As the sun's out I thought that a quick chat about a refreshing bottle of white might be a good idea. The Izadi Blanco is possibly the best choice for a day like today.

Owned and run by Lalo Anton and his family, 'Izadi', which means 'nature' in the Basque language, is a project established from a passion for gastronomy and wine. The estate was founded in 1987 by Gonzalo Anton, Lalo's father, who at the age of 37 and with a background in restaurants, decided to create his own winery with the aim of producing modern, perfumed, food friendly wines that are true to their roots and a natural expression of the area. As well as the winery, the family also run the Michelin-starred restaurant, Zaldiaran, in nearby Vitoria.

The winery sits in the small village of Villabuena in the Rioja Alavesa, the highest part of the region, at 400-600 metres above sea level. Izadi own 178 hectares of vineyards but also source from an additional 108 hectares. Importantly, whether leased or owned, the old vines have an average age of 45 years. They are located in the triangle formed by the three villages of Villabuena, Samaniego and Abalos. Due to the high altitude, there is a dramatic difference (up to 20°C) in temperature between night and day, which encourages the development of aromatics in the grapes. The distinctive white calcareous soils are mainly planted with old Tempranillo vines, traditionally bush trained for better exposure to the sun and ranging from 30-100 years old. Once picked, the grapes arrive at the bodega, which is on a steep slope with 50 metres of incline. This allows for a gravity-flow winery, ensuring less pumping, which can stress the wines.

Izadi Rioja Blanco 2018 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!
This wine is straw yellow in colour with youthful tones. With succulent citrus and yellow stone fruit on both the nose and the palate, this well-balanced wine has good structure and acidity.

Come and get it. Itll make your weekend, I assure you. Cheers!

New new new! We love an English wine and whenever we can add a new beauty we will leap on the opportunity. This is something we've been after for a while and now we can find out all about it!

Hush Heath Estate, situated in Kent, dates back to 1503. At the heart of the property is a Tudor manor surrounded by 162 hectares of perfectly manicured gardens, vineyards and apple orchards. Forward thinking Richard Balfour-Lynn first planted vineyards on the property in 2002, with the aim of making England's finest sparkling Rosé, Balfour Brut. Today, Hush Heath's 15 hectares of vineyards and 8 hectares of apple trees are meticulously and sustainably managed by a family of viticulturists.

They recently launched a non-vintage, Leslie’s Reserve, and the Hush Heath range comprises of still wines, Skye's English Chardonnay, Manor Pinot Noir and Nanette's English Rosé. Their orchards also produce Jake's Kentish cider and, a unique new product, a Sparkling English Apple Wine. These are all made from estate grown fruit by winemakers Owen Elias and Victoria Ash. Owen Elias, both winemaker and cider maker, is a four-time winemaker of the year by the UK Vineyards Association and has nearly 20 years experience making English wines.

Balfour Hush Heath Estate Luke's Pinot Noir 2018 @ £21.95 - Buy it here!
Bright ruby red, with a very clean and aromatic nose. Classic cool climate Pinot Noir characteristics with cherry, violets and blackberry. The palate is light and fresh, ripe red berry and cherry flavours supported by a touch of sweet spice.

This stuff will keep the Burgundians on their toes. The quality is just amazing. Cheers!

Today we look at a brand new white which we are already massive fans of. A great producer working with a fantastic grape will always make an awesome final product.

Rapitalà, much like Sicily itself, is a mosaic of influences that comes together to create its unique identity. A marriage of Sicilian soul and French know-how, Rapitalà showcases the power and personality of Sicilian terroir with an elegant, French winemaking style.

In 1968, the French-born Count Hugues Bernard de la Gatinais, and his wife, Gigi Guarrasi from Palermo, inherited this estate from the Guarrasi family after it was destroyed by an earthquake. The winery was soon rebuilt and vineyards were replanted to include not only indigenous varieties, but beloved French varieties as well. At the forefront of the quality revolution in Sicily, Rapitalà was one of the first five producers on the island to offer estate bottled wines, starting with the 1976 vintage.

Today, Rapitala’s over 550 contiguous acres are divided into 180 unique vineyard parcels. Each parcel is managed, harvested and vinified separately, crafting optimal terroir expressions. As a result, Rapitalà has one of the longest harvest seasons, starting in August and ending in November, to ensure that each variety and parcel is picked at the right moment.

Tenuta Rapitala Grillo 2018 @ £11.95 - Buy it here!
This is a classic Sicilian style with aromas of citrus fruit, wildflower blossom and herbs, and a hint of barley sugar on the nose. It’s perfect with light pasta dishes, fish and poultry.

We have a few bottles available for you so don't miss your chance to grab one before it disappears. Cheers!

 

Today, we return to our roots. Domaine Gayda have been with us since our humble beginnings and they shall continue to grace our shelves. This one is pretty well known by you guys but sometimes it's nice to learn a little more, don't you think?

Situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees, surrounded by its vineyards, Domaine Gayda is a new destination in the Languedoc, 25km south west of Carcassonne, in the village of Brugairolles. Domaine Gayda has a passion for the traditional ‘cépages’ grown across the many diverse soils and climates of their vineyards situated throughout the Languedoc, giving “Provenance” to all the wines. While the grapes are rooted in tradition, the winery itself is all about the new, with investments in all the latest equipment and technology.

The latest addition to the estate’s collection is a limited edition range designed as an ode to Domaine Gayda’s spirit of creativity and inventiveness.

Inspired by The Passenger, the classic pop-rock anthem by Iggy Pop, its inherently restless character is expressed through a red and a white wine that are made from a different vineyard, terroir and grape variety every vintage, underscoring its ephemeral nature. This ‘rolling stone’ concept is clearly mirrored in the labelling of En Passant with constantly changing imagery designed as a storyboard.

Domaine Gayda 'En Passant' Rouge 2017 @ £14.95 - Buy it here!
Dark in colour, with aromas of black fruits, violets and a little spice. Fresh on the palate, with juicy fruit, good tannins and a hint of liquorice

A genuine beauty. And not a bad price for it either. Cheers!

 

Pinot noir is a staple of any wine drinkers cellar. From simple and easy new world pinots to elegant and complex Burgundian examples. This one is of the latter category and is head and shoulders above many of its competitors.

The Ragot family have traced their wine growing history back to 1760 when Gabriel Ragot tended vines in Mercurey. About a century later, Louis Ragot established a property in Givry. There he not only grew grapes, but also a number of different crops and raised livestock.

Two centuries after the Ragot family began their winemaking, they chose to abandon their other sources of income and focus solely on their five hectares of grapes. By 1973, all of the production on the property, having grown to 7 hectares, was sold in bottle around France. The name of the domaine changed from Ragot Frères to Domaine Ragot, and was run by cousins Jean-Paul and Jean-Pierre Ragot.

Domaine Ragot 'Givry' Vieilles Vignes 2012 @ £30.95 - Buy it here!
"The 2012 Givry Vieilles Vignes has that lovely red currant and red-plum bouquet, this time with accentuated floral scents. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky texture and a refined blackberry finish." Robert Parker 

Not much of this left so don't miss your chance to get a couple before it's gone for good! Cheers!

Notorious Pink. We absolutely cannot get enough of this stuff and if you've never given it a go then you're just missing out. Everything about it just shouts "DRINK ME!".

Notorious Pink is a special blush cuvée made from 100% Grenache, the leading grape varietal at Domaine la Colombette in the south of France’s Lanquedoc region. The innovative name, packaging and luxury appeal are the creation of Notorious Wines Inc. Notorious Pink Rosé on it’s own works as a “session” beverage, meaning, you can sip on it responsibly throughout an activity and not worry about getting overly intoxicated. It’s relatively lower alcohol than drinking cocktails and lower in sulphites than white or red wine. Because it’s dry, it yields a lot less calories too.

Notorious Pink Rose 2018 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!
Blush pink in color, Notorious Pink is very aromatic with citrus and red fruit. Floral with crisp and refreshing mineral character.

Simple and amazing. You'll be back for more before you know it. Cheers!