Fleurie, Didier Desvignes
Didier Desvignes is a winemaker who really epitomises the spirit of Beaujolais; he believes in treating the land with respect and nurturing each vineyard parcel to express its full potential. Everything is done by hand and farmed using organic treatments. The Gamay vines he has in Fleurie are on unique pink granite soils and make a wine of great purity and vibrancy. There are vivid aromas of violets and flavours of crushed wild strawberries and a herbal, savoury edge which makes it so good with charcuterie. You could be in a Paris wine bar, sipping natural wine and enjoying fine charcuterie, or you could be doing exactly the same at No2 Pound Street!
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Fantasia Malbec, Mauricio Lorca
Mauricio's high density, high altitude vineyards are in his beloved Vista Flores in the Uco Valley; and his ever expanding, though still relatively small, winery is situated in Luján de Cuyo. It's a no-frills operation with the energy and solid work ethic of every employee channelled into getting the job done.100% Malbec from Mauricio Lorca's own vineyards in Vista Flores in the Uco Valley, 30% of which is lightly oaked. High density, high vertical vine training, just under 7,000 vines per hectare, approximately 2 bottles of wine per plant, this is the Fantasia philosophy.A really expressive, dark and rather serious Malbec for the money with masses of plush black fruit on the nose and the all freshness on the palate that the Uco Valley will give to the right winemaker. Superb, great value Malbec.A great wine for BBQ's or any grilled meat!
Vallisto is one of the most exciting projects to come out of Argentina in recent years. Pancho Lavaque is on a mission to show the world what makes the remote and beautiful Cafayate Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina, so special. Discovering long-forgotten vineyards with very old vines and often rare grape varieties. This single vineyard Malbec from represents pretty much everything you need to know about what makes Cafayate so good and so special. For those who like their Malbec painted with a decadent splash of inky purple fruit this delivers in spades. A special wine for the best, and biggest, steak you can find. Grilled over coals would be perfect!
Botanica Pinot Noir, Botanica Wines
Botanica Wines was founded in 2009 by owner and self-taught winemaker Ginny Povall, an intrepid American who fell in love with the beautiful Cape winelands She purchased Protea Heights Farm in Stellenbosch’s Devon Valley and relocated to the southern tip of Africa. Established in the late 1940s, Protea Heights was the first farm in South Africa to cultivate indigenous protea flowers commercially. Inspired by this horticultural history, it was only natural that Ginny would choose to develop her wine brands and labels with a botanical flair. It was a real joy when Ginny visited us last year, to share her wines with us and our customers at the shop; her warmth and humour really come through in her winemaking, giving them real personality. This small production Pinot Noir is considered one of South Africa’s best; lovely perfume and that perfect balance between fruitiness and elegance.
Finca Suarez Malbec, Paraje Altamira
The Suarez family connection with Paraje Altamira goes way back. Juanfa Suarez’ great grandfather, Leopoldo, bought the finca in 1920 and established an experimental winery for varietal micro-vinifications and he saw the huge potential of the Uco Valley and its calcareous soils way back then. Juanfa’s first vintage was 2013 and in a short space of time his wines have emerged as being really rather special.This is a different kind of Malbec; there is a beautiful sense of purity and balance to the wine, no overripe fruit, burning alcohol or excessive oak here. A wine that shows it's class by not trying too hard. And of course, this makes it all the more food-friendly; perfect with roast dinners as well as rich game dishes.
Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, Newton Johnson
This family farm was founded in the mid-1990s by Cape Wine Master, Dave Johnson and his wife, Felicity (Née Newton) and within the past twenty years has built a reputation for producing some of the Cape’s best Pinot Noir. Dave’s CWM thesis was on the variety. Add to that one of South Africa’s smartest Chardonnay’s and, more recently a pair of outstanding Rhône style wines. Right from the outset, Dave and Felicity’s offspring were involved and today it is very much Gordon, partnered by his wife, Nadia, who are responsible for the winemaking, with brother Bevan looking after the commercial side.This is always my favourite South African Pinot Noir, it just has beautiful purity of fruit and perfect balance; some richness but with bright and juicy acidity. It never fails to deliver. This will age and improve for up to 10 years but is delicious now. One of the New World's best and for a wine of this quality, the price is incredible (compare to Burgundy or California!) Great with roast lamb or pork, grilled chops, fillet steak, venison...any special meal!
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Mas Saint-Louis
Mas Saint Louis, located at the centre of the appellation, has been in the Geniest family since 1890. The cellar is located on the ancient route from Avignon, on the edge of the town. There are 30 hectares of vines planted on a combination of gravel sand and galets, with an average age of 40 years. The oldest Grenache vines make up 80% of the red cuvée. Syrah, which is planted in the heart of the village, accounts for around 8% of the blend. Cinsault and gobelet pruned Mourvèdre make up the balance. Everything is hand-harvested and sorted in the vines, before being delivered to the cellar. Very drinkable and complex. Old fashioned, but in a positive way. The 2014 shows real freshness and has a lovely fruit profile. Drawing comparisons to the wines produced by the family Reynaud might be dangerous, but that is what comes to mind. It certainly shows Pinot-like character.Proper Chateuneuf-du-Pape from a great producer, miles away from the dreary, disappointing bottles often sold in supermarkets.Perfect with roast lamb with all the trimmings.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape ‘Les Safres’, Le Clos du Caillou’
The much-lauded Le Clos du Caillou produces classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines that just keep getting better, year-on-year. The domaine is situated on the edge of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and is unique in that, in 1936, the owner (who was then away at a hunting retreat) refused to allow the experts who were drawing up the boundaries of the appellation to visit his domaine. Thus, it was not included in the delimited area and remains to this day an enclave within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. The domaine practices biodynamic farming techniques and was certified "Agriculture Biologique" in 2010 and "Vin Biologique" in 2012. Their trademark style lies in full-bodied wines with rich red fruit flavours, velvety texture and fine tannins.Les Safres is 95% Grenache with the rest Mourvedre, Cinsault & Vaccarese. Not too heavy for a Chateauneuf but great intensity of pure spicy dark fruit. Really impressive.
‘Lo Vielh’ Old Vine Carignan, Clos de Gravillas
Clos de Gravillas is an organic estate based in the tiny hamlet of St Jean de Minervois, deepin the Languedoc countryside. Here, John and Nicole Bojanowski make some of the region's most interesting wines. The Carignan vines that make this wine are from a high gravelly vineyard and are over 100 years old. This gives the wine real character, as if the vines have soaked up the minerals of the earth and the flavours of the surrounding Garrigue. This is a dark, powerful wine that is a perfect match for slow roasted, herby meats. Unique and beautiful, this is Southern French wine at it's best.