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German, Hungarian and Italian red

WEINGUT RAINER SCHNAITMANN SIMONROTH SPÄTBURGUNDER TROCKEN

KOVÁCS NIMRÓD WINERY MONOPOLE BLUES KÉKFRANKOS

Württemberg Germany 2016

Eger, Hungary 2015

Like so many scions of European winemaking families of his generation, in the 1990s Rainer Schnaitmann decided it was time for his family to make wines themselves rather than sell their grapes to the local cooperative. After taking himself to New Zealand and Trentino to learn the winemaking ropes, he soon began to earn acclaim for terroirdriven wines such as this impressive Pinot. “Sweet creamy fruit, subtle spice and tertiary notes – very complex,” the judges said. “There’s delightful balance and great length: an example of why German Pinot has become so trendy.”

Owned by the eponymous businessman, philanthropist and jazzlover Kovács Nimrod is part of a new wave of producers that have helped Hungary’s Eger region back to prominence as one of central Europe’s finest winemaking terroirs. Nimrod has vineyards in prime “grand cru” and “premier cru” sites in the region, on which he produces a mix of international and local varieties such as Kékfrankos, the grape behind this deliciously idiosyncratic red. “Chalk, earth, Comté and Cheddar cheese – it’s kinda weird, but it works,” the judges said. “It has a really ballsy impact, worth a try for curious punters.”

VYLYAN FRANC Villanyi, Hungary 2015 When we think of Cabernet Franc we think first of the the Loire, followed closely by Bordeaux, and we will be aware of its increasing importance from Argentina to Virginia. In southern Hungary, however, the locals believe they might have the best terroir for Cabernet Franc in the world, with an appellation, Villány Franc, exclusively devoted to the variety. It’s an opinion encouraged by critics such as Michael Broadbent, and that wines such as this Top 100-winner do nothing to dispel. “This is a great find, and just the right price for the quality,” the judges said.

CÀ DEI MAGHI VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO Veneto, Italy 2017 A small family estate in the Valpolicella hills, Cà dei Maghi was founded in the 1950s, but has really come into its own in the past decade since Paolo Creazzi began to oversee the winemaking. Creazzi’s range is finely balanced between the classical and the more experimental, with this traditional Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara blend from the Valpolicella Classico DOC very much among the former. “This is a charming Valpolicella in a fresh, pretty, juicy and very drinkable style,” the judges said.

“It has a really classical character, with nice evolution and hints of spice.”

“Light, fresh, easy-going, with great balance and very pure fruit – it’s all there, and it’s excellent value.”

IL CASCINONE CROCERA BARBERA D’ASTI SUPERIORE Piemonte, Italy 2016 The Il Cascinone estate in the Monferrato hills has been part of top Piemontese producer Araldica’s extensive vineyard holdings for two decades now – time enough for all the hard work and investment the company has put into replanting and restoring the 102ha estate to really pay off in the wines. Barbera is a key variety on the estate, with a 20-yearold 6ha plot providing the core of the Crocera, blended with fruit from younger vines and aged for 12 months in French oak barriques. “Lovely creamy fruit, soft, ripe and balanced, with the light acidity lifting the flavours,” the judges said. “Good value and very Italian food-friendly.”

ABS

Boutinot

Laytons

Vindependents

Boutinot

RRP £40.70 ABV 13%

RRP £16.99 ABV 12.5%

RRP £19.50 ABV 13.5%

RRP £16.50 ABV 13%

RRP £9.99 ABV 14.5%

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The Wine Merchant Top 100

Profile for The Wine Merchant magazine

The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2019  

The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2019

The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2019  

The Wine Merchant Top 100 Winners Supplement 2019

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