Grower Champagne: Larmandier-Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs

Larmandier-Bernier is one of the leading lights of grower Champagne. The domaine, which consists of 15 hectares of vines in the Côtes des Blancs, is farmed by Sophie and Pierre Larmandier, who took over in 1988. In 1992 they began farming organically, and in 1999 they started working with biodynamics. The old vines (average age of 33 years) and organic farming result in wines of real intensity. This wine, Latitude, used to be known as Tradition, and is a non-vintage bottling with 40% of wine from a perpetual reserve that they started in 2004. It’s fermented with wild yeasts in a mix of oak casks and stainless steel, and the dosage is 4 g/litre.

Champagne Larmandier-Bernier ‘Latitude’ Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut
Tight and concentrated with a fine herbal edge to the intense citrus fruit. This has a lovely sharp lemony core. Powerful, dry and precise. 93/100

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GROWER CHAMPAGNE:

Albariño series (3) Terras Gauda O Rosal 2017 Rías Baixas, Spain

Technically, I shouldn’t be including this wine in my series because it’s a blend, in this case of 70% Albariño, 20% Caiño and 10% Loureiro. Stainless steel fermented with vineyard yeasts carrying out the fermentation, this is a slightly richer style (O Rosal is a warmer subregion in Rias Baixas running along the border with Portugal), but it still has a beautiful crispness. This is a really stylish wine, and it’s remarkable to see this quality in a 1.5 million bottle production run.

Terras Gauda O Rosal 2017 Rías Baixas, Spain
12.5% alcohol. Tight and crisp, but also with some generosity and tropical fruit notes in the background. There’s lovely grapefruit and lemon citrus character with zippy acidity. Really bright and with nice intensity and a hint of pithiness. Youthful and taut with a beautifully expressive personality. This has lots of layers to it. 93/100

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ALBARIÑO

  1. Eulogio Pomares Parcelarios (I) Carralcoba Albariño 2015 Rias Baixas, Spain
  2. Granbazán Etiqueta Ámbar 2016 Rías Baixas, Spain
  3. Terras Gauda O Rosal 2017 Rías Baixas, Spain

Some red wine highlights from Bibendum

Following my round-up of white wine highlights from the recent Bibendum (major UK agent/wholesaler) tasting, here are some nice reds from their range. A few real gems here.

Gal Tibor Titi Egri Bikaver 2016 Eger, Hungary, Eger
A blend of Kékfrankos, Kadarta and Syrah. Beautifully packaged. Fresh, stony cherry and plum fruit nose with a damson twist. The palate is really fresh and supple with some sour cherry and plum fruit, with a bit of grip. Open, delicious and expressive. Has good acidity. A very satisfying lighter-styled red, but not lacking in flavour. 93/100

Weingut Kopp Spatburgunder Roter Porphyr 2015 Baden, Germany
This is beautiful: it’s very fresh and supple with nice raspberry and black cherry fruit, with a hint of sour cherry and damson on the finish. Very fresh and bright, but also has some substance. A really compelling Pinot Noir. 93/100

Domaine Frederic Magnien Marsannay Mogottes Monopole 2014 Burgundy, France
Light, supple, fine and spicy with juicy red cherry and plum fruit. Has a savoury, cedary edge to the fruit. Good concentration here: digestible and expressive. 92/100

Norman Hardie Pinot Noir 2016 Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Has a slight lift to the nose with lovely fresh, pure, supple red cherry fruit. So light and refined with incredibly delicacy and elegance. Has a little grip here, too. Lovely. 93/100

Prophets Rock Cuvee Aux Antipodes Pinot Noir 2015 Central Otago, New Zealand
This is the collaboration with Francois Millet that I described here. Distinctive, fine green hints on the nose with cherries and warm herbs. The palate is fine and expressive with lovely elegance, and well integrated green notes as well as raspberries and plums. This is so distinctive, with lovely elegance and balance, and nice green notes. 94/100

Moli dels Capellans Atrepat 2016 Conca e Barbera, Spain
A varietal Trepat. Lively, lifted spicy red fruits nose. Very bright and expressive on the palate with juicy, bright red fruits. Lovely vivid fruit but the volatile acidity is a bit high, so be warned. 90/100

Castello di Ama San Lorenzo 2014  Tuscany, Italy
Sangiovese/Merlot blend. Complex, juicy and spicy with nice grip and weight. Lovely raspberry and blackberry fruit with some damson bite on the finish. 92/100

Oscuro Malbec 2017  Mendoza, Argentina
Supple and elegant with nice sweet, bright cherry and berry fruit. Very expressive and delicious with a smoothness but also freshness. 91/100

La Posta Armando Vineyard Bonarda 2016 Mendoza, Argentina
Juicy and bright with lovely cherry and plum fruit. Ripe but fresh with a nice spicy twist to the finish. Lovely supple, easy wine. 90/100

Some Young Punks Naked on Roller Skates Shiraz Mataro 2016 McLaren Vale, Australia
Smooth yet vivid with bold ripe berry fruits. Has some floral cherry freshness and a bit of grunt under the sweet, bold fruit. Lovely weight here. Sweetly fruited and modern but balanced. 91/100

Tornatore Pietrarizzo Rosso 2015 Sicily, Italy
Varietal Nerello Mascalese. A bright, lighter styled red wine with a juicy berry fruits edge to the fresh plum and cherry fruit core. Notes of herbs and fine spices, with a bit of grip on the finish. Supple and expressive. 93/100

Ermitage Pic St Loup Pic St Loup Saint Agnes Rouge 2015 Languedoc, France
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Slightly lifted herb and black cherry nose. Vivid, structured yet quite elegant on the palate with a twist of balsamic vinegar under the juicy blackberry and black cherry fruit. Hints of olives, too. The volatile acidity adds an extra element to this: a complex, savoury style. 92/100

Garage Wine Company The Ploughmen Carignan Garnacha Mataro 2013 Maule Valley, Chile
Very pure, aromatic red cherry and plum fruit nose. Juicy raspberry and cherry fruit palate with some leafy green notes, a twist of cedar, and high acidity. Very expressive and fresh. Such a distinctive wine. 90/100

Bodegas Tomas Cusine Vilosell 2014 Catalunya, Spain
Tempranillo, Syrah and Merlot. Really supple and fresh with nice structured, balanced juicy berry fruits. Has nice grip and lovely supple ripe fruit. Modern but balanced and lovely. 91/100

Domaine Catherine and Pascal Jamet St Joseph 2015 Rhone, France
Broad, meaty and ripe with lovely olive tapenade savouriness, as well as some sweet berry fruits. Has lovely depth and wildness, with some peachy richness under the red and black fruits. Stylish and delicious. 93/100

Phincas Village Estate 2013 Rioja, Spain
There’s a minty edge here to the fruit. Lively but quite rich, with direct, sweet berry fruits and well integrated oak. Has a bit of grip, too. Modern and well balanced. 91/100

The importance of the stuff around wine, with reference to West Ham United

It’s not just about a liquid in a bottle. The stuff around it matters more than we realise.

The BBC recently put together a short film about the effect on fans of moving a football (soccer) team from an old, traditional stadium to a new one. The club in question is West Ham United, and two years ago they moved from the Boleyn Ground (known commonly as Upton Park) to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. While the move from an old, cramped 37000 capacity stadium to a brand new 57000 seater ground with modern facilities might seem to be a bit of a no-brainer, according to the fans interviewed it has been a largely negative transition.

The verdict on West Ham’s stadium move: dream or nightmare

At the old stadium you were very close to the pitch, and the atmosphere was remarkable – there’s something about being close to the play that draws you in as a fan. The new stadium (the Olympic Stadium in Stratford) was built for athletics, and so has a running track around the edge of the pitch, distancing fans from the action.

The old stadium was in an urban setting, surrounded by houses and local businesses; the new one is in its own dedicated site, next door to a large shopping centre. What has been lost? Heritage; continuity with the past; authenticity. What has been gained? A larger capacity and a modern facility, but at the cost of the soul of the club. If it were just about the football, watching two teams of skilled, highly paid athletes compete, then there would be no issue with the relocation. But supporting a football club is actually only partly about what takes place on the pitch. Famous Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said: ‘Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.’ He got it.

This all relates to wine. If we strip wine of its heritage, its authenticity, and its stories, then what do we have left? A delicious alcoholic drink? There is so much to wine that depends upon the stuff around wine, and this matters more than we can realize. We should be wary of the unintended consequences of too much demystifying of wine, and too much stripping away its complexity. This complexity is part of its allure. We need to make wine accessible to newcomers, for sure, but let’s do this carefully and intelligently. I’m sure that whoever decided it was wise to move West Ham to a new stadium did it with pure motivations: more fans, more money; nicer stadium, more accessible to new fans. But they didn’t anticipate some of the consequences of this change, nor the importance of tradition, heritage, and being rooted in the local community to the loyal fans who are the heart of any club.

As we discuss and try to enable the future of wine, let’s try not to make the same mistake.

Some white wine highlights from Bibendum

These were some of the white wine highlights from a recent portfolio tasting with major UK agency business Bibendum.

Litmus Element 20 2013 Surrey, England
This is lovely: really expressive with a subtly nutty edge to the grapefruit and pear fruit, together with some citrus brightness. Complex and beguiling with a subtle hint of green and refined fruity notes, showing a hint of herb and cabbage in the background, but in a nice complexing way. The nutty finish lets it down slightly, but still, this is a really impressive effort. 90/100

Alvear Marques de la Sierra Dry PX  2016 Andalucia, Spain
Made from Pedro Ximenez. Very interesting with fennel, nuts, herbs and apples on the nose. The palate is herby and nutty with some lemons and pears. Has subtle oxidative characters that look really nice. A really compelling wine. 92/100

Weingut Peth-Wetz Unfiltered Riesling 2016 Rheinhessen, Germany
This is so pretty. Grapefruit and lemons, with some pear and melon, too. Has lovely weight and just a hint of sweetness. Delicate but with plenty of flavour. 92/100

Johann Baptist Schafer Pittermannchen Riesling Kabinett 2016 Nahe, Germany
Slightly minty, limey nose. Fresh but rich on the palate with some melony sweetness and bright citrus, too. Lively limey finish. Quite sweet. 90/100

Rieslingfreak No5 2017  Clare Valley, Australia
Balanced and refined with sweet citrus fruit. Has a hint of sweetness and a lovely seamless mouthfeel, without any untoward grippiness. Lemon and lime on the finish: still quite primary but with good potential. 91/100

Jean Perrier Chignin Bergeron Fleur de Roussanne 2016 Savoie, France
Beautiful nose of ripe pears, apples and nuts, with a touch of hay. The palate is supple with some cabbage hints under the slightly waxy pear fruit, together with notes of apricot and toast. Complex and subtly oxidative, with lovely persistence in the mouth. 92/100

Alphonse Mellot, Sancerre Blanc La Moussiere 2016 Loire, France
Lively aromatic nose, showing fine citrus fruits and subtle grassiness. The palate has real presence with spice, apples, pears and even a touch of honey. The finish is long and mineral with finely wrought green hints. Very stylish. 92/100

Kreydenweiss Lerchenberg Pinot Gris 2016 Alsace, France
Complex, oxidative nose of baked apple, honey and ripe pear fruit. The palate is lively and spicy with a slight vinegary edge to the sweet apple and table grape fruit. It’s an oxidative style, and perhaps is pushing it a bit too far. 88/100

Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2016 Gisborne, New Zealand
Intense and lively with a subtle creamy edge to the sweet citrus and pear fruit, with really zingy, vital, mineral acidity. Faint hints of cheese and straw, too. Lovely complexity here. 92/100

Domaine Grand Veneur Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc Le Miocene 2016 Rhone, France
A blend of Claudette and Roussanne. This has freshness and poise, with hints of apricot richness alongside pure pear and citrus fruit. There’s nice concentration and freshness, with a faint trace of bread and wheat, with finely wrought fruit complexity. 93/100

We don't want our wines to taste nicer, but truer

When I started drinking wine as a student, I was bottom feeding. Buying cheap wines from supermarkets. Most tasted bad. Now wine tastes better, even at the bottom end. That’s a good thing. But let’s explore the issue a bit further. I’d argue that generally speaking, we don’t want our wines to taste nicer, but truer.

A quick taste – a mouthful – isn’t a very meaningful way to assess a wine unless you have a lot of wine expertise. Novice or low involvement consumers don’t taste wine the same way as experts do. They focus on what is in the glass, and the sensory clues that this gives. Experts are able to marshall their knowledge, and use their cognitive abilities to help them make sense of their perceptions. Normal people find tasting lots of wine together bewildering because they don’t have any mechanisms like this to help them deal with what they are tasting.

Yet often these consumers are presented with a range of wines and asked to state a preference. Which tastes nicest? It’s unsurprising that in these sorts of tests, strongly flavoured but gentle flavours are chosen. For reds, this means sweetly fruited and deeply coloured wines with low tannin and acid, and even some actual added sugar. They taste ‘nicer’.

But let’s make a comparison with cheese. I don’t want someone to take my cheese and make it taste nicer. I want Comte that really tastes of Comte; I want Cheddar with a strong spicy tang; I want goats cheese that’s even a bit alarming at first for its goatiness.

If you give 20 non-involved cheese consumers something that cheese experts would consider to be a range of great cheeses, and then slipped in a mild, creamy cheddar made from pasteurized milk and with no real flavour, they may well prefer that. But where does this leave us? Does this mean that in order to sell cheese we should strip it of some of its flavour to make it more palatable? No, because we can quite happily live with the idea that there’s mass market cheese sold cheaply in supermarkets, and there’s the real stuff with proper flavour and providence. The latter is what food writers and people who enjoy flavour are interested in. Consumers seem to be able to live with the idea that the cheese market is segmented, and the big bricks of cheddar with no flavour serve a purpose, and that the expensive ‘proper’ cheeses serve another, and if you are interested in flavour, you buy the latter.

With wine, it’s largely the same. Ask a group of novice consumers to taste a range of wines, and as they sip their way through they might well prefer the big brand red with 10 g/l of residual sugar and no nasty tannins. Smooth, sweet and tasty. Does that mean that there should be more of these wines on the market? Should we be making more off-dry reds because that’s what a large segment of the market really wants?

This isn’t a straightforward question to answer, because the answer may be different for different segments of the market.

Generally speaking, though, as with cheese, I don’t want my wines to taste nicer: I want them to taste truer. Where there are wines of terroir – expressing a local flavour – I really want to buy one of these wines that tastes of where its from. That’s what makes wine interesting. Of course, this local flavour is partly derived from the site, which is the conventional understanding of terroir. But terroir as expressed in a wine is an interpretive act. It’s the combination of site, plus the variety (ies), and the choices of the winegrower. Local cultural practices can contribute to the local flavour. Some places have more local flavour than others. That’s just how it is. With wine, if you have a local flavour, no one can copy you. You are potentially able to rise above the mess that’s the price-sensitive bottom end of the market.

Say you are a producer in Fitou. It’s not easy to sell Fitou: there’s a lot of it made, and it’s quite cheap. What do you do? You can resort to winemaking trickery and add some post-ferment sugar, and make a wine that tastes better (according to average consumers being given a range of glasses to sample). You might be able to sell your wine to a supermarket more easily because of this, but will you get any more money? No. You’ll just get to empty your tanks and, if lucky, not make a loss on the wine. The alternative is trickier to achieve but could lead to long term success: make really good Fitou that tastes of the place, and transcend the appellation by supplementing the regional brand (Fitou) with your own brand. If you make excellent wine, and establish a good route to market, you have a chance of making money and escaping the dreadful bottom end of the market where producers merely survive (if they are lucky) but never succeed.

Make your wines taste truer. Not nicer.

J Bouchon Granito Semillon 2016 Maule, Chile

This is a remarkable wine. I tasted it when Tim Atkin brought it along to the International Wine Challenge one morning: he’d opened it the previous evening, and as it was one of his favourite Chilean whites he wanted to share it. I’m glad he did, because it is remarkable. Semillon is a grape that deserves more attention, and Chile needs to be making more wines like these.

J Bouchon Granito Semillon 2016 Maule, Chile
This is from 70 year old vines close to the ocean, grown in granitic soils in Maule. Intense, nutty and waxy with lemony fruit. Very precise and mineral with a hint of wax and herbs. This has such a long lemony finish. Real intensity and focus here, with great complexity. Profound stuff. 94/100

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Dinner at Roots, Lyttelton: one of New Zealand's great foodie destinations

While we were down in Christchurch, it was great to be able to visit Roots in Lyttelton. It’s a much-talked about New Zealand foodie destination and the only restaurant outside Auckland to be awarded three hats by Cuisine (and one of only eight to hit this level). There’s no menu: you just get fed. It’s incredibly intricate cooking, full of detail and beautifully constructed layers of flavour. We opted for the eight course menu (five and 12 course options are also available).

Things kicked off with some surprises, including Te Kouma oyster slightly heated with rocket puree, lemon juice and dill, and a little corn cornetto, with corn masa, corn custard, charred corn and rosemary flowers.

Then it was into a succession of beautifully executed dishes, including the following.

Sheep cheese, pear, fennel compressed in saffron, black walnut, pickled fennel pollen

Pan seared squid with carrot and coconut sauce, carrot pieces pickled in coconut vinegar, cooked carrot, coriander. The squid was cut into fine ribbons, a bit like pasta.

Snapper, chicken broth emulsion, crispy chicken skin, scampi garum fermented with koji, puma. This was a cracking dish!

Smoked eel (wild-caught short-finned eel smoked with native woods), shiitake, pickled onion, caramelized onion and eel broth, eel and porcini, parsley. Lots of savoury deliciousness here.

Lamb belly (sous vide 11 h at 72 C), spinach puree and powder, cured lamb fat, lemon segments, lamb jus. Essence of lamb: very rich and flavourful.

Citrus jelly cleanser with citrus and yuzu curd, fresh yuzu zest, citrus nitro drops

 

Almond sorbet, quince cooked in calcium, quince and broad bean miso paste, toasted almond and dehydrated chocolate mousse, quince skin foam.

We had a few wines. The wine list isn’t huge, consisting exclusively of New Zealand wines. But they are interesting ones and well chosen. We’d have liked the staff to actually have tried more of the wines: after all the list is short. But in New Zealand there doesn’t seem to be a culture of the sommelier tasting the guests’ wines. Black Estate Home Chardonnay 2016 was really good, but our second bottle – the Millton Clos Ste Anne Viognier 2013 was very oxidative and not as good as it should have been. We mentioned this but rather than show a willingness to take the bottle back, they tried to tell us how good it was (we didn’t press…and just drank a rather disappointing wine). Things perked up with the fab Silver Wing Pinot Noir 2014 from Waipara, which was a sommelier recommendation and a very good one. This was deliciously detailed Pinot. And then we finished off with the excellent Brookfields Sun Dried Malbec from Hawke’s Bay, which was fresh and focused.

This was our bill (for five). It’s not a cheap meal, but the level of the cooking here is quite incredible. Aside from the issue with the Millton Viognier, we were really well looked after, and I’d really recommend Roots as a destination experience.

A lovely evening at Scotch Bar, Blenheim

I’d been in Blenheim for three days before another big night at Scotch, the epic wine bar in town where it’s easy to rack up quite a spectacular bill if you start attacking the amazing wine list there. This was Wednesday night’s haul with a great crew.

These wines were all lovely. The Mount Edward Gamay is a wine that I’ve only had at Scotch. We did the last two bottles they had, so we must have done half a case now. If you can find it, get some. It’s just so good: inky and fine with lovely perfume. The Kumeu River Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 is an exceptional Chardonnay: world class and with a bight future ahead of it. I really likes the La Collina Syrah from Bilancia in Hawke’s Bay, which is one of New Zealand’s very best. And Vajra! We revisited the 2011 Albe, which is another Scotch favourite, which was deliciously poised. And the Kyè Fresia is also nuanced and delicate, but not lacking flavour. And then it was time for some Dom – the 2009, current release, quite delicious.

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The wines of Lismore, Greyton, South Africa

Samantha O’Keefe, Lismore

Samantha O’Keefe must be pretty tough. She has a spectacular wine farm in the middle of nowhere, and she’s been running it pretty much single-handedly since the beginning, as well as being a single mum to two boys. And financially, this has not been the easiest of rides, either, with fluctuating yields plus the cashflow hungry nature of the wine business. In 2010, drought hammered the vines and there was hardly any crop. But on the flip side, this stress has had a positive effect, in that now the vines, which are approaching middle age, are much better able to deal with drought.

The farm in question is in Greyton, and there are no other vineyards nearby. When you see the soils and aspects here, though, you realize the appeal of this place: these are bony vineyard soils that look ideal for high quality viticulture.

Chardonnay, almost ready

She bought the farm in 2003, and began planting in 2004. Currently, there are 14.5 hectares, but there’s the potential to take this to 25 ha with further development. Initially, all the Lismore wines came from the property, but for the last couple of vintage she has been buying in grapes from other areas such as Stanford and Elgin, in order to meet demand for some of the more successful varieties. This move was prompted by the 2015 vintage, when Samantha’s 2.5 hectares of Syrah yielded just 1200 litres.

A new winery was built in 2016 that was up and running for the 2017 vintage. It’s a functional modern space. There are the usual oak barrels and tanks, but also some concrete and plastic eggs. Samantha points out that for the Viognier, the plastic eggs result in wines that are so perfumed it’s as if someone has added an extract to it. ‘It’s crazy,’ she says. ‘It would be over the top to bottle them on their own.’ But the wines in the concrete eggs are less exotic, and work well in the blend.

Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Cape South Coast, South Africa
This has 30% of fruit from Stanford in it. Whole bunch pressed and settled. 300 and 500 litre barrels, 5% new oak. 20% in eggs. This is precise and textural with nice weight in the mouth. Rich pear fruit with some grapefruit and fennel. There’s a touch of blackcurrant in the mix, and nice acidity. The oak is present but really well integrated. Has some nice richness, but remains fresh. 93/100

Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Cape South Coast, South Africa
This is quite exotic with lovely ripe pear and melon fruit, with a hint of tangerine and marmalade, as well as crisp lemony acidity. There’s a nice green hint, too. Has real richness on the mid-palate. This is a beautiful textured wine with lovely weight in the mouth, as well as some exotic fruit characters. 94/100

Lismore Chardonnay 2015 Greyton, South Africa
Older oak. Powerful and spicy with nice acidity. Mealy with some lemony fruit and a hint of pineapple. Lots of flavour here with great concentration (from thick skins and tiny bunches). Some toast and nut, but the fruit is dominant here. 92/100

Lismore The Age of Grace Viognier 2017 Cape South Coast, South Africa
So pretty! This is Elgin fruit, handled oxidatively and barrel fermented. Lovely apricot and pear fruit with a floral twist and lovely spicy citrus notes framing the fruit. Great concentration. Just so delicious and varietally true. 93/100

Lismore Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Greyton, South Africa
Large format new oak used here (40%, 2 out of 5 500 litre barrels). Beautifully expressive with lime and pear notes, as well as some nuts and spice. There’s a mealy edge, and even some minty freshness. Lovely acidity here: it has texture but also punchy acidity. Concentrated and fine. 94/100

Lismore Reserve Chardonnay 2017 Greyton, South Africa
35% new oak. Mealy, pithy and lively with intense lime and pear fruit, as well as some exotic pineapple notes. Nicely rounded with a spicy edge, and a juicy tangerine note on the finish. Very stylish. 94/100

Lismore Pinot Noir 2017 Cape South Coast, South Africa
30% Elgin, 70% Stanford. 30% whole bunch, 25% new oak. Much better than the debut 2016. Sweetly aromatic with floral red cherries and some sappy green hints. The palate is vivid with some pepper and lime hints and nice structure. It’s pretty and seductive but there’s also some savoury seriousness. Supple and intense with a nice silky texture contrasting with the grippy, spicy savoury character. 94/100

Lismore Syrah 2016 Cape South Coast, South Africa
50% Elgin, 50% estate, 40% whole bunch. Fresh, vivid and distinctive with some pepper and menthol as well as vivid raspberry and red cherry fruit. There’s a savoury twist here, and some olive notes, but the dominant theme is bright fruit. 91/100

Lismore Syrah 2016 Cape South Coast, South Africa (tank sample, final blend)
50% Elgin, 50% estate, 40% whole bunch. This is lovely: ripe, generous blackberry and raspberry fruit. Supple and fresh with nice peppery hints and a bit of grip. Pure, floral and expressive. Has some silkiness as well as a bit of wildness. 93/100

Lismore Estate Reserve Syrah 2017 Greyton, South Africa
Really minty and peppery with floral red berries and cherries. Supple and lively on the palate with fresh acidity and some tart raspberry notes. Really high acid here (pH 3.2) with distinctive fruit, some pepper and some meaty hints. Very distinctive. 93/100

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