Clenched in the grip of camphor-like reduction, this needs air: aggressive wrist jerks or a decant will do the job. The wine comes clean to reveal clove, anise and a morass of brooding, dark fruit. Having spent 16 months in oak, 15% new, there is some vanilla and bitter chocolate, too. This said, there is crunch, verve and vigour to this. It is not at all heavy. For those who appreciate shiraz in the traditional sense, this will please, albeit with a breath of freshness.
Area: Alto Valle de Uco, Mendoza.
Grape: 92% Malbec, 8% Syrah.
Playful royal purple, with cool-climate malbec tones alternating plums, boysenberry and huckleberry with floral notes of lavender and violet.
A blend of 66% grenache, 22% mataro and the remainder shiraz, this is an hierarchical order similar to the southern Rhone and surely, increasingly suited to the Barossa and its environs. Oak handling was minimal, presumably to accentuate the wine's brightness. This said, the wine's aura is highly savoury: anise, black olive and a seam of spicy, prickly tannins threading their way through fruits, red and dark. Kirsch is the mainstay, crackling fore to aft across the voltage of crunchy acidity.
Booze-soused cherry, rose water, root spice, a prickle of cardamom and clove (30% whole bunch) and a gentle vanilla icing round out the experience, before cranberry acidity crackles down its spine.
Emile Balland started his domaine in 1999 and today has just 5ha of vineyard, though his family have been making wine in the Loire since 1650. The vast majority of his holdings are in the Coteaux du Giennois in separate sites around the villages of Bonny sur Loire and Beaulieu which are neighbouring villages either side of the Loire with both chalky and flinty soils allowing Emile to blend to create inexpensive wines that deliver surprising amounts of complexity and concentration for a relatively humble appellation.
Whilst his holdings in Sancerre, just 0.8ha of them planted with Sauvignon, are on steep (up to 50% gradient!) clay soils. These were not replanted after Phylloxera because of the difficulty in working them, until Emile came along determined to do something special in Sancerre following on from his parents domaine.
Emile meticulously works his vineyards with a view to continually improving biodiversity and the organic life of the soil itself and to this end he only uses natural products in the vineyard believing that healthy soil will help to impart a sense of place in his wines (a view that makes sense given the need for healthy soil biology to allow nutrients to be absorbed by roots).
Of the wines on offer Balbuzard offers a really pocket friendly Sauvignon Blanc that is refined, fresh and mineral
We import this wine so its not available on many places and superb value and quality for the price. Also a wine made biodynamically and naturally.
From 80 year old vines (at this price too!) - made in much the same way as the Joven given a little time in stainless steel and finished with 4 months in oak. Soft and silky as the name suggests this has some real concentration from the aged vines while retaining freshness and drinkability.
A delicious Fino to drink day to day, 3.5 years under Flor give the wine delicacy while offering bright green apple aromas and a distinct freshness. Crack out the Manchego and a bowl of olives and serve this nicely chilled.
Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour with slight lemon-green hues, lighter edged. The nose is refined in expression with restrained and delicate notes of white stonefruits and florals, unfolding fresh herbs and green stonefruits to form a fine core with nuances of cut grass and nettles. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and tightly bound with concentrated flavours of white and green stonefruits, fresh herbs and nuances of white florals.
The palate has a well-packed, intense heart with a fine-textured line, Soft, lacy acidity provides energy and drive. This gas good drive and the wine carries to a fresh, lively finish. This is an elegant, refined and taut Sauvignon Blanc with subtle oak influence, showing white and green stonefruits, fresh herbs and florals, and fine linearity.
Match with herb-marinated fish and poultry dishes over the next 2+ years. Fruit from the ‘Home’ and ‘Dakins Road’ blocks, a portion hand-picked and WBP, the machine picked given some skin contact, the wine half tank-fermented and half barrel-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 1.59 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees undergoing batonnage.
"Ripe, attractive bouquet with Pinosity and charm; aromas include ripe red cherry and strawberry tones, vanilla and mild toasty oak, a sweet raw sugar note and sweet rose. On the palate – dry, fine tannins and medium acidity; flavours of brown spices surround ripe red fruits of cherry, plum and raspberry. Best from now and through 2026. 91 Points." Cameron Douglas MS 2017
"Ruby-red colour with some depth, and garnet hues on the rim. This has an elegantly proportioned nose with finely presented aromas of dark-red berry and cherry fruit along with a harmonious amalgam of plums, dark herbs and nuances of red florals and subtle spicy oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is soft and refined with rich flavours of dark-red berry and cherry fruit entwined with red floral and plum elements, along with a balanced layering of spicy oak and dark herbs. The flavours form a good heart and the flavours are gently mouthfilling, underlined by fine-grained tannin extraction in the background, and integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a lingering, soft finish of fruit and oak. This is an elegantly proportioned Pinot Noir with a balanced palate of red cherry and berry fruit with plum, herb and spice interest on a fine-grained palate. Serve with duck and pork dishes over the next 5-6 years. 18.0/20" Raymond Chan November 2017