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Iona One Man Band 2008
Iona Estate in Elgin has built a formidable reputation for its cool climate white wines. But here winemaker Andrew Gunn has sprung a bit of surprise with a full-on, powerful red that is aged in French oak barrels (25% new) and is a pan-French blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and bits and pieces of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and the white grape Viognier. The wine pours a really intense, glass-staining purple colour and has a soaring nose, very expressive of kirsch and violet, with peppery and clove notes too. On the palate this is beautifully pure and supple, the 14% alcohol sitting comfortably within dense, fleshy fruit, very ripe and polished tannins and a framework of both chocolaty richness and pert acidity. It's a smooth devil of a wine this, but a very nice one for beef or game. 92/100.

Wine-Pages.com - Tom Cannavan January 2013

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Leyda Syrah Reserva, Leyda Valley 2010
This beautiful spicy, savoury Syrah is taut, toasty and irresistibly moreish. Snap up before the price heads north. 19/20 pts

Peter Richards MW - Decanter Magazine - February 2013

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2010 Le Limoux, Château Rives Blanques
This comes from my good friends Jan and Caryl Panman and is a blend of 42% Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay 40% and Mauzac 18%, in other words the three white varieties that you find in sparkling Limoux, Blanquette or Crémant. And they make for delicious still wine. Light colour. Some intriguing herbal notes on the nose, and on the palate a touch of oak and good acidity and some intriguing dry honeyed notes. It should age beautifully and become richer and fuller in the palate.

Rosemary George MW - Taste Languedoc - January 21st, 2013

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Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Red 2010
There is usually a touch of wildness to red wines from the precarious, steep slopes of the Douro valley. Here a blend of port grapes (touriga nacional, tinta roriz and touriga franca) combine to give a sturdy red that seems tinged with cloves and a lift of mulberries. An old favourite on top form.

Tormentoso Chenin Blanc Reserve 2011
The very thought of this makes my mouth water. Modern but with soul, made from bush-vine chenin, it tastes like hard white peaches with ripe pears and green mango, and converted a few Kiwi sauvignon fans when I opened it at home.

Victoria Moore, Telegrapgh - December 7th, 2012

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Fontanafredda, Barolo DOCG, Vigna La Rosa
Aromas of porcini mushrooms and dried roses. Still a little closed, but it has fine structure and a long, juicy finish of liquorice and dried fruit.

Castello di Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico
Defined black cherry on the nose with hints of rose and sandalwood. Intense, juicy palate followed by quite an oaky progression and a broad finish with areturn of the sweet fruit.

Yealands Estate, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
A more restrained example of Kiwi Sauvignon, with a stony, herb-infused, citrus nose. The textured, mid-weight palate is lemony and grassy.

Peller Icewine Vidal
Intense flavours of honey, lemons and greengages brought to life by vivid acidity, Well balanced, with a long, mouthwateringly fresh finish. Handles its 185g/l of residual sugar with poise.

François Mikulski, Meursault 1er Cru Les Genevrières
Lush toasty nose, ripe apples, flowers, honey and dry herbs. Very pure Chardonnay on the palate, Sleek texture, beautifully controlled and expressed. Not yet showing all its flair, this is a fine wine with a very good future ahead of it.

Decanter Magazine - January 2013

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Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch 2010
With its deep and inviting mix of honeyed apples, honeysuckle, acacia and honeyed almonds, this rich chenin blanc has long been one of the country's best wines, and is a match for many a starrier name.

The Observer, 20 Best Christmas Wines, David Williams - November 18th, 2012

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Planeta, La Segreta Rosso 2011
The Planeta family has done more than anyone else to lift the reputation of Sicilian wine. This longstanding classic is an affordable way into their extensive and very smart range – a slick, explosively juicy, pasta-friendly red blend based on the local nero d'avola variety full of ripe red fruit, dark cherry and the faintest twist of typically Italianate bitterness.

The Observer, David Williams - October 21, 2012

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Domaine Brusset, Côtes du Ventoux Les Boudalles 2011
Laurent Brusset is a phenomenal winemaker and his power-packed, sensual red Rhône wines are amazing. This is the newly released, entry level red in his portfolio and it is a gem, borrowing expertise from wines four times its price. Do not miss out on this incredible find.

Daily Mail, Matthew Jukes - October 13, 2012

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Anselmi, San Vincenzo IGT 2011

Trimbach, Riesling Réserve 2009

Iona Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Planeta, Santa Cecilia 2007

Heartland Shiraz Langhorne Creek

Yealands Estate, Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Red 2010

Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaïque NV1

Oz Clarke, My Top wines for 2013 - October 2012

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Massard, El Brindis 2010
A rich blend of Catalonia's samso with garnacha whose oppulent, dark-cherry core is whipped into shape by spicy oak and fresh acidity.

Independent, Anthony Rose - 6th October 2012

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Planeta, Carricante 2011
A fragrant white whose apple- and lime-zingy aromas are complemented by a deliciously full-bodied stonefruit richness with a bone-dry finish.

Independent, Anthony Rose -September 2012

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Chateau Rives-Blanques Blanquette de Limoux 2010
Lively fizz here, plenty of big bouncy bubbles and a crunch of apple, with some toasty, yeasty depths. Could take on cheese, pastry or pâté canapés.

Susy Atkin, Telegraph -August 2012

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Ailala Treixadura Ribeiros Do Avia 2010
I found this wine very appetising with a rather smoky nose and some citrus notes. There was substantial fruit on the mid palate without a lot of alcohol - just 13%. There is excellent balance of fruit and acidity and this very well made wine with a good, punchy finish, is bone dry.

Jancis Robinson Wine of the Week -July 2012

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Ailala Treixadura Ribeiros Do Avia 2010
I found this wine very appetising with a rather smoky nose and some citrus notes. There was substantial fruit on the mid palate without a lot of alcohol - just 13%. There is excellent balance of fruit and acidity and this very well made wine with a good, punchy finish, is bone dry.

Jancis Robinson Wine of the Week -July 2012

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Planeta, La Segreta Bianco 2011
An unusual Sicilian blend of mostly Grecancio with 30% Chardonnay, and 10% each of Fiano and Viognier, this confirms Planeta's status as one of the most innovative producers on the island. It's aromatic and winningly tropical, with hints of pineaapple and guava, zesty, pear and apple acidity and a fresh, dry, unoaked finish. The whole is greater than the sum of the wine's parts. 90 points.

Tim Atkin -June 2012

Press ReviewDecanter Award Winners

Trophy Winners

Leyda Sauvignon Blanc Garuma Vineyard Leyda Valley 2011

Falernia Syrah Reserva Elqui Valley 2008

Planeta, Chardonnay 2009

Blanc de Blanc, Champagne Henriot NV

Gold Winners

Trimbach, Gewurztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre 2004

Peller Icewine Vidal 2008

Silver Winners

Leyda Chardonnay Reserva Leyda Valley 2011

Yealands Estate, Black Label Gruner Veltliner 2011

Lawson's Dry Hills 'The Pioneer' Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Ruggeri, Prosecco Brut Quartese DOC NV

Poliziano, Rosso di Montepulciano 2009

Bouza Albarino Las Violetas Canelones 2010

Lawson's Dry Hills Pinot Noir 2008

Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Superior 2010

Marqués de Riscal, Finca Montico Rueda 2010

Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Reserva, Old Vines 2009

Ken Forrester FMC Chenin Stellenbosch 2010

Planeta, Santa Cecilia 2007

Champagne Jacquart, Brut Mosaïque NV

Ridgeview, Grosvenor Cuvée Merret (Blanc de Blancs) 2009

Skillogalee Liqueur Muscat NV

Brut Souverain, Champagne Henriot NV

Jermann, Vintage Tunina IGT 2009

Poliziano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Vigna Asinone 2006

Santadi, Terre Brune 2007

Brut Rosé, Champagne Henriot NV

Marqués de Riscal, Baron de Chirel Reserva 2005

Vintage, Champagne Henriot 2003

Champagne Jacquart, Brut de Nominée NV

Decanter World Wine Awards  2012

Press ReviewGold Winners

Skillogalee Basket Pressed Cabernet 2007

La Chapelle d'Escurac Medoc 2009

Cave de Saumur Blanc La Cabriole 2010

Jermann, Red Angel IGT, Pinot Nero 2009

Santadi, Vermentino di Sardegna, Villa Solais 2010

Bestue, Rosado, Somontano 2010

Leyda Sauvignon Blanc Garuma Vineyard Leyda Valley 2011

Crianza, Pago de los Capellanes 2008

Heartland Shiraz Langhorne Creek Limestone Coast 2009

Sommelier Wine Awards  2012

Press ReviewPress

Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quite a restrained style and very elegant, with nice, spicy oak characters. It has much more to offer on the palate than the nose suggests: fresh, elegant and vibrant red and black sweet fruit and good intensity.

Vina Leyda, Sauvignon Blanc, Single Vineyard Garuma, Leyda Valley 2011
Restrained eucalyptus, forest, kiwi fruit, mineral, pea pod, citrus and grapefruit nose. Dense, spicy and layered with minerality and complexity. The fruit is dry, savoury and pithy. A unique style.

Decanter -June 2012

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2007 Biferno Rosso Riserva, Camillo de Lellis
It has a soft, dusty-bramble lead-in, a warm but gentle spice (the wine’s aged for up to three years in big old Slavonian barrels, which means the wood has a relaxed farmhouse feel), a generous swoosh of sour red cherry acidity and, the thing that makes it, a little feral elbow of something dark, like lava, that comes from the aglianico and gives it interest. It’s pleasing to find a wine of this price that’s had a chance to mellow a little, too: at five years old it hasn’t been churned through the winery, pushed into a bottle and sold at the earliest opportunity. And it shows; this is a wine that feels like it’s had time to hang out.

Telegraph  Victoria Moore, 27th April 2012

Press ReviewPress

Quinta Do Crasto, Douro Reserva 2009
Lovely berry fruit, violet, beet root, earth and a generous lick of oak on the nose. It promises and delivers a velvety texture and has a well-covered tannin structure. It has lovely depth of flavour and just a hint of savoury oak. Elegant and linear. Drink 2012-2018. 17.5/20

Decanter -May 2012

Press ReviewPress

2011 Golden Fleece, Pecorino, Umani Ronchi
A new wine to me from an incredible producer, Golden Fleece is a luxurious, wild honey and lemon balm-kissed beauty from the Marche region of central Italy. It is utterly stunning with this week’s roast stuffed salmon with salsa verde recipe.

Matthew Jukes  -31st March, Daily Mail 2012

Press ReviewPress

Meinert Synchronicity Devon Valley
A luscious, moreish mix of loganberry and cigar box. The considerable oak has been judiciously applied, allowing the individuality of the blend to shine.

Klein Constantia, Vin de Constance
An iconic wine, and the 2005 has that essential acid backbone to keep everything dynamic and fresh. Seductive, expressive, peach, jasmine and angelica. Very long.

Nancy Gilchrist MW -Decanter April 2012

Press ReviewPress

Domaine de la Janasse, Châteauneuf du Pape Chaupin 2006
95 Points. The 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin’s deep ruby/purple hue is followed by a phenomenal nose of black cherry liqueur, melted licorice, incense, asphalt, truffles, and a hint of earth. This dense, full-bodied effort is a candidate for wine of the vintage. Consume it over the next 12-13 years.

Domaine de la Janasse, Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 2008
The 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 1,000-case blend of 70% old vine Grenache (60- to 100-year-old vines) and 30% Mourvedre (a much higher percentage than normal). One of the top half-dozen Chateauneuf du Papes of the vintage, it boasts a dark plum/ruby/purple color, full body, light to moderate tannin and lots of white chocolate, licorice, black currant, kirsch, incense and jus de viande characteristics. This beauty can be drunk now or cellared for a decade. It is a remarkable achievement for a vintage such as 2008.

Domaine de la Janasse, Châteauneuf du Pape Chaupin 2010 - Please contact Tom King for details
98-100 Points - A potential candidate for perfection is the 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape Chaupin, which may turn out to eclipse my favorite Chaupin to date, the 2007, and closely behind it, the 2009. Dense blackish/purple, with extraordinary intensity, precision and focus, this wine is very backward due to the higher acids in this vintage, but has a layered, skyscraper-like texture and a stunning nose of kirsch, black raspberries, lavender, and spice box. Some licorice also makes an impression. Enormously concentrated yet relatively delicate and light on its feet for a wine that is probably 15%-plus in alcohol and as concentrated as this is, it should be a future legend of Chateauneuf du Pape and evolve for 20-25 years.

Domaine de la Janasse, Châteauneuf du Pape Tradition 2010 - Please contact Tom King for details
91-93+ Points - The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is a more restrained wine, and Christophe Sabon surprised me when he said, “It has the fruit of 2003 and the acidity levels of 2006.” It is a much more reserved wine, with an inky purple color, loads of black fruits, smoke, and earth, very good acidity and moderate tannin. This blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and the rest Mourvedre displays plenty of tannin, so this wine probably does need 4-5 years of cellaring to shed some of its structure. It should drink well for 15-20 years and will certainly outlive the more precocious 2009.

Robert Parker -erobertparker.com

Press ReviewPress

Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir Central Otago
A stylish, early-drinking Pinot Noir made in the stunning region where the Lord of the Rings was filmed. With silky-smooth black cherry fruit and an ethereal aroma of wile cherries, this is a thoroughly enchanting wine.

Matthew Jukes -Daily Mail, February 2012

Press ReviewPress

Planeta, Santa Cecilia 2007
Complex, with evident ripeness; powerful but with minerality and restraint. Still relatively youthful, with firm backbone. Stylish example of modern Nero d’Avola. 5* 19/20

Planeta, Carricante 2010
Bright fruitiness, with a touch of minerality and steel. Crisp, fresh palate, revealing stone furit and medium weight. Modern expression of Carricante. 5* 18.5/20

Peter McCombie - Decanter Magazine, Italy 2012, February 2012

 

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