The Wonderful World Of Wine: James Sucklings' Favourite Vineyards
July 13, 2018 | BY James Suckling
James Suckling is not only an internationally acclaimed wine critic, but a world traveller and journalist. With over three decades of tasting experience, he's visited countless wineries around the world with scenic surrounds and great wines. Anyone looking for delicious food and wine, charming landscapes and a warm welcome should check out some of his favourite wine resorts below...
Wine: Tapiz Mendoza Las Notas de Jean Claude 2012, 95 points
A really exciting new wine. Love the intensity and richness, with lovely ripe fruit and lightly toasted oak character. Black olive and berry. Full body, firm and silky finish. 91% merlot with petit verdot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Better in 2019.
Winery: Bodega Tapiz
Hotel: Club Tapiz
Hotel Address: Pedro Molina s/n, Ruta 60 km 2.5, Russell Maipú, Mendoza, Argentina
Wine: Vik Valle de Colchagua VIK 2015, 98 points
Great class on the nose with violet, lavender, currant and blueberry. Very perfumed. Full body, ultra-fine tannins with great finesse and polish. So long and focused. Subtle complexity. One of the new cult wines of Chile. 2020 release. 85% cabernet sauvignon and 15% cabernet franc. Drink in 2021.
Hotel: Vik Chile
Hotel Address: Millahue s/n, San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, Chile
Wine: Clos Apalta Valle de Apalta 2014, 100 points
This was the first 100-point wine from here. Aromas of fresh herbs, and dark berry and floral undertones. Hot stone character. Full body, very linear and ultra-fine tannins. The precision and perfection here is impressive, as it has always been. A blend of carmenere, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Drink or hold.
Winery: Clos Apalta
Hotel: Clos Apalta Residence
Hotel Address: Km 4 Camino Apalta Valle de Colchagua Santa Cruz, Región del Libertador Gral. Bernardo O’Higgins, Chile
Wine: Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes 2015, 97 points
Try to imagine the most beautiful exotic-fruit coulis and you have an idea of how this new style of Sauternes smells. Stunning concentration and purity of flavour. The knife-edge acidity electrifies the palate and turns the finish into a fireworks display of fruit and mineral freshness. You could drink this now, but it’s got enormous ageing potential.
Winery: Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey
Hotel: Hôtel & Restaurant Lalique, Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey
Hotel Address: Lieu-dit Peyraguey, 33210 Bommes, France
Wine: Château Smith Haut Lafitte Pessac-Léognan Blanc 2015, 98 points
Very subtle and complex, with sliced cooked apples, pie crust and hints of oyster shell as well as iodine. Full-bodied, tight and layered with mineral and true terroir character. Just a touch of seamless tannins. Solid and fresh. Needs decanting young. Serious for ageing. Better in 2020.
Winery: Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Hotel: Les Sources De Caudalie
Hotel Address: 33650 Bordeaux Martillac, France
Wine: San Felice Toscana Pugnitello 2013, 95 points
This is layered and structured, with excellent ripe tannins and fruit. Full and softly textured yet with a vibrant end to it. One to watch. Very Super Tuscan. Drink or hold.
Winery: San Felice
Hotel: Borgo San Felice
Hotel Address: Località San Felice, 53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga SI, Italy
Wine: Il Borro Valdarno di Sopra Petruna 2015, 95 points
Fantastic aromas of crushed berry and walnut follow through to a full body, soft and silky tannins and a savoury, gorgeous finish. One year on the skins in Tuscan ceramic amphora 450 litres. 3,000 bottles.
Winery: Il Borro
Hotel: Il Borro Relais & Chateaux
Hotel Address: Località Borro, 1, 52024 Loro Ciuffenna AR, Italy
Wine: Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port Vargellas Vinha Velha 2011, 96 points
Beautiful nose of flowers with plum and cherry; more like a fine table wine on the nose. Full body, medium sweet, with super-refined tannins and a long, superb finish. All about finesse here. Only 310 cases produced of this foot-trodden wine from 19th-century vines at the Vargellas estate. Try in 2022.
Winery: Taylor Fladgate
Hotel: The Yeatman Hotel
Hotel Address: Rua do Choupelo, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
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