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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:47 pm 
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NORTHERN HEMISPHERE RED

EXTRA SPECIAL MINERVOIS 2011
Producer: Foncalieu
Grapes: 70% Syrah, 30% Grenache
Vinification: The grapes were machine harvested from 20-30 year old vines from vineyards located around Puichéric near Carcassonne. Temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks with gentle pump overs. Malolactic fermentation. No oak.
Alcohol: 13.9% Price: £6.97 Acidity: 3.2 g/l Residual Sugar: 1.6 g/l
Smells dark and strong in alcohol. Tastes fiery.

EXTRA SPECIAL CÔTES DU RHONE VILLAGES 2011
Producer: Cellier Des Dauphins
Grapes: 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Vinification: Two methods of vinification (traditional and thermo vinification) were used, taking place in both stainless steel and concrete tanks. The grapes that were vinified traditionally went through a chilled pre fermentation at 15°C for several days and then the temperature was allowed to climb to 30°C for the main par t of the fermentation ensuring that the yeast conver ted all the sugars into alcohol. The grapes which were thermo-vinified were heated to 70°C for a few minutes to allow full extraction of both colour and flavour before allowing the temperature to drop to around 27°C for the rest of the fermentation. The resulting wines were then blended together before being racked several times and then aged in concrete vats for 6 to 9 months prior to bottling.
Alcohol: 13.5% Price: £6.48 Acidity: 3.2 g/l Residual Sugar: <2 g/l
Cherry aroma. Bright, juicy and fresh taste.

THE WINE SELECTION CHIANTI DOCG 2011 **NEW**
Producer: Castellani Spa
Grapes: 90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot
Vinification: Despite the heat of the second half of August and the first days of September, the maturity of the Sangiovese grapes in the coastal vineyards was balanced and really good. After rain in the Colline Pisane at mid-September, temperatures were more typical of the seasonal average in the area. The grapes were healthy, compact, extremely savour y and with lovely mature tannins.
This was an excellent year for Chianti with great concentration on International varietals and good finesse on coastal Sangiovese. The grapes were harvested at the end of September. Traditional vinification method was used: completely mature grapes were membrane pressed. The must underwent a temperature-controlled fermentation at 24°C for 10 days. This was followed by a prolonged maceration on skins.
Alcohol: 12.5% Price: £4.48 Acidity: 5.6 g/l Residual Sugar: 2.4 g/l
Very appealing nose for £4.48. Savoury and pretty oaky taste.  Needs food.

CORTEBELLA CHIANTI RISERVA 2008
Producer: Sensi
Grapes: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Canailo
Vinification: Careful hand-picking was followed by destemming and crushing. Fermentation took place spontaneously in small stainless steel tanks of 140 hl – temperature controlled at 28°C for 10-12 days. After racking, the wine was kept in stainless steel tanks for two years with continuous monthly transfers prior to bottling.
Alcohol: 13% Price: £7.98 Acidity: 5.3 g/l Residual Sugar: 3.2 g/l
Oaky warm nose. Very baked flavour, like dark toast.  

EXTRA SPECIAL CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA 2008
Producer: Castellani Spa
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Closure: Natural Cork
Vinification: Castellani Spa is one of the leading Italian private wineries owned by Castellani family that celebrated the 100th Anniversar y in 2003. The grapes for Chianti Classico Extra Special are selected in the so called “Gold Triangle” of the Chianti Classico area, between the villages of Castellina, Radda and Grave in Chianti. The extraordinar y qualities of this area are strictly linked to the ver y special soil: a mix of Galestro and Alberese stones with small addition of white quar tz. The altitude of the area, between 300 and 600 metres, means that cool nights and warm days alternate for a perfect poliphenolic maturation of the grapes. The Riser va grapes were strictly selected and further fermented at a low temperature for a good extraction of flavour. The tannins and the acidity of the Sangiovese were further refined by a minimum ageing of 24 months in traditional oak cask.
Alcohol: 13% Price: £8.98 Acidity: 5.6 g/l Residual Sugar: 2.2 g/l
An interesting aroma.  There’s a touch something bright and tropical. Oaky, and rather lovely. Nice juicy acidity and all sorts of complex flavours.

:qofgoodvalue:

EXTRA SPECIAL MONTEPULCIANO D’ABRUZZO 2011
Region: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC Producer: MGM Mondo del Vinol’Hermitage
Grapes: 100% Montepulciano
Vinification: The grapes were hand-picked from 15-30 year old vines. After destemming and crushing, the grapes were fermented in stainless steel for 8 days at 28°- 32°C . The wine underwent malolactic fermentation before ageing for 6 months, 20% of which was in American barrels.
Alcohol: 13% Price: £6.98 Acidity: 5.7 g/l Residual Sugar: 4 g/l
Not a lot of aroma. Warm alcohol and quite rustic.  A nice spag bol wine.

EXTRA SPECIAL VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO 2010
Producer: Provinco Italia
Grapes: 70% Corvina, 30% Rondinella
Vinification: Vineyards are located near the villages of Illasi and Cazzano di Tramigna. Vinification involved the maceration of young Valpolicella, obtained from fresh grapes, with the fermented pomace from dried grapes, previously used for the production of Recioto or Amarone. After macerating on the marcs, approximately 15-20% of Amarone wine was present in the final blend. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 15 days at 22°C. Malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured in 50% stainless steel and 50% oak barrels for a maximum of 12 months.
Alcohol: 13.5% Price: £8.98 Acidity: 5.6 g/l Residual Sugar: 6.5 g/l
Cherry aroma. Sweet, with warm alcohol and liquorice, baked flavours.

EXTRA SPECIAL PRIMITIVO 2010
Region: Puglia IGT Producer: Casa Girelli S.p.a.
Vinification: The grapes were de-stemmed, but not crushed. They were fermented at 28°C for about
8 days. Frequent closed remontage took place in the first stage of fermentation. After 48 hours 2 delestages a day were carried out, reducing to one a day by the end of fermentation. The malolactic fermentation took place in concrete tanks.
Alcohol: 13.7% Price: £6.98 Acidity: 5.7 g/l Residual Sugar: 5.5 g/l
Sweet aroma, with baked, earthy notes. Baked and rather exciting taste.  Dark and moody. Needs food.

PAUL DE ALBAS RIBERO DEL DUERO 2011
Grapes: 100% Tempranillo
Vinification: The Chavarri family has been making wine for five generations with bodegas in the regions of Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rueda and Albarino. This wine was made from a single 50ha estate in the area San Mar tin De Rubiales that has belonged to the Chavarri family since 2002. Ribera del Duero appellation was created in 1982. The grapes were machine picked at optimum ripeness and fermented traditionally in stainless steel tanks. The fermentation and maceration lasted for about 2 weeks at 24°-28°C. Extraction of colours, tannins and flavours was carried out with extensive pumping over at the beginning of the fermentation. After 2 weeks maceration, the grapes were pressed. The wine was racked off gross lees once before going through malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 2 months in American oak barrels. The different barrels were blended and the blends aged for 6 months in tank before being bottled.
Alcohol: 13.5% Price: £7.98 Acidity: 5.5 g/l Residual Sugar: <2 g/l
Lacking aroma. This has a touch of fizz. Never good on reds. Pity.

NOSTER NOBILIS PRIORAT 2007
Producer: La Perla del Priorat (Estriacus S.L)
Grapes: 70% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vinification: The La Perla Del Priorat Winer y is a 52 acre estate, one of Priorat’s oldest wineries founded in the 15th centur y by the Car thusian monks of Scala Dei. The estate is planted mainly with indigenous varieties of Grenache and Carignan. The typical mineral soil known as Llicorella is worked by hand. The winer y is now run by a young, passionate and dynamic trio: Montse, Miquel and Bar th. The grapes were hand-picked from 7th-28th September from vineyards in the El Molar region. The must underwent temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation to a maximum of 28°C. Malolactic fermentation. The wine spent time on its lees. The wine was aged in French oak barrel from Allier Forest for 12 months.
Alcohol: 14.5% Price: £8.48 Acidity: 5.9 g/l Residual Sugar: 2 g/l
There’s a sweet vanilla note on the aroma and dark, ripe fruit. Very inviting. Quite strong alcohol but it has an enormous amount of flavour.  Very good.

:qofgold:

EXTRA SPECIAL DÂO 2010
Producer: Sogrape Vinhos
Grapes: 40% Touriga Nacional, 25% Jaen, 25% Tinta Roriz, 10% Alfrocheiro
Vinification: Upon arrival from the harvest, the grapes were immediately destemmed and crushed. The fermentation on skins took place at a controlled temperature (25°-28°C) in stainless steel tanks after inoculation with selected yeasts. During this period, maceration was carried out using pump overs and rack and return process. Malolactic fermentation followed. Part of the blend was aged in 2nd and 3rd year French oak barrels.
Alcohol: 13% Price: £6.98 Acidity: 5.7 g/l Residual Sugar: 4 g/l
Very little aroma. Warm alcohol and dark, moody flavours.  Quite good.  

BRADSHAW PINOT NOIR 2012 **NEW**
Region: IG Ville Timisului, Romania Producer: Recas wine
Vinification: The grapes were machine harvested from 8-10 year old vines at the end of August through to the beginning of September. The must underwent 14 days automated pump overs 4-6 times a day. 25% of the wine underwent carbonic maceration. The wine underwent secondary malolactic fermentation. 30% of the wine spent 2 months on French staves.
Alcohol: 13% Price: £5.98 Acidity: 5.2 g/l Residual Sugar: 5 g/l
Lightly cherry on the nose. Sweet, easy drinking. Not for pinot fans.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE RED

MOUNT OLYMPUS PINOT NOIR 2012 **NEW**
Region: Southern Valleys, New Zealand Producer: Mount Olympus Wines
Vinification: The grapes were machine harvested from 15 year old vines in late March 2011.
Primary and secondary fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tank. Five day cold soak, hand plunged with 2 weeks on skins. Ver y light lees contact. The wine was aged 10% in French oak barriques and 90% on French oak chips in tank for 3 months.
Alcohol: 13.5% Price: £9.98 Acidity: 6 g/l Residual Sugar: < 0 g/l
Light colour.  Textbook aroma. Spicy taste, with juicy acidity. Quite sweet and commercial.

THE WINE SELECTION LANGHORNE CREEK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012
Producer: Complexity Wines
Grapes: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Shiraz
Vinification: The grapes were sourced from Bremer River in Langhorne Creek. High quality and low yield characterised the 2012 harvest. Rotar y fermenters were rotated over three times a day until the third day then reduced to twice daily. Tannin extraction was monitored and maceration regime regulated to minimise extraction of harsh tannins. The wine was settled, clarified and then inoculated for malolactic fermentation in tank and then transferred to French and American oak.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £5.98 Acidity: 6.5 g/l Residual Sugar: <1 g/l
Very little aroma. Dry and with horribly high alcohol. No.  I’ll be keeping an eye open for “Complexity” Wines.  Dislike both their wines, so far.

ZILZIE MERLOT 2012 **NEW**
Region: Wrattonbully Producer: Zilzie
Grapes: 90% Merlot, 10% Shiraz
Vinification: The grapes were machine harvested from 20-25 year old vines in March. This area is slightly warmer than Coonawarra. The grapes were harvested at night, then crushed and fermented on skins with a selected yeast strain. The wine is then membrane pressed and clarified before being inoculated for malolactic fermentation. The wine is then stabilised, blended and filtered.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £6.98 Acidity: 6.5 g/l Residual Sugar: 2g/l
Low on aroma. High on alcohol.  Rich and fruity.  Baked flavours.

EXTRA SPECIAL MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ 2009
Producer: Tatachilla
Grapes: 100% Shiraz
Vinification: The grapes were sourced from the central McLaren vale with a component from Clarendon (higher elevation North McLaren Vale). The grapes were machine harvested from 5-35 year old vines. The Shiraz was fermented in a combination of small 4 ton open fermenters for 10 days and larger 10 ton fermenters for 7 days. Traditional pump over and rack and return methods were used to produce a soft, vibrant wine. Following on from primary fermentation the individual vineyard parcels completed malolactic fermentation and maturation in a combination of one – two year old French oak.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £8.98 Acidity: 7.2 g/l Residual Sugar: 0.45 g/l
Appealing aroma. Plenty of dark fruit, some mint. Mmm. Fruity and dark with mint and eucalyptus.  Nice. Fair price.

:qofgoodvalue:

JACOB’S CREEK RESERVE SHIRAZ 2010 **NEW**
Region: Barossa Valley Producer: Orlando Wines
Grapes: 100% Shiraz
Vinification: After harvest selected parcels were gently crushed and de-stemmed into static fermenters and inoculated with the selected strain of neutral yeast. During fermentation on skins temperatures were carefully controlled between 18°-28°C for up to 15 days. The wine was then pressed into selected new and used French and American oak barrels for secondar y malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured in oak for up to 20 months.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £9.98 Acidity: 7.1 g/l Residual Sugar: 0.6 g/l
Very minty, oaky and in your face.  A lot of sweet American oak. Inviting. This is good. Quite sweet and fruity but balanced by a lot of oak.  Very popular, I’d imagine.

:qofgold:

THE WINE SELECTION BAROSSA SHIRAZ 2012 **NEW**
Producer: Complexity Wines
Grapes: 100% Shiraz
Vinification: The grapes were machine harvested from 20-35 year old vines sourced from the Barossa valley floor. High quality and low yields characterise the 2012 harvest. Rotar y fermenterswere rotated over 3 times per day until the third day then reduced to twice per day. At lower Be’ levels, tannin extraction was monitored and maceration regime regulated to minimise extraction of harsh tannins. Fermentation temperature was allowed to reach 26°-27°C. The grapes were pressed at 1-2oBe’ after 7 days on skins –pressings were kept as separate parcel. The wine was settled, clarified and then inoculated for malolactic fermentation in tank and then put to rest on American oak for 3 months.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £5.98 Acidity: 6.5 g/l Residual Sugar: 4 g/l
Some oak on the nose. Spicy, peppery taste.  Good and a fab price. Aha, Complexity Wines again, but this one isn’t bad at all. Now I see they’re an umbrella for several good producers and at least one hopeless one, I’m guessing.

THE WINE SELECTION SOUTH AFRICAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2012 **NEW**
Region: Coastal Region, South Africa Producer: Darling Cellars
Vinification: The grapes were hand picked from 15-25 year old vines. The must was fermented in stainless steel temperature controlled tanks with pumpover.  Malolactic fermentation took place.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £4.98 Acidity: 5.7 g/l Residual Sugar: 1.3 g/l
The alcohol leads on the nose. Quite a pleasant tropical fruit taste, with baked earth, but the alcohol is too warm for me.

DE BOS SHIRAZ 2011 **NEW**
Region: Wellington, South Africa Producer: Bosman Family Vineyards
Grapes: 85% Shiraz, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Mourvedre, 3% Cinsault, 1% Primitivo
Vinification: Multiple pickings were carried out overnight at the end of Februar y and beginning of March. Cold maceration was carried out for 3 days prior to fermentation. Fermentation took place in a combination of stainless steel tank and wooden vats. Malolactic fermentation followed. 80% of the wine was matured in American oak barrels for 12 months.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £7.98 Acidity: 5.5 g/l Residual Sugar: 3.1g/l
Sweet vanilla aroma. Rather a nice taste.  Spicy and with enough weight of fruit vs oaky.  Good price. Juicy and moreish.

:qofgoodvalue:

EXTRA SPECIAL CHILEAN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011
Region: Colchagua Valley, Chile Producer: William Cole Vineyards (Vino El Rosal)
Vinification: The grapes were crushed and put in the tanks for 5 days prior to star ting the fermentation. Fermentation took place over a 5-10 day period at 16°-26°C. Malolactic fermentation lasted 2 months.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £6.48 Acidity: 5.2 g/l Residual Sugar: 3.6 g/l
Not much aroma. Spicy taste.  Not bad for the money.

CASILLERO DEL DIABLO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2011
Region: Central Valley, Chile Producer: Concha y Toro
Grapes: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Carmenère
Vinification: The grapes were 60% hand-picked from 7-33 year old vines in vineyards in the regions of Maipo (40%), Rapel (42%) and Maule Valley (18%). Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks for 7 days with a total malolactic secondar y fermentation. 40% of the blend was aged in stainless steel for 8 months. 60% of the blend was aged in medium-toast American oak barrels (10% new) for 8 months.
Alcohol: 13.5% Price: £7.48 Acidity: 5.3 g/l Residual Sugar: 2.1 g/l
Blackcurrant leaf aroma. Minty, eucalyptus taste, with blackcurrant.  This wine is great. Again and again.  

:qofgold:

MAYU SYRAH RESERVA 2007
Region: Elqui Valley Producer: Viña Mayu
Vinification: The grapes were handpicked from 6-10 year old vines in the Elqui Valley, the northern most wine producing region of Chile. Grapes were cold macerated prior to fermentation, which took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 22°-23°C. The caps of the skins in the tanks were worked softly using pistons optimising colour and flavour. Full malolactic fermentation was carried out.
60% of the wine was aged in a mixture of new and used French oak barrels for 5 to 8 months. The wine was not fined but under went gentle filtration only.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £8.48 Acidity: 5.1 g/l Residual Sugar: 3.5 g/
Sweet and ripe with tropical fruit.  Sweet, dark and fruity taste.  Very likeable.

MAYU SANGIOVESE 2011
Region: Elqui Valley Producer: Viña Mayu
Grapes: 85% Sangiovese, 15% Syrah
Vinification: The grapes were hand-picked in mid-April from 11 year old vines in the vineyards of
Quebrada de Talca (350 mt. Alt) El Tambo (550 mt. Alt). The grapes underwent cold maceration prior to stainless steel fermentation at 25°-26°C with selected yeast until dr y. This process usually lasts approximately 14 days. After malolactic fermentation the wine was racked twice. The wine was then aged in tank. 10% of the wine was aged in French oak barrels for 6 months.
Alcohol: 14% Price: £6.48 Acidity: 4.8 g/l Residual Sugar: 2.7 g/l
Pretty stinky. Farmyardy taste, which I like.  Juicy acidity, some oak.  Nice feel.  Open early and decant to get rid of the stink.


SWEETIES

THE WINE SELECTION ASTI SPUMANTE NV **NEW**
Producer: Araldica Vini Piemontesi
Grapes: Moscato d’Asti
Vinification: The grapes were hand-picked in September. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled pressure tank using R2 yeast. Fermentation was deliberately stopped by chilling and filtration.
Alcohol: 7% Price: £5.13 Acidity: 5.5 g/l Residual Sugar: 87 g/l
Light aroma of roses. Sweet and rosy taste.

GINESTET SAUTERNES 2009
Region: Sauternes, Bordeaux
Grapes: 80% Sémillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Muscadelle
Vinification: The grapes were hand-picked three times a day from 40 year old vines between mid- October and mid-November. The must was fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 18°-22°C for 10 days. The wine was aged in vat for 12 months. No malolactic fermentation.
Alcohol: 13% Price: £10.17 (35cl) Acidity: 3.6 g/l Residual Sugar: 90 g/l
VEGETARIAN
Low on aroma. Light and easy Sauternes.  Lacking any real intensity.

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