Tag Archives: Wine of the Month

WOTM: Domaine Gouffier, ‘La Charmée’, Mercurey 2016

The festive season is just around the corner and what better wine to serve with a traditional meal than a classic red Burgundy, but with a twist. From the small village of Mercurey in the subregion of Côte Chalonnaise, this is a Pinot Noir with enough rich fruit flavour and texture to delight any table.

In a nutshell:

Great depth of flavour showing chunky plum fruits combined with coffee beans and a peppery finish.

The producer:

Domaine Gouffier owns five and a half hectares of vineyard in the villages of Fontaines and Mercurey in Côte Chalonnaise. The domain has been run by the Gouffier family for generations until Jerome Gouffier handed over the reins to his close friend Frédéric Gueugneau, formerly at La Chablisienne.

Since 2011, Frédéric and oenologist Benoît Pagot have brought about a new style of winemaking to the domain. They follow an organic philosophy to create wines that are modern, approachable and affordable, but with all the style and panache of good Burgundy. They have created a collection of wines of outstanding originality, verve and spirit.

The wine:

The grapes were hand-picked at optimum maturity and carefully selected in the cellar. 30% of the fruit was vinified as whole bunches as the stems help to stabilise the colour and impart structure to the wine. A cool maceration was followed by fermentation in barrels of 228 litres, one third of which was new. 15% of stems were put back into the fermentation barrels to support the fruit and impart structure to this fleshy wine.

Winemaker Frédéric uses oak judiciously, in order not to overpower the purity of the fruit. Domaine Gouffier has been experimenting with using oak from the state forests of Fontaine, just a few miles from the vines, endeavouring to stay true to the local terroir.

 

For further information on the Domaine Gouffier, ‘La Charmée’, Mercurey 2016 or any other Domaine Gouffier wines, please contact your account manager. 

WOTM: Paringa Estate ‘Peninsula’, Mornington Peninsula, Shiraz 2016

In the words of James Halliday in the Wine Companion on the 97 point winning Paringa Estate ‘Peninsula’, Mornington Peninsula, Shiraz 2016; “Absolutely classic Paringa, one of the best – if not the best – of the early starters, with full-on cool climate Shiraz thrust. Likewise, classic blackberry, blood plum and liquorice flavours are supported by fine tannins and subtle oak.”

In a nutshell:

A subtle hint of violets laces the warm mint chocolate
and pepper core. A wonderfully enticing and silky cool
climate Shiraz.

The producer:

Located in the heart of Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula, Paringa Estate was founded in 1984 by Lindsay McCall when he purchased a derelict orchard. Lindsay’s passion and fascination with wine began in the mid 1970s and by the mid 1980s he decided to follow his dream by establishing Paringa Estate. The first vintage was in 1988 with just three tonnes of fruit and over the years it has grown considerably, with production now at 16,000 cases. Paringa Estate is one of the most highly awarded boutique wineries in Australia, regularly winning trophies for its Shiraz, Pinot Noir and
Chardonnay. The collection includes a stunning and precise Pinot Gris, as Lindsay says anywhere capable of growing great Pinot Noir should be capable of growing great Pinot Gris. The wines pay homage to Burgundy in style and James Halliday says Paringa Estate is “one of the best, if not the best, wineries on the Peninsula”.

The wine:

The berries were destemmed and 5% Viognier was co fermented in two tonne open stainless steel fermenters. This was followed by 11 months ageing in French oak barriques, of which approximately 10% were new.

Serving suggestion:

This works well with a Morrocan influenced tagine or a traditional shepherd’s pie.

 

For further information on the Paringa Estate, ‘Peninsula’ Shiraz 2016 or any other Paringa Estate wines, please contact your account manager. 

WOTM: Ocean Eight, Mornington Peninsula, Pinot Noir 2015

In his 2018-19 100 Best Australian Wines report, Matthew Jukes, describes how the Ocean Eight, Pinot Noir 2015 manages to; ‘capture the most evocative and aromatic vanguard of fruit and launch it at you with such accuracy that it takes your breath away.’

In a nutshell:

A modern style Pinot Noir full of summer pudding and cranberry flavours, vibrant and peppery on the finish.

The producer:Ocean Eight Pinot Noir

Owned by the Aylward family – founders of the renowned Kooyong winery- Ocean Eight was established in 2004 in the southern and cooler side of Mornington Peninsula. In their state-of-the-art, temperature controlled, gravity fed winery, winemaker Mike Aylward produces stunning cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot
Noir, taking influence from the great old world wine regions of Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne. All the grapes for the Ocean Eight wines are sourced from the family’s 17 hectares of vineyard and their total production each year is just 5,000 cases.

The wine:

The grapes were hand-picked, meticulously hand sorted and destemmed. A cold soak took place for three to four days, prior to fermentation which took place in an open vat, using natural yeasts. Fermentation lasted for a period of four to six weeks, to maximise the aromatics. The wine was pressed to old oak puncheons of three to four years and matured in oak for 12 months. This wine was not filtered or fined prior to being bottled.

Serving suggestion:

Crispy duck pancakes or coq au vin. Also accompanies tuna and is ideal for sharing platters.

WOTM: Matias Riccitelli ‘The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree’, Lujan de Cuyo, Malbec 2015

Recently awarded 90 points on RobertParker.com,  ‘The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree’ Malbec 2015 vintage is described by Luis Gutiérrez as; “more focused aromas and a silkier mouthfeel. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a light wine, it has its power and good ripeness, but the word now is balance–balance in its style to reflect the zone, year and varietal.”

In a nutshell:

Deep purple in colour, with beautiful aromas of wild dark fruits, vanilla and chocolate on the nose. This is a complex and rich Malbec with smooth ripe tannins and a long finish.

The producer:

Matias Riccitelli is the son of renowned winemaker Jorge Riccitelli. Having worked at some of the most prestigious wineries in Argentina and several vintages around the world, Matias used his experience, knowledge and passion and set up his own winery in 2009. His vineyards cover 50 hectares located in three selected sites within the premium growing region of Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza. This is a young and dynamic project in which Matias is seeking to express the full potential of Argentine terroir.

 

The wine:

Meticulous sorting of the grapes was performed by hand, prior to vinification in order to select only the best grapes. A cool maceration took place over five days, followed by the fermentation at controlled temperatures of between 26 and 28°C. The fermentation took place in small concrete vats with indigenous yeasts. 20% of the grapes were fermented as whole clusters. The wine was matured in used French oak barrels for a period of 12 months.

Serving suggestion:

This is a delicious red which accompanies grilled meats, pasta with rich meat sauces and soft cheeses.

WOTM: Larry Cherubino, Laissez Faire, Porongorup, Riesling 2015

 Laissez Faire Riesling 2015 is a James Halliday 95 point wine, from one of the most decorated winemakers in the world, Larry Cherubino, with a tight knit acidity lingering in the background, this is guaranteed to add zip to your January.

In a nutshell:

A beautiful lemon and lime sherbet style classic Riesling. Very fresh and crisp with layers of waxy stone fruit and floral notes finishing on a lovely almost toasty note.

The producer:

Named ‘Winery of the Year’ by James Halliday and Matt Skinner, Larry Cherubino wants his wines to be distinctive and to speak clearly of their variety and vineyard site. He believes in paying meticulous attention to the vineyard, canopy and water management, picking at the right time and minimal intervention in the winery. Larry also makes wine under the Laissez Faire label, an exquisite range of natural wines which are the ultimate expression of site, made in small batches from hand harvested grapes. From delicate whites to opulent reds, all his wines have pure class and finesse.

 

The wine:

The grapes are grown in a south facing vineyard in the Porongorup sub region, which was planted in 1998 to a density of 1800 vines per hectare. The vines’ clones are unknown, but they are on their own rootstocks. The vineyard is irrigated to achieve the optimal amount of moisture required.

With a focus on natural winemaking, this is made in small batches from hand harvested grapes. The fruit was whole bunch pressed. The juice was then settled without the addition of enzymes, sulphur or acid. Once settled, it was allowed to ferment naturally at a low temperature for six weeks.

 

Serving suggestion:

Stunning with Proscuitto-wrapped tiger prawns with pickled vegetable slaw.

WOTM: Barros 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro

The quintessential Christmas drink and the perfect way to end a festive meal… Port. Although there are many styles to choose from, we have chosen the Barros 20 Year Old Tawny Port as our Wine of the Month for December and one we would recommend being served with the Figgy Pudding.

In a nutshell:

A rich and complex combination of dried fruit aromas,
with spice and subtle hints of wood. Elegant and full bodied, with a long, engaging finish.

The producer:

Having celebrated their 100th year of trading in 2013, Barros Port is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious companies producing and trading in Port. Much of their success comes from Colheita Ports – old Tawnies from a single year matured in cask for a minimum period of seven years.

Their expertise in Colheita Ports has established them as the stand out producer of this style. Barros leaves their Colheita Ports to mature in cask until being hand bottled to order. The loss of wine from evaporation (known as the ‘Angel’s Share’) is much higher in comparison to bottle ageing. It is a sacrifice they are willing to make and one that helps them achieve unsurpassed quality in their Colheita wines.

In June 2006, Barros Ports was integrated into the Sogevinus Group who are now responsible for growing the brand in the international markets.

The wine:

Produced by the traditional Port method. The grapes were destemmed, crushed and underwent a careful skin maceration to extract colour, aromatics and fine tannins. Fermentation took place in vats known as ‘lagares’, with constant pumpovers during fermentation.

Temperatures were controlled and maintained at between 28 to 30°C, until the desired Baumé was reached. At this moment, grape brandy was added, which is known as the ‘benefit’, resulting in a fortified wine with perfect balance. This is a blend of different harvests to achieve the array of characteristics that are typical of these aged tawny Port wines.

The wines have each matured in oak casks for varying periods of time; it is the average age of all the wines in the blend which defines the age on the label.

Serving suggestion:

Starters such as strong cheeses and pâté; or desserts such as toffee brownies, chocolate and pistachio pavé or goat’s cheese.

 

WOTM: Lake Breeze, Bullant, Langhorne Creek, Cabernet Merlot 2014

To help celebrate International Merlot Day 2017 on 07th November, our Wine of the Month is an Australian blend of 80% Cabernet and 20% Merlot, the two main varieties grown in Bordeaux.

Did you know, Merlot  is the offspring of Cabernet Franc (the father) and Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (the mother)?

In a nutshell:

Lake Breeze Bullant 2014 has an amazing lifted bouquet of blackberries with a touch of mocha. Rich and smooth on the palate, it offers a lovely soft finish with polished tannins.

The producerLake Breeze, Bullant, Langhorne Creek, Cabernet Merlot 2014

Lake Breeze winemaker Greg Follett is the fourth generation of the Follett’s to work on the family property, which has been in the grape growing business in Langhorne Creek for over 120 years. Only in the past 30 years have they been making wine; and have rapidly built an enviable reputation for consistently producing outstanding wines, becoming one of the most awarded boutique wineries in Australia. Greg uses exclusively old vine fruit -and the best 30 per cent of that- resulting in wines that are rich and concentrated.

The wine

Fruit selection was paramount for this wine. The grapes were fermented on their skins in small, open, static tanks; which lasted between seven to 12 days. The young wine was then pressed straight to oak barriques to complete the fermentation. The wine was then matured for 10 to 12 months in seasoned French and American oak, with five to 10% new oak used in the blending.

The vintage:

2014 was a season of contrasts and culminated in the latest vintage since 2004. The wet winter ensured the vineyard received a good flooding, resulting in healthy canopies and good subsoil moisture, essential in sustaining the vines through the very hot summer. The summer temperatures saw a record 13 days above 40°C (the average is just two). Many parts of the state received 100mm of rainfall just before the harvest, but the Lake Breeze vineyards just received 30mm. The cooler weather and rain revived the vines after the heat, resulting in average yields and impressive quality. The Cabernet Sauvignon is the standout.

Serving suggestion:

Great served with a gourmet cheeseburger, with all the toppings, or with a roast lamb dish.

WOTM: Olifantsberg, Chenin Blanc 2014

In a nutshell:

The Olifantsberg, Chenin Blanc 2014 is full of ripe tropical fruits combined with honey and spicy apple notes, beautifully textured.

The producer

Olifantsberg is passionate about producing authentic wines with a true sense of place, which reflect the unique location of their vineyard. The focus is on sustainable farming and winemaking practices, resulting in limited intervention in the both the vineyard and cellar. The team are fully committed to understanding their terroir and managing their natural resources through conservation, which adds to the singularity of their wines. The unique terroir with its combination of schist soils, constant winds and elevation, produce concentrated fruit that results in elegant, fresh and age-worthy wines.

The wine

The wine was wild yeast fermented in one third 2000L foudres, one third seasoned barrels and one third stainless steel tanks. The wine was kept on the lees for 10 months before stabilization and bottling.

The tasting note:

The color a very light yellow. The nose is complex with ripe pineapple, passion fruit and mango. The palate is very elegant and fresh but complex with a lovely texture. This wine already drinks well but definitely has ageing capacity.

WOTM: Poderi Parpinello, Vermentino di Sardinia DOC Ala Blanca 2016

In a nutshell:

The Poderi Parpinello, Vermentino di Sardinia DOC ‘Ala Blanca’ 2016 is a wine that is full of flavour of ripe tropical fruit, lime and pineapple coulis with a spicy finish.

The producer

The Parpinello family have run this 30 hectare estate and winery with dedication and passion for three generations. Giampaolo Parpinello and his son Paolo strive to reflect the Sardinian terroir and reveal the typicity of the wines. The vineyard is situated on a gentle slope between Alghero and Sassari in the North West of the island. In order to reflect this typicity, modern winemaking technology is successfully combined with traditional farming methods, resulting in high quality wines with intense aromas and flavours, evocative of the terroir from which they originate.

The wine

The wine was traditionally vinified with a temperature controlled maceration and fermentation at 15°C. No wood was used during vinification in order to preserve the varietal characteristics of the Vermentino grape, whilst also expressing the elements of terroir from which it hails.

The tasting note:

Elegant and fine aromas of ripe tropical fruits, with an intriguing hint of bitter almonds and a lovely spicy finish.

WOTM: Weingut Johann Donabaum, Johann Grüner Veltliner Federspiel, Wachau 2015

In a nutshell:

A fabulous, restrained wine with apple and lime characters combined with white pepper and spicy minerality.

The Producer:

After only a few years, Johann is carving out a formidable reputation for concentrated, mineral laden white wines. His wines are always in high demand. The production from his five hectares of hillside vineyard in the Spitzer Valley is miniscule, but despite this his prices remain really competitive.

The Wine:

100% of the fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, with a minimal use of sulphur, in order to create a wine which ultimately expresses the terroir. A natural slight CO2 remained in the wine to lift and freshen the palate. ‘Federspiel’ denotes that the wine has been made in the classic style, fresh and mineral, with a maximum of four grams of residual sugar.

The Tasting Note:

A fabulous, restrained wine with apple and lime characters combined with white pepper, cardamom and spicy minerality. Balanced and refreshing.

 

 

WOTM: 2014 Altitud Malbec, Andeluna

To celebrate Malbec World Day on 17th April and Malbec, of course being the heart of Argentina, our Wine of the Month for April is a Malbec  with a head for heights, with grapes coming from vineyards located in Tupungato, Mendoza; 1.300 metres above sea level.

In a nutshell: 

A full flavoured and robust Malbec with plum, chocolate and vanilla oaky flavours and just a hint of eucalyptus.

The producer:

Andeluna was founded in 2003 by the late Ward Lay whose family had interests in many industries and companies including Frito-Lay and Pepsico. The winery and vineyards cover 70 hectares in the beautiful Uco Valley near Tupungato, one of the best sub-regions of Mendoza. By night you can often see the moon illuminating the magnificent Andes Mountains nearby and the winery has been named after this stunning scene. At an altitude of 1,300 metres these vineyards produce some of the best fruit in Argentina. Their winemaker, Manuel Gonzalez (previously Head Winemaker at Pulenta Estate and Chief Enologist at Trivento) works alongside Andeluna’s wine consultant Hans Vinding Diers making outstanding wines which have propelled this producer into the world spotlight in a very short space of time. Their Pasionado range is only made in exceptional vintages and rivals some of the great wines of the world.

The wine:

Berries were hand selected prior to vinifcation and underwent a pre-fermentation maceration at low temperatures. Fermentation took place with selected yeasts in stainless steel tanks at temperatures maintained at approximately 26°C . The wine was aged in French oak barrels for 12 months, followed by eight months in bottle, prior to release.

Tasting note:

A soft, supple Malbec with aromas of figs and plums, intermingled with notes of vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Sweet fruit on the palate combine with soft tannins and a long velvety finish.

The ideal match for steak, barbecued red meats or a rich lentil stew.