Ratings / 95+

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Álvaro Palacios Priorat “L’Ermita” 2015 

"Tasting L'Ermita is always an emotional moment, as it's one of the great reds from Spain. The 2015 L'Ermita is 91% Garnacha, 8% Cariñena and 1% split between Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo and PX from the most famous single vineyard in Priorat. It fermented in oak foudre with indigenous yeasts and also had its élevage in foudre, which lasted for 15 months. The juicy freshness of this 2015, citric and vibrant, makes it very different from the rest of the portfolio. This is transparent, precise, like laser cut, chiseled, subtle and elegant, showing very open and expressive, with great freshness and the core of Mediterranean flavors. 2,200 bottles were filled in February 2017. 2015 was a high-yielding vintage in Spain in general and in Priorat in particular. The wines here have little color and feel very ethereal. 2016 is clearly more concentrated, and at the same time, the wines show vibrant acidity and more freshness." - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Bodegas y Viñedos Alion 2016 Tinto

R1,250.00 inc. VAT
"Glass-staining violet. Heady smoke- and mineral-accented aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, incense and potpourri, plus hints of vanilla and cola in the background. Bodegas y Viñedos Alion 2016 Tinto is densely packed, alluringly sweet and focused on the palate, offering intense black currant, cherry-vanilla and candied licorice flavors and a touch of exotic spices. Sappy, smooth and seamless in texture, finishing with powerful thrust and velvety tannins that come in late to add shape and gentle grip. 95% French and 5% American oak, 80% of it new." Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Bodegas y Viñedos Pintia 2015 Tinto

R850.00 inc. VAT
"Deep, glistening ruby. Expansive cherry, cassis, potpourri, exotic spice and cracked pepper scents on the intensely perfumed nose; subtle licorice, tobacco and vanilla qualities add complexity. Bodegas y Viñedos Pintia 2015 Tinto is deep, sweet and penetrating on the palate, offering intense, spice- and smoke-tinged red and dark berry compote, violet pastille and cola flavors that become livelier with air. The floral quality gains strength on the strikingly long finish, which leaves smoke and mineral notes behind." Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru “Les Chemins d’Avize” 2012

R1,615.00 inc. VAT
"Disgorged in March 2018 to be released later this year is the 2012 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Les Chemins d'Avize, an impressive wine that wafts from the glass with scents of almond paste, pear, lemon and crushed chalk that are gently wood-inflected at this early stage, though I expect that will be hard to discern with a few more months on cork. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, rich and textural, with a deep and multidimensional core and a precise, lively finish. I'm looking forward to revisiting it" - William Kelley, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru “Vieille Vigne du Levant” 2010

R1,325.00 inc. VAT
"Disgorged in June 2018, the 2010 Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Vieille Vigne du Levant offers up a bright and detailed bouquet of citrus oil, flowers, white peach, warm bread and a delicate top note of walnut oil that's less pronounced than its delicately oxidative 2009 counterpart. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, broad and satiny, with considerable concentration and old-vine extract, concluding with a long and saline finish." - William Kelley, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Champagne Marguet Père et Fils “Sapience” Brut Nature Premier Cru 2009

R2,460.00 inc. VAT
"This is the fourth vintage of Benoît Marguet's Sapience, Champagne's first organic prestige cuvée, which he began producing before he took over his family vineyards, using purchased grapes: Bouzy Pinot Noir from Benoît Lahaye, Cumières Pinot Meunier from Vincent Laval and Trépail Chardonnay from David Leclapart. Disgorged in June 2019 without dosage, the 2009 Brut Nature Premier Cru is showing brilliantly, wafting from the glass with a complex bouquet of citrus oil, dried orange peel, white flowers and subtle hints of praline. Full-bodied, layered and textural, it's seamless and complete, with a deep core, ripe but racy acids and a long, intense finish" - William Kelley

Château Latour Grand Vin 2001

R12,995.00 inc. VAT
"The 2001 Latour is magnificent. A huge, structured wine, the 2001 Latour boasts notable depth to match its vertical, towering structure and pure power. At nearly fifteen years of age, the 2001 remains deep, virile and imposing. With air, the 2001 is a approachable now, but ideally it needs at least a few more years in bottle. This is a superb showing by any measure. Frédéric Engerer adds that 2001 was the last vintage that was lightly filtered prior to bottling."- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Elio Grasso Barolo “Ginestra Casa Maté” 2015

"There is slightly more structure to the 2015 Barolo Ginestra Casa Maté than to the Gavarini Chiniera of the same vintage, and the only differences here are the soils and that this fruit is harvested about ten days later. It's a pretty fascinating demonstration of the power of the single vineyard. The Gavarini Chiniera parcel offers slightly sandier soils, whereas this site is composed of more clay. In rainy years, the Gavarini Chiniera vineyard drains more effectively, whereas the Ginestra's soil retains more moisture in the hot and dry vintages. As a result, in vintages such as this one, Ginestra shows a more compact nature and, in general, provides more impact and more structure. This is a very robust expression, extremely linear and tight. The Ginestra Casa Maté narrowly wins this round. It's another beautiful Barolo." - Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 2013 Magnum

R1,660.00 inc. VAT
"Here is another highlight of the vintage. The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is a dark, moody and sophisticated wine. It does not reveal itself immediately or in any obvious way. Instead, it doses out its intensity in careful measurements. The whole performance is seductive to say the least. That slow momentum leads to dark cherry with spice, grilled herb, wet earth and dried rose. Felsina's Riserva Rancia is a very elegant wine, both on the nose and in the mouth." - Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Keermont “Riverside” Chenin Blanc 2018

R425.01 inc. VAT
"This world-class Syrah hails from a 0.7-hectare parcel planted on a ridge in 2005. Made with no stems in 2016 – the wine normally sees 15% whole bunches - it's like a Cape Côte Rôtie, all perfume, nuance and texture, with notes of ginger spice, barbecued meat and some ferrous grip. 2021-28" - Tim Atkin MW, South African Special Report 2020

Le Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Les Quartz” 2017

R960.01 inc. VAT
"The 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Quartz features scents of black olives and black cherries on the nose. It's a full-bodied, dense, tightly packed wine that will need time to fully express itself—is it a modern-day 2005? Ample cherry and stone fruit appear on the long, intense finish, confirming the terrific potential this wine possesses." - Joe Czerwinski, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Marchesi Antinori “Solaia” Magnum 2011

R9,100.00 inc. VAT
"Blackberry jam, cassis, grilled herbs and melted road tar meld together in the 2011 Solaia. Another super-exotic, racy 2011 from Antinori, Solaia is supremely beautiful. Mocha, espresso and sage are some of the many notes that add complexity. Hints of white truffle, lavender, smoke and licorice are laced into the exotic, racy finish. In 2011, Solaia has a dollop more of Cabernet Franc in the blend, added to give the wine a touch of freshness. Ripe and flashy to the core, the 2011 needs time to lose some of its youthful exuberance. At times, the 2011 could be easily mistaken for a wine from Napa Valley, such is its intensity." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Marchesi Antinori “Solaia” Magnum 2012

R8,795.00 inc. VAT
"The 2012 Solaia is the ultimate comfort wine: It serves as a beautiful monument to the potential of Italian wine. Let me give you some context. My lukewarm review of the 2011 vintage caused some heads to turn. Happily, the previous vintage has served as a springboard for this current release. Both 2011 and 2012 come from hot climatic conditions, but these wines are very different in style and content. The 2011 heat softened the lines that make up the varietal identity of this celebrated Tuscan blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. Those lines are presented in sharp focus with the 2012 edition. The nose is redolent of dark berry, crushed mineral, plum, spice and touch of white pepper. The wine is integrated and seamless, but it speaks with a strong and articulate voice." - Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Marchesi Antinori “Tignanello” 2017

"Intensely ruby red in color, Tignanello 2017 is remarkable on the nose for its complexity. Notes of ripe red fruits such as cherries preserved in spirits, sour cherries, raspberries and plums complement delicate spicy aromas of cloves and licorice; sweet balsamic notes of mint and chocolate complete its complex bouquet. On the palate, it is rich, mouth-filling and vibrant with supple velvety tannins. Its lengthy finish and persistent aftertaste bring back aromatic notes perceived on the nose." Winemaker's notes

Pol Roger Brut Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2009

R3,510.01 inc. VAT
"The wine has an inviting, bright golden hue, and a fine, regular stream of bubbles. At first the refined nose exudes subtle hints of brioche and sweet spice combining with citrus flavours and floral fragrances. As the wine warms in the glass, it becomes more powerful and the nose develops complex nuances of toasted nuts, acacia blossom and honeycomb. The palate is round and creamy supported by notes of fresh fruit. The structure is opulent, underpinned by fabulous balance. The finish is long and powerful." - Winemaker's notes

Rita Marques “Conceito” Branco 2016

R495.01 inc. VAT
"The 2016 Estate Branco, a field blend from old vines, was seen before, but only as a barrel sample. This is the first look in bottle. It was aged in used French oak (second, third and fourth use) for ten months. For the most part in Portugal, I tend to prefer the 2015 whites, but this seems to be one example of the 2016 doing better. Some years in the cellar will give us the final answer, of course. The oak, although modest, is too prominent just now, giving this a woody feel up front but without any vanilla nuance. This is also very young, however, in bottle less than six months when tasted this time. Underneath the oak is the precision and crispness that I expect in Conceito's whites. The acidity gives this superb length on the finish, grabbing your palate tightly and eviscerating the wood as the wine warms and airs out. It has power to spare. The power is matched by good concentration—indeed, the wine seems fuller now than when I first saw it. This is a wine whose balance will only become better with time—don't even think of drinking it today, when it is still mostly about its potential. If you can, come back in the summer of 2019 for better results. It is now demonstrating that it should age well for a decade or more. Indeed, it may improve steadily for several years. Right at the moment, though, it desperately needs some cellaring. Don't drink it too warm, by the way. This is the type of wine that will show better closer to 60 degrees Fahrenheit than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Let's be conservative as well as optimistic for the moment. It's worth leaning up right now for the potential, but the ceiling might eventually be even higher than anticipated." - Mark Squires, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Vega-Sicilia Unico Cosecha 2009

"I tasted a bottle of the 2009 Único blind and was taken by the freshness, the red fruit notes and the Burgundian-like characteristics of this vintage, which on paper was quite warm and dry. I also tasted the 2009 Valbuena, which is always more approachable, and was blown away by its aromatics. With time in the glass the Único opened up and got closer to the character of Valbuena but with more depth and clout, while showing extremely elegant. I tasted it again in the context of all the wines from the group, and it delivered all that I saw when I tasted it blind. It takes some time to unfurl its aromatic palette, and it feels young and somewhat undeveloped, younger than it is. It has a touch that made me think of the old vintages of Único on the nose but with very polished tannins and a soft mouthfeel that provides elegance. This is a wine that ages for no less than ten years before it's released. 2009 seems like a great vintage for Vega Sicilia, much better than what I anticipated. It should develop nicely in bottle." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Vega-Sicilia Único Reserva Especial 2019 Release

"As I've seen in recent years, the non-vintage blend NV Único Reserva Especial 2019 Release contains younger wines than what the older releases used to me made up of. In this case, it's 2006, 2007 and 2009 and in fact contains wine from the current release of Único, so not much older. It's mostly Tinto Fino (aka Tempranillo) and some Cabernet Sauvignon. It had a slightly longer élevage in oak, as the blend was put in bottle in June 2015, at the same time as the 2009 Único; therefore, the 2006 and 2007 components were in oak for a longer time. It has a similar character to the 2009, perhaps a little more subtle and elegant but not really more complex, with some tannins and a medium-bodied palate." - Luis Gutiérrez, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate