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Conor van der Reest’s inspiration for the Cloth Label wines was drawn from his time in Châteuneuf-du-Pape where it is second nature for vignerons to cross-blend their reds and their whites. To create the Cloth Label White, he chose a palette of five white grapes and one red: pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, gewürztraminer, finishing with 7% pinot noir that makes a significant contribution to the wine’s exoticism. The pinot noir is pressed lightly, so the pigments don’t colour the must. The white varieties on the other hand are fermented on skins, which provides an important textural component to the wine. The batches are vinified separately, in sequence of ripening, each seeded by the last. By the end, van der Reest has six separate barrels of wine which are then skillfully blended, such that no variety is dominant but nuances of all are discernable in the culmination. The finished wine transcends the incorporation of its elements. It is lovely to look at in the glass; pale gold with an amber hue. The nose is distinctive; fresh apricot, persimmon and blood orange aromas are lifted by fragrant notes of elder flower and sweet spice. On the palate, flavours of quince and lemon verbina abound, with savoury, salady undertones. This is a balanced wine with focus, depth and texture. Sophie Otton, April 2014
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