A great start to 2014: Top reviews from The Wine Gang

by Andrew Hooper

WineGang

Lea & Sandeman, with its four shops in London and very good website, is one of Britain’s best wine merchants. No, let’s go big on this and say Lea & Sandeman is one of the best ever wine merchants.’  The Wine Gang, January 2014

The Winegang’s January report includes L&S wines tasted last year at our Sangiovese, Pinot Noir & Nebbiolo tasting and at The Bunch’s trade tasting. “The scores from both events speak for themselves” they say. And here they are:

Engelgarten 2010 Marcel Deiss     £27.95
“Rich but dazzlingly fresh and long, with floral, apricot, citrus and minerally white pepper notes; poised, polished and full of personality. If it seems to sing Alsace, but you can’t quite pin it down, it’s because it’s a blend of Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. The vines, cultivated biodynamically, are old and grow together in a single vineyard in the old way. A good food wine which would go well with something with a little spice, rich sauces or a sweet onion tart – and you could drink it through to the end of the decade.”
93 points
www.thewinegang.com

Rippon Sauvignon Blanc 2012     £17.95
“The biodynamic Rippon estate is renowned for its Pinot Noirs, but Nick Mills is also a dab hand at Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The Sauvignon, partly fermented in old oak barrels for textural richness, is intensely aromatic with exotic, peachy fruit, dry, smoky notes and sustained, zesty freshness.”
90 points
www.thewinegang.com

Kratos 2012 Luigi Maffini     £15.75
“Full, rounded and effortlessly fresh southern Italian white with flavours of pears, apples, white flowers, minerals and the evocative, smoky aroma of stubble burning. If stubble burning doesn’t do anything for you, just imagine something mouth-wateringly smoky and wheaty.”
90 points
www.thewinegang.com

Sauvignon Touraine “Les Sauterelles” 2012 Domaine de Pierre     £9.95
“Way out of the usual Touraine class with a lovely intensity of grassy elderflower and mineral flavours, refined acidity and the sort of polished texture you find in good (and much more expensive) Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.”
90 points
www.thewinegang.com

Bodegas Chacra  “Treinta y Dos” Pinot Noir 2010     £58.50
“The “Treinta y Dos” of the title refers to a plot of old Pinot Noir vines, planted in Patagonia in 1932, and revived by Piero Incisa della Rochetta of the family behind top Tuscan red Sassicaia. The wine itself is comfortably South America’s most impressive Pinot Noir, ethereal in its appeal, it’s scented and silky-supple, with the purest of red fruits.”
94 points
www.thewinegang.com

Rippon “Tinker’s Field” Pinot Noir 2010     £56.50
“Expensive for a Kiwi? Well, in Rippon we are talking about one of the world’s top Pinot Noir producers, and this is one of their best wines, from a special plot that houses some of Nick Mills’ oldest vines. It ripples with energy and superbly pure dark fruits but there’s a savoury dimension here, too, not to mention some delectably fine tannins and insistent length.”
94 points
www.thewinegang.com

Volnay 1er cru Chevrets 2007 Domaine Henri Boillot     £62.75
“Utterly gorgeous flowing Pinot Noir from Boillot, so seductive in its settled and silky red fruit and perfume, quite voluminous in the mouth, but presented with verve, dash and length. Will keep for some years yet.”
93 points
www.thewinegang.com

Tassinaia 2007 Castello del Terriccio     £23.95
“Forgive the cliché, but if ever a wine was an iron fist in a velvet glove this is is it. Cabernet and Merlot supply the iron – pure, intense black fruit with fine tannins; a little Sangiovese supplies the spicy velvet. You can drink it now, but you could wait another ten years.”
93 points
www.thewinegang.com

Givry 1er cru Crausot 2009 Francois Lumpp     £27.75
“A plumper and richer style from this star of the Givry region than the 2008 1er Cru à Vigne Rouge from the same producer we reviewed back in October, this has some vividly fragrant darker fruit, a touch of earth and a wash of mineral acidity. Intense, still youthful, and with time ahead of it.”
92 points
www.thewinegang.com

Nebbiolo d’Alba “Cumot” 2008 Bricco Maiolica     £23.25
“With its accessible tannins, Beppe Accomo’s Nebbiolo (the grape of Barolo and Barbaresco) is made to be drunk while still in its youth, although this is perhaps just about a young adult, with the gorgeous, slightly floral cherry fruit accompanied by subtle savoury notes and that elusive earthy, autumn leaf quality you get in this part of the world.”
91 points
www.thewinegang.com

Sancerre Rouge Vieilles Vignes “Cuvée Maxime” 2011 Vincent Delaporte     £22.50
“Produced on Chavignol’s silex soils where Sauvignon Blanc generally rules the roost, this is a delightful light and elegant Pinot Noir that is just so pretty with its subtle red fruit, so gentle and lithe in its texture.”
91 points
www.thewinegang.com

Rosso di Montalcino 2010 Collemattoni     £15.95
“Rosso are the more affordable junior wines made by producers of Brunello di Montalcino and this is a very superior version of the style, with a wave of juicy sour cherry, and a palate that is both alive with vibrant freshening acidity and crunchy with food-friendly tannin.”
90 points
www.thewinegang.com

Bourgogne Rouge 2010 Domaine François Raquillet      £15.75
“We reviewed this excellent Pinot Noir a couple of years ago, when it was – and this is a credit to Lea & Sandeman – exactly the same price. It’s gained a point in our estimation since then, however, since it’s retained its lovely seam of aromatic red fruit, but gained in silkiness of texture. A very superior Bourgogne Rouge.”
90 points
www.thewinegang.com

Cairanne 2011 Domaine Romain Roche     £14.75
“Textbook Cairanne – expressive, concentrated and powerful with spicy Grenache and Syrah fruit underpinned by stony, savoury flavours and a suppleness and length that almost defy the alcohol.”
89 points
www.thewinegang.com

“Heba” Morellino di Scansano 2011 Fattoria di Magliano     £12.95
“A cherry-juicy blend of Sangiovese and Syrah from the Tuscan coast with an attractive herbal streak and a succulent feel, this uncomplicated but very drinkable red is one for tomato pasta.”
88 points
www.thewinegang.com

We have put together the highlights from this report into this mixed case. Tuck in and enjoy!

You can of course subscribe to The Wine Gang website and read the full report here.

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