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Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from Laithwaites

Sustainability figures large in Laithwaites strategy for the future: it aims to halve its carbon footprint by 2030. It's bottling more wines in the UK (by shipping the wine in large bags, then bottling it here, which cuts down on CO2), increasing the use of recycled glass and cutting back on unnecessary plastic packaging.

Awarded Green Champion runner-up at the 2021 Decanter Retailer Awards, Laithwaites also has its own eco-winery, RedHeads, based in Barossa, Australia.

The winery got its start in 2003 when Tony Laithwaite and a group of like-minded locals decided to do things differently. They now hunt down grapes from leading small-scale growers that would ordinarily go into blends for larger producers and turn them into individual bottlings.

The wines have gained a loyal international following – and two Silver medal winners from this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards are particularly worth seeking out.

The ripe, complex, intense RedHeads Esulé Woman with Gun is made from premium Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from McLaren Vale. Its stablemate, RedHeads The Red Sedan, made from a near 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from South Australia, is concentrated yet bright – and great value, too.


Scroll down to see our Laithwaites shopper’s guide


Bordeaux is where it all started out for founder Tony Laithwaite more than 50 years ago, and unusual finds from Bordeaux still figure large for this retailer. A case in point is the freshly floral Château le Coin, a Silver medal winner from Entre-Deux-Mers made from the Sauvignon Gris variety.

Elsewhere in France came two more Silver medal winners: the vibrant Domaine Michel Thomas Sancerre and the brambly Domaine Martin Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône-Villages.

To discover Gold, try Rapaura Springs Rohe Blind River Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough. Vibrant and packed full of varietal character, it’s a wine to please.

Laithwaites sells most of its wines online and through its wine clubs, but you can also shop at one of its 10 retail locations, mainly in the south of England.

In-store or online, Laithwaites stocks award-winning wines for every pocket and palate. Discover a selection of this year’s medal winners worth a try below…

Shopper’s guide: award-winning wines from Laithwaites

Gold

Rapaura Springs, Rohe Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2021
Gold, 95 points
£18.99
Classic bouquet of peach and citrus, fresh herbs and vibrant notes of capsicum and tomato leaf. Lovely palate texture, zingy and refreshing lively acidity. Alc 13.5%


Silver

Fryer’s Cove, Doringbay Sauvignon Blanc, Cape West Coast, South Africa 2021
Silver, 93 points
£12.99
Aromas of grapefruits, lemon, and orange. Beautifully flinty acidity on the palate carries an intense grapefruit, dried herb, and citrus palate. Alc 13%

Seifried Estate, Split Rock Sauvignon Blanc, Nelson, New Zealand 2021
Silver, 93 points
£13.99
Gentle apple aromas with notes of citrus rind on the nose. Well made, fresh and straightforward palate with a vibrant acidity. Alc 12.5%

Altos de Rioja, Altos R Pigeage, Rioja, Spain 2019
Silver, 92 points
£23
Rich and ripe with notes of papaya, apricot and grapefruit. Lovely structure, striking minerality, concentration and texture. An interesting wine with a lingering finish. Alc 14.5%

Château le Coin, Sauvignon Gris, Bordeaux, France 2021
Silver, 90 points
£12.99
Attractive nose of well-defined rhubarb and pear aromas. On the palate it shows a fresh and lively acidity. Alc 14.5%

Domaine Michel Thomas, Sancerre, Loire, France 2021
Silver, 90 points
£19.99
Attractive grapefruit and passion fruit aromas with vibrant lemony intensity on the palate. Pure and fresh on the finish. Alc 12.5%

RedHeads, Esulé, Woman With Gun, McLaren Vale, South Australia 2019
Silver, 93 points
£30
Clean nose of cassis, vanilla and anise. A mouthful of big, ripe and cook black and raspberry fruits complete an intense, focused, precise and elegant wine. Alc 15% 

Domaine Martin, Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 2020
Silver, 91 points
£14.99
Ripe bramble fruit nose with some herbal hints and bramble fruit. Tannins are ripe with a chalky bite on the finish. Long, fresh finish. Alc 14.5%

RedHeads, The Red Sedan, South Australia 2020
Silver, 91 points
£13.99
Leafy, tobacco cabernet nose with full-bodied rich and concentrated bright fruits. Approachable and a very good wine at the price. Alc 14.5%

Boschendal, Cabernet Sauvignon, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2018
Silver, 90 points
£21
Complex aromas of plum pudding, coconut, nutmeg, and potpourri. A richly intense palate of blackcurrant follows onto a long finish. Alc 14%


Bronze

Wyfold Vineyard, Brut, Oxfordshire, England 2016
Bronze, 89 points
£33
Playful mousse, strawberries and peaches greet you, with citrus and spring flowers following closely. Yeasty notes, and oaky notes back up the fruit-forward nature of this sparkling wine. Alc 12%

RedHeads, Harmonie Rox Chardonnay, Coonawarra, South Australia 2021
Bronze, 87 points
£14.49
Aromas of pineapple and tropical fruits, with a soft, rounded and slightly cream palate, with melon and honey flavours. Pleasant quaffing. Alc 13.5%

Sacchetto, Fili Extra Dry, Prosecco, Veneto, Italy NV
Bronze, 87 points
£16.49
Fresh green apple and lemon and delicate lean style with subtle accents of white flower and honeysuckle. Alc 11.5%

Noël Bougrier, Abbesse Sauvignon Blanc, Loire, France 2021
Bronze, 86 points
£10.99
Shows good varietal character with grass and gooseberry notes, fresh palate, and long zesty finish. Alc 11.5%

Château Moulin du Prieur, Bordeaux, France 2020
Bronze, 89 points
£12.99
Fresh nose of dark fruit with touches of oak. Concentrated and ambitious, with plenty of drive. Alc 14.5%

Jeff Carrel, Les Darons, Languedoc, France 2020
Bronze, 88 points
£14.49
A light bramble nose with mulberry fruits, some sweet oak, and a touch of sundried tomato. Alc 14.7%

Bordeaux Direct 1969, M Squared Merlot-Malbec, France NV
Bronze, 87 points
£13.99
Smoked meat nose, with notes of plums and soft red fruits. Rich and full-bodied, very smooth. Alc 13.5%

Casella, The Black Stump Reserve Shiraz, South Australia 2021
Bronze, 87 points
£14.99
Purple colour and a concentrated, dense and plush palate with gritty tannins. Still youthful. Alc 15%

Château Vartely, Cabernet Sauvignon, Valul Lui Traian, Moldova 2019
Bronze, 87 points
£11.99
Good minty aromas with black and red fruit notes with a lovely mocha nuance. Alc 13.5%

L’Epiphanie de Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 2018
Bronze, 87 points
£19.99 | 37.5cl
The nose has influence of oak, apple pie, pear, vanilla and honey. Crisp acidity keeping freshness. Alc 14.5%


Search all DWWA 2022 results


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