Decanter https://www.decanter.com The world’s most prestigious wine website, including news, reviews, learning, food and travel Sun, 07 Feb 2021 12:01:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2019/01/cropped-Decanter_Favicon-Brand-32x32.png Decanter https://www.decanter.com 32 32 Wine Legend: Marqués de Griñón, Cabernet Sauvignon 1982 https://www.decanter.com/learn/wine-legend-marques-de-grinon-cabernet-sauvignon-1982-452463/ Sun, 07 Feb 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452463 Marqués de Griñón Cabernet Sauvignon 1982

A wine that caused a sensation when it was first launched...

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Marqués de Griñón Cabernet Sauvignon 1982

Wine Legend: Marqués de Griñón, Cabernet Sauvignon 1982, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

  • Bottles produced 75,628
  • Blend 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
  • Yield 35hl/ha
  • Alcohol 12.5%

A legend because…

When this wine was launched on international markets in the mid-1980s, it caused a sensation. This was not just because of its quality but because wine lovers were not accustomed to tasting high-quality Cabernet Sauvignons from Spain. Moreover, this was the first vintage of this wine. True, the Torres Black Label wine already had a high reputation, but it came from Penedès in Catalonia.

Carlos Falcó, the Marqués de Griñón, established his estate further south, in central Spain, in the town of Malpica de Tajo in the Toledo province of Castilla-La Mancha, which was hardly known as a centre for fine wine. This single estate, the Dominio de Valdepusa, would become the first recognised ‘pago’, paving the way for the Grandes Pagos group of high-quality private wine estates which Falcó helped to establish 20 years later in 2003.

Looking back

Carlos Falcó was already established as a gastronomic expert, with an enviable appetite and a determination to demonstrate the full potential of Spanish viticulture. At his own estate in La Mancha he was a pioneer of drip irrigation, which he had seen installed at Israeli orange groves in the early 1980s. He also employed the great Bordelais oenologist Professor Emile Peynaud as his consultant for this wine and for subsequent vintages until 1991, when Michel Rolland took his place. He never rested on his laurels, and in the early 1990s hired Australian viticulturist Richard Smart to advise on canopy management and irrigation controls. Moreover, he was keen to share his knowledge of advances in grape- farming with other growers and estates.

The vintage

1982 was a classic year across Spain. A dry, mild spring continued into a hot and dry summer with some drought stress that reduced yields. Red wines from top estates were structured and long-lived. The terroir Cabernet Sauvignon was first planted at Valdepusa in 1974 on 14ha, and those vines were the source of this wine. The soil is clay over fractured limestone with good drainage. Falcó took advice not only from Richard Smart but from the distinguished viticultural consultants Claude and Lydia Bourguignon. Irrigation proved beneficial as this is a dry site, with an average annual rainfall of 450mm. Although the district receives 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, nights are cold and the overall climate continental, and the vineyard lies at an elevation of 490m.

The wine

Ageing took place in French barriques for a period of 26 months, presumably with traditional racking. The final blend was assembled under the supervision of both Emile Peynaud and Alexis Lichine.

The reaction

Perhaps due to the fact that Spanish still wines, other than Rioja and Vega Sicilia, were very much under the radar in the 1980s, there was an absence of reviews when the Marqués de Griñón 1982 was launched. However, this author tasted the wine at a now defunct wine shop in Clerkenwell and bought a case. In 1986, I recorded: ‘Splendid deep red. Sweet blackcurrant nose, with some classy oak and considerable intensity. Excellent fruit but not yet knit, and its austerity still warring with the minty fruit. New World in style but with good depth. Medium weight and perhaps lacks some grip, but quite long, with a firm finish.’

Tasted again in 1992, it remained ‘deep in colour, with some maturity. Sweet and smoky on the nose, with elegant damson fruit. Soft but concentrated, this is now ready to drink, and the prominent oak gives an austere, slightly woody structure with a touch of astringency. But spicy and long, with a ripe finish.’ Sadly it will be in decline now, even if you could find a bottle. Mine have long gone.


Read more Wine Legends

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Staycation ideas: UK winery, distillery and brewery trips https://www.decanter.com/wine-travel/staycation-ideas-uk-winery-distillery-and-brewery-trips-444817/ Sun, 07 Feb 2021 10:00:09 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=444817 Glenmorangie distillery
Glenmorangie

Six great drinks-themed visits among the many options available...

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Glenmorangie distillery
Glenmorangie

With the prospect of holidays abroad an unknown one due to the pandemic and what travel restrictions will be in place, many are looking to staying on UK shores this summer.

But where to go? Cathedrals and stately homes are all very quintessential Britain, but hardly new. The beach? Maybe, but bring your rug and thermos flask – summer’s behind us. No, if you’re looking for fresh ideas when it comes to a day out, turn your attention to the multitude of innovative drinks companies that are making a name for themselves, and for British produce.

Britain’s drinks industry is booming, quality has never been higher – and we’re not just talking about wine. Vineyards, gin and whisky distilleries, cider farms and breweries all have tourists firmly in their sights, and have started throwing their gates open to showcase their produce and sell direct. You used to be a damned nuisance, getting in the way, falling over things, breaking stuff. But now the light has dawned. You’re all valuable customers! And you’re worth far more than just the entry fee, a coffee in the café, and a spending spree in the gift shop: you’re a guest, a friend, a fan, an aficionado. Here, madam, get your nose into our bubbles. Much better than French, eh?

It’s a win-win. They hopefully get a loyal future customer. And you get a great day out. A story told with passion. A beautiful location. And at the end of the tour? A taste of the product, but with expert commentary.

Here is a taster of what’s there, waiting to be discovered around Britain. Fill, swill, let a little air in. Don’t breathe in, though, and don’t spit – this is polite society! But do always phone in advance to check availability…

Bombay Sapphire

Bombay Sapphire’s glasshouses were designed by Thomas Heatherwick and opened in 2014

Bombay Sapphire

  • Address: Laverstoke Mill, London Road, Whitchurch, Hampshire RG28 7NR
  • Tel: +44 (0)1256 890 090 (book in advance)

Visually this is one of the most astonishing places in the drinks industry. An early Georgian paper mill which once made banknote paper for the Bank of England, Laverstoke ceased production in 1963 and was chosen as the home of Bombay Sapphire in 2010. Bombay Dry was originally Greenall’s Dry repackaged for the US. By 1986 it was flagging, but rather than drop it, its owners decided on a truly protean upgrade. New name, new bottle (blue, naturally), new botanicals including cubeb and grains of paradise, and new Carterhead stills for production created a gin that was softer, richer, rounder and fatter than old-school London dry. It was still being made at Greenall’s in Warrington in 1998 when Bacardi bought the brand, whose stablemates include Bombay Original Dry and Star of Bombay.

After a long hunt for a new home, Bacardi settled on Laverstoke Mill, literally straddling the river Test in Hampshire. It was an inspired choice of site, which has been treated with the utmost respect. The Test is one of the purest chalk streams in Britain, legendary for brown trout, otters, herons and kingfishers. The redevelopment has been a model of sensitivity. The buildings were carefully taken down and their bricks and tiles reused. In their place are the extraordinary curving glasshouses where the botanicals grow. A water turbine helps power the distillery, as do solar panels. Distilling uses a colossal amount of coolant but Bombay Sapphire takes none from the Test: instead it harvests rainwater. It’s both a beauty and a marvel to behold.

A range of tours and experiences include a gin cocktail masterclass and a supper club.

Hush Heath Estate

  • Address: Five Oaks Lane, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0HT
  • Tel: +44 (0)1622 832 794 (booking required)

Hush Hall dates back to 1503 and is set in 167ha of unrivalled beauty. The manor house and gardens are the private home of Hotel du Vin entrepreneur Richard Balfour-Lynn and his family, and are out of bounds; but the endless rolling green of the Weald of Kent countryside with its oak woods and wildflower meadows is yours to wander.

The woods cover more than 80ha, so you might say that Hush Heath was a forest with some vines rather than a vineyard with some forestry. The family bought it in the 1980s and planted 8ha of orchards. The first vines were planted in 2002, and as the Wealden clay and the microclimate were perfect for the classic Champagne varieties, there are now 20ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

The visitor centre and winery, built in Scandinavian style in 2010, showcase the traditional method by which top English sparkling wines are made.

Hush Heath’s signature wine is Balfour Brut Rosé, but it has other strings to its bow: other sparkling and still wines, bottle-fermented apple wines and even a microbrewery. After an educational walk in the vineyards, orchards and woodland, and a short film on winemaking, enjoy a tutored tasting in a tasting room aptly named The View, overlooking the woods you’ve just spent hours tramping through. You’ll never want to leave.

Hecks

Heck’s provides an authentic cider farm experience, as well as its range of delicious apple and pear juice products – fermented or otherwise

Heck’s

  • Address: 9-11 Middle Leigh, Street, Somerset BA16 0LB
  •  Tel: +44 (0)1458 442367

Once upon a time, the roads of England’s southwest were lined with scrumpy farms that made cider for their own use and sold their surplus to passers-by. Then, in 2005, a new law made off-licences compulsory for anyone wanting to sell alcohol – but very few farmers bothered to apply for one.

One that did was Heck’s, whose location near both Glastonbury and the old Clarks shoe factory in the village of Street, now a popular shopping centre, persuaded the family to continue a tradition going back to the 1870s.

But the business had to become more commercial to survive. The family was already selling single-variety juices; now it broke with the orthodoxy that no single strain of apple was able to make decent cider, which could only come from blending. Today, Heck’s makes 15 single-varietal ciders; two of them, oh heresy, from eating-apples. That’s not the only change: you can still get your cider in ye olde- worlde plastic flagons if you must, but you don’t have to – Heck’s has a bottling line.

The place still feels nicely rustic, though: a working farmyard studded with odds and ends of equipment, ancient and modern; the shop no more than a barn, really, with bits of arcane ironmongery – bullticklers, troutspears and suchlike – hanging on rough stone walls; barrels in sturdy tiers; jars and jars of chutney/ pickle/ preserve; cheese – so much cheese! No interactive displays; no DVDs voiced in drama-school ‘Mummerset’ accents – just stuff you want to eat, stuff you want to drink, all real, all good.

West Brewery

  • Address: Templeton Building, Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1AW
  • Tel: +44 (0)141 550 0135 (tours must be booked)

When Bavarian-born Petra Wetzel’s dad came to visit her in Glasgow and wasn’t all that impressed with the beer, she decided to put matters right by starting a brewery of her own. And to ensure that the old boy would like her beer, she stuck to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot or purity law of 1516, banning the use of any ingredients except malt, hops, water and yeast.

She also tried to use ingredients as close to the German original as she could get. Soft brewing liquor comes from Loch Katrine; her malt is mostly British, but she does import some from Germany; her hops are mainly Hallertau, one of the ‘noble’ varieties used by German and Czech brewers. The house yeast is an imported bottom-fermenting strain that is skimmed and propagated after each brew.

West Brewery’s very striking home is an 1890s carpet factory designed in imitation of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, although it overlooks a green rather than a canal. It incorporates a stylish bar and restaurant, West on the Green, which has become a popular wedding venue. It also boasts a spacious courtyard and two separate brewhouses. There are a number of different tours to enjoy, including the West Experience, which ends with a three-course meal. Private tours can be arranged.

Parva Farm

The river Wye runs close to the Parva Farm vineyards

Parva Farm

  • Address: Tintern, Chepstow NP16 6SQ
  • Tel: +44 (0)1291 689636 (tours must be booked)

The Wye Valley inspired one of Wordsworth’s loveliest nature poems: Tintern Abbey. Perhaps when you visit Parva Farm, in south Wales near the river Severn, you might carry a copy as you stroll among the vines, for you may be as enraptured by the scenery as was the poet. It’s also likely that this spot enraptured the monks of Tintern: there are few sites nearby as suited to vines, so this may well be where they grew the grapes for their communion wine.

Today’s vines date back mostly to 1979, when the 1.6ha vineyard was planted with Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau, Seyval Blanc and Pinot Noir to become the first commercial vineyard in Wales. In 1996, Colin and Judith Dudley added Regent to make a Pinot rosé as well as a better red. Including a demonstration yard, Parva Farm now has 4,500 vines of 17 varieties. The Dudleys make an intriguing range including a sparkling wine, Dathliad (Celebration), and a mead (or more strictly a piment) based on Seyval Blanc, also the base for a dessert wine flavoured with summer fruits. More recently they’ve started cidermaking using apples from the farm and from the organic orchard next door, fermented in wine casks.

The shop doubles as a sampling room where tutored tastings are given after guided tours. It sells all the farm and winery products and other local provender. No café, but the Wye Valley Hotel is immediately across the road. Alternatively bring a picnic to enjoy while you:

‘…repose… and view These plots of cottage- ground, these orchard-tufts,

Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,

Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves ’Mid groves and copses…’

Glenmorangie

  • Address: Tain, Inverness IV19 1PZ
  •  Tel: +44 (0)1862 892477 (tours must be booked)

Glenmorangie (pronounced in the same way as the fruit) is one of the aristocrats of malt whisky and stands out from the crowd not just for its name, but also because of the height of its 12 stills, which at 16’ 10” (5.13m) are the tallest in Scotland. The distillery was a brewery until 1843, when it was converted using pot stills from a gin distillery which was going over to the newfangled column stills.

Tall stills and long necks increase the contact the spirit and vapour have with the copper [from which the pot stills are made], turning sulphites into sulphates to create a purer, lighter-bodied spirit. Exactly what you want with gin, but not with whisky: to compensate, Glenmorangie has long been maturing and finishing its whisky in old Port, Sherry or Madeira casks.

Whisky distillers, when they want to replace a still or add a new one, generally install an exact replica of the original in order to safeguard their product’s distinctive character, and that’s what has happened here. What you see here is therefore the nearest thing on earth to an early 19th-century gin distillery.

But Glenmorangie has never been backward. It was the first to switch from direct-fired stills to steam-heated: the steam engine is the star exhibit in the museum. It is also at the forefront of the whisky industry’s green revolution: all its waste is converted into biogas to supply 20% of the distillery’s energy.

After a distillery tour and tasting, you can go the whole hog and book into Glenmorangie House hotel for the night: a 17th-century house set among the ruins of an old castle, and overlooking the shores of the Moray Firth.

This article was first published in the November 2020 issue of Decanter. The introduction has been edited for Decanter.com.


Former editor of the CAMRA newspaper What’s Brewing, Ted Bruning is a journalist and author in the licensed trade and drinks industry press. He is co-author with Rupert Wheeler of Britain in a Bottle: A Visitor’s Guide – £12.30 Amazon UK / £16.99 Waterstones 


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Prosecco Superiore: Sparkling pioneers plus the 12 wines to seek out https://www.decanter.com/premium/prosecco-superiore-sparkling-pioneers-plus-the-12-wines-to-seek-out-452048/ Sun, 07 Feb 2021 09:00:36 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452048 Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze landscape
The verdant, hilly landscape of Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze

In 2009, in a radical rewrite of the DOC, Prosecco ceased to be the name of a grape variety and became a wine of geographical origin, taking its name from a tiny village in the province of Trieste on the border with Slovenia. On the basis of EU law, the move gave the original producers […]

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Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze landscape
The verdant, hilly landscape of Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze

In 2009, in a radical rewrite of the DOC, Prosecco ceased to be the name of a grape variety and became a wine of geographical origin, taking its name from a tiny village in the province of Trieste on the border with Slovenia.

On the basis of EU law, the move gave the original producers the exclusive right to the name Prosecco, but involved creating a new vineyard area stretching nearly 150km across the plains of the Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.


Scroll down to see Richard’s tasting notes and scores for his 12 top Prosecco Superiore to try


To distinguish the hillsides from the rest, a DOCG was created for Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore, and a simple DOC for the flat lands. The strategic reset thwarted potential international competition, but it created domestic competition – the DOC has five times the production capacity of the DOCG, and significantly lower costs.


Setting the sparkling standard: Baudains’ 12 top Prosecco Superiore to try


Read next:

Tasting Prosecco rosé: 14 to try

Understanding Prosecco Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore

Traditional Method Italian sparkling wines: Panel tasting results

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Best cask finish whiskies https://www.decanter.com/spirits/best-cask-finish-whiskies-450163/ Sat, 06 Feb 2021 12:00:17 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=450163 Cask finish whisky, a barrel ageing whisky
Cask finish whisky

Here are eight ‘finished’ whiskies to consider...

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Cask finish whisky, a barrel ageing whisky
Cask finish whisky

At its simplest, ‘finishing’ a whisky is a second period of maturation in a different type of cask, usually (but not always) for a limited amount of time – from a few months to a few years. The aim is to bring complexity and new layers of flavour, adding character to the original without overpowering it.

It’s a relatively new but now hugely popular technique among distillers. Historically, the most commonly used ‘finish’ was to take a bourbon-matured whisky and put it into ex-Sherry wood, but the world of finishes has now expanded to encompass all kinds of casks, including wines of every type, Port, Madeira, Cognac, rum and even beer.

That makes it a complex and potentially confusing area for the whisky lover to navigate, but also a fascinating and richly rewarding one. Here are eight ‘finished’ whiskies to consider.

Top cask finish whiskies to try


Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Finished in French red wine casks

After only a few months in red wine casks sourced from Pauillac, this has taken on coppery-red hints and a pronounced character of plush, fleshy red fruits in vanilla custard. There’s a floral element too – lily and rose petal – before dried fruit, black pepper and a tangy, oxidative edge. Mouthfilling and highly enjoyable. Alc 43%


Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood

There are arguments about who ‘invented’ finishing, but Balvenie’s David Stewart MBE was certainly one of the pioneers. This has been around for more than 25 years, and is firmly established as a classic, thanks to a heady mixture of rich red fruits, patisserie scents, praline and waves of honey and vanilla. Alc 40%


Compass Box Peat Monster Arcana

Is this technically a finish? Take Compass Box’s much-loved Peat Monster blended malt, leave it in French oak for two-plus years, then combine with Talisker, Miltonduff and Ardbeg. No matter – that French oak adds a touch of refinement to the mix of maritime and earthy smoke. A relatively polite and approachable monster. Alc 46%


Glenmorangie Bacalta

This was the Highland distillery’s Private Edition bottling in 2017, and showcases the unparalleled skills of arch-experimenter Dr Bill Lumsden. Regular Glenmorangie was taken out of bourbon casks after about eight years, then spent a couple more in specially seasoned Malmsey Madeira wood. Warming black and blue fruit, an exotic, silky syrupiness and – the key to balance – some wood spice and walnut. Alc 46%


Kavalan Concertmaster Port Finish

Port casks are tricky beasts for distillers to play around with: all too often, the result is a pinkish, soupy concoction that shows neither cask nor whisky in their best light. This whisky from Taiwan, however, is an honourable exception, taking Kavalan’s top-notch distillate and spooning on layers of raspberry and red apple, with a pleasing counterpoint of honey, ginger and vanilla. Alc 40%


Talisker 8 Year Old Rum Finish (Special Releases 2020)

One of Diageo’s 2020 Special Releases, this island malt is an exercise in restraint: the rum cask (Jamaican pot still) adds texture, breadth and a little sweetness, but never detracts from Talisker’s unmistakable and superlative distillate. Smoky, saline, grassy, earthy, tarry, with a pinch of nose-prickling pepper. Enervating. Alc 57.9%


Teeling Stout Cask

Some casks can exert a huge influence in a small space of time, risking the sacrifice of balance for character. This Irish whiskey only spends a few months in Teeling casks used by the Galway Bay Brewery to mature its 200 Fathoms imperial stout, but that time adds pronounced notes of black cherry, prune and treacle to the blend’s honeyed cereal core. Alc 46%


Whisky Works Quartermaster 11 Year Old

Whisky Works is the experimental arm of Dalmore and Jura owner Whyte & Mackay, and this blend combines Highland grain, Speyside malts and four different maturation regimes. It’s a complicated way to arrive at an straightforwardly approachable, versatile whisky, filled with redcurrant and red apple notes, plenty of sweetness and a malty edge that evokes dusty books in an old library. Alc 46.4%


You might also like:

Understanding whisky styles

How to invest in whisky

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Star producers of the Med: the 10 names to know https://www.decanter.com/premium/star-producers-of-the-med-the-10-names-to-know-452486/ Sat, 06 Feb 2021 09:00:45 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452486 Javier Revert
Javier Revert

There is so much more to Spain’s red grape varieties than Tempranillo. Mencía, for instance, that crunchy, refreshing variety of the northwest. Garnacha, too, which has been brought back in from the cold winds of disapproval and is turning up all over, but especially in the Sierra de Gredos and the north. Scroll down to […]

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Javier Revert
Javier Revert

There is so much more to Spain’s red grape varieties than Tempranillo. Mencía, for instance, that crunchy, refreshing variety of the northwest. Garnacha, too, which has been brought back in from the cold winds of disapproval and is turning up all over, but especially in the Sierra de Gredos and the north.


Scroll down to see Sarah Jane’s must-try wines from 10 star Mediterranean producers


Mediterranean Spain also has a cornucopia of reds – and whites. Yet these are still to achieve the recognition of those first three.

The best known is Monastrell, yet it is still widely regarded as a country cousin, despite making some exceptional wines. Dig beneath Monastrell, and you will find Arcos, Bobal, Bonicaire, Forcallà, Giró and more.


The best Mediterranean wines: Sarah Jane’s must-try bottles


Read next:

Spanish wine in 2021: Top trends and the 10 bottles worth seeking out

10 great Spanish winemakers you need to know

Top 10 Spanish whites for your cellar

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Best value Barolo 2016: under £50 / $70 https://www.decanter.com/premium/best-value-barolo-2016-under-50-70-452738/ Sat, 06 Feb 2021 09:00:13 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452738 Best value Barolo 2016

Available for under £50 / $50...

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Best value Barolo 2016

If you love Nebbiolo then getting onboard with the Barolo 2016 vintage is a must.

The best examples can be expensive and many have sold out, however we have scoured the market to highlight eight great examples that you can still buy, and all for £50 or less – with the exception of one wine priced at £52 that we felt deserved inclusion.

Best-value Barolo 2016:


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Barolo 2016 ‘classico’ late releases tasted

Barolo 2016 ‘MGA’ late releases tasted

Barolo 2016 & Riserva 2014: Report and 100 wines tasted

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Great Champagne deals: rosés from Bollinger, Veuve Clicquot and more https://www.decanter.com/shopping/champagne-deals-380367/ Fri, 05 Feb 2021 16:00:26 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=380367 Rows of rose Champagne bottles; Champagne deals

Great Champagne offers we have found for you...

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Rows of rose Champagne bottles; Champagne deals

We’ve made it to February, and whether or not you chose to do dry January, it’s a great time to indulge and enjoy some Champagne.

Valentine’s day coming up mean there’s been a flurry of Champagne deals coming through – many of which are worth taking advantage of whether you celebrate Valentine’s or not.

With many of us still staying at home, UK drinkers have been turning to higher-end home drinking – with Champagne sales growing 13% over the festive period and in 2020 the average bottle of Champagne going over the £25 price mark, according to data from Nielson.

Rosé Champagne deals

Now is the time to get a deal on pink Champagne as Valentine’s day has retailers looking to all things rosé.

Amazon UK has Veuve Clicquot rosé NV down to £39 as well as Moët & Chandon rosé NV for £34.

For something really special, Waitrose has Pol Roger vintage 2012 rosé down to £64, saving 20%. You can also find Laurent-Perrier Cuvée rosé with 20% off and Pommery rosé Brut NV with 25% off, down to £33.75. The Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Rosé NV is just £24 a bottle.

Morrisons supermarket had strong Christmas Champagne sales, with an increase of 64%, thanks to its good offers and there are more to snap up now. Bollinger Cuvée Rosé NV is down to £40 a bottle and the Special Cuvée NV is £35 (not rosé).

Taittinger Prestige rosé Champagne NV has £5 off at Tesco, down to £35, and the Lanson rosé NV is £28 a bottle.

As part of its ‘mix six’ deals, Majestic has Ruinart rosé NV down to £59.99, saving £10 a bottle, and the Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2012 down to £63 when you mix six.

Over on Wine.com, there’s Laurent-Perrier Cuvée rosé down to $79.99, Philipponnat Brut Royal Reserve rosé down to $69.99 and Taittinger Brut Prestige rosé down to $74.99.

More Champagne offers

Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge NV
If you’re planning on stocking up on Champagne, this multibuy deal from Morrisons is worth looking at…
£34 a bottle – Buy two, get one free

View Deal

Lanson Black Label Brut NV
Less than £25 a bottle for this predominantly Pinot blend.
£33   Now only £24 at Tesco

View Deal

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut NV
This popular Champagne is a blend of all three Champagne grapes.
£36 Now only £29 at Morrisons

View Deal

Bollinger Special Cuvée NV (Magnum)
Magnum are great for a special occasion – don’t miss out on getting one at this price.
£99.99    Now £89.99 when you mix six at Majestic

View Deal

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé NV Magnum
This rosé Champagne is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, and full of red fruit flavours. Even better when served from magnum.
£170   Now £135.99 on Amazon UK 

View Deal

Vintage vs Non-vintage Champagne

Non-vintage Champagne accounts for around 79% of the total Champagne production, according to The Comité Champagne. 
Every year producers hold back some reserve wine and blend these to make the non-vintage, creating a consistent and reliable reflection of the house style, though these wines won’t be quite as complex or ageworthy as the vintage ones.
Vintage Champagne is produced in the best years – so not every year – showing more of a unique reflection of the year it was made. The higher quality means it can continue to age in the bottle and further develop. The 2020 vintage is a rare third consecutive year for Champagne vintages – though the ones to look for drinking now are around 2008 – 2012.
Non-vintage Champagne must be aged for a minimum of 15 months (12 on the lees) while vintage must be aged for a minimum of 36 months.

We got some expert advice on when’s the best time to open your NV Champagne

We’ve also got the latest deals and prices for some of the most popular Champagne houses – for vintage and non-vintage options – and retailers below.

Don’t forget to look for further savings on multiple bottles too…


Non-vintage Champagne deals

Bollinger Special Cuvée NV

60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne is recognised as one of the top non vintages out there.


Bollinger Rosé NV

Don’t forget about rosé Champagne in the festive season. This has red fruits and fresh acidity.


Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut

A Champagne house known for elegant wines, this non vintage is no exception.


Taittinger Brut Reserve NV

A fresh and fruity Champagne made from 40% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Meunier and 35% Pinot Noir.


Pol Roger Brut Reserve

A balanced and elegant expression of the three classic Champagne grapes.


Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial

This nicely balanced Champagne is a blend of the three classic Champagne grapes.


Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne

A restrained and elegant, Chardonnay-dominated blend.


Lanson Black Label NV

A classic, Pinot-driven Champagne that will see you through your celebrations.


Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label 

Champagne’s ‘second most prolific house’, Veuve Clicquot sells an estimates 19 million bottles per year of the yellow label non-vintage.


Ruinart R de Ruinart Brut

From one of Champagne’s oldest houses, this non vintage is a blend of 40% Chardonnay and 60% Pinot Noir.


Louis Roederer Brut Premier

An excellent non-vintage Champagne, which uses all three Champagne grapes, mostly from Roederer’s own estates.


Piper-Heidsieck Brut

50% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay, a lively non-vintage Champagne.


Krug Grande Cuvée

A blend across many different vintages and wines, Krug is a ‘super multi-vintage of its own kind’.


Laurent-Perrier Rosé NV

An 100% Pinot Noir rosé Champagne, with the colour extracted from skin contact, rather than blending with red wine, like many other Champagnes.


Vintage Champagne deals

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2012

A great choice for a vintage Champagne this festive season, with an elegant, fruity finish.


Laurent-Perrier Millésimé 2008

50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, a refined and elegant Champagne.


Veuve Clicquot Vintage 2012

A highly anticipated vintage, this Pinot Noir dominant blend is made from all three Champagne grapes.


Pol Roger Vintage 2012

A blend of 60/40 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, in a very good year for Pinot in particular.


Report: The best NV Champagnes to buy

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Property: Chianti wine 'castle' listed for sale at €14m https://www.decanter.com/property/chianti-wine-property-vineyard-sale-453002/ Fri, 05 Feb 2021 14:00:01 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=453002 Chianti wine property listed for sale by Italy Sotheby's International Realty
Fancy a dip? The swimming pool at the Chianti estate.

Historic estate with vines, winery and swimming pool offers glimpse of the higher end of the market in Tuscany...

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Chianti wine property listed for sale by Italy Sotheby's International Realty
Fancy a dip? The swimming pool at the Chianti estate.

Owning a vineyard among olive groves and cypress trees in Tuscany’s rolling hills has long been a dream for many wine lovers, and this historic Chianti wine property certainly looks the part from its listing.

A medieval castle dominates the 118-hectare (ha) estate, which also includes 15.5ha of vineyards alongside 19 bedrooms in the property itself, plus 6ha of olive groves and stables.

A swimming pool runs under a ‘draw-bridge’ to the main residence, according to the listing by Italy Sotheby’s International Realty.

It’s a Chianti wine property at the higher end of the market in Tuscany, with a guide price of €14m.

And the reality of making wine commercially is not for the faint-hearted, of course.

Chianti wine property listed for sale by Italy Sotheby's International Realty

In the heart of Chianti country…Photo credit: Italy Sotheby’s International Realty.

But this estate does offer prospective buyers a possible route into the Chianti Classico DOCG, or alternatively a chance to shape an IGT wine in their own image, Super Tuscan-style.

Chianti Classico and IGT are among the 70,000 bottles already produced here annually, according to the listing.

Everything is done on-site, and wines are made in the estate’s own cellars.

Inside the Chianti wine property listed by Sotheby's.

A view of the lounge. Photo credit: Italy Sotheby’s International Realty.

The listing adds the estate is currently operating as a high-end hotel but could be ‘easily transformed into an exclusive residence’.

Rural property in Tuscan wine country was increasingly sought-after in 2020, several estate agents with knowledge of the market told Decanter towards the end of last year.

With a shift to remote working, more people sought to relocate away from cities, according to both John Jonk, real estate broker for Tuscany and Umbria at Sotheby’s International Realty, and Gemma Bruce, MD and cofounder of the Casa & Country agency.


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Four stunning hobby vineyards for sale in Bordeaux

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Idyllic Provence vineyard estates for sale

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Interview: NBA star CJ McCollum on making his own wine https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/cj-mccollum-wine-interview-nba-452897/ Fri, 05 Feb 2021 12:00:42 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452897 CJ McCollum learns about wine at Adelsheim
CJ McCollum tours the vineyards at Adelsheim.

McCollum speaks to Decanter about his project with Adelsheim in Oregon, and his personal cellar...

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CJ McCollum learns about wine at Adelsheim
CJ McCollum tours the vineyards at Adelsheim.

CJ McCollum’s debut wine, ‘McCollum Heritage 91’, reportedly sold out in 45 minutes after the Oregon Pinot Noir was released last year at a retail price of $50-a-bottle. It would take longer to watch an NBA game.

‘It’s so cool to bring it out and see it sell,’ McCollum tells Decanter towards the end of 2020, prior to the start of the new NBA season.

McCollum heritage 91 wine, 2018 vintage

Photo credit: McCollum Heritage 91.

Only 133 cases of McCollum Heritage 91 2018 were made, in partnership with Adelsheim Vineyard.

Buyers were limited to six bottles each of the wine, sourced from vineyards in the Chehalem Mountains area of Willamette Valley.

As you may know, wine is a big deal in the NBA. Several players have spent time honing their tasting skills away from the court, yet McCollum is among a select few in making his own label.

It’s a far cry from the days when he didn’t really enjoy wine. ‘I was more of a lemonade guy,’ he says, crediting his wife with introducing him to good bottles initially.

Was there a ‘eureka moment’ when it all made sense? It’s more of an evolution, but he cites an early memory of Walter Scott Wines in Oregon, and in particular being intrigued by vineyards planted on volcanic soils.

‘I’m so close to a goldmine,’ he says of Oregon wine country on the Portland Trail Blazers’ doorstep. ‘Just going to vineyards and seeing how much love there is for it – you fall in love with it as well.’

Pinot Noir is a big part of the story. ‘It’s not too strong, it’s not too light, it goes with a lot of food. Pinot is a wine that you can drink,’ he says.

In 2016, though, he decided to ‘take it to the next level’ by exploring opportunities to make wine and develop his own label.

‘Before I do anything I try to educate myself on it,’ he says, recalling a journey down the ‘rabbit hole’ of researching the winemaking process, from soil types to use of oak barrels.

CJ McCollum tasting wine at Adelsheim

In the cellars at Adelsheim Vineyard. Photo credit: McCollum Heritage 91.

Cue the partnership with Adelsheim from 2017, where he worked with winemaker Gina Hennen.

He initially did a blind tasting with Hennen, putting wines he liked to the left and those he didn’t to the right. ‘The three glasses on the left were all from volcanic soils,’ he remembers.

Months of tasting, branding work and refining followed before Heritage 91 2018 was released in September last year.

The final wine, which was aged for 10 months in French oak (26% new) before bottling, is drawn from three Adelsheim vineyards certified sustainable by the ‘Live’ organisation and all planted on volcanic soil: Boulder Bluff, Quarter Mile Lane and Bryan Creek.

The ‘Heritage 91’ name references McCollum’s childhood street in Canton, Ohio, and the year of his own birth.

CJ McCollum Heritage 91 wine

Photo credit: McCollum Heritage 91.

Beyond Oregon, his own wine horizons have expanded during his time in the NBA. He says it’s great to learn off other wine fans, including players. ‘Everybody’s tastes are different.’

For instance, McCollum says Carmelo ‘Melo’ Anthony – currently also with the Trail Blazers – ‘is a big big Burgundy guy’.

Social distancing rules have changed things, but in the NBA some players would previously travel with wine and take a bottle out to dinner after games, he says.

How is McCollum’s personal cellar looking? There are more than 500 bottles now, he says, with Oregon greats sitting alongside wines from around the world, including top-drawer Bordeaux, such as Château Margaux, and also Italy’s Sassicaia – picked up following a trip to Tuscany two years ago.

Some of the Heritage 91 2018 is there, too, so that he can taste it every couple of years as it ages.

‘I’ve got a solid, diverse collection.’ But he says it could be organised better; an issue many wine collectors could probably identify with. ‘I need to slow down,’ he jokes.

He may need to make space for more blanc de blancs, which he describes as a growing passion. He also recalls enjoying a tasting of white wines, including Chardonnay, with sushi – involving shrimp tempura and eel.

In terms of drinking, however, early morning starts for work mean a Coravin device can come in handy for enjoying a glass or a taste without needing to open the bottle, he adds.

Having got married in 2020, can he provide any inspiration for wedding wines? ‘I did bring some of the Heritage,’ he says, adding other highlights included Screaming Eagle 2009 and Solaia, plus some Côte Rôtie for the honeymoon.

And what did he uncork after scoring 37 points to help the Blazers beat Denver Nuggets in a winner-takes-all game to reach the Western Conference Finals in 2019? ‘We had Champagne,’ he recalls of the jubilant post-match celebrations.

Looking ahead, McCollum confirms there will be a 2019 vintage release of Heritage 91, and hints at other projects in the pipeline, too. ‘We’re going to explore other avenues at some point.’ Watch this space.


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Interview with NBA’s Moe Harkless

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My top 20: food-friendly wines from around Italy https://www.decanter.com/decanter-best/my-top-20-food-friendly-wines-from-around-italy-452784/ Fri, 05 Feb 2021 09:41:12 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452784

20 top-value mealtime bottles, and suggests the best dishes to go with each...

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To prove the point that Italian wines are versatile and adaptable, I recall a business dinner a decade ago with Cliff Roberson, the colourful founder of Roberson Wines. Back then I was a supermarket buyer, and when invited out to dinner during the annual Vinitaly exhibition in Verona, I cheekily said I would only go if we could drink a wine which had a name ending in ‘-aia’. Unfazed by my request, Roberson took me to the most unassuming back-street pizzeria, where we duly consumed a bottle of Solaia 2004 with the cheapest margherita pizza. It was a memorable match, proving (to me, at least) that Solaia is the ultimate pizza wine.

Culinary landscape

Italy is a hugely diverse country, famously referred to by early 19th-century Austrian statesman Count Metternich as being ‘only a geographical expression’. From the mountainous north, through the agricultural lands in the centre, the rugged, volcanic south, and the sun-baked islands, Italy has a vast range of cultures, geologies, grape varieties and culinary specialities.

Food has always played a leading role in Italian life. Elizabethan poet Thomas Nashe referred to Italy (in his 1594 work The Unfortunate Traveller) as ‘the paradise of the earth and the epicure’s heaven’. Today, Luca Speri, co-owner of leading Veneto producer Speri, explains the close link between Italian food and wine dating back many centuries: ‘Food and wine have always been connected – wine has always been considered food for us.’

Speri believes that indigenous varieties and modern winemaking styles have created wines ideal for pairing with food: ‘We see hundreds of native varieties that have good acidity and fine tannins – great conditions for very food-friendly wines, not only with local dishes but with any kind of meal.’

Italy comprises 20 regions – Valle d’Aoste, Piedmont, Liguria and Lombardy in the north; Trentino-Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto in the northeast; Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Le Marche, Umbria, Lazio, Molise and Abruzzo in the centre; with Campania, Basilicata, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia in the south.

In the cooler, mountainous north, powerful Nebbiolo– and Corvina-based reds help cut through the rich, creamy characters of risottos and meat-based stews. Wonderful seafood from the Ligurian coastline is perfectly partnered with saline, fresh Vermentino, while the northern Adriatic has some of the Mediterranean’s finest fish – wonderful with a light, pure Pinot Grigio. The wooded areas of Tuscany and Umbria are home to powerful meat dishes, with Chianti wines (bolstered by the robust tannins of Sangiovese) a great match. Further south, olive oil becomes more dominant than butter, with fragrant, juicy whites (Falanghina, Fiano and Greco) and reds (Aglianico, Primitivo and Nerello Mascalese) matching roasted meats, fish and sun-ripened tomato dishes.

Unfairly, Italian restaurants were characterised in the 1970s as simple trattorias adorned with red-check tablecloths and pouring cheap Chianti from straw flasks. Today’s consumers can choose from delicious wines made in a modern style with balanced ripeness, tannins and acidity, and explore these with different foods. Jack Lewens, ex-sommelier turned wine producer at Vigneti Tardis in Campania, believes acidity to be a key factor: ‘Italian wines tend to be more food- friendly because they have higher acidity – a key factor in food pairing.’ It seems there is no better time than the present to experiment with Italian wine and food pairings.


Andy Howard’s top 20 food-friendly Italian wines:


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Luczy: Hirsch Vineyards and the 2018 Pinot Noirs https://www.decanter.com/premium/hirsch-vineyards-and-the-2018-pinot-noirs-452709/ Fri, 05 Feb 2021 09:00:32 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452709 Hirsch-Vineyards-Block-8-in-fog
Hirsch's Block 8 vineyard under a cloak of fog.

One of California’s most noted Pinot Noir properties

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Hirsch-Vineyards-Block-8-in-fog
Hirsch's Block 8 vineyard under a cloak of fog.

In the pantheon of classic California Pinot Noir sites, Hirsch Vineyards is at the pinnacle. A two-hour drive north from the town of Sonoma itself, this remote, maritime estate has deservedly built a reputation for producing complex and ageworthy wines.

‘My father didn’t buy the property to plant vineyards,’ explains Jasmine Hirsch, general manager, winemaker and daughter of founder and owner David Hirsch. ‘It was a complete coincidence that it turned out to be this great spot for Pinot Noir.’


Scroll down for Matthew Luczy’s verdict on the 2018 Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noirs



Hirsch Vineyards: tasting the 2018 Pinot Noirs


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Expert advice on cooking with wine https://www.decanter.com/learn/advice/10-things-to-know-about-cooking-with-wine-377369/ Thu, 04 Feb 2021 17:00:45 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=377369 cooking with wine pouring into a pan

What should you choose and how much should you spend?...

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cooking with wine pouring into a pan

Cooking with wine can really help enhance a dish, whether that’s adding some to a slow cooked meaty sauce, a splash as you start a risotto or even as a marinade.

But given how much thought goes into choosing wine to drink, how much should you think about which wines you cook with?

Best wine for cooking – and what not to use

‘The cardinal rule is if you wouldn’t drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it,’ said food and wine expert Fiona Beckett in Decanter magazine.

This is why you shouldn’t use corked wines in cooking. ‘The cork taint will come through in the finished dish.’

Avoid cheap ‘cooking wines’ say our experts, and stick to the level of wines you would tend to drink.

‘At best they won’t add anything to your finished dish, and at worst they’ll actively make it unpleasant,’ Pete Dreyer, food writer at Great British Chefs, previously told Decanter.com.

However, don’t feel you have to use an expensive wine, said Beckett, who wrote The Wine Lover’s Kitchen: Delicious recipes for cooking with wine.

A bottle around the £8 mark should be fine.

‘The only time to [use more expensive wine] is if a dish needs only a small amount of wine and you’d otherwise have to open another bottle,’ wrote Beckett in The Wine Lover’s Kitchen.

For example, her book includes a Champagne and mushroom risotto recipe.

‘It might seem wantonly extravagant…. But you need only a glass and the bonus is that you can drink the rest with the risotto.’

If you are going to use a separate wine for cooking with, you could take inspiration from the style you would drink with the dish, but go for a cheaper alternative.

‘An inexpensive Côtes du Rhône, for example, in a dish with which you’d drink a Gigondas,’ suggested Beckett.

If you’re worried about needing to open a bottle that then won’t be drunk, try this hack:

‘Freeze leftover wine in an ice cube tray and keep the cubes handy in a freezer bag to add to a dish,’ she wrote.

Cooking with white wine

Dishes that could use some white wine include risottos, white wine sauces (of course) or coq au Riesling.

As a starting point, crisp, dry, unoaked whites work well.

‘Pinot Grigio is really versatile – also Sauvignon Blanc; those are the two I would reach for first, and unoaked Chardonnay is fine,’ said Dreyer.

‘In most sauces, the most important thing is to consider the sweetness and acidity. As you cook off the alcohol and reduce the wine, both will become more pronounced, so you’re best off sticking to dry whites, with a reasonable amount of acidity.’

However, you could use a more aromatic variety if you wanted to.

Beckett wrote, ‘Wines with a pronounced aromatic character, such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer, are less flexible, but may turn out to be delicious with, for example, a creamy sauce. Feel free to experiment.’

Decanter‘s Sylvia Wu recommended a splash of ‘bone dry Riesling’ at the end of cooking fried rice.

‘Only to be added at the very end, and let the white blossom and sweet peach scents rise from the wok,’ she said.

Cooking with red wine

The best red wines to cook with are medium-bodied but not overly tannic, like Merlot or Grenache.

Tannins in wine become more concentrated as you cook them, so a tannic wine may dry out the dish or cause astringent flavours.

Red wine isn’t just for meaty sauces.

‘You might not think of pouring red wine into a risotto but with beetroot it works beautifully,’ suggested Beckett.

Dryer added, ‘It seems a bit weird, but it can work with flavours that traditionally accompany red wine – for example, mushroom risotto can work with red or white wine.’

Fortified wines, such as Sherry, Madeira and Marsala, are also great for cooking.

A small quantity adds strength, depth and often a welcome sweetness. Some recommend vermouth for risottos too.

If you cook with wine is there any alcohol left in the dish?

‘There is a widespread misconception that it all cooks out, but unless you’re cooking the dish for three hours or more there will be a residue – depending on how much wine you’ve used,’ said Beckett.

‘Worth bearing in mind if you’re cooking for kids or non-drinkers.’

Fiona Beckett also blogs on her own website, Matching Food And Wine

This article was originally published in 2017 and has been updated in February 2021.


More articles like this:

What to do with leftover wine

Is wine gluten free? – ask Decanter

The 10 rules of food and wine pairing

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Anson: How the 1985 Bordeaux first growths taste now https://www.decanter.com/premium/bordeaux-first-growths-1985-vintage-rating-452891/ Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:19:49 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452891 1985 bordeaux first growths tasting
Tasted and rated: 1985 Bordeaux first growths.

Jane Anson reports on a rare tasting of the 1985 first growths side-by-side...

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1985 bordeaux first growths tasting
Tasted and rated: 1985 Bordeaux first growths.

On September 1 1985, Frank J Prial wrote a column in the New York Times entitled ‘Wine; the Baron’s Story’.

In it, he talks about Milady Vine, the autobiography of Baron Philippe de Rothschild at Mouton that was published the year before (easily my favourite book about Bordeaux by the way), and recounts a story about Baron Philippe being stopped for speeding in California and being asked for his driving licence.

‘Don’t have one,’ he told the astonished policeman (recounts Prial). ‘Never did. You see, I am Philippe de Rothschild.’


Scroll down to see Jane Anson’s tasting notes and scores for the 1985 Bordeaux first growths



See Jane Anson’s tasting notes and scores for the 1985 Bordeaux first growths, plus Yquem 1989.


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Canadian Riesling: top buys from Eastern Canada https://www.decanter.com/premium/canadian-riesling-the-best-buys-from-eastern-canada-452533/ Thu, 04 Feb 2021 09:00:06 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452533 Eastern Canada Riesling - Greenlane Estate
GreenLane Estate Winery in Ontario's Niagara Peninsula

16 top-scoring wines from Ontario, Nova Scotia and Québec…

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Eastern Canada Riesling - Greenlane Estate
GreenLane Estate Winery in Ontario's Niagara Peninsula

See the highest-scoring Canadian Rieslings and the top Rieslings from British Columbia


Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula is Canada’s largest wine region. Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment flank the peninsula, meaning constant airflow between the two regulates temperatures. The mild autumns encourage Riesling to ripen slowly.


Scroll down for Michaela Morris’ top Eastern Canada Rieslings



Eastern Canada Riesling: Michaela Morris’ top wines to buy


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Domaine Gayda: Behind the labels plus 10 wines tasted https://www.decanter.com/decanter-best/domaine-gayda-behind-the-labels-plus-10-wines-tasted-452787/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:40:30 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452787 Domaine Gayda

Domaine Gayda has forged a reputation for producing Languedoc wines that deliver quality and interest...

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Domaine Gayda

Domaine Gayda is nestled in the heart of France’s south west, in the foothills of the Pyrenees surrounded by prime Languedoc wine territory. It is situated just 25km from the medieval walled city of Carcassonne in the village of Brugairolles.


Scroll down to see the Domaine Gayda wine tasting notes and scores


The family-owned estate was founded in 2003 by friends Anthony Record, a South African entrepreneur and Tim Ford, a British horticulturist and rose specialist.

The pair appointed Loire-born Vincent Chansault as their winemaker, persuading him to leave his post working for Marc Kent at South African winery Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek and return home to France where he has been ever since.

Origins

The venture started off with the estate – an 18th century farmhouse and Record’s former holiday home, with 12 hectares of land, but none under vine.

‘We started from scratch’ recalls Chansault, who brought his love of Loire grapes and freedom of expression in South Africa to this new Languedoc venture.

Domaine Gayda team

Domaine Gayda team: Tim Ford, winemaker Vincent Chansault and commercial manager David Chardron

Due to the limestone and sandstone soils, high pH and good rainall he opted, experimentally, to plant Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc alongside Mediterranean varieties Syrah and Viognier. He also chose straight away to eschew the appellation restrictions of Malepère in which the winery is physically located and instead decided to make wines under the IGP Pays d’Oc designation.

‘I never wanted to focus on just one place, I fell in love with so many, I was like a child with all their toys everywhere’, Chansault said during a Zoom call. ‘There was a similarity to South Africa in terms of diversity of soils, proximity to the ocean, as well as mountains and wide flat areas – it was such a playground’.

The team focused on soil analysis, rainfall and altitude factors to decide plantings and also to find plots of grapes to buy, but from day one there was an underlying energy to create wines of excellence with no preconceived ideas about specific varieties or terroirs.

An open mind, pioneering spirit and inherent curiosity have sustained 17 years of growth and transformation to a range that now spans 18  different labels. The estate owns 50 hectares under vine, all of which have been certified organic since 2011, with a future target of 80ha and buys grapes from all across the region.

All are labelled IGP Pays d’Oc with the exception of Villa Mon Rêve, the estate’s premium Cuvée, which is classified as AOP Minervois La Livinière.

Vineyard plots

Shortly after planting started on the chalky sandstone soils of Brugairolles, the team started looking to acquire other special plots in the region. They began with the Minervois appellations of La Livinière, paving the way for the creation of Chemin de Moscou, now the estate’s flagship wine.

‘At first it was all about La Livinière,’ Chansault said, highlighting specifically the special limestone terroir, the herbs of the garrigue and small vineyard plots in the mountains’. ‘This is an area where I truly believe quality lies’, he said.

Domaine Gayda grapes

Domaine Gayda grapes

They then added schist soils from plots bought in Roussillon and extended their mosaic of terroirs to include red clay in Saint-Paul-de-Fenouillet and granite in Latour-de-France, all with an underlying passion to create wines that champion the character of each place.

To do this, they opted for hand-crafted, single-vineyard fermentations using small tanks (15-100 hectolitres), 20-kg crates for harvesting and a selection of casks and vessels for fermentation and ageing.

‘It’s taken us years to get each style right and after 17 years we now know the vineyards that are most important to us’.

They are also committed to organics, and have since 2017 been working biodynamically. Working in harmony with nature and following that through to the final wine is of key importance. ‘We want to be as natural as possible’ said Chansault. No sulphur is used during fermentation and as little as possible during ageing. The team also sends wines to a laboratory for regular testing and has been working with Bordeaux consultant Thomas Duclot to become ‘more focussed’ in their approach.

Some of the estate’s labels have remained the same since inception – Chemin de Moscou while others such as the Figure Libre Freestyle range vary from year to year.

Domaine Gayda: a timeline

2003 Domaine Gayda founded
2004 Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc planted in Brugairolles and the estate acquired vineyards in La Livinière
2006 Wine tourism activities started with the opening of a restaurant and four on-site gites in the historic converted farm buildings
2007 First vintage of Chemin de Moscou released after spending two years maturing in oak casks
2008 Organic conversion underway
2011 Organic certification granted
2013 Winery expansion completed to cater for a new annual production topping 1 million bottles. All wines now bottled on site.
2015 First vintage of Villa Mon Rêve released
2017 Biodynamic practises started. The domaine acquired 18ha in Roussillon that was previously rented to secure the future of best-selling Chemin de Moscou. The end of the year also saw the launch of the new ‘En Passant’ range.
2018 The estate celebrated their 15th anniversary
2019 The 15th vintage of Chemin de Moscou and the creation of a brand new restaurant at the estate.


The ranges

Chemin de Moscou

Chemin de Moscou

Chemin de Moscou

The estate’s flagship wine and so called because Chemin de Moscou is the land registry name of the road leading to the vineyards surrounding the domaine. The wine is always Syrah dominant followed by Grenache and then Cinsault – the exact percentages vary but the hierarchy of grapes remains the same each year. The 2017 vintage for instance is 70% Syrah, 26% Grenache and 4% Cinsault.

‘Every year we add our best plots from Roussillon so it’s a blend of terroir but always the same terroir’ Chansault said.

Syrah: La Livinière, Latour de France, Calce, St Martin de Fenouillet & Brugairolles
Grenache: Tautavel & La Livinière
Cinsault: La Livinière

The wine undergoes two years of ageing, something the estate doesn’t want to change, however a nine vessel tasting in 2007 led them to decrease the proportion of new oak ageing as well as vinifying some Grenache in concrete eggs.

‘It’s always a mix, barrels are still important for Syrah but we find the Grenache fruit sometimes comes out better and brighter when it’s not constrained by so much new wood’.

The 2017 for instance spent 21 months in French oak : a third of the Syrah in ‘Burgundy’ new oak for nine months. Grenache and Cinsault in 500 litre ‘demi-muids’ and 2000 litre ‘foudres’ for nine months. Blending of the best barrels of each variety followed by a further 12 months maturation of the final blend in the same barrels.

Available for around £25.


Villa Mon Rêve

Domaine Gayda’s premium Syrah cuvee ‘the most beautiful in La Livinière’ says Chansault and the estate’s only appellation wine.

The name was inspired by a story about a stone cottage situated on the vineyard plots where the previous owner was caring for his ailing wife. She made a miraculous recovery and so the cottage became ‘Villa Mon Rêve’ the house of my dream.

The wine is made from north-east facing Syrah at 250m altitude on a limestone base (with a touch of Grenache) that is hand harvested at optimum ripeness. It reflects Gayda’s quest to display the quality of both grape and terroir.

One third of grapes are whole bunch fermented and two thirds destemmed without crushing. Natural fermentation and light pumpovers and punchdowns during four weeks of maceration. Ageing is in 2,000l oak barrels during 20 months without racking of the lees, bottled with no fining of filtration. The wine is then aged for 12 months before being released.

Available for around £40.


Figure Libre

Freestyle Blanc, Freestyle Rouge

Figure Libre freestyle is the name given to an ambitious range of wines designed to shake up conventions, breaking new ground for expressing the style of Languedoc and Roussillon wines.

‘These are unique wines with their own characters, it’s about having the freedom to source grapes that inspire me even though they’re all from different areas’, Chansault said.

The estate vinfies each grape and plot separately and could have ‘10 different Syrahs from 10 different vineyards’ and a thinking ‘outside the box’ mentality allows the meeting of grapes that wouldn’t ordinarily have ever come together.

Figure Libre

Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc

Away from the rigours of appellation rules, Loire varieties Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc were chosen as single varietal wines that would best express the sandstone terroir of Brugairolles.

Grapes were planted in 2004.

Available for around £15.


La Minuette Rosé

This pale-pink rosé comes from the limestone terroir of La Livinière and is a blend of Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. It is aged on lees for three months before being bottled.

Its blush colour and floral bouquet represent the Minuette variety of rose planted in Kenya by Tim Ford in 1982, during his 25 years of rose production in Africa.


En Passant
Rouge and Blanc

This limited-edition range is produced from purchased grapes and changes each year along with the labels which are designed as a storyboard through the vintages.

Showing the estate’s creativity, and inspired by The Passenger anthem by Iggy Pop, the red and white wines are made from a different vineyard, terroir and grape variety every vintage. The 2019 rouge is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Cinsault while the white is 75% Macabeu and 25% Muscat d’Alexandrie.


‘We want our wines to have personality, to show people an expression of the grapes and terroirs we’re working with’.

With a range that spans red, white and rosé, single-varietal wines and blends, and including good-value picks from £7/$10 up to £40/$50, there’s plenty to discover.


See the 10 Domaine Gayda wine tasting notes and scores


You may also like

Understanding IGP Pays d’Oc
My Top 20: Viognier wines beyond the Rhône
Premium: Gérard Bertrand: Behind the Languedoc labels plus 10 wines tasted

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Best whiskeys for a Manhattan https://www.decanter.com/spirits/best-whiskeys-for-a-manhattan-449723/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:30:14 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=449723 A whiskey Manhattan cocktail
Manhattan cocktail

Great rye whiskeys for your Manhattan...

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A whiskey Manhattan cocktail
Manhattan cocktail

This iconic cocktail first appeared in the late 19th century, with its origins still shrouded in mystery. Some insist that it first featured at the Manhattan Club in 1878. Others state it made its first appearance in William Schmidt’s book The Flowing Bowl, published in 1891.

There is also a hotly contested rumour that it was invented for Governor Samuel J Tildem’s electoral win party in 1874. The host of said party was supposedly Jennie Jerome, also known as Lady Randolph Churchill. The main flaw in this story however is that she was supposed to be in London giving birth to her son, Winston Churchill, at the time.

The star of the show here is whiskey, in particular rye, which is insisted on by purists and aficionados alike. It is thought that rye was preferred over bourbon as the style was popular with New Yorkers at the time. Bourbon can work equally well in the cocktail, particularly if you prefer a slightly sweeter style.

As Laura Foster writes in her guide to  the best whiskies for cocktails, ‘a useful starting place is to consider where in the world that whisky cocktail originated, and to look for products from the corresponding country.’

Next comes the vermouth. Both the type and amount of vermouth added will determine the style of Manhattan that is being made.

A Dry Manhattan calls for a dry vermouth (such as Martini Extra Dry or Noilly Prat). A Sweet Manhattan will be made with sweet vermouth (Cocchi Vermouth di Torino being a favourite of mine). While a Perfect Manhattan uses a mix of sweet and dry vermouth.

The profile is very much determined by both the choice of whiskey and vermouth (and indeed bitters) but like many classic cocktails, the beauty here is in its simplicity.

Whatever the style, when everything is in balance, this truly is a cocktail that’s hard to beat. Strong, spicy and satisfying.


How to make a Manhattan

Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Lemon or orange peel, cherry
Method: Pour the whiskey, vermouth and bitters into a mixing glass or shaker filled with ice and stir well to mix. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

Dry Manhattan
60ml rye or bourbon whiskey
30ml dry vermouth
2 dashes bitters (Angostura, aromatic or orange)
Small piece lemon peel to garnish

Sweet Manhattan
60ml rye or bourbon whiskey
30ml sweet vermouth
2 dashes bitters (Angostura, aromatic or orange)
Maraschino cherry to garnish

Perfect Manhattan
60ml rye or bourbon whiskey
15ml sweet vermouth
15ml dry vermouth
2 dashes bitters (Angostura, aromatic or orange)
Maraschino cherry or small piece lemon or orange peel to garnish

Best whiskeys for a Manhattan


Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye

Produced from select American rye grain with each bottle coming from a single barrel, this is a complex rye showing notes of caramel, cinder toffee and black pepper. As part of a Manhattan, this is rich, nutty and well-rounded with a citrusy finish. Alc 42.4%


Balcones Texas Rye

Pot distilled in small batches this is unmistakably rye showing a real spicy, warmth on the nose. The palate is packed full of savoury spice and roasted coffee flavours. The alcohol is well-balanced but would certainly lend itself to a sweeter style of Manhattan to further manage the burn. Alc 50%


FEW Rye

Hailing from Evanston, Illinois this is a truly superb rye that packs serious flavour. Roasted spice aromas lead to rich, punchy flavours of burnt sugar and orange peel. This mellows beautifully when mixed well with vermouth, making a satisfying and peppery Manhattan. Alc 46.5%


Ragtime Rye Whiskey

Straight rye produced by Brooklyn-based New York Distilling Company – and a perfect introduction to the style. Showing all the typical hallmarks of spice and pepper, these are tempered by a hint of caramel and a smooth finish. Well-suited to a Perfect Manhattan. Alc 45.2%


Rittenhouse Straight Rye 100 Proof

Aged for a minimum of four years, this is a classic rye with dried fruit aromas over hints of resin and cinnamon spice. Punchy and powerful on the palate with flavours of gingerbread and vanilla coming through. Ideal for a classic Manhattan but could also be used in an Old Fashioned or Vieux Carré. Alc 50%


Sazerac Straight Rye

An iconic New Orleans rye dating back to the 1800s when bars masqueraded as Coffee Houses and the legendary Sazerac cocktail was born. Aromas of aniseed, clove and sweet, toasted wood lead into flavours of liquorice and spiced vanilla. There is a herbal edge which complements the vermouth beautifully. Alc 45%


Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Canadian Whiskey

A Canadian rye made from 90% rye mash which results in a superbly balanced whisky showing aromas of dried fruit and butterscotch. The palate is surprisingly smooth with a delicious, velvety texture and creamy finish. The combination here would work well with a sweeter vermouth and garnish of maraschino cherry. Alc 45%


Adnams Rye Malt

Distilled in Southwold, Suffolk using 75% rye and 25% barley, this creates a characterful yet bold rye whisky showing serious amounts of spice on the nose. There are some fruity hints on the palate, but this is certainly a drier style of rye that stands up perfectly with vermouth and generous additions of bitters. Alc 47%


Templeton Rye Maple Cask Finish

Aged for two months in maple syrup casks this rye still delivers notes of baking spice aromas but with evident hints of maple and brown sugar. The palate isn’t as sweet as expected but certainly has a mellower feel. Just the style for a sweeter, more vermouth-led Manhattan. Alc 46%


You might also like:

Best whiskies for an Old Fashioned

Best whiskies for a Whisky Sour

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Decanter magazine latest issue: March 2021 https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/decanter-magazine-latest-issue-march-2021-452719/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 09:57:39 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452719

INSIDE THE  MARCH 2021 EDITION OF DECANTER… Celebrating Spain features: 10 stars of the Mediterranean – Sarah Jane Evans MW Rioja’s single vineyard revolution: where things stand – Tim Atkin MW Producer profile: Dominio de Pingus – David Williams My top 20: Cariñena – Sarah Jane Evans MW Regional profile: Somontano – Miquel Hudin Other […]

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INSIDE THE  MARCH 2021 EDITION OF DECANTER…

Celebrating Spain features:

  • 10 stars of the Mediterranean – Sarah Jane Evans MW
  • Rioja’s single vineyard revolution: where things stand – Tim Atkin MW
  • Producer profile: Dominio de Pingus – David Williams
  • My top 20: Cariñena – Sarah Jane Evans MW
  • Regional profile: Somontano – Miquel Hudin

Other features:

  • Vintage report: northern Rhône 2019 – Matt Walls
  • Rootstocks: little discussed, but critical to wine’s future – Alex Maltman

Read the new issue now on Decanter Premium app

Unlimited reviews | Exclusive articles | Recommendations | Priority booking | No ads


Spirits:

Buying guide:

  • Panel tastings:
    • Rioja gran reserva
    • Affordable California white
  • Expert’s choice: Spanish sparkling – Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW

Regulars:


Subscribe to the print magazine and enjoy great savings today

Snap up a cut-price subscription to Decanter, wherever in the world you are.

Good living:

  • Travel:
    • The best Sherry bars in Jerez –  Damien Gabet recommends 10 great tabancos
    • Mallorca Must-visit wineries, hotels and restaurants – Shawn Hennessey

Collectors:

  • Market watch
  • Fine wine price watch
  • Wine legends: Marqués de Griñón, Cabernet Sauvignon 198 – Stephen Brook

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Canadian Riesling: British Columbia's best buys https://www.decanter.com/premium/canadian-riesling-british-columbias-best-buys-452506/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 09:00:04 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452506 British Columbia Riesling - CedarCreek
CedarCreek's Riesling comes from its Home Block vineyard in Kelowna

The top 14 wines to try from Canada's most western province

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British Columbia Riesling - CedarCreek
CedarCreek's Riesling comes from its Home Block vineyard in Kelowna

COMING SOON: the top Rieslings from Eastern Canada

See all the highest-scoring Canadian Rieslings


Riesling is grown in all four key wine-producing provinces of Canada: from British Columbia in the west, to Ontario, Québec and Nova Scotia in the east.

Its winter-hearty properties and accomplishment in other cool regions made it a natural choice among intrepid souls who started experimenting with vinifera varieties in here in the 1970s.


Scroll down for Michaela Morris’ top British Columbia Rieslings



British Columbia Riesling: Michaela Morris’ top wines to buy


Want more? You might also enjoy…

Tawse Winery: producer profile and 10 wines

Okanagan: Canada’s global wine region

Nova Scotia: regional profile

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Dominio de Pingus: producer profile and latest releases tasted https://www.decanter.com/premium/dominio-de-pingus-producer-profile-and-latest-releases-tasted-452541/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 08:52:54 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452541 Bush vines at the famed Pingus La Horra vineyards
Bush vines at the famed Pingus La Horra vineyards

If you listen to the man responsible for its existence, the success of Spain’s most celebrated cult red wine is almost entirely down to forces beyond his control. Fate, good fortune, the right place at the right time… these are the motifs in Peter Sisseck’s story of how he came to hit the jackpot with […]

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Bush vines at the famed Pingus La Horra vineyards
Bush vines at the famed Pingus La Horra vineyards

If you listen to the man responsible for its existence, the success of Spain’s most celebrated cult red wine is almost entirely down to forces beyond his control.

Fate, good fortune, the right place at the right time… these are the motifs in Peter Sisseck’s story of how he came to hit the jackpot with his tiny-production Ribera del Duero in the mid-1990s – and how it continues to command some of the highest wine prices in Spain, a quarter of a century later.


Scroll down to see scores and tasting notes for the latest Pingus releases


But if it’s true that there’s something a little implausible about the story of Dominio de Pingus, then it’s also true that its telling might prompt the listener to pull a kind of reverse Lady Bracknell. To have one successful wine project may be regarded as fortunate, to have two (or three) looks, well… might it be that Sisseck deserves some credit himself?

The Pingus legend starts with Sisseck’s background, far from the vinous mainstream, in Denmark. But if his industrialist family ‘were not wine buffs, or “five-bottle men”’, Sisseck says, they nonetheless liked wine. A precocious interest soon developed. ‘Some people collected stamps; I collected wine labels.’


A Spanish great: the latest Pingus releases tasted


Read next:

Spanish wine in 2021: Top trends and the 10 bottles worth seeking out

10 great Spanish winemakers you need to know

Top 10 Spanish whites for your cellar

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Quality on the rise: Spain’s top white wines https://www.decanter.com/decanter-world-wine-awards/spains-top-white-wines-452645/ Wed, 03 Feb 2021 08:00:56 +0000 https://www.decanter.com/?p=452645

Rigorously tasted and rated at the Decanter World Wine Awards, explore the dry white wines from across Spain that scored highest...

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‘Spain is undergoing a quiet revolution in its vine-growing and winemaking practices’ says Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, and it is arguably Spanish white wines that have benefited most from this.

From classic regions to new places, and even new grape varieties, results from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 are indicative of this quiet quality revolution, with Spain receiving more awards for its white wines than any other year.


Co-Chair Sarah Jane Evans MW on judging Spanish wines at DWWA 2020

For me, Spain is the most exciting country in the world, so I come as a convert, but I think I could persuade  anyone. We’ve seen a real diversity of grapes. You think of Rioja when you think of Spain, or Ribera del Duero, but we’re seeing brilliant wines from very different grape varieties,  different producers – small producers rediscovering what their grandfathers had in their vineyards – and that excitement is absolutely coming through on the table. All over Spain, each flight has brought something super-great… it’s been a great voyage.


Rigorously tasted and rated at the competition last August, explore the dry white wines from across the country that scored highest…

Galicia 

Paco & Lola, Albariño, Rías Baixas 2019

97 points, Platinum
£12-£14 Sainsbury’s, Tesco
Scintillating. Stone-fresh, crunchy, vivid and pungent: everything you want on the palate, and more. An outstanding effort with beguiling and satisfying lime oil, pith and pounded rock to finish. Alcohol 12.5% 

Pazo Señorans, Selección de Añada Albariño, Rías Baixas 2011

97 points, Platinum
£46.17 (ib)-£59.99 Alliance Wine, Cellar Door Wines, Cheers, Cru, Drink Finder,  Hedonism, Museum Wines, Talking Wines, The Vinorium
Really expressive tropical fruit nose. Great mouthfeel with notes of pineapple, mango, lemon sherbet and a savoury, saline overlay. Exceptional intensity and length. Fabulous example of the ageing potential of the variety.  Won’t fall over any time soon. Alc 13.5% 

Chan de Rosas, Cuvée Especial Albariño, Rías Baixas 2019

96 points, Gold
N/A UK www.premiumfincas.com
A thoroughly appealing bouquet with honey, peach, apricot and spice all  contributing in harmony. Palate is crisp and creamy with notes of vanilla, lime and greengage. Overall length and balance can’t be faulted. Alc 13.5% 

Notas Frutales de Albariño, La Trucha Albariño Barrica, Rías Baixas 2016

96 points, Gold
N/A UK www.notasfrutales.com
Resplendent aromas of biscuit, caramel and butterscotch. The palate is creamy and broad with well-integrated smoky oak and lively acidity. Long, layered finish. Lots more to come, too. Very classy. Alc 13.5% 

Familia Torres, Pazo das Bruxas, Rías Baixas 2019

95 points, Gold
£11.95-£14.70 Blanco & Gomez, Fareham  Wine Cellar, TB Watson, Vinvm
This is intense, with exceptionally  concentrated fruit, mouthwatering acidity and a fine texture to the palate. Then there is the mineral finish that goes on and on. Could not be more different from the everyday Albariños. Alc 12.5%

Francisco García Pérez, Adega do Moucho Treixadura, Ribeiro 2017

95 points, Gold
N/A UK adegadomoucho@gmail.com
Complex orchard/stone fruit and citrus  aromas. The palate has sappy acidity and  honeyed fruit overlaid by refined, delicate oak, floral and vanilla notes. Memorable wine with a very long finish. Bravo! Alc 13.6% 

Pazo Señorans, Tras Los Muros  Albariño, Rías Baixas 2017

95 points, Gold
£54.99-£60 Alliance Wine, The Fine Wine  Co, The Vineyard Belfast
Earthy and caramel nose with hints of toasty new oak. Palate is lively and crisp with beautiful notes of vanilla, oak, mango and apricot. Long, compelling, nutty finish. Good ageing potential here. Lovely wine. Alc 13%

Ramón do Casar, Ribeiro 2019

95 points, Gold
N/A UK www.ramondocasar.es
Gold-plated class from the off, with siren-like aromas of citrus, white flowers and tropical fruits. Long and creamy, spice notes. Dances out through a long finish. Lovely! Alc 12.5% 

Rioja

Marqués de Tomares, Gran Reserva  2010

97 points, Platinum
N/A UK www.marquesdetomares.com
This is a seriously good wine, full of energy, with great line and length to its peach, apple and oak vanilla flavours, the balance also impeccable. The more you sit with it, the more reasonable the price seems. Alc 13% 

Nivarius, Edición Limitada 2016

97 points, Platinum
£13.95-£15 Experience Wine, The Northern Wine & Beer Co
Ripe tropical fruit, pear and peach nose with  a hint of smoke. Palate is broad, rich and full-flavoured with crisp supporting acidity and a lovely mineral texture. Very long and impressive finish. Wonderful! Alc 13.5%

Alvarez Alfaro, Garnacha Blanca 2019

93 points, Silver
N/A UK www.bodegasalvarezalfaro.com
This is a very big, youthful wine, with a crisp, lively mid-palate and tempting butterscotch notes. Will develop lovely  complexity. Alc 12.5% 

Castilla y Leon

Castelo de Medina, Fermentado en  Barrica Verdejo, Rueda 2018

96 points, Gold
£17 The Northern Wine & Beer Co
Very aromatic and tropical on the nose, showing pineapple, passionfruit, green mango and crème brûlée notes, alongside pleasant sweet spice from oak ageing. Fresh and juicy core, structured and balanced. Alc 13.5% 

Bodega Hermanos del Villar, Oro  de Castilla Verdejo, Rueda 2019

94 points, Silver
N/A UK www.orodecastilla.com
Lovely Verdejo aromas of nettles, lemon curd and fresh herbs. Bright, full-bodied and fleshy with pineapple, a squeeze of lime, banana and mango. Crisp and refreshing. Alc 13.2% 

Doña Beatriz, Verdejo, Rueda 2019

94 points, Silver
N/A UK www.bodegascerrosol.com
Green, lean, herbaceous style, with some  tomato leaf notes, a crisp and attractive,  ripe citrus character and a tingling finish.  A cut above the rest. Alc 13%

Catalonia

Altavins, Selecció, Terra Alta 2015

96 points, Gold
N/A UK www.altavins.com
Grapefruit and sweet vanilla aromas. Rich, fat and textured in the mouth, with bright, balanced acidity and a lingering, delightful finish. A great wine for those who like big, toasty, oaked whites. Alc 14%

Ca N’Estella, Gran Clot dels Oms  Chardonnay, Penedès 2017

95 points, Gold
N/A UK www.fincacanestella.com
Complex citrus fruit, nectarine, white blossom and sweet spice aromatics. Fresh and zesty palate with grapefruit pith and well-integrated, creamy oak. Stunning and refined wine that makes one pine for another glass. Will age well. Alc 13% 

Eccociwine, Can Noves Blanc 2018

93 points, Silver
N/A UK www.eccocivi.com
Apples and pears on the nose, then the palate is silky and mouthwateringly fresh. A wine that has very interesting smoky characters, along with greengages, juicy lemons and grapefruit, and an appealing pithiness. Alc 14% 

Aragon

Viñas del Vero, La Miranda de Secastilla Garnacha Blanca, Somontano 2018

93 points, Silver
£12.50-£13.99 Amps, Martinez Wines, Songbird Wines, The Oxford Wine Co, Thorne Wines
Lovely and varietally precise! Pure, singing freshness, floral notes, lemon curd, bitter lemons and fresh herbs. Honeyed, with a long finish. Alc 13.5% 

Basque Country

Astobiza, Malkoa Single Vineyard Ondarrabi Zuri, Txakolí de Alava 2016

93 points, Silver
POA Ehrmanns
Brilliantly vivid, multilayered and complex, with thrilling acidity and notes of jasmine, roasted almond and honey. Waxy and saline finish, very long. Alc 12.5% 

Andalucia

Barbadillo, As de Mirabrás, Cádiz  2019

92 points, Silver
£16.99 Les Caves de Pyrene, RS Wines, The Solent Cellar
Smoky toasty aromas. Full of flavour and enlivened with bright acidity. Chalky texture with stony freshness, and then a  flood of fruit coming behind. Intense, salty and long. Alc 14% 


Search all DWWA 2020 results

DWWA 2021 entries are open – enter now


DWWA 2020 medal stickers

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