Imbibe's top picks from the Bibendum Autumn tasting

Aleesha Hansel

Aleesha Hansel

13 September 2018

From Bibendum's vast line-up of wines from across the globe, these were our favourites from its most recent tasting

Stellenrust 52 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2016, £14.36

This family run wine estate, operated by winemaker Tertius and viticulturist Kobus, was established in 1928 and encompasses almost 400ha across Stellenbosch, South Africa.

While almost half of the land stands within the Helderberg Golden Triangle, more known for its red wines, this Chenin comes from Stellenrust's Bottelary Hills plot. The site offers a cooler climate with afternoon sea breezes coming up from the Cape with vines planted on ironstone soil.

Made from old vines – 52-years-old to be exact – as referenced on the label, the wine pours out with a beautiful golden hue.

The nose offers up a rich bouquet of quince, pear and honeyed fruit, alongside brioche, butter and almond. The palate matches up the aromas with added texture coming from the  eight-month barrel fermentation, in a mixture of French and Hungarian oak, with an additional one month on lees.


Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2017, £20.48

This 13ha estate in Villié-Morgon, Rhône, became a pioneer of natural wines in Beaujolais under the guidance of the late Marcel Lapierre.

Alongside three other local vignerons, dubbed the Gang of Four, Lapierre rejected mass-market techniques and instead went back to basics, emphasising that the terroir of a wine should peak for itself. Since his death, the estate has been taken over by his son Mattieu, who has continued this legacy and even introduced biodynamic practices.

Late harvesting to obtain grapes at their ripest, strict grape selection and minimal, if any, doses of sulphur dioxide are used to retain a purity of fruit.

The vines are on average 45-years-old, with wines aged on lees for a minimum of nine months in old oak.

Cherry, red fruit and violet come though on the nose, with freshness, fine tannins, good structure and a long finish on the palate.


Château Saint Cosme Condrieu, £42.23

Located in the north of Gigondas, Château de Saint Cosme lies on Roman ruins, with documentation showing original sections of the current building dating back to 1416.

Winemaker Louis Barruol is the latest in a long line of family vignerons in residence after his ancestors moved into the property in 1570.

There were four of Louis' wines on show, including a Riesling from Finger Lakes, and we would have happily included any in our selection, however the Condrieu was a stand out.

Working as a negociant for this wine, Barruol works only with small producers.

Bursting with ripe aromas of tangerine, mango and apricots with hints of honeysuckle, the palate delivers a juicy and well-bodied wine with balanced acidity and a long finish.


Valdivieso Single Vineyard Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc 2015, £12.52

If you are looking for a little twist on a well-established stalwart, then this wine should be it.

From the Leyda Valley, it is a great example of the bright and vibrant wines a cool climate can produce, helped along by the expertise of New Zealand wine maker Brett Jackson.

Setting up the first sparkling wine house in South America in 1879, Valdivieso's spirit of doing things a little bit differently is certainly captured in this wine. Hand harvested from a single vineyard, the wine is fermented for six months in old 500l French oak barrels, previously used for Chardonnay.

As with any good Sauvignon, the aroma jumps out of the glass with lemon, grass and herbal notes. Zippy acidity, full flavour and minerality on the palate.



Bibendum, 0845 263 6924

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