Armenian wines are a recent addition to our portfolio, discovered by head of buying, Steve Daniel. Founded by Armen Aslanyan, ArmAs is revitalising Armenia’s historic winemaking legacy. Situated on the 45th parallel, the 180 hectare estate is surrounded by a 17 kilometre brick wall – the Great Wall of Armas – set against the backdrop of Mount Ararat. The Voskehat grape literally translates to “Golden Seed” in the old Armenian language and our April wine of the Month, ArmAs, Aragatsotn, Voskehat 2018, is certainly a golden wine, long and elegant, with a streak of minerality.
In a nutshell
Intense and floral aromas of fennel, green apple, fresh rosemary and lime are complemented by subtle spice and mineral undertones, fresh and tingly on the finish.
Armenia is considered to be the birthplace of wine, with biblical references to the region being planted with vines. Armenia also hosts the site of the oldest known winemaking ruins, which date back 6100 years. Founded by Armen Aslanyan, ArmAs is revitalising Armenia’s historic winemaking legacy. Situated on the 45th parallel, the estate covers 180 hectares of stunning vineyard and orchards, on an undulating terrain of complex soils set against the backdrop of Mount Ararat. Winemaker Emilio del Medico pays homage to this heritage by creating elegant and distinct wines from estate grown native varieties.
The grapes were carefully selected to maintain the highest quality. Fermentation took place at 16 to 17°C with selected yeasts in stainless steel to retain the purity of fruit. Maturation of eight months on the lees with weekly bâtonnage, imparted texture and complexity to the resulting wine.
The festive season is just around the corner and what better wine to serve with a traditional meal than a classic red Burgundy, but with a twist. From the small village of Mercurey in the subregion of Côte Chalonnaise, this is a Pinot Noir with enough rich fruit flavour and texture to delight any table.
In a nutshell:
Great depth of flavour showing chunky plum fruits combined with coffee beans and a peppery finish.
Domaine Gouffier owns five and a half hectares of vineyard in the villages of Fontaines and Mercurey in Côte Chalonnaise. The domain has been run by the Gouffier family for generations until Jerome Gouffier handed over the reins to his close friend Frédéric Gueugneau, formerly at La Chablisienne.
Since 2011, Frédéric and oenologist Benoît Pagot have brought about a new style of winemaking to the domain. They follow an organic philosophy to create wines that are modern, approachable and affordable, but with all the style and panache of good Burgundy. They have created a collection of wines of outstanding originality, verve and spirit.
The grapes were hand-picked at optimum maturity and carefully selected in the cellar. 30% of the fruit was vinified as whole bunches as the stems help to stabilise the colour and impart structure to the wine. A cool maceration was followed by fermentation in barrels of 228 litres, one third of which was new. 15% of stems were put back into the fermentation barrels to support the fruit and impart structure to this fleshy wine.
Winemaker Frédéric uses oak judiciously, in order not to overpower the purity of the fruit. Domaine Gouffier has been experimenting with using oak from the state forests of Fontaine, just a few miles from the vines, endeavouring to stay true to the local terroir.
For further information on the Domaine Gouffier, ‘La Charmée’, Mercurey 2016 or any other Domaine Gouffier wines, please contact your account manager.
Autumn is upon us and winter is not far around the corner, our November wine of the month is an SWA Silver Medal winner, perfect winter warmer that wouldn’t look out of place served by a warming log fire with a plate of mature cheese or decanted at the table alongside the quintessential Sunday roast.
In a nutshell:
A concentrated, silky smooth wine with berried fruits enhanced by spicy notes of cloves and subtle truffle flavours. Long and elegant on the finish
Based in Pessac Leognan on the left bank of Bordeaux, the elegant and noble Château de Rouillac is imbued with a historic past. In the 19th century Château de Rouillac was owned by Baron Haussmann, who produced a delicious wine which is said to have delighted Napoleon III. The current proprietor Laurent Cisneros and his family took up the reins of this magnificent property in 2009, passionately championing sustainable and environmental practices. The property has had a long association with horses and possesses beautiful stables; Titan their huge and impressive horse is still used today to plough the exceptional gravel soils in the vineyard. Renowned oenologist Eric Boissenot produces wines which are delicately blended with the utmost precision to reveal their optimum expression
The grapes were manually harvested. Fermentation and maceration of the skins took place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats, lasting for 20 to 25 days. During vinification daily pump-overs and punching down of the cap took place in order to extract colour and tannins; and impart structure and flavour. 100% of the wine was
transferred to French oak barrels, one third of which was new and the wine underwent malolactic fermentation; two thirds of the wine were aged in barrels of one year.
Grilled duck breast, roast beef or mature cheese. Decanting is recommended.
For further information on the Château de Rouillac Rouge, Pessac-Leognan 2012 or any other Château de Rouillac wines, please contact your account manager.
Although the spring of 2016 in Chablis was cold and rainy with spring frost, and the summer experienced hail resulting in reduced yields, August brought warmer, dry weather which enabled the grapes to ripen, encouraging the the fruit to reach full maturity in September. The resulting wines of Domaine Brigitte Cerveau are of high quality, with lively and beautiful balance.
In a nutshell:
A wonderful balance between vibrant citrus and green apple fruit and the characteristic salty minerality. Crisp, dry and textured on the palate with a fresh, mouthwatering finish.
In 1975, Jean-Pierre Ellevin established the current domain, which is situated in the village of Clichée, in the heart of the Chablis appellation and decided to specialise in the production of Chablis. Jean-Pierre is the fifth generation of the family to own and run the domain with expertise having been passed from father to son over the years. In the 1980’s Jean-Pierre married his wife, Brigitte Cerveau, also from a winemaking family with a history dating back to the French revolution.
Today, Jean-Pierre and Brigitte cultivate 16 hectares, which is exclusively Chardonnay. Together with their son Alexandre Ellevin, who heads up the winemaking, they are passionate about respecting tradition whilst producing excellent, aromatic wines, which are a true reflection of their origin.
Traditional vinification techniques were used to produce this Chablis, while following a philosophy of minimal intervention. The grapes were fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks preserving the primary flavours and characteristics of the terroir. The wine was kept on its fine lees in order to achieve the perfect balance between fruit and a rounded texture. Unoaked in style, the wine was aged in stainless steel for 12 to 15 months.
The classic pairing with oysters or creamy seafood dishes.
For further information on the Domaine Brigitte Cerveau, Chablis 2016 or any other Domaine Brigitte Cerveau wines, please contact your account manager.
Recently awarded 91 points by South Africa’s leading wine magazine, Winemag, the Olifantsberg, Grenache Blanc, Breedekloof 2016 is a rich 100% Grenache made by Elizma Visser in the Breedekloof wine district is our Wine of the Month in March.
In a nutshell:
Richly textured and beautifully balanced, with delicious notes of stone fruits, lime blossom and green herbal notes with a hint of salinity on the finish.
Olifantsberg is passionate about producing authentic wines with a true sense of place, which reflect the unique location of their vineyard. The focus is on sustainable farming and winemaking practices, resulting in limited intervention in the both the vineyard and cellar.
The team are fully committed to understanding their terroir and managing their natural resources through conservation, which adds to the singularity of their wines. The unique terroir with its combination of schist soils, constant winds and elevation, produce concentrated fruit that results in elegant, fresh and age-worthy wines.
The grapes were whole bunch pressed to ensure an elegant extraction of colour, aromas and flavours. Natural fermentation took place in seasoned French oak barrels and large oak foudres which added layers of complexity. The wine was aged for 10 months on its fine lees, adding texture and richness.
Accompanies fresh seafood, rich fish dishes or cuisine with a subtle hint of spice.
Gérard Bertrand, Code Rouge, Crémant de Limoux NV is an IWC Silver Medal winning Cremant which stands out from the crowd on a shelf or wine rack! The perfect fit for Valentine’s Day.
In a nutshell:
An enticing floral aroma with notes of pear and citrus, refreshing and vibrant on the palate
Gérard Bertrand is one of the most outstanding winemakers in the South of France, where he owns numerous estates among the most prestigious crus of LanguedocRoussillon.
Named in 2012 as the IWC Red Winemaker of the Year and Wine
Enthusiast’s European Winery of the Year, he is known locally as the “King” of the Languedoc.
Brought up in the Languedoc vineyards, Gérard Bertrand is committed to sharing the characteristics and exceptional diversity of each of the terroirs. Twenty years of know-how ensures that wines bearing Gérard Bertrand’s signature have a unique style driven each day by four fundamental values: excellence, authenticity, conviviality and innovation. We firmly believe Gérard will become one of the leading French names in the UK.
A Crémant, made using the traditional Champagne method. The grapes were manually harvested and carefully transported in harvesting bins. The juice was very gently extracted using a pneumatic press, which allowed 30 to 40% of the press juice to be extracted without having to re-press.
The juice was then allowed to settle prior to the alcoholic fermentation, which took place at a controlled temperature of 18°C. A meticulous blending of the various terroirs and grape varieties was then carried out, with bottling throughout January to encourage the secondary bottle fermentation. Aged on its fine lees for a minimum of three years, the Code Rouge was riddled and disgorged according to the Champagne method.
This Cuvée has all the traditional features of Gérard Bertrand’s wines: the emblematic red colour of the bottle and the Alpha and Omega symbols, symbolising the endless cycle of nature which inspired its name Brut Eternel.
The perfect apéritif! A great match with sushi, Asian influenced cuisine, spicy dishes or fresh fruit salads with basil.
In a nutshell:
A smooth and refined Malbec with a fruity bouquet of ripe plum, violet and dried berries.
The Piattelli Vineyards lie in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, where the century old vines are irrigated by the pure waters melting from the snow crested peaks; a significant aspect in making their wines exquisite. At Piattelli Vineyards great pride is taken in crafting wines with a sense of place, as each region has distinct terroirs and microclimates. Mendoza and Cafayate are two of the best grape growing regions in Argentina and they wanted to showcase both. Led by head winemaker Valeria Antolin, the wines are produced through her passionate pursuit of perfection. Their gravity fed winery in Cafayate honours their commitment to sustainable practices. Piattelli Vineyards practises sustainable farming and their Mendoza vineyards are USDA certified organic. The grapes are cultivated with arid clean air, crystal clear water and nutrient rich soil and their award winning wines are produced with wisdom, precision and love.
The grapes were hand-picked and manually sorted to ensure no green material or imperfect fruit entered the must. The must underwent a three day cold maceration to extract the desired levels of flavour and aromatics. Alcoholic fermentation took place in 5,000 to 10,000 litre stainless steel tanks under controlled temperatures. The wine was aged for nine months in American oak barrels. The wine received a further six months bottle ageing
The tasting note:
A striking wine with a deep purple hue, the fruity aromatics of ripe plum and violet delight the senses. Full bodied, with bright fruit flavours of dried berries and pomegranate, the palate is marked by its structure. Intense and spicy on the finish.
In a nutshell:
The Poderi Parpinello, Vermentino di Sardinia DOC ‘Ala Blanca’ 2016 is a wine that is full of flavour of ripe tropical fruit, lime and pineapple coulis with a spicy finish.
The Parpinello family have run this 30 hectare estate and winery with dedication and passion for three generations. Giampaolo Parpinello and his son Paolo strive to reflect the Sardinian terroir and reveal the typicity of the wines. The vineyard is situated on a gentle slope between Alghero and Sassari in the North West of the island. In order to reflect this typicity, modern winemaking technology is successfully combined with traditional farming methods, resulting in high quality wines with intense aromas and flavours, evocative of the terroir from which they originate.
The wine was traditionally vinified with a temperature controlled maceration and fermentation at 15°C. No wood was used during vinification in order to preserve the varietal characteristics of the Vermentino grape, whilst also expressing the elements of terroir from which it hails.
The tasting note:
Elegant and fine aromas of ripe tropical fruits, with an intriguing hint of bitter almonds and a lovely spicy finish.
Summer is almost upon us and so it’s time to crack out the nectar of summer – rosé. To celebrate the start of the warmer months, our Wine of the Month is a 100% Primitivo wine from San Marzano.
In a nutshell:
Made from the Primitivo grape, this is a very appealing pale and tangy rosé with aromas of roses and wild strawberries against a creamy background of Mediterranean spice.
In 1962, 19 vine growers from San Marzano, whose families had farmed the land for generations, combined their efforts to establish ‘Cantine San Marzano’. Through the decades this cooperative has grown significantly, attracting over 1200 vine growers, using modern and technologically advanced vinification techniques to produce elegant wines, while paying homage to the ancient Apulian wine traditions. Nowadays, the fusion of time honoured tradition and passion, with contemporary techniques, enables this winery to produce wines with distinctive varietal and regional characteristics, which distinctly reflect the local terroir.
A skin contact maceration took place for several hours, followed by a partial drawing off the must. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, preserving the aromatics and the fruit characteristics of the Primitivo variety. Ageing then continued in stainless steel to retain the freshness. This is a very modern wine, made from the Primitivo grape variety, which is an uncommon characteristic for a Salento wine.
A softly coloured rosé with intense aromas of wild cherries and raspberries, combined with an attractive hint of Mediterranean maquis -the local aromatic shrubland. Elegantly styled and slightly off-dry, with a refreshing finish.
To celebrate English Wine Week kicking off on 27 May our Wine of this Month is Goring Estate Brut NV, a wine from The King of English Sparkling Wine himself, Dermot Sugrue.
In a nutshell:
An elegant, complex English sparkling wine combining a youthful purity of fruit with subtle toasty, nutty notes.
Dermot Sugrue is not exactly a new name in the English wine
industry but he is certainly a winemaker at the top of his game. Born in Ireland in 1974, he studied Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton Agricultural College before completing two seasons working at Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet and Chateau Leoville-Barton. In 2003 he joined Nyetimber and was appointed winemaker in 2004. Over the following years he oversaw Nyetimber’s emergence as one of the world’s greatest sparkling wine producers. From Nyetimber he moved to Wiston Estate in 2006 to work with the Goring Family of West Sussex. The Goring Brut is made exclusively for us by Dermot Sugrue. It comes from the chalky soils of the South Downs in West Sussex which are not dissimilar to the vineyards of the Côtes de Blancs in Champagne.
This was the first crop from a Sussex vineyard planted on chalk in 2006, harvested in near perfect conditions. Equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it is pressed in traditional Coquard basket press with small portion put to new oak. 18 months on the lees with 8g/L dosage.