An exploration of wine

Berry Bros press tasting: how the other half live

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Berry Bros press tasting wines

Berry Bros Autumn press tasting showed impressive wines

The Berry Bros & Rudd Autumn / Winter press tasting, in stark contrast to the Co-op supermarket’s Autumn press tasting exactly a week before, showed the other half (well, small slice, in volume terms) of the wine world. With none of the wines that I chose to taste coming in at shelf-prices less than £11.45, and only one other cheaper at £9.95, this is very much what the elite drink.

While scores were therefore unsurprisingly higher across the board – no lower than 15 / 20 or 86 / 100 on any of the wines I tasted – many of the prices felt expensive, even at these higher price-points. Finding value here is therefore as important as it is, hunting through £6-8 wines.

The range shown was nevertheless eclectic and interesting, and included wines that were both extraordinary and decidedly more ordinary.

Value-for-money highlights included Legado Chardonnay from Limarí by Chile’s excellent De Martino family winery, a new agency for Berrys – £13.95 for the wine. Cheaper at £11.50 was Bodegas Los Friales Efe Monastrell Valencia 2017, with plenty of dense berry fruit, crushed rock minerality and polished tannins. Finally Berry Bros own-label Côtes du Rhône 2017, really delivered at £11.45, with floral character to this multi-layered wine.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, I have to call out a few wines. Most obviously, there was a pair of Pinot Noirs from also-new-to-Berrys agency, Nicolas-Jay in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which demand discussion. The multi-plot Willamette Valley AVA was a decent wine – 16.5, 92 – but had some roasted character, slightly rustic tannins and was a little disjointed. For a staggering £72.75 a bottle, that’s just not good enough

Berry Bros Oregon Pinot Noir Nicolas-Jay

Wines 54 and 55 from Nicolas-Jay showed marked quality differences

Contrast that with the effortless elegance and sophistication of its big brother, the Bishop Creek from the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and the poor value of the Willamette Valley wine is complete. Not that the Bishop Creek is exactly stunning value either, at a Grand Cru-equivalent £109 per bottle. And speaking of Burgundy, though prices have escalated rapidly, across the board, £85 for Bitouzet-Prieur’s Meursault 1er Cru Charmes was pretty eye-watering for what’s in the glass.

I did, however, particularly enjoy discovering the wines of Scions of Sinai from Stellenbosch. Their low-intervention, low sulfur approach could have been pretty random, yet their Granietsteen, old-vine Chenin Blanc was attractive and interesting. Their Pinotage was most un-Pinotage-like, while the Swanesang Syrah was compelling. I was also impressed by the Mailly Grand Cru Blanc de Pinot Noir Champagne, with its classic vinosity and finesse of mousse.

With money no object, my top 5 scoring wines were:

  1. Bodegas Rafael Palacios As Sortes Valdeorras 2016 (18 / 20; 96 / 100)
  2. Bodegas Lustau Pedro Ximenez VORS Sherry NV (18 / 20; 96 / 100)
  3. Champagne Leclerc Briant Réserve Brut NV (17.5 / 20; 95 / 100)
  4. Nicolas-Jay Bishop Creek Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton Oregon 2016 (17.5 / 20; 95 / 100)
  5. Domaine Rolly-Gassmann Riesling Vendanges Tardives Alsace 2005 (17.5 / 20; 95 / 100)

As at the Co-op, I scored using both / 20 and / 100 systems, simultaneously. The wines are listed in the order of the tasting book – and roughly the order tasted – sparkling, white, red, and sweet and fortified.

 

Wines

Sparkling

Berry Bros Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG Brut NV (15.5 / 20; 88 / 100)
Made by Trevisiol. 40 year old vines up to 400m altitude. 11.5% ABV. £13.95 / bottle.
A: Very pale lemon with plenty of bead
N: Pear and apple, with nutty notes
P: Sweet entry then crisp and dry. Orchard fruit. Finesse and decent length

Champagne Mailly Grand Cru Composition Parcellaire Blanc de Pinot Noir Brut NV (17 / 20; 94 / 100)
12% ABV. £45 / bottle.
A: Mid gold with a lively bead
N: Red cherry. Nutty, almost coffee lees. Some almond over stone fruit
P: Rich, slightly oxidative red cherry. Spice. Fine boned mousse. Long

Berry Bros Champagne Vintage 2009 (16 / 20; 90 / 100)
Made by Mailly Grand Cru co-op. High proportion of Pinot Noir. 12% ABV. £39 / bottle.
A: Mid straw-gold
N: Rich peach fruit then fresh dough. Dense, but a little simple
P: Spiced. Rich. A little loose. Toasty, yeasty, mid-palate. Yellow apple

Champagne Leclerc Briant Réserve Brut NV (17.5 / 20; 95 / 100)
12% ABV. £50.50 / bottle.
A: Mid gold with a lively, fine bead
N: Almond, hazelnut, subtle apple. Complex and integrated. Elegant
P: Precise. Tight. Some chalky chew. Precise, fine bead. Long, mineral finish

Champagne Leclerc Briant Rosé Brut NV (16 / 20; 90 / 100)
12% ABV. £54.50 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium salmon, with a fine bead
N: Slight reduction. Flint and strawberry. Not so complex
P: Flinty and savoury. Very dry. Loose mousse. Expensive

 

Whites

Flint Vineyard Bacchus Norfolk 2017 (15.5+ / 20; 88+ / 100)
Late frosts then a heatwave. Range of fermentation temperatures and yeast strains to create multi-lot ferments, then blended. 11.5% ABV. £16.95 / bottle.
A: Very pale lemon
N: Reductive. Nettle fruit density beneath, but hard to see past the reduction
P: Crisp and leafy. Flinty. Decent length. Expensive for what it is

Domaine Ostertag Riesling Grand Cru Muenchberg 2016 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
1.65Ha plot. Red sandstone and volcanic sediments. Whole bunch pressed. Stainless steel, wild yeast fermentation. 14% ABV. £42.95 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium lemon-gold
N: Cream, chalk, lemon-lime and some stone fruit
P: Chalk-flint mineral flavour. Lemon-lime peel. Touch of chew. Dry. Rich. Long and spicy finish

Bodega Gorosti Flysch Getariako Txakolina 2017 (15.5 / 20; 89 / 100)
Hondarrabi Zuri. Lees matured. 11% ABV. £14.95 / bottle.
A: Pale lemon
N: Lime peel and flint
P: Spritz. Salt. Oyster shell. Lime and green apple fruit

Bodegas Rafael Palacios Louro de Bolo Valdeorras 2017 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
14% ABV. £19.95 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium lemon
N: Flint. Rich white peach and citrus. Characterful with a gentle mealy oak tone
P: Brisk acidity. Rich fruit. Spice and flint. Medium-long finish

Bodegas Rafael Palacios As Sortes Valdeorras 2016 (18 / 20; 96 / 100)
14% ABV. £42.50 / bottle.
A: Medium lemon-gold
N: Mealy oak with a flint mineral tone. Lemon and white peach touches. Plenty of mineral complexity. Multi-layered
P: Beautiful, integrated stones and chalk, with white peach and nutty oak. Effortless. Seamless. Long

Marcarini Roero Arneis 2017 (15 / 20; 86 / 100)
13.5% ABV. £12.60 / bottle.
A: Pale lemon
N: Neutral and stony. Little aromatic lift at all
P: Stones. Some phenolics. Fair length. Basic

Luisin Roero Arneis Vezza d’Alba 2016 (15.5 / 20; 89 / 100)
13.5% ABV. £17.15 / bottle.
A: Pale lemon
N: Crushed rock. Some dried sage herbal lift. Apple fruit touches
P: Crisp, lively acidity – some CO2? Nut, flint and green apple

Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo Novaserra 2017 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
13.5% ABV. £22.50 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium lemon
N: Reductive. Neutral, flinty-stony density beneath
P: Stones. Tight and phenolic. Not much rich fruit, but density of smoky, volcanic tones. Nice. Long. Not so typical as I’ve come across before

Berry Bros Meursault 2017 (16 / 20; 91 / 100)
Made by Patrick Javillier. Multi-plot selection. Fermented and matured in oak. 13% ABV. £39.95 / bottle.
A: Pale gold
N: Rich, creamy-buttery nose, with gentle hazelnut, stone fruit and stone. Very Meursault
P: Tight. Mid-weight. Apple and white peach. Stony and lean. Buttery-creamy finish, but just missing a little on the mid-palate

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes 2016 (17 / 20; 94 / 100)
0.2Ha in 2 parcels in Charmes-Dessus and Charmes-Dessous. 13% ABV. £85 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium gold
N: Grilled brioche. Some struck match reduction. Crushed pebbles. Some butter
P: Firm, chalky-flinty, with crisp acidity. Struck match and toasty oak. Leaner style of Meursault

Craven Karbib Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2017 (16 / 20; 91 / 100)
Polkadraai Hills weathered granite plot, planted in 1982. Whole bunch pressed to 500L oak with natural fermentation and MLF. Unfined and unfiltered. Small SO2 addition. 12.5% ABV. £21.50 / bottle.
A: Mid gold
N: Spicy-mealy oak. Ripe apple. Some stones
P: Ripe apple and a hint of guava. Spiced oak touch. Mineral. Crisp. Long enough

Scions of Sinai Granietsteen Stellenbosch 2017 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
50-year old Chenin Blanc bush-vines on decomposed granite, near to False Bay. 5 days on skins before fermentation. 9 months on lees. Low intervention. 13% ABV. £33.50 / bottle.
A: Mid-deep gold
N: Slightly farty reduction, which blows off to reveal minerality and scented yellow apple density
P: Tight, smoky-minerality. Phenolic chew. Apple and camomile. Stony-savoury. Long

De Martino Legado Chardonnay Limarí Valley 2017 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
Limestone. Whole bunch pressed. Fermented then aged in 14 year old oak. Natural MLF means around 50% of barrels complete it. 13.5% ABV. £13.95 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium lemon-gold
N: Nutty-toasty oak. Guava. Flint and mellow vanilla
P: Spicy-flinty. Expressive. Ripe apple. Toasty-nutty mid-palate. Long-ish. Good value

 

Reds

De Martino Alto de Piedras Carmenère Maipo Valley 2015 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
5.5Ha gravel-alluvial plot on Isla de Maipo estate. 13% ABV. £27.95 / bottle.
A: Deep ruby-purple
N: Jammy blackberry. Spicy, chilli and green peppercorns note. Tobacco. Mocha oak
P: Polished, jammy, spicy blackberry fruit. Green peppercorns. Chilli spice. Moderate, peppery-textured tannins. Warming, spicy finish. Medium-long

Lyrarakis Liatiko Aggelis Single Vineyard Crete 2015 (15.5 / 20; 89 / 100)
13.5% ABV. £17.95 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium garnet
N: Slightly jammy, dried red cherry. A little oxidative / tired. Subtle clove oak
P: Juicy, ripe red cherry. Spice. Wild, firm tannins. Balsamic tones. Medium-long

Hewitson Baby Bush Mourvèdre Barossa Valley 2015 (15.5 / 20; 89 / 100)
Young bush vines using cuttings from the oldest known Mourvèdre vines, planted in 1853 at the Hewitson Old Garden vineyard. 16 months in oak, rotated to stir lees. 14% ABV. £18.95 / bottle.
A: Mid-deep ruby
N: Slightly confected blackberry. Some liquorice. Smoky, meaty overtone
P: Ripe, jammy blackberry. Lots of spice. Chewy, fairly-firm tannins. Medium-long, warming finish

Antonij Rupert Optima Western Cape 2014 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec from Darling and Franschhoek. Separate fermentations by variety followed by 12-18 months’ ageing in 35% new barriques, before blending and 6 months’ further ageing. 24 months in bottle, pre-release. 14% ABV. £22.50 / bottle.
A: Mid-deep ruby, with some garnet rim tones
N: Mocha, baked plum, cedar and tobacco. Creamy vanilla
P: Smoky, rich, baked cassis and plum. Spice. Chewy, slightly wild, fairly-firm tannins. Long, with a warming finish

Craven Cinsault Stellenbosch 2017 (16.5 / 20; 93 / 100)
Dry-farmed, bush vine Cinsault on granite and sand. De-stemmed to retain acidity. Fermentation with gentle pumpovers. Pressed to 500L oak for maturation. 12.5% ABV. £21.50 / bottle.
A: Pale ruby-purple
N: Nutty-spicy. Fresh earth and cayenne. Some fresh leather. Ripe, red cherry beneath
P: Brisk acidity. Ripe, crunchy cranberry and red cherry. Flint. Some aromatic lift. Touch of biscuit. Expressive. Moderate, slightly rustic tannin. Medium-long to long finish

Scions of Sinai Féniks Pinotage Stellenbosch 2017 (16 / 20; 91 / 100)
47 year-old bush vines on deep sand, granite and quartz soils. Wild yeast fermentation. 10 months maturation on lees in 4th-fill French oak. 13% ABV. £33.50 / bottle.
A: Mid-deep purple
N: Plum, rose petals and black cherry. Some lift, but more orange peel and violets
P: Brisk acidity. Berry fruits and some funk. Weird but good. Grainy, firm tannins. Good length. Not your regular Pinotage!

Scions of Sinai Swanesang Syrah Stellenbosch 2017 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
Old, dry-farmed Syrah in Lower Helderburg, grubbed-up after the vintage – hence swansong. 70% foot-trodden with intact stems and 30% whole bunch. Wild yeast fermentation for more than 2 weeks. Basket-pressed to barrel. 10 months maturation on lees in old French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. 13% ABV. £33.50 / bottle.
A: Deep purple
N: Slight natural funk. Some orange peel then bacon fat and black pepper. Granite minerality. Sweet blackberry emerges
P: Juicy, peppery blackberry fruit. Some funky, fresh leather. Brisk acidity. Firm, wild tannins. Fair length

Nicolas-Jay Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Oregon 2016 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
Multiple plots across different Willamette AVAs, particularly Eola-Amity Hills and McMinnville. 13.5% ABV. £72.75 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium ruby-purple
N: Roasted black and red cherry. Boysenberry. Mocha oak. Hint of herb (stems?)
P: Brisk acidity. Black cherry and boysenberry fruit. Flint and mocha. Fairly firm, chalky tannins. Medium-long to long. Warming finish. Doesn’t quite hang together – and certainly underperforms for the price!

Nicolas-Jay Bishop Creek Pinot Noir Yamhill-Carlton Oregon 2016 (17.5 / 20; 95 / 100)
13.5 acre, biodynamic property in Yamhill-Carlton AVA. 13% ABV. £109 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium purple
N: Scented blueberry. Integrated clove-cordite oak. Hint of sage. Elegant
P: Elegant, spiced, crunchy blue and black fruit. Scented. Supple, fairly firm tannins. Youthful, long and fine. Creamy vanilla finish

Bodegas Los Friales Efe Monastrell Valencia 2017 (16.5 / 20; 93 / 100)
162Ha, organic certified estate between 650-700m altitude, with average 40 year old Monastrell. 14% ABV. £11.50 / bottle.
A: Deep purple
N: Violets, crushed rock, garrigue herb. Some grilled meat, but more crushed rock
P: Fine, brisk with rich blackberry, garrigue and crushed rock. Precise. Firm, fine tannins. Long. Good value

Quinta de la Rosa Estate Tinto Douro 2016 (16+ / 20; 91+ / 100)
Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and field blend. Matured in 15% new French oak. 13.5% ABV. £17.95 / bottle.
A: Deep purple
N: Schist, fresh leather, ripe, mixed black fruit. Dried herb more than liquorice, but there is some floral Tourigas lift that emerges
P: Ripe and smoky, schisty black fruit. Floral mid-palate. Chewy, firm tannins. Medium-long to long

Mastroberardino Redimore Aglianico Irpinia 2016 (16+ / 20; 91+ / 100)
13.5% ABV. £20.95 / bottle.
A: Deep ruby-garnet
N: Smoky whiff to dried and baked black cherry fruit. Gently nutty oak tones. Savoury
P: Brisk acidity, ripe / baked red and black fruit. Firm to high, rustic tannins. Aglianico on the palate!

Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici 2014 (17+ / 20; 94+ / 100)
13.5% ABV. £45 / bottle.
A: Deep garnet
N: Fresh leather, cinnamon-clove oak and some smoky, roasted fruit
P: High, chalky, chewy tannins. Baked red cherry. Smoky minerality. Youthful. Needs time. Long, fresh leather and balsamic finish

Lisini San Biagio IGT Toscana 2016 (16 / 20; 91 / 100)
Sangiovese from Montalcino. 13.5% ABV. £19.85 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium ruby-garnet
N: Ripe, spicy, old leather and dried herbs, with clay-earth mineral notes
P: Precise, ripe red cherry. Broad balsamic and nutty-spicy oak overtones. Medium-long to long

La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (17+ / 20; 94+ / 100)
14% ABV. £42 / bottle.
A: Mid garnet
N: Ripe orange and clove, with fresh earth, cedar and dried red cherry. Complex and integrated
P: Spiced. Ripe red cherry. Clove and pepper. Firm, chalky-grainy tannins. Long

Maté Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (16 / 20; 91 / 100)
“this Brunello is youthful but forgiving with a brightness and lift”. 14% ABV. £44.50 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium garnet with a clear brick rim tone
N: Fully tertiary – dried leaves, undergrowth, truffle and balsamic. Dried red cherry
P: Black tea, balsamic and chocolate. Firm, grainy tannins that are starting to resolve

Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
“the nose of this wine shows a prettily composed sweet strawberry core”. 14.5% ABV. £65.50 / bottle.
A: Pale brick
N: Truffle, balsamic and fresh earth with a VA lift. Chocolate tones
P: Crisp acidity. Firm, but resolved tannins. Chocolate. Spice. Toffee. Fully-mature, with a mushroom finish

Berry Bros Barolo 2013 (16 / 20; 90 / 100)
Made by Davide Rosso of Giovanni Rosso. 14% ABV. £28.50 / bottle.
A: Pale ruby-garnet
N: Rich, ripe red cherry. Nutty oak, Demerara and spiced, tarry tones. Some rose lift
P: Ripe, red cherry. Spiced. High, chalky tannins. Dense. Brisk, not crisp acidity. Pretty decent length, though with some bitterness

Marcarini Barolo Brunate 2013 (16.5+ / 20; 93+ / 100)
14% ABV. £36 / bottle.
A: Pale garnet, with a broad, brick rim
N: Aromatic, baked-earth, spice and creamy tones. Dried rose and balsamic, dark chocolate and earthy tar, with fresh leather notes
P: High, grainy tannins. Dried cherry, toast and balsamic. Needs time for the tannins to soften. Fair length

Domaine Lamé Delisle Boucard 2015 (16.5 / 20; 93 / 100)
12.5% ABV. £22.95 / bottle.
A: Mid-deep purple
N: Bold, floral, black cherry. Gravel mineral. Attractive scent with some creaminess
P: Crisp acidity. Ripe, black cherry. Gravel and tobacco leaf savouriness

Berry Bros Côtes du Rhône 2017 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
Made by Rémi Pouizin. 14% ABV. £11.45 / bottle.
A: Mid purple
N: Spiced, crushed rock over floral, sweet black cherry. Some leafy / garrigue notes. Obviously Rhône?
P: Pure, ripe, peppery, mixed black fruit. Some violet, floral lift. Firm, peppery tannins. Bright acidity. Good length. Good value

Berry Bros Côte d’Or Pinot Noir 2017 (16 / 20; 90 / 100)
Made by Benjamin Leroux, from de-classified vines in Chorey-lès-Beaune. 14% ABV. £23.50 / bottle.
A: Pale purple
N: Spicy oak tone to crunchy, mixed red berries. Some scent and perhaps some meatiness?
P: Crisp acidity. Apple tones to cranberry and strawberry. Spice. Fairly-firm, grainy tannins. Medium-long finish

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay 1er Cru Les Aussy 2016 (16+ / 20; 91+ / 100)
0.51Ha on brown alluvial soils, below Champans, mainly planted in 1956 and some 1998. 13% ABV. £60 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium ruby
N: Integral clove oak and earth. Red cherry. Some flint. Scented
P: Ripe, not overripe, spiced, red cherry. Firm, drying, chalky tannins. Quite firm for the style. Long, mineral finish

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay 1er Cru Pitures 2016 (17+ / 20; 94+ / 100)
0.5Ha at the bottom of the appellation, next to d’Angerville’s monopole Clos des Ducs, planted between 1959 and 1974. 13% ABV. £62.50 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium ruby
N: Dark spice and rocks. Nutty oak. Some cinnamon. Savoury and floral lift
P: Rich, intense red cherry. Perfumed. Flinty-stony. Some herb. Long and youthful. Fairly firm, but fine tannins

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds 2016 (16++ / 20; 90++ / 100)
0.72Ha planted in 1971, 1983 and 1997. 13% ABV. £65 / bottle.
A: Pale purple
N: Brooding, smoky, slightly reductive nose. Flinty, subtle spice. Fresh earth. Touch of dried herb. Closed
P: Red and black cherry. Spice. Chewy, firm, drying tannins. Hard work right now, but could go somewhere when it unwinds

Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes 2016 (16.5+ / 20; 92+ / 100)
0.54Ha in 2 parcels, planted between 1976 and 1986. 13% ABV. £75 / bottle.
A: Pale-medium purple
N: Clove-cedar oak. Crushed rock. Smoky. Red cherry and blackberry
P: Some low-level TCA? Blackberry. Spice. Rock. Tight

 

Sweet and fortified

Domaine Rolly-Gassmann Riesling Vendanges Tardives Alsace 2005 (17.5 / 20; 95 / 100)
Very good botrytis. Old oak and stainless steel fermentation. 13% ABV. £25.50 / 37.5cL.
A: Medium lemon
N: Beeswax, preserved lemon and lime, spicy curry tones. Mellow
P: Crisp acidity. Medium-sweet. Spicy botrytis grip. Conserved limes. Crystal fruit. Long, fine and spicy

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger-Himmelreich Riesling Eiswein 2016 (17 / 20; 94 / 100)
Harvested 5th December. 10.6 g/L TA, 129 g/L RS, 8% ABV. £75 / 37.5cL.
A: Pale gold
N: Bruised quince and lime. Crystal fruit and some honey. No botrytis
P: Powerful, rapier-like acidity. Delicate lemon-lime and crystal fruit core. Sweet, but exceptional balance. Medium-long length, max

Bodegas Lustau Amontillado del Castillo Almacenista Antonio Caballero y Sobrinos Sherry NV (17 / 20; 94 / 100)
20.5% ABV. £19.95 / 50cL.
A: Mid amber with some green glints
N: Creamy, rancio-touched hard cheese. Cooked citrus fruit. Definite creamy-cheese / dairy note. Hazelnut fudge
P: Polished wood and spice entry. Powerful, slightly astringent mid-palate. Grilled hazelnuts, touch of salt and a light-medium body. Warming finish and a little rustic, but lots of flavour and very long

Bodegas Lustau Pedro Ximenez VORS Sherry NV (18 / 20; 96 / 100)
Solera of 6 barrels, set aside in 1930s as a family reserve. 16% ABV. £65 / 50cL.
A: Dark brown with a broad amber-olive rim
N: Chocolate, walnut skin, vanilla and spice with dried raisin fruit beneath
P: Viscous chocolate, mocha, walnut, vanilla and spice. Fine, integrated, multi-layered flavour. Long and balanced

Berry Bros William Pickering Tawny Port NV (16 / 20; 91 / 100)
Made by Quinta do Noval. 21% ABV. £26.95 / bottle.
A: Medium tawny
N: Demerara sugar. Slightly spirity, vanilla and fudgy hazelnut. Quite integral
P: Dried, mixed red fruit. Lifted spirit. A little fiery, with some phenolics. Toasty-spiced. Decent length

Quinta de la Rosa 2016 (16.5 / 20; 92 / 100)
20% ABV. £46.95 / bottle.
A: Deep black-purple
N: Marked floral (Touriga Franca?) and jammy blackberry. Some dusty, fresh earth. Youthful. Touch of fresh leather. Intense and expressive
P: Dusty, crushed rock. Geosmin earthiness?? Inky blackberry. Floral and fresh herb mid-palate. Firm but fine tannin. Raspberry. Sweet but savoury. Fair length. Perhaps a little lighter than some Vintage Ports from good vintages

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