Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico DOCG: New Wine* Commended 2014

Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico

This is why we drink Chianti. Forget stupid dried grass covered nonsense ‘flasks’ sold by idiots in tat shops on poor advice. This is a thing of real beauty. Ruby-red tending towards garnet. Elegant, with delicate scents of violets. Well-balanced and dry, with good structure and a velvety texture. A perfect accompaniment for the richly flavoured dishes of the traditional Chianti cuisine, as well as for grilled meats and aged cheeses.

Price: ¥265

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Thumbnail image for Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico Riserva ’15, ’16 multiaward winner bronze, silver

Castello d’Albola Chianti Classico Riserva ’15, ’16 multiaward winner bronze, silver

This is what Chianti Classico should be: fruity, and with nice acidity but with a velvety character. The latter is often missing in lesser versions. Amarenas, cherries, tangerines, flowers, mokka coffee and a little mushroom. Cherries woody herbs, hint of coffee, hint of soft vanilla in the taste, far away some cloves. Elegant and velvety. Long finish. A complete delight, with well earned awards.

Price: ¥420

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Clos De Los Siete Red: Wine Woman Pick

Close De Los Siete Red

Created in Argentina by a team led by Michel Rolland; infamous consultant/winemaker featured in the documentary film, Mondovino. Dark garnet in hue; cassis and well oiled leather aromas. Firm tannins wrap the tongue in a leathery fist while flavours of wet dirt, cassis & dried black cherries fuse into a rich mulch of tastiness. South Americas most infamous wine?

Price: ¥265

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Coppola Diamond Chardonnay

Coppola Diamond Chardonnay

Sadly, this Californian master-class in old and modern at once is no more. We’ll keep an eye out but China never embraced this import. Buttercup yellow. Cantaloupe, pear and cinnamon. Apple, passion fruit and crème brulée. Half fermented in oak barrels; half in stainless steel. From the Godfather of Wine. but few cared…

Price: ¥260

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Coppola Diamond Zinfandel

Coppola Diamond Zinfandel

A Sad day. Another Zin bites the dust: No longer imported to China. Drink it…no more in the middle kingdom. I feel bad for initially forgetting / getting bogged down in so many other things and totally overlooking this wine. Shame on my neglect. On the other hand, I had shared it with others who were grateful, so I figure, “What the… I can’t do everything!”

Price: ¥260

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De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Grown Viognier: Wine Woman Pick

De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate Grown Viognier

Light straw with green tints. The bouquet shows a combination of lifted spicy notes together with subtle floral, orange blossom notes, and a hint of ginger. The palate shows texture and freshness derived from extended time on lees, with slight citrus notes on the palate. The wine shows lovely length and balance.

Price: ¥344

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Finca Sandoval Manchuela Salia Multiaward Winner; 90pts

Thumbnail image for Finca Sandoval Manchuela Salia Multiaward Winner; 90pts

The 2010 Salia, a blend of 49% Syrah, 30% Garnacha Tintorera and 21% Garnacha Tinta, was aged 11 months in French and American oak, and was bottled unfined and unfiltered. This beautiful, dense purple-colored 2010 exhibits a meaty note of beef blood intermixed with attractive, round, supple black fruits, bouquet garni and licorice. Full-bodied, rich, distinctive and complex with a heady finish, its Syrah component no doubt provides the beefy character. RP: 90pts

Price: ¥317

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Flechas De Los Andes Gran Malbec: Wine Woman Pick: GOLD Medal winner

Flechas De Los Andes Gran Malbec

This Argentina Red, now possibly South Americas most famous, is a dense, elegant, New World-style Malbec. As soon as you pour it, you know that it is going to be big wine: dark, nearly black, core with violet rim and long ‘legs’. Aromas of stewed black cherries, black pepper & mushrooms. The palate has sweet oak, liquorice & dark fruits. It’s well-balanced with fresh acidity & velvety tannins.

Price: ¥245

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Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina DOCG

Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina DOCG

The most famous wine from the estate, Chianti Rufina Riserva DOCG, defines the appellation. Classic Chianti Rufina consisting of mostly Sangiovese with small amounts of Malvasia Nera, Colorino, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 24 months in barrel plus another 3 months in the bottle.

Price: ¥299

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Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port GOLD Medal ’14

Graham's Late Bottled Vintage Port GOLD Medal Winner 2014

LBV (as it’s colloquially known) was developed in the 1980’s to allow earlier access to Vintage port. And what a great idea it is. It’s made by bottling a vintage port much much later after an extended maturation in Vats. There’s no need to wait 20, 30 or 40 years for the wines to age to perfection. And the result is a beverage that’s has many of the attributes of those very same time aged ports. We love it. We love Graham’s: it has won more Gold and Silver medals than any other LBV at the main UK wine competitions over the last 10 years.

Price: ¥321

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Joseph Drouhin Brouilly Beaujolais: New Wine

Joseph Drouhin Brouilly Beaujolais

Tasting note by Véronique Boss-Drouhin: “An elegant Beaujolais: intense ruby-red colour; on the nose, aromas of violet, lilac, sometimes blackberry and cranberry. Supple tannins, with lively acidity. On the palate, the wine leaves a pleasant note of wild berries”.

Price: ¥279

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Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne Chardonnay

Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne Chardonnay

Fruity and full of life. This is a classical white Burgundy:a good entry level wine for Burgundy. Golden yellow, with a greenish glint. Aromas are reminiscent of fresh grape and green almond. The palate has pear & apple with vanilla and dry minerals. Elegant texture.

Price: ¥222

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Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne Pinot Noir

Joseph Drouhin Laforet Bourgogne Pinot Noir

The hue has a brilliant ruby-garnet colour. The nose offers effusive aromas of crushed berries (raspberry, redcurrant, and blackcurrant come to mind). On the palate, the wine is full of charm and very pleasant to drink: fresh & fruity berry flavours with light & elegant tannins.

Price: ¥221

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M. Chapoutier Banyuls (500ml) dessert wine

M. Chapoutier Banyuls (500ml) dessert wine

Deep garnet to acacia depending on the age. Aromas of dried fruits, red fruits and cocoa, with roasted coffee appearing with the years. Very powerful, long length in mouth, the fruits and the chocolate are the major aromas of this very long ageing wine.

Price: ¥265

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M. Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage la Petite Ruche Rouge: Wine Woman Pick

M. Chapoutier Crozes Hermitage la Petite Ruche Rouge

Michel Chapoutier is to The Southern Rhone, what Joseph Drouhin is in Burgundy: a class act negotiant. In this wine we have a deep purple red colour. The nose has lifted aromas of red fruits, blackcurrant and raspberry. The palate is fresh and round tasting with a finish of stewed fruits all served up with finesse.

Price: ¥293

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Marco Felluga-Collio Cabernet Sauvignon

Marco Felluga-Collio Cabernet

A respected house in the Northernmost part of Italy, Marco Felluga-Collio, makes artisan wines in many popular varieties. Here is the Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep red ruby in colour, tending to turn garnet red as it ages. Intense perfume recalling the sweet violet and wisteria. It has a good structure on the palate, slightly tannic, pleasant and harmonic. It is particularly suitable for ageing, even in small barrels. Suggested with red meat and game. Also available: Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Moscato Rosato & Chardonnay.

Price: ¥303

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Miguel Torres Chile Cordillera Cariñena Commended ’13 & Silver ’14: New Wine

Miguel Torres Chile Cordillera Cariñena

Intensely pigmented colour of ruby. Floral and fruity aroma on a background of toasted notes from the cask. On the palate it’s expansive and develops beautifully. The notes in its aroma are now complemented by hints of bay and mint. Ideal with patés, duck confit, rice with meat or vegetables, delicatessens, roast or barbecued beef, ragouts and beans stews.

Price: ¥326

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Pio Cesare Barbera D’Alba: New Wine

 Pio Cesare Barbera D'Alba

Comes from Piedmont, not strictly ‘the Barolo area’ though that famous wine is from the locale. Also Barbera from Asti has a generally higher pedigree across like for like producers, so look out for that where you can. Incidentally, you should be pairing this with PIZZA. Red Sauce Pasta. BBQ might work well. Barbera loves tomato based food and any selection of cold and cooked meats from the deli. Think Italian food and you are in heaven.

Price: ¥297

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Pio Cesare Dolcetto D’Alba: New Wine

Pio Cesare Dolcetto D'Alba

Until we are able to make our own entry here, please note that Pio Cesare is a proper, established and awarded producer with pedigree. A bit of history: Pio Cesare was founded in 1881; an early pioneer of Piedmont. For five generations, the family has been producing traditional Piemontese wines in its ancient cellars, located in the centre of the town of Alba. Fresh, fruity, fragrant with body and structure, spicy, ripe fruit and roundness.

Price: ¥285

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Pio Cesare Gavi (Cortese) New Wine

Pio Cesare Gavi

These descriptions are so funny we have to leave them in. Some of it makes sense though. Youthfulness is a good idea. Not sure about the food Pairings. Sounds ‘orrible. Ripe fruit with freshness and a clean spicy fragrance, good complex flavour, smooth, silky, rich and slightly aromatic, meant to be consumed young but it can age in the bottle up to 3 years. Braised minced seafood with bean curd soup. Sublime with seafood cocktails, fish and patés. Also perfect with Asia food in spicy. Hilarious.

Price: ¥270

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Pio Cesare Moscato D’Asti: New Wine

Pio Cesare Moscato D'Asti

Me likes a bit of dessert wine and the odd sweet bubbles. And this is really quite interesting ground here. Asti is the most famous spot in Italy for Fizz.Pale yellow punctuated by elegant bubbles. This wine has an intense bouquet of fragrant fruit. A compact, round body leads to a long finish. Ideal with all sorts of desserts including fruit salads, fruit tarts, chocolate cakes and more. Lightly marinated tuna in lemon juice with bread crouton and goose liver sauce. Semi-preserved foie gras, citrus tart, chocolate cake, bresse blue cheese. (Bubbles go with everything)

Price: ¥264

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Silver Heights Family Reserve: ‘Best Chinese Red Wine Award’ August 2012

Silver Heights Family Reserve

Top Chinese wine. Winner at the 3rd Annual Wine Challenge (at the Shanghai Hilton). Right up there with a quality-laden, middle-tier Chateaux. Limited production 6000 btls. Dark in colour. Intense array of black fruit and herbaceous aromas. Lovely fruit concentration with well integrated tannins, good weight and texture on the palate. A balanced wine with all its elements in place and well integrated…

Price: ¥308

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Taittinger Brut Reserve 375ml

Taittinger Brut Reserve 375ml

This is a delicate wine with flavours of fresh fruit and honey. On the palate, it is lively, fresh and harmonious. In all a wine blessed with a well-developed aromatic potential. It is aged for three to four years in the cellars where it achieves perfect maturity.

Price: ¥305

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Tenuta Sette Ponti Morellino di Scansano

Tenuta Sette Ponti Morellino di Scansano Red

Ruby red. Fruit and flower. Fresh and full bodied. I fell in love with Morellino Di Scansano while working for Oddbins in the UK; (the world’s greatest wine merchant back then). My baptism into Italian wines. My boss said, “Try that”, with a warm grin. Reviews and Scores: Vintage 2005, 85/100 , Wine Spectator

Price: ¥251

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Torres Celeste Red: Wine Woman Pick: Commended 2013

Torres Celeste Red

Celeste is an opulent wine brimming with fruit, body and colour; as unique as the night sky in the Ribera del Duero region. Intense blackberry colour. Spicy and intense nose, with liquorice and black pepper hints on a base of well ripened fruits (blackberry and cherry). On the palate, very fruity at first with ripened tannins, also persistent and full bodied.

Price: ¥284

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Torres Fransola (Penedes- Sauvignon Blanc): Wine Woman Pick

Torres Fransola White Penedes

Stunning. It’s not often that one gets to sample a Sauvignon Blanc that’s had some time in tanks maturing over it’s lees (the yeasty sediment by product of fermentation). I first took this to an event we ran in March 2012. It blew everyone in attendance away. Intense aroma of fruit and spices over a background of new oak. Fresh and lush on the palate, it’s very big with the aroma’s well-defined fruit notes (vine peach and summer melon), complemented by hints of vanilla and toast acquired during the lees ageing.

Price: ¥337

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Torres Gran Sangre de Toro Riserva: Bronze Medal 2103 & 2014

Torres Gran Sangre de Toro Red

All the exuberant aroma traditionally found in an intense, ripe red wine. A sensual background of fine spices in good balance with perfumed notes reminiscent of blackberries. Full, long finish on the palate. Food Matching: This wine goes well with…

Price: ¥241

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Vasse Felix Chardonnay: Silver 2012 & GOLD Medal Winner 2014: New Wine

Vasse Felix Chardonnay

The 2011 Vasse Felix Chardonnay is pale straw in colour with a bright green hue. It has complex, fragrant aromas with lovely biscuit characters and hints of lemon and subtle vanilla. The oak is beautifully integrated, sitting perfectly with the perfume of fine Margaret River Chardonnay. The wine arrives vibrant and fresh on the palate, with a beautiful silky texture and hints of citrus, stone fruit and biscuit stretching fine and long through the palate. The wine finishes with fresh acidity and subtle hints of spicy oak.

Price: ¥319

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