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Bordeaux, Rioja

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Bordeaux



Maritime Bordeaux in the west of France is a large producer of quality wines. Although saying that there's a large gap between the top few who produce ultra-premium wines with hefty price tags (Lafite, Margaux, Y'Quem, Petrus….) and the rest of the field.

The Left Bank with its gravelly composition of soils is more suited to Cabernet Sauvignon while the Right Bank is made up more of clay and this is where Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominate (as they are earlier ripens and don't mind getting their feet wet). In the middle, the Entre Du Meurs provides a slew of whites and reds made for early drinking.

On the right bank outside of St Emilion and Pomerol, there are a lot of well-priced merlots made that are more for early consumption. These come from the satellite Bordeaux regions.
The English built up a thirst for the better Bordeaux reds which they have coined 'clarets'. These are often tucked away for a while in their cellars to age and drunk with a few years under their belts. But not all Bordeaux is built for aging, so choose wisely.

Styles
For whites, there are the crisp and easily quaffed whites from Entre De Meurs, or the more ambitious oak-aged Semillion Sauvignon blends from Pessac Legonan. The queen of dessert wines, Sauternes can also call Bordeaux home. French oak maturation is a common thread amongst the elite reds, whites and sweet wines.

Grapes

White:Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle
Red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot

Some of the most highly rated recent vintages are 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Favourite Producers
Montrose, Pichon Lalande, Poitevin, D'Yquem, Coutet,
 


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  1. Valdemoreda Tempranillo 2018
    Valdemoreda Tempranillo 2018
    The Valdemoreda wines are produced by the team at leading family Rioja producer Bodegas Valdemar. They are fresh and modern in style, yet with an undeniable Spanish character, and demonstrate the exceptional value to be found in Spain. This pure Tempranillo red wine spends five months in oak and delivers complex, ripe fruit aromas well integrated with subtle spicy hints of vanilla and caramel. The palate is rounded, well balanced and with a full, long aftertaste. WINEMERCHANTS
    2018
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  2. Finca Constanca Altozano Tempranillo 2019
    Finca Constanca Altozano Tempranillo 2019
    Finca Constancia is located in the province of Toledo, in Castilla-La Mancha, about 100 km from Madrid.

    Acquired by González Byass in 2001, it was chosen, after an exhaustive search, for its variety of different soil types and the continental climate and low rainfall during the ripening process, which in turn ensures healthy grapes. They practice precision viticulture throughout the vineyard to ensure they achieve the highest levels of quality.

    Under the guidance of winemaker Beatriz Paniagua, as always, the selection process begins in the vineyard. Prior to alcoholic fermentation they are cold macerated, at 5oC, in contact with their skins so as to retain the fruit aromas and produce a bright, intense colour.

    Explosion of aromas of ripe red fruits and hints of liquorice underpin the character and personality of this 100% Tempranillo. At the same time, notes of toffee and vanilla from ageing in barrel stand out. Soft and pleasant palate with exquisite well integrated tannins and a balance of preverves and ripe jammy fruits. How much? Wow!

    2019
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  3. El Circo Tempranillo 2018
    El Circo Tempranillo 2018
    This is a little beauty from Cariñena (not the grape) between Madrid and Barcelona. Its sourced from young vines of a single vineyard that sits about 450m above sea level helping to temper the warm summer sun. 100% Tempranillo it sees no new oak and is 100% organic fruit to boot!

    This is good stuff for the money. A cocktail of sweet black, red and blueberry fruit leaps out of the glass followed by cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove spice. There is an earthy undertone that pulls all the fruit together nicely and its soft, supple tannins add a nice layer of complexity. This is nicely focused and drinks more seriously than a lot of other Spanish Tempranillo at this price point. PWS
    2018
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  4. Campo Flores Tinto 2019
    Campo Flores Tinto 2019
    The grapes sourced for the Campo Flores wines come from sun drenched, organically farmed vineyards in the centre of Spain. Each wine is handmade and reflects the personality of the land and terroir. Warning! This wine is immensely drinkable and we bet you will be hitting us up for more. It not the first time we have put it in a pack or floor stacked it in the store because it's just bloody delicious!

    Supple ripe strawberry and blackcurrant fruit leaps out of the glass with swirl of earthy licorice that gently lurks. Spiced cola and black pepper poke their heads in and the little dash of syrah just adds another dimension to the wine. Some fine tannins run through the supple fruit and this is altogether more serious then either the label or the price point would allude too.
    2018
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  5. Camino Real Tempranillo 2018
    Camino Real Tempranillo 2018
    The vineyards of Camino Real are located in the heart of La Rioja, surrounded by mountain Sierra de Cantabria and river Ebro on the south. This area has an ancient tradition of winemaking and perfect conditions for Tempranillo. Camino Real combines an extraordinary quality, true character of the region and love for wine. The operation is large but the focus is on quality.

    This is 100% Tempranillo from a selection of old vineyards, between 50 and 70 years old, located in San Vicente de la Sonsierra. All the grape are manual harvested with fermentation is steel tank for freshness and just 4 months in new barrels for a lick of oak.

    Violet colour with a hint of ruby. Compelling nose of fresh blackcurrants, plums and other dark forest fruits. There is also a gentle herbal and oak notes. Elegant and fruity wine, with wild forest fruits, with raspberries and black cherries to the fore. Tannins are soft  supple nicely balanced with acidity that offsets the sweet fruits. PWS
    2018
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  6. Lopez de Haro Rioja Blanco 2019
    Lopez de Haro Rioja Blanco 2019
    An ethos that blends attention to detail with the high quality old vineyards to create authentic contemporary classics. Based in the historic town of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, in  the heart of DOCa Rioja surrounded to the north by the Sierra Cantabria and to the south by the Ebro  river. The microclimate of the area and its clay-calcareous soils generate the perfect conditions for the vineyards.

    This is 100% viura from from old vines planted in poor soils on a hillside near San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Selection in the vineyard with a controlled maceration with its skins for about 4 or six hours for a little phenolic grip. Fermented in French oak barrels for three months.

    This is lovely and fresh with a hint of honey toasted oak that sits nicely with the bright clean fruit. So many of the traditional Rioja blanco are overly oaked and lacking freshness so this was a very pleasant surprise when we tasted it. Lots of lovely peachy, pear and apple fruit played of pretty oak flavours in a medium bodied style that is very charming.
    2019
    verdejo
    Spain
    472
  7. Anduma Dolcetto 2018
    Anduma Dolcetto 2018
    An ex-PWS employee turned wine importer labels and ships this juicy red from a family owned operation in the hills of Roero outside Asti. The fruit is cultivated on sandy clay soil at an altitude of 300m without the use of herbicides or chemical fertilisers. Stainless steel fermentation and short ageing is employed to keep this fruit forward and fresh. Cherry and tart plum aromas are mirrored on the palate in a juicy density that is accompanied by a useful brush of tannin. Super food friendly, Dolcetto is often the ultimate lunch wine! This is delicious stuff! PWS
    2018
    Dolcetto
    Spain
    472
  8. La Maldición Vinos de Madrid Tinto de Valdilecha 2019
    La Maldición Vinos de Madrid Tinto de Valdilecha 2019
    Marc Isart is one of the most thoughtful, knowledgeable and humble growers. Isart is best known for his work at the outstanding Bernabeleva in the Gredos hills above Madrid, and his lo-fi, organic approach carries over to this tiny solo project: La Maldición. His small parcel of vines is located in the Arganda del Rey area (also within the Viños de Madrid DO).

    Now labelled Tinto de Valdilecha (the wine was previously called Tinto Para Beber 'a red to drink'), it's a blend of 75% mature-vine Tempranillo (from Valdilecha at 780 metres) with the local white grape Malvar (from Belmonte at a similar altitude) making up the balance. The vines are all biodynamically reared and the grapes hand-harvested. Both varieties are co-fermented with natural yeasts, then the wine spends 20-25 days on skins and is aged in cement and stainless steel tanks.

    The La Maldición--'the curse'--refers to the daily grind that this region's historical workers faced getting to (and making a living off) the remote, high-altitude, rocky vineyards east of Madrid. There is nothing jinxed about this wine however, which offers bags of the classic cherry/cola fruit of Tempranillo, as well as inky complexity, powdery tannins and refreshing acidity. A delicious, high-grown, yet generous country red and an absolute bargain as always. PWS
    2019
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  9. Lopez de Haro Rioja Crianza 2018
    Lopez de Haro Rioja Crianza 2018
    An ethos that blends attention to detail with the high quality old vineyards to create authentic contemporary classics. Based in the historic town of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, in  the heart of DOCa Rioja surrounded to the north by the Sierra Cantabria and to the south by the Ebro  river. The microclimate of the area and its clay-calcareous soils generate the perfect conditions for the vineyard, especially for Tempranillo.

    A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano from a selection of vineyards with low yielding fruit settled on poor soils of Ebro's terraces in the area of the Sonsierra. Manual harvest and spontaneous fermentation with natural yeasts and small amounts of sulfur are added. Aging: 18 months in French, Eastern European and American oak barrels. 10% of new barrels and 90% of used barrels from 2 to 6 uses.

    A heady mix of aromas cocoa and vanilla that envelopes smashed black ripe fruits. Lots of tempranillo liquorice aromas with a spicy lift that leads into an elegant flavour profile matched with juicy black fruit backed by typical tempranillo structure. It finished soft and velvety with a black cherry and delicate cola lift.
    2018
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  10. Real Agrado Rioja Tinto 2019
    Real Agrado Rioja Tinto 2019

    Real Agrado was started by agricultural engineer Juan Manuel Domínguez in 1974. Since 2006, Julian Ayuga has run the show. As a former consultant, winemaker, and member of the DOC Rioja Appellation tasting committee, Julian is highly regarded, and he has mentored many young and uprising wine folk in Rioja today. At 72 years of age, he proudly claims that nobody alive has opened more bottles of Rioja than him!

    The wine comes from vineyards in the two south-eastern pueblos of Aldeanuevo and Alfaro. These lands have a distinct Mediterranean influence, and nestle in the foothills of scenic Monte Yerga. The wines are labelled Viñedos en Propiedad: 100 hectares of family-owned vineyards is divided into four vineyard areas.

    80% Garnacha and 20% Tempranillo from La Lobera and Canterabuey, planted in 1992 and 1975 respectively, fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. The Garnacha is destemmed and the Tempranillo is fermented using carbonic maceration. Unoaked.
    14% abv. Total acidity 5.6. Cork closure.

    We love these Garnacha base Rioja's. This is wild and free on the nose with glittering red fruit with rugged mountain herbs that fleck the nose. Again with a ganrly edge to this that criss-crosses with sprightly red fruits and more broody blackberry and small dark fruits. Mid-weight in style with a pleasent, fine grained tannins that cut the fruit lightly on the finish. PWS

    2019
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  11. Puzano Hado 2015
    Puzano Hado 2015
    Based in Laguardia, in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa and at the feet of the Sierra de Cantabria this is the only one of the Pujanza wines which is made from grapes from several different vineyards, split into 23 plots. This allows us to vary the final coupage every year depending on the particular features of the vintage. Initial fermentation in steel tank where it then spends 12 months in 225 L French-oak casks.

    On the nose, it is young and full of life, with the characteristic red-berry fruit aromas of the local Tempranillo to the fore, with floral and very subtle light toasted notes coming through. On the palate Hado has a powerful, expressive attack and good acidity to keep it fresh and easy to drink, with lovely, polished tannins. The extra time in bottle has rounded and softened this our wonderfully and it is ready to go!
    2015
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  12. Hacienda el Olmo Rioja Tempranillo 2018
    Hacienda el Olmo Rioja Tempranillo 2018
    Hacienda el Olmo ('estate of the elm tree') is a special selection project, styled from the 360 hectares owned by Bodegas la Eralta, based in the south-eastern village of Agoncillo (15km south east of Logroño. This project is headed up by none other then Scott Wasley of Spanish Acquisition here in Melbourne. For those of you who recgonise the name you may be familiar with his two releases of Albello Sherry which is some of the best coming out of Spain. There is no doubt the quality in this production as well.

    Gently fermented, it spends three weeks of temperature-controlled maceration, before ageing 14 months in new and old oak, mainly French. It's purity of expression as genuine Rioja (Tempranillo +  Terroir) and lack of winery artefact ensures it stands out from the pack of industrial crianzas.

    Some earth and leather wander through strawberry and cherry, tobacco, earth, brush and undergrowth. There's a gorgeous sweet seeds/tannin character effortlessly expressing the wine's perfect ripeness, with an open, freely flowing palate framed by gentle grip and terrific natural acid freshness. The depth is impressive, with no heaviness, it's all savoury glide and maintains a charming openness. While tannin and oak have contributed no doubt to the deft mouthfeel, it's almost invisibly  /structured, super-subtle and unaffected. SCOTT WASLEY, The Spanish Acquisition
    2019
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  13. Sierra de Tolon Tempranillo 2018
    Sierra de Tolon Tempranillo 2018
    Sierra de Tolono is a member of an exciting but small cadre of new Rioja producers who are driving towards fresher, more terroir focused wines that place their emphasis on the vineyards rather than on the length of time any particular wine spends in a barrel. Run and owned by the indomitable Sandra Bravo, Sierra de Tolono produces incredibly elegant wines from old plots dotted around the cold, high altitude lands around the town of Rivas de Tereso, in Rioja Alavesa.

    This is her entry level wine and his deliberately made in a forward and fleshy style but still has so much character. Red and black fruits play with soft spice and earthy peppercorn lift. On the palate there's a gently dusty tannin framing that sit over a mineral core giving the fruit a cool and slinky feel.
    2019
    Grenache, tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  14. Chai Saint Etienne Tradition Rouge 2016
    Chai Saint Etienne Tradition Rouge 2016
    60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, 20% Côt
    The Coteaux du Quercy AOC is one of France smallest wine region with only 400 hectares and less than 20 growers. It lies between Cahors & Gaillac. After the Phylloxera, the Quercy, once 50 000 hectares was almost destroyed. Roger Gisbert and his brave mates started their appellation from scratch. With high draining slopes of white clay and limestone soils, Cabernet Franc was chosen to blend with the Merlot, and off course the Cot (aka. Malbec) replanted on the rocky soils. The grapes are harvested and sorted, then fallow slow and gentle traditional fermentation.
    2016
    Cabernet Franc, Merlot
    France
    356
  15. Artuke Pies Negros Tempranillo Rioja 2018
    Artuke Pies Negros Tempranillo Rioja 2018

    Artuke only use grapes from their vineyards in and around the small town of Baños de Ebro, tucked under the Sierra Cantabria on the northern edges of Rioja.

    Produced with grapes from vineyards in the village of Ábalos close to the Sierra Cantabria, the 2017 Pies Negros is mostly Tempranillo with some 12% Graciano. The destemmed but uncrushed grapes fermented with indigenous yeasts, and the wine matured in 500-liter oak barrels for one year, except for almost 25% of the volume, which was kept in concrete. LUIS GUTIERREZ

    The Artuke aim is simple: to make vibrant wines expressive of the village, uncluttered by oak, extraction or other artifice. The brothers farm organically and their elevated, cool climate vineyards produce wonderfully bright versions of Rioja.  This 2018 version of the Pies Negro the best yet - great purity and a delightful freshness - there is plenty of ripe delicious Tempranillo but it is held in a vibrant tannic frame and will be a great food wine for the next 2-5 years. ALEX WILCOX

     

    2018
    Grenache, tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  16. Mazeris Canon-Fronsac 2016
    Mazeris Canon-Fronsac 2016
    Shows ripeness and power on the nose with ripe dark berries and volcanic salt. Full body, soft and rich tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Drink in 2022. (91) JAMES SUCKLING

    One of the best things agbout the Bordeaux 2016 vintage was the stregth of the satellite appelations - this Canon Fronsac is a freat example - situated on the right bank but with a lot of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon you could easly see this as more left bak in style - it is everything a good claret should be dense dark with chewy tannis and cool clean fruit - absoultly delicous and a great price. ALEX WILCOX


    2016
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  17. Senejac 2018
    Senejac 2018
    36 Bottles available at time of offer

    The 2018 Sénéjac has an attractive bouquet of blackberry and raspberry fruits, touches of graphite and pressed flowers. I admire the precision of this Haut-Médoc. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins, well-judged new oak (25%) and a touch of dark chocolate toward the finish. This has real panache and class and comes highly recommended. NEAL MARTIN
    2018
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  18. Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml
    Chateau La Vieille Cure 2017- 375ml

    Fronsac

     74% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon.

    An utterly delicious red with crushed berries, cappuccino and hints of black olives. Medium-bodied, compact and very soft. Really creamy texture. A blend of 75% merlot, 22% cabernet franc and 3% cabernet sauvignon. Hard not to drink now. So do it! JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2017 La Vieille Cure is deep, fleshy and delicious. In 2017, La Vieille Cure is a bit less dense than it often is, but it still packs a pretty serious punch. Dark red cherry, plum, cinnamon, chocolate and floral notes shape this racy, inviting Fronsac. ANTONIO GALLONI

    The 2017 Vieille Cure has a tightly-packed black cherry and cassis scented bouquet that feels as if it could be more intense once in bottle. The palate is medium-bodied with a candied, pastille-like opening: blackcurrant, crème de cassis and vanilla, lower in acidity than its Fronsac peers but smooth as silk towards the finish. NEAL MARTIN

     

    2017
    Cabernet Blends
    France
    356
  19. Artuke Finca de los Locos Rioja 2018
    Artuke Finca de los Locos Rioja 2018
    The first of the single-vineyards is the Finca de Los Locos, from a plot planted in 1981 in a terrace of Baños de Ebro at 120 meters above the level of the river, on gravel and sandy soils rich in limestone. It's mostly Tempranillo with 20% Graciano and a 2% pinch of white Viura fermented uncrushed with indigenous yeasts and matured in 500- and 600-liter barrels and two 3,500-liter oak foudre for 12 months. This wine has evolved tremendously since they moved away from the 225-liter barrels; and the priority now is to use large vats, and the remaining wine goes to large barrels. LUIS GUTIERREZ

    If you are only to buy one wine from this offer this is the one to get - this has great intensity and depth - yet retains the bright freshness of the great 2018 vintage. This is a wine that I think really needs a few year to show all that it can but be warned it is sooo good now you will be hard pressed to keep it. ALEX WILCOX
    2018
    Grenache, tempranillo
    Spain
    472
  20. Clos Floridene Blanc 2017
    Clos Floridene Blanc 2017

    1 BOTTLES remain at time of offer
    The 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc has a really classy bouquet, very well defined with citrus lemon, lime and light crushed pebble aromas. This is very pure and focused. The palate is well balanced with a twist of sour lemon on the entry, a fine bead of acidity with a very saline finish. This is a really interesting Clos Floridène thanks to the expressive Sémillon (91). NEAL MARTIN

    A wine of real distinction and class, the 2017 Clos Floridène Blanc also shows just how appealing the vintage is for Bordeaux's dry whites. Lemon confit, tangerine oil, pear, spice and a kiss of new French oak all grace this soft, wonderfully expressive white from the Dubourdieu family. The 2017 is pure class. That's all there is to it. Tasted two times. (91) ANTONIO GALLONI

    2017
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  21. Doisy Daene 2010 375ml
    Doisy Daene 2010 375ml

    Sauternes (1st Growth)

    Denis Dubourdieu's Barsac cru has an attractive bouquet with subtle notes of cooking apple, pear and lime-flower, all with very fine delineation. The palate displays good weight and a fine thread of acidity, lending tension and poise that leads to a taut finish, showing good botrytis levels for the vintage. With its trademark minerality in place, this Doisy-Daene comes highly recommended.  NEAL MARTIN

    Slightly less sweet than the 09, but still just as highly-strung with a healthy acidity and above all a very vibrant tone of fresh fruit running through the sweetness. A classic Doisy Daene, all natural and tensile, that will be lovely young and probably great old.  BILL BLATCH

    PLEASE NOTE THIS WINE IS OFFERED EN PRIMEUR AND YOU WILL BE CHARGED THE FINAL (NOW) PRICE LESS 20% WITH THE BALANCE DUE WHEN THE WINE ARRIVES IN 2013.

    2010
    Sem/Sauv Blend
    France
    356
  22. Chateau Montravel Blanc (Semillon) 2016
    Chateau Montravel Blanc (Semillon) 2016
    This is a 100% Sémillon form a 1 hectare vineyard located in Montravel, a sub-region of Bergerac.
    The grapes are hand harvested in small lug boxes, bunches are selected one by one. Pressed in an air tight press, the must is then barrel fermented and the wine aged on fine lees with regular batonnage. Aged for eleven months in 1/3 new, 1/3 one year old and 1/3 in two years old oak barrels.

    I love this wine - Semillion grown on chalk with a minerally intense core. It is opulent and dense yet has great freshness. A slight touch of stuck match reduction adds complexity to a lifted bright nose of citrus and minerally notes. Great power and mouth coating flavour and yet finishes crisp and clean. ALEX WILCOX


    2016
    Semillon
    France
    356
  23. Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga 2010
    Telmo Rodriguez Lanzaga 2010
    The 2010 Altos de Lanzaga is sourced from four different vineyards that they feel show the character of Lanciego, their idea of a grand cru. Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano from head-pruned, 70-year-old vines worked following biodynamic principles that ferment naturally – no external yeasts are added to any of their wines – in 3,000-kilo oak vats for 20 days and aged for 18 months in 1,500-liter oak foudres and 225-liter barriques. The wine ages very slowly, in a very cold cellar, so it might take a year to carry out malolactic (the temperature in the cave is 12-14º C all year around). It’s a deep, austere, mineral-driven wine with a complex nose with subtle aromas of soil, fresh red and black fruit notes and a whiff of spices in very good balance. In the palate it is very tight, fine, long with silky tannins, somehow closed. Fruit, fermentation and wood seem to play a secondary role in the wine that speaks mainly of the place. This might not be a wine for everybody, but I think it’s super! LUIS GUTIERREZ
    2010
    tempranillo
    Spain
    472
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