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March Grower Edition

LITTLEWINE CLUB

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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
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#2 Negoska Carbonic 2019

By Chloi Chatzivaryti | Goumenissa (Greece) £26

Read Chloi's 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
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#3 El Bandito Cortez 2019

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

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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. 

Testalonga
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#4 Paroxysme 2018

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

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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

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