Michel Rolland, Pomerol vintner and consultant to many of the world's top wineries, teamed with Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
With its intense color and inviting aromas of dark berries, licorice, baking spice and a hint of smoke, the Pedestal is a bold wine that leaves a lasting impression. Dark fruit flavors integrated with sweetness from the barrel and richness from the tannins come together seamlessly, lingering across a structured mid-palate and lengthy finish.
Winemaking: Hand-harvested grapes were double-sorted to remove green material that might impart harsh tannins, then most of the lots were cold soaked to build richness and flavor before undergoing whole-berry fermentation in 55L upright French wood tanks. This, combined with gentle pump-overs throughout fermentation, enhanced the wine’s color, texture and mouthfeel. The finished wine was aged 22 months in 85% new French oak barrels.
"The 2016 Pedestal from Michel Rolland checks in as a blend of 75% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot that spent 22 months in 85% new French oak. It has a rocking bouquet of smoked black fruits, espresso, chocolate, and tobacco that gives way to a full-bodied, plump, incredibly sexy red that does everything right. It's one serious mouthful of Merlot and should keep for 10-12 years." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 95 pts
"The 2016 Pedestal Merlot has a precise nose of dusty plum, red flowers and soft oak tones with an elegant aroma of pencil lead fluttering about. The medium to full-bodied palate is clean and correct, with plush dark red fruit, dusty tannins, purple flowers and soft oak spices of vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. The wine ends with a long, thoughtful, well-balanced finish that delivers complexity and pleasure simultaneously. Michel Rolland made this beauty of a bottle. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #246, December 2019), 94 pts
Long Shadows Sequel Syrah is made from 95% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
An intensely colored wine with spicy aromas of cassis, smoked meats and a hint of olive tapenade woven throughout layers of black currant, blueberry and a trace of licorice. Wonderfully balanced, with a broad mouth-feel and soft tannins that hold together seamlessly.
Winemaking: Syrah’s delicate skin requires gentle handling during fermentation to extract richness without imparting bitter tannins, so winemaker John Duval uses a variety of techniques to produce a wide spectrum of flavors. A portion of the grapes were fermented using an Australian method known as “rack and return” that requires draining the tank twice daily and gently putting the juice back over the top of the skins. Whole-cluster fermentation was also used to enhance richness and dimension on the palate. Lastly, some of the lots underwent submerged cap fermentation to add structure and enhance the mouthfeel of the finished wine. Aged 18 months in 100% French oak barrels, 65% new.
A blend of 93% Syrah and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Sequel is another ripe, sexy, yet pure and balanced vintage for this cuvée. Lovely blackberry, smoked earth, graphite, and ground pepper all flow to a medium to full-bodied, silky, elegant wine that packs less of a punch than normal, yet is balanced and layered, with a great finish. It will benefit from a year or two in bottle and keep for a decade. -Jeb Dunnuck 93 Points
Cazaux Vacqueyras Cuvee des Templiers is a blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.
Deep color. Intense and persistent red fruits, spice and violet aromas. Intense black cherry, blackberry, blueberry and cherry flavors. Explosive fruit tannins give the sweet, creamy flavors structure and focus, bright and uplifting on the finish.
Enjoy this wine when young with grilled beef and bearnaise sauce, lamb and thyme. After 7-10 years excellent with game meats.
"The medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Vacqueyras Les Templiers checks in as an even split of Grenache and Syrah brought up all in tank. Terrific notes of cedary spice, pepper, sous bois, and assorted red and black fruits all give way to a medium to full-bodied, pure, elegant red that has fine tannin and good acidity. It's downright classy and will flesh out with a year in bottle and keep for 7-8 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2018), 92 pts
Kershaw Chardonnay GPS Series Lower Dulvenhoks is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
During the year, I have the opportunity to visit a number of areas outside of Elgin. Occasionally, I come across something so fascinating that it deserves a closer look.
In 2016, I discovered a small parcel of Chardonnay grapes growing on limestone soils – a rarity in the Western Cape. With limestone often touted as beneficial for Chardonnay grapes, it made sense to grasp this opportunity with both hands. The GPS Series is testament to these special places and celebrates them.
Restraint, minerality, freshness of fruit and a chiselled edge reflect limestone’s soil properties. This 2017 vintage reveals clean, bright aromas of lemon blossom, wet chalk and powdered stones. Penetrating intensity, animated acidity with a rich mid palate weight, this wine has purity of fruit (orange peel, yellow cling peaches and grapefruit peel) lemon cream biscuits and crème fraiche textures with a long finish.
Grapes were hand-picked in the early morning, placed into small lug baskets and tipped directly into a press before being gently whole-bunch pressed up to a maximum of 0.6 bar or until a low juice recovery of 590 litres per ton was
obtained. The juice gravity-flowed directly to barrel (no pumps were used at all) without settling. The unclarified juice had no enzymes or yeast added to it and therefore underwent spontaneous fermentation until dry, with malolactic discouraged. The wine rested in barrel for 4 months prior to judicious sulphuring and a further 7 months’ maturation in barrel before racking, blending and bottling.
"Delicate, precise nose with hints of lemon and flint. A finely sculpted wine that evokes oyster shells, savory sage. Mandarin pith and lemon zest notes persist on the extended finish. Made entirely from Dijon clone CY95. Part of the GPS Series, the vineyard lies east of Agulhas and 5 km from the sea on an escarpment of clay over limestone. Sees about 40% new 228L oak."
- International Wine Review (Richard Kershaw Lifts Elgin To New Heights, February 2019), 93 pts
In 2007, production was just less than 5000 kg per hectare. This wine is prepared with Tempranillo 100% grapes from our vineyards.
The grapes are initially subjected to a six-day pre-fermentation cold maceration below 14ºC. They then undergo 30 days of alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature of 28ºC, after which the wine is removed from the tanks without pressing the grape skins. The malolactic fermentation is slow and relaxed at a temperature of 20 ºC for 28 days without the addition of bacteria.
The wine is aged for18 months in new French oak barrels and is decanted into new barrels every six months. At the end of this period, the wine is blended and bottled without undergoing any type of filtration, clarification or cold treatment.
Prepared with Tempranillo grapes (100%), this wine has a ruby red colour with very pure, intense garnet tones.
Its bouquet has fine complexity with tones of ripened fruit, especially cherries, blue berries and black currants, which are in harmony with tones of good wood, spices (vanilla and coconut) and a liquorice undertone.
In the mouth, this wine displays great balance, proving pleasing to the taste, sweet due to the maturity of its tannins and exuberant on account of its pleasant level of acidity.
Pago de los Capellanes, Pedrosa de Duero.
Type of soil:
Clayey and chalky.
18 months in barrel and remainder on rack.
Type of oak:
100% French oak, medium toast.
Uncork and decant one hour before serving at a temperature of 16-18 ºC.
Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc has beautiful ruby red with purple highlights.
It displays aromas of ripe red berries with a nice wood smoke complexity, thanks to the aging in French oak barrels. The wine has a very good structure, but the tannins are still quite round and integrated.
Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. No filtration and no fining.
The finish is very long and will allow the wine to be consumed with food, such as grilled meat or cheese.
"The pick of the Monteagrelo wines, at least for me, in 2016, this comes from Vista Flores and is a beautifully judged expression of a variety that has found a home in the Uco Valley. Leafy, fine and refreshing, with black cherry and graphite notes. 2019-26"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2018), 93 pts
"The Cabernet Franc that Bressia acquires in Vista Flores comes from a 15 year old vineyard (same one as the Syrah) planted on the area’s alluvial soils with a high percentage of sand. But 2016, one of the coldest ever in Mendoza, molded the fruit in a very different way, highlighting more herbal notes. For those unfriendly to herbal flavors, they may be excessive, but we like that there here at “Descorchados”, mainly because they’re accompanied with heaps of red fruit in a lightish body with crisp acidity."
- Descorchados, 92 pts
ES LO QUE HAY – It´s what there is / It is what it is / That´s how it goes. A common Spanish expression but one I like to reserve for the few old high altitude Garnacha vineyards that survive in Aragon . What you taste in the bottle is a true expression of what there is in the vineyard. It´s as simple as that.
High altitude ancient vineyards at 1000 to 1100 metres above sea level with ´pizarra´ slate and quartzite soils. Completely dry grown and unirrigated this is an inhospitable continental climate with extreme changes of temperature were mountain herbs, almonds, cherry trees and Garnacha form a breathtaking patchwork. Low annual rainfall of 200-300mm and the remarkable soils produce fine and elegant Garnacha which is punctuated by intense black fruit flavors with complex mineral, smoke and ‘garrigue’ notes.
Color: Impenetrable purple
Bouquet: Pronounced aromas of crushed violets and zarzaparrilla (also called Rough Bindweed or Common Smilax). Intense yet refined with lifted, perfumed fruit and wild mountain herbs.
Taste: Full bodied, with rounded tannins, crisp acidity and a long mineral finish.
"The 2016 Es Lo Que Hay is now sold without appellation of origin and contains some 5% each Syrah and Moristel from different vineyards, grown on slate soils. It fermented and matured in concrete for 18 months and was bottled completely unoaked. It's subtle, fresh and elegant, with a juicy palate, vibrant and with good complexity. It was slightly warmer and more tannic than the 2013 I tasted last time. It has the straight character of the slate soils, with hints of Mediterranean herbs. 5,000 bottles were filled in October 2018. - Luis Gutiérrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #240, December 2018), 92 pts
EL ESCOCÉS VOLANTE is based in Aragón, Spain dedicated to the production of high quality wines with a particular focus on the native Garnacha grape variety. They also specialize in making very individual wines from native Spanish varieties from other exciting wine regions.
El Escocés Volante (The Flying Scot), Norrel Robertson MW, touched down with his family in Spain in 2003 and released his first wine in 2004.
Date Founded: 2003
Norrel has been making wine in Spain for over 10 years and is currently the only Master of Wine living in Spain. He was born and raised in Scotland and, after graduating from Aberdeen University with a MA Honours degree in Politics and International Relations, has worked in the wine industry for the last 20 years, starting in sales before moving on to buying and product development.
In the 1990´s Norrel decided to pursue a career in winemaking and decided the best way was to learn from the cellar up. Norrel went on to work vintages in Chianti in Italy, Portugal, Australia, France and Chile. In 1998, Norrel embarked on the Master of Wine Course and became a Master of Wine in November 2000, winning the Robert Mondavi Award for the best overall theory performance in the exam.
In 2002-2003 Norrel studied the Postgraduate Viticulture and Oenology course at Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand, obtaining his postgraduate qualification with distinction.
In 2003, he moved to Spain to as Winemaker for International Wine Services and quickly fell in love with the old Garnacha vineyards in the area of Calatayud, Aragon and decided to start making his own wines.
His company - EL ESCOCÉS VOLANTE SL - took off and Norrel now produces many award winning wines made from very specially selected vineyards at high altitude in Aragon, Spain. He also has winemaking projects in Murcia, Andalucia and Galicia. His own wines are sold in over 15 markets. He consults for many high profile wineries in Spain and also to import businesses in the UK .
Alain Jaume Ventoux Les Gelinottes is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah
The colour is intense, purple-tinged garnet. The aromatic range of the nose goes from fresh berries to black fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry). The palate is full-flavoured, with very soft tannins and aromas of the fruit already mentioned. This is a gorgeous style of wine, fruity driven, for every day drinking...anytime !
The wine is produced from hilly vineyards that are mainly planted on sandy and clay soils. They are located on the East side of the Rhone valley, in the Vaucluse area. Welcome to the foothills of the well known “Mont Ventoux” Mountain.
Winemaking and aging
Stainless steel fermentaion at cool temperature to preserve the fruits and typicity. Bottling 8 months after the harvest.
Goes well with quite a lot of food such as Pizza, Pasta, hamburger, mild cheese or even on its own.
- Wine Enthusiast (November 2020), 91 pts
Amaren Rioja Crianza is made from 85% Tempranillo and 15% Garnacha
The wine is truly attractive, transmitting the finesse and elegance of the Tempranillo and the fresh, delicate fruitiness of the Garnacha. A balanced combination which is far from an excessive complexity, corpulence or over extraction to achieve the goal set by the bodega: to make a “RICH” wine in capital letters. With a nose in which the fruit character with floral nuances and strawberry toffees will stay with you all through its passage through the mouth, where you can sense its power, but with an elegance, enchanting you with its great balance until the long finish with heady notes of red fruit typical of the best garnachas from the Rioja Alavesa.
Only the perfect grapes are used to produce this wine. Amaren Crianza is the pursuit of perfection in all areas: the vineyard, the selection process, winemaking method and ageing.
Made from 85% tempranillo and 15% garnacha from vines with an average age of 35 years, the grapes are selected on a dual sorting table, first a manual check of the clusters and then individual berries.
Both varieties are harvested, vinified and aged separately to extract their optimum potential and obtain aromatic complexity.
After vinification the wine is cask aged for 12 months in 50% new, American-oak barrels and 50% in French-oak barrels used for a second vintage.
Tempranillo brings to the wine typical finesse, elegance and true expression of the characteristics of the best soils of Rioja Alavesa. Garnacha is the ideal complement that brings notes of red fruits, freshness and delicacy.
"Deep ruby. Oak-spiced cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors are complemented by a suggestion of mocha that gains strength as the wine opens up. Plush and seamless in style and showing no rough edges. Rich yet lively; a peppery note adds a spicy kick on the back half. Gentle tannins shape the impressively persistent finish, which leaves a hint of bitter chocolate behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (May 2017), 91 pts
Quinta de Fafide Reserva Branco is made from 50% Codega do Larinho, 30% Rabigato, 20% Viosinho
In this wine we look for an aromatic concentration and high acidity of the grapes from the very old traditional vineyards of high altitude in Douro Superior, about 550 meters above sea level, showing the full character of the varieties of indigenous Douro old vines, giving very mineral and creamy wines. Mineral aroma, citrus and tropical fruit, fresh and full-bodied on the palate, buttery texture and complexity provided by fermentation and ageing in barrels.
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.
The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.
Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.
Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).
"The top of the range is the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro, a wine that is only produced in excellent vintages. It's a blend of 40% Vidau (the old field blend) plus 45% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, from a slope in the south of the Monte Yerga called Cuesta la Reina, from a big, 120-hectare plot that has been with the Escudero family for generations. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel with a long maceration. It matured in new French (70%) and American oak barrels for 18 months. It's still very young and a little shy, with a reticent nose where the lactic and spicy aromas are intermixed with earthy and dark fruit aromas. The palate is full-bodied but perfectly balanced, compact, powerful and serious, with abundant tannins, extract and clout. This should develop nicely in bottle, given its stuffing and balance. An excellent, modern version of a classical Rioja. 20,000 bottles were filled in June 2017. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 pts
"(sourced from a 100+ year old plot of mixed varieties; aged in new and used French oak barrels for 14 months) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive, spice- and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate, which displays sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Supple tannins build steadily on the penetrating finish, which leaves cherry-cola and baking spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 93 pts
"I loved the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro Rioja, and this beauty is 50% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, and the balance Mourvèdre and Bobal, all of which spent 12-14 months in French oak. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black currants, dried herbs, licorice, and background oak. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and layered on the palate, with terrific fruit and impeccable balance, I suspect it will shine for over a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 93 pts
Alain Jaume Lirac Rouge Roquedon is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan.
Inky color. The nose is dominated by aromas of wild fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry) and spices. Long and balanced mouth.
"Roquedon" deliver more of the "round"- "sweet" body from the Grenache, and cherry-red fruit expression. It is dark in color, almost black.
Traditional wine-making in stainless still vats. Crushed and destemmed grapes. Fermentation temperature : 30°C. 18 days of vatting with pigeages. Ageing mainly in vats and about 10% in oak barrels. Bottling 15 months after the harvest.
"Based on 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and the rest Mourvèdre and Carignan, the 2016 Lirac Roquedon offers more black (and even some blue) fruits to go with complex white pepper, garrigue, and new leather aromas and flavors. Ripe, opulent, and fleshy on the palate, this medium to full-bodied Lirac has loads of character."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 92 pts
Burgo Viejo Rioja Crianza is made from 90% Tempranillo & 10% Graciano.
Red ruby colored wine with violet tones; well-balanced, black fruit, vanilla and coconut flavors. Powerful, complex and silky smooth...classic old style Rioja at a bargain price.
"A tight red with a dense palate of dark berries and chocolate. Full and reserved, yet polished and energetic. Give it two years to soften. Drink in 2020."
- James Suckling (August 2nd 2018), 92 pts
"Well priced and very appealing, this is part of a line up of really enjoyable, harmoniously oaked wines from Burgo Viejo, made from Tempranillo and 5% Graciano. Pepper spicy and refined, with clean, modern, textured blackberry fruit and a fresh, tangy finish. 2019-24."
- TIM ATKIN RIOJA 2019 SPECIAL REPORT, February 2019, 91 pts
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.
A clear and very expressive nose with notes of black fruits, spices and licorice. The mouth reveals tanins that are already supple with a great balance.
The finish is long, on black fruits, licorice and a slight salinity.
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is made from grilled rib of beef, roasted duck with figs, boar stew.
"Mostly Grenache, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Xavier comes from all the terroirs of the region. Its deep ruby color is followed by a complex, elegant red that has medium to full body, good acidity, and classic notes of garrigue, leather, underbrush, and ripe red and black fruits. It's a beautifully textured, elegant, and balanced effort to drink over the coming decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 28th 2018), 92 pts
The 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a full-bodied blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre and 10% Syrah, aged in a mix of concrete and wood vessels. Ripe stone fruit, raspberries and cherries cascade across the palate, framed by creamy-supple tannins and mouthwatering acids. While approachable now, there's enough structure to warrant cellaring for up to a decade. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. - Wine Advocate 92 points