Le SommelierWine Guide

Whether a wine connoisseur or simply an enthusiast, Le Sommelier Wine Guide is now the premier destination for all things wine.
Our Wine Guide allows you to discover and explore all your favourite tipples and more, carefully selected and tasted by our expert team, in an easy-to-navigate porthole. Whatever the occasion, enjoying excellent wine with friends, with someone special, or for an important celebration, you will be brought directly into contact with the producers, sharing their history, their vineyards, their crus and some of their secrets.
2017-12-01
Wine Guide

ARGENTINA

FLECHAS DE LOS ANDES

Situated at 120km south of Mendoza, near the village of Vista Flores, Bodega Flechas de los Andes stands openly before the  magnificent Andes Mountains. The winery is the foundation of an alliance between Laurent Dassault and Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, from which the name Flechas de los Andes, meaning ‘Arrows of the Andes’, alludes to the five arrows of the Rothschild family symbol.

Origin: Argentina, Mendoza

Grape variety: Malbec, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc

Tasting Note: Gran Corte 2010

All grapes were sourced from selected vineyard plots with low yields, on altitudes above 1,100 meters. The grapes were picked and sorted by hand and aged for 18 months in new barrels. Dark red, with purple highlights,  it is quite `intense on the nose with earthy black fruit aromas and liquorice. This rich and powerful wine is full bodied with firm tannins. Intense flavours of plums, anise and black fruits are supported by spice and well integrated savoury French oak on the very long and lingering finish.

TRAPICHE

Trapiche is one of the most important producers in Argentina, symbol of tradition, innovation and outstanding quality. Since 1883, the estate experimented with the introduction of French vines, production of varietal wines and the use of oak barrels. To this day, Trapiche's winemaking team permanently strives to improve winemaking practices by exchanging experience and knowledge with winemakers from other wine producing countries.

Origin: Argentina, Mendoza

Grape variety: Malbec

Tasting Note: Finca Orellana 11

With voluptuous aromas of cherries, fig, plums and hints of fresh herbs and mint, this full bodied Malbec is a quintessentially Argentinian wine. Concentrated, soft and very complex.

ZUCCARDI

Located in the Uco Valley, the Zuccardi family is at the forefront of innovation and experimentation in the region. Every aspect of viticulture at the domain, from irrigation techniques, trellising and training, pruning and harvesting is constantly reviewed and improved upon whilst always remaining true to their principles of sustainability.

Origin: Argentina, Uco Valley

Grape variety: Bonarda

Tasting Note: Emma Bonarda 14

Named after Sebastián Zuccardi's Grandmother, this cuvée is both charming and sophisticated. Bright aromas of ripe, black fruits such as blueberry, blackberry and cassis dominate the nose. While voluminous and rich, the silky tannins and a refreshing acidity lift the palate and give the wine a moreish, persistent finish.

PULENTA

Pulenta Estate has been making wines in Argentina for three generations and is today owned and run by the two brothers Hugo and Eduardo. Situated in Alto Agrelo in Mendoza, the main wine producing region of Argentina, Pulenta’s vineyards are planted up to 980 metres above sea level. At this high altitude the vines enjoys hot days tempered by cool nights- offering the wines both concentration but also refreshing acidity. The irrigation comes from melted snow water from the Andes Mountains, a completely organic operation. The Pulenta brothers are dedicated to producing excellent wines with real class and distinction. Pulenta Gran Cabernet Franc is one of Argentina’s most lauded wines, and an excellent advocate of what the country can achieve.

Origin: Argentina, Mendoza

Grape variety: Cabernet Franc

Tasting Note: Gran Cabernet Franc 11

Deep ruby in colour, with intense aromas of blackcurrant, roasted pepper, eucalyptus and spice. On the palate, a sweet and smooth delivery of blackcurrant and plums is complimented by herbal varietal notes along with an elegant seasoning of spicy, toasty oak.

AUSTRALIA

CASTAGNA

Origin: Australia, Victorias

Grape variety: Sangiovese, Syrah

Tasting Note: Le Sauvage Blend 2007

Julian Castagna had the good idea to plant Sangiovese on his Beechworth vineyard. It is blended with Syrah in this Le Sauvage cuvée to give a flattering and fruity nose of plum, black fruit, with spicy and floral tones. The mouth is frisky and full, with a good tannic structure and a significant length.

MARC FORBES

Based in the Yarra Valley, in the state of Victoria, Mac Forbes started his solo adventure in 2004, with the aim to find the balance between restrain and the unique environment of his vineyards. The emphasis is placed on understanding the land, carrying out all the tasks at the best possible time with respect to the season, vine and terroir.

Origin: Australia, Yarra Valley

Grape variety: Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Woori Pinot Noir 2008

The Woori Pinot Noir is sourced from a plot planted in 1995 on grey loam, gravely clay soil. This is one of the coolest sites that Mac Forbes works with and gives the wine a very feminine, elegant style. The nose is complex with concentrated aromas of red fruits, fresh herbs and warm spices. The palate is incredibility structured, with fine tannins and a refreshing acidity that lifts the very long finish.

FIRST DROP

Origin: Australia, Adelaide Hills

Grape variety: Nebbiolo, Barbera

Tasting Notes: Big Blind 2011

Big Blind 2011 from First Drop demonstrates the perfect marriage between Piedmont’s best quality varieties - Nebbiolo and Barbera. The fruit and acidity of Barbera combines perfectly with the savoury character and structure of Nebbiolo, making for a perfectly balanced and delicious red.

HENTLEY FARM

Set on the red-brown soils of the western Barossa Valley, Hentley Farm founders Keith and Alison Hentschke acquired the 150 acre vineyard and mixed farming property in the 1990s. With a focus on perfecting the vineyards, the first wines weren’t released from the property until 2002. The estate was extended with the purchase of the neighbouring Clos Otto in 2004.

Origin: Australia, Barossa Valley

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes: Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Dark chocolate, grainy tannins, fruit driven palate.

ENGLAND

DENBIES WINE ESTATE

Founded in 1986 Denbies was one of the pioneers in establishing commercial vineyards in England. The estate now stretches over 627 acres, 200 of which are woodlands, located on the North Downs. Chalky soils and south facing slopes make it an ideal combination for growing quality grapes in England’s temperate climate.

Origin: England, South East

Grape variety: Ortega

Tasting Notes: Noble Harvest 2015

this luscious and complex dessert wine bursts with notes of apricot, caramelised citrus and almond. Refreshing and crisp finish.

GUSBOURNE ESTATE

Whilst the original Gusbourne Estate dates back to 1410, it was not until Andrew Weeber took over in 2004 that winemaking started to take place. Vines were planted that same year, and the first vintages of Brut Reserve and Blanc de Blanc were released in 2010. A relatively young operation, Gusbourne now stretches over 40 hectares in Kent and 22 in West Sussex, all blessed with clay and sandy loam soil that is particularly well-suited to vine growing.

Origin: England, Kent

Grape Variety: Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Pinot Noir 15

This wine shows the classic characteristics of a cool climate Pinot Noir, with bright red fruit aromas and an elegant, delicate juiciness that is supported by firm yet supple tannins. A great expression of Pinot Noir that marries the juiciness and vivacity of New World wines with the elegance and complexity of Old World wines.

HATTINGLEY VALLEY

Established in 2008, Hattingley Valley quickly became an exciting new English wine producer. While the 11 hectares estate is planted with classic Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, it also comprises of a nursery with 3000 vines of different grape varieties and rootstocks in order to determine the best matches of grape variety for the site. This great attention to detail also translates into the newly built winery, which is also eco-friendly, being the first in the UK to use solar power and an innovative way of dealing with the winery's effluent.

Origin: England, Hampshire

Grape Variety: Bacchus

Tasting Notes: Entice 16

A very limited release, Entice is made from 100% Bacchus vinified in an ice-wine style. The great skill and incredible attention to details that went into crafting this wine are alone a testament to the potential of England as a fine wine region. Sweet notes of nectarine, candied lemon and succulent blood orange.

LONDON CRU

London Cru is central London’s first winery. With state-of-the-art equipment and only the best grapes hand-harvested from European vineyards, the wines are unique, expertly made and delicious. This London Cru Rosé was made from Barbera grapes, sourced from Piedmont in Italy and then immediately transported to London on refrigerated trucks.

Origin: England, London

Grape Variety: Barbera

Tasting Notes: Rosé 2015

Made by the traditional saignée method, the juice spent six hours in contact with the skins to take on a pale copper colour, before being gently fermented at 15 degrees to retain freshness and aroma. After fermentation the wine is given extended ageing on the yeast lees to add complexity and build texture. Aromas of grapefruit, strawberry and lychee and a wonderful textural quality from the time on lees, all underpinned by crisp acidity, giving a fresh, dry finish.

RIDGEVIEW ESTATE

Ridgeview Estate is dedicated solely to the production of the highest quality sparkling wine from traditional Champagne varieties and methods.

Origin: England, Sussex

Grape variety: 55% Pinot Noir & 45% Pinot Meunier

Tasting Notes: Knightsbridge 2010

the nose is elegant and restrained with hints of red fruit and floral notes. The generous palate shows off the ripe pinot fruit, with lots of concentration and well balanced acidity.

FRANCE

CHAMPAGNE BOLLINGER

Origin: France, Champagne

Grape Variety: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Spectre 2009

The 2009 release from Bollinger, is exclusively produced for the new James Bond film Spectre. Celebrating the long running relationship between Bollinger and the secret agent, this 2009 vintage is a strong, sophisticated and stylish release.

CHAMPAGNE BERTRAND SENECOURT

Beau Joie Brut is a special cuvée by Champagne Bertrand Senecourt. Based in Epernay, this release embodies the eclectic and powerful style of the house. The bottle is encased in a beautiful armour made from recycled copper and designed to keep the Champagne cool for longer. This striking presentation and the expressive style of the champagne is sure to make an enviable gift for any champagne lover.

Origin: France, Epernay

Grape Variety: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Beau Joie, Brut NV

Fresh and lively, the wine shows pure and concentrated aromas of pear and green apples as well as more complex aromas of toast and bread. The zero-dosage adds a note of freshness and purity to the really concentrated and powerful mouth.

CHAMPAGNE DELAMOTTE

Maison Delamotte is the sister House to the legendary Champagne Salon, and has been a benchmark in the region since 1760. Specialising in top quality wines produced from Chardonnay, Delamotte is one of Champagne’s best kept secrets, making wines that express an unflagging respect for terroir and for the Côte des Blancs region. Delamotte’s commitment to Chardonnay is truly exceptional. The House sources all its grapes form the Grand Crus of the Côte des Blancs: Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant, making it one of the very few négociants to cultivate such a passion for the ‘blanc de blancs’ expression of Champagne.

Origin: France, Champagne Côte des Blancs

Grape Variety: Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Blanc de Blancs 2007

This seductive Blanc de Blancs 2007 vintage really showcases the elegant and pure style of the house. On the nose, fresh notes of white flowers, spearmint and green pear evolve into warmer aromas of orange blossom and jasmine. The Delamotte style is further revealed on the palate, where it appears simultaneously mature and youthful, with honeyed flavours spiked with fresh citrus. This perfect harmony and balance will assure this wine will age beautifully for at least another decade.

CHAMPAGNE POL ROGER

Winston Churchill’s favourite Champagne house was founded in 1849 by Pol Roger who from the very start favoured a dry Champagne, knowing it was the preference of the English palate. Ever since that time, the house has produced wines of exceptional quality, class and balance. Produced in honour of its most distinguished devotee, Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was released the first time in 1975, made in a style the house thought would most please Churchill.

Origin: France, Champagne

Grape Variety: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2002

Mid-golden yellow colour and a continuous stream of delicate bubbles. An elegant and powerful nose displays aromas of dried apples, toasted brioche, fresh quince and peach, with underlying notes of cinnamon and lime leaf. Weighty and complex in the mouth, this wine is characteristic both of the terroir and vintage. Finishing long, with a fine backbone of acidity, the 2002 is one of the most exceptional releases of this wine in recent times.

CHAMPAGNE RUINART

Origin: France, Champagne

Grape variety: 45% Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Brut Rosé

Ruinart rosé embodies the gourmand expression of the Ruinart taste: intense, fruity, aromatic. The nose is subtle, fine, and fresh, with aromas of freshly picked cherry and red berries. Followed by beautiful floral notes (rose, hawthorn) and spice notes (tonka, nutmeg). On the palate, the wine reveals its silky, delicate fleshy charm.

CHATEAU DE BEAUCASTEL

Origin: France, Rhône

Grape variety: Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah, Muscardin, Vaccarese, Counoise and Picpoul

Tasting Notes: Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2006

This great name in the appellation, Château de Beaucastel produces a powerful and structured Châteauneuf-du-Pape, marked by the strong presence of Mourvèdre. The power of the nose reveals beautiful mature grapes with very nuanced aromas of fruit, venison or garrigue. The mouth has the magnitude of the wines of the appellation adding a powerful structure marked by beautiful spicy tannins. Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2006 ages gracefully.

CHATEAU FONT DU BROC

Château Font du Broc offers wines of prestige and character.

Origin: France, Provence

Grape variety: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault

Tasting Notes: Maestro 2014

Maestro rosé of Château La Font du Broc is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. This wine is characterised by its peach pink colour and yellow-fleshed fruit nose. The mouth of this gourmet rosé is delicious and in the finale, notes of red berries appear.

CHATEAU LAFITE-ROTHSCHILD

Origin: France, Bordeaux

Grape variety: 80 to 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5 to 20% Merlot, 0 to 5% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Tasting Notes: Pauillac 2006

The 2006 Château Lafite-Rothchild has a very dark colour and opens onto a discreet nose. Very quickly we find freshness and notes of forest fruits. In the mouth, this Pauillac reveals power with a precise and frank attack, giving place to well built tannins. The finale is delicious, elegant and well-balanced. Without a doubt this 2006 vintage will delight lovers of this mythical château.

CHATEAU LE SARTRE

Château Le Sartre draws on a long wine making history dating back to the 19th century.Revived in the late seventies by the Perrin family,the 90 acres estate has been managed since 2005 by a team consisting of Marie-José & René Leriche and winemaker David Château.

Origin: France, Bordeaux (Pessac-Léognan)

Grape variety: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon 40% Merlot

Tasting Notes: Château Le Sartre 2012

This 2012 vintage is a real gem. Powdery and vibrating texture of roses and iris, a fresh nose with invigorating red fruits and in the mouth a surprising fresh attack of small berries.

CHATEAU PALMER

Château Palmer is one of the top estates of the Margaux appellation and produces one of Bordeaux’s greatest wines. The estate was named after the British officer, Major General Palmer, who settled in Bordeaux in 1814. Although a traditionally made wine, the assemblage of grapes at Palmer is unique in that a very high percentage of Merlot is used to make the wine and is no doubt the reason for Palmer’s richness, suppleness and generous, fleshy character. The style of Palmer’s wine is characterised by a sensational fragrance and bouquet.

Origin: France, Margaux

Grape variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot

Tasting Notes: Château Palmer 1990

Dark plum/garnet colour with a sweet and generous bouquet of baked fruit, spice box, candied citrus fruits and sweet liquorice mingle with chocolate, plum and black cherries; lush, velvety-textured with constant freshness and exotic aromas.

CHATEAU ROC DES CAMBES

Roc de Cambes is based in the Côtes de Bourg region of Bordeaux and is widely regarded as the finest producer in the appellation. It was bought in 1988 by François Mitjavile, owner of Château Le Tetre-Rôteboeuf in St-Emilion, and has since gone from strength to strength with the quality of wines being produced.

Origin: France,  Bordeaux, Côtes de Bourg

Grape variety: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes: Côtes De Bourg 2010

Elegantly scented and pronounced on the nose, this fine wine displays aromas of blackcurrant, plums, olive, cedar, coffee and dark chocolate. Silky and round in the mouth with a subtle ripeness, flavours of cassis, vanilla, mocha and savoury spice feature on a palate extending to a persistent complex finish.

CHATEAU SIGNAC

Château Signac, in the Côtes du Rhône Villages, goes back to the 17th century and is set on an old fortified farm near the flat-topped mountain Dent de Signac. This eye-catching rocky outcrop overlooks the estate's 38ha and is one of these unique sites which slowly reveal their mysteries in time. On this rocky land, a mixture of clay and sand, grow the grape varieties which make up the elegant and generous wines.

Origin: France, Rhône

Grape variety: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre

Tasting Notes: Château Signac Villages, Chusclan Cuvée Tradition 2009

Blended from three Rhône varieties - Syrah, Carignan and Grenache - this ruby red wine has an intensely fruity nose with hints of liquorice. Elegant, delicate and supple, the palate offers flavours of gooseberry and morello cherry, with hints of liquorice.

DOMAINE MICHEL MAGNIEN

Morey-St-Denis lies between Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, and stylistically combines the fragrance of the former with the structure of the latter. Michel Magnien specialises in the wines from this village, and this cuvée is a very typical example of the appellation.

Origin: France, Burgundy

Grape variety: Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Magnien 2007

Savoury red fruit, firm tannic and a lifted floral perfume. With nearly ten years of ageing in the bottle, there is a complex flavour coming through on the nose and palate.

DOMAINE PASCAL JOLIVET

Pascal Jolivet is one of the most dynamic and forward thinking producers in the Loire Valley specialising in the wines of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. In 2005 Pascal purchased an additional 12 hectares in the Touraine area to provide grapes for his ‘Attitude’ range of wines, which provide excellent value.

Origin: France, Loire

Grape variety: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Tasting Notes: Attitude 2012

This Sauvignon Blanc 2012 is beautifully fresh with delicate citrus fruit flavours and green apple and kiwi aromas.

DOMAINE PEYRES ROSES

Origin: France, Languedoc

Grape variety: Syrah

Tasting Notes: Syrah Léone 2005

With its deep red colour, Domaine Peyres Roses’ Syrah Leone offers a great aromatic intricacy including notes of spices, balsamic, cocoa, leather, and truffle. A complex wine capable of being stored to enjoy in several years! The 2005 Syrah Leone has become a quality icon in Languedoc. Would complement a rabbit stew excellently.

DOMAINE VINCENT DAMPT

Coming from a long tradition of winemakers, Vincent inherited a few small plots of vineyards in Chablis enabling him to make his own wines. After studying in Beaune and experiencing vintages in New Zealand, The Jura and Puligny Montrachet, he has gained a wealth of knowledge which genuinely shows in the wines.

Origin: France, Burgundy

Grape variety: 100% Chardonnay

Tasting Notes: Chablis 2011

Citrus and white fruits predominate with a hint of minerality on the finish. The superb balance and complexity comes from the old vines and careful winemaking.

ITALY

GAJA

The vineyards of Sugarille existed during the formation of the Domain Pieve Santa Testituta in 1547, although the Sangiovese vines are only 11 years old. After three weeks of fermentation in vats it is then aged in oak barrels for 24 months.

Origin: Italy, Tuscany, Brunello di Montalcino

Grape variety: Sangiovese Grosso

Tasting Notes: Sugarille 2006

The colour is very dark and intense. Complex aromas combine ripe fruit (plum and wild cherry) and violet, with notes of clove and tobacco. On the palate, the structure is elegant, with well integrated tannins.

ORNELLAIA ESTATE

Le Volte dell’ Ornellaia is the expression of a carefully crafted blend. The cuvée brings together the best terroirs of Tuscany and combines the Mediterranean expression of opulence and generosity with structure and complexity. The softness of Merlot, the firm structure and depth of Cabernet Sauvignon supported by the vivacious personality of Sangiovese, create a unique blend which reflects the integrity and style which inspire the philosophy of the Ornellaia Estate.

Origin: Italy, Tuscany

Grape variety: 50% Merlot, 30% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes: Le Volte 2011

Le Volte dell’ Ornellaia 2011 faithfully reflects the distinctive characteristics of its vintage. The wine is rich and full-bodied, with all of its components in perfect balance. Intense in both colour and bouquet, it releases profound notes of dark berry fruit, sweet violets, and spice. The palate offers a broad vein of finely-woven, glossy tannins, creating a velvety mouthfeel. Impressions of fruit and spice lace the progression, which proceeds leisurely to an energy-laden finish enlivened by a tangy acidity. Will pair well with grilled meats, olives and porcini mushrooms.

JAPAN

MARUFUJY WINERY

The vineyards of Marufuji are ideally located on the slopes of a valley providing perfect exposure and drainage conditions. It is produced using the ‘Sur Lie’ method.

Origin: Japan, Katsunuma

Grape variety: Koshu

Tasting Notes: Rubaiyat Koshu Sur Lie 2011

Subtle and understated on the nose, Rubaiyat Koshu 2011 displays fresh aromas of citrus peel, pear and melon; the palate is delicate and fresh, balance and great refinement. Rubaiyat Koshu offers a wonderful introduction to the fashionable grape.

SPAIN

VEGA SICILIA

Legendary wine, Vega Sicilia owes its unique character to a wine-making of rare requirement and the art of ageing that reaches here unparalleled perfection.

Origin: Spain, Ribera del Duero

Grape variety: 80% Tinto Fino, Cabernet Sauvignon and little Merlot

Tasting Notes: Unico 2007

The long months of ageing in barrels, tanks and bottle have slowly patinated the colour and the nose of this assemblage dominated by Tinto Fino: enchanting aromas, sweet and melted between black stewed fruit, sweet spices, truffles and menthol. The power and sweetness of the fruit fills the palate with exquisite delight, supported by tannins and a discreet freshness.

U.S.A.

ALBAN VINEYARD

Established in 1989, Alban Vineyards represents California's first winery and vineyard dedicated exclusively to the varietals of the Rhône. Pioneered by John Alban, at a time when anything that was neither Cabernet nor Chardonnay was barely grown in California, Alban was a groundbreaking project and has gone on to be regarded as one of the U.S.A’s best and most influential producers. Although responsible for producing exceptional examples of Grenache and Viognier, it is the Syrah releases from Alban which, justifiably, receive the most attention. Alban Patrina Syrah is the producers limited, highly sought after entry level wine that was first brought to the market in 2008.

Origin: U.S.A., California, Edna Valley

Grape variety: Shiraz

Tasting Notes: Patrina Syrah 2010

Complexity and a wonderful balance. Aromas of white pepper, blackberry, scorched earth and smoked meat. Silky, integrated and vibrant on the palate this wine displays a seamless earthy notes, brooding dark fruit and complementary oak notes.

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BRANDLIN VINEYARD

When the Brandlin family settled in the 1870s on the slopes of Napa’s Mount Veeder region, they were truly grape grower pioneers in the area. The property now stretches over 170 acres, 38 of which are planted with grapes. With just a fraction of the estate devoted to vineyards, natural biodiversity is supported through acres of native oak trees and sustainable viticulture practices. The vineyards are located at high altitude on steep slopes of schist and gravelly loam. Although above the “fog line”, Brandlin’s estate is one of the cooler mountain sites in Napa. This, alongside extended sun exposure and perfect soil composition, allow the grapes to ripen slowly, leading to wines of intense concentration and complexity.

Origin: Napa Valley

Grape variety: Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes: Henrys Keep 12

Henry’s Keep is the top cuvée, named after Henry Brandlin. The wine pays homage to Henry’s practice of keeping the best fruit to make his family wine. The 2012 vintage is a beautiful example of Cabernet Sauvignon that displays concentrated notes of blackberry, cherry, blackcurrant, violets and sweet warm spices. The oak is particularly well integrated and helped mellow the tannic structure. Although already perfectly enjoyable, this wine will no doubt gain in complexity over the years.

KISTLER VINEYARDS

Founded in 1978, Kistler Vineyards is a small, family owned and operated winery in the Russian River Valley specialising in the production of Burgundian-styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines have acquired something of a cult status around the world and due to massive demand are available only in small quantities.

Origin: U.S.A. Sonoma, Russian River Valley

Grape variety: Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Sonoma Pinot Noir 2014

This is Kistler's entry level benchmark Pinot Noir and represents a blend from the fruit of several Sonoma Coast vineyards. Aged in new French oak for around 14 months, this impressively rich and full bodied Sonoma Pinot Noir 2014 is an unmistakably Californian example of this variety, scented with powerful notes of strawberry, red cherry, raspberry, clove, vanilla and woodland. Rich, dense, concentrated and structured in the mouth, flavours of sweet red fruit, oak and spice are suggested on the mid-palate, whilst the finish is layered and persistent. A highly limited and collectable release, this should cellar for at least the next six years.

OJAI VINEYARDS

The Ojai Vineyard is owned by Helen and Adam Tolmach who have, since 1983, made distinctive Californian wines from European winemaking practices. The Tolmachs source their grapes from the finest terroirs and coolest areas in Northern Santa Barbara with the aim of producing wines that are true to their region. In the winery they watch the development of the wine carefully, but prefer to intervene as little as possible, enabling the wines produced to show off the distinctive character of the vineyard site. Ojai Vineyard Syrah is made from fully destemmed grapes, picked from the John Sebastiano Vineyard.

Origin: USA, Santa Barbara

Grape variety: Syrah

Tasting notes: Sarah 2012

The wine shows an expressive bouquet with alluring varietal aromas of dark red cherry, damson, savoury herbs, pepper, licorice and tobacco. Delightfully silky on the palate with an attractive depth of flavour, savoury notes of coffee, herbs and black olive are set against sweet, juicy, dark fruit notes. Weighty yet fresh on the finish, this world-class Syrah would pair delightfully with a range red meat dishes.

RIDGE VINEYARD

Origin: U.S.A., Santa Cruz Mountains

Grape variety: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 2% Cabernet France

Tasting Note: Monte Bello 2000

Cuvée Monte Bello summarises the genius of its creator, Paul Draper, who hauled this cuvée to the summit of the world production. Issued from a mountain vineyard, this Bordeaux-inspired assemblage offers the fullness of Californian grapes with a degree of absolute finesse. The complexity of the nose evokes the greatest Cabernet with wooded subtleness. Fresh mouth, with extremely fine tannins, delivers a silky, deep fruit of infinite length.

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