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A - Z of Winemakers & Producers

Pago de Aylés
Cariñena

Bodega Pago de Aylés is a privately owned estate in the parched hills on the NE boundary of the Cariñena DO, one of the oldest viticultural zones in Spain. The vineyards surrounding the Mudéjar-styled bodega are planted on poor, rocky, calcareous soils between 600-800m above sea level and they produce more distinctive, fresher wines than those on the plains below. The area has a harsh continental climate and Garnacha is perfectly suited to the uncompromising environmental conditions. Half this blend has spent 4 months in French and American oak to add complexity and length, with the balance matured in stainless steel to preserve its vibrant fruit. The result is a medium-bodied red with juicy berry fruit, garrigue notes, integrated oak, smooth tannins and balanced alcohol.

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Chateau Saint Aubin
Cru Bourgeois Medoc

Amazingly on our last trip to Bordeaux we managed to cut a swath through the circus of En Primeur and taste at a number of the other 15,000 chateaux that do not necessarily take part. Bordeaux is a fabulous place with some amazing vistas and when you step away from the thoroughfare that is the D2, it is a remarkably calm and peaceful place and is how we came about Saint Aubin which is located in the village of Jau Lignac in the very north of the Medoc region. The vineyards are actually located next to those owned by Cos d’Estournel at Goulee and are a blend of Cabernet and Merlot with a touch of Franc and Carmenere. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and fermented in French oak barrique and typically 30,000 bottles are produced. The 2009 vintage still in its naissance but is classically formed and incredibly elegant, and will age for another 5 or 6 years.

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Chateau Anthonic
Cru Bourgeois Moulis en Medoc

The vineyards for Anthonic are in two parcels, one limestone and clay and the other on the Grand Poujeaux has high gravel content. As a result, the varieties planted favour Merlot (57%) and then Cabernet (43%) so the wine has a distinctive character and performs particularly well in warmer vintages. The Cordonnier family, who bought the Chateau in 1977 have worked ceaselessly to improve the vine stock and have now finished, but the estate still has good stores of old vines. This is brisk, well-formed claret with elegant lines and fine length.

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Clos des Augustins
Pic Saint Loup

Frédéric Mezy is a young man who has been handed the reins of the estate by his father, Roger, a patriarch and passionately involved in the wines of Pic Saint Loup. It is lucky Fred’s shoulders are broad and his skill not inconsiderable as he has big shoes to fill. The wines of Augustin are produced from small plots located all over the region, but never out of site of the impressive and ever changing Pic St Loup. The terroir ranges from clay to limestone to slate and quartz. It is a fascinating lesson in soils types and the vines respond to their homes perfectly. This is an estate that has been organic since 2005 and is now biodynamic in all but certification (which will come in the next year or two), there is an energy and enthusiasm about the place that is engaging. The cellar from the outside is unpreposseing, as they often are in reality, located in the town of Saint Mathieu de Tréviers, but lying inside are spotless steel tanks for fermentation and ageing, and a selection of Austrian cuves, French barrique and demi-muid, but as yet, no Nomblot Eggs!

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