Showing 1–12 of 853 results

  • A.R. Lenoble Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2008

    £79.99

    “The A R Lenoble 2008 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Chouilly Brut Millésime displays a beautifully intense and golden shining citrus color. This has amazing richness and gentleness on the nose but, at the same time, delicacy, precision and finesse! This bouquet is perfectly ripe and generous but also fine and fresh, representing the chalky soils and warm microclimate of Chouilly as well as perfectly ripe and healthy fruit. Any 2008 austerity here? Negative! The attack on the palate is as fine and fresh as it is pure, piquant and aromatic. Ripe and juicy fruit flavors such as pineapples, lemons and limoncello intermix with a round and creamy but by no means bold or heavy texture that is actually marked by chalk powder and iodine flavors on the finish. In fact, this 2008 Chouilly is delicate and filigreed as well as firmly structured. To me, it is an icon wine for Chouilly, and I highly recommend it, even if only to understand the highly diverse terroirs of Champagne, even in the Côte des Blancs where Chouilly is the most northern village next to Cuis. A small part (10%) of the wine was aged in oak. The finish of the 2008 is fresh and light but also intense and persistent. This is a great vin de terroir, and to be honest, I couldn’t stop drinking it! Tasted April 2018. Drink: 2018-2030. 94 points

    There are some gorgeous cuvées to discover this year from the brother-sister team of Antoine and Anne Malssagne at Domaine AR Lenoble in Damery, Marne Valley. Especially exciting are the grand cru wines from Chouilly (Côte des Blancs), namely the 2008 Blanc de Blancs (which combines richness with finesse) and the non-vintaged single vineyard Blanc de Blancs Les Aventures that pairs its creamy richness and intensity with iodine purity and terroir-driven freshness. The recent release blends 2002 and 2006 and is simply terrific!

    However, export director Christian Holthausen is very excited about two new cuvées from the new “mag” edition—the Brut Intense “mag 14” and the Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut “mag 14.” Both of the “mag 14” wines are based on the 2014 harvest, complemented by reserve wines from a réservé perpétuelle.

    The réservés perpétuelles ‎were started in 2001 (100% Chardonnay from Chouilly) and 2002 (Chardonnay from Chouilly and Pinot Noir from Bisseuil). Initially, they were kept in stainless steel tanks, then in small 250-liter barrels and finally in 5,000-liter wooden vats, reports Holthausen. In 2010, Antoine Malssagne removed a portion from both réserves perpétuelles, which then filled into magnums and kept them with 1.5 bar of pressure under natural corks for four years. Each bottle was subsequently uncorked by hand and the wines blended with the two “mag 14” bottlings, both of which are based 60% on the 2014 harvest and 40% on reserve wines. The final cuvées were stored in the cellar in early 2015 and disgorged after three years.

    “Climate change is a reality,” Antoine Malassagne is quoted in the corresponding press release. “The challenge for the future is to be able to bring as much freshness as possible to our reserve wines. At the end of each harvest, we observe that acidity levels are much lower than they used to be. Reserve wines now need to add complexity and richness but also freshness.”

    In a separate email to me, Holthausen said, “Keeping the reserve wines in magnums under natural cork under 1.5 bar of pressure is like a ‘mini’ secondary fermentation, so the reserve wines gain some autolytic character, but that’s not the point.” He went on to explain, “The jumping point is to keep the reserve wines fresh as long as possible. We used to need rich, heavy reserve wines in Champagne 20 years ago. However, today we need reserve wines with freshness since our base wines keep having lower acidity levels and higher pH levels year after year.”

    In fact, 2018 will be their sixth-earliest harvest on record, according to Holthausen. “Climate change is shockingly real, and the ‘mag’ concept is our way of making even better wines in the face of climate change.”

    The “mag” edition will be continued next year with the Brut Intense “mag15,” the NV Chouilly Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs “mag 15” and the NV Brut Nature Dosage Zéro “mag14.” The NV Terroirs Chouilly-Bisseuil Rosé “mag14″ will be released in 2020.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (238)

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  • Achaval Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec 2015

    £85.25

    “(14.3% alcohol; from vines on alluvial soil): Bright, full ruby-red. Some exotic coffee and mocha oak notes complement aromas of blackberry, blueberry, plum and minerals; at once a bit liqueur-like and slightly reduced. Ripe, plush, utterly seamless wine with a restrained sweetness and superb breadth to its dark berry, nutty oak, herb and spice flavors. Finishes very long and youthfully tight, with suave tannins, an element of medicinal reserve, and lively notes of spices and flowers. The least fruity and most soil-driven of these single-vineyard wines in 2015, and built for a slow evolution in bottle. Drinking window: 2020-2029. 93+ points”

    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (07/18)

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  • Achaval Ferrer Finca Bella Vista 2015

    £85.25

    “(14.5% alcohol; from a deep gravel bed near the Mendoza River): Bright, moderately saturated medium ruby. Aromas of cassis, redcurrant, spices, herbs and tobacco along with an element of chocolatey oak. Wonderfully fine-grained, lively and sweet; both darker and brighter in its flavor profile than the Finca Altamira but also more open-knit today, showing a strong element of spicy oak. Finishes smooth, broad and sweet, but is it as complex? A second bottle of equal breadth was a bit more sharply focused and floral, and finished with a serious tannic spine and sneaky building persistence. This Malbec needs time. Drinking window: 2020-2027. 92+ points”

    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (07/18)

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  • Achaval Ferrer Finca Mirador Malbec 2015

    £82.25

    “(14.8% alcohol; from heavier soils): Bright medium ruby. Pungent, medicinal aromas of blueberry, blackberry, espresso and mint complicated by mineral and leather nuances. Plush, rich and deep, communicating an almost chocolatey ripeness to its slightly medicinal flavors of dark berries and leather. The most massive of these single-vineyard wines and also the mostly obviously alcoholic in its slight warmth. Boasts excellent breadth and well-buffered tannins but can’t quite match the Altamira or Bella Vista for class or inner-mouth energy. This large-scaled, slightly wild wine has plenty of tannins for cellaring. Drinking window: 2020-2027. 91+ points”

    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (07/18)

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  • Achaval Ferrer Quimera 2016

    £35.95

    “Dark medium ruby. Aromas of cassis, licorice, violet, bitter chocolate and spicy oak. Suave, energetic and light on its feet, offering lovely breadth and definition to its dark berry and mineral flavors; a slight herbal element (a touch of peppery stems?) adds complexity without coming off as vegetal. This savory, classically dry blend finishes with well-integrated tannins and sneaky rising length. A very successful, sophisticated wine from this cool year. Drinking window: 2020-2028. 91 points”

    Stephen Tanzer, Vinous (09/19)

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  • Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Furstentum Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017

    £33.75

    “Luminous golden-tinged straw-yellow. Very refined yet intense aromas and flavors of sweet spices, lemon curd, and smoke. Classy, archetypal Gewürz, with an extremely long and silky yet vibrant finish. The violet note is typical of the Furstentum; the vieilles vignes moniker refers to the fact that these vines are at least 45 years old. This is another big Gewürz but still comes across as relatively light on its feet (13.5% alcohol, 32 g/L r.s. and 4.5 g/L total acidity; curiously, the last two numbers are identical to those of the 2016 Furstentum Vieilles Vignes). The Furstentum is a magical site for Gewürz. Drinking window: 2020-2028. 94+ points

    Over the course of just two nights at the end of April 2017 on which frost hit hard, the estate lost about 45% of its crop. Marie-Thèrese Barthelmy told me that she remembers budbreak taking place on March 25, and that on March 31 their cherry tree was already in bloom; then, on April 21, the roof fell and frost wiped out entire vineyards. Harvest began earlier than usual and was also finished fast, over just three weeks. What wines the estate did manage to produce are, as always, superb”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (01/19)

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  • Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2018

    £55.99

    Review to follow

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  • Albert Vevey Blanc de Morgex et La Salle 2018

    £34.99

    “Medium straw-green-yellow. Ripe, musky and floral aromas of lemon drop, butter, mint, oatmeal and pomaceous orchard fruit. Sweet and juicy, with good cut and spice character; there’s nothing hard about this fresh Blanc de Morgex et La Salle. Closes with nicely persistent hints of white flowers, orange oil and resin. Makes an outstanding aperitif but is big enough to stand up to vegetable appetizers and delicately cooked freshwater fish entrées. Drinking window: 2019-2023. 92 points”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (01/20)

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  • Albino Rocca Barbaresco Angelo 2015

    £79.99

    “The 2015 Barbaresco Angelo is a blend of fruit mostly from Ronchi, with pieces of Montersino and Loreto that sees 55 days on the skins. Today, the Angelo is very tight and austere. Crushed rose petal, cedar and dried herb notes are pushed forward, while the fruit is more restrained in its expression initially. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s pedigree as well as the raciness and natural richness of the year. There is so much to like here. Drinking window: 2020-2035. 93+ points

    The 2015 and 2016 Barbarescos are a continuation of a stylistic shift at Albino Rocca that started around 2013, when the estate began to lengthen macerations and move towards a more classic style. Readers will note the addition of a new wine, the 2015 Barbaresco Cottà, made from a tiny parcel that was previously blended into the straight Barbaresco. The Cottà could very well become one of the stars in this range. Sadly, there is just one 15HL cask of the wine to go around. As strong as the 2015s are, the 2016s, which I tasted from cask, have all the potential to be even better. In fact, 2016 may very well be the best vintage I have ever tasted here.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (10/18)

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  • Albino Rocca Barbaresco Cotta 2018

    £49.99

    “Pouring from the bottle with a light ruby color, the Albino Rocca 2018 Barbaresco Cottà shows dried cherry, cassis and lots of blue flower or summer lavender. This is a classic and neatly contained expression of cool-vintage Nebbiolo. The bouquet is fluid but also compact, and you can look forward to an interesting aromatic evolution to come as this wine continues along its aging path. Only 2,000 bottles were released. Drink: 2023-2037. 93+ points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (06/21)

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  • Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ovello Vigna Loreto 2018

    £54.99

    Review to follow

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  • Albino Rocca Barbaresco Ronchi 2017

    £49.99

    “The 2017 Barbaresco Ronchi is terrific. Dark, ample and resonant, the Ronchi envelops all the senses from the very first taste. Succulent red cherry, plum, rose petal, spice, mint and licorice all build as the Ronchi shows off its considerable allure. Readers will have a very hard time keeping their hands off this jewel of a wine from the Rocca family. Drinking window: 2023-2035. 94 points

    This is an impressive set of 2017s from the Rocca family. The estate has been on a roll these last few vintages. Like all 2017s, the Albino Rocca Barbarescos are on the lighter side, but what stands out in the range is a level of site expression that is rare in this vintage. All of the Barbarescos are aged in cask, with the exception of the Cottà, which sees slightly smaller oak because of the tiny size of the parcel.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (10/20)

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