Showing 745–756 of 766 results

  • Telmo Rodriguez Pegaso Arrebatacapas 2015

    £59.99

    “For the first time, they have isolated the one plot that for them shows the pure character of the Arrebatacapas slope in Cebreros to bottle the 2015 Pegaso Arrebatacapas. The palate is a lot fresher, with pungent flavors, nice integration of the oak, it has good ripeness, nice balance and ripe tannins with a stony sensation. The mostly destemmed grapes fermented with indigenous yeasts and the wine matured in used oak. The one thing that is different about this wine is the texture, provided by the quality of the tannins. 1,100 bottles produced. The 2015s were bottled in July 2017 and the price had not yet been set. Drink: 2019-2026. 95 points

    There is a new bottling from the higher altitude plot of the Arrebatacapas slope in Cebreros. In general, the wines are moving towards more freshness and approachability, even in the warm vintage like 2015.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (240)

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  • Telmo Rodriguez Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra 2017

    £36.99

    “The explosive nose of the 2017 Pegaso Barrancos de Pizarra is all thyme and flowers, really expressive, aromatic and redolent of the herbs found in the surroundings of the Gredos Mountains. It’s especially representative of the Mediterranean character of the year. It has powerful aromatics that keep growing in the glass, floral and spicy, with notes that are reminiscent of curry, nutmeg and Jamaica pepper. It’s very showy and intoxicating, with the tight tannins of the slate soils—they are chalky and finer grained than the slightly coarser tannins from granite. I am really impressed by this 2017, which is as good or better than the 2016. Bravo! 2,800 bottles were filled in July 2018. Drink: 2020-2025. 95+ points

    COVID-19 has meant a change in my tasting schedule, in some cases for good and in others for bad. I didn’t have the chance to taste the whole Telmo Rodríguez portfolio of wines like I had started doing last year, and I only tasted the wines from Gredos and Galicia to publish with the regional reports from those regions. But now that semi-normal activity resumed, the wines are hitting the market, and people have been receiving offers and asking about them. So, I asked him if he’d like to taste the rest of the wines. The wines from Gredos and Valdeorras are just a repetition of the notes I already published a few weeks ago and are included here for completeness, while the rest are tasted for the first time.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/20)

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  • Telmo Rodriguez Pegaso Granito 2017

    £36.99

    “The floral 2017 Pegaso Granito is quite different from the Pizarra from the same vintage, with more light and red fruit rather than the slightly darker Pizarra. It’s floral and expressive and doesn’t show any heat despite having full ripeness. It has grainy tannins, deep flavors and a remarkable finish. I think it transcends the character of the year, delivering balance and elegance at the same time as power. It’s fresher than I expected. It’s closer to the 2016 than the 2015. 2,800 bottles were filled in July 2018. Drink: 2020-2025. 95 points

    COVID-19 has meant a change in my tasting schedule, in some cases for good and in others for bad. I didn’t have the chance to taste the whole Telmo Rodríguez portfolio of wines like I had started doing last year, and I only tasted the wines from Gredos and Galicia to publish with the regional reports from those regions. But now that semi-normal activity resumed, the wines are hitting the market, and people have been receiving offers and asking about them. So, I asked him if he’d like to taste the rest of the wines. The wines from Gredos and Valdeorras are just a repetition of the notes I already published a few weeks ago and are included here for completeness, while the rest are tasted for the first time.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (07/20)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro 2019

    £274.95

    “This is a stunning wine and one of the best in this report covering the icons of Tuscany. The 2019 Tenuta di Trinoro is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc. Fruit is sourced from the very best parcels, and the blending formula changes according to vintage and the style desired by vintner Andrea Franchetti. These vineyard parcels vary in altitude, ranging from 400 to 600 meters above sea level, and the soils are quite varied with pockets of clay, sand and rock. The Trinoro is profoundly deep and pure with a solid core of black fruit that is framed by an elegant contour of spice, tobacco, smoke and crushed stone. To the palate, the wine is long and the finish can be counted in minutes, but the entire experience is beautifully streamlined and velvety. This vintage saw an important freeze event on the 7th of May, and 9,000 fire candles were lit in the lower vineyard blocks to fight off frost damage. Drink: 2023-2048. 100 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro Palazzi 2019

    £237.95

    “Because of frost and a cold spring, some of the vineyard parcels at this estate saw late harvest dates. But the Merlot was the first to come off the vines by the 14th of September. The Tenuta di Trinoro 2019 Palazzi is a pure expression of Merlot with incoming fruit from the Palazzi vineyard that is characterized by dense clay soils. The wine’s intensity is what stands out most, and that power is fueled by lovely nuances of black fruit, spice, sweet tobacco and baker’s chocolate. The alcohol content weighs in at 15.5%. Palazzi excels in terms of mouthfeel. The smooth richness and deep softness achieved here is only possible with this grape. Furthermore, it seems only possible in this spectacular, sun-drenched corner of undiscovered Tuscany known as Sarteano. Drink: 2022-2045. 96 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta San Leonardo Carmenere 2015

    £58.99

    “Savory, sweet, spicy and fresh, the 2015 Carmenère di San Leonardo is pulling me closer and closer to the glass with its seductive bouquet, mixing depths of cherry and young strawberry with cracked black pepper, rosemary and sage, as white smoke combines with the slightest hint of brown sugar to set off all of the pleasure sensors in the brain. This is elegant and refined, showing silky textures playing host to tart red and a hint of black fruit, with noble tannins, as inner florals and savory herbs resonate for up to a minute, leaving just a hint of blackberry in their wake. This is a selection from San Leonardo’s oldest vines of Carmenère, and it’s a stunner! Drinking window: 2022-2038. 94 points

    While the primary focus at Tenuta San Leonardo remains on the flagship San Leonardo Rosso, the house also produces a number of varietal expressions and Bordeaux blends from the estate’s vineyards. From the varietal selections, the Sauvignon is a cool-toned, crisp mountain wine for easy sipping, while the house Riesling is a more serious, barrel-fermented and aged effort that spends an extended time on the lees. The extremely limited Carmenère di San Leonardo, a passion project of Anselmo Guerrieri Gonzaga, hails from the estate’s oldest parcels and pays tribute to the variety that set Tenuta San Leonardo on its path to international fame. Think of the Rosso Villa Gresti as the “Right Bank” expression of San Leonardo, as it puts Merlot front and center in the blend. Lastly, you can’t go wrong with the remarkable value found in the house’s second wine, the Terre di San Leonardo Rosso. Each of these is worth checking out if you’re a fan of the house style.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (11/20)

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  • Tenuta Tignanello Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2018

    £35.25

    “The 2018 Chianti Classico Riserva Marchese Antinori offers a beguiling mix of Sangiovese energy and Cabernet Sauvignon savoriness. Translucent and energetic, the 2018 has much to offer. I would prefer to see a bit more Sangiovese character, but the Marchese is designed to be a sort of mini-Tignanello and it leans towards the more savory end of the spectrum because of the presence of Cabernet Sauvignon. Drinking window: 2021-2028. 93 points

    CEO Renzo Cotarella and his team continue to move the Antinori wines in the direction of elegance over power. Recent vintages have provided the ideal conditions to do that. Tignanello and Solaia, the family flagships, naturally get most of the attention, but I am increasingly impressed with the entry-level wines, all of which are now made from estate fruit, which is remarkable at these volumes.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/21)

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  • The Sadie Family Columella 2017

    £68.95

    “The 2017 Columella has an outgoing, intense bouquet, a mixture of red and black fruit mixed with sage, tobacco and thyme, that seems a little smudged initially but gains clarity with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, plenty of red berry fruit, a generous sprinkling of white pepper and a hint of fennel. Powerful yet refined, and very focused and harmonious on the finish. Gorgeous. Drinking window: 2022-2045. 94 points”

    Neal Martin, Vinous (11/19)

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  • The Sadie Family Palladius 2018

    £109.75

    “The 2018 Palladius is a blend of 12 grape varieties, whole-cluster-pressed and matured in clay and concrete amphorae. Only Eben Sadie can take a gallimaufry of grape varieties and create a wine of this caliber. It has a clean, pure bouquet of wax resin, pine needles, greengage plum and light chamomile scents that gain intensity with aeration. The palate is bright and vivacious on the entry and displays a wonderful waxy texture; peach skin, hazelnut and saline notes appear toward the finish. It’s all about the umami. Chenin, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette, Palomino, Verdellho, Grenache Gris, Sémillon Blanc, Sémillon Gris, Colombard. Drinking window: 2023-2040. 94 points

    It had been too long since I shot the breeze with Eben Sadie. Even though we couldn’t chat in his natural habitat, the vineyard, our Zoom conversation between Surrey and the Swartland was the next best thing. As expected, our conversation meandered to cover all manner of subjects, not only pertaining to South Africa. Eben Sadie is a contradiction in the sense that he is wedded to his homeland yet has a catholic taste in wine, as evidenced by rows of Burgundy and Barolo bottles lining his office. He began in typically philosophical form, looking back at his professional career.

    “I have surpassed everything I set out to do and forged a team around me with similar capabilities. You need people to follow with the same trajectory, people that buy into your vision. It’s like a painter. You need a good studio where you feel free to practice your art. Wine is the same, but there are all these people who make it possible. We’ve gone from a staff of 10 to 25, mostly on the viticultural side. We have also acquired land, so that 80% of the vineyards are completely controlled by ourselves, even if from a financial standpoint it is much less profitable. Also, we have planted different grape varieties, which is exciting, though not all are successful.”

    One intriguing exchange concerned how Sadie reassesses the modus operandi in the winery every decade. In introducing a new approach – a change in punch-downs or aging vessel, for example – he wants to pressure-test that technique under different growing seasons and/or with different people, in order to gauge if it should be a permanent feature. Since the 2019 vintage is the 20th anniversary of Sadie Family Wines, it prompted Sadie to look back. To take just one facet of winemaking, he sees the first decade as one where everything was destemmed, then a decade when whole bunch was almost mandatory. Going forward, he plans to adopt a more nuanced approach.

    “Whole cluster is such a huge debate at the moment. When you look at regional specifics, areas with very cool climates producing fruit with high acidity, low pH and often very low potassium are most suited to whole bunch. [Looking back at previous vintages] we found in the first decade that there was a level and sophistication of tannin that was better than in the second decade. It feels like a textural aspect was lost. The second finding was that the Swartland being low in acidity and high in potassium in the stems, compounded by the droughts, means that I don’t think Swartland is the best place for whole cluster. Therefore, for the Old Vine Series reds, we took the whole cluster down from 90% to 50% in 2019. We don’t do punch-downs but more like a délestage, so that is what we will do going forward.”

    We then drilled down to discuss individual wines within his Old Vine Series of releases, commencing with the reds.

    “With respect to the 2019 Soldaat, you might have noticed a vegetal aspect in the Grenache,” Sadie told me. “In late December we have started removing leaves around the bunches to remove that aspect. I like it, but I like very austere and ungiving wines. Pofadder is a pure Cinsault vineyard, one where I noticed that it crops much lower. I don’t subscribe to the view that low crops are necessarily the best, but here I think it is a good thing. The actual bunches are smaller. We used to get a lot of side bunches but they’ve not appeared in the last three years. That’s nothing that we have done.”

    Eben Sadie is a huge fan of Tinta Barocca and once he starts on the subject, you can do little to stop him.

    “The Tinta Barocca [the variety behind Trienspoor] has had the biggest leap in quality. I think it is the best grape planted in the Swartland but it’s an unknown. Even producers don’t know where to plant it. For the 2019 we had one tank completely destemmed and another half-destemmed, so it was 20% destemmed overall, though 2021 is completely destemmed. It has Piedmont-like tannins and Northern Rhône aromatics. The problem is that it has very low yields, which is why Portuguese growers did not plant it widely after the war, when they were getting paid per kilo. But it has such intensity of flavor that I have to stop my pickers from eating the grapes during harvest. The viticulture is much better in this vineyard now. Also, the aging is improved, using conical vats and one foudre to give a little more tannin.”

    Sadie is one of the rare breeds of winemakers with no qualms about admitting that he could have done better, even though personally, I construe it as a bit of serendipity.

    “The Skurfberg [pure Chenin Blanc] was maybe picked earlier than I wanted. The drought was at its peak and yields were down to 12hl/ha instead of 25-28hl/ha. We could have picked a week later, but we would have possibly killed the vines. Even picking earlier, some vines died because in some places there was just 118mm of rain, half the norm. So it has more acidity than normal, with a green line running through the wine. It’s very strict. I’ll be watching this wine out of the corner of my eye to see whether that earlier picking is something we should pursue. Mev. Kirsten is one of those wines where I talk with a pride that can border on arrogance. But there is no vineyard like it. It’s one of the most difficult soils that we farm – it gets so wet quickly and dries just as quick. We have put a lot of organic material in that vineyard over the last 10 years. From 2017 onward it has entered a completely different realm. I took a six-pack to Burgundy and poured it for some growers, and a couple said that it drinks like a Grand Cru. That’s a huge compliment. I’m so proud of the viticulture here. I would take Aubert de Villaine into that vineyard to show him.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (04/21)

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  • The Sadie Family Skerpioen 2019

    £69.99

    “The 2019 Skerpioen has a well-defined bouquet of pine cones, lanolin and wild fennel aromas that gains intensity with air. The palate is well balanced with a fine bead of acidity, full of energy and vigor, and slightly waxy in texture. Chamomile and touches of Turkish delight appear on the finish. Stand back and watch this blossom in the glass. Chenin Blanc, Palomino. Drinking window: 2022-2038. 93 points

    It had been too long since I shot the breeze with Eben Sadie. Even though we couldn’t chat in his natural habitat, the vineyard, our Zoom conversation between Surrey and the Swartland was the next best thing. As expected, our conversation meandered to cover all manner of subjects, not only pertaining to South Africa. Eben Sadie is a contradiction in the sense that he is wedded to his homeland yet has a catholic taste in wine, as evidenced by rows of Burgundy and Barolo bottles lining his office. He began in typically philosophical form, looking back at his professional career.

    “I have surpassed everything I set out to do and forged a team around me with similar capabilities. You need people to follow with the same trajectory, people that buy into your vision. It’s like a painter. You need a good studio where you feel free to practice your art. Wine is the same, but there are all these people who make it possible. We’ve gone from a staff of 10 to 25, mostly on the viticultural side. We have also acquired land, so that 80% of the vineyards are completely controlled by ourselves, even if from a financial standpoint it is much less profitable. Also, we have planted different grape varieties, which is exciting, though not all are successful.”

    One intriguing exchange concerned how Sadie reassesses the modus operandi in the winery every decade. In introducing a new approach – a change in punch-downs or aging vessel, for example – he wants to pressure-test that technique under different growing seasons and/or with different people, in order to gauge if it should be a permanent feature. Since the 2019 vintage is the 20th anniversary of Sadie Family Wines, it prompted Sadie to look back. To take just one facet of winemaking, he sees the first decade as one where everything was destemmed, then a decade when whole bunch was almost mandatory. Going forward, he plans to adopt a more nuanced approach.

    “Whole cluster is such a huge debate at the moment. When you look at regional specifics, areas with very cool climates producing fruit with high acidity, low pH and often very low potassium are most suited to whole bunch. [Looking back at previous vintages] we found in the first decade that there was a level and sophistication of tannin that was better than in the second decade. It feels like a textural aspect was lost. The second finding was that the Swartland being low in acidity and high in potassium in the stems, compounded by the droughts, means that I don’t think Swartland is the best place for whole cluster. Therefore, for the Old Vine Series reds, we took the whole cluster down from 90% to 50% in 2019. We don’t do punch-downs but more like a délestage, so that is what we will do going forward.”

    We then drilled down to discuss individual wines within his Old Vine Series of releases, commencing with the reds.

    “With respect to the 2019 Soldaat, you might have noticed a vegetal aspect in the Grenache,” Sadie told me. “In late December we have started removing leaves around the bunches to remove that aspect. I like it, but I like very austere and ungiving wines. Pofadder is a pure Cinsault vineyard, one where I noticed that it crops much lower. I don’t subscribe to the view that low crops are necessarily the best, but here I think it is a good thing. The actual bunches are smaller. We used to get a lot of side bunches but they’ve not appeared in the last three years. That’s nothing that we have done.”

    Eben Sadie is a huge fan of Tinta Barocca and once he starts on the subject, you can do little to stop him.

    “The Tinta Barocca [the variety behind Trienspoor] has had the biggest leap in quality. I think it is the best grape planted in the Swartland but it’s an unknown. Even producers don’t know where to plant it. For the 2019 we had one tank completely destemmed and another half-destemmed, so it was 20% destemmed overall, though 2021 is completely destemmed. It has Piedmont-like tannins and Northern Rhône aromatics. The problem is that it has very low yields, which is why Portuguese growers did not plant it widely after the war, when they were getting paid per kilo. But it has such intensity of flavor that I have to stop my pickers from eating the grapes during harvest. The viticulture is much better in this vineyard now. Also, the aging is improved, using conical vats and one foudre to give a little more tannin.”

    Sadie is one of the rare breeds of winemakers with no qualms about admitting that he could have done better, even though personally, I construe it as a bit of serendipity.

    “The Skurfberg [pure Chenin Blanc] was maybe picked earlier than I wanted. The drought was at its peak and yields were down to 12hl/ha instead of 25-28hl/ha. We could have picked a week later, but we would have possibly killed the vines. Even picking earlier, some vines died because in some places there was just 118mm of rain, half the norm. So it has more acidity than normal, with a green line running through the wine. It’s very strict. I’ll be watching this wine out of the corner of my eye to see whether that earlier picking is something we should pursue. Mev. Kirsten is one of those wines where I talk with a pride that can border on arrogance. But there is no vineyard like it. It’s one of the most difficult soils that we farm – it gets so wet quickly and dries just as quick. We have put a lot of organic material in that vineyard over the last 10 years. From 2017 onward it has entered a completely different realm. I took a six-pack to Burgundy and poured it for some growers, and a couple said that it drinks like a Grand Cru. That’s a huge compliment. I’m so proud of the viticulture here. I would take Aubert de Villaine into that vineyard to show him.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (04/21)

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  • The Sadie Family Skurfberg 2019

    £74.99

    “The 2019 Skurfberg, which is whole-cluster-pressed Chenin matured in old foudre, has an understated bouquet of subtle undergrowth, chalk and chai tea scents that take their time to find their groove. The palate is very well balanced with a fine degree of acidity, more neutral in style than Sadie’s other 2019s, just a touch of orange zest lighting up the finish. This Skurfberg needs 4–5 years in bottle but it will certainly be worth your patience and may merit a higher score down the line. Drinking window: 2022-2036. 95+ points

    It had been too long since I shot the breeze with Eben Sadie. Even though we couldn’t chat in his natural habitat, the vineyard, our Zoom conversation between Surrey and the Swartland was the next best thing. As expected, our conversation meandered to cover all manner of subjects, not only pertaining to South Africa. Eben Sadie is a contradiction in the sense that he is wedded to his homeland yet has a catholic taste in wine, as evidenced by rows of Burgundy and Barolo bottles lining his office. He began in typically philosophical form, looking back at his professional career.

    “I have surpassed everything I set out to do and forged a team around me with similar capabilities. You need people to follow with the same trajectory, people that buy into your vision. It’s like a painter. You need a good studio where you feel free to practice your art. Wine is the same, but there are all these people who make it possible. We’ve gone from a staff of 10 to 25, mostly on the viticultural side. We have also acquired land, so that 80% of the vineyards are completely controlled by ourselves, even if from a financial standpoint it is much less profitable. Also, we have planted different grape varieties, which is exciting, though not all are successful.”

    One intriguing exchange concerned how Sadie reassesses the modus operandi in the winery every decade. In introducing a new approach – a change in punch-downs or aging vessel, for example – he wants to pressure-test that technique under different growing seasons and/or with different people, in order to gauge if it should be a permanent feature. Since the 2019 vintage is the 20th anniversary of Sadie Family Wines, it prompted Sadie to look back. To take just one facet of winemaking, he sees the first decade as one where everything was destemmed, then a decade when whole bunch was almost mandatory. Going forward, he plans to adopt a more nuanced approach.

    “Whole cluster is such a huge debate at the moment. When you look at regional specifics, areas with very cool climates producing fruit with high acidity, low pH and often very low potassium are most suited to whole bunch. [Looking back at previous vintages] we found in the first decade that there was a level and sophistication of tannin that was better than in the second decade. It feels like a textural aspect was lost. The second finding was that the Swartland being low in acidity and high in potassium in the stems, compounded by the droughts, means that I don’t think Swartland is the best place for whole cluster. Therefore, for the Old Vine Series reds, we took the whole cluster down from 90% to 50% in 2019. We don’t do punch-downs but more like a délestage, so that is what we will do going forward.”

    We then drilled down to discuss individual wines within his Old Vine Series of releases, commencing with the reds.

    “With respect to the 2019 Soldaat, you might have noticed a vegetal aspect in the Grenache,” Sadie told me. “In late December we have started removing leaves around the bunches to remove that aspect. I like it, but I like very austere and ungiving wines. Pofadder is a pure Cinsault vineyard, one where I noticed that it crops much lower. I don’t subscribe to the view that low crops are necessarily the best, but here I think it is a good thing. The actual bunches are smaller. We used to get a lot of side bunches but they’ve not appeared in the last three years. That’s nothing that we have done.”

    Eben Sadie is a huge fan of Tinta Barocca and once he starts on the subject, you can do little to stop him.

    “The Tinta Barocca [the variety behind Trienspoor] has had the biggest leap in quality. I think it is the best grape planted in the Swartland but it’s an unknown. Even producers don’t know where to plant it. For the 2019 we had one tank completely destemmed and another half-destemmed, so it was 20% destemmed overall, though 2021 is completely destemmed. It has Piedmont-like tannins and Northern Rhône aromatics. The problem is that it has very low yields, which is why Portuguese growers did not plant it widely after the war, when they were getting paid per kilo. But it has such intensity of flavor that I have to stop my pickers from eating the grapes during harvest. The viticulture is much better in this vineyard now. Also, the aging is improved, using conical vats and one foudre to give a little more tannin.”

    Sadie is one of the rare breeds of winemakers with no qualms about admitting that he could have done better, even though personally, I construe it as a bit of serendipity.

    “The Skurfberg [pure Chenin Blanc] was maybe picked earlier than I wanted. The drought was at its peak and yields were down to 12hl/ha instead of 25-28hl/ha. We could have picked a week later, but we would have possibly killed the vines. Even picking earlier, some vines died because in some places there was just 118mm of rain, half the norm. So it has more acidity than normal, with a green line running through the wine. It’s very strict. I’ll be watching this wine out of the corner of my eye to see whether that earlier picking is something we should pursue. Mev. Kirsten is one of those wines where I talk with a pride that can border on arrogance. But there is no vineyard like it. It’s one of the most difficult soils that we farm – it gets so wet quickly and dries just as quick. We have put a lot of organic material in that vineyard over the last 10 years. From 2017 onward it has entered a completely different realm. I took a six-pack to Burgundy and poured it for some growers, and a couple said that it drinks like a Grand Cru. That’s a huge compliment. I’m so proud of the viticulture here. I would take Aubert de Villaine into that vineyard to show him.””

    Neal Martin, Vinous (04/21)

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  • Valette Macon-Villages 2017

    £25.99

    “Aromas of minty green apples and citrus oil introduce the 2017 Mâcon-Villages, a medium to full-bodied, supple and fleshy wine that’s bright and layered, concluding with a saline finish. This bottling comes from comparatively young vines and is vinified and matured in tank. The 2017 is quite easy to understand and makes a great introduction to the wines of this fascinating and idiosyncratic domaine. Drinking window: 2019-2029. 89 points

    After years of trying, it was with great interest that I at last paid a visit to Philippe Valette’s elusive 8.5-hectare Chaintré estate. The Valette family were the first to exit the local cooperative, and they rapidly won a reputation for rich, concentrated wines that were frequently celebrated in the pages of this publication. On leaving school in 1990, Philippe began to convert the domaine to organic farming, and since 1992, their wines have never been chaptalized. Influenced by a meeting with Pierre Overnoy, Valette has come to identify with the natural wine movement, and today, his wines see little or no sulfur and increasingly long élevage—indeed, the 2006 Clos de Monsieur Noly spent fully 12 years in barrel. If the estate’s wines through the late 1990s were simply powerful, textural examples of high-quality white Burgundy (notes on several will appear in the next installment of Up From the Cellar), the wines being released today belong in a category of their own. Complex and sapid, I find them fascinating, but readers should be prepared to find wines that are quite different from any of the Valettes’ neighbors. Anyone who appreciates the Jura bottlings of Jean-François Ganevat or the Thomas Pico Chablis wines is likely to love them! My experience is that they often benefit from extended aeration, and I tend to decant Valette’s wines or follow them over several days.”

    William Kelley, Wine Advocate (244)

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