Showing 61–72 of 853 results

  • Benoit Lahaye Millesime Grand Cru 2015

    £79.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Bourgogne Rouge 2015

    £31.99

    “Thierry Glantenay’s 2015 Bourgogne Rouge is lovely, wafting from the glass with notes of smoky red cherry, cocoa and raspberries. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, supple and delicious, with a succulent core of fruit, light structuring tannins and juicy acids. This will deliver great pleasure for the best part of a decade. Drink: 2017-2027. 88 points”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (236)

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Pommard Premier Cru Les Saussilles 2015

    £79.99

    “The 2015 Pommard 1er Cru les Saucilles is nearly entirely whole bunch fruit this year. It has a lifted boysenberry and cranberry bouquet, a touch of licorice developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a smooth, harmonious entry. Here it diverts more towards red fruit laced with white pepper, struck through with a fine line of acidity and bracing sense of energy towards the pastille-like finish. This is one of my picks from Glantenay this year and it comes highly recommended. Drink: 2018-2028. 91-93 points

    Whenever I hear of the travails endured by producers in Volnay, the two growers that my heart goes out to are Jean-Pierre Charlot at Domaine Joseph Voillot and Thierry Glantenay. Both produce excellent wines, both are true gentleman and both, amongst others, seem to stand right in the firing line whenever there is a sudden hailstorm or frost. Still, this does not seem to have prevented Thierry from improving his winery, which now has an extension to accommodate 50,000 bottles, necessary because his grandfather’s house that used to house part of the production has been sold. This clearly gives him and his father plenty more space to conduct their work, allowing them to work by gravity and eschew the use of pumps, and also provided a huge balcony that gives an amazing panorama across towards the Jura Mountains. Thierry told me that he commenced the harvest on 2 September and cropped at 25hl/ha due to hail. Acidity levels came in with pH level between 3.5 and 3.6. There is lot of whole bunch used at this domaine except for the Broullard at around 30% of the crop. The whites were in vat, soon to be fined and bottled in December or January. He described them as wines with the generosity of the 2009 vintage but with better acidity. This was a fine set of wines from Thierry, perhaps in a couple of places a little rustic and “big-boned” but displaying assiduous use of whole bunches and really delivering with gems like the “saucy” Pommard Les Saucilles and Volnay Clos des Chênes.”

    Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (228)

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru Les Folatieres 2017

    £79.99

    “Pretty and expressive, the 2017 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières offers up notes of crisp pear, ripe lemon and a touch of struck matchstick from its recent bottling, followed by a medium to full-bodied, satiny palate with tangy acids, nice chewy extract and a chalky finish. It’s one of the finest white wines I’ve tasted from Glantenay. Drink: 2019-2029. 93 points

    The disarmingly modest Thierry Glantenay is emerging as one of the Côte de Beaune’s most exciting producers of red wine. From his hillside winery overlooking the Marquis d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs, Glantenay is producing a lovely range of elegant, pure and intense Volnays and Pommards that are increasingly consistent and stylistically assured. In the cuverie, he tells me, he is more and more content to let temperature and alcohol do the work of extraction for him, keeping pigéage and rémontage to a minimum; pressing is gentle; and élevage, without racking until the mise en bouteille, takes place in at most 30% new barrels. In the cellar, no matter which barrel you choose, the wines taste reliably wonderful: indeed, after my first tasting with Glantenay, some years ago, I was compelled to return a week later to verify that I hadn’t been imagining things, and that so serious a producer could really be so little known. That his wines sometimes take longer to bounce back after bottling than those of his peers, therefore, surprises me. Glantenay neither fines nor filters, but might the mobile bottling line he uses for the mise perhaps do a gentler job? In any case, the quality is not in doubt, and after the superb vintages of 2015 and 2016, 2017 is a worthy successor, in a lighter, more supple register, certainly, but with plenty of flavor and personality, and at last, available in normal quantities.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/19)

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Volnay 2017

    £49.99

    “As usual, the 2017 Volnay Village includes two small premier cru parcels that Glantenay doesn’t wish to vinify separately, and it’s shaping up very nicely, offering up a fragrant nose of sweet cherries and berries, violets and orange rind. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, satiny and supple, with an ample core of sweet fruit and a fine-grained, elegantly chalky finish. 89-91 points

    The disarmingly modest Thierry Glantenay is emerging as one of the Côte de Beaune’s most exciting producers of red wine. From his hillside winery overlooking the Marquis d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs, Glantenay is producing a lovely range of elegant, pure and intense Volnays and Pommards that are increasingly consistent and stylistically assured. In the cuverie, he tells me, he is more and more content to let temperature and alcohol do the work of extraction for him, keeping pigéage and rémontage to a minimum; pressing is gentle; and élevage, without racking until the mise en bouteille, takes place in at most 30% new barrels. In the cellar, no matter which barrel you choose, the wines taste reliably wonderful: indeed, after my first tasting with Glantenay, some years ago, I was compelled to return a week later to verify that I hadn’t been imagining things, and that so serious a producer could really be so little known. That his wines sometimes take longer to bounce back after bottling than those of his peers, therefore, surprises me. Glantenay neither fines nor filters, but might the mobile bottling line he uses for the mise perhaps do a gentler job? In any case, the quality is not in doubt, and after the superb vintages of 2015 and 2016, 2017 is a worthy successor, in a lighter, more supple register, certainly, but with plenty of flavor and personality, and at last, available in normal quantities.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/19)

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Volnay Premier Cru Clos des Chenes 2016

    £79.99

    “The 2016 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chenes comprises only older, 80-year-old vines that were whole bunch, around one-third of the blend, and the younger vines that were destemmed. It has quite a spicy nose with hints of Moroccan spices filtering through the red and black fruit and hints of sandalwood and sage. The palate is very poised on the entry with fine but firm tannin that lends it a Pommard-like personality. I like the salinity of this Volnay that gets the saliva glands flowing, crisp with an oyster shell finish that is not persistent but just very precise. It just needs a little more finesse to develop with time. Drink: 2020-2035. 90-92 points

    “We lost between 70% and 80% of volume in 2016 because of the frost,” Thierry Glantenay tells me as we taste in his house above the winery, a view of the panorama across the Jura and the Alps beyond obscured by winter mist. This is a winemaker who has been through so much in recent years, and yet he never lets it get to his equanimous personality. “In Volnay Brouillauds, where we have a hectare, we cropped nothing. We made a Volnay Village that includes one-third of the premier cru fruit from Brouillards, Les Lurets and L’Ormeau, and the rest comprises the village cru. For the Bourgogne Rouge there are just three barrels, whereas in 2017 there are 21. Fortunately some crus suffered less such as Volnay Caillerets and Pommard Rugiens. At the beginning there was serious mildew pressure but the weather became warm and dry and limited the attack. I am 80% organic but I used treatments around the time of flowering to make sure I had some crop. It was difficult for the morale working in the vines. We started the picking on 23 September and then picked over six days. The average yield was around 13 hectoliters per hectare although fortunately the major loss was with the generic red Burgundy instead of the premier crus. The vinification was normal. We did not have a lot of second-generation grapes when we went through the vineyard again one week later, but the first-generation grapes were very healthy, with good maturity. I did less whole bunch addition in 2016 than in 2015 because I did not want to take the risk with stems that might not be fully lignified.” Following Glantenay for several years now, I have always liked their approach to winemaking. It is such a pity that they have been scuppered by hail and now frost, yet there are always excellent wines to be found and 2016 is no different, particularly two of the surviving Volnay premier crus, Santenots and Caillerets. Fortunately his 2017 is more plentiful, Thierry mentioning that instead of the 9,000 bottles the domaine produced in 2016 there are almost 30,000 in 2017. Then again, that just illuminates the dearth of wines this year so grab what you can.”

    Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (234)

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Volnay Premier Cru Les Brouillards 2017

    £64.99

    “The 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillards exhibits beautiful nose notes of orange rind, wild berries, cassis and rose petals. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, supple and satiny, with a lavishly textural attack, melting tannins and a succulent core of fruit, concluding with a long finish. In 2016, this cuvée was so small that Glantenay included it in his Volnay AOC, but happily, 2017 marks its return to the range. 90-92 points

    The disarmingly modest Thierry Glantenay is emerging as one of the Côte de Beaune’s most exciting producers of red wine. From his hillside winery overlooking the Marquis d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs, Glantenay is producing a lovely range of elegant, pure and intense Volnays and Pommards that are increasingly consistent and stylistically assured. In the cuverie, he tells me, he is more and more content to let temperature and alcohol do the work of extraction for him, keeping pigéage and rémontage to a minimum; pressing is gentle; and élevage, without racking until the mise en bouteille, takes place in at most 30% new barrels. In the cellar, no matter which barrel you choose, the wines taste reliably wonderful: indeed, after my first tasting with Glantenay, some years ago, I was compelled to return a week later to verify that I hadn’t been imagining things, and that so serious a producer could really be so little known. That his wines sometimes take longer to bounce back after bottling than those of his peers, therefore, surprises me. Glantenay neither fines nor filters, but might the mobile bottling line he uses for the mise perhaps do a gentler job? In any case, the quality is not in doubt, and after the superb vintages of 2015 and 2016, 2017 is a worthy successor, in a lighter, more supple register, certainly, but with plenty of flavor and personality, and at last, available in normal quantities.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (01/19)

    In Stock

  • Bernard & Thierry Glantenay Volnay Premier Cru Les Santenots 2017

    £72.95

    “The 2017 Volnay 1er Cru Les Santenots is showing very well from bottle, wafting from the glass with aromas of raspberries, wild berries, dark chocolate and burning embers. Medium to full-bodied, ample and enveloping, it’s supple and lively, framed by powdery tannins. This has developed nicely and will offer a broad drinking window. Drink: 2022-2045. 92 points

    As I wrote last year, the disarmingly modest Thierry Glantenay produces a lovely range of elegant, pure and intense Volnays and Pommards at his hillside winery overlooking the Marquis d’Angerville’s Clos des Ducs. In the cuverie, he tells me, he is more and more content to let temperature and alcohol do the work of extraction for him, keeping pigéage and rémontage to a minimum. He also gently presses the grapes, and élevage, without racking until the mise en bouteille, takes place in at most 30% new barrels. His 2018s have turned out very well, delivering generous, textural wines that remain structurally refined and lively—wines that will drink well young but also age gracefully. This under-the-radar estate comes warmly recommended.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (02/20)

    In Stock

  • Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet 2018

    £47.99

    “The 2018 Chassagne-Montrachet Village had been blended in July and fined three weeks prior to my visit. It has a delightful bouquet of orange blossom, tinned peach and touches of wild mint, quite intense for a Village Cru. The palate is taut, fresh and spicy on the entry, with touches of white pepper and fennel infusing the citrus fruit. An almost clinical saline finish lingers in the mouth. Superb. Drink: 2021-2036. 90-92 points

    Readers will know the high esteem in which I hold Domaine Bernard Moreau and winemaker Alexandre Moreau. You want the best Chassagne-Montrachet? This is where you call first. I have absolutely no reason to alter that view with respect to the 2018s. “We started picking on 30 August, the same date as 2017 but the profile of the vintage is different,” Moreau told me surrounded by stainless steel vats. “This was because of the size of the crop and the heat. I like to have freshness and not too much alcohol, so I was anxious about the picking date. So I controlled the maturity, constantly tasting in the vineyard and soon realised that the sugar level can rise quicker than the phenolic maturity. I have now started the harvest in August in 2015, 2017 and 2018. I couldn’t understand why if August was so warm, the increase in sugar level was actually quite slow. I knew it was generous, but I did not know it would be so generous in older vineyards – something that I have never seen. For example, I haven’t made nine barrels of Chassagne Chenevottes since I began, then again, yields are only just above 50hl/ha for the Premier Crus. Maybe people are expecting something like 2003, but the 2018s are not heavy at all. For the Village and Premier Crus the alcohol is between 13.0° and 13.5°. As usual we practice natural fermentations, no racking and so forth – the only difference in 2018 is that it was a super-long alcoholic fermentation. Many barrels were fermenting until July – and I don’t mind that – I like to play this game as you have activity in the barrel with the fine lees in suspension and natural CO2 that protects your wine. The pH is around 3.19, which gives them a lot of freshness. It is not a vintage for early bottling and so most of the Premier Crus will be bottled next Spring.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (01/20)

    In Stock

  • Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011

    £85.49

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino 2015

    £143.75

    The Biondi-Santi 2015 Brunello di Montalcino exudes dark, velvety fruit and concentration while maintaining the signature elegance, suppleness and lithe personalty that distinguishes the iconic Il Greppo estate. I found this new release to be quite distinctive and exquisitely beautiful, setting it apart from many of the past vintages we are most familiar with. This 2015 edition is dark, exuberant and bold, but precise, focused and sharp as well. It will live for years in your cellar, but tasted now in its infancy, the wine shows blackberry, dried cherry, plum and dark cassis. Those dark fruit tones segue to a rich presentation of tar, spice, earth, tobacco and sweet balsam herb. The bouquet offers seamless and smooth transitions. This warm and sunny growing season favored richness and phenolic weight. Wines from Biondi-Santi are made for the long haul, and the fresh acidity that characterizes this estate is the principle reason why. However, I’d argue that this wine from 2015 will evolve over the years not only thanks to the freshness but more so thanks to the important structure of this solid and profound wine. Drink: 2024-2048. 97+ points

    This spotlight focuses on two new releases from Biondi-Santi: the 2017 Rosso di Montalcino and the 2015 Brunello di Montalcino. The upcoming 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva will be released later this year, and I will publish a review of that wine as soon as I have the opportunity to taste it.

    Of these two samples, it’s worth spending an extra word on the beautiful 2017 Rosso di Montalcino. Rosso is an entry-level category of wine in Montalcino, made with 100% Sangiovese like its big brother Brunello, which has been the subject of much debate and attention in recent years. There is an acute awareness on the part of both the trade and the consumer that the enormous growth potential of Rosso di Montalcino remains untapped.

    Because Rosso commands a lower price point than Brunello (a wine that sells well), there has been an unwillingness to invest vineyard acreage or infrastructure for Rosso di Montalcino. Why focus on Rosso in a Brunello market?

    As a result, Montalcino is an anomaly in the world of wine because it has an inverted quality pyramid. The classic wine region elsewhere is built upon on a large base of lower-priced wines at the bottom, and a pointed tip where a much smaller number of expensive fine wines live at the top. In Montalcino, cellar-worthy Brunello is the expensive wine at the top produced in ample volume, but the upside-down pyramid tapers down at the bottom to capture the sidelined Rosso.

    For example, in a year like 2018, the appellation produced eight million bottles of Brunello di Montalcino and 4.5 million bottles of Rosso di Montalcino for a turnover of 160 million euros, and 70% of the wine was sold in export markets, according to the Consorzio del Vino di Montalcino. The denomination has policies in place to limit the growth of Brunello to eight to nine million bottles, depending on the vintage. However, there is ample room for growth, says the Consorzio, for Rosso di Montalcino.

    If Rosso di Montalcino is to build momentum, it is critical that the iconic brands of the appellation get behind the wine. This is the context I believe we need to consider when presenting a wine like the Biondi-Santi 2017 Rosso di Montalcino.

    “We strongly believe in Rosso di Montalcino,” Biondi-Santi CEO Giampiero Bertolini tells me over a Zoom call. “Rosso is the entry ticket to Montalcino. This wine is key to bringing in new interest and new generations of wine lovers.”

    The Biondi-Santi estate has a long-standing Rosso di Montalcino program. But it also sometimes produced a special bottling recognized by a red banner on the label called Rosso di Montalcino Fascia Rosso in the most difficult vintages such as 1989, 1992, 2002 and 2014. In those years, fruit destined to Brunello was downgraded to the red banner selection. It was determined that the Fascia Rosso was causing confusion in the marketplace and the wine was discontinued.

    “We don’t want our Rosso to be seen as a declassified wine,” says Bertolini. “Instead, we want to draw a clear identity for our Rosso.”

    The identity of the 2017 Rosso di Montalcino reviewed here is closely linked to that of the estate’s technical director, Federico Radi, who joined the estate that same year.

    “The 2017 growing season was hot and the vines were stressed. Yields were reduced by 30% to 40% in some areas,” says Radi. “Areas with heavy clay soils and younger vines suffered the most, but we were able to maintain freshness in the 2017 Rosso thanks to the advanced age of the vines in our best sites with cooler Galestro soils.”

    Biondi-Santi embarked on an ambitious project to map its vineyard holdings and better understand the soil characteristics of each parcel. The team is also slowly replanting less-productive vines. I wrote about these initiatives in my article that was published last year in the June 202 Week 1 issue. I also wrote about some recent changes at the estate in an article called “Updates from Montalcino’s Tenuta Biondi Santi” published on Wine Journal, which is free to read (no subscription required).

    The 2015 Brunello di Montalcino reviewed here will also be released in magnum for the first time in the estate history. Brunello was not made in 2014, nor was a Riserva produced that year.

    Each year, the estate selects a back vintage from the library to re-release to the market. The 1983 Riserva was selected for this purpose, and I was lucky enough to taste that beautiful wine a couple of years ago. That review was published in July 2019.

    In Good Hands

    Tenuta Biondi Santi is in a happy place today. Brunello watchers had reason for pause after the death of the beloved Franco Biondi Santi in 2013 at the age of 91 (and still active in winemaking). Not too long after his passing, rumors suggested that the estate might be for sale. This led to broad questions about the future of the brand, and specific concerns regarding the stewardship of the traditional winemaking style that so faithfully mirrors the personality of Il dottore Franco Biondi Santi. Last year’s release of the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva had a ribbon printed on the front label that read: “Dedicato a Franco Biondi Santi.” That is his final vintage.

    In 2016, Biondi Santi’s heirs sold the estate to the Paris-based EPI holding company owned by Christopher Descours. Since that date, a careful restructuring program was initiated. In the years following the acquisition, Franco’s son Jacopo and his grandson Tancredi both stayed on for consistency during the transition. However, both men have since left Il Greppo to dedicate their efforts to Jacopo’s Southern Maremma wine estate, Castello di Montepò.

    Meet the Team

    Under its French ownership, Il Greppo is managed by an all-Italian dream team of professionals, with a small Danish inclusion, culled from some of Tuscany’s most prestigious wine estates such as Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, Marchesi Mazzei and Isole e Olena.

    Giampiero Bertolini, Biondi-Santi CEO, joined the team in 2018. With 16 years at the Frescobaldi Group, he served as global sales and marketing director at Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi. He got his master’s degree in economy and marketing at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, completing some of his studies at the international marketing program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    His mission at Biondi-Santi is to “further expand the value and the importance of the brand to reinforce its presence among the greatest wines of the world. On the one hand, this will be accomplished through the continuous improvement of the quality of the wines, within the utmost respect of Biondi-Santi’s secular tradition and history; on the other hand, by strengthening the presence of Biondi-Santi in the best restaurants worldwide and in the most prestigious private wine collector cellars,” according to a company statement.

    Technical director Federico Radi, who heads viticulture and winemaking, joined the company in 2017. Tuscan born, he studied agronomy at the Università degli Studi di Firenze and holds a master’s degree in oenology from the Unversità degli Studi di Siena. His professional career has given him passage through the historic cellars of Villa Mangiacane, Isole e Olena (where he was vineyard manager) and the Maremma estate of Marchesi Mazzei, Tenuta Belguardo, where he was in charge of production.

    Giovanni Lai (the best-dressed man in Italian wine) is the European sales director. I met Giovanni back in 2005 when I was studying to be a sommelier with the Italian Sommelier Association. He was my instructor during the spirits portion of the course. A few years later, I profiled him in an article I wrote on Italian mixed drinks. It was around that time that I also met Lene Bucelli (Danish by birth but Italian by choice, much like myself). Lene is the head of marketing and communications at Biondi-Santi and has worked as a press officer for various estates in Tuscany. Andrea Gianardi is CFO, after having worked at the Chianti Classico Consortium for many years.

    The estate staff under employment by Franco Biondi Santi, both in production and in the offices, have pretty much all stayed on under the new ownership.

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (03/21)

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  • Bodegas Tradicion Amontillado VORS

    £64.95

    “The NV Tradicion Amontillado VORS, certainly has the more complex and subtle nose of all these VORS and is on average 45 years old. It has a very clean nose, with elegance and complexity, powerful but subtle notes of hazelnuts, honey and even some dates. The medium-bodied palate shows a sharp wine with strong salinity, it has the power and the lightness, in a very difficult combination. 96 points

    Bodegas Tradicion, despite its name, is one of the youngest wineries in Jerez, it was created in 1998, something not so common, as most of the houses have been in operation for generations. It’s also unusual for a winery to sell exclusively old wines, even more so when it’s a young operation. But this is what Bodegas Tradicion is about. They purchased wines (botas and soleras) from everybody, Osborne, Bobadilla, Croft, Domecq, Sandeman? In the beginning they had maybe 200 botas, and now they own around 1,000. The market at the time when they started was extremely hard for Sherry, and trying to sell a new name, and exclusively old wines, was almost impossible. In 2003 they sold a grand total of 600 bottles, whereas nowadays they sell 18,000-20,0000 bottles per year. They kind of started the other way round, selling only VORS (and one VOS), and working their way towards younger wines to feed their soleras. They have now even released a Fino (a very old Fino, but a Fino after all), and they explained that even though they started buying very old soleras, they are now in need of younger wines, and they do not rule out the need to even purchase their own vineyards in the future. A Benjamin Button kind of winery! The wines are in charge of Jose Maria Quiros, who was winemaker at Agustin Blazquez and later at Domecq and has been a consultant for Alvear in Montilla-Moriles for 15 years. His aim is to preserve traditions and keep the wines as pure and true to their style as possible, and they come through as clean, elegant, precise, well-defined, focused, true to their type and indeed traditional. All wines have a hand-written lot number and year on the label.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (208)

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