Try something exciting… Teusner Wines, Righteous ‘FG’ Shiraz

In a nutshell:

This benchmark style is what makes Barossa famous. Tremendous intensity and concentration are behind this top cuvee from Teusner.

The wine:

The grapes were carefully selected and then received the “Rolls Royce” treatment all the way in the winery! Fermentation took place in open vats with twice daily pump overs, increasing the contact between the skins and the juice, extracting both flavours and colour, resulting in this intense, concentrated style. Following the fermentation, the wine was rested in a combination of new French oak (50%) and in older, seasoned barrels.54885 - Teusner Righteous

Tasting note:

Tremendous intensity and concentration are behind this top cuvee from Teusner. Kym Teusner holds nothing back from this high scoring Shiraz. This benchmark style is what makes Barossa famous.

Try it with:

This has the intensity to match venison or game stews or classic roast beef with all the trimmings.

The producer:

Set up by Kym Teusner and Michael Page in 2001, Teusner’s philosophy is to produce only exceptional, affordable wines by being very selective about the fruit, which is sourced from old, well maintained vineyards. These vineyards reliably produce balanced, complex fruit which are guided, with minimal input, into stunning wines. “Teusner was started by doing what we love; we never mapped it out to be so big. We started small and rode the wave and this is where we’ve ended. These are wines that we love to drink” enthused winemaker Kym Teusner.

Try something from a new region… Kayra, Kalecik Karasi, Blanc de Noir

In a nutshell:

A delicate pale pink colour is mirrored in the strawberry, cherry flavours of this of dry and refreshing wine.

The wine:59810 - Kayra Beyaz Kalecik Karasi Rose

The grapes from the Denizli region were harvested at optimal ripeness and those from the first part of the harvest were used to make this pale pink wine. It is a blanc de noir produced from the indigenous red variety, Kalecik Karası, which is pronounced as “kahle-djic-cah-ah-ser”. Only the free run juice from the initial pressing was used, the must was then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, preserving the freshness and aromatics.

Tasting note:

Pale pink in colour with delightful notes of citrus, orange flower, pink grapefruit and ripe red fruits, which follow through to a palate of wild strawberry, raspberry, a hint of ginger and a lively acidity on the finish.

Try it with:

Serve at 6 to 8°C with salads, fresh shellfish and sushi, or serve as an apéritif.

The producer:

Kayra is producing premium wines from the Anatolia region-considered to be the birth place of wine-and is at the cutting edge of winemaking in this diverse nation. The wines are made from unique and intriguing local varieties. These indigenous varieties, whilst being ancient to Turkey are now being vinified using modern techniques and are producing award winning results. Anatolian grapes, along with international varieties, are planted in the best sites following the philosophy of terroir. The vineyards and wineries have been significantly invested in.

The Elziğ winery, located in Eastern Anatolia was established in 1942 and is dedicated entirely to the production of red wines. The Şarköy Winery in Thrace was built in 1996 and embraces a cellar for 1,200 barrels, reserved for the ageing of special cuvées. Under the guidance of consultant winemaker Daniel O’Donnell, it is Kayra’s aim to reveal the true potential of Turkey and to bring their rich history and generous spirit to lovers of fine wine.

Peter Dean, The Buyer, voted it his Best Rose Wine of 2016

What to expect from Australia Day Tasting

Australia Day Tasting in London is, as ever, guaranteed to be an exciting date in the wine calendar. This year, we will be joined on our stand exclusively by Michelin Star Chef and Wine Consultant. On the day Roger will be highlighting the benefits of matching food with premium Australian wines, accompanied by a box of culinary spices, flavours and tastes.

Roger’s own restaurant, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, lists over 300 Australian wines many with vertical vintages.

Below are a selection of Roger’s own tasting notes for a handful of our wines on show and his suggested #PremiumOzPairing

Fox Gordon Abby Viognier 2015

Made in the Adelaide Hills this Viognier has a delicate perfumed nose with hints of lemon curd. It is a lovely full flavoured wine wi54830 - Abby Viognierth a soft buttery sweet brioche background, fresh wet stone on the mid-palate and a lovely brightness to finish; this is a fresh and forward Viognier which oozes charm.

This is matched with a lightly seared fillet of Line Caught Yellow Fin Tuna, which has been rubbed in curry spices – this heightens the flavour impact of the tuna from the traditional sashimi, and is served on minted couscous. The Tuna is both rich and full flavoured and needs this refreshing bright wine to balance the spicy flavours, and the wine will gracefully cut through the Tuna aiding the enjoyment.

Fox Gordon Viognier

Paringa Estate Chardonnay

This is a perfect example of how good Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay can be. This is drinking superbly, there is a lovely sea54860 -chardonnay crisp freshness, delicate pineapple and sweet melon giving it a luscious base, white peaches, vibrant acidity, Puligny Montrachet in disguise. Winemaker, Lindsay McCall is a marvel, and not only has developed a vineyard that produces great Chardonnay but also World Class Pinot and Shiraz.

For those of you not in the know the best food match with Chardonnay is spicy or rich food, and this Tempura Welsh Lobster with Asian Spices (Galangal, Chilli, Garlic, Thai Basil) is encompassed perfectly by this classy Chardonnay. Delicate oak in a liquid gives the same effect that yoghurt or vanilla gives to sooth hot, spicy food.

Paringa Chardonnay

Berton Coonawarra Cabernet

Here we have a glowing advert for the quality of Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, slightly under the radar in the UK but this stunning red rusted “Terra Rossa” soil gives way to some fantastic Cabernets. 54252 - Berton Reserve Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

Delicate tannins and lingering blueberry intensity, forward drinking, is a wonderful match to a traditional French Classic dish of Steak Rossini, a rich succulent fillet topped with foie gras and truffles, but then this luscious clean wine just glows, a rare chance to get value and drinkability at this age.

Traditionally in Bordeaux you would serve a young Pyrenees Milk Fed Lamb with an aged First Growth, but here we are just highlighting the virtues of young Australian Cabernets at their youthful best.

Berton Cabernet

Ocean Eight Pinot Noir54911---ocean-eight-pinot-noir

The Ocean Eight Pinot is a luscious crimson infused layered Pinot, some lovely Morello cherries on the palate, perfectly balanced with good acidity.

This is a lovely match to the Crispy Saddle of Pork, cooked with clementines. The freshness of the Pinot cuts through the pork leaving a clean refreshing palate. A lighter wine like this Pinot is a far better match to a meaty dish than heavy reds.

Ocean 8 Pinot Noir & Pork

Larry Cherubino Laissez Faire Fiano

This fabulous hand harvested, naturally fermented, low density, dry grown Fiano is a marvel, sourced from Frankland River in Western Australia. Moroccan preserved lemons on the nose, waxy and citrusLF-Fiano on the palate, touch of honeyed background and delicate oak, quite a superb well balanced textured wine with interesting bright notes with a slight essence of orange blossom. What Larry has achieved here is quite outstanding, giving the Fiano grape a perfect environment to flower and flourish.

I have matched it with Citrus Cured Wild Salmon, Soft Boiled Quail Egg, Cucumber Spheres and a medley of Vine Grown Tomatoes, seasoned with a touch of Exmoor Caviar Salt. This rich oily but bright and refreshing dish cries out for Larry’s Fiano with its texture that can hold the oily salmon and the brightness that would not clash with the acidity from the tomatoes, cucumber and clementines.

Laissez Faire Fiano

The full list of our producers on show at ADT:

  • Berton Vineyards
  • Larry Cherubino
  • Eden Road
  • Fox Gordon
  • Laissez Faire
  • Lake Breeze
  • Ocean Eight
  • Paringa Estate
  • Ravenswood Lane
  • Teusner
  • Ulithorne

Try a new kind of sparkling… Doña Paula, Sauvage Blanc NV

In a nutshell:

Sauvage Blanc is Argentina’s first 100% Sauvignon Blanc sparkling wine, boasting intense aromas of orange blossom, with hints of grape fruit and an intriguing touch of mint.

The wine:

The grapes were carefully harvested to avoid oxidation during the third week of February. They were then cooled and softly pressed prior to a pellicular maceration which transferred the varietal characters from the skin to the must. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks. A short secondary fermentation took place for the formation of the characteristic bubbles, the prise de mousse.63960---sauvage-blanc

Tasting note:

Pale and interesting, showing intense aromas of orange blossom, white peach, with hints of grapefruit and an intriguing touch of mint, it is crisp, lively and persistent on the palate.

Try it with:

The lively and refreshing apéritif perfectly accompanies rich fish dishes of salmon and tuna, or shell fish in a delicate cream sauce.

The producer:

Doña Paula is a leading, modern winery at the forefront of exploring and investing in new, high quality wine regions in Argentina. First established in 1997, they own all of their vineyards covering 700 hectares. These vineyard sites are located in the best sub-regions within Mendoza including Ugarteche, Altamira, Gualtallary and Tupungato.

They practice sustainable methods in the vineyards, maximizing the true expression of terroir. Their continuous innovation in terms of vineyard management ensures top quality wines from one year to the next.

Zorzal and the eggo

In beautiful downtown Luton our thoughts are turning to our annual tastings at the end of January and the introduction of new wineries to our list – and we have an absolutely beauty on the way.

Zorzal is a boutique Argentine winery founded in 2008 by the renowned Michelini brothers, definitely one of the most passionate winemaking families in this land of passion. We’ve been seeking to get a piece of their action for some time now, so this is cracking news. Winemaker Juan Pablo Michelini, a kind of new generationEggo_Filosopinot_eng “can-do” iconoclast, will be attending our tastings and I know our customers will love his zeal and fervour.

Juan Pablo’s philosophy is grounded in an absolute respect for terroir. His is a non-invasive winemaking philosophy that seeks purity of fruit before power. These are fantastically individual wines with a quite amazing minerality running through them (the notion of salted caramel keeps recurring every time I taste them).

They are in Gualtallary, 1,350 metres above sea level at the foot of the Tupungato volcano, on calcareous soil, with stones streaked with chalk – which may partly account for that minerality. A combination of altitude and desert climate make it an ideal place to cultivate grapes of exceptional quality.

The winery has the lot – state-of-the-art technology in crushing, fermentation and ageing. It was designed on four levels to move grapes and wines by gravity. It has an automatic system of temperature control from New Zealand, which can be operated via the internet from anywhere in the world. Juan Pablo and his brother Matias believe in roll fermenters and egg-shaped vats, as well as staggered harvesting and micro-vinification in casks.Eggo_Franco_eng

We are concentrating on the Eggo range. As the name suggests, these are wines vinified in eggs made of cement. Look out for a flinty Sauvignon Blanc, a gunpowder and graphite Pinot Noir, a piercing Bonarda, an herbaceous Cabernet Franc and an absurdly fresh Malbec.

All this is very well, but another Argentine producer on our list? Yes, I know. But, listen, trust me, these really are individual wines. Juan Pablo’s desire to stress maximum terroir means these wines are very different to the sometimes more power-driven Argentine offerings. It’s that minerality thing.

Argentina. Amazing country.

It’s funny how these things pan out, but a week or so ago I opened a bottle of the Malbec and drank it while reading Angels With Dirty Faces, Jonathan Wilson’s brilliant new history of Argentine football, which I’d been given as a Christmas present. It got me thinking: who would be the footballing equivalent of a Michelini? A bit daft, really, I thought, but the Malbec was beginning to work its magic. So, who was it to be? Maradona? Obvious, but, crikey, he comes with a lot of baggage. Messi? Another salient choice. But you could argue that, for all his dribbling brilliance, Messi hasn’t changed the way the game is played. So I rifled through the pages some more. And then it hit me. From another era, the man described by Sir Bobby Charlton as the greatest he’s ever seen: Alfredo di Stefano. Of course! He did change the way the game was played, as the fulcrum of the great Real Madrid team which forever transformed the face of football.Eggo_Blancdecal_eng

But I wanted further proof – and I got it, via the daily motion website.

So here is a mighty suggestion from the portfolio director bloke: open your own bottle of Zorzal, click on this link and watch di Stefano’s destruction of Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup Final. Take a sip and watch. There we go – see di Stefano’s delicious shimmy at 12:14 – was that the Sauvignon Blanc moment? Then comes his first goal at 21:34 – he starts the move in his own half, then is on the end of a cross to turn it in at the far post – the famous still picture of him balletically falling backwards in the art of scoring was to be reproduced all over the world – this is a Bonarda moment, I feel. Blink and you’ll miss it as he pounces like a cheetah! at 24:00 and scores his second goal – that would be the Cabernet Franc. And then watch his double step-over at 35:44, taking him past two clogging Frankfurters – yup, that’s the Pinot Noir moment. Finally – at 1:06 – that goal, the 40-yard sprint followed by a thunderous shot past the hapless Frankfurtonian keeper into the bottom left hand corner: definitely the Malbec moment.

I watched all night, God, what a player.

No doubt about it, Wilson’s book and the grainy black and white video, they are both life-affirming. But not as life-affirming as the bottle of Malbec. Definitely not as much.Eggo_Tintodetiza_eng

A week or so later, typing this account, I am more convinced than ever that this is an outstanding addition to our already brilliant line-up comprising Andeluna, Doña Paula, Matias Riccitelli and Piattelli. Our Argentine list is now arguably the most comprehensive in the country – in fact some people (the stock controller, for instance) would say that it’s a bit bonkers. But, you know, sometimes when you are faced with something this good, you need to stand up, be counted and bet like men!

The Hallgarten Team plan their 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Beverly Tabbron MW, Head of Training: hd-480

My 2017 resolution is to continue to develop and grow the already burgeoning wine culture at Hallgarten, ensuring everyone within the business is able to gain the wine qualification they aspire to reach. Since starting the training department at Hallgarten it has been a joy to see so many of the team rise up the through the WSET levels, and this year I hope to see record numbers pick up their certificates.


Daniel O’Keefe, Sales Director – South:hd-537

I have been waxing lyrical over the delights to be found in Macedonia and the Peloponnese from producers such as Gerovassiliou, Gaia, Ktima Biblia Chora, Ktima Alpha andMonamvasia for the last 5 years. I am now resolved to visit these wineries, so that the next time I am asked during a wine event about local tourist facilities, I can look that person in the eye and give them an honest answer!


Robin Knapp, Director – Regional Sales: 

This year I aim to spend less money on red wine and more on white. The reason – my cupboard at home is full to bursting of some fantastic red wine that needs to be drunk at a dinner party.

However, I more often than not opt to drink white wine and never seem to have enough in the house!

Joe Wadhams, Regional Business Development Director:joe-wadhams-cut

I plan to kick off 2017 by flipping Dry January on its head.

It’s all about Try January this year, and as I am new to the Hallgarten team there are a lot of new and exciting wines I need to taste – and quickly!

Try something natural… Ancilla Lugana, 1909, 2015

In a nutshell:

Produced without the addition of sulphur, this wine has a super ripe pear and white peach character, textured with a very long and saline finish.

The wine:

The grapes were destemmed and lightly pressed, followed by a cold maceration on the skins. A slow fermentation took place in steel casks at a low temperature. The wine was aged on its fine lees, in stainless steel casks for five months, then saw further bottle ageing for one month, prior to release.

Tasting note:

52391-1909_hdIntense aromas of grapefruit and citrus fruits are combined with intriguing undertones of jasmine and elderflower. These sensations come to fruition and linger deliciously on the palate, harmoniously balanced with notable body and the discovery of unsuspected warmth.

Try it with:

A food loving wine, this accompanies antipasti, bruschetta, risotto and grilled white fish with a twist of lemon.

The producer:

Ancilla Lugana is located on the shores of Lake Garda in North East Italy. The estate comprises two vineyards: La Ghidina, located in Lugana di Sirmoine, the heart of the production area of some of the most elegant whites in Italy, and Cadellora, situated in Villa franca di Verona. It is run by Luisella Benedetti, the third generation of women to run this estate, having inherited the farm from her mother, who inherited in turn from her mother, named Ancilla.

Ancilla was an extraordinary, energetic woman, who worked the fields and got up at 3am every day make her wine producing dream come true. Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, with the passion for the land in her blood, Luisella Benedetti gave up her career in finance and took over the family business in the early 2000’s.

With a hands-on approach, Luisella is involved in every aspect of winemaking and viticulture. The lifelong commitment of her grandmother and mother is a passion now shared by Luisella, which is clear to see in this exciting and pure collection of Lugana wines.