A look back at this year's additions to our portfolio
Another unusual year full of challenges and uncertainty – but we still managed to launch lots of lovely new wines.
Let’s take a look back at the Glass of 2022 (Part 1 – there were a lot!)
An inky, intense and complex, single varietal wine from the wild landscape between Corbières and the Mediterranean. The small yields from this area and its unique soils and landscape give distinctive wines with personality. This wine is complex with dark, rich fruit, delicate tannins and smooth mouthfeel.
Another first from Emiliana, this one is the Chile’s first organic sparkling Rosé. This 68/32% traditional method blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is charmingly aromatic, pale, refreshingly crisp and absolutely delightful to drink.
Nebbiolo is rarely found in the Monferrato hills, where Barbera holds sway, but Tenuta Il Cascinone have a small plot (less than 1 hectare) and from which this is produced. An impressive addition to their Avamposti range, with all the typical red fruit, floral, lightly savoury and fine tannins characteristic of Nebbiolo, in a delightfully early-drinking style.
An special cuvée from one of our long-standing Chablis producers. Only 9,000 bottles are produced from a small plot opposite the church in the commune of Beine. This is a mineral wine full of white floral aromas and an intense palate of citrus and green apple.
Valréas is the most northerly of the southern Rhône villages and the wines have a characteristic freshness in comparison to those further south. A 50/50 Marsanne/Viognier blend which is aromatic and plush but with a streak of refreshing minerality and long, textured finish – a more modern, lifted Rhône white.
Apis Mellifera Cairanne Vin Biologique: Julien Dugas, our winemaker at Domaine Boutinot worked with a neighbour to bring us this crunchy, bright and easy-drinking style of Cairanne. As an organic cuvée it felt appropriate to name it in honour of the honey bees that are so important for the pollination, and ongoing life of our vines (Apis Mellifera literally means “honey-bearing bee” in Latin) This sits alongside our Fide et Arte range as a fresher, lighter, un-oaked alternative….and proves that Cairanne is not a one-trick pony when it comes to red wine.
This sublime Malbec is from one of the most highly regarded modern Malbec vineyards in Argentina, the Alto Los Cuises vineyard is unusually a bush-vine Malbec nestled between steep slopes and high mountain cliffs, an extreme vineyard which produces grapes with a unique and fine expression. It’s not just everyone at Boutinot who loves this wine, Tim Atkin MW called it ‘one of my favourite Malbecs, not just in the north but also in the whole of Argentina’.
Emiliana’s first venture in to the world of orange wines was this Sauvignon Blanc fermented on skins. Where as most Orange wines anonymise varietal, Animalia actually has a grassy Sauvignon tang beneath the Orange structure. Clever, tasty stuff from Emiliana.
A couple of lovely organic additions to the Nicosia portfolio – the Grillo is a delicious example of this under-rated Sicilian variety, ripe and rounded peach fruit with savoury and lightly herbal characters; the Nerello Mascalese is sometimes pitched as an alternative to Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo, fresh and lightly floral with redcurrant and wild cherry fruit.
Projet Par GENETIE Gamay du Nord: Gamay from the northern reaches of Beaujolais from vines planted on soils rich in manganese, which lends a concentration of fruit, balance of freshness and tannins. It manages to be somehow lusciously rich but with something “cool” about it too and is incredibly versatile.
The first release of wines from this new project in Ribera del Duero. The ‘severely’ continental climate in the region sees 60C swings in temperature from freezing winters to sweltering summers, and it’s the Tinto Fino clone of Tempranillo – with thicker skin and smaller berries than its Rioja counterpart – that flourishes here.
The Pérez Cuevas family (of Bodegas Ontañón and Queirón) have already proved that they make wines of great quality, with attention to detail, finesse and above all ‘drinkability’. These wines are no exception, they have crafted full-bodied wines from the Tinto Fino grape with a sense of delicacy, freshness and a vibrancy that keeps you excited!
Saraja: We introduced the Saraja portfolio back at the start of ’23 – we’d been on the lookout for a top Sardinian producer for a while, but it wasn’t easy to find the right quality which offered decent value for money. Saraja is a new venture, their first vintage was just 2018, but they’re already making waves, as they excel with all 3 of Sardinia’s most important varieties, Vermentino, Cannonau and Carignano.
Vermentino is the main focus, from a 49 hectare property in the Gallura zone, the variety’s heartland. Whilst their Cannonau is sourced from a single vineyard in Romangia in northwest Sardinia, and Carignano comes from the Sulcis zone to the south. Each of the wines offers something a little different – you won’t be disappointed.
Strange Kompanjie Cinsault: The new look Kompanjie Cinsault is from 28 year-old, organically farmed, dry-grown bush vines. Vineyard cultivation and winemaking adhere to Boutinot’s Natural Wine tenets. Alluringly bright with aromas of fresh strawberry, juicy cherry and crunchy red fruit, fresh acidity and gently mineral notes which marry together with delicate finesse. Inestimably life-affirming and quaffable, it’s a pure joy to drink and modestly priced.
Terrazze della Luna Marzemino: The Marzemino grape is thought to share common ancestry with a couple of Trentino’s other red grapes, Teroldego and Lagrein, but is quite distinct in style. Its wines are the freshest, most elegant of the three, with bright sour cherry fruit and herbal notes, sometimes reminiscent of Cabernet Franc. Demand for lighter, juicier reds is growing and, as we’ve come to expect from Cavit, this is a fine example of the variety.
Waterkloof Chenin Blanc: Seventeen years after the launch of Waterkloof Sauvignon, a second wine has finally been added to the range, from the estate’s oldest block of Chenin on the upper slopes of The Schapenberg. Just over 4,000 bottles were produced in the usual hands-off way and naturally fermented in old 600 litre barrels before ageing on lees for 10 months. Well worth the wait, this is a fine, complex style which combines richness and concentration of honeyed, fruit with taut acidity and backbone which should enable it to age beautifully.
Click here for Part 2