Vina Arana Gran Reserva, La Rioja Alta
La Rioja Alta is one of the great names in the world of wine, making truly magnificent wines. Vina Arana was always made as a Reserva, but from the 2012 vintage, they have extended the ageing to elevate it to Gran Reserva. The result is impressive – very smooth and complex; drinking well now but will improve for decades to come!
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Vina Alberdi Reserva, La Rioja Alta
La rioja Alta is one of Spain's most iconic producers, producing some of the country's best wines since 1890.The Vina Alberdi Reserva is perhaps their most accessible and immediately impressive wine and delivers that quitessential Rioja flavour profile in spades.Perfect with roast meats and strong hard cheeses, this is drinking well now but will continue to improve for at least a decade.
‘La Linda’ Malbec, Luigi Bosca
The Arizu family of Bodega Luigi Bosca has been making wine in Mendoza since 1901. Over the years they have accumulated a veritable encyclopedia of knowledge of the region`s incredible variety of altitudes, soils and microclimates. Four generations later, Bodega Luigi Bosca is still very much a family business, currently run by Alberto Arizu Jr, one of Argentina`s most respected wine figures. They are also one of Argentina's leading estates, famed for having some of Mendoza`s best vineyard sites and their involvement in the creation of Argentina`s first D.O.C, Luján de Cuyo D.O.C.This wine comes from vineyards 15 kms south of Mendoza city, 960 m above sea-level, on the eastern slope of the foothills. Argentina’s trademark grape variety, although originally from the South of France in `Cahors`. Characteristically intense red colour and aromas of cherries, aged in French oak for 3 months. Great structure, fine and approachable, great with a steak.
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.
Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Syrah
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!
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.
The Sesti family are one of the best producers of Brunello di Montalcino. Based at the beautiful Castello di Argiano, they have the most beautiful property imaginable and they make wines in a thoughtful and balanced style; traditional in the best sense of the word. The grapes for this wine are selected because they are felt to be best for drinking young; so they could become Brunello but they are aged for less time. More character than many actual Brunello and for half the price, this is one of Montalcino’s best buys. Great with hard cheeses (Cornish Kern or Old Winchester?), as well as roast lamb with lots of garlic and rosemary, pasta with meat sauces and stews.
Musella Valpolicella Ripasso
Musella make some of the most elegant wines in the Valpolicella region; where most wineries are looking for power and intensity in their Ripasso and Amarone, Maddalena Pasqua makes wines of elegance and focus. Her love of nature and respect for the land have led her to become one of the leading proponents of Biodynamic winemaking in Italy. This Ripasso certainly has depth of flavour and richness but the overriding effect is one of drinkability. And that is a good, I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s not a showing off wine but a really pleasurable drinking wine. Perfect with lasagne and other meaty pasta dishes as well as grilled meats.
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!