Author Archives: finewineclub

Bargains from the Tasting Bench

Bargains from the Tasting Bench

Barry Weinman: 11th April 2020

Like many other wineries in Australia, the land on which 3drops vineyards sit started life as a farm in Mt Barker. In the late 1990’s the Bradbury family diversified into olives and wine.

In 2007, the family bought the nearby Patterson’s vineyard, giving them access to mature Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Chardonnay. The old Patterson’s Pinots were memorable for their approachability and quality, so the vineyard is capable of producing quality fruit.

But the x-factor here is winemaker Rob Diletti from Castle Rock Estate, who seems to have the golden touch when it comes to producing high-quality wines. Rob makes wines for a number of Great Southern producers and his Rieslings and Pinots in particular can be exceptional.

The 2019 3drops Pinot Noir is a rare combination of quality, enjoyability and affordability and worth looking out for.

Mr Barval’s winemaker Rob Gherardi has taken an altogether different, but also common approach to establishing a winery. Buy the best available fruit possible from the best (sub) regions and apply a minimalistic approach in the winery.

Whilst the Cabernet/Merlot and Riserva Cabernet Sauvignon are impressive, the entry level Vino Rosso is the standout for me. The fruit is excellent, but it is the way that this has been handled that is important here. This is just so approachable and delicious, and great value too.

And then there is the Tudor Shiraz from Aldi. You could have knocked the panel over with a feather when the bag came off this beauty!

Reviewed

3drops – Pinot Noir – 2019. I fell in love with this the moment I tasted it. The nose is richly aromatic whilst the palate is silky and supple, with decent power and, more importantly, intensity. This is a great example of new world Pinot and will build with medium term bottle age. 94pts – $32.

Mr Barval – Vino Rosso – 2019 . A blend of mature Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec aged in older oak, this is all about enjoyment. It starts with fine, elegant fruit that is precise and supple, but the highlight is the finish that has a silky texture and near-seamless palate transition. 94pts – $29

Tudor – Shiraz – 2018. More restrained, with a core of dark plum fruit coated in layers of chocolate and coffee. The ripe fruit has decent power and is remarkably balanced. The tannins and acid are firm but really polished. A great food wine, capable of short-term aging. Unbelievable value. 92-93pts – $13 from Aldi.

Pinot Noir: April 2021

Pinot Noir: April 2021

Barry Weinman: 8th March 2021

For many wine lovers, Pinot Noir remains the holy grail of wine drinking. There is the potential to produce great great wines, however the variety can be almost impossible to get right in less than ideal climatic conditions. to get right in the vineyard and in the winery.

High demand combined with inconsistent quality and quantity (due to climatic variations) has seen the price of great Pinot from Burgundy skyrocket. The best producers and villages now demand prices that extend to thousands of dollars per bottle.

But the good news for drinkers is that the quality of new world wines has never been better.

Unconstrained by rigid rules and regulations, producers have been able to find sites that offer excellent growing conditions, without the extreme climatic variations that make life so difficult in France.

Tasmania, Yarra Valley and Adelaide Hills are just some of the regions in Australia producing consistently high-quality wines.

In WA, both Pemberton and the Great Southern (esp. Denmark and Porrongorups) are capable of producing excellent wines. New Zealand and the USA are also showing great results.

The downside for consumers though is that prices remain relatively high.

Reviewed

GrossetPiccadilly Valley – Pinot Noir – 2019. Crimson colour. Beautiful, fragrant nose that is supple, lithe, elegant and refined. The palate is all about precision. Excellent oak handling and a silky texture add to the enjoyment. There is excellent length to close. A delightful, age worthy wine. 95pts – $80.

EtudeNorth Canyon Vineyard – Pinot Noir – 2016. Serious fruit weight and depth, with strawberry notes building in the glass. This has more savoury notes, with textural oak and graphite-like tannins adding to the mouthfeel. A few years in the bottle should see this relax and open up. 94-95pts.

CherubinoPannoo Vineyard – Pinot Noir – 2019.A meatier, earthy wine that has minerals, texture, depth and power. Chewy, yet supple mouthfeel, with cherry-like acidity carrying the finish. An excellent, food friendly wine that with air, expressed lovely cherry and strawberry fruit notes. 93 – 94pts – $65.

Au Bon ClimatSanta Barbara County – Pinot Noir – 2018. There is an immediacy about this wine that is quite special. Supple, ripe, silky textured and long, this is great current drinking. But there is depth of flavours behind this, with excellent acidity and structure. Serious and good. 94pts.

New Release Premium Chardonnay: March 2021

Barry Weinman: 27th March 2021

Whilst it is good to be able to review wines from a cross-section of producers, there are some wines that justify being reviewed each year, as they form the standard by which all other producers are judged.

Chardonnays from Leeuwin Estate (Art Series), Vasse Felix’s (Heytesbury) and Cullen (Kevin John) are examples of such wines. So their release demands attention.
Wines that can hold their head high in this company are also noteworthy. Juniper Estate has released a new range under the Cornerstone label and the 2019 Chardonnay (95pts – $70) is a great first effort.

Howard Park’s 2018 Allingham Chardonnay (95+pts – $89) has never looked better.
It is easy to think that Margaret River has a monopoly on high quality Chardonnay, but this would be a mistake. Yarra Valley, Tasmania and the Adelaide HIlls are just some of the regions capable of producing great Chardonnays.

We do not get to see many of them here in the west, but the Shaw and Smith M3 is readily available and a cracking example.

What WA does do better than anywhere else, in my opinion, is producing consistently high quality wines from year to year, despite climatic variations, as well as the sheer depth of producers who are making very good wines. No other region can match this in Australia.

We really are spoiled for choice.

Reviewed

Shaw & Smith – M3 Chardonnay – 2019. Beautiful ripe peach fruit with nutty notes and subtle oak adding depth. On the palate, the stone fruit is complemented by minerality and cashew nut mealiness. The acidity is refreshing on the close, without being overpowering, and will soften in time. 25% new oak. An excellent wine! 95pts – $55

Leeuwin Estate – Art Series – Chardonnay – 2018. Fragrant, floral and pure, with ripe nectarine and citrus aromas. The palate is spectacular. Fine and elegant, the complex stone-fruit flavours meld seamlessly with supple oak and gentle lees work, finishing with great length of flavours. Whilst a little closed now, this is a brilliant wine! 97pts – $130.

Vasse Felix – Heytesbury- Chardonnay – 2019. A lovely wine! Cooler and restrained, reflecting the vintage. The fruit quality is superb, with stone fruit and zesty citrus notes. The palate is tight and intense, with innate power and fine structure. Oak (61% new) and winemaking characters (Barrel ferment, lees stirring) provide the perfect backdrop. 96pts – $92

Vasse Felix – Chardonnay – 2019. Taut, structured and quite closed, yet the perfectly ripe fruit that has power and depth. The fruit has been paired with barrel ferment/lees characters and tight-knit French oak (40% new) with impressive results. This needs a few years to reach its drinking window but represents excellent value. 94pts – $40.

Juniper Estate – Cornerstone – Chardonnay – 2019. Wow. This wine is intense, punchy and impactful, yet it’s only medium bodied, with the peachy fruit really building in the glass. The palate is textured, chewy and almost a meal in itself. Yet this is restrained, taut and age-worthy, so give it five years to settle down. The tight, leaner style reflects the vintage. 95pts – $70

Grosset – Piccadilly – Chardonnay – 2019. A different style, this is much more floral and fragrant, with peach and nectarine coming to the fore. The palate is intensely flavoured, with fine acidity driving the finish. The oak is almost invisible, adding texture and depth. Needs years to show its best. 95+pts – $68

Tolpuddle – Chardonnay – 2019. Very White Burgundy-like, with minerals, struck match and tight-grained French oak. Fine, precise and elegant, yet powerful and impactful at the same time. Develops white peach and grapefruit notes with air and, whilst textural, has a near seamless finish. Food Friendly. 95pts – $85.

Premium Cabernet: March 2021

Premium Cabernet: March 2021

Barry Weinman: 22nd March 2021

I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of several yet to be released Margaret River Cabernets, including the 2018s from Brookland Valley. As good as the Estate is, the Reserve is just that little bit more special. Both are worth looking out for.

Cherubino have made another fine Margaret River Cabernet in 2018. The likely $80 price seems very reasonable when compared to other top-flight wines from the region.
I don’t know a lot about Peccavi but they have produced another delicious Cabernet in 2018, though this is probably a year or two away from release.

Reviewed

Peccavi – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. Ripe, luscious and user friendly, this has approachable, delicious fruit and gentle structure that adds texture. Great drinking now. 93pts – $TBC

Cherubino – Cabernet Sauvignon – Margaret River – 2018. Dense, textured and powerful, with mint and black currant fruit. The graphite-like tannins add depth. A very impressive, age-worthy red that is good value at around 95+pts – $TBC

Brookland Valley – Estate – Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – 2018. Cassis and ripe berry fruit, but initially a touch closed. Excellent texture and mouthfeel, with graphite and tar-like undertones. With air, the fruit gets quite juicy. A traditional MR Cabernet Sauvignon that will improve for a decade or more. 94pts – $TBC

Brookland Valley – Reserve – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2018. This is fine and elegant, yet has a core of ripe, powerful fruit that is very impressive. Textbook Cabernet with supple oak and super fine tannins adding texture and depth, but not impeding the fruit’s development on the palate. As good as it is now, will be even better with ten years in the bottle. Worth the premium over the Estate. 96pts – $TBC

Premium Chardonnay – First Impressions: February 2020

Premium Chardonnay – First Impressions

Barry Weinman: 25th February 2021

This was one of the more interesting tastings that I have done recently, as it gave me the opportunity to review a number of current release wines, as well as several excellent wines that will not be released for some time.

The highlight was the overall quality of the 2019 Single Vineyard Chardonnay’s from McHenry Honen. All three wines are quite superb, but the Calgardup Brook was my pick at this early stage. Easy to mistake for a good Puligny but only a fraction of the price.

The 2019 Moss Wood is a triumph against adversity. Whilst the weather threw up a number of challenges, the Mugfords have produced a stunning wine (in very small quantities). This was still available from winestar.com.au at time of writing.

I was surprised and delighted by the 2018 Redbrook Reserve from Evans and Tate. Finer and more elegant than previous renditions.

And then there was the Cullen Kevin John…

An interesting takeaway from the tasting was how well most of the wines will age. All of the premium wines reviewed will benefit from five to ten years in the cellar and continue to hold for even longer.

Not quite in the premium bracket but the Naturalis Chardonnay is a perfectly drinkable wine from the Angove stable, and is organic to boot.

Reviewed

Cullen – Chardonnay – Kevin John – 2019. An unbelievable wine that manages to combine intensity, power, restraint and finesse in the one package. A wine to make you swoon! Perfectly ripe fruit combines with pineapple acidity, providing a mouthful of joy. The finish is supple, textured and fine with great length of flavours. Elegant, restrained and very long. Brilliant now, even better in 10 years. 97pts – $135

Moss Wood – Chardonnay – 2019. Honeysuckle and white peach aromas. Ripe and intense with beautifully integrated oak. This is a dense, powerful wine that needs years to hit its peak. But the intensity of fruit now is something to behold. An absolute triumph from a vintage struck by frost. 96-97pts – $85.

Vasse Felix – Chardonnay – Heytesbury – 2019. Fine, elegant, taut and refined, this is the picture of restraint. Seamless palate transition and superb texture. The power builds with air. A stunning wine. 96pts – $92

Xanadu – Reserve – Chardonnay – 2018. The pale colour is deceptive – this is concentrated, intense, powerful and ripe. The muted fruit is quite pretty but needs time to open up. The acidity also needs a little time to settle back into the fruit. Give it five years and be rewarded. Magnificent wine. 96pts – $110.

McHenry Hohnen – Chardonnay – Calgardup Brook Vineyard – 2019. Leaner, taut and fine, with supple texturing oak adding depth. This has floral, pretty stone fruit characters and the palate transition is near seamless. Very long, very fine, very elegant. A superb wine that will be as good in five to ten years as it is today. 95+pts

McHenry Hohnen – Chardonnay – Burnside Vineyard – 2019. This hits the sweet spot, with the powerful, ripe, peachy fruit brilliantly paired to supple, savoury oak. Near seamless palate transition is remarkable given that this wine needs five+ years to really hit its straps. 95pts.

Stella Bella – Luminosa – Chardonnay – 2018. Intense, powerful and impressive, with supple barrel ferment and lees notes combined with quality oak and ripe, Gin Gin clone fruit characters. Took its time opening up, suggesting that bottle ageing will be of benefit. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but a superb wine all the same. 95pts – $70.

McHenry Hohnen – Chardonnay – Hazel’s Vineyard – 2019. Another fine wine, but here the oak is still settling back into the fruit. Intrinsic power, with Chassagne-like nuttiness. Very long, but needs years to hit its peak. 94pts

Voyager Estate – Chardonnay – MJW – 2018. Wonderful wine! Fine and elegant, with superb fruit running the length of the palate. Pineapple fruit, density, gentle viscosity. Quality oak adds depth. Not quite pretty, but a beguiling wine that really builds with air. Great drinking too. 94pts – $115

Suckfizzle – Chardonnay – 2019. A fine wine that is elegant and varietally correct, with subtle power and depth. There is an immediacy to the fruit that is most attractive, balanced by crisp, intense grapefruit acidity. Quality oak adds to the package. Age worthy. 93+pts – $70

Fraser Gallop – Parterre – Chardonnay – 2019. More rounded and approachable than the Xanadu, yet still in a high acid style. The palate is intense, powerful and very long, with the oak subsumed by the lemony fruit. Great drinking with food now, but really needs 3 – 5 years. 93+pts.

Naturalis – Chardonnay – 2020. This is a real surprise package. Here is a lighter styled chardonnay that has excellent balance and texture at a very affordable price. Organic. 90pts – $18.

Bigger Reds

Bigger Reds

Barry Weinman: 16th February 2021


Hutton Vale Farm is a family run winery in the Barossa. The Angas family are pioneering farmers in the region (Is it a coincidence that they are based in Angaston???) who diversified into wine along the way.

They established the Mount Edelstone Vineyard in the 1900s and subsequently sold to Henschke in the 1970s. The remaining vineyards were planted in the 1960s and are now managed by the 7th generation of the family in the Barossa.

Wines are made by Kim Teusner and share the same polished approach to winemaking as the Teusner wines, but with the vineyards characters stamped firmly on the style.

Reviewed

Hutton Vale Farm – Grenache/Mataro – 2016. The very pretty old-vines Grenache fruit has floral notes and is ripe, supple, elegant and lithe. Very refined and precise, this initially appears quite delicate. It gets a little textured and chewy on the close, as the fine tannins start to build, but this merely adds to the appeal. Will be brilliant with 5 – 10 years in the cellar. 95pts – $75.

Hutton Vale Farm – Shiraz – 2016. The ripe, succulent fruit is fragrant, with gentle spice and liquorice adding depth and complexity. On the finish, the tannins and oak kick in, adding depth and texture, but also serving to mute the fruit. With air, the fruit really shines, and the tannin management is a feature, so give it five to ten years to open up. 94-95pts – $75.

Juniper Estate – Single Vineyard – Shiraz – 2017. Liquorice and ripe fruit to the fore. Dense, chewy, textured, yet not heavy or cloying. This is a rich wine, yet it has been very well handled in the winery, resulting in a silky, mouth-coating wine with fine, texturing tannins. Impressive. 93pts – $40.

Naturalis – Shiraz – 2019. Plummy fruit the main feature here, balanced by decent acidity and supple lick of oak. Refreshing and vibrant, with good length, this would be a good match to some simply grilled meats (or vegetables). 89pts – $18

Cabernet and Malbec: February 2021

Cabernet and Malbec New Release

Barry Weinman: 6th February 2021

The highlight of this tasting was comparing and contrasting the Stella Bella Luminosa Cabernet with the Suckfizzle Cabernet. Suckfizzle is a stand-alone brand within the Stella Bella stable and is named after the vineyard from where the grapes are sourced.

Planted in the 1990s, Suckfizzle is the most southerly vineyard in the region being relatively close to Augusta. This give the wines a unique character, as a result of the cooler climatic conditions.

The Luminosa vineyard was planted in 1998 and is in Wallcliffe, close to the likes of Leeuwin Estate and Voyager.

Besides the location of the vineyards, the vintages also paint part of the picture here. There was a wet January in 2016, but being so far south, this did not impact on the quality of the fruit at Suckfizzle. 2017 was an atypically cool year, resulting in a long, slow ripening year.

Both vintages required careful vineyard management, but each have left a unique impression on the wines produced.

In a very different style, but equally successful is the Higher Planes Malbec. This has been made in a way that exacerbates the juicy red fruit and is a deliciously smashable, if not totally serious drink. Worth trying this summer over a BBQ.

Reviewed

Higher Planes – Malbec – 2020. Perfumed and fragrant, this is a riot of juicy fruit, with the delicious berry characters building with air. The chewy texture and gentle spicy notes make this great current drinking around the BBQ. 100% whole bunch fermentation. Excellent value. 92pts – $28.

Cullen – Mangan East Block – Malbec/Petit Verdot – 2019. Pretty plum and berry fruit, with gentle herbal notes on the nose. The palate is silky and supple and the tannins really finely polished contributing to the excellent mouthfeel. This drinks brilliantly now but could also benefit from a few years in the cellar. 81% Malbec. 92pts – $45

Preccavi – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2017. Very fine, elegant and supple, the gentle fruit slowly building. The mouthfeel is quite silky, with a near seamless palate transition. The dusty tannins and persistence of fruit add a sense of gravitas. 93pts. $75

Stella Bella – Luminosa – Cabernet Sauvignon– 2017. Lovely fruit on the nose that is perfumed, floral and ripe. The palate has more of the perfumed, blueberry fruit, supported by fine tannins and supple oak. Balanced, elegant, long and delicious, yet age-worthy all the same. 95pts – $90

Suckfizzle – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2016. This is quite special. The nose is restrained and muted at first, but the palate is fine, elegant and supple, with excellent length and near seamless palate transition. The fruit is restrained at present, but the quality is undeniable. Fine, silky, great acid balance, polished tannins. 93pts – $65

New Release Whites – January 2021

New Release Whites

Barry Weinman: 3rd February 2021


Perhaps not the most serious lineup of wines that I tried over the break, but certainly some of the more approachable, food-friendly wines.

The contrast between the racy and lithe Mt Horrock’s Riesling and the rich and viscous Hutton Vale Farm was an interesting one indeed.

Reviewed

Hutton Vale Farm – Eden Valley – Riesling – 2019. In a line-up of dry Rieslings, the residual sugar in this came as a surprise, but the panel really appreciated this wine. Lime blossom, ripe citrus and musk lead to a palate that is viscous, rich and dense. The precise acidity balances the sugar nicely. Serve chilled with Asian foods. 92pts – $35

Mount Horrocks – Watervale – Riesling – 2020. Wonderful perfume. Dry, elegant, refined and pretty, with vibrant acidity adding life. Yes, this is age-worthy, but it is delicious right now. 93pts – $35

The Bio Project – Fiano – 2020. Quite subtle and fine, with supple mouthfeel and acidity. Impactful without being overtly fruity, with excellent fruit weight and length and crisp acidity to close. Will be best with food. 91pts – $25

Higher Planes – Fiano – 2020. A similar textural profile to the Bio Project, but with supple perfumed fruit that adds interest and depth. Whilst not overly complex, the balance and length of flavours are a highlight. Will be good with or without food. 90pts – $28

Naturalis – Pinot Grigio – 2020. Actually, quite a good drink. Subtle fruit, elegant fruit that is long and quite fine, with decent length. Neutral, food friendly and organic. 86pts – $18.

Current Releases Pinot: January 2021

Current Releases Pinot: January 2021

Barry Weinman: 31st January 2021.

Since Christmas, we have been busy tasting a number of different varieties and styles and there have been several highlights that I will share over the coming weeks.

First up, the panel looked at a cross-section of Pinots from across the globe and were pleased to see quality wines on show from Australia and New Zealand, as well as a couple of great value Premier Cru Burgundies available form Lamont’s in Cottesloe.

Across the board, the food-friendly nature of the wines was a feature.

Reviewed

Domaine Thenard – Pinot Noir – Givry – Premier Cru – Les Bois Chevaux – 2015. Supple perfumed Burgundian fruit with earthy notes adding complexity. The palate is elegant and lithe, with depth and subtle power sitting behind the fruit. Great drinking with food now, but really needs a few years to open up. Very well made. Premier Cru Burgundy from a great year for under $50 is a bargain! 91pts – $49 from Lamont’s Cottesloe.

Domaine Thenard – Pernand-Vergelesses – Ile Des Vergelesses – Premier Cru – Pinot Noir – 2014. More serious and structured than the Givry, with greater density of fruit. Complex, savoury and structured, this is an excellent food wine. But will also improve with a few years in bottle. Again, excellent value. 92 pts – $60

EscarpmentNoir – Pinot Noir – 2018. Quite pretty and perfumed, with high quality cherry-like fruit. Impeccable balance, seamless palate transition, fine tannins, acid and oak sitting in behind the fruit adding texture and depth without overt flavours. Almost pretty, but more serious than that. Now – 5 years. 92+pts – $60.

Batista – Pinot Noir – Angelina – 2016. Light and fresh, with good varietal characters. Straightforward and approachable, but that said, the fruit lingers admirably and builds with air. Supple and savoury, with earthy hints, this is good drinking. 90pts.

Batista – Pinot Noir – 2018. Pretty, elegant and vibrant, but with a core of dense fruit at its heart. Not flashy or showy, but very enjoyable. A modern, fresh Pinot that needs a few years to allow the tannins to soften. 92pts – $45

Picardy – Tête de Cuvée – Pinot Noir – 2017. Pretty, vibrant fruit that is balanced by souring cherry-like acidity and fine, savoury tannins from the fruit and oak. This is the most serious and powerful wine of the tasting, yet retains approachability, thanks to the delicious fruit. Long, complex and fine, drink this whilst waiting for the brilliant 2018. 93+pts – $70

Champagne Bargains: January 2021

Champagne Bargains: January 2021

Barry Weinman: 31st January 2021


Almost everyone loves Champagne and sparkling wine. There is a touch of mystique, an air of celebration and sense of achievement. But this all comes at a cost. There is no such thing as a cheap Champagne!
But having tried a cross-section of wines currently available, there are a number of bargains out there. (I have ordered a 6 pack of each of the below, given how good the prices are).


Piper Heidsieck – 2012 – Vintage Champagne. $61.75
There are small stocks of the brilliant 2008 available in some stores, but the 2012 is widely available and is almost as good. This is good value at the usual price, but First Choice has this for an unbelievable $61.75 in any six pack.
The great news is that Dan Murphy and Vintage Cellars will both price match this!


Charles Heidsieck – Brut Reserve – NV. $77
This is my benchmark NV Champagne and the sparkling wine that I have drunk the most of over the last few years. Winesquare has this for only $77/bottle. You will need to call Rosa direct on 02 9098 8600 or email rosa@winesquare.com.au and mention that you heard about it through Fine Wine Club.


Laurent Perrier – Vintage – 2008. $85
This is a fine, taut, age-worthy style from the brilliant 2008 vintage, and Winesquare has this for under $85. To me, this is a wine that would really benefit from five years in the cellar, so perhaps buy something else if you want current drinking pleasure. Again, you will need to call Rosa direct on 02 9098 8600 or email rosa@winesquare.com.au and mention that you heard about it through Fine Wine Club.


Veuve Monsigny – Premier Cru – NV. $30
This Aldi exclusive is made by Philizot & Fils and is an outstanding wine for the $30 price. Fine, elegant and with decent length, it ticks all the boxes. Sure, it is not overly complex, but it is refreshing and moreish. A no-brainer.

Whilst not on a huge special, these Australian wines need to be included in this review, as they offer value (and quality) equal or greater than any of the French wines reviewed.
Any sparkling wine by Sittella. The winery is out of stock of their two top wines but the excellent Cuvée Blanc is still in stock at Dan Murphy
Any wine made by Arras. If you can’t afford the Grand Vintage, then the Brut Elite (labelled 15/01 on the neck capsule) is a brilliant alternative.

Reviews

Piper Heidsieck – Vintage – 2012. Altogether more complex and deeper than the NV, with rich brioche and dough characters. A lively mousse gives way to a palate which is finer and more elegant, with subtle berry fruit notes and a touch of pear. The finish is a delight, with supple texture, fine acidity, excellent persistence and length. An excellent follow-up to the 2008 and a tremendous bargain when on sale. 93pts – $90

Charles Orban – Blanc de Blancs – NV. Pale yellow colour, and fine mousse notable in the glass. Restrained and taut, with a slightly chewy texture, this has intrinsic depth and structure. An impressive wine that is excellent value (Dan Murphy/BWS). 92pts – $55.

Veuve Monsigny – Premier Cru – NV. This is quite excellent. Fine and elegant, with ripe citrus acidity and very good length. Not complex, but very satisfying. I would be pleased to have another glass. Brilliant value at $30 from Aldi. 91pts – $30