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Magnums / Jeroboams
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Spirits - Other
Fleurie ‘Clos de la Roilette’ Magnum 2010 (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!
Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 2006(Burgundy, France)
"Fine lace and silk are the words most often associated with this wine. Bright, intense colour and complex aromas evoking violet, black cherry and damp earth. According to the vintages, there are also notes of truffle and game. Refined tannins coat the palate. Good balance between texture and acidity. Long aftertaste, with
notes of cherry and candied fruit".
Chateau de Pez 2003 (Bordeaux, France)
The domain of Pez, created in the 15th century, is, with Calon Ségur, one of the oldest in Saint-Estèphe. In 1452, Squire Jean de Briscos ruled the estate followed in time by Jean de Pontac in 1585. The Pontac family, who also created Haut-Brion, gave Pez its vineyards. The property remained in the hands of their descendents until the French Revolution after which it was sold as a property of the State. When Louis Roederer bought it in 1995 they immediately set about improving the vineyards and cellars. 1996 was the first vintage fully made under the new ownership, and quality has been improving ever since.
Elegant and supple with a rounded, supple attack. Impressive, fairly tight-grained tannins but with the softness to be expected from such a hot vintage. The finish is so wonderfully rounded that you could easily mistake this for a wine from a hot terroir if you did not know otherwise. Rather atypical in style, but with that immense framework characteristic of a great Médoc.
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.
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.
Château Durfort-Vivens 2006 (Bordeaux, France)
One of the Deuxièmes Cru (Second Growth) of the Margaux appellation in Bordeaux’s Médoc.
Château Durfort-Vivens is very much one of the wine world’s aristocrats. Owned by the Lurton family, one of the great Bordeaux wine families, the Château has around ninety hectares of land situated on the famously deep gravel beds of the Médoc, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Gonzague Lurton (the current family owner) has invested heavily in both impeccable vineyard upkeep and winemaking technology to aid an entirely traditional Bordelais vinification. All the grapes are fermented in open-top oak vats, with pumping over to extract colour, flavour and tannin. The fresh wine then ages in new oak barriques (the traditional 225ltr Bordeaux barrel) for around two years, before egg-white fining and then bottling.
This wine is drinking now, with decanting for some much-needed aeration, but will continue to improve in the cellar for at least 15 years.
Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005Magnum (Rhône, France)
Domaine Chante Cigale, located within the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been owned by the Sabon Favier family for several generations. Recently Christian Favier, the father, released the reins to his son Alexandre who is fast becoming a new rising star of Chateauneuf. Despite only being in his early 20's he has been lauded by notable journalists Steve Danzier in the US and Jancis Robinson,UK. The soils of the vineyard are made up of clay and chalk covered with a layer of the classic large pebbles ('galets') found in this area, which naturally keeps yields low. The vines are over 45 years old and situated near the plateau de Carbieres. Harvesting is by hand, with selective sorting of the grapes. The wine has lots of warm red fruit and damson aromas with cinnamon, spices and jam but also concentration on the palate, then liquoricey richness and elegance to finish. Try with lamb or lentil and vegetable moussaka and any rich hot-pot that heavily features 'herbes de Provence' or similar aromatic herbs
Chateau Gruaud Larose 2006 (Bordeaux, France)
A 2ème cru classé Château in Bordeaux’s great 1855 classification of estates. Gruaud Larose are situated in Saint-Julien, arguably the most consistently fine appellation within Bordeaux and are a classic Bordeaux Château in every sense - gated, turreted, grand architecture, a spotless cuverie where the latest winemaking technology is evidently on display and serried ranks of oak barriques in the cellar. Typically for Saint-Julien, Gruaud Larose uses a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the grand vin blend, with Merlot making up most of the remainder. The other Bordelais grapes of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot play a smaller part in Gruard Larose’s blend than at other Châteaux, but this is often the case in Saint-Julien, where Cabernet Sauvignon reaches the heights it does. 2006 for Bordeaux’s ‘Left Bank’ (where Saint-Julien is located) was very much a Cabernet year and consequently, a higher proportion was used at the Château than other years. This means that the wine is still dark, brooding, full and ‘structured’ (high acidities, high levels of tannin). Decanting is recommended before drinking.
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