• November / 23 / 2022

Manager Picks; More About The Vineyards

If you have been to a wine store or wine specialist recently, you may have seen an increase in the number of wines that are “manager picks.” This is because more and more vineyards are relying on their managers to choose which wines should be bottled and sold. But what does this mean for wine drinkers? 

Are these managers’ picks any good? And why are vineyards turning to their managers to make these decisions instead of marketing professionals or wine experts? Our Oban Whiskys & Fine Wines team has recently published our own ‘Manager’s Picks’ winelist; we have pulled this together based on the quality of wines these vineyards offer. 

So please pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of your favourite vintage, and look at the wines we have chosen for this updated wine list and more at their vineyards. 

Dog Point, Marlborough, New Zeland 

“Sauvignon Blanc, Dog Point, Marlborough, New Zealand 2021 £17 

A classically dry aromatic style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from the winemaking team made Cloudy Bay so famous. The citrus core of flavours is juicy and intense with deliciously refreshing saline acidity. The wine calls for simple, fresh seafood but can also be enjoyed as a pre-dinner aperitif.” 

Dog Point, based in New Zealand, is one of the most extensive organic vineyards with full certification. They are a family-owned business, one of the reasons we wanted to highlight this delicious Sauvignon Blanc from them. The vineyard they operate is known to be one of the largest privately owned in the area, and it can be found on the stunning slopes of the Southern Valleys, Marlborough, to be exact. 

The best selling point of the wines that come straight from Dog Point is that they are all-natural, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, meaning they can be savoured and enjoyed by everyone. 

As more than just another New Zealand vineyard, Dog Point prides itself on having a biodiverse landscape within the vineyard; a large portion of the land has been dedicated to pastures, pond spaces and creating native planted walkways for guests to enjoy at their leisure. The family’s entire ethos has been around protecting and developing the land, so we wanted to showcase their wine in our Managers Pick; it truly is a haven. 

Famille Hugel, France 

“Riesling, Famille Hugel, 2012 £25 

The signature wine of one of France’s premier producers. This dry Riesling stands out for its finesse and frankness and is the ideal partner for fish and seafood, thanks to its excellent balance and elegance. One of our all-time favourites! 

This stunning vineyard in Alsace, France, is run and operated by the 12th generation of this family and is still owned 100% by the original family. We wanted to highlight such an impressive vineyard because their vines have been cultivated for over 2000 years and brought a massive attraction to the area. 

The vineyard is based in Alsace and is known for being the second driest in France; this unique climate allows the grapes to be dried slowly, and this extra amount of time provides a quality that other wines do not reach. 

Our team wanted to add the Hugel families Riesling to our wine list due to the pioneering this vineyard has carried out; they had a law drafted that governs their production. In turn, it helped produce the law that governs the whole of the French AOC wine region. This family have always been right at the front of the vineyard expansions, and we imagine we will stay there for many years. 

Manchuela, Spain 

Enblanco, Bodegas Altolandon, Manchuela, Spain, 2021 £15 

One of the new waves of naturally produced Orange Wines that have become so popular recently. We have tried many wines that missed the mark – but like the proverbial Scarecrow – this wine is truly outstanding in its field. An ashen orange-pink colour, the nose is elegant with sweet aromas of stone fruits, minerals and anise, supported by apricot, mirabelle plum and citrus notes. Full and well-rounded on the palate, with plenty of weight, yet still elegant, lively, and light body. Spontaneously fermented in amphora with no added sulphites and tasty to boot! 

Back in 1997, a small group of viticulturists and wineries in the region of Manchuela founded the Association Pro-Vinos Demonimation of Origin Manchuela; this was created to regulate and define the marketing of wines from the region, meaning you had to follow specific guidelines and that the wine needed to stand out internationally as being top quality wine.

Since the beginning, this association has developed and grown a culture that protects both the image and the flavour of the wine in national and international markets. We wanted to highlight such an impressive vineyard on our wine list because of the effort it has put into protecting the land, its culture and the finished products. 

It is a unique process that involves knowledge and transparency. 

Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Australia

Woodcutters Shiraz, Torbreck, Barossa Valley, Australia 2014 £28 

Black fruit jams, cocoa, hints of asphalt and jasmine tea. Medium/firm velvety tannins and lively with beautifully long texture

If you are an avid wine drinker, you will have heard about the infamous Barossa Valley in Australia. It is one of the most famous places in the world for wine; this is where you will find Torbreck, a vineyard not regulated by wine trends or fashions but by excellent wine. 

Torbreck pays tribute to vines that heaven been in the region since the 1840s; with their process following the minimal intervention, developing a wine that offers richness, structure and length, these multi-generational growers have become the true core of Torbreck, with a passion for wine that goes back decades. 

Not only does Torbreck produce some of the region’s finest wines, but they have also managed to invest in protecting some of the other famous Vineyards across the Barossa, including; Hillside Vineyard at Lyndoch, Laird Vineyard in Marananga and Greenock Keller, keeping these famous vineyards alive is essential, and an investment the company have made to keep the Barossa great. 

Order Our Managers Picks Direct To Your Door Today

Manager Picks is one of our favourite sections on the website because it gives you, the customer, a chance to get to know our team better. This week, we wanted to share a little about the vineyards we work with and why they have made our Managers Picks list. 

Oban Whisky & Fine Wines has been importing and distributing wine for over 25 years, so we have relationships with some of the best wineries in the world. Our portfolio includes wines from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. We are always looking for new and innovative producers who make exceptional wine.

If you’re ever interested in learning more about a specific producer or variety we carry, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to hear from you! Our team are passionate about wine and is always more than happy to discuss the bottles we have on offer with you. 

Order for UK delivery online today. 


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