Showing 709–720 of 746 results

  • Mullineux Essence Chenin Blanc 2012 (250ml)


    Two bottles available

    “The 2012 Essence is essentially the last of two-day pressing, fermented for four years in barrel, 4.5% alcohol with (drum roll please) a whopping 650 grams per liter of residual sugar. It was pressed at around 80 brix! Refulgent amber in color, it has a gorgeous orange sorbet, syrup, fig, Seville orange marmalade and quince-scented bouquet that is very well defined. The palate is, to quote Chris himself, a “complete monster”—a diabetic’s worst nightmare. The senses are bewildered and then seduced by the payload of sweet honeyed fruit, the 14.5 grams of acidity maintaining the balance and freshness. It positively lacquers the inside of the mouth and the finish delivers just a very subtle bitter lemon note that prevents it from being cloying. Outrageous and probably immortal. There are 700 bottles, all 250-milliliters. Drink: 2017-2117. 98 points

    Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines (formerly Mullineux Family Wines) have gone from strength to strength in recent years. It seems a long time ago that their original investor poured their inaugural vintage blind at a lunch in London to the delight of the assembled. Nowadays Chris and Andrea Mullineux have won almost as many plaudits as their friend Eben Sadie, whilst the backing of Indian entrepreneur Analjit Singh has opened whole new horizons, which in a single word you could call Franschhoek. When tasting at their Roundstone winery, I asked Andrea how it all came about.

    “[Analjit] bought the estate and was looking to employ winemakers and this was the same time that Keith [their original investor] was looking to sell his shares. Rosa Kruger was helping him and suggested the partnership with Chris and I. He has no intention to influence what we do. The initial idea was for Mullineux to make Franschhoek wines, but it is a Swartland brand, so we started the Leeu Passant label. We wanted to do something South African, not make an imitation Bordeaux. The idea is that we explore and pay homage to South African wine Heritage, in the mood of the old South African wines from the 1950s and 1960s. We wanted to deconstruct those wines and reconstruct them in a modern way. For the red it includes fruit from South Africa’s oldest vineyard that is leased on a long-term contract. They are actually fenced off.”

    This was a strong set of wines from Chris and Andrea, both white and red. Whether you are making your acquaintance with Cape wine courtesy of their Kloof Street label or seeking terroir-driven wines with their Iron/Schist/Granite bottlings, there is a sense of consistency that has built their reputation in recent years. And their Straw Wine is remarkable. I have tasted all of them since release on a number of occasions and they are brilliant; the concentrated 2016 Straw Wine a contender for the best the couple have ever made. For those whose eyes are automatically attracted to points, you will see my 99-point score for the NV Olerasay, the solera that that had been itching to release for a number of years. I was actually served this blind in London and it just blew me away, therefore I asked Andrea if I could re-taste it. It just seems to have developed an effortless nature that it did not have just after bottling, a sensational wine that to date is the highest score I have given to a recently released South African wine.

    I have included here the debut releases from their Franschhoek estate under the Leeu & Passant label. I like the idea of updating the past, right from the retro-style labeling to the wine inside the bottle. I have a feeling that the warmer 2015 growing season probably did not suit the style of wine they would like in the future and whilst I enjoyed the two whites and red that I tasted, I suspect that a cooler and perhaps more challenging growing season is going to push these wines to a higher level. If all these developments were not enough (and God only knows how the couple find time to bring up their young family), there is the maiden 2012 Essence, which as the name suggests is based on the namesake Tokaji, delivering a mammoth 650 grams per liter of residual sugar. There are just 700 “diddy” 250-milliliter bottles. It is totally outrageous and totally delicious, doubtlessly destined to last as long as those legendary immortal 18th century Vin de Constance.”

    Neal Martin, Wine Advocate (230)

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  • Mullineux Granite Chenin Blanc 2019


    “The 2019 Chenin Granite is clean and focused on the nose with apple blossom, yellow plum and honeysuckle scents. Its initial bashfulness soon gives way to a louder voice. The palate is taut and focused on the entry, and delivers orange peel, marmalade and hints of stem ginger and dried honey toward the waxy-textured finish. Give this 2–3 years in bottle because there is substance here, and it has a lot to give. Drinking window: 2023-2036. 92+ points”

    Neal Martin, Vinous (04/21)

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  • Niepoort Coche 2020


    Review to follow

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  • Oddero Barbaresco Gallina 2016


    “The 2016 Barbaresco Gallina is gorgeous. Silky, perfumed and beautifully layered, the 2016 has much to offer. Rose petal, licorice, mint and lavender notes are nicely lifted in a silky, super-expressive Barbaresco that is going to be very hard to resist in the early going. More than anything, though, the 2016 Barbaresco is a terrific example of just how far the Oddero wines have come in the last few years. Drinking window: 2020-2036. 93 points

    Cristina Oddero has been through more than her fair share of ups and downs, but she is now making the most consistently outstanding wines I have tasted here since I first visited the estate nearly twenty years ago. The trajectory in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. It’s great to see Oddero emerge from a lengthy period in which family tension made it impossible for the wines to achieve their potential. Readers who enjoy fine, classically built wines will want to check out Oddero. Bravo!”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (02/19)

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  • Oddero Barolo Rocche di Castiglione 2017


    “The 2017 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione is a beautiful wine that captures the natural intensity of the year while maintaining the style of the site. Silky aromatic and wonderfully nuanced the 2017 Rocche di Castiglione has so much to offer. Lavender, rose petal, spice and kirsch are some of the notes that meld together in this open-knit, inviting Barolo from Oddero. Drinking window: 2025-2042. 93 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (02/21)

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  • Oddero Barolo Villero 2017


    “The 2017 Barolo Villero is delicate and lifted in this vintage, with impeccable balance and tons of class. Villero is not an easy site to find balance, but the 2017 Oddero sure has it. Sweet cherry, crushed raspberry, rose petal, orange peel and cinnamon give the 2017 lovely aromatic nuance to match its mid-weight personality. Drinking window: 2025-2037. 93 points!”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (02/21)

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  • Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph 2019


    Gonon’s 2019 Saint Joseph retains the typical floral signature on the nose, but it is more dark-fruited than usual, with notes of black cherries, blackberries and even black olives. It’s medium to full-bodied, the first vintage recorded over 14% alcohol, according to Jean Gonon (14.2%). Concentrated, rich and velvety in feel, it boasts a long, gently chewy finish and should age well. Drink: 2025-2038. 94+ points

    When I visited with Jean Gonon on September 17, 2021, harvest was yet to commence. Sugar levels were around 13 or 13.5 degrees in the whites and only 11.5 degrees in the reds. “We had this in 2012 and 2013, and the wines were not bad,” said Gonon. “It could be like a vintage from the 1980s.”

    The emphasis at Gonon remains on the vineyards. While he said recent years have seen improvements in how others work their vines, he expressed some reservations as well. “People have abandoned chemical spray but don’t work the soils because it’s too expensive, and the vines suffer. Bad habits become big problems in difficult vintages,” he said. The domaine has been certified organic since 2010.

    Gonon finds that 2018 and 2020 are somewhat similar in style, but he said 2019 stands apart for its concentration and presumed longevity. “C’est une cuvée pour garder.” About 40% of the domaine’s grapes come from Saint-Jean de Muzols, 50% come from Tournon and just 10% come from the family’s home village of Mauves.


    Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate (01/22)

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  • Pierre Peters Brut Cuvee de Reserve Grand Cru N.V.


    “The NV Brut Cuvée de Réserve Grand Cru is fabulous. A Champagne of tension and energy, the Cuvée de Réserve has real presence, not to mention tons of class. Citrus, jasmine, mint and crushed rocks are some of the many nuances that race out of the glass. In this release, the Cuvée de Réserve has a light tropical quality that is both exotic and hugely appealing. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged: March, 2021. Drinking window: 2021-2028. 92 points

    Pierre Péters is reference point for the Côtes des Blancs and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Much of the attention naturally goes to the flagship Les Chétillons and some of the newer bottlings, like the L’Étonnant Monsieur Victor and Réserve Oubliée, but I find myself often reaching for the L’Esprit, which always conveys the essence of a vintage, but at a more approachable price. Rodolphe Péters’ Champagnes are distinguished by their combination of Mesnil tension and fruit depth. A recent magnum of the 2008 Les Chétillons showed that interplay to great effect.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/21)

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  • Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012


    “The Quintarelli Giuseppe 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico pours from its heavy glass bottle to reveal a dark ruby and shiny garnet appearance. The bouquet takes a few moments before it comes into focus, and even then, this wine holds back a bit, especially at this young stage in what promises to be a very long cellar life. It’s in no rush. The mouthfeel is especially impressive, and it brings a heightened level of texture and life to the wine. Black fruit and dried plum segue to spice, campfire ash, camphor and grilled herb. A silky and polished mouthfeel is capped by a powerful 16.5% alcohol content. This vintage will appeal to Quintarelli purists who have plenty of time to wait. Drink: 2025-2050. 96+ points

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (12/21)

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  • Quintarelli Bianco Secco 2020


    “The 2020 Bianco Secco is spicy and floral with lemon-tinged orchard fruits and hints of kiwi. This is soft and soothing on the palate, with citrus-tinged apples and spice motivated by zippy acid-driven excellent depth of fruit. It’s long and spicy through the finish, also a bit tropical, while pinching at the cheeks with residual tension. The 2020 Bianco Secco over delivers in every way. This is a blend of 80% Garganega, 10% Trebbiano Toscano, 5% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Chardonnay and 2% Saorin. Drinking window: 2022-2026. 91 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (04/22)

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  • Quintarelli Primofiore 2019


    “Like a freshly opened jar of raspberry preserves complemented by spiced citrus, cloves and minty herbs, the 2019 Primofiore blossoms in the glass. This soothes with its silky textures that coat the palate in mineral-tinged red berries and spices. It seems almost weighty at times, yet the lift of acidity is perfectly inserted. This tapers off amazingly long with rosy inner florals, hints of pepper and autumnal spices, yet is only lightly structured. The 2019 is full of balanced pleasure. This was tasted from both a fresh bottle and a bottle opened three days earlier. In my opinion, Primofiore is the hidden gem of the Quintarelli portfolio. Drinking window: 2022-2028. 92 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (04/22)

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  • Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2007 (375ml)


    “The 2007 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico A Roberto coats the glass with glycerol-like richness while displaying dusty dried flowers, incense, cloves, pine resin, quince and a lifting hint of camphor. It’s silky in texture yet enlivened by bright acidity, as ripe red fruits give way to hints of grilled orange, exotic brown spices and cocoa. While this is certainly sweet, clocking in at 65 grams per liter of residual sugar, it’s also wonderfully balanced and vibrant from start to finish, tapering off remarkably fresh and perfumed with a bitter twang of coffee and dark chocolate. The 2007 is a thrill-ride rendition of Ouintarelli Recioto, which may not last through long-term cellaring, but it will wow collectors over the next 10 to 15 years. The Recioto A Roberto is the only wine in the portfolio that undergoes spontaneous fermentation, and it is also matured completely in small oak barrels. As this was the favorite wine and passion project of Roberto Ferrarini, Giuseppe Ouintarelli’s enologist who passed in 2014, the family decided to dedicate the 2007 in his honor. Drinking window: 2021-2035. 95 points

    Quintarelli, located within the Valpolicella Classica region on the hills above the town of Negrar, strives to respect the legend and traditions established by Giuseppe Quintarelli over a career that spanned 60 years. During that time, Quintarelli oversaw the work of many of the region’s best modern-day winemakers. For vineyard managers, cellar assistants, and enologists, time spent within the hallowed walls of this winery and cellar was like a golden seal of approval in the winemaking circles of the Veneto. It was with this in mind that the current generation set forward, after Quintarelli’s passing in 2012, to continue to work with the teams of winemakers and assistants that had gained knowledge under his guidance and that of Roberto Ferrarini, the estate’s trusted enologist, who also passed away in 2014. As readers can imagine, the loss of these two prominent figures meant that the current generation, led by Fiorenza Grigoli (Giuseppe’s daughter), needed to quickly get a handle on all of the intricate details and practices that went into creating this portfolio. While speaking with Francesco Grigoli Quintarelli (Giuseppe’s grandson), the assistant manager of the property, he spoke in detail about how they only wished to make slow and careful changes, which started to take place in 2009. These included a reduction in oxidation, better control over the use of sulfites and lowering the average percentage of alcohol in the wines. The goal was to create a crisper, more vivid expression of fruit. Otherwise, practices have remained the same. Vineyard management can be described as natural yet practical, intervening only when the vintage demands it; and while passive air-drying of the grapes is preferred, the family is also prepared to use mechanical means if necessary to safeguard the health of the fruit. As for the current vintages, they show terrific purity of fruit and also come across cleaner. That said, Grigoli told me that his next goal is to bring back a bit more of Giuseppe’s character to future vintages.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

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