The Shipping Forecast: Midsummer Movers and Shakers!

We’ve more than a few natural wonders on the way, hitting the high seas soon or safely docked up. Whether from new-to-us winemakers, or new wines and vintages from the Ol’ Faithful, we’re confident that there’s something to tickle the tastebuds of somm. and winebar frequenter alike. Wines from Calabria, Sanlúcar, the Vipava Valley, and East Sussex, all bound for the vinous vaults of Les Caves. So, spool through in giddy anticipation at tucking into these diverse, always interesting wines, sometime in the near future. As our colleagues in the shipping department often say, there’s not long to wait, when the wine’s in freight!

*NEW* Cataldo Calabretta – Cirò DOC, Calabria

Calabria, in Italy’s South-Western tip, is renowned for its agriculture, notably production of olives, bergamot (a type of citrus fruit) and porcini mushrooms (the largest area of production in Italy). Benefiting from a fierce Mediterranean climate, it borders with Sicily, and similarly enjoys the temperance of coastal influences. Calabria also boasts the second highest number of organic farmers after Sicily. With a winemaking history stretching beyond Roman times, in recent years local winemakers have been trying to resurrect old traditions and indigenous grapes. We are delighted to be working with one such artisan producer in Cataldo Calabretta.

Based in Cirò (northen Calabria) Cataldo Calabretta heads up a group of young winemakers, who work organically, the onus being on low intervention winemaking. The project in part aims to resurrect Gaglioppo, a grape native to Calabria which has perhaps suffered from clumsy and heavy-handed treatment by the winemaking generations of yesteryear.

Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore, 2016 – Gaglioppo

IGP Calabria Bianco, 2018 – Ansonica (Inzolia)

*NEW* Calcarius - Apricena, Puglia 

Calcarius are based in Apricena, in the northern region of Gargano, Puglia (just south of Abruzzo). Valentina Passalacqua and Danilo Marcucci oversee a farm comprising 80 hectares of vines, fruit and vegetables. This project bears the fruits of patient observation, attention to terroir, and a commitment to indigenous varietals. The vineyards are characterised by kimmeridgian calcareous soils (thus Calcarius) and are true wines of terroir - mineral, tense, and uncompromising.

Calcarius Nù Litr Bianco (1L), 2018 – Bombino Bianco      

Calcarius Nù Litr Orange (1L), 2018 – (skin contact) Falanghina

Calcarius Nù Litr Rosso (1L), 2018 - Negroamaro

Calcarius Roz, 2018 - 50% Nero di Troia & 50% Aleatico

Calcarius Bianco Hellen, 2018 – Greco

Calcarius Rosso Hellen, 2018 – Nero di Troia (Nero d’Avola)

Cota 45 - Sanlúcar, Spain

Moving across to Sanlúcar we will be fortifying our vaults with the flor-aged, but not fortified, still wines of Ramiro Ibáñez Espinar. Cota 45 make stunning wines under-flor in Jerez, harking back to a time before fortification. Notable imminent arrivals include: the Paganilla made from old vines at altitude, this wine offers characteristic sapidity; Carrascal, from the Las Vegas vineyard (seriously!), this is Palamino aged in very old barrels, more crianza in style, extra time in casks lending a real richness; Agostado, an oxidative style, think unfortified oloroso.

2018 UBE Miraflores

2018 UBE Paganilla  

2016 UBE Carrascal    

2015 Agostado Raya Oloroso  

Tillingham - East Sussex

With Tillingham, a working farm, vineyard and agri-tourismo - minus the ‘o’, we are in Sussex after all - Ben Wallgate burst onto the natural wine scene several vintages ago, but already his wines somehow feel seminal. Working with a veritable smorgasbord of varietals, in various styles (Pet Nat, qvevri/skin contact, field blends et al) his latest wines (just landed) continue his eclectic style.

The Chardonnay is given a short maceration, followed by time in second-fill Burgundy barrels. Fermentation happens naturally on gross lees, ageing for seven months with light batonnage, it is then bottled by gravity.

The Rüllem (anagram of Müller) is predominantly Müller-Thurgau (70%) with some Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay. With time on skins and in Georgian qvevri this one’s got us intrigued…

2017 Tillingham Chardonnay

2018 Rüllem

Burja - Vipava Valley, Slovenia

We’ve also just landed the latest editions of Primoz’s Slovene wonders. Zelen (2018) a golden-amber hued wine which spends eight days on skins and ferments naturally in tulip-shaped concrete eggs. The Reddo, a field blend of traditional varietals - Pokalca (Schioppettino) 50%, Modra frankinja (Blaufränkisch) 30%, Refošk (Refosco) 20% - pays homage to a style of wine previously consumed solely by natives. We are glad this elegant number has made its way out of Slovenia and to our shores...

Vin de France!

Last but not least, there’s been a glut of French arrivals, not least the return of some of the Jura wines we so admire. Check out our offerings from Domaine de la Borde (Julien Mareschal); Les Bottes Rouges (Jean-Baptiste Menigoz); Domaine des Bodines (Emilie & Alexis Porteret); Hughes-Beguet and Domaine Saint-Pierre (Fabrice Dodane).

We’ve also new wines and new vintages from Cailloux du Paradis. The Courtois family (father and son) are iconic in the world of natural wine, and we're particularly excited to try a first edition (for us) of their straight, but by no means straight-forward, pure Pinot Noir.


Interested in finding out more about the wines mentioned? Contact us directly:

 [email protected] | 01483 538820