Always a popular one here. The Rosso Conero already has a fond place in many of your hearts but for the rest of you here's a bit more info...

The Cantine Belisario co-operative was founded in 1971. Today, it is the biggest producer of Verdicchio in the Matelica DOC, a smaller zone than Castello di Jesi. The climate here is more continental than in Castelli di Jesi and the combination of warm days and cool nights gives a longer growing season, and lovely aromatic qualities to the wines.

The vineyard is located in the Le Marche region, in the Conero Riviera and Natural Park. Surrounded by hills and sea, this is one of the most evocatively beautiful areas on the Adriatic coast. The soil here is rich in limestone and marl. The vineyard's distinctive geographical and climactic features combine to produce grapes of exceptional quality.

A mild winter and spring saw vines developing around two weeks ahead of schedule in April. However, clouds and cool days slowed things down quickly and a wet summer made for a lot of work in the vineyards. Disease pressure meant that vineyard management and selection was necessary in order to harvest healthy grapes. Yields were lower than 2013’s bumper crop and slightly below average for the region. The weather in September and during harvest was good and as a result many producers are pleased with the vintage as a whole.

Cantine Belisario Rosso Conero 2015 @ £13.95 - Buy it here!

The wine opens with earthy aromas of tilled soil along with notes of cherries, black fruit and espresso. The palate delivers bright red cherries, notes of mocha and a good tannic structure, making the wine very pleasant and enjoyable to drink.

That tasting note is not only spot on but also so enticing. Honestly it is one of the safest buys for summer. Cheers!

Prosecco is big at this time of year for sure. Almost everyone who comes in is after a bit of cold, dry fizz. Shall we have a look at one of ours? I think so!

Ca' di Alte was created by winemaker Alberto Marchisio. Although Piemontese himself, he has been working in the Veneto for some years. He joined Cantina Colli Vicentini as director and winemaker with the 2012 vintage and has since dramatically improved the quality of the wines. The grapes are grown primarily on the hills south of Vicenza, the Colli Berici, where the hillside sites ensure lower yields and better ripeness of the grapes. With Alberto's hand in the winery, the delicate aromas of the wines have been preserved. The Palladian window on the label acknowledges the work of the great Andrea Palladio, many of whose masterpieces are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The 16th century architect lived in Montecchio Maggiore, home of the Colli Vicentini winery, and Vicenza most of his life.

The vineyards are located in the hills and are north facing. The hillside sites experience cooler nights, allowing the aromatic compounds of the grapes to develop. The vines are trained using the Guyot system. The soil is calcareous and of volcanic origin.

 

 

This Prosecco was made using the long charmat method. The grapes were hand-picked and the stalks removed before crushing. Soft pressing separated the skins and seeds from the must before alcoholic fermentation and second fermentation in a pressure and temperature controlled autoclave. After filtration and centrifugation, the wine was refrigerated and bottled under pressure.



Ca' di Alte Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry NV @ £13.95 - Buy it here!

This Prosecco is a light straw yellow with fine bubbles. A pleasant bouquet with notes of pear and floral hints is followed by a very bright, clean and lifted, palate. The finish is very dry, with lingering freshness.

Always been a winner here and will definitely be your winner of the summer too. Cheers!

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!