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Magnums / Jeroboams
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Spirits - Other
Fleurie ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Magnum 2012 (Beaujolais, France)
A single vineyard Fleurie, amusingly named after a racehorse, and a great example of why good cru Beaujolais is perhaps France’s greatest wine bargain at the moment. The owner of this vineyard in the 1930’s named it after his racehorse as a snub to ‘les officiels’ who were trying to make him name the vineyard in a more official fashion to conform with the new appellation laws.
Made from old vines situated right on the border of Fleurie and Moulin-á-Vent, this wine is soft and delicate, yet full-bodied and rich too, and is a perfect bottle (magnum, no less!) to drink now or age for at least five years – great Beaujolais can and does improve with age!
Don Melchor 2008 (Maipo Valley,Chile)
South of Santiago in the upper reaches of the Alto Maipo Valley, seven vineyards of the Puente Alto offer up the exquisite fruit that makes up this wine which bears the name of Concha y Toro’s founder, Don Melchor. The ambition has always been that it should be seen not only as the greatest wine of Chile, but the finest Cabernet in the world. Another vintage sees them ever closer to realising their ambitions, however lofty they may be.
Classic cherry red hues which are both deep and seductive, the nose and palate both burst with black fruit, as one would expect from premium cabernet sauvignon. Yet there are underlying characteristics of earth, tobacco and coffee which hint at a nobler heritage. The finish is regal too.
Chateau Haut-Marbuzet 2006 (Bordeaux, France)
The Dubosq family are one of the "Wild Geese" of Bordeaux, descended from the Irish McCarthy family, Catholic Jacobites who settled in Bordeaux in the 17th Century. The "Wild Geese" included the Lynch family of Lynch Bages fame and the Browns of Cantenac Brown to name but two. The second wine of Haut Marbuzet is named McCarthy in honour of the Dubosqs' forefathers. Hervé Dubosq purchased 7 hectares of land in St Estephe in 1952 and today, the vineyard holdings are ten times that, including the highly rated Chateau Haut Marbuzet, situated next to Ch Monrose, Ch Lafite Rothschild and literally right behind Ch Cos d'Estournel. In the 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification, Ch Haut Marbuzet was elevated to "Cru Bourgeois Exceptionelle" - an honour only awarded to 9 out of the 247 Chateaux - deserved recognition for the investement and sheer hard work of Henri Dubosq and his sons over the past 50 years.
The dark purpley black colour suggests great concentration; powerful aromas of toasty oak, black cherries and smoky coffee are enhanced further by rich sweet fruit with hints of tobacco, and there's considerable weight and grip on the long finish.
Yalumba The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz 2004 (Barossa Valley, Australia)
An Australian thoroughbred. Yalumba are one of Australia and the Barossa’s historic wineries, having being founded in 1849 and are still family-owned by the Hill-Smith family. Their Octavius is 100% Shiraz, with the majority of fruit taken from ancient (70yr old +) vines in Australia’s Shiraz heartland of the swelteringly ripe Barossa Valley, with a little bit of cooler-climate fruit coming from the Eden Valley, just over the Barossa Ranges to the East. This is the pre-eminent red wine style of Australia at its best: rich, exuberant, heady and yet retaining a real balance and stylishness within its explosion of fruit. Moreover, this example is from 2004 and thus starting to develop some secondary bottle age mature characteristics, which adds to the interest already within the bottle. Good Barossa Shiraz ages for decades yet is fantastically drinkable at an early stage: Yalumba’s Octavius is a perfect example of the best Australian red wine heritage.
Very low stocks.
Renieri Brunello di Montalcino 2007 (Italy)
Renieri have a 128 hectare estate in the southern portion of Montalcino, yet only 30 hectares of this estate are planted with vineyards. Yields are carefully controlled here – averaging around one bottle per vine, roughly 1kg of grapes per vine – and much of the vineyard was replanted in 1998, to improve the overall vine health of the vineyard. Sangiovese is the mainstay grape of the estate (and the only variety allowed in Brunello di Montalcino), but typically for a high quality Tuscan estate, there is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah planted too.
The winemaking takes place in an underground cellar, a necessarily wise choice for the scorching Montalcino summers, and is also gravity fed to ensure grapes remain gently handled after harvest.
The wine undergoes fermentation in stainless steel tanks with pumping over during the ferment to extract colour from the skins, followed by a maceration on the skins for a further 3 to 4 weeks. This makes a big-boned style of Sangiovese, which isn’t known for either its ability to produce deep colours or for dramatically full-bodied wine: however, Renieri Brunello di Montalcino, like most Montalcinos, comes in at a healthy 14% alcohol.
The Brunello di Montalcino has a two-part ageing process: firstly, 24 months in small oak barriques, then a further 24 months in the enormous old oak botti casks. These are the traditional casks for ageing Brunello di Montalcino and add the more rounded, soft-yet-full style that’s typical of this style of Sangiovese.
Meerlust Rubicon Magnum 2006 (South Africa)
A blend from the legendary Myburgh family who have owned this estate for eight generations. Very deep youthful colour, intense almost purple hue. Very classic Rubicon nose with violets., ripe plum, cedarwood and intense spiceyness. Stil very young but brooding,promising further maturation potential. The palate is full bodied, structured but packed with fresh dark fruit and rounded linear tannins.
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