Red Wine Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial 2017. The majestic abbey of Santa Maria de Retuerta was built on the banks of the Duero River in 1146 by order of the Conde de Castilla who wanted to create a network of fortified monasteries to protect his lands. In 1996 a new winery was established here set on 700 hectares of vineyards which include 54 different plots surrounded by mountains and verdant forests. Many of the vineyards grow at 700 to 850 metres above sea level, ensuring warm sunny days and cooler nights which help to preserve plenty of freshness as well as ripe fruit flavours. Winemaking at Abadia Retuerta is headed up by Pascal Delbeck who insists on harvesting all of the fruit by hand to preserve them in perfect condition when they reach the winery. The estate also pioneered the use of sorting tables in the region and has an advanced quality control process throughout the vinification. One of their iconic wines is the Seleccion Especial which is made from a strict allocation of the estate’s finest grapes each vintage. This wine is the only Spanish bottling to have been included in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines for three consecutive years.
Red Wine Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial 2017
Red Wine Polvanera Aglianico 2017. Winemaker Filippo Cassano might be best known for his stunning modern Primitivos, but he also makes this remarkable single varietal Aglianico with a similarly light touch. Filippo grows his Aglianico vines in his Marchesana vineyard near the town of Gioia del Colle which is planted on iron-rich soils over a layer of limestone. His organically-farmed vines are planted at an altitude of 300 to 450 metres which helps to preserve acidity in the grapes and balance in the finished wines. The grapes are harvested in the second week of October and carefully transported to the winery where they undergo maceration and fermentation in stainless steel tanks for two weeks. Filippo then ages the wine in stainless steel tanks for two years followed by one year in the bottle. This approach helps to emphasise the pure varietal character of the Aglianico and gives the wine a unique, vibrant character. Blackberries, dark cherries and violets characterise the nose, while the palate offers rich plum, licorice, dried herbs and sweet spice flavours. There’s a rich full body, smooth tannins, a fresh acidity, and a long lingering finish. The punchy flavour profile makes an ideal match for dishes like roast lamb with rosemary or an aromatic tagine.
Red Wine Grattamacco L’Alberello Bolgheri Superiore 2017. Tuscany’s coastal Bolgheri region is still relatively young, but it has rapidly made its mark on the global wine scene thanks to a string of fabulous local wines including the world-famous Sassicaia. The Grattamacco estate was purchased in 1977 by Claudio Tipa, owner of ColleMassari in southern Tuscany, and over the years it has established a reputation for top quality Bordeaux-style blends and classic Italian wines. L’Ablarello Bolgheri Superiore is predominantly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon which thrives in the coastal Mediterranean climate found in the region. Also included in the blend are Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot with quantities varying from vintage to vintage. All of the grapes are grown organically and as sustainably as possible, and following vinification the young wine ages in oak barrels for 18 months. The result is an opulent and intense red with plenty of ripe cassis, dark plum and subtle spice notes. The first sip reveals a full body, firm tannins and rich dark berry flavours along with hints of smoke, mint and sweet tobacco. While accessible now when paired with hearty red meat dishes, this is an ideal wine to keep in the cellar over the next 10 years or so where it will continue to evolve and develop.