Glenelly Estate, purchased in 2003 by Madame May de Lencquesaing following her sale of famous Bordeaux Chateau,Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande can be found on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain in Idas Valley, Stellenbosch. Madame May, at over 80-years of age, decided that rather than easing into her retirement she would add to her 30 years of experience in the wine business. She believed in the soil, the micro-climate and the potential for quality wines in the 128 hectare property. Winemaker, Luke O'Cuinneagain, has s suitably Francophile approach to winemaking which was no doubt nurtured whilst working several vintages at high profile estates in Bordeaux and Alsace. The grapes were whole bunch pressed and the juice transferred to new 500 litre barrels after settling. Following 7 months on its lees the Grand Vin Chardonnay sees 10 months in barrel. It is well proportioned with great poise and lift.
The estate is made up of 18 "appellation" hectares (44 acres), sixteen of which are under cultivation. The majority of the plots are grouped around the château itself, in the small administrative municipalities of Sauternes, Bommes, and Preignac. Surrounded by the most renowned Sauternes vineyards, this is an ideal location and combines the best conditions to produce a great Sauternes.
It appears that the Greco grape variety is probably the ancestor vine to nearly all of Italys white varieties, including Verdicchio, which in turn is related to Trebbiano. Whereas Trebbiano is ubiquitous across Italy (and in France where it is also known as Ugni Blanc), Verdicchio is indigenous to the Marche region of central Italy. In the Castelli di Jesi DOC, they are permitted to add a maximum of 15% Trebbiano to the Verdicchio, and this produces a wine which is fresh and crisp. Founded in 1928, and it is the third generation Luca, Annalisa and Alessandro - who run the winery today. Enjoy as an aperitif or with anti pasti.
A delicious white wine from Sicily, originating from some of the best vineyards in the Trapani area. Fedele Bianco is an easy-to-drink blend of Catarratto, with a small portion of Inzolia & Grecanico. The three grape varieties are harvested in late September by hand and picked at optimum maturity. The varieties are each fermented separately, then blended together. The wine is then kept on its fine lees until the end of December, prior to bottling. The ageing on the lees gives the wine additional complexity and character. Catarratto contributes structure, viscosity and tropical fruit aromas to the blend, while the other two grape varieties lend this wine its refreshing acidity and citrus fruit flavours. Fedele Bianco is an enjoyable, refreshing, and everyday drinking white wine that offers aromas and flavours of citrus and tropical fruit. Perfect on its own as an apèritif, or serve with fresh antipasti or seafood.
This is a family-run business which was established in 1998 by Miklós Bene. The 7 hectares are planted to indigenous varieties Furmint, Hárslevelú and Muscat Lunel. A shiny new winery was built in 1999, which compliments the 150-year-old barrel cellar, whose walls are covered in Cladosporium cellare, the mould much prized by wine estates throughout Europe. Tokaji Aszú derives its rich, copper colour and depth of sweetness from Botrytis-affected grapes, with its intense aromas and flavours of honey and apricots. A five puttonyos wine (1 puttonyos equals 27 kg of Botrytised grapes) is made by adding 5 puttonyos to a gönzi (136 litre barrel) of new wine. After this maceration, the grapes are then pressed, and the extracted sugars re-start the fermentation, and the wine is finally transferred into oak barrels for ageing. One of the wine world's iconic creations.
Lugana is the native grape here (genetically akin to Verdicchio), and is grown on the southern shores of Lake Garda, in the north Italian region of Lombardy, around the town of Sirmione. Low yields from 40-year-old vines, and only the first pressings go into ex-lawyer, Nunzios, pride and joy, which is named after the colourful European Bee-eater, which comes over from North African to feed in their numbers in the summer skies over his vineyards. The estate of Nunzio Ghiraldi dates back to 1900 when the Podere Santa Onorata was purchased by Nunzios grandfather.The wine is fermented in stainless-steel, undergoes a malolactic fermentation and displays a range of herbal notes and tropical fruits, together with a crisp texture and satisfying finish.
Galicia, in north-western Spain enjoys a climate that is blessed with sunny days, liberally interspersed with regular downpours, and cool nights. These are perfect conditions for the local Albariño grape to thrive and produce a truly delicious and unique dry white wine. Think of the perkiness of Sauvignon Blanc with the delicacy of fine Riesling and you come close to the fresh, peachy flavours and lingering citrus edge of Albariño. Seafood is a given on the rocky Galician coast and this splendid example is a perfect match over here too, whether you're having Cromer crab or fish and chips.
Just over the river from Sauternes lies the lesser known sweet-wine region of Saint Croix du Mont. The wines here benefit from the same climatic conditions of misty autumnal mornings that promote the development of the beneficial Botrytis fungus that helps make great sweet wines. The soils are different, being composed mainly of clay and chalk, which is liberally seamed with ancient oyster shells. This gives the wines a lighter character.
Only the ripest grapes are harvested and each plot requires several pickings. Alcoholic fermentation starts slowly, with the temperature never exceeding 15°C. When the desired residual sugar level is reached, a fortification is carried out by the addition of alcohol, stopping fermentation. Golden yellow in colour and a powerful, rich and elegant nose of candied fruits and flowers. A well-balanced palate with a great length and good, steady aromatic persistence. Not too excessively sweet.
English wine is no longer the joke it used to be and following close behind the world acclaim for the quality of our sparkling wines the still wines are now begining to gather praise. Situated on the banks of the River Dart near Totnes in South Devon, the Sharpham Estate consists of 500 acres of mixed farmland owned by the Sharpham Trust. The house, designed in 1770 by Sir Robert Taylor, stands on a hill overlooking the vineyards, fields and the winding River Dart. The house is also home of the Sharpham Trust, an educational charity that promotes well-being and sustainable living. This off-dry wine has a light, fresh character achieved by carefully blending the different grape varieties and partially ageing in American oak. Lovely fruit aromas with supple delicate flavours and a just off-dry style, result in a wine ideal for drinking alone or with food. This wine makes for ideal early drinking.