Leon Stolarski Fine Wines
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Online Wine Shop  >  South-West France White Wine

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Domaine de Montesquiou l'Estela 2016 Jurançon Sec
Domaine de Montesquiou l'Estela 2016
Vintage
2016
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Dry white, aged on its lees (in vat - no oak) for 6 months
Grapes 50% Gros Manseng, 10% Petit Manseng, 40% Courbu
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.5%
Food Salmon, shellfish, chicken, stir fry, or as an aperitif
Next day
Even better
Drink Now, or over the next 2 or 3 years (possibly more)
Ultra-pale, shiny straw-silver colour. The nose offers a complex array of cut lime, orange peel, nettle and hay aromas - at the same time prickly, gently smoky, herby and with an almost palpable wet stone minerality. It is delightfully intense on the palate, yet wonderfully fresh and mouth-watering, with abundant herby, zesty, soft citrus and apple flavours, whilst a hint of peach adds a little depth and richness to a wine that is otherwise bone-dry. With bracing acidity, massive length and considerable complexity and elegance, it simply crackles with vitality. I've probably said this of previous vintages, but this is *definitely* the best vintage of l'Estela that I have tasted. A wine that will put a smile on the grumpiest of faces, and quite simply one of the finest bargains on our list. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £10.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Cuvade Préciouse 2015 Jurançon Sec
Domaine de Montesquiou Cuvade Preciouse 2015
Vintage
2015
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Dry white, aged in oak barrels for 10 months
Grapes 60% Gros Manseng, 30% Petit Manseng, 10% Camaralet
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.0%
Food Aperitif, hard cheeses, lemon chicken, risotto, salmon
Next day
Even better - keeps for days in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 3 to 5 years
A bright, medium-pale, limpid gold colour. This really is a considerably complex wine, with such an evocative nose, full of prickly lime, lemon and herby aromas, an abundance of wet stone minerality and just the merest hint of oak, which is actually less prominent than in some vintages of this cuvée, which allows the fruit to express itself even more. And the palate certainly lives up to the billing, with everything melding together in perfect harmony. It bites, yet at the same time caresses, with bucket loads of white fruit and citrus flavours, wrapped around an immense core of steely, stony minerality and mouth-watering acidity. It all falls together so beautifully and keeps you coming back for more. I would bet on any lover of white village Burgundy from good growers going a bundle on this and wondering why they pay such (increasingly) large sums of money, when they can have a top Jurançon such as this for a fraction of the price. At the time of tasting (April 2017) it is yet to really get into its stride, and will be even better in another year or two - if you can resist! A truly life-affirming wine. Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £12.95 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Terre de France 2014 Vin de France
Domaine de Montesquiou Terre de France 2014
Vintage
2014
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Dry white, aged in oak barrels for 10 months
Grapes 65% Gros Manseng, 30% Petit Manseng, 5% Camaralet
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.5%
Food Aperitif, soft cheeses, lemon chicken, risotto, seafood
Next day
Even better - keeps for days in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
Please forgive the long note, but this really is a fascinating wine. This is essentially the same blend as Cuvade Préciouse (see above). They occasionally experience a "stuck" alcoholic fermentation, due to the grapes being so ripe and concentrated. To qualify for the Jurancon Sec appellation, the residual sugar must be no more than 4 grammes per litre, whereas the fermentation occasionally stops whilst there is still somewhere between 8 and 12 g/l. And whilst it is possible to kick-start the fermentation again (by increasing the temperature) winemakers Fabrice and Sébastien Montesquiou feel that the resulting wine would not be true to the style of wine they are looking for. And so they bottle a few barrels (no more than 4, so by my calculation, around 1200 bottles) of this rather wonderful nectar. It isn't your typical "super cuvee" - it is a wine made by necessity, rather than design - but exhibits all of the qualities of Cuvade Préciouse, only with the volume turned up to 11(!)

The nose offers masses of honeyed, sweet-smelling quince and apricot aromas, laced with aromatic herbs and spices, orange blossom, honeysuckle and a judicious lick of oak. And yet it still has that lifted lime oil and mineral quality so typical of Jurançon Sec - you can literally smell the acidity and immense freshness, even before you take a sip. Indeed, for a wine with such immense concentration (and an abv of 14.5%) it really is quite staggeringly juicy and refreshing, with barely a hint of alcohol, and the most complex array of flavours you are ever likely to encounter in a young, dry white wine. It manages to combine the same zesty lime/orange fruit, herb and spice qualities as Cuvade Préciouse, not to mention similar levels of acidity and minerality, whilst achieving perhaps even more depth and elegance. I'm not sure if my enthusiasm for this wine is quite clear enough, but just in case it isn't, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it is the loveliest white wine to have passed my lips this year - indeed for many a year. If it were Burgundy (for there are indeed certain structural similarities) it would be a top 1er Cru at the very least. It really is utterly wonderful and more-ish. And at the price, a really quite remarkable bargain! Biodynamic.

For (yet) more information on this fascinating wine (and Domaine de Montesquiou in general), see the Leon Stolarski Blog.

 

Price:  £12.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Amistat 2015 Jurançon
Domaine de Montesquiou Amistat 2015
Vintage
2015
 
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Sweet white, aged in oak barrels for 12 months
Grapes 100% Gros Manseng
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Foie gras, Serrano ham, tarte tatin, or as an aperitif
Next day
As good - lasts a good few days in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 5 years
The colour is a bright, limpid, shiny, pale gold. The nose is surprisingly complex, with aromas of quince, papaya, fresh root ginger and brioche. The texture is at the same time luscious and utterly mouth-watering. An attack of bitter-sweet citrus and crystallised white fruits gives way to a wonderfully tangy, semi-dry mid-palate, followed by a long, lingering, tangy, spiced orange marmalade finish. In the hierarchy of Montesquiou's sweet wines, this is strictly speaking the "entry level", and whilst the Gros Manseng is perhaps a touch more rustic than the noble Petit Manseng of Grappe d'Or, it is in many ways almost as compelling and contrary. Even for an estate that simply doesn't know how to make average wines, this is somewhat of a mini-masterpiece.
 

Price:  £12.79 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2014 Jurançon
Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2014
Vintage
2014
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Sweet white, aged in oak barrels for 11 months
Grapes 100% Petit Manseng
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Blue cheese, foie gras, smoked salmon, tarte tatin, lemon layer or Sussex pond pudding, or simply as an aperitif
Next day
Indestructible - lasts for weeks in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 10-plus years
The grapes for this wine are harvested deep into November, by which time they have begun to dry on the vine, concentrating the flavours, whilst retaining all of the bracing acidity which is the hallmark of Petit Manseng. The colour is a very enticing shiny, rich yellow-gold. Goodness me, what a fabulous nose! The intensity pricks (or more appropriately caresses) the senses, offering a veritable orchard-ful of sweet apple, apricot, mango and passion fruit aromas, with further notes of dessicated orange peel, root ginger, cove and fig. Trust me, it's all in there! Take a sip and you are transported to vinous heaven. It is palpably sweet, luscious and full-bodied, whilst at the same time supremely balanced, courtesy of the most glorious, tangy, citrussy acidity and earthy minerality. You could *almost* imagine drinking this as a main course wine (think chicken, duck or sweet and sour pork), but the rich, sweet/tangy palate makes for a match made in heaven for starters such as patés, fois gras or smoked mackerel. Or of course it is equally suited to desserts (lemon or apple-based tarts and puddings) or soft cheeses. A stunning wine! Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £16.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2015 Jurançon
Domaine de Montesquiou Grappe d'Or 2015
Vintage
2015
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Sweet white, aged in oak barrels for 11 months
Grapes 100% Petit Manseng
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Blue cheese, foie gras, smoked salmon, tarte tatin, lemon layer or Sussex pond pudding, or simply as an aperitif
Next day
Indestructible - lasts for weeks in the fridge
Drink Great to drink now, but will evolve for 10-plus years
The grapes for this wine are harvested deep into November, by which time they have begun to dry on the vine, concentrating the flavours, whilst retaining all of the bracing acidity which is the hallmark of Petit Manseng. The colour is a very enticing shiny, rich yellow-gold. The nose has everything, from tangy lemon and lime oil, baked apples and apricots, through to mango, ginger and exotic spices and herbs. And it almost goes without saying that you can smell the minerality. The palate hits you with a mouthful of rich, semi-sweet apricot and peach flavours, with a gently viscous texture, and all manner of fresh and preserved citrus and tree fruit flavours. And then, milliseconds later, you get that incredible wave of nervy acidity and steely minerality, followed by a warm, spice and ginger hit at the end. Not that anything sticks out, as it all comes together beautifully, in a wine that keeps you coming back for more. This is the 12th vintage of this wine that I have had the pleasure of writing-up, and not one has ever failed to bowl me over. The sweetness and purity of fruit, perfectly married to that amazing acidity and lingering length always makes for something quite memorable, and something that is far more than the sum of its parts. I well remember the effect that first vintage (2004) had on me, and to this day, it remains my "desert island wine". And it is a bargain, to boot a fraction of the price of most classic sweet wines. The word "stunning" is over-used in wine parlance, but it is hard to find a better word to describe this wine - it really has that "wow factor". Biodynamic.
 

Price:  £16.75 (Including: VAT at 20%)

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Domaine de Montesquiou Vendanges Tardives 2011 Jurançon
Domaine de Montesquiou Vendanges Tardives 2011
Vintage
2011
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Sweet white, aged in oak barrels for 18 months
Grapes 100% Petit Manseng
Alcohol (a.b.v)
13.0%
Food Blue cheese, foie gras, smoked salmon, tarte tatin, lemon layer or Sussex pond pudding, or simply as an aperitif
Next day
Indestructible - lasts for weeks in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 10-plus years
This is made from the estate's oldest Petit Manseng vines, with grapes harvested during a succession of "tries" (passes) through the vineyard, during late November and early December. Several more notches up the ripeness scale, this really is a wonderfully concentrated wine, pure 24 carat gold in colour, with a nose that possesses everything that Grappe d'Or has, along with candied fruits of all descriptions and colours and notes of toasted almonds, diesel and woodsmoke, basil and oregano. A hint of honey even suggests a touch of botrytis (on both the nose and palate) whilst the acidity is definitely more tangerine and seville orange than the lemon/lime of its sibling - still wonderfully bracing and tangy, but richer and fuller, and with all sorts of apple crumble, honeycomb, raisin and mixed spice things going on. At £27.50 for a full 75cl bottle, this really does provide amazing value for money. Plus of course it will keep for weeks, or even months in the fridge, once opened - if you can resist, that is! A quite extraordinarily lovely wine.
 

Price:  £27.50 (Including: VAT at 20%)

Quantity:


Mailing list
Our list is constantly evolving, so if you would like to receive our occasional e-mail newsletter (around 8 times per year) click the logo >>>>


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Minimum order value, delivery charges, times and restrictions
We deliver only to UK and Northern Ireland addresses. The minimum order value is £75 (plus the delivery charge). You may of course choose a mix of any wines in our range. Orders between £75 and £200: delivery charge is £7.50. Orders over £200: delivery is free! (If your order is over £200, please remember to change the delivery charge in checkout to £0.00). Please note: Delivery to non-mainland addresses (Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, etc.) is usually possible, but may not be on a next-working-day basis. It is also more expensive than delivery to mainland addresses, so will be charged at cost (for orders under £200) but with a small discount for orders over £200 - please call us for a quote.

Warning - you must be aged 18 or over
It is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under the age of 18. (Section 149 Licensing Act 2003).We reserve the right to seek proof of age. Leon Stolarski says "drink less, but drink better!" Please consume alcohol in moderation.