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Showing 169–180 of 207 results

  • Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2019

    £34.99

    “Although marked by accents of toasted grain and nuts, the focus of the excellent 2019 Croft Chardonnay is on the wonderfully pristine white peach and pineapple fruit. Medium to full-bodied and joyfully generous on the palate, it’s focused and streamlined at the same time, flowing easily into a long, citrus-inflected and silken finish. The best Croft Chardonnay to date? Drink: 2021-2027. 93 points

    Johann Christian Henschke, the patriarch of the Henschke family, arrived in Australia in 1841 and by 1847 had purchased land in Krondorf (Barossa Valley). His son, August, subsequently purchased land in the Eden Valley, donating a portion of the property for the Gnadenberg (Hill of Grace) Lutheran church. Christian would later add to the family’s holdings in the Eden Valley and transfer that acreage to another son, Paul Gotthard. This land is still the family’s home base.

    The first recorded sales of Henschke wine date back to 1868, with a ledger that continues to the present day. Fifth-generation member Stephen Henschke is the winemaker and his wife Prue is the viticulturist, while the next generation—Johann (winemaker), Justine (marketing and public relations) and Andreas (brand ambassador)—are gradually taking on more responsibilities.

    Flagship bottlings include the single-vineyard Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone Shiraz and the Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon, but there are a number of less-expensive offerings that illustrate the family’s commitment to quality, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Merlot from the Lenswood Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. The vineyards are farmed along organic and biodynamic lines, and the family has gone to exceptional lengths to preserve the old-vine genetics of its vineyards and ensure sustainability going forward.

    Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (03/21)

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  • J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2018

    £23.99

    “In a striking and delightful contrast to its superb Badstube counterpart, this Himmelreich Kabinett offers a cooling and overtly citric personality. Lemon and grapefruit are suffused with green herbal essences, accompanied by yeast and wet stone on the nose and an adjunct of juicy ripe honeydew on the polished, delicate, sorbet-like palate. Piquancy of citrus zest and seeds is restrained but invigoratingly efficacious, and the generously juicy finish is admirably transparent to underlying wet stone. Drink: 2019-2038. 92 points

    Starting the harvest just past mid-September 2018 was record-early at this estate, as at so many others. Also like many others, the Prüms reported a remarkably leisurely pace, since clement weather left them unfazed. They only finished up on October 20, with ample opportunity to make selections for nobly sweet elixirs right up to TBA, though precisely what would be declared “above” long gold capsule Auslese remained to be determined when I tasted in late November, and such wines are only released some years after bottling. Also as at so many estates, fears that the heat and drought of 2018 would result in wines resembling 2003s in their conspicuously low acidity and baked- or dried-fruit character proved unfounded. Instead, while analytically modest acidity as well as sheer ripeness conduced to a slightly stronger sense of sweetness than in some other recent vintages, even where the Prüm 2018 collection reveals a confectionary cast, this is balanced by freshness and nuanced piquancy, despite the relatively late finishing date for harvest. Relatively low acidity no doubt also contributed to the alluringly creamy textures that so many of the wines display. Moreover, in complete contrast 2003 – or, for that matter, 2005 – there is an abundance of Kabinett, and the personalities of each site tend to come through especially clearly. “We really made a changeover [Umstellung] after 2005,” observed Manfred Prüm. “Accepted wisdom was always to wait so as to harvest with maximum ripeness, but at that point we realized it isn’t always best to wait,” a realization never more applicable than in 2018. One aspect of these 2018s that is reminiscent of 2003, though, is that even at the level of gold capsule Auslese, the extreme ripeness and impressive concentration were achieved, the Prüms insisted, virtually without botrytis, which they report only came seriously into play with long gold capsule Auslese and beyond.”

    David Schildknecht, Vinous (08/20)

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  • J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2018

    £27.99

    “Heady scents of honeysuckle and heliotrope mingle with apple, quince and Persian melon. Succulent fruitiness and wafting perfume are complemented by a creamy feel on the delicate palate. Subtle nuttiness and discreet fruit seed piquancy serve for stimulating counterpoint, leading into a lusciously lingering, slate-lined finish. The exuberantly juicy, vibrant, bell-clear finish offers a lightly shimmering suggestion of fruit/stone interplay. At any given Prädikat level, the Prüms’ offering from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr – while in the long run often “best of show” – can frequently prove less expressive in its first year, but such is definitely not the case here! Drink: 2019-2040. 93 points.

    Starting the harvest just past mid-September 2018 was record-early at this estate, as at so many others. Also like many others, the Prüms reported a remarkably leisurely pace, since clement weather left them unfazed. They only finished up on October 20, with ample opportunity to make selections for nobly sweet elixirs right up to TBA, though precisely what would be declared “above” long gold capsule Auslese remained to be determined when I tasted in late November, and such wines are only released some years after bottling. Also as at so many estates, fears that the heat and drought of 2018 would result in wines resembling 2003s in their conspicuously low acidity and baked- or dried-fruit character proved unfounded. Instead, while analytically modest acidity as well as sheer ripeness conduced to a slightly stronger sense of sweetness than in some other recent vintages, even where the Prüm 2018 collection reveals a confectionary cast, this is balanced by freshness and nuanced piquancy, despite the relatively late finishing date for harvest. Relatively low acidity no doubt also contributed to the alluringly creamy textures that so many of the wines display. Moreover, in complete contrast 2003 – or, for that matter, 2005 – there is an abundance of Kabinett, and the personalities of each site tend to come through especially clearly. “We really made a changeover [Umstellung] after 2005,” observed Manfred Prüm. “Accepted wisdom was always to wait so as to harvest with maximum ripeness, but at that point we realized it isn’t always best to wait,” a realization never more applicable than in 2018. One aspect of these 2018s that is reminiscent of 2003, though, is that even at the level of gold capsule Auslese, the extreme ripeness and impressive concentration were achieved, the Prüms insisted, virtually without botrytis, which they report only came seriously into play with long gold capsule Auslese and beyond.”

    David Schildknecht, Vinous (08/20)

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  • Lucia Chardonnay 2019

    £47.99

    “The Pisoni family has long been synonymous with the Santa Lucia Highlands, and its wines and their farming roots here go back to 1952, when Gary Pisoni’s parents established their vegetable farm in Gonzalez. Gary took the initiative to plant vines in 1982, and the rest is well-known history to Pinot Noir fans. His sons are now fully in charge, with Mark watching over the family’s meticulously maintained vineyards and extensive vegetable plantings and Jeff making the wines at their facility up in Santa Rosa. The Lucia wines have long been ensconced in the upper quality tier of this region’s Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, and the 2018s extend that streak. There’s some new oak showing right now, unsurprisingly, but the wines’ intense fruit shines through clearly. While they display somewhat more restrained personalities than their 2017 siblings, these are definitely full-flavored, concentrated wines that beg for patience.”

    Josh Raynolds, Vinous (10/20)

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  • Luneau-Papin Muscadet Excelsior 2018

    £29.49

    “This is a lightly aromatic, youthful expression of Excelsior that has florals and nectarine characters, showing the warmer season. The 2018 retains a delicacy despite the warmer season providing fuller body and blossoming. It has still maintained its structure and sense of tension and could be approached at this early stage despite it being a cuvée that typically has longevity. I wonder if it has the intensity of concentration that some of the longer-lived vintages display. Drinking window: 2022-2034. 92 points

    If you aren’t convinced of just how good Muscadet can be, buy a mature bottle of Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin’s Excelsior and have your mind blown. It was my ah-ha Muscadet moment. Domaine Pierre Luneau-Papin sits in the Goulaine area of Muscadet, with an increasing portion of vines on the much-loved admired Butte de la Roche hill, which go into the Terre de Pierre and Gula Ana cuvées. Having returned to the family domaine in 2005, Pierre-Marie Luneau worked alongside his parents until they retired in 2018. Assisted by his seemingly indefatigable wife Marie Chartier-Luneau, the couple and their young family are carrying on the work of the previous eight generations. They are focused on making the finest quality, structural Melon wines and respecting the land including the conversion to organic and biodynamic viticulture. Harvesting is almost entirely by hand, which is unusual in the region, but you don’t get to make some of the best wines in the region through machine harvesting. They produce nine Muscadet Sèvre et Maines and two under the Muscadet cru of Goulaine. Fine-wine lovers looking to add Muscadet to their cellar need look no further. Visitors can also expect an exuberant welcome from Jupiter, the dog.”

    Rebecca Gibb, Vinous (11/21)

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  • Maison Dampt Chablis Grand Cru Bougros 2019

    £49.99

    Review to follow

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  • Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets 2019

    £149.95

    “The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets is very promising, opening in the glass with notes of pear, fresh peach, white flowers, beeswax and pastry cream. Medium to full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with terrific structuring dry extract, lively acids and a long, mineral finish, it’s once again one of the highlights of the portfolio. 93-95 points

    Damien Colin reported that his yields were some 30% below average and that the crop ripened rapidly, “even very rapidly.” Indeed, having projected a September 15 start, he began picking on September 7. Alcohol levels came in for the most part between 13% and 13.5%, with good phenolic maturity and lower pHs than in 2018. Having learned from a succession of warm vintages, every effort was made to retain freshness: working with cool grapes, minimal bâtonnage and moderate percentages of new oak. And in the vineyards, Colin is backing off rognage, working more flexibly to adapt to the vintage. All this translates to a very fine vintage chez Colin, delivering wines that are more concentrated and more clearly defined by site than the charming, open and expressive 2018s, also revisited here.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/21)

     

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  • Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Champs Gain 2019

    £89.99

    “The 2019 Chassagne-Montrachet Les Champs Gain 1er Cru is more reserved on the nose compared to the Chenevottes, touches of lemon rind and light fumé aromas. The palate is very well balanced with a crisp opening. Quintessentially Chassagne, there are lovely orange pith and tangerine notes coming through towards the finish with a long spicy aftertaste tinged with crème brûlée. Excellent. Drinking window: 2022-2040. 91-93 points

    Since splitting with his brother Joseph, whose wines will hopefully be added to this report in the not-too-distant future, winemaker Damien Colin, together with his sister Caroline, has continued to create some of the best Burgundy wines you will find in Saint-Aubin, Chassagne and Puligny-Montrachet, from his winery based in the confusingly-titled village of Gamay. “It is a complicated growing season with the frost and the ‘canicule’ [heat wave]. In some appellations we produced just 30% of a normal crop in 2019, though there are others that produced a normal yield.” Damien Colin added that in Saint-Aubin, parcels located on the slopes that normally escape frost, were affected in 2019. Vines on flatter areas that are prone to frost damage seemed to escape Scot-free. He continued saying that in Saint-Aubin, buds had already begun opening, allowing moisture to enter, causing some of them to ‘explode’ when it turned to ice.

    “Flowering was normal and then there was a heatwave in the summer, but the vines did not suffer much hydric stress despite the high temperatures that reached around 40°C. The harvest was small, so the maturity came very quickly. The vintage was expected to be 15 September but by the end of August the natural alcohol was around 12.0° to 12.5°. Therefore, we brought the picking forward and began on 7 September until 18-19 September. For the whites the alcohol degree is 13.5° to 14.0°C but with high acidity, mainly tartaric. The malic was low so after the malolactic fermentation the acidity levels are still good. The harvest was rapid because of the small yields, though we had to keep stopping and starting to be precise in terms of picking. The fermentation was quite quick, finishing around mid-November and the malos passed normally in springtime. From 2019 we no longer use SO2 until after the malolactic, which was fine in 2019 as the fruit was healthy. The SO2 inhibits some of the natural yeasts and without SO2 we have a broad spectrum of yeasts that engender more complex wine. The Village Crus are matured in around 15% new oak and the Premier Crus between 20% and 25% new oak. The 2019s are all taken from vat and will be bottled next spring with the final six months in tank.”

    The 2019s from Domaine Marc Colin do not disappoint and it is remarkable, almost irrational that such freshness could be conjured in such a dry and warm season. Standout? Perhaps surprising to some, it is not their morsel of Montrachet, good as that is, but a thrilling Bâtard-Montrachet, a Grand Cru that I feel over-performs in this vintage. If unable to splash the cash, then head for their outstanding Saint-Aubin Les Charmois or Les Combes or just buy both. I also found much to admire apropos their nervy Chassagne-Montrachets, particularly in Les Vides Bourses. Not every cuvée hit the bulls-eye, but generally these 2019s continue to consolidate Damien Colin’s reputation as winemaker par excellence. Pressing him to choose between 2018 and 2019 he replies: “It is difficult for me to say one vintage is better than the other. I find more terroir character in 2019 and I think that they will need more time.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (12/20)

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  • Marc Colin Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Vide-Bourses 2017

    £99.75

    “The 2017 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Vide Bourse bursts with aromas of pear, Meyer lemon, honeycomb and toasty new oak. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, muscular and quite youthfully introverted, with lively acids and fine overall balance. In this generally quite open and expressive vintage chez Colin, it’s one wine that will need a little time. Drink: 2025-2045. 92+ points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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  • Marc Colin Puligny-Montrachet Le Trezin 2018

    £55.99

    “The 2018 Puligny-Montrachet Le Trézin unfurls in the glass with scents of white flowers, fresh peach and citrus oil, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive palate that’s tensile and chalky. That’s quite typical of this sunny but high-altitude side. 89-91 points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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  • Marc Colin Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignieres 2017

    £59.99

    “The 2017 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignières is performing especially well from bottle, opening in the glass with a pretty bouquet that mingles apple and pear with notions of white flowers, citrus zest and praline. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny and incisive, with lovely depth and tension but also considerable charm and upfront appeal. Drink: 2021-2037. 91 points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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  • Marc Colin Saint-Aubin Luce 2018

    £38.99

    “Offering up aromas of crisp orchard fruit, white flowers and toasted nuts, Colin’s 2018 Saint-Aubin Cuvée Luce is medium to full-bodied, elegantly textural and precise, with a caressing attack and a charming, expressive profile. This will drink well young. Drink: 2020-2035. 89 points

    Damien Colin continues his progression towards longer élevage in larger vessels: In 2017, he purchased more 300- and 350-liter barrels, a trend that continued in 2018, and after a year in wood, his wines now see a protracted sojourn in tank on the lees. He’s adding less sulfur dioxide at harvest, finding that fermentations last longer. And longer élevage with attendant natural clarification meant that he was able to bottle his 2017s entirely without fining or filtration. Those 2017s, revisited from bottle, confirmed their fine showing last year; and 2018, rounder and more immediate in style, looks to be another success for Domaine Marc Colin, as my notes testify.

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/20)

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