Gary Hewitt
Banville & Jones Wine Co.
Purchasing, Wine Educator, Certified Sommelier
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Top-notch, cool-climate, Traditional Method bubbles with lemon, green & red apple, hazelnut/cashew, toast, wet stones, lively bubbles and mouthwatering acidity that drags out the finish. Faint touches of red berry and fresh baguette lend complexity. A ringer for Champagne--but a good one! Drink now for the fresh intensity--I don't know that this will age. An eye-opener! (non-vintage: tasted 11 March 2019)
United Kingdom, Sparkling
7 days ago
A wonderful mouthful of wine! Intense, lively, ripe pear, dried pineapple, honey, toast, full medium sweet, complex, balanced and long. Drinking beautifully but with at least a decade in its future. Indulge. Outstanding. (2012 tasted 3 March 2019)
Germany » Nahe, Riesling
Bat Gara is the producer name, Txacholi is the wine. It's made from the Basque grape called Hondarribi Zuri. In our market, a spritzy style is more common, but Uno is a complex still wine with salt, lemon, blanched almond, citrus pith, pear, wet stone and sage/fennel flavours. Its high acidity and medium body make it a perfect fit for seafood (even if you're not in San Sebastian). It's a tough call, but Uno may age for several years--it's great right now. (2017 tasted 26 Feb 2019)
Priorat is a caldron that easily ripens Garnacha and Carignan--yet, in the hands of Mas d'en Gil wines retain vitality. Perhaps their uncompromising commitment to biodynamic viticulture breathes life into the vines. Rich, vibrant red fruits, a silky mid-palate & an extended finish are highlights, but the wine gives more with subtle complexity. The producers suggest serving at 14C (to minimize the alcohol?) in a Burgundy balloon (for the complexity?)--good calls. Delicious. (2011 Feb25/19)
Spain » Catalonia » Priorat, 2011
A statement wine: Ripe, modern Rioja framed with spicy cedar-vanilla French oak surrounding intense ripe red fruits and figs leading to a warm finish. Complex with tension between intense flavours, brisk acidity and warm alcohol. Impressive now and built for 5-10 more years in bottle. (2009 tasted 25 Feb 2019)
Spain » Navarre » Rioja
Rioja meets Bordeaux. Impressive full body wine with rich dark fruits, firm tannins, lashes of sweet oak (cedar, tobacco, mocha, vanilla) and a lingering finish. Entirely accessible but with 5-8 years of aging potential. Crash a Bordeaux party, or embrace modern Rioja. Excellent. (2010 tasted 25 Feb 2019)
Spain » Navarre » Rioja, 2010
Powerful Tempranillo that I want to call Syrah--maybe it's the bottle shape? Deep fruit flavours, complex herbal notes, fully integrated oak, warm alcohol and substantial ripe tannins. This historic-vine project of iconic producer Pingus demands attention. A concentrated wine with cellar potential (6-10 years or more?). Impressive. (2014 tasted 25 Feb 2019)
Spain » Castilla Y Leon » Ribera del Duero, 2014, Tempranillo
Outside the box! Intense, complex, spicy Sauvignon Blanc from Austria! Already compelling, but the winemaker suggests cellaring up to 2023. Nettles, papaya, snow peas, citrus, pear and apple--fresh bell pepper highlights, fresh acidity, intense long finish. Outstanding. 2016 tasted 19 Feb 2019.
Austria, Sauvignon Blanc
Remarkable wine hitting well above its Bordeaux Superiore classification. Classic firm tannins, fresh crunchy red fruits, tar-cedar accent, and a juicy finish. Moderately complex and ready now although may soften nicely over 3-4 years. Fleur Haut Gaussens bills themselves as a modern Bordeaux producer--this smart wine lives up to the billing. 2015 tasted 16 Feb 2019.
France » Bordeaux
Gary Hewitt added notes for Hiedler Hiedler.
Lively Gruner with youthful stone-fruit, grapefruit and honeydew flavours, light stoniness and a refreshing finish. Light notes of white pepper and ginger may lead to greater spiciness as the wine rounds out with a little bottle agebut already with great balance for food pairing. Excellent. 2017 tasted 16 Feb 2019.
Austria, GrĂ¼ner Veltliner
Mountain wine. Light and fresh made from 100% Schiava, a widely planted indigenous grape of the Trentino-Alto Adige region in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Pale, juicy, redolent cherry raspberry flavours with very light tannins. A quaffing wine perfect for fondues/raclette, picnics, charcuterie, chicken or fish. Serve slightly chilled for best effect. (2017 tasted 10 Feb 2019)
Italy » Trentino-Alto Adige, Schiava, with a community rating of 90/100
Pleasant fresh and easy drinking cool-climate blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc meant for early drinking. Lemon, apple, pear skin and just off-dry, best chilled. Easy to like and very food compatible. (2017 tasted 10 Feb 2019)
Italy » Trentino-Alto Adige
Rustic beauty. Complex ripe black fruits, dates, mushroom, dried leaves, leather, cedar, vanilla and smoke kept alive by juicy acidity and framed by firm tannins. Long finish. Brett notes add complexity and don't overpower the wine. Wants cinghiale (wild boar)! or mushroom risotto. Outstanding (unless you can't abide some Brett :) ) and great value. 2011 tasted 16 Jan 2019.
Charming combo of the best of Gamay, Malbec, Pinot Noir and Cabernet (Franc) with, respectively, cherry, plum, raspberry, and restrained green bell pepper; lively and fresh; balanced with smooth tannins and a juicy sustained finish. Gulpable. Very good to Excellent. Best while young and vibrant--drink over 1-2 years. (2016 tasted 16 Jan 2019)
France » Loire Valley
Rich, round, buttery, complex and long with pronounced flavours of musk melon, honey, peach, dried flowers, vanilla, butter, ginger and clove. Maybe at its best right now but has the guts for a few more years in bottle. New world done well--outstanding. (2015 tasted happily 16 Jan 2019)
Argentina » Mendoza Province, Chardonnay, with a community rating of 90/100
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