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.
Acquired in 1924 by the Escure family, the Château Grand-Pey-Lescours is located at the foot of the slopes of Saint-Emilion itself. They also own the renowned Chateau Bellegrave in Pomerol. The vineyards are planted with 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon – on gravelly and sandy soils and cover nearly 26 hectares.A classic example of St.Emilion; medium-bodied, wood-scented with notes of plum and the perfect accompaniment to roast lamb!
Quinta do Vale Maeo is perhaps the most famous and important vineyard in all of Portugal. For many years the grapes went into Casa Fereirrinha's Barca Velha, Portugal's most renowned wine but since 1999, the Olazabal family have bottled and released the wine under their own label.
From these same old vineyards, they also produced a 'second wine' called Meandro, which is more approachable in it's youth (and more affordaable!). Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz account for 85% of the blend of this wine, which also includes Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, and Tinto Cão (typical mixture of Douro grapes).
This is one of my favourite Douro reds; it's so rich and complex and to me, sums up what the Douro is all about.
It is full-bodied with fairly robust tannins, so does need food - grilled meats or strong, hard cheeses work well - but the perfume is what sets it apart form the herd. Full of herbs and dark, brooding black fruits, it is completely beguiling. A real wine and one that is utterly satisfying. This benefits from a bit of time in a decanter or would improve further if cellared for up to 10 years. Great value for such an amazing wine.
Founded in 1993 by winemaker John Hancock together with Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of The Bleeding Heart and The Don in London, Trinity Hill has become a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill and knows Hawkes Bay and the Gimblett Gravels exceptionally well. The wines reflect this. Warren and his team make wines that show the best of what Hawkes Bay and the Gimblett Gravels can produce. The wines have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour that makes them a joy to drink.
Grapes are sourced from vineyards in Hawkes Bay and Gimblett Gravels, where conditions are ideal for the production of premium Syrah. With beautiful aromatics of blackberry, spice, liquorice and black pepper, this long, elegant wine has fine tannins.A great steak wine!
Peter Lehmann was one of the great pioneers of Australian wine and this wine was created to showcase everything great Barossa Shiraz should be (without a huge price tag). It’s a big, rich wine, with huge amounts of spicy black fruit flavours; certainly a crowd-pleaser!
The Tolpuddle vineyard was purchased by Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith in 2011. It is situated in the Coal River Valley, in Tasmania’s south-east corner. First planted in 1988 by Tony Jordan and Garry Crittenden, it has since established a reputation for growing exceptional quality grapes, with the focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The cool but relatively dry climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly in autumn, without the disease pressure that heavy rainfall can bring.The vineyard took its name from the Tolpuddle Martyrs, who were transported to Australia in 1834 for starting an agrarian union in Tolpuddle in Dorset. The leader of the group, George Loveless, served part of his sentence working on a property near Richmond called GlenAyr, part of which is now the Tolpuddle Vineyard.This is certainly one of Australia's best Pinot Noirs with this vintage rated 99/100 on jamessuckling.com.
Elegant and balanced but with great complexity and depth. Stunning wine!
Perfect Pinot for a special occasion. On my list for Christmas Day this year!
Colome are undoubtedly one of the best producers in Argentina. Based in the cool region of Salta, they own some of the highest vineyards in the World. This wine is everything you could wish for in top-class Malbec. Big, rich and powerful with intense dark fruit; so delicious!