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.
The voluptuous nose of white nectarine, fresh pistachio and floral highlights.
This is a generous full-flavoured wine with a streak of ripe Meyer lemon, great minerality and a lovely long finish
£16.99Cherry and dark plum balanced with floral and earthy nuances. Chocolate, coffee and oak combine beautifully with the plush juiciness of this wine to deliver a round and generous palate and silky textural finish.
£13.99Classic Loire fruit on the nose, notes of gooseberry, fleshy melon, pear and citrus. The palate is light and clean with a real citrus, lime zest raciness to it. Behind this comes grassy, vegetal notes and a chalky minerality. The wine is fermented on its lees and on the finish that touch of richness and complexity comes to the fore.