Red


Showing 1–12 of 571 results

  • A. Christmann Aus den Lagen Spatburgunder 2020

    £36.50

    “Christmann’s 2020 Spätburgunder Aus den Lagen opens with a pure, fresh, earthy and spicy/toasty bouquet of dark cherries and black berries. Silky, lush and saline on the palate, this is a pure, very elegant and charmingly fruity Pinot with fine tannins, good salinity and intensity. Diam cork. Tasted at the domaine in November 2022. Drink: 2023-2026. 90 points

    Even—or especially—established domaines can, or should, question themselves and, if necessary, reinvent themselves in order to take a big step forward. At Weingut A. Christmann in Gimmeldingen, Pfalz, this has happened over the last five years, and this also has to do with the arrival of the new generation. Mind you, it was not a change of generations that lifted the family domaine to the top of the Palatinate, but the cooperation between father and daughter.

    Steffen Christmann is not only the president of the Prädikatsweingüter VDP, a tireless politician in matters of wine law, origin marketing and one of the fathers of the Grosses Gewächs (GG). He also runs a long-established family business that has been producing top wines for a generation, most notably the Riesling Grosses Gewächs from the Königsbacher Idig. But right after 2003, Christmann had switched to biodynamic viticulture, not only to better and more sustainably meet the new challenges of nature, but also to better get to the bottom of the secret of his vineyards between Neustadt and Gimmeldingen. Christmann knew that other, lesser-known or established wineries could also produce good single-vineyard wines; after all, the world does not stand still. But could the up-and-coming producers also handcraft unique, distinctive wines of great individuality and radiance? Did he do so himself?

    It already dawned on him at that time that the technical possibilities in the cellar had long been exhausted and perhaps even exaggerated, and from then on, he focused on the work in the vineyard. First organic, then, inevitably, biodynamic viticulture: Chrismann’s wines became leaner and more purist but also wilder and, at least, more untamed as the new century progressed. Partly, the development even went too much into the freak or nerd area for me, but in the meantime, finesse and elegance are back. However, there is also grip that demands much more from the customers than classically elegant, fruity Rieslings.

    The new wines, including the 2021s, have yet to find themselves, as tightly closed as they still are at the core. This also has to do with the entry of daughter Sophie into the business, which took place in 2017. Even then, the new Rieslings struck me as extraordinarily lean, elegant and full of finesse. In soccer, one would have spoken of a spectacular new acquisition. But here it is the own daughter who, in exchange with the smart, open-minded father, has provided for a new dynamic and, to all appearances, for a kind of complete renovation of the domaine. This was possibly not even the goal, but rather the path and thus also the result of permanent questioning, continuous reconsideration and change of perspective. The domaine was already very chic on the outside, but now it also radiates a clarity and focus on the inside that is rare in Germany, but exemplary.

    “Teamwork makes the dream work,” is how Sophie sums up the new culture at Christmann. The domaine downsized to focus only on top sites, around exclusively Riesling as well as Pinot Noir: of the new essence core! Well, there is also a leftover of 3% Pinot Blanc in the Schlössel Erste Lage that is vinified in new large oak to prepare the cask for future Rieslings and marketed as Aus den Lagen. Everything else was sold or exchanged. Since then, the price list of the house has become much leaner, much clearer and the run on the wines much greater. Now at the end of this year, there is nothing left to sell at the domaine.

    What’s more, this father-daughter team founded the Christmann & Kauffmann Sektgut with Mathieu Kauffmann of Alsace in 2019, which will bring world-class sparkling wines from top sites to the market in the coming years. Kauffmann can do it; he was cellar master at Bollinger Champagne for years before he was deemed not good enough or his ideas not marketable at von Buhl. Christmann is a sly fox and brought the Palatinate by choice to Gimmeldingen. And to ensure that his second newcomer doesn’t eventually leave him, he made him, as well as his daughter, partners in the new sparkling wine estate, which is housed on the premises of a neighboring winery that could be newly acquired. In the future, one will hear a lot about Weingut Christmann as well as the previously mentioned Sektgut.

    This is also due to the Pinot Noir red wines, which Sophie is responsible for and which have never been as good as they are now. But there will be more details on that in the summer, after I will have dedicated myself specifically to the development of this genre.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (12/22)

    In Stock

  • Alain Brumont Chateau Bouscasse Madiran Vieilles Vignes 2015

    £39.95

    “As readers will know, I’m now covering the French South West. This is a wine region with a reputation for providing exceptional value for money, and I’m excited at the prospect of highlighting its outstanding features in forthcoming articles. However, before embarking on this project, I wish to alert those of you who have a particular affinity for gutsy, characterful wines of Madiran to a significant development involving the leading producer of the appellation and, indeed, of the whole South West.

    The formidable Alain Brumont, an innovative and visionary producer of exceptional dynamism whose properties Château Montus and Château Bouscassé became household names for the whole region on the international stage, has now been joined by his stepson, Antoine Veiry.

    Antoine is a deft and accomplished young winemaker who has amassed a wealth of experience from working in Bordeaux (Château Carmes Haut-Brion and Château Mangot), Burgundy (with Maison Joseph Drouhin) and for a number of other estates worldwide. He is now bringing a fresh perspective while remaining steadfastly attached to the estate’s heritage—which includes championing the local Tannat grape variety—and preserving but refining his stepfather’s style.

    The soon-to-be-released 2018 will be his debut vintage as winemaker for the wines of Montus and Bouscassé, and it intimates that Veiry is bringing a fresh stylistic impetus to the domaines. From his time in Bordeaux, he picked up the art of preserving a wine’s depth and structure while conferring a velvety texture to its tannins, a quality that is all the more welcome when the tannin-rich Tannat grape is concerned.

    In the vineyards, viticulture has become more precise with the help of horses for plowing; each plot is treated individually in function of its soil type, and the emphasis remains on careful picking of each block at the right time, which extends the harvest period.

    In the cellar, sulfite additions are now delayed until as late as possible after the conclusion of malolactic fermentation to allow the wines to become more resilient and pure.

    The exhilarating result is an inspiring range of wines with considerable youthful appeal but also notable aging potential and which speak clearly of their origins without any excess of extraction or new oak to confuse the message.

    In this ongoing transformation, Vignobles Brumont is embracing change to reinvigorate the estate. While this evolution will certainly make these wines more appealing to contemporary tastes, the changes represent refinement and adaptation rather that revolution. If Veiry can repeat this performance, year in and year out, I suspect that Montus and Bouscassé will reemerge as a magnet to draw consumers to the wines of the South West in general, and to those produced from the Tannnat grape in particular.

    It should be obvious that I am enthused by Antoine’s contribution as an agent of change. He is a hard-working and skilled vigneron, one who understands the importance of the tiniest details that will make the difference between a good wine and a great one. Despite the challenges posed by the sweltering weather of 2018 and the mildew-laden conditions that prevailed in the vineyards here (as in Bordeaux), the maiden vintage of Montus and Bouscassé under Antoine’s stewardship has proven to be outstanding, even though the well-structured XL cuvée does exhibit the classic formidably robust tannins with which the Tannat grape is associated.

    Forthcoming investments will include the construction of a new winery, leading me to have the utmost confidence that Montus et Bouscassé will continue to number among France’s most eminent wines—an assertion fortified by the grandeur of the wines from past vintages such as 1989, 1990, 1985, and 2000, which continue to showcase the estate’s vast potential for quality-driven production.”

    Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (08/23)

    In Stock

  • Alain Brumont Chateau Montus Madiran 2018

    £33.95

    “Exhibiting notions of spices, tobacco, blackberries, licorice and herbs, the 2018 Château Montus is medium to full-bodied, broad and enveloping, with a fleshy core of fruit framed by fine tannins that gently assert themselves on the finish. More intense and tense than the 2018 Bouscassé, it needs a couple of years in the bottle to chill out, but you can already see the potential. This is a blend of 80% Tannat, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc sourced from vines planted on pebbles and clay soils, matured 36 months in barrels, of which 40% are new. Drink: 2023-2043. 94 points

    As readers will know, I’m now covering the French South West. This is a wine region with a reputation for providing exceptional value for money, and I’m excited at the prospect of highlighting its outstanding features in forthcoming articles. However, before embarking on this project, I wish to alert those of you who have a particular affinity for gutsy, characterful wines of Madiran to a significant development involving the leading producer of the appellation and, indeed, of the whole South West.

    The formidable Alain Brumont, an innovative and visionary producer of exceptional dynamism whose properties Château Montus and Château Bouscassé became household names for the whole region on the international stage, has now been joined by his stepson, Antoine Veiry.

    Antoine is a deft and accomplished young winemaker who has amassed a wealth of experience from working in Bordeaux (Château Carmes Haut-Brion and Château Mangot), Burgundy (with Maison Joseph Drouhin) and for a number of other estates worldwide. He is now bringing a fresh perspective while remaining steadfastly attached to the estate’s heritage—which includes championing the local Tannat grape variety—and preserving but refining his stepfather’s style.

    The soon-to-be-released 2018 will be his debut vintage as winemaker for the wines of Montus and Bouscassé, and it intimates that Veiry is bringing a fresh stylistic impetus to the domaines. From his time in Bordeaux, he picked up the art of preserving a wine’s depth and structure while conferring a velvety texture to its tannins, a quality that is all the more welcome when the tannin-rich Tannat grape is concerned.

    In the vineyards, viticulture has become more precise with the help of horses for plowing; each plot is treated individually in function of its soil type, and the emphasis remains on careful picking of each block at the right time, which extends the harvest period.

    In the cellar, sulfite additions are now delayed until as late as possible after the conclusion of malolactic fermentation to allow the wines to become more resilient and pure.

    The exhilarating result is an inspiring range of wines with considerable youthful appeal but also notable aging potential and which speak clearly of their origins without any excess of extraction or new oak to confuse the message.

    In this ongoing transformation, Vignobles Brumont is embracing change to reinvigorate the estate. While this evolution will certainly make these wines more appealing to contemporary tastes, the changes represent refinement and adaptation rather that revolution. If Veiry can repeat this performance, year in and year out, I suspect that Montus and Bouscassé will reemerge as a magnet to draw consumers to the wines of the South West in general, and to those produced from the Tannnat grape in particular.

    It should be obvious that I am enthused by Antoine’s contribution as an agent of change. He is a hard-working and skilled vigneron, one who understands the importance of the tiniest details that will make the difference between a good wine and a great one. Despite the challenges posed by the sweltering weather of 2018 and the mildew-laden conditions that prevailed in the vineyards here (as in Bordeaux), the maiden vintage of Montus and Bouscassé under Antoine’s stewardship has proven to be outstanding, even though the well-structured XL cuvée does exhibit the classic formidably robust tannins with which the Tannat grape is associated.

    Forthcoming investments will include the construction of a new winery, leading me to have the utmost confidence that Montus et Bouscassé will continue to number among France’s most eminent wines—an assertion fortified by the grandeur of the wines from past vintages such as 1989, 1990, 1985, and 2000, which continue to showcase the estate’s vast potential for quality-driven production.”

    Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (08/23)

    In Stock

  • Aldo Conterno Barbera d’Alba Conca Tre Pile 2020

    £40.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia 2019

    £95.95

    “The 2019 Barolo Bussia is redolent of crushed red berry fruit, cedar, mint, spice, sweet pipe tobacco and orange peel. Firm and sinewy, with veins of insistent supporting tannin, the 2019 is a terrific example of the vintage and this bottling. Impressive. And gorgeous. Give it a few years to soften. Drinking window: 2024-2034. 92 points

    The 2019s are the finest wines I have tasted from Poderi Aldo Conterno in a long time. When Aldo Conterno passed away in 2012 he left the winery to his three sons, Giacomo, Franco and Stefano. In the ensuing years, my impression was often that the winery lacked clear direction. Numerous decisions were taken with the goal of improving quality, but those choices did not always show in the wines. They sure do in the 2019s. The four Barolos I tasted are all super-expressive and nuanced, with tons of character. As always, the Aldo Conterno wines have a bit more mid-palate richness than most super-classic Barolos and also a discreet touch of framing new oak. In 2019, the wines are impeccably balanced and beautifully done.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (01/24)

    In Stock

  • Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala 2017

    £129.99

    “The Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia Cicala reveals a deep garnet color with some dark copper. Like the other 2017 wines from this celebrated producer, I can’t help but suspect that these areas of Bussia suffered from the heat and some of the other weather challenges associated with this growing season. A clear note of overt ripeness comes across as dried strawberry or sweet crème de cassis. The finish is similarly weighed down by the fruit weight and oak tannins. Drink: 2023-2028. 91 points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (06/21)

    In Stock

  • Aldo Conterno Barolo Colonnello 2018

    £199.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Aldo Conterno Barolo Romirasco 2017

    £197.95

    “Opening to a dark color and robust consistency, the Poderi Aldo Conterno 2017 Barolo Bussia Romirasco is perhaps the most powerful of the four new releases reviewed here. Wearing broad shoulders and sporting a heavy gait over the palate, the wine sees a solid construction of dark berry and spicy or toasted oak aromas. There is a lot to behold in this bottle, and it definitely shows the potential to soften and relax with more cellar aging. However, you definitely need to put the bottle aside for many years. Drink: 2025-2043. 94 points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (06/21)

    In Stock

  • Aldo Conterno Nebbiolo Langhe Il Favot 2019

    £49.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Alkina Old Quarter GSM 2019

    £64.95

    “This 2019 Old Quarter GSM is fine and striking—the concentration of fruit is unmarred by oak, but has textural complexity and plushness in the mouth. The tannins in this wine are pliable, whippy and omnipresent, while bringing extreme pleasure and freshness to the wine. It has form and shape. Vitality. Purity. Finesse. Drink: 2022-2032. 95+ points”

    Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate (07/22)

    In Stock

  • Alkina Polygon No. 1 Shiraz 2019

    £189.95

    “The 2019 Polygon 1 Shiraz is spicy, taut and mineral-driven. This has shape and slender form, with pepper spice and all the things, black tea, graphite, etc. There are also notes of lamb fat and cloves as well as dark chocolate, mulberries and licorice. It is savory and exotic and exciting. Although, it does take some getting used to because it is quite different from other Barossa Shirazes—it is pure and febrile rather than big and tannic. This was fermented in concrete and finished off in a custom 420-liter barrel. The fruit for this wine is from a tiny 0.4-hectare polygon and is part of the Old Quarter of the vineyard. The vineyard was split into four distinct parcels, and in three of those parcels, vines grow on heavily fractured micaceous schist. One small area of 0.097 hectares in the middle lacks this schist content and is excluded from the ferment. 46 cases made and 50 magnums. Drink: 2022-2032. 93 points”

    Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate (09/22)

    In Stock

  • Alkina Polygon No. 5 Grenache 2019

    £189.95

    “The Polygon 5 is grown on a schist-dominant site, and the thread of tannin between the 2018 and 2019 shows a lineage of assertive, focused tannins. At no point, however, do they intrude on or impede the flow of the fruit. This 2019 Polygon 5 Grenache is supple, buoyant and spicy. It steps outside of the expected Grenache territory for the Barossa and treads a dangerously elegant and fine line. Thrilling. It has savory red fruits: salted redcurrants, pomegranate, raspberry. Wild. Layered. Earthy. Big, yes. Drink: 2022-2036. 96+ points”

    Erin Larkin, Wine Advocate (07/22)

    In Stock