines, mostly from the Côte de Nuits, which ensures that the quality of the blend is far higher than that of a standard Bourgogne. The vineyard management here is stringent and uses specific techniques to control yields, guaranteeing good concentration of flavours in the grapes. These techniques include debudding, cluster thinning, little or no use of fertiliser and environmentally-friendly vine protection.
The grapes were hand harvested and collected into small 20kg crates. Sorting took place in the vineyards and then again at the winery. Grapes were 100% destemmed but not crushed, then gravity-fed into vats. Maceration lasted a total of 24 days including one week cold maceration at 12°C to develop aroma and good colour. Fermentation took place with indigenous yeasts with infrequent punching down of the cap. The wine was aged on lees for eight months in lightly toasted French oak barrels (15% new) before being lightly filtered and bottled.
Jean-Claude Boisset was radically transformed with the arrival in 2002 of viniculteur Grégory Patriat, one of the best viticulturalists/winemakers of his generation in Burgundy. Grégory had spent the previous three years working in the vineyards at Domaine Leroy and still spends a great deal of his time in the vineyards, paying his growers by the hectare in order to ensure low yields. He also prefers to work with organic growers, as he finds they produce better fruit. Unlike other Burgundian négociants, Grégory specialises in making wines from 'lieu-dits' or tiny plots of vines, something which accounts for the limited production of most of his wines.
2018 Malbec, Amalaya, Calchaquí Valley
85% Malbec , 10% Tannat, 5% Petit Verdot. From high altitude vineyards in the Calchaqui Valley in Salta comes this intensely fruity wine, packed with flavours of red berries, raspberries and plums alongside hints of pepper and vanilla.
Amalaya translates to ‘hope for a miracle’ in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level. It is a part of the Hess Family Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as the other Hess Estates. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘.
Mitolo 'Jester' McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon
Silken, savoury and medium-bodied. Ripe cassis flavours are followed closely by a complex mix of savoury characters with cigar-box, brambles and earthy undergrowth notes. A lovely, tight spine of acidity runs through the palate.
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tres Picos Garnacha
" ...clearly one of the greatest values in the wine world, is the 2015 Tres Picos... This wine shows loads of classic Grenache characteristics, such as pepper, licorice, underbrush, Provençal herbs and a boatload of black cherries and raspberries. The wine is rich, medium to full-bodied, pure and luscious and hedonistic. Drink it over the next several years. 91 points." Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #226
Deep cherry red in colour with a hint of purple. A bouquet of mature red fruits with floral notes that are typical of the best Garnachas. The palate is rich and well-structured showing flavours of blackberries, strawberries and tones of leather, vanilla and a smoky burnt treacle tang. Perfectly combined with a sweet and pleasant tannin, with a generous and balanced finish.
Vigneti del Vulture, `Pipoli` Aglianico del Vulture
100% Aglianico. This wine is bright ruby red in colour, with violet reflections. On the nose, there are intense aromas of cherry, violets and cocoa. Full-bodied, this wine has a sweet red fruit character with delicate oak nuances of vanilla and spice on the long finish.
The estate vineyards are trained low and planted on volcanic soils on the slopes of Mount Vulture, at an altitude of up to 800 metres above sea level. According to the consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini, the area is isolated and just like stepping back in time.
On arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed and gently crushed, then the must was fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless-steel tanks at temperatures of 22-24°C. Frequent and gentle pumping over took place during fermentation, which lasted approximately 30 days. The wine was then aged in stainless-steel tanks (60%) and in used oak barriques (40%) for 10 months. Finally, it was aged in bottle for a further three months before release.
Valentino Sciotti (of Vesevo, Gran Sasso and other Farnese estates) took over this small co-operative in Basilicata in Acerenza in the heart of the Aglianico del Vulture zone in 2008. Consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini works with Manuel Barbone, and together they manage to capture the character of the grapes and the zone superbly in the bottle.
Crystallum 'Peter Max' Pinot Noir
Crystallum is now one of the most highly regarded wineries in South Africa.
This is a wonderfully elegant and perfumed Pinot. The palate offers plenty of fruit while maintaining a wonderful vibrancy and freshness.Love this wine by the talented Peter-Allan Finlayson. VEGAN/VEGETARIAN
Mitolo `Jester` McLaren Vale Shiraz
This wine is bright ruby red in colour with a vivid purple rim in the glass. Aromas of ripe dark fruits such as blood plum and blackberry are complemented by savoury notes of black olives and oak char. On the palate, it is a full-bodied, mouth-filling wine with fine grained tannins and concentrated dark fruits, and a hint of coffee and mocha on the long finish.
Chateau Coudray-Montpensier Chinon
This Cabernet Franc has a deep, dark red colour. On the nose, it has bright aromas of pure black fruit with a hint of vanilla. The palate is refreshing with bright acidity and subtle, round tannins, with blackcurrant notes on the finish.
100% Cabernet Franc
Allegrini, `Palazzo della Torre`
70% Corvina/Corvinone , 25% Rondinella, 5% Sangiovese. This wine is ruby red in colour with purple highlights. On the nose, there are enticing aromas of cherry with rich dark chocolate notes and hints of cloves and vanilla. Velvety in texture, it is well-balanced and offers ripe, juicy dark fruit, with silky tannins and refreshing acidity.
Palazzo della Torre covers 26 hectares of east-facing vineyard planted between 1962 and 2013, situated 240 metres above sea level. Allegrini purchased this vineyard in 1978. Soils are cretaceous and calcareous, with Pergola Trentina trained vines planted at 3,000 vines per hectare.
Franco Allegrini used the modern version of the traditional 'ripasso' technique for Palazzo della Torre, drying a proportion of the grapes in the 'Terre di Fumane' drying centre, to intensify the character of this vineyard. The grapes that were dried were hand picked during September, and the grapes vinified immediately were picked at the end of the month. 70% of the grapes picked were vinified immediately and 30% were left to dry until the second half of December when they were vinified and then refermented with the wine from the fresh grapes. The wine spent 15 months in second-use barriques, and was blended together for two months, then aged for a further seven months in bottle.
The Allegrini family estate covers 100 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he passed away in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is director of marketing.
Dandelion `Menagerie of the Barossa` Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro
The wine is deep red with youthful violet hues, with a nose that offers an intriguing mix of cherries, raspberry sweets and pink pepper. The palate offers wild cherry, blackberry and a hint of balsamic balanced by spicy oak. This wine has a high level of natural acidity, well-balanced by the fine, rounded tannins.
80% Grenache/Garnacha , 15% Syrah/Shiraz, 5% Mataro
Gran Passione, Veneto Rosso IGT
Merlot: 60%, Corvina: 40%. Vibrant purple colour, rich luscious nose full of sweet ripe dark cherry, plum, vanilla and christmas spice. Rich and velvety, with lots of juicy fruit. Very easy drinking.
The grapes come from selected vineyards harvested at the beginning of October, to allow the grapes to have increased maturation. Before picking, the vines' cordons are cut, but the grapes are left on the vines, and for up to 15 days the grapes begin to dry naturally on the vine (Appassimento on vine). The grapes are then carefully hand harvested before being pressed. After fermentation the wine is aged in oak for 3-4 months.
For centuries Veneto, in the North East of Italy, has been one of the foremost wine producing regions and one of the most modernised of Italy. With its vast micro-climates, no other region offers more diversity in such close proximity than Veneto. The Gran Passione project was set up in 2013 in homage to the Venetians long standing history of being great traders and their rich wine culture. The aim was to create wines of high quality, that are affordable and representative in style to those that have been made in Veneto for centuries. Using traditional varieties, whilst honouring long-established techniques, Gran Passione create beautiful expressions of these classic Venetian wines.
Dandelion `Lionheart of Barossa` Shiraz
This wine is intense crimson in colour, with a youthful purple hue. On the nose, it has lifted aromas of ripe blackberries, blueberries, spicy pepper notes and Christmas pudding-like spices. Generous, mouth-filling sweet blackberries, raspberries and plums are pronounced on the palate, with sweet spice. It has firm, but fine, tannins and dark chocolate nuances continue onto the lengthy palate.
Boulevard Napoleon `L`Aberadou` Pur Cinsault de Schistes IGP Pays d'Hérault
Named after the street the winery is located on in the village of La Livinière, Minervois, Boulevard Napoléon is the partnership between restaurant owner Trevor Gulliver and winemaker Benjamin Darnault. Seeing the potential in the vineyards located by his holiday home, Trevor started making the wines and then showed them to his other partner, chef Fergus Henderson, who was more than impressed, as were we! Each wine is a classic expression of the varietal grown on the dry, stony slopes of the south of France - yet they retain a vibrancy and definition that marks them out from the crowd.
Allegrini La Grola` IGT
La Grola is a full bodied, intense and elegant wine. Dark, ruby red in colour, it has aromas of wild berries, juniper, tobacco and coffee essence. The high plant density and resulting low yields give this wine its unique concentration.
90% Corvina , 10% Oseleta
Frederic Berne Beaujolais Beaujolais Lantignié `Pierre Bleue`
Frédéric Berne's Beaujolais Lantignié `Pierre Bleue` is a lovely deep purple in the glass. On the nose it is fragrant with perfumes of blueberries, black cherry and fruit compote. On the palate, the tannins are soft and ripe, Flavours of bramble fruit and violets are concentrated and well balanced with a lifted acidity.
2016 Peter Lehmann Shiraz "The Barossan", Barossa Valley
100% Syrah/Shiraz. The Barossan highlights the outstanding Shiraz sourced from the many fabled sub-regions across the Barossa Valley. A selection of the area's key growers have shared their passion and pristine fruit to create this quintessential Barossa Shiraz.
An intense and complex wine with layers of ripe plum, dark cherry, sweet spice and mocha on the nose. An intense, generous and full bodied wine with fine tannins and a soft, supple finish.
Crafted by the next generation of Peter Lehmann winemakers, 'The Barossan' showcases the superb fruit sourced from many of the fabled Barossa Valley sub-regions. Parcels of high quality fruit were carefully selected from around 40 growers renowned for their skill to produce a quintessentially Barossan Shiraz.
A proportion of the grapes were fermented in oak barrels while the rest were fermented in stainless steel tanks. Following fermentation, the wine was left to macerate on skins for around two weeks to enhance the tannin structure. Once blended, the wine was matured in a combination of French and American 300 litre hogsheads for 12 months before bottling.
Peter Lehmann, with 33 vintages already under his belt, started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. "I'll take your grapes and turn them into wine," he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. "But I'll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine." They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a huge chunk of its old vines. Crafted by the next generation of Peter Lehmann winemakers, ‘The Barossan’ range highlights the outstanding fruit sourced from the many fabled sub-regions across the Barossa Valley.
La Croix Gratiot Pinot Noir Les Zazous
This wine is bright ruby in the glass, and has an elegant aromatic nose with notes of red cherries, plum and a hint of cinnamon. It is full bodied, the palate has fine, silky tannins and finishes with lingering cherry flavours.
100% Pinot Noir
Willunga 100 `The Tithing` McLaren Vale Grenache
The Tithing is a dark, deep, rich style of Grenache, and shows how diverse this grape can be. The flavours of lifted dark fruit with powerful savoury overtones reflect the winemarking approach, which allows time in oak and bottle before release. Ripe, persistent tannins give the wonderfully balanced fruit great length and intensity.
San Polo Rubio IGT Toscana
Brilliant ruby red in colour, this wine opens with intense and persistent aromas of red cherries, violets and blackcurrants, followed by subtle spicy notes. This wine is well-structured and balanced with satisfying tannins and excellent length. The flavours of forest fruits and cherries make Rubio easy to drink, yet still intense and elegant.
85% Sangiovese , 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc
Willunga 100 McLaren Vale Cabernet/Shiraz
Intense aromatics of dark cherry and cedar are complemented by tobacco and bay leaf notes. On the palate, there are flavours of rich blackcurrant and toasty oak. The fine tannin structure gives this wine a savoury finish.
74% Cabernet Sauvignon , 26% Syrah/Shiraz
Blanville Merlot Pays d'Oc
Ruby red in colour, the nose boasts aromas of fresh red cherry and plum. On the palate the tannins are ripe and plush, complimented by flavours of juicy red fruits and liquorice. The wine has a well-balanced acidity and a smooth finish.
The vineyards of Haut Blanville enjoy a warm dry climate, moderated by sea breezes giving freshness and vibrancy to the wine. Ripe with plush, juicy red fruit, this is a deliciously approachable Merlot.
Zabu` `Il Passo` Nero d’Avola `Verde`/Bio
100% Nero d`Avola
This is a young estate in southwestern Sicily, whose vineyards caught the eye and winemaking talents of Valentino Sciotti. Valentino (of Gran Sasso and Vesevo) saw they had great vineyards and a good winery but were missing the necessary expertise to make wines the market required. Valentino and his team of young winemakers have taken the raw materials and transformed them into wines that people want to drink.
Willunga 100 McLaren Vale Shiraz/Viognier
This well structured wine is deep purple in colour. On the nose, there are notes of plum, chocolate and cedar. The palate is rich and luscious with ripe black fruits harnessed by silky texture and supple tannins resulting in a long, fragrant finish.
95% Syrah/Shiraz , 5% Viognier
A classic blend of Shiraz with a touch of Viognier to add perfume, the wine is co-fermented to ensure optimal integration. Aromas of violets, musk, pepper and spicy fruit with flavours of dark chocolate and fruits of the forest on the palate.
Willunga 100 McLaren Vale Grenache
This wine reflects the Grenache characteristics of both the Blewitt Springs and McLaren Flat with bright lifted fruit in the blue and red spectrum alongside intense floral aromatics. The palate has generous pure fruit harnessed by fine sandy tannins and a richness on the mid-palate reflecting the influence of the oak.
Massolino Barolo Halves
This 23 hectare estate has been in the Massolino family since 1896. Since 1994 the style of the wines has undergone a subtle transformation. Winemaker Franco Massolino has done a wonderful job of marrying change with a respect for tradition, something that sets him apart from most of the younger producers in Barolo today. This is in part dictated by the nature of the vineyards that the Massolino family owns in the commune of Serralunga d'Alba - the source of some of the greatest, most structured, robust and long-lived Barolo wines.
37.5cl half bottle.
Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Half
This Chianti Classico is crimson in colour with typical sour cherry and bramble notes. The palate has a supple, lithe character full of perfumed fruit and is given depth by a mineral vein. Structure comes from the taut acidity and tannin structure.
37.5cl half bottle.
Costanti Brunello di Montalcino HALF
The Costanti family has owned this 10 hectare estate for over 200 years. Andrea Costanti inherited it from his uncle in the mid-1980s, and has worked hard to take it to its current positon as one of the very best in Montalcino. The style is characterised by a striking elegance and intensity, combining the power of Montalcino with the elegance that comes from vineyards situated at a high altitude in the northern part of the zone. The vineyards are planted over 400 metres above sea level, on galestro soil that is typical of the area. This friable rock soil is also found in Chianti Classico, and is particularly suited to the production of good Sangiovese.
37.5cl half bottle.
Domaine du Coulet, Cornas `Brise Cailloux`
A seventh-generation vigneron, Matthieu Barret studied viticulture in Beaune and joined his grandfather in Cornas in 1997. After inheriting a parcel of vines from his grandfather, who used to sell grapes to the local co-operative, Matthieu built up his own domaine in Cornas. He immediately started working the vines organically and produced his first vintage in 2000.
Made using fruit from the mid and lower vineyard slopes at Domaine de Coulet, this is an expressive wine with intense notes of fresh red cherry and blackberry, hints of fennel, supple tannins and a long mineral finish.
Certified Biodynamic, Certified Organic, Vegan, Vegetarian
Chateau De Dufort, Corbieres
Intense spicy fruit flavours, supple, soft, sometimes sweet tannins and a fresh acid core, which makes this wine from the Languedoc irresistible with all the hearty rustic fare of autumn - a rich cassoulet, or meaty slow-cooked ox cheek with garlicky mashed potato - the kind of stuff that makes you feel like Henry VIII.
Boutinot ‘Les Coteaux’ Côtes du Rhône Villages
Immediately impressive, this wine reveals its class from the start. Brambly fruit underpinned by subtle oaky nuances, lovely sweet spice - warm star anise with a touch of cinnamon. This classic Côtes du Rhône Villages is enriched with specially-selected parcels from the cru vineyards of Séguret, Sablet and Cairanne.
Common practice in the Côtes du Rhône is to bottle the best cuvées as a single, named, village wine and the rest as more basic Côtes du Rhône Villages. Boutinot’s philosophy, on the other hand, is to start with the intention of making the very best Côtes du Rhône Villages possible by sourcing wine from the vineyards of named villages, and enriching them with a small proportion of barrel-aged wine from Sablet, Séguret and Cairanne. Boutinot's Côtes du Rhône Villages 'Les Coteaux' is therefore a selection of the best Grenache Noir and Syrah from some of the 17 named Côtes du Rhône Villages. We source wine from a number of growers with exceptional terroir and so have the flexibility to select only the very best fruit each vintage (rejecting parcels which do not meet our high standards). Mostly unoaked, a small proportion (20%) is part-aged for 22 months in a few new, but mostly older, oak barrels to bring depth and subtle notes of complexity.
A delicious accompaniment to grilled meats, herby Sausages, casseroles or a classic shepherd's pie.
Vallet Frères Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Delicate garnet colour with peppery, strawberry fruit on the nose, the palate is light to medium-bodied with appealing nervy fruit and mouth-watering acidity balancing the dry tannins and elegant red fruit.
Founded in 1864 by Pierre Bourée, Vallet Frères is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the family, Bernard and Jean-Christophe Vallet. The family owns vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin, in the Beaune Premier Cru of Les Epenottes, and in the Grand Cru of Charmes-Chambertin, as well as the entire monopole vineyard of Clos de la Justice, also in Gevrey-Chambertin. Vallet Frères is also a négociant, and sources the best grapes from growers in other areas, with whom it has worked closely for decades.
Serve with a traditionally Coq au Vin. Roast chicken or young game birds and equally good with pasta bakes or wild mushroom linguine.
Domaine Chante Cigale, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge
This is a traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape serious and brooding and benefits from a little time to breath and open up. The palate is complex with herby, tapenade flavours and ripe textured tannins balancing the significant 15% alcohol which is expertly managed and integrated.
Try with traditional roast lamb, lentil and vegetable moussaka and any rich hot-pot that heavily features aromatic 'herbes de Provence'.
VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, SUSTAINABLE
Chateau Capburn St Estephe 2013
The sister property of Château Calon-Ségur, Château Capbern is a Cru-Bourgeois punching well above its classification. With excellent structure and intensity, it has charming cassis fruit and structured, fine-grained tannins.
91% Cabernet Sauvignon , 6% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot
Domaine La Haute Marone ‘Le Cru des Dentelles de Montmirail’, Gigondas
Gigondas is a single village 'cru' of the southern Rhône valley whose vineyards nestle under the jagged, lacy peaks of the Dentelles de Montmirail mountains.
Intense aromas of black cherries, then a wisp of smoke creeps in along with some hints of toasted cocoa beans. Deep and intense, this wine slowly reveals its secrets - black cherries, dark chocolate, a hint of clove and nutmeg - hugely rich and enveloping but with elegance.
Ideal with a good Provençale daube or game dishes. Also a treat with hard cheeses, particularly farmhouse cheddar.
Bolgheri Rosso 'Volpolo'
Complex nose with real depth offering spice, leather, olive and pepper. Concentrated style with a sweet oak finish.
The estate was founded in 1999, after Massimo Piccin convinced his father to invest in land and to create a wine-making estate in what is one of Italy’s most hallowed viticultural areas. A native of the North-Eastern Italian region of Veneto, Massimo always felt a deep-rooted passion for wine and wanted to direct this passion towards his own wine project.
A ruby red with powerful aromas of concentrated and ripe red and black fruits. The fruit aroma reaches a wonderful depth and is complemented by herbal and medicinal hints. The palate is beautiful; silky, rounded and textured with red and black fruits, perfume and liquorice notes. The tannins are ripe and firm with a balancing acidity and lingering notes of dried cherries.
Sogno Di Ulisse, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo
SOGNO DI ULISSE Montepulciano D’Abruzzo is a wine that has made the history of modern Abruzzo wine-making. Today, thanks to the passion of some producers and winemakers, the Montepulciano has emerged to the international limelight as one of the best quality red grapes in world.
Tenuta Ulisse maintains a strong family imprint characterized by respect for the values like tradition, history and territory and is now run by brothers Antonio and Luigi Ulisse.
Barbera d'Asti 'Solo Acciaio'
A typical Barbera, which has a lovely, soft, medium body and flavours of forest fruit jam and juicy cherries along with notes of black pepper and spices.
Montalbera calls its Barbera 'Solo Acciaio' (only steel) to show that it rebels against the majority of Barberas on the market today, which are all oaked. Instead, this is a wine which is extremely elegant, fresh and supple, with the fruity punch only obtained from harvesting slightly overripe grapes coupled with slow maturation in steel vats and then in the bottle.
Borgo Selene, Nero d'Avola/Nerello Mascalese
Ruby red in colour with notes of fresh red berries on the nose. Round and smooth on the palate with soft tannins, the wine has lovely spiced cherry flavours that linger on the finish.
Made and blended by Alberto Antonini at the Curatolo family winery, the Borgo Selene wines represent superb value for money. The name derives from the Greek goddess of the Moon, Selene, illustrating the influence the Greeks (who also brought the vine to Sicily) have had on the Mediterranean's largest island.
Intense ruby color, violet notes. Soft tannins, full and persistent aroma. Well balanced and easily drinking.
Good with barbecued and grilled meat, game birds and aged cheese eg Gouda, Cheddar.