Red Wine Anima Negra AN/2 2019. Located on the sunny Mediterranean island of Mallorca, Anima Negra is regarded as one of Europe’s top natural wine producers thanks to the vision and passion of founders Pere Ignasi Obrador and Miquelàngel Cerdà. The project was initially founded in 1994 when the self-taught winemakers decided to experiment with a couple of barrels of Callet grapes, using unused milk tanks on Pere’s family farm for the fermentation process. The result was a huge success, and today the duo work with partner growers across central Mallorca to source their fruit. Crafted from old vine Callet, Mantonegre, Fogoneu, and a dash of Syrah, AN/2 is their second bottling and widely regarded as a benchmark Mallorcan wine. The fruit is fermented in stainless steel and concrete tanks with a short maceration to emphasise the freshness and natural character of the varieties. It is aged in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels for just over a year before bottling. As soon as you pour out a glass of this stunning red, you’ll notice the deep ruby red hue and enticing aromas of wild berries, cherries and plums along with hints of woodsmoke, spice and violets. The palate offers a medium body with plenty of freshness to balance the ripe fruit flavours. Ideal for enjoying alongside earthy game dishes like rabbit, wild boar, or venison, as well as roast duck and pork chops.
Red Wine Anima Negra AN/2 2019
Red Wine Antinori Le Mortelle Poggio alle Nane 2019. The Antinori family have been making wine in Tuscany since at least as early as 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member of the Florentine Winemakers’ Guild. More recently, they helped put Tuscany on the map for powerful Super Tuscan wines thanks to their magnificent Tignanello cuvee. In 1999 they purchased the 667 acre Fattoria Le Mortelle estate in Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region where the terroir is well-suited to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The estate’s Poggio alle Nane cuvee is named after the local word for duck since there used to be duck breeding farms here. It’s composed primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc along with a small amount of Carmenere. The fruit is typically harvested in late September or October when it has reached optimum ripeness while still retaining some freshness and aromatics. Once in the winery the grapes are carefully sorted to ensure only the best make it into the bottle. After vinification the young wine is aged in French oak barrels for 16 months before bottling, adding enticing hints of ripe dark fruit, woodsmoke, tobacco leaf, and baking spice. On the palate there’s a generous full body with firm tannins and a long, complex finish. An ideal partner for red meat dishes or tomato-based pasta sauces.
Red Wine Aphros Phaunus Amphora Palhete 2019. Vasco Croft initially worked as an architect but had long been interested in the biodynamic winemaking movement before he founded Aphros in 2002. The winery is located in Vinho Verde on his family’s historic 17th century Casal do Paço estate and focuses on producing classic local varieties in harmony with nature. In the vineyard cover crops are used in between the vines to boost biodiversity and the vines are treated with natural extracts. Once in the winery the grapes are fermented using wild yeasts found naturally in the winery and on grape skins. In 2015 Croft decided to split the brand into two labels, one focusing on classic expressions of local grape varieties and the other based in a medieval cellar where everything is done without electricity. This second label is called Phaunus and uniquely features the use of clay amphorae to ferment and mature the wines. Palhete is crafted from Loureiro and Vinhao grapes sourced from north-west Portugal which are spontaneously fermented on the skins in Croft’s clay amphorae. The young wine then ages on the lees for 7 months in the amphorae and is bottled without fining or filtering. This creates a unique and delicious rosé with enticing notes of dried rose petals, incense, Mediterranean herbs and cranberries and pomegranate. Great to serve as a refreshing and unusual aperitif or partner for salmon, roasted chicken or creamy cheeses.