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March Cosmos Edition


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#1 Flora 2019

By Michael Gindl | Weinviertel (Austria) £24

Watch the latest LITTLEWINE Episode with Michael Gindl by clicking the button below.

What's it Like?

This is a wine that embodies spring. It tastes like walking through Michael's lush and green vineyards when all the wildflowers have begun to bloom. Floral and delicate, this is light as a feather and can't help but put you in a good mood. It has a bright, mouthwatering acidity that means it's a brilliant partner for a variety of dishes—our top pick would be ramen or spring green soup.

Where's it From?

This comes from the Weinviertel region of Austria, and is a blend of the aromatic varieties Riesling, Muskateller and Scheurebe, planted on loess and sandstone soils, and farmed biodynamically by Michael and his horses. The region has traditionally made very old-school, repeatable wines, and Michael is one of the first generation to go against the grain;—making wine through instinct, not convention.

How's it Made?

The goal of this wine is ultimate drinkability. Michael picks the grapes quite early, to preserve acidity and create something mouthwateringly moreish. Half of the wine is pressed directly and the other half has four hours of skin contact, just to add a little texture. Aged in stainless steel to further promote the freshness of the wine, and bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Michael Gindl

#2 Negoska Carbonic 2019

By Chloi Chatzivaryti | Goumenissa (Greece) £26

Read her story by clicking the button below.

What's it Like?

A wine that is pure deliciousness, full stop. Are you a fan of juicy red wines with bags full of fruit, that smell like sunshine? Then this is for you. Made in a similar way to many of the great wines of Beaujolais, this has gentle tannins and a silky texture. It tastes how we'd imagine it would feel to go clubbing in silk pyjamas!

NB: We recommend serving this slightly chilled to heighten the fruit aromas

Where's it From?

This comes from the region of Goumenissa, on mainland Greece, famous for its broad range of ancient grape varieties. The region is particularly renowned for Xinomavro—the celebrity of Greek varieties—but also for its indigenous, lesser-known but equally charming black variety, Negoska, which this wine is made from. A celebration of Greek heritage.

How's it Made?

This undergoes a “totally DIY” carbonic fermentation—she adds a touch of juice at the bottom of the tank to encourage CO2 production as quickly as possible, after which she seals the tank with nylon and has a heater by the side to get the temperature up. Rudimentary, perhaps, but the resulting wine is so astonishingly good that it’s evident this method was born from much thinking. 

Chatzivaritis Estate


#3 El Bandito Cortez 2019

By Craig & Carla Hawkins of Testalonga | Swartland (South Africa £30

What's it Like?

A now-iconic cuvée that proved it's possible to make fresh, elegant, acid-driven Chenin Blanc from a hot place: the Swartland. It's a little quiet at first, giving you the aroma of sea mist with a spritz of grapefruit, and after a few minutes in the glass this starts to show off with a wiggle - revealing grapefruit, rosemary, rock salt & a hint of tea. It's a wine for reading and taking your time with.

Where's it From?

This comes from the famous Observatory vineyard in the Paardeberg in the Swartland. It is old vine Chenin Blanc planted in 1972 on decomposed granite soils. Craig has rented this vineyard for many years and farms it organically.

How's it Made?

The grapes were whole bunch pressed (directly, no skin contact). The juice fermented naturally, and the wine aged with no manipulation (not moved or touched) in 500L barrels and one foudre. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered, with the tiniest addition of sulphites. 


#4 Paroxysme 2018

By Julien Viana of Cellier de la Baraterie | Savoie (France) £24

What's it Like?

This the freshness of Gamay, the heady fruit profile of Pinot Noir and the meaty, savoury side of Mondeuse (Syrah's grandparent, and the unsung hero of the region). It paints a portrait of the Savoie for you through its fresh acidity; transporting you to steep glaciers and reminiscent of the cool winds breezing down the Alpine valleys.

Where's it From?

Julien’s vineyards are spread over several small plots of vineyards; like in Burgundy, this is common in the Savoie, as the vineyards have been dispersed throughout the years. This comes from parcels of Gamay (45%), Pinot Noir (45%) and Mondeuse (10%), in the villages of Cruet, but also St. Jean de la Porte and Arbin.

How's it Made?

Each grape variety is naturally fermented and aged separately, blended before bottling. Julien works with whole clusters, as he likes the aromatics this brings to the wine. Extraction is very gentle — taking place over 20 days with just one pumpover a day (the process of bringing the juice from the bottom of the vat to the top).

Cellier de la Baraterie

La Porte Saint Jean destemmed Cabernet Franc

#5 La Porte Saint Jean 2017

By Sylvain Dittière of La Porte Saint Jean | Loire (France) £36

What's it Like?

This explains in a single sip why Cabernet Franc is capable of producing some of the most soul-searching wines on this planet. This is Sylvain's top wine, and it's not hard to see why—there are layers and layers of complexity here. Trying to figure out this wine is like trying to solve a rubix cube; there's earth, cherries, blackcurrant, wild herbs, pepper and many more elements to discover. Get your pen & paper ready; this is a wine to remember...

Where's it From?

This comes from the heartland of Cabernet Franc: Saumur-Champigny in the Loire. Although global warming isn't something to be celebrated, it does mean that Cabernet has been able to further ripen in the region, bringing it centre stage on the world stage of fine red wines. This comes from a renowned parcel of 40+-year-old vines, and is turned into wine by one of the region's most celebrated winemakers, Sylvain Dittière, who learnt at Clos Rougeard, amongst many other iconic domaines.

How's it Made?

Sylvain's Cabernet Franc grapes go through a very rigorous sorting process: before being destemmed and after again. Sylvain feels that has brought more precision to the wines; meticulous, but totally worth it. The grapes are then macerated for a period of around 30-40 days in concrete, where the juice ferments naturally. After pressing, the wine ages in old oak barrels in his magical, cave-like cellar, for 24 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulphites.

La Porte Saint Jean

#6 Weissburgunder Sodalis 2017

By Michael Gindl | Weinviertel (Austria) £65

What's it Like?

A wine that embodies Michael Gindl's approach to fine wine; this is Pinot Blanc, but not as you know it. Textural, layered, with so much going on beneath the surface. There's a saline edge here—but not regular table salt; think those fancy packets of artisan salt; with a certain wilderness that's hard to put your finger on. It's the kind of wine that leaves you with more questions than it answers; and isn't that the point of fine wine?

Where's it From?

This is biodynamically farmed Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) from Michael Gindl's vineyards in the Weinviertel region of Austria. This is not just a vineyard; Michael's approach to wine is through the greater lens of sustainable agriculture; so the vines are roamed by chickens, sheep, goats, cows... and the soils are ploughed by horses, not machines.

How's it Made?

Sodalis is a cuvée only produced in the best years, from the best quality grapes which undergo a short maceration period (around two days) before being pressed, fermenting naturally and and ageing in neutral acacia oak barrels for 12 months or more. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.


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