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Past Offers

Domaine de l'Edre, Carrement Rouge, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, France 2019

Domaine de l'Edre, Carrement Rouge, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, France 2019

Domaine de l’Edre operates along the lines of the ‘garagiste’ producers in Bordeaux in that they have a few hectares of old vines with exceptional terroir, and a small cellar in town where they produce tiny quantities of sensationally good wine.

The crucial difference though is that this is Roussillon, not Bordeaux, so the value for money is MUCH better.

The Carrément Rouge 2019 is Syrah-dominated with 3 other grapes making up the blend - Carignan, Mourvèdre and Grenache. It is unoaked, with a fresh, red fruit character and delicate notes of garrigue. People talk of tension in wine, referring to a sort of vibrancy and balance. This wine is a fine example of this - more-ishly delicious and everything in its right place.

Offered: June 2020.

Alcohol: 14.8%.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2025.

Food matching: Grilled steak, game, lamb chops and hard cheeses.

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Nages Liberty Blanc, France NV

Nages Liberty Blanc, France NV

The Wine.

The Nages Liberty white is a sort of declassified Costières de Nîmes in that the blend contains a small amount of Colombard, a grape not allowed in Costières de Nîmes AOC wines. As a result, it is labelled as a simple non-vintage Vin de France. Unoaked, minerally and zesty with delicate aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit and tangerine

The Estate.

Château de Nages has been in the same family for four generations and under current owner and winemaker, Michel Gassier, it has become one of the leading estates in the Costières de Nîmes. They farm organically and as sustainably as possible, keeping the use of copper fungicides to a minimum (although they are allowed in organic farming) and grazing sheep on the land between October and March to fertilise the soil, keep weeds under control and avoid compaction of the soil caused by tractors.

The Appellation.

Costières de Nîmes is a small region in southern France where the Rhône meets the Mediterranean. It boasts enviable growing conditions, with plenty of sun, a plateau of well drained pebbly ground and the Mistral breeze acting as a natural fungicide by keeping the air moving among the vines.

Offered: May 2020.

Alcohol: 12.5%.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2021.

Food matching: Summer salads, grilled fish or young hard cheeses.

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Nages Liberty Rouge, Vin de France NV

Nages Liberty Rouge, Vin de France NV

The Wine.

The Nages Liberty red is a sort of declassified Costières de Nîmes in that the blend contains a small amount of Merlot, a grape not allowed in Costières de Nîmes AOC wines. As a result, it is labelled as a simple non-vintage Vin de France. Lively, fruity and delicately balanced it is an easy drinking beauty at just 12.5% abv.

The Estate.

Château de Nages has been in the same family for four generations and under current owner and winemaker, Michel Gassier, it has become one of the leading estates in the Costières de Nîmes. They farm organically and as sustainably as possible, keeping the use of copper fungicides to a minimum (although they are allowed in organic farming) and grazing sheep on the land between October and March to fertilise the soil, keep weeds under control and avoid compaction of the soil caused by tractors.

The Appellation.

Costières de Nîmes is a small region in southern France where the Rhône meets the Mediterranean. It boasts enviable growing conditions, with plenty of sun, a plateau of well drained pebbly ground and the Mistral breeze acting as a natural fungicide by keeping the air moving among the vines.

Offered: May 2020.

Alcohol: 12.5%.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2021.

Food matching: Roast chicken, pizza, medium strength hard cheeses such as Ossau Iraty or Comté.

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Yannick Cadiou, Chablis, France 2018

Yannick Cadiou, Chablis, France 2018

Yannick Cadiou was until recently the head vigneron for Domaine Laroche, one of Chablis' grandest domaines. He now has his own, meticulously managed little estate and is turning out small amounts of first-rate Chablis at very good prices.

His parcel of vineyards are organically farmed and hand harvested. Yields are low but as a result, the wines are wonderfully fragrant and intense. This crisp, mineral, fruit forward 2018 is a mouth-wateringly good example.

Offered: April 2020.

Alcohol: 12.5% abv.

Vintage Report: 2018 was a hot, high yielding and early vintage which produced some excellent, ripe wines across the region. 

Tasting Notes: Unoaked and elegant at 12.5% abv; fresh and minerally with ripe citrus fruit (lemon and grapefruit) and floral notes.

Drinking window: At its best 2020 - 2028.

Food matching: Drink with smoked salmon, vegetable risotto or hard cheeses such as Comté or Gruyère, to name a few.

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Chateau Margilliere, Coteaux Varois en Provence 2019

Chateau Margilliere, Coteaux Varois en Provence 2019

The hills of the Coteaux Varois produce some superb rosés. The extra height is the key. The cooler nights in the vineyard help the grapes to maintain their acidity, whilst also slowing their maturation. This means more ‘hang time’ on the vine (about two weeks compared to the lowland vineyards) and results in more characterful grapes.

Château Margillière is one of the most exciting estates in the appellation. They have been working organically since 1999 and their vineyards cover 25 hectares. The results are superb thanks to a combination of traditional vineyard techniques, top-spec winery equipment and painstaking attention to detail throughout the production process. 

Offered: April 2020.

Alcohol: 13% abv.

Vintage report: A 'beautiful' vintage according to Laurent at Margillière, and good yields as well.

Tasting Notes: Beautifully balanced, crisp and elegant with soft, ripe red fruits, floral notes and a silky smooth finish.

Drinking window: At its best 2020 - 2022.

Food matching: Excellent as an aperitif but would also be a good match for grilled asparagus, Salade Nicoise, seafood risotto and cured meats (among others).

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Domaine Gregoire Hoppenot, Fleurie 'Origines', Beaujolais, France 2018

Domaine Gregoire Hoppenot, Fleurie 'Origines', Beaujolais, France 2018

The Wine.

A beautifully made, bright and aromatic Fleurie; medium bodied, juicy, minerally and fragrant. 13% abv and ideal for drinking this spring, though it will age well through to 2024. Delicious with roast chicken or steak frites.

The Estate.

Grégoire describes his wines as ‘sans fard’ (without makeup), meaning he does not pretty them up with any winery chicanery (acidifying, adding sugar etc), and he relies on native yeasts to start fermentation, rather than adding a particular bought strain. This is so his wines are an accurate representation of vintage and place.

His Fleurie ‘Origines’ comes from two prime vineyard sites – one young and one old, both undergoing conversion to organic. The younger vines bring fruit and polish; the old vines add structure and depth of flavour.

Harvesting is done by hand by Grégoire, his family and a small band of pickers.

The Appellation.

Fleurie is one of the 10 Crus in the rolling hills of Northern Beaujolais. Gamay is the only red grape allowed and the wines tend to be silkier and more floral than those from the other Crus.

Offered: March 2020.

Alcohol: 13%.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2024.

Food matching: Roast chicken or steak frites!

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Chateau de Nages JT, Costieres de Nimes, France 2016

Chateau de Nages JT, Costieres de Nimes, France 2016

The Wine.

Deep, fruity and smooth, the JT 2016 has that more-ish quality you find in ripe, perfectly balanced wines, and a complexity that reveals something new with every sip. I thought it was completely delicious and as Rhône expert, Jeb Dunnuck said, it has the class of Syrahs at twice the price.

The Estate.

Château de Nages has been in the same family for four generations and under current owner and winemaker, Michel Gassier, it has become one of the leading estates in the Costières de Nîmes. They farm organically and as sustainably as possible, keeping the use of copper fungicides to a minimum (although they are allowed in organic farming) and grazing sheep on the land between October and March to fertilise the soil, keep weeds under control and avoid compaction of the soil caused by tractors.

The Appellation.

Costières de Nîmes is a small region in southern France where the Rhône meets the Mediterranean. It boasts enviable growing conditions, with plenty of sun, a plateau of well drained pebbly ground and the Mistral breeze acting as a natural fungicide by keeping the air moving among the vines.

Offered: 2020.

Alcohol: 14.5%.

Vintage report: Superlative. Winemaker Michel Gassier reckoned this was the best vintage of his 23 year career.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2024.

Food matching: Roast lamb; hard, flavoursome cow's or sheep's milk cheeses.

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Bodegas Iturria, Valdosan, Toro, Spain 2016

Bodegas Iturria, Valdosan, Toro, Spain 2016

The wild and remote Toro region in northwest Spain, has gone from zero to hero in the last 10 to 15 years. Practically unheard of in the 90s, it is fast becoming one of Spain’s most exciting fine wine regions.

While the region establishes itself, there is still some serious value to be found though, and Xavier Iturria's wines are prime examples.

Xavier bought his plot of ungrafted old vines back in 2009 and has been making quite a name for himself since then. He makes just two wines, both rich reds as is the Toro way but with an elegance that is becoming his signature style.

The Valdosan is his top wine, it is 100% Tinto de Toro and comes from 60 year old vines. It is aged in French oak for almost two years before release and the resulting wine is an incredible combination of power, elegance, freshness and complexity. This is the sort of wine that seems to reveal something else each time you take a sip.

Offered: February 2020

Alcohol: 14.5%

Vintage report: An excellent vintage with high yields to boot. Good concentration and potential for ageing.

Drinking window: 2020 – 2030.

Food matching: Drink with roast lamb, other grilled meats or hard cheeses.

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Bodegas Iturria, Toro, Spain 2016

Bodegas Iturria, Toro, Spain 2016

The wild and remote Toro region in northwest Spain, has gone from zero to hero in the last 10 to 15 years. Practically unheard of in the 90s, it is fast becoming one of Spain’s most exciting fine wine regions.

While the region establishes itself, there is still some serious value to be found though, and Xavier Iturria's wines are prime examples.

Xavier bought his plot of ungrafted old vines back in 2009 and has been making quite a name for himself since then. He makes just two wines, both rich reds as is the Toro way but with an elegance that is becoming his signature style.

The Iturria 2016 is a wonderfully smooth, polished red made from 90% Tinta de Toro and 10% Garnacha. It is medium bodied with ripe, dark cherry fruit, a bit of spice, freshness thanks to the altitude and a slight toastiness from 13 months ageing in French oak. The overall balance is excellent and the complexity mightily impressive for the price.

Offered: February 2020.

Alcohol: 14.5%

Vintage report: An excellent vintage with high yields to boot. Good concentration and potential for ageing.

Drinking window: 2020 - 2025.

Food matching: Drink with roast lamb, other grilled meats or hard cheeses.

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Domaine des Gravennes, Terre d'Histoire, Cotes du Rhone Villages Suze La Rousse, France 2017

Domaine des Gravennes, Terre d'Histoire, Cotes du Rhone Villages Suze La Rousse, France 2017

The Estate

Domaine des Gravennes has been in the same family for 4 generations and is now run by two young brothers, Luc and Rémi. Luc was the first to return to the family estate back in 2011, having worked in wine on four different continents; older brother Rémi then joined him, leaving behind his life as an engineer to return home and pursue his passion for the vine.

Highly motivated the pair of them, they have given the estate a serious shot in the arm, creating delicious, balanced and elegant organic wines which have been gathering admirers in the French Press and beyond.

The Wine

2017 was an exceptionally good year in the Southern Rhône, which is obvious in all the wines that the estate produced that year and in particular the Terre d'Histoire, one of their top cuvées.

The wine is full bodied with juicy red berry fruit, ripe tannins, a soft spiciness and the light scent of Provencal garrigue. What really sets it apart though is the exceptional brightness and purity of the fruit and the wonderful overall freshness - both a result of the perfect growing conditions and the brothers' exacting standards in the vineyard and light touch in the winery.

Offered: January 2020

Alcohol: 14.5%

Drinking window: 2020 – 2024.

Food matching: Hearty winter dishes such as stews, roast lamb or roast game.

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