This one has been a part of us for a long long time. Think it's finally time we had another look at it. Ladies and gentlemen, the Silver Buckle!

Rutherford Ranch Winery is located on Napa Valley’s historic Silverado Trail in one of the area’s most renowned sub-appellations. Certification by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance is a testament to the family’s three generation commitment to sustainable, Earth-friendly wine growing and winemaking practices.

Influential wine writer Robert Parker described Rutherford Ranch wines as one of Napa’s outstanding values.

The family welcomes visitors to tour the estate vineyards and enjoy the warm hospitality of their tasting room.



Rutherford Ranch Silver Buckle, Ranchero Red 2014 @ £19.95 - Buy it here!

Heavy winter rains followed by mild spring weather (few evening frosts or daytime heat spikes) allowed slow, even ripening for red varietals to develop deep color and intense flavors and character. Multiple sources of specialty toasted French oak, along with the addition of Zinfandel, give the blend its unique and lively spice quality

Sounds like an interesting choice doesn't it? Come and give it a go! Cheers!

Another slightly more expensive one for you today but this is a personal favourite for sure. Chapoutier were at the top of their game with this one...

The Chapoutier family can trace their history in the Rhône region back to 1808, but it was in 1879 that Polydor Chapoutier bought his first vineyards and started the actual business. In the mid-20th century Max Chapoutier led the business, until his retirement in 1977, after which his sons Michel Chapoutier and Marc Chapoutier took over. Some years later, during the 1980s, quality improved, under Michel Chapoutier's leadership over the vineyards and winemaking facilities. By the late 1980s, Chapoutier had started to receive considerable international attention for the wines' quality.

Chapoutier was the first wine producer to introduce braille on its labels, starting in 1994 with the Monier de la Sizeranne Hermitage wine. By 1996 this was expanded to include all wines bottled and sold by the Chapoutier winery. Michel Chapoutier had the idea to include braille on the label after hearing his friend the singer Gilbert Montagné, who is blind, explaining on TV that he would have to take someone with him into the store in order to identify each bottle of wine.

M. Chapoutier 'Les Granits' Saint Joseph blanc 2009 @ £49.95 - Buy it here!

"The selections parcellaires whites tasted include the 2009 St.-Joseph Les Granits Blanc (789 cases), which may be the best buy' of all these selections parcellaires. This 100% Marsanne cuvee exhibits an amazing honeyed, orange marmalade character intermixed with notions of crushed rocks, spring flowers, quince, and white currants. Full-bodied and unctuously textured yet remarkably fresh and vibrant, it should drink nicely for 15-20 years." Robert Parker 96/100

 

This stuff is serious business. Definitely worth a look! Cheers!

It's been a while since we spoke about something with real character. This jewel is from Il Poggione and really is a stand out bottle.

Il Poggione is a winery steeped in history with its origins dating back to the late 1800s. Owned by Leopoldo and Livia Franceschi, it is situated below the beautiful hilltop town of Sant’Angelo in Colle, a part of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation characterised by temperate, yet well-ventilated micro-climate. This benefits the grapes by maintaining refreshing acidity levels and extending their ripening time.

Father and son winemaking team Fabrizio and Alessandro Bindocci coax the best from these privileged vineyard sites; they are also proponents of a traditional wine-making style which includes submerging the cap with frequent pump overs (for more colour and tannin extraction), and ageing in large casks (so that wood flavours remain subtle and do not interfere with the natural expression of the Sangiovese and the Sant’Angelo terroir).

The Riserva bottling, made in the finest vintages, receives at least one year extra ageing in French oak casks. The typical style is intense, full-bodied, powerful, packed with dark fruit, menthol, sweet smoke, cocoa and spice flavours and a hint of earthiness.

In the best vintages the wines demonstrate extraordinary development in bottle. Even better, prices have remained very reasonable, considering the superb quality of the wine. Poggione’s  straight Brunello is one of the most fairly-priced, cellar worthy wines of the appellation.

 

This is a benchmark property for fine, traditionally made Brunellos capable of ageing superbly.

Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2010 @ £52.95 - Buy it here!

This is a wine that reflects the more modern end of the styles in Brunello, it always has rich, lush fruit and in 2010 it is perfectly held in check by a cool freshness. Alongside the lovely cherry fruit, there are floral characters and toasted spice a wine with a sensual character.

Sound good? I thought so. These guys really know their stuff. Come and give it a go! Cheers!

Haven't spoken about this one as of yet but I probably should have done as people have been lapping it up. This new pinot noir from Burgundy has been exactly what we needed. Let's have a look.

Domaine Dupré was founded in the early 1950s with only 3 hectares of vines, along with cereals and livestock. By 1990, when Jean-Christophe joined his father, they farmed 12 hectares of only vineyards. After absorbing several other smaller holdings, today Domaine Dupré covers 26 hectares, 40% of which are planted with Chardonnay.

The choice of grapes is guided by the soils and micro-climates. The domaine’s 7.5 hectares of Chardonnay vines for their Macon Villages, are on south-west facing slopes in the commune of Royer at 300 meters of altitude. The vines average 25 years of age and are planted on an ideal white marl (marne blanche) soil, which is a porous mixture of limestone and clay, the same as found in many more “prestigious” Cote d’Or sites. The combination of the cool microclimate and the ideal soil and exposition allows the Duprés to harvest their Macon Villages fruit late, enhancing the wine’s complexity and vigor. Dupré plants grass between the vine rows and cut it only twice per year. The grass serves to check erosion, limit yields, enrich the soil and foster a healthy natural ambiance.

The Duprés also prune severely by using the Cordon Royat method, with only one cane. “Viticulture raisonnée is not a vain word for me” states Jean-Christophe Dupré, who has installed a weather station on his property to guide his vineyard work to attain perfectly ripe and healthy fruit. Only organic fertilizers are used when necessary. At harvest, the fruit is quickly and very lightly pressed to attain juice that is as clear as possible from the outset. Fermentation occurs over 3 weeks in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks, never exceeding 20C. The Dupré Macon Villages develops on its ne lees for six months, and undergoes malolactic fermentation, in tanks. It is then clarified just before bottling in April. The Dupré Macon Villages combines an intensity and purity of fruit with freshness, verve and minerality that is exceptional for its appellation.



Dom. Dupre Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2015 @ £17.95 - Buy it here!

The combination of the relatively cool microclimate and the ideal soil and exposition allows the Duprés to harvest late, enhancing the wine’s complexity and richness. The richly textured, round, fresh and expressive old-vines Pinot Noir character of the Dupré Bourgogne Rouge puts it on the same level as the finest Bourgogne Rouges made in Burgundy today.

A truly fantastic example of pinot noir. And not one to be missed! Cheers!

It hasn't been the longest of waits but after a brief break our fabulous Amarone is back in stock. Unsurprisingly it won't hang around long but let's find out a bit more...

The Torre del Falasco wines are the standard bearers of this co-operative, situated in the Valpantena, northeast of Verona. Known as the ’valley of god’ to the ancient Greeks, this area is well-known for its high quality red wines, due partly to the soils but also because of the cool breeze that blows down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites. Run by Luca Degani since 1995, the Cantina di Valpantena is now one of Italy’s best co-operatives, with 700 hectares of vineyard producing excellent quality fruit. Matt Thomson makes some of the Alpha Zeta wines here and has worked closely with them since 1999.

Torre del Falasco Amarone della Valpolicella 2012 @ £28.95 - Buy it here!

Deep ruby in colour, this wine has aromas of plums, spice and dried fruit compôte, which give way to a solid tannin structure that supports the concentrated, dried-cherry fruit character. Long and spicy on the finish, with a bitter cherry-chocolate twist characteristic of good Amarone.

Come grab a few of this beautiful beast. We love it!

 

Nice simple photo today. Helps to show off a beautiful wine without all of the frills. This one has been a long time coming!

Picpoul has been around for over 400 years, and is experiencing a revival in popularity. Terrasses del la Mer is made in the L'Etang de Thau area of the Languedoc wine region, where wine producers have, over the past few years, upped their game so that they appeal to a more international audience. Good quality and great value for money. 

Terrasses de la Mer Picpoul de Pinet 2017 @ £17.95 - Buy it here!

The perfect wine for a summer's day; bone dry and refreshing with flavours of lemons, apples and a mere hint of almonds it makes an excellent alternative to sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio. 

Trust me when I say that it is the perfect drink to have in the sun. Beautiful. Cheers!