Tasting Notes Archive

Australia

  1. Brown Brothers 18 Eighty Nine Sauvignon Blanc 2013: Still fresh, crisp and fruity. Well made SB. (14) 13 April 2016
  2. Chateau Reynella McLaren Vale Basket Press Shiraz 2008: (Soft and rich but unremarkable. 15) 31 March 2016
  3. Devil’s Lair  Chardonnay 2012: Pale gold in colour with a nose of tropical fruit and subdued oak. On the palate, light and crisp with pleasant fruit flavours. Oak not overpowering. 12% alcohol is a bonus. Would match fish and white meat dishes with a light creamy sauce. (15)
  4. Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2010: Crisp, lemony, mineral and seriously good! Drink now. (17) 11 April 2016
  5. Kooyong Clonale Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2017: Grapes are whole-bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques (8% new). Fermentation is with ambient yeasts and the wine is aged on lees (without battonage) for 10 months and bottled without fining and with minimal filtration. Different from most Australian Chardonnay, less up front with subtle oak handling. Tastes like a good Chablis. (15.5) 6/6/2019
  6. Kooyong Estate Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2016: Fruit for this wine comes from Faultline and Farrago blocks of the Kooyong vineyard.The grapes were gently whole-bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques (15% of which were new). Fermentation occurred spontaneously with ambient yeasts and the wine was aged on lees (without battonage) for 11 months. It was bottled without fining and with minimal filtration. Pleasing fruit with good acidity. Elegant. (15.5) 6/6/2019
  7. Kooyong Faultline Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2016: This single-block wine is sourced from 0.42 ha of 20-year-old Chardonnay vines within the Faultline block of the vineyard. Soil here contains less ironstone and more deep clay, leading to wines containing an earthy depth and a fuller, richer palate. Grapes were whole-bunch pressed directly into French oak barriques (of which 15% were new). Fermentation was spontaneous with ambient yeasts. Aged on lees (without battonage) for 11 months, with the only racking occurring directly prior to bottling without fining and with minimal filtration. Rich and well poised with gentle oak in background. (16) 6/6/2019
  8. Kooyong Massale Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2017: This is a blend of estate grown Pinot Noir parcels from Tuerong and Balnarring vineyards, fermented in open vats with ambient yeasts for 16 to 18 days. It underwent indigenous malolactic fermentation, the maturation period was 11 months in French oak barriques (8% new) and large format foudre and was bottled without fining and with minimal filtration. Light, red fruit and hint of sweetness. (15.5) 6/6/2019
  9. Kooyong Estate Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2016: Fruit for this wine came from Meres, Haven and Ferrous vineyards. Fermentation in a combination of large-format oak foudre, large-format concrete tanks and stainless steel tanks commenced spontaneously with ambient yeasts, and lasted for 21 days. A proportion of whole bunches was included. The wine was pressed and racked into French oak barriques (20% new) and underwent indigenous malolactic fermentation. Maturation period was nine months in barriques, followed by a further six months in large format French oak foudres. Bottled without fining and with minimal filtration. More substantial than the Massage. (16) 6/6/2019
  10. Kooyong Haven Vineyard Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2016: Fruit which was was entirely destemmed, came from 1.32 ha of 20-year-old vines.Fermentation in large-format concrete and wooden tanks with ambient yeasts took 19 days and was pressed and racked into French oak barriques (of which 20% were new). Indigenous malolactic fermentation followed. The wine was racked only once, with the total maturation period lasting 14 months and was  bottled without fining or filtration. Dark and elegant. Perfectly poised. Appealing. (16) 6/6/2019
  11. Moss Wood Amy’s Blend 2010: This mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Merlot is drinking pretty well now. It is dark, has a lovely nose of black fruit and liquorice, is soft, layered and has a decent length. It paired the beef well. I enjoyed it and gave a score of 16.5. (October 2015)
  12. Mt. Horrocks Nero d’Avola 2013: A new, lighter and fruitier take on the classic top red varietal of Sicily. (16.5) November 2015
  13. Mt. Horrocks Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Sweet, structured and poised cabernet, drinking beautifully now. A perfect match for lamb shanks. (17.5) 6 April 2016
  14. Penfolds Bin 138, 2006: Rather dumb nose. Lacks fruit. Hot but not jammy. (15) October 2015
  15. Penfolds Bin 128, 2005: Cool climate, non-spicy Shiraz. Pleasant to drink now. (15.5) October 2015
  16. Penfolds Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz, 2008: Dark and still youthful. (15) October 2015
  17. Penfolds Bin 389, 1998: Dark and aromatic. Probably at its peak.(16) October 2015
  18. Penfolds St Henri 2007: Dark, fragrant and lovely. An absolute delight to drink now. (17) October 2015
  19. Penfolds RWT 2001: Dark, still youthful 100% Shiraz. (16.5) October 2015
  20. Penfolds Grange 1989: Probably past its best. Still a lovely mouthful. (17.5) October 2015
  21. Peter Lehmann Wigan Eden Valley Riesling 2010: (Strong aroma of terpenes with dry but rich mouthfeel. Excellent Riesling from a master. 17) 31 March 2016
  22. Peter Lehmann Margaret Barossa Semillon(Waxy and nutty and not as crisp as Hunter Valley semillons. Food wine. 16) 31 March 2016
  23. Peter Lehmann Mentor Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: (Subdued but elegant Cabernet. Not jammy. 16.5) 31 March 2016
  24. Peter Lehmann ‘VSV Blesing’ Barossa Shiraz: (Rich, powerful Barossa shiraz. Still quite young but approachable. 17) 31 March 2016
  25. Peter Lehmann 1885 Barossa Shiraz 2009: (Star of the evening. Minty with a sweet finish. Absolutely delightful! 18) 31 March 2016
  26. Peter Lehmann Stonewell Barossa Shiraz 2007: (Concentrated and rich. A big, robust wine but the punch is velvety. Lovely to drink now. 17.5) 31 March 2016

Chile

  1. Matetic Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Chile: Gooseberry & asparagus nose. Crisp with a hint of sweetness from ripe fruit. Excellent. (16.5) 7 April 2016
  2. Trapiche Terroir Series SV Malbec Finca Ambrosia 2010: A blockbuster from Trapiche, dark, concentrated and immensely pleasing. (18) November 2015

France

  1. Domaine Brusset Cairanne Hommage a Andre Brusset 2012: Rich and extracted Southern Rhone (16)
  2. Gerard Thomas Meursault Premier Cru Blagny 2008: At long last Meursault Premier Cru Blagny 2008 from Gerard Thomas is at its best now. The pale colour wine with a perfumed, floral nose still has crisp acidity but honeyed and rounded and is a real pleasure to drink. If you have any left from HMWS visits to the St. Aubin producer, aim to drink them this year. (15.5) 14 May 2016
  3. Hugel Gentil: The wine revives an ancient Alsace tradition that wines assembled from noble grape varieties were called “Gentil”. It is supposed to have the ‘spicy flavour of Gewurztraminer, the body of Pinot Gris, the finesse of Riesling, the grapiness of Muscat and the refreshing character of Sylvaner.’ I have never found it terribly exciting. (14) October 2015
  4. Hugel Estate Riesling 2012: Expertly made with 100% estate grapes, it has keen acidity, good fruit and mouthfeel and is a good example of a wine made in a dry vintage. Delightful and a good buy. (15.5) October 2015
  5. Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2008: Fruit from Grand Cru Schoenenbourg. Crisp, complex, and poised. Still a little tight but is lovely. It is the kind of wine that restores one’s faith in Riesling. (16.5) October 2015
  6. Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2009Rich, creamy and fine. Great potential. A ‘must buy’ wine. (17) October 2015
  7. Hugel Jubilee Gewurtztraminer 2009Grand Cru Sporen fruit. Restricted aromatics and sugar level makes an elegant and expressive wine similar to the lovely Gewurtztraminer from New Zealand’s Seifried Estate. (17) October 2015
  8. Hugel Gewurtztraminer Vendange Tardive 2007An early, dry vintage. Lovely, sweet, rich wine with botrytis. (17) October 2015
  9. Hugel Gewurtztraminer  Selection de Grains Nobles 2002Dark yellow. Botrytis. Rich, very sweet (160 g/l residual sugar) and fabulous. (17.5) October 2015
  10. Josmeyer Riesling Grand Cru Brand 2004: Sadly, has a hint of oxidation but still palatable. Check your existing stock. – 24 March 2016
  11. Josmeyer Pinot Noir 2013: The fruit for the Pinot comes from a small plot on Grand Cru Hengst. It is light, aromatic and has good fruit and acidity. It is superior to many Alsace pinots and is already drinking well. Would be interesting to see how it evolves. (15.5) November 2015
  12. Josmeyer Riesling Le Dragon 2014: This is one of the ‘Terroir” wines of Josmeyer. The lieu-dit Le Dragon is in the commune of Turckheim. Unfortunately, the wine was oxidised. (Both the supplier and the producer were informed.)
  13. Joseph Cattin’s Cremant D’Alsace Grande Cuvée 2010 (80% Pinot Blanc and 20% Chardonnay aged on lees for 3.5 years). (A decent Cremant D’Alsace but nothing more. 14) 31 March 2016
  14. Joseph Cattin Pinot Noir 2012: Light, soft Alsace Pinot without great character. (13.5). 9 April 2016
  15. Kuentz-Bas Muscat Collection 2014: This is a meadow-fresh Alsace Muscat with pure floral aroma and a fresh appetising palate from the small family house situated south of Colmar.
  16. Leon Beyer Sylvaner 2014: Lovely, crisp, refreshing and full-flavoured dry white with a twist of apple.
  17. Leon Beyer Pinot Gris 2014: Fully dry Pinot Gris is not common in Alsace and Beyers have made it a speciality. Still young but well structured, it makes a great food wine.
  18. Louis Sipp Alsace Haguenau 2014: This comes from four parcels of vines of four different grape varieties within the Hagenau vineyard: approximately 50% Riesling and Sylvaner, with Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer also in the blend. Made in a dry style, with Riesling-led aroma and fresh, linear palate and a wonderful seam of supporting acidity.
  19. Marc Hebrart Champagne is a Premier Cru NV from Merrill-sur-Ay. It is beginning to show some autolysis. HMWS has reserved stock for this year’s Christmas Lunch (16) 3 August 2019
  20. Pierre-Gimonnet Cuvée Fleuron 2006: Far forwards than expected. Golden yellow and flavours of autolysis. Start drinking. 16.5 – 1 April 2016
  21. Pierre-Gimonnet Cuis 1er Cru NV: Still quite fresh but beginning to show hints of autolysis. Drink up. (17) 6 April 2016
  22. Pierre-Gimonnet Cuis Premier Cru NV (Half Bottle): As expected, has evolved faster than the full bottles and shows some yeasty noted. Still, immensely pleasurable to drink. (16) – 22 June 2019
  23. Pieropan, La Rocca Soave Classico 2013: Still a baby but probably the best expression of Soave. (18) November 2015
  24. Puy de Dom Pinot Noir 2013: Disappointing. Only for cooking! (14.5) – 26 March 2016
  25. Trimbach Riesling, Selection de Vieilles Vignes 2011: Usual austere, mineral Trimbach style with good concentration, length and some complexity. (15.5) November 2015
  26. Trimbach Cuvée Trimbach 2014: A 50:50 blend of Muscat and Sylvaner. Fresh, fruity and bone dry with a lovely grapey aroma.
  27. Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2014: The blend contains 70% Auxerroise. Impeccable, crisp and elegant with perfect balance.
  28. Trimbach Muscat Réserve 2014: Delicate bone-dry Muscat from the family owned firm in Ribeauvillé. Makes a lovely, fragrant aperitif.
  29. Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2014: This is lovely textbook style of Gewürztraminer, precise, fruity, fine, long and almost fully dry.
  30. Weinbach Pinot Blanc 2014: Gently rounded, finely balanced, full flavoured and creamy textured wine from a great Domaine.

Germany

  1. Ginglinger Riesling Gran Cru Pfersigberg Lieu dit Hertracker 2014, Domain Ginglinger: The Ginglingers have been making wine in Eguisheim since 1610. This is an exquisite Riesling with racy acidity and great length.
  2. 2008 Niederhauser Riesling from the Nahe is a Kabinet with pleasing fresh sweetness (16.5) 3 August 2019

Italy

  1. Angelo Sonvico makes his Cascina La Barbatella Monferrato Rosso at his small estate in Piedmont with Cabernet Sauvignon blended with a little Barbera. I brought a few bottles back after visiting Angelo during the last HMWS wine tour to the region in September 2005. As predicted, the wine has kept its fruit, acidity and soft tannins splendidly even after 18 years in bottle and was an absolute delight to drink. Sadly, this was my last bottle. (17). (According to Winesearcher, the 2001 is not available in the UK now but is still sold in Milan for £38.39. Click here to read Jancis Robinson’s article about Barbera.) (26 June 2019)
  2. Umani Ronchi Campo S. Giorgio Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG 2009: 100% Montepulciano from the great Marche producer. Aromatic, rich and irresistible. (17.5) November 2015

New Zealand

  1. Cloudy Bay Pelorus Rosé NV: A blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay made by the ‘Traditional Method.’ It was a less than impressive first taste. (15) (1/2/18)
  2. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016: Fruit for the Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, mostly machine harvested at night and fermented in stainless steel tanks with 50% indigenous yeast, come from Wairau, Awatere & Southern Valleys. It is crisp, fruity and pleasing. (16) (1 February 2018)
  3. Greywacke ‘Wild’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Underwent spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation for 6 months in old French oak barriques with lees stirring and spent further five more months on lees before bottling. Two thirds underwent malolactic fermentation. It is fragrant, complex, long, immensely satisfying and the best oak aged Sauvignon Blanc I have tasted. (18). (1 February 2018)
  4. Greywacke Riesling 2015: comes from 17 year-old vines on two-cane VSP trellising. Grapes are hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. 50% is fermented in stainless steel tanks with cultured yeasts and the rest in old French oak barriques with indigenous yeasts. Fermentation is stopped to give a wine with 20g/l residual sugar. It is aged on lees in old barrels for further five months before bottling to give a wine with a pronounced and attractive Riesling nose and fine texture and mouthfeel from whole brunch fermentation. (15). (1 February 2018)
  5. Greywacke Pinot Gris 2015 (Selection Ovaille, Mission & Entav 52 clones) has 8g/l residual sugar and is a well structured wine that would be great with Foie Gras (15.5). (1 February 2018)
  6. Greywacke Chardonnay 2014: is a lovely wine. Clone 95 has produced fruit with apple and lemon overtones and Menoza Clone, flavour and acidity. Grapes were hand harvested, whole bunch pressed and underwent spontaneous fermentation including full malolactic in French oak (20% new) with lees stirring for 18 months (17). (1 February 2018)
  7. Fruit for Greywacke Pinot Noir 2014 was hand harvested, chilled and hand sorted. Partial whole bunch natural fermentation was in open-top fermenters. The wine was aged in French oak barriques (45% new) for 15 months and fined with egg white before bottling. It is a lovely fragrant wine, packed with red fruit and has soft tannins (17). (1 February 2018)
  8. Hunters Chardonnay 2016: Showing well, July 2019 ((16)
  9. Hunter’s Chardonnay is from the good 2016 vintage.(16) 3 August 2019
  10. Hunter’s Pinot Noir 2012: Losing grip. Drink up. (16) – 26 March 2016
  11. Hunter’s Pinot Noir 2014: This has kept well and is drinking beautifully now. (16.5) – 22 June 2019)
  12. Hunter’s Pinot Noir 2014: Begining to show age. Drink up and get the 2016. July 2019 (15.5)
  13. Kennedy Point Syrah 2008 from Waiheke Island is pleasing despite age (16)
  14. Seifried Old Coach Road Sauvignon Blanc Lighter 2014 (9%): No spinning cones or reverse osmosis is employed to reduce alcohol but grapes are picked early with high acidity and low sugar levels. The wine is aromatic, acidic, light bodied and attractive. (14) September 2015
  15. Seifried Aotea Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2014: Aromatic, clean, rich and fresh with fine fruit. A delightful wine. (16.5) September 2015
  16. Seifried Estate Riesling 2014: 18g/l residual sugar makes it rich and full. Excellent Riesling. (16) September 2015
  17. Seifried Estate Gruner Veltliner 2013: Sweetish and without varietal definition. Did not impress me. (14) September 2015
  18. Seifried Estate Pinot Gris 2012Smells and tastes like an Alsace Pinot Gris! Rich and lovely. (17) September 2015
  19. Seifried Aotea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014: I am not a Gewurztraminer fan but this wine pleased me. Just off dry, it is one of the best I have tasted and would be very happy to buy a case! (16.5) September 2015
  20. Seifried Nelson Bay Würzer 2014: Only Würzer in New Zealand – Gewurztraminer/Müller-Thurgau cross. Aromatic but a rather odd musty smell and taste. (14.5) September 2015
  21. Seifried Aotea Nelson Chardonnay 2013 (14.5%): Oaky but has good fruit and acidity. (15.5) September 2015
  22. Seifried Nelson Bay Zweigelt 2011: Bright, light and full of pleasing fruit. Would make a lovely sipping summer red. (16) September 2015
  23. Seifried Aotea Nelson Pinot Noir 2012: Ripe, silky and appealing. Went well with salmon.(17) September 2015
  24. Seifried Nelson Sweet Agnes Riesling 2013: 165 g/l of residual sugar. Good acidity to counter that. (16.5) September 2015

Portugal

  1. Anselmo Mendes Contacto Alvarinho 2018, : Wonderful summer fish wine from an old friend. Rich, crisp and rather more alcoholic (13.5%) than most Vinho Verde. July 2019 (16)
  2. Grahams 10 YO Tawny: Perfect with Yorkshire Blue. July 2019 (16)

Sicily

  1. Firriato (Etna) Quater Vittis 2017 from  with Cattarrato, Inzolia, Carricante and Zibibbo was delightful (16) (May 2019, Sicily)
  2. Judeka Nero d’Avola from Vittoria DOC was robust and pleasing. (16) (May 2019, Sicily)
  3. Montedolce Grocce de Rugiad is a lovely crisp blend of Carricante and Cattarrato and brought smiles to our faces. (15.5) (May 2019, Sicily)

South Africa

  1. Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc 2017More Old World in style than New. Fragrant with good fruit and acidity but gentle and elegant. A pleasing Sauvignon Blanc. (16.5) – August 2019
  2. Ataraxia Chardonnay 2017: 100% barrel fermented and matured in small French oak barriques for 10 months with fortnightly batonnage. Oak is pleasingly subtle. Good poise and length. (17) – August 2019
  3. Ataraxia Pinot Noir 2016: Aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, 22% of which were new. Good Pinot character. Light with pronounced red fruit. (16.5) – August 2019
  4. Ataraxia Serenity 2017: A blend of Pinot Noir, Cinsault and cool-climate Pinotage fermented separately and aged in French oak for 11 months. Lighter than most Pinotage but with gentle, pleasing fruit flavors and modest acidity. (16.5) – August 2019
  5. Chamonix Reserve White 2013: Winemaker Gottfried Mocke makes this classically styled Cape blend from around 60% sauvignon blanc with the balance semillon grown at altitude in Franschhoek. The result is a rich, deeply flavoured wine ideally suited to a discreet touch of barrel, which it gets over a year’s maturation in French oak, most of it used, so the flavour doesn’t intrude. It is an elegant, beautifully balanced wine. (16.5) June 2016
  6. Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2017: Intense and rich with pronounced oak flavors but with a short and rather odd finish. (16.5) – August 2019
  7. Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2017: Big, rich and extracted food wine. Needs more time. (17) –  August 2019
  8. Iona Chardonnay 2013: Wonderfully rounded and fruit filled. Superb chardonnay drinking very well now. (17) -5 April 2016
  9. Ken Forrester Reserve Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2013: Has become softer and honeyed but still a pleasure to drink. Drink up any remaining stock and get the next vintage (16.5) – 25 March 2016
  10. Ken Forrester Petit Pinotage 2014: Still the perfect sipping red. Light and laden with fruit. Must buy the next vintage available. (17) – 22 March 2016
  11. Ken Forrester Sparklehorse MCC 2015. July 2019 (15.5)
  12. Leeu Passant Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016: July 2019 (16.5)
  13. Leeu Passant Dry Red 2016: July 2019 (17.5)
  14. Mullineux Kloof Street Chenin Blanc 2018: July 2019 (15.5)
  15. Mullineux Kloof Street Red 2017: July 2019 (15.5)
  16. Mullineux Straw Wine 2017: July 2019 (17.5)
  17. Mullineux Quartz Chenin Blanc 2016: July 2019 (16)
  18. Mullineux Schist Syrah Swartland 2015: July 2019 (17) 
  19. Mullineux Granite Syrah Swartland 2015: July 2019(16.5)
  20. Mullineux Iron Syrah Swartland 2015: July 2019 (16.5)
  21. Steenberg Estate Klein Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2014: The Sauvignon is light, aromatic and crisp. There was fresh cut grass and hints of tinned asparagus on the nose. It is dry and the fruit is subdued. The style is more Loire than New Zealand. It is not exciting but makes an acceptable aperitif. (14/20, 85/100). November 2015
  22. Thelema Rabalais 2009: Another masterpiece from Giles Webb. Strong nose of green peppers but rich with sweet fruit. Perfectly balanced and long. Lovely. (18) November 2015

Spain

  1. Barbadillo Manzanilla Solear: From the last Fells offer. Still showing well and a real pleasure to drink. (15) – 21 March 2016
  2. Barbadillo En Rama 2016: Has deeper colour, aroma, flavour and body (15)
  3. Barbadillo Pedro Ximanez La Cila (15.5) June 2016
  4. Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2010: (16) June 2016
  5. Ermita del Conde 2013, Castilla y Leon from the obscure Albillo Mayor grape. It is a clean, aromatic and crisp wine for a long time used as a blending agent to add acidity and aroma to wines from Viura. Would be interesting to see how it is in a year or two.(16) November 2015
  6. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA GRAVONIA BLANCO 2006: A 100% viura, matured in barrel for four years, and as much again in bottle. Remarkably fresh and vibrant, with the bodega’s trademark creamy texture and long, tangy finish. (14) June 2016

  7. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA BLANCO 1999: A blend of 90% viura and 10% malvasia with six years in barrel. It is dry and nutty with integrated mature oak flavours.(14) One bottle was not in good condition. June 2016

  8. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA GRAN RESERVA BLANCO 1994: Beautifully evolved at over 20 years old with notes of warm stone fruit, a subtle smokiness and discreet hints of sweet vanilla after ten years in barrel. A wine of striking vigour, deep complexity and a seemingly endless, multi-layered finish. (16) June 2016

  9. Lopez de Heredia Vina CUBILLO CRIANZA 2007: A blend of 65% tempranillo and 25% garnacha, with mazuelo and graciano making up the balance, all produced at the Cubillo vineyard in the Rioja Alta. After three years in barrel, it has mellowed further in bottle, with notes of cedar and cherry stone. (15) June 2016
  10. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2003: The blend of 75% tempranillo with 15% garnacha and 10% graciano and mazuelo combined spends six years in barrel. It is ubtle and mellow, mahogany in appearance with smoky aromas and evolved spicy, dried-cranberry notes on the palate, lifted by life-enhancing acidity. (16) June 2016
  11. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA RESERVA 2001 Bottles were in poor condition. June 2016
  12. Lopez de Heredia VIÑA TONDONIA GRAN RESERVA 1994: Mature gran reserva from an excellent vintage, and for Maria-José López de Heredia one of the best Tondonias in the history of the bodega. After almost a decade in barrel, and as much again in bottle, this is delicate, silky and intense with gorgeous fruit sweetness you’d expect in a much younger wine. On the finish, an appealing touch of dry, but not grippy, tannin enhances the experience. (17) June 2016
  13. Marques de Murrieta Blanco Capellaria Rioja 2010: Classic oaked Viura from a master producer. A great food wine. (17) November 201

  14. Torres Gran Sangre de Toro 2009: Showing at its best now and irresistible! If you have any left, starting drinking now and make sure you buy the next vintage. Fells have an offer at present and the HMWS will offer it to members together with some other Torres wines after the Easter weekend. (17.5). – 23 March 2016

  15. Torres Mas La Plana 2007: An absolute delight. July 2019 (16.5)
  16. Torres Mas La Plana 2007 is still magnificent. (17) 3 August 2019
  17. Tio Pepe En Rama 2019: Still fresh and drinking well. Perfect summer aperitif. July 2019 (16)

USA

  1. Chateau St. Michelle, Michelle Sparkling NV, , Washington State (11.5%)Grapes for this Traditional Method sparkling wine come from the Columbia Valley and the blend of 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris is aged sur lie for 18 months. It is well made, dry, has fine persistent bubbles and a hint of autolysis and was a pleasure to drink. A wine to buy. (14) September 2015
  2. Chateau Ste. Michelle 2012 Columbia Syrah, Washington State. (13.5%)1% Viognier. Aged for 18 months in 16% new French oak, 15% new American oak, and 69% neutral oak barrels. It is a lovely wine closer in style to Syrah from new Zealand. Well worth buying (14.5) September 2015
  3. Chateau St. Michelle, 2012 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State (14.5%): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, made in the “New World” style and aged for 16 months in 51% new American and French oak barrels. It is a lovely soft, rich wine which matched the lamb beautifully. Well worth buying. (17) September 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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