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Fazzoletto Barbera Passito 2017£9.95
The name and neckerchief print around the bottle represent the ‘Fazzoletto Rosso’ worn by Italian resistance fighters during World War 2, symbolising freedom and rebellion. Packaged with three distinct labels featuring: Michaelangelo’s Statue of David, the Statue of Abundance (Trevi Fountain) and the Statue of Augustus of Prima Porta – all wearing the red neckerchief. *Each case we buy includes a random selection of all 3 labels*
This wine is a rediscovery of the old tradition of using partially-dried grapes to add richness and concentration. The Barbera grapes were grown on southwest-facing slopes in the Monferrato hills, at 250-400m altitude. Soils here are clay and limestone. Following the traditional passito technique – a portion of ripe Barbera grapes (around 20%), left on the vine for nearly a month after the main harvest to sun dry, were blended with fresh Barbera grapes before fermentation. This sweetens, enriches and softens the resulting acidity.
A fleshy and juicy red with aromas of sweet ripe plums and cherries. The palate shows ripe fruit-forward characters of cherry and wild plum and the ripe rounded finish is balanced by fresh bramble acidity.
A good match for roast poultry or game, or rich stews and pasta dishes.
Revenant Sauvignon Blanc Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch 2018£8.95
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes are from neighbouring farms on The Schapenberg (the hill on which Waterkloof is located), along with Sauvignon grapes from Waterkloof itself. The Chenin Blanc is mainly from old bush-vines on the South facing slopes of the Helderberg, which is a Westerly extension of The Schapenberg overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Grapes are whole bunch pressed, wild ferment takes place primarily in old barrels and concrete eggs. Aged for 10 months on lees. No additions other than a small amount of sulphur.
This white has an uplifting nose of unwaxed lemons, lime pith and a touch of pink grapefruit. With a bright, essential attack the palate ultimately has a lovely balance of fruit weight and acidity.
A really versatile wine that will go with a variety of dishes. The wine can cut through creamy chicken dishes, belly of pork or fried fish and squid. Equally, one can enjoy it with the clean flavours of ceviche, sashimi or simply grilled sea bass.
Rude Mechanicals Vineyard Gin NV£32.00
If Rude Mechanicals was going to bother making a gin, they knew they were going to have do it properly – from scratch and using wine from their vineyards. It’s that combination of their wine and Dr John Walters’ original scratch spirit that forms the unique base for the Rude Mechanicals gin. The intensity of the flavours and aromas in Vineyard Gin come from the second distillation, where the hand-selected botanicals are distilled into the gin rather than using more conventional compounding methods. Only the hearts of both distillations are used in order to achieve Vineyard Gin’s ludicrously smooth finish.
A botanical compôte of juniper, mandarin flesh, cardamom, peel of clementine, lemon zest & wine. This is a gin that tastes like a gin… just a really good one.
Sipped from a heavy tumbler with a single cube of ice. Alternatively, enjoy a generous measure with your favourite tonic. Serve over plenty of ice with a clutch of gently squeezed black grapes and a fresh basil leaf.
The Listening Station Malbec, Victoria 2018£8.95
All the Malbec fruit comes from an estate in the Swan Hill region where there are 5 hectares of Malbec (approximately 12.5 acres which produces 90 tonnes of fruit per vintage). The Malbec are on their own roots and were planted in 2000. With the age of the vines and the harsh growing conditions, the Malbec vines are less vigorous which leads to a more intense colour and flavour. The vines are trained on a two wire vertical trellis, drip irrigation and minimum fertilisation. All the vines are machine harvested at night between mid to late March and grown on red sandy loam soil with limestone clay base. Climate is Mediterranean with summer temperatures between 30 and 40°C. Total vineyard area is 1250 acres. Once the grapes have been crushed pressed and sent to the fermenter, the winery then pumps over 4 times a day. Vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks at 25°C for three weeks. Malolactic fermentation takes place over 4 weeks. 50% of the blend is aged in French and American oak barriques for 3 months.
Once again inspired by the Australian night, this is darkly appealing, chocolatey Malbec with an abundance of crisp, minerally fruit.
Great with rich and hearty food. Try me with a rich casserole or roasted Mediterranean vegetables.
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Icona’ Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale 2015£24.95
The grapes are we destemmed, crushed and left for two weeks on skin, before letting the juice sit back and enjoy 24 months in barriques – one third new oak and the rest seasoned. The result is classic, approachable and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. Just like the icons that came before it.
Big, bold, juicy with cassis and blueberries on the nose and molasses, chocolate and cherries on the tongue. Beyond all of that, ultimately it’s like being embraced by an enormous purple clam with blueberry chops and wobbly rubber Fgrape flavoured hands just before they throw you into a vat of fermenting blueberry pie. Willie Wonka’s Veruca Salt – eat your heart out!
Thick juicy steak or the perfect accompaniment for after dinner nostalgic narratives.
La Ruchette Dorée, Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2018£10.95
Grapes are sourced from pebbly vineyards dedicated to rosé production, where wild lavender, rosemary and olives, the typical garrigue plants of the southern Rhône, are abundant. Specific plots are selected to deliver the right balance and flavour profile. Made using traditional methods, including gentle pressing and a short period of maceration in tank to extract juice and colour. This wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation and is bottled under screwcap to maintain the fresh flavours and aromas.
A vibrant, luscious, fruity and full flavoured rosé with redcurrant and wildflower and strawberry fruit characters.
The perfect accompaniment to light lunches, grilled fish, vegetable antipasti or as a delicious summer apéritif in the garden.
Rostro Sonrosado Organic Tempranillo Rosé 2018£5.95
Tempranillo grapes are kept on the skins for 8 hours in order to achieve a delicate ‘rosy’ colour; cold fermentation temperatures ensure that the vibrant berry characters and fresh acidity are preserved.
Vibrant berry fruit on the nose, with abundant redcurrant and raspberry characters, and a bright twist of rhubarb acidity. Deliciously approachable and gently textured.
Best served with paella, tortilla, jamon, padron peppers and all things tapas.
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Tarot’ Grenache, Mclaren Vale 2017£10.75
Grapes are picked from the Reedy Creek Vineyard in Whites Valley, a 100% McLaren Vale region with red clay soil that gives the wine a pretty perfume and delicate tannins. Through 10% whole bunch fermentation and two weeks on skins, with six months maturation in 100% stainless steel with weekly lees stirring, the energy and nerve of the wine is retained and a sense of varietal chiaroscuro is apparent. The contrast between light and dark, detailed and enchanting.
Very pure, bright and primary Grenache in an oh so contemporary Australian way. This also shares deep milk chocolate and raspberry fruit but remains imminently smashable in spite of its ABV. Chill slightly, seek out the largest glass in the house and quaff indefinitely.
Dunleavy Sparkling Red Wine – Brut Nature 2017£28.50
Based in Bristol and using grapes from their Somerset vineyard Dunleavy produce international award-winning wines from rich loamy soils. They farm in harmony with the nature that surrounds them. Their Sparkling Red Wine – Brut Nature 2017 is the first in an innovative series of sparkling reds they plan to produce using different red varieties.
Flavours of crushed berries, blackberry and rhubarb.
This is a low intervention wine so may contain a few small, harmless and natural crystals.
Wineries tip from the bottle: Caution- contents red & fizzy! Chill for max 1 hour before drinking. Drink, enjoy and tell your friends about us!
Suitable for vegans!
Adega de Penalva Indigena Blend White 2018£9.50
Penalva make the sort of house wines you wish every restaurant had on their lists. They are at once lively and refreshing, but also elegant and with a distinct sense of place (in this case Portgual’s Dão region).
This wine is like a bouquet of flowers. Beautifully aromatic, the floral notes become more precise in the mouth, and complete with muscat accents. Perfect as an aperitif, and it would be superb with Asian dishes.
Suitable for vegans!
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Siren’ Nero D’Avola£23.95
In Sicily, the grape Nero d’Avola has a storng affinity with the sea, relishing in the sun drenched maritime climate of the region… Hang on… McLaren Vale…? Sea…? Vines…?
Looks like deep violet.
Smells like lavender, cherries, raspberries and a whiff of flint/graphite.
Tastes like beeswax, dark cherries, chocolate, bright and fresh acid, delicate structure and a hint of salinity.
Cellar for up to 10 years.
Jancis Robinson (Tamlyn Currin): “Lavender scented, parma violets, chalky. Victoria plums framed in lovely dry, spicy tannins. Strong caraway notes. It’s a framework that owns the wine, spice over fruit, giving wiry strength and savour through the length of the palate. Bit of a rebel, heel-kicking spirit here, but basically, it’s delicious. Drink 2018-2022” 17 points
Suitable for vegans!
47 Anno Domini, Diamond Rosato Spumante£13.50
Intriguing pink tones with delicate salmon nuances, fine and
prolonged perlage in the glass. To the nose it presents elegant floral notes followed by sensations of small red fruits. Excellent initial impact, pleasant sensation thanks to the presence of carbon dioxide well amalgamated with the acidity and sugars present, well balanced for the duration in the mouth.
Interesting persistence and final sensation.
Excellent as an aperitif, perfect accompaniment to crudité,
marinated fish and shellfish, it also goes well with raw ham.
Suitable for vegans!
Alpha Box & Dice, ‘Zaptung’, Glera£14.95
“Drink Zaptung on its own as a pick-me-up and rejoice in its unique hydration qualities.
Astound your friends and confound your enemies as it makes you appear infinitely more sophisticated than they remember. Use it in cocktails — yeah, that’s right – cocktails. Wear a sexy mask and pretend you are in Venice while you nonchalantly whip up some Bellinis and Aperol Spritzes for your excited guests. Put it in an atomiser and spray it on your face while you are dancing at the disco, simultaneously refreshing mind, body and spirit with every pump… It is truly the most versatile of beverages.”
Picked from a lovely Riverland vineyard in South Australia whose soil is sand over limestone, the grapes are crushed, pressed and fermented in stainless steel with a natural yeast. A glass full of joyful froth, AB&D Zaptung is Glera but not quite as we know it. Amongst the superabundance of bubbles, there is a textural streak bringing all their festivity and chaotic stone fruit into line. A positive marvel, this will delight even the most fastidious punter.
Suitable for vegans!
Alpha Box & Dice ‘Dead Winemaker’s Society’ Dolcetto£16.95
“The Dead Winemakers Society is our homage to those visionary individuals that carved their path in the wine industry before us. They were the crazy ones, the wild-eyed wine poets that had a deep respect for both the land they farmed and the process of guiding the fruit to bottle in the most thoughtful and composed manner possible. There have been many who have inspired us through their wines and philosophy – we have listened, learned and adapted the practises of their legacy to form our own.”
Hand picked off two vineyards in Kuitpo, Adelaide Hills: Christmas Hill and Yacca Paddock. Light red clay soils builds pretty, light aromatics and gentle tannin stucture. Grapes are de-stemmed and then undergo whole berry wild fermentation on skins until dry. The wine is matured for 18 months on lees in old Burgundy barriques.
With a sweetly decomposing autumnal underbrush nose, the wine leads into a palate of ripe bitter cherries with a gently leafy tannic spine. Another deliciously more-ish Italianette varietal from AB&D best served at (drumroll…) tomb temperature.
Best served with italian foods. All of them. And duck.
Suitable for vegans!
First Drop, Mere et Fils Chardonnay, 2017
This is a medium-bodied, bright and fruity wine that leads with aromas of lemon, lime and apple, along with a popcorn kernel character. Mere et Fills is authentic French Chardonnay – brimming with cashew nut, cantaloupe, apple pie, poached pear, marzipan and a wisp of smoke – it just happens to be made in Australia.
Suitable for vegans!
Vegan Friendly Mixed Case£59.70
The reason that all wines are not vegan or even vegetarian-friendly has to do with how the wine is clarified and a process called ‘fining’. All young wines are hazy and contain tiny molecules such as proteins, tartrates, tannins and phenolics. These are all natural, and in no way harmful. Most wines, if left long enough, will self-stabilize and self-fine. However, traditionally producers have used a variety of aids called ‘fining agents’ to help the process along. Fining agents help precipitate out these haze-inducing molecules. Essentially, the fining agent acts like a magnet – attracting the molecules around it. Traditionally the most commonly used fining agents were casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are known as processing aids. They are not additives to the wine, as they are precipitated out along with the haze molecules.
The case price of £59.7 includes a 10% discount off the RRP case price of £66.35. The selection is as follows: