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November Edition 2020

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#1 Ygueule 2018

By Pierre Cotton | Beaujolais (France), £25

What's it Like?

You'll drink this with your friends so quickly that you'll wish you had another bottle. It's a wine for catching up with friends (even if that means via Zoom); a wine so gluggable that you look at it suspiciously, wondering whether it's even alcoholic. It tastes just like the red fruits you find on a pannacotta, and even the texture is like pannacotta. Serve it slightly chilled.

What's in it?

Pierre left behind his life as a motorcycle mechanic to work in the vines, with the realisation that he preferred the outdoors to a garage. So, no bike parts here; rather this is produced entirely from the Gamay variety - the key variety of the Beaujolais - and is intended as a joyful introduction to the vibrant, elegant light red wines of the region.

How's it Made?

A portion of this wine was made as Pierre makes all of his wines; with whole bunches, gentle infusion style. However, due to the hot weather in 2018 meaning higher potential alcohol, Pierre wanted to seek extra freshness for this cuvée. As such, he added a portion of 'direct press' Gamay (like a rosé, with more acidity), so this is essentially its own hybrid: half rosé, half red wine.

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#2 Welschriesling Vom Opok 2017

By Werlitsch | Styria (Austria), £29

What's it Like?

This embodies the notion of 'vertical wine.' It's like a laser beam on the palate; fresh lime, salt and a mineral twist; as if someone turned a daiquiri into a wine, but with extra layers of complexity. The word 'minerality' is often splashed around in the wine world, but with this wine, we really do get that stony feeling on the tongue.

What's in it?

This is from the southern edge of Styria in Austria, bordering Slovenia, and is 100% Welschresling (not to be confused with Riesling; the two aren't related). Thought to have originated in Croatia many moons ago, it's likely that the variety was traded and brought to Austria by visitors as gifts in previous centuries.

How's it Made?

As with all of the Werlitsch wines, they key ingredient here is time. The grapes were direct pressed and the juice fermented naturally, after which the wine aged for at least a year and a half in Austrian oak vertical foudres. The distinct minerality is thought to come from the limestone soils; the local name for which is 'opok.'

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#3: Sauvignon Blanc 'Jardin du Poira' 2018

By Les Jardins de Theseiis | Loire (France), £26

What's it Like?

This is a wine with two personalities. At the start, it's linear and mineral, with a smoky gunflint edge, but after a few minutes in the glass it will slowly reveal an ever-so tropical edge - think a dash of pineapple. We love the journey this wine takes us on; this is Sauvignon, fine wine style.

What's in it?

This is biodynamically farmed Sauvignon Blanc from the Touraine region of the Loire (the Loire is the variety's probable birth place, it's only in recent years that the variety has made its name in the New World). This cuvée comes from the parcel named 'Poira,' which sits on clay-limestone and flint.

How's it Made?

The grapes were hand harvested and pressed directly, meaning no skin contact took place; this is classic white winemaking. Natural fermentation began in tank, after which they moved the wine into barrels in their cellar, where it was aged for 12 months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with no sulphites added. 4,000 bottles produced.

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#4 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir 2018

By Enderle & Moll | Baden (Germany), £25

What's it Like?

This is as autumnal as wine gets; a late afternoon stroll in the park with the scent of moss and the damp earth under foot, captured in a glass. With a pale garnet hue, this even looks like a countryside scene where the leaves are changing colour. This is fine Pinot; it might not be from Burgundy; but it's Germany's front row contender.

What's in it?

This is 100% Pinot Noir; the young-vine cuvée from the celebrated Enderle & Moll's stable of terroir-expressive Pinots; the perfect snapshot into what German red wine is capable of. Once you start, you can't stop; like the infinitely better organic wine version of pringles. It hasn't been branded 'cult' on the international wine scene by chance…

How's it Made?

Many in the region of Baden are making Pinot with modern machinery, but this adheres to the notion of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Old school Pinot Noir winemaking; foot-stomped, naturally fermented, with some destemmed fruit and some whole-cluster. Pressed with an old wooden press, and aged in barrels from the iconic Burgundy domaine, Dujac. Bottled unfined, unfiltered and with just a touch of sulphites.

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