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A vibrant ruby colour and medium in body, with a lovely perfume of liquor soaked cherry and red berries, sweet spiced cake and a complex florality continue onto the palate. This wine is packed full of pure fruit seduction and charm, with a fine finish with soft and round tannins.
The Mencia vines are for this wine are over 85 years old. No herbicides are used in the vineyards, the winery is in the process of organic conversion.
This wine is wonderfully fresh, with a medley of red fruits, including wild berries. Hints of smoke and liquorice, alongside balsamic and herbal hints. The palate is well structured, with good depth and a fruit-driven finish.
The leading (small) estate in the Dao revolution. At around 450m, Quinta dos Roques lies in the Dao heartland, just outside Abrunhosa do Mato.
Luis and Luisa Lourenco lead this family estate, producing a wide array of meticulously assembled wines, where both traditional blending, and varietal offerings both excel. The Touriga Nacional here is often cited as Portugal’s finest, while Quinta dos Roques Encruzado is regularly rated as one of the country’s leading dry white wines.
Here we have the classic red from this prestigious Dao estate. Touriga makes up about half the blend, with other varietals also from block-planted vineyards at the property. Aged in French oak for 10 months. That Touriga component contributes the mulberry fruit character which characterises Roques Tinto, but as with classic Dao blends, this is more than a sum of its parts.
The Ilberts have been growing vines in Cahors since 1901, bottling their own wines since 1998, and current vignerons Julien and Sophie today farms 23 hectares on the highest reaches of la causse, an old Occitan word for the region’s limestone plateau.
Recognisably a Malbec, yet at just 12.5% alcohol it’s a genuine vin de soif – even for serving slightly chilled in warmer summer months. Radically brilliant.
The Basque word ‘Masusta’ means ‘blackberry’ – and this wine takes its name from the huge bramble that is in the middle of the vines. A beautiful red-fruit bouquet of cherries and raspberries, it is fresh elegant on the palate, with nice earthy lick of oak, pepper and spice. Full of flavour, but not too heavy.
“Follow your Dreams” is a quote made famous by the street artist, Banksy, who says “All art is stolen” so they stole his quote. A fresh palate with cherry and raspberry flavours. Balanced yet grippy.
Craig Hawkins is a young winemaker based in the Swartland, South Africa, where he rents about 11ha of vineyard, farmed organically and biodynamically. Having travelled extensively throughout Europe, and then worked as wine maker for Lammershoek, he now makes makes a huge variety of different wines under his own Testalonga label.
Le Clos Rouge Cuvée Parcellaire hails from a plot of old Gamay with some Pinot Noir planted on calcareous soil with basaltic debris. This red has a touch more body than their other wines, but is still marked by mountain freshness, and its purity is down to excellent work in the vines and sympathetic low-intervention winemaking. A delightful natural wine, aged in amphora. Flavours of juicy red berries and pepper.
Saroto Tinto is made from a small, old, field-blend parcel comprised of old-fashioned red and white Douro varieties. The resultant wine is full of wild forest fruit, lots of berries with a kick of natural sourness. Plenty of fresh acidity adds juiciness and balances the rustic, grippy tannins, making for quite a light red. Earthy minerality adds extra complexity and the finish is long and moreish.
The Nittardi winery was once owned by Michaelangelo, and whilst painting the Sistine Chapel, he gifted his wines to the pope. As homage to Michelangelo, the unique combination of art and wine is still cultivated today at Nittardi. Every year a well-known artist paints the label as well as the wrapping paper used for the Casanuova di Nittardi Vigna Doghessa wine bottles.
Ad Astra is an approachable yet serious red wine that is also a pleasure when enjoyed young. Fascinating notes of spice and chilli character with blackcurrant and fresh cherry fruit on the nose. Medium bodied, with good tannins and a long, silky, powerful finish
A single vineyard blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane & Mataro (Mourvedre). Pepper and raspberry aromas leading into dark plum and blackberry flavours with a hint of cocoa. Dry with chalky tannins and a lingering finish. This is excellent now but will gain complexity over the next 10-15 years too.