Showing all 5 results

  • Marco de Bartoli Marsala Superiore Riserva Oro 2004 (500ml)

    £59.99

    “The 2004 Marsala d’Oro Superiore Riserva first captures your attention with its gorgeous amber and orange hue, as you swirl and watch its glycerol viscosity coat the glass. Its bouquet pulls you close, a dusting of clove and cinnamon giving way to dried florals, orange peel, incense and baked apples. It’s velvety yet not weighty in feel, with an incredibly layered display that comes in waves, as salted almonds and caramel are followed by grilled mango and peach, the gobs of minerality and brisk acids maintaining impeccable balance. This is decidedly more savory than sweet, tapering off over the course of minutes, while also leaving the senses perfectly refreshed and aching for another salty sip. This glorious effort will make you a lifelong fan of dry Marsala. Drinking window: 2021-2038. 96 points

    If I were permitted only one producer on the island of Sicily to introduce readers to, it would be Marco de Bartoli. When the average person thinks of Marsala, they think of a cheap cooking wine that is the last-minute errand you run right before starting to prepare a meal. What they don’t understand is that Marsala has a deep, rich history of creating wines designed to compete with the best Madeira and Sherry. The problem is that this history was buried deep beneath decades of mass production, a muddling of grape varieties and unnecessary fortification. Marco de Bartoli turned a passion for tradition into a vision of the future, and his heirs, have held the line, learning from their father’s teachings while keeping an innovative eye on new practices and trends. Today, de Bartoli continues to release purely traditional-style Marsala, using only estate-grown Grillo, the Solera barrel aging system (which uses oak and chestnut vats of various sizes) and, in the case of the Vecchio Samperi, no fortification. The Superiore wines do see a light fortification with grape brandy when removed from the Solera system, and they are then aged oxidatively in oak vats until bottling for release. Simply stated, a Marsala from Marco de Bartoli can compete with the greatest Ports, Sherries and Madeira. However, this house is no longer just about Marsala. The current generation, made up of Marco’s children Renato, Sebastiano and Giuseppina, began to experiment with dry whites produced from Grillo, Zibibbo and Catarratto in the 1990s. Today, these wines have really come into their own, showing exceptionally well, and they are true standouts in my recent tastings. What’s more, this experimentation has now evolved even further with the next level of dry whites in the Bartoli lineup, Integer. Both the Zibibbo and the Grillo for Integer are spontaneously fermented without temperature control, spend 10 days macerating with zero sulfur added, and then go through malolactic fermentation and rest for 10 months on the lees in large botti, with a small percentage of the juice spending five months on skins in clay amphora. The resulting wines are unique and stretch the imagination, yet they are also amazingly pleasing, and with notable cellaring potential.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/21)

    In Stock

  • Niepoort Bioma Vinha Velha Vintage Port 2016

    £77.95

    “The 2016 Bioma Vinha Velha Vintage Port is not set to be bottled for several months, which is a little too far in the future by my normal protocols. It is the final blend, though, and it is worth sneaking this beauty into the 2016 report this issue. This single-plot Porto is a worthy competitor to the fine Ports in this vintage and to the 2015 Bioma (Niepoort did not declare his normal blended Vintage Port in 2016). Deep, very concentrated and powerful, this is chock-full of brilliant fruit and flavor. It’s intense, rich, delicious and superb. This will be released in the spring of 2019, lagging behind most of the 2016s. It will be worth the wait. P.S. I had a quick look at the 2017. It’s a long way from being ready, admittedly, but it may well be even better. We will have fun arguing over the 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the years march on. Drink: 2027-2070. 95-97 points

    Niepoort in 2016 only made Bioma and did not make his typical blend. Look for his 2017s. Regarding the tawnies, remember that the drinking windows are just placeholders. Tawnies age well. The longer they are in barrel, the better they age. As long as the cork does not fail, they may hold more or less indefinitely, which is hard to predict. I add a little extra time as they get older, but it’s just a tip to illustrate the category. It is not exactly precise. The beauty of end-date drinking windows for Port, of course, is that no one can yell at me if I’m wrong.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (07/18)

    In Stock

  • Niepoort Vintage Port 2017

    £99.95

    “The 2017 Vintage Port is a field blend from old vines (80 to 100 years old). It comes in with 89 grams per liter of residual sugar. This was set for bottling in two weeks, but it was the final blend. Even when open for a couple of days, this was still tight, muscular and concentrated, grabbing the palate and never letting go. On opening, it was fragrant and delicious, but even then, there was plenty of muscle and evident concentration. The concentration and power merely improved as it aired out—unlike a lot of 2016s (which year Niepoort did not declare). Tasting it after several days open showed that it shut down and closed up in terms of expressiveness, but it definitively proved that it’s an old-school, long-haul wine. Dry, stern and long on the finish, this is brilliant. It is hard to think of any basis on which this is not perfection just now—Niepoort says it is the best he’s ever made. It’s certainly the best I’ve seen from him, and it is a leading candidate for “Wine of the Vintage,” although certainly not the only one. Finally, this is going to require patience. Nothing about it says “drink me now.” It should age brilliantly. If you lack a cellar and patience, look away. Drink: 2035-2085. 99-100 points

    If you’re wondering where the Bioma that I spoke of last year is, it is still not bottled and still not the final blend (so, not reviewed). It will be bottled in January.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (07/19)

    In Stock

  • Valdespino Oloroso Solera 1842 VOS N.V.

    £36.75

    “Produced in an unusual style for high end wines, the NV Solera 1942 VOS is a semi-sweet Oloroso with around 8% Pedro Ximénez, 60 grams of residual sugar and quite high acidity (6.8 grams) compared with others. It’s a very old Oloroso with the PX added at around the halfway mark in its aging process (around 30 years on average) so the two will be well integrated with each other. This is close to a Cream Sherry, and has an unusual nose with aromas of tar, charred oranges, tobacco, menthol with some reductive touches that are fresh and sweet at the same time; quite unusual. The palate is quite sweet, but somehow balanced, intense, round, with good length. The price shown is for half bottle. Drink: 2014-2018. 91 points

    Valdespino belongs to Grupo Estévez, who ages and amazing 35,000 butts of sherry in their winery in the outskirts of Jerez.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (216)

    In Stock

  • Valdespino Palo Cortado Viejo C.P. N.V.

    £39.99

    “The NV Palo Cortado Viejo C.P. produced from Palomino from the Macharnudo Alto is feed with specific casks of Fino Inocente and Amontillado Tio Diego. It was traditionally aged in the Calle Ponce (Ponce Street), and if has kept the C.P. initials since then. It’s not age-certified, but the average age of the bottled wine is 25 years. The color is old gold or light amber, and the nose hints at a relatively old wine, with plenty of lactic notes, sweet vanilla, iodine, bitter oranges and spices. The palate is clean and delineated, subtle and on the elegant side of Palo Cortado, ending very dry. Drink 2013-2016. Drink: 2013-2016. 93 points

    I’ve often called Valdespino “the Romanee-Conti of Jerez.” Well, there, I’ve said it. To me they represent quality and tradition at the very top of the Sherry hierarchy. The winery, soleras and brands are old, registered in 1875, but with documentation about their commercial and winegrowing activities going back to the 13th century. Their recent history starts in 1999, when Jose Estevez purchases the company from the Valdespino family. Today Valdespino is the jewel in the crown of the Grupo Estevez, which also includes Real Tesoro and La Guita, who stock and age 35,000 botas of Sherry and own 800 hectares of vineyards, 56 of which come from the Pago Macharnudo, on pure white albariza soil, one of the best vineyards in the Marco de Jerez, and 17 hectares from the heart of Macharnudo are still fermented in bota today and form the core of brands like Inocente, Tio Diego, CP or Cardenal. All the wines were carefully and slowly moved to the new facilities of the Grupo Estevez on the outskirts of Jerez, where they continue their development under the supervision of Eduardo Ojeda, technical director, winemaker, who as a wine-lover is very aware of his role preserving these old soleras, wines and traditions.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (208)

    In Stock