Some stunning wines from a new UK importer: GB Wine Shippers

Richard Bray and Gus Gluck have formed a new UK agency business, beginning in March 2020. It’s perhaps not the best timing for a business whose primary outlet is restaurants, but they’ve manage to assemble a really cool list of producers already. Their first wines arrived in May. I met with Gus to taste through a few things, and here are my notes. UK projected retail price in brackets.

Muchada-Léclapart Univers 2018 Spain
Muchada-Léclapart are based in sherry country, but make still wines. And they are really good. 11.5% alcohol. Palomino, 20 year old vines, biodynamic, right by the coast in Sanlucar. Unfortified, no flor, in ceramic lined tanks. This is beautifully focused and mineral and saline with lovely precision. Very fine, fresh and salty with lovely mineral intensity. Such precision with a long finish. Has vitality. 94/100 (£30)

Muchada-Léclapart Lumière 2018 Spain
12.5% alcohol. Palomino with a plot with a bit more aspect to it. 60 year old vines. Fermented and aged in 3 year old Bordeaux barrels. Such concentration here with a lovely mineral streak and notes of crystalline lemons, a slight salinity, and a bright acid line under everything. Has great concentration and precision. Layers of flavour here with great precision and purity. Really beautiful showing purity and minerality. 96/100 (£48)

Muchada-Léclapart Elixir 2018 Spain
Moscato and Palomino, 60 year old vines, vinified in three year old Bordeaux barrels. Astonishing nose of table grapes and lemons with lots of personality. The palate is concentrated and fresh with a lovely acid line, showing minerals, spice, lemons and spice. Such a multimensional wine that’s playful on the nose but serious on the palate. Quite brilliant. 95/100 (£39)

Yannick Cadiou Chablis La Côte D’Or 2018 Bourgogne
12.5% alcohol. Organic. Yannick was for a long time the vineyard manager for Domaine Laroche, is in his mid 50s and this is his first vintage. This is from behind Les Forets premier cru. Fermented in tank, then aged half in tank and half in 500 litre barrels. Lovely expressive nose with minerals and crystalline citrus fruits, as well as a bit of creaminess. There’s some richness here, but also lovely freshness with a lemony core and some creamy notes. Very interesting with a lot of personality, but it tastes like Chablis. 93/100 (£30)

Domaine Laguerre Eos Blanc 2019 Côtes de Roussillon, France
12.5% alcohol. Biodynamic. Grenache Blanc, Maccabeu, Rolle. 8 months in barrel. This is bright and really fruity with a lovely bright presence and mandarin, table grape and lemony fruit. Has a liveliness to it: the fruit is to the fore with nice focus and concentration and a touch of salinity. 91/100 (£17)

Domaine Laguerre Eos Rouge 2019 Côtes de Roussillon, France
14% alcohol. 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah. Lovely floral aromatics on the nose with raspberry and cherry. It’s direct, fruity and delicious with nice silky texture. Fruit to the fore with lovely purity and nice cherry emphasis. 91/100 (£17)

Fleet Pinot Noir Leongatha 2019 Gippsland, Australia
13.1% alcohol. Light in colour, this is fully destemmed fruit in old oak. It’s silky and fine with a sleek texture and sweet red cherry fruit. There’s a hint of spice and ginger with lovely smoothness. Sweet cherries and plums, and amazing drinkability with immense prettiness and fine-grained structure. Ethereal. 95/100 (£38)

Fleet Syrah 2019 Yarra Valley, Australia
13.2% alcohol. Fully destemmed, aged in older oak. This is very exuberant and fruity, but shows lovely restraint. There’s a hint of pepper under the smooth, sweet raspberry and cherry fruit, with a touch of blackberry richness. Very rounded and fine, with nice fine spicy framing and good acidity, with balance between sweetness and savouriness. So lovely. A very pure, delicious Syrah. 95/100 (£32)

Bannockburn 1314 AD Pinot Noir 2018 Geelong, Australia
13.5% alcohol. Lively spice, herbs and ginger on the nose with some red fruits. Has some green herbal hints. This has sweet and sour cherry fruit with some spice and herbs. Elegant and full flavoured with nice grip hiding under the sleek fruit. So interesting. 94/100 (£30)

Cirillo The Vincent Grenache Survivor Vine 2019 Barossa, Australia
14% alcohol. These are 100 year old vines. Aged in 5000 litre foudres. Very fine, supple and elegant with lovely red fruits. Has red cherry, raspberry and a lovely silky texture with fine grained, spicy and showing astonishing precision and delicacy. Such finesse here: it’s beguiling. 94/100 (£22)