Red Wine Aphros Vinhao 2018. Architect Vasco Croft founded Aphros winery on his family’s 17th century Casal do Paço estate in 2002. Set in Portugal’s Vinho Verde region, the estate specialises in biodynamic winemaking thanks to Croft’s longstanding interest in the practice. Wherever possible grape growing and winemaking is done in harmony with the natural environment. Measures include only using naturally-derived treatments on the vines, use of cover crops in between the vines, and wild yeasts for fermentation in the winery. Aphros’ wines are made from classic local varieties like Loureiro and Vinhao which are perfectly suited to the local terroir. This light and elegant red is a great introduction to the Vinaho variety with grapes sourced from top Aphros vineyards in the Lima sub-region of Vinho Verde. Once in the winery the grapes are macerated and fermented according to traditional methods in granite lagares or troughs as well as some more modern stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged on the lees for a time before bottling. The result is an excellent gastronomic red wine with a perfect balance between ripe red fruit character and freshness. Sour cherry, raspberry and fresh herbs dominate the nose while the palate offers hints of crushed wild berries and menthol.
Red Wine Aphros Vinhao 2018
Red Wine Aster Finca El Otero 2018. Decant 1 hour before serving. La Rioja Alta winery is headquartered in Haro and has made exceptional traditional-style Rioja reds for over 130 years since its foundation in 1890. In the 1990s the estate began to explore expanding their operation into Ribera del Duero and conducted extensive research of the soil, grapes and climate of several subzones. In 1991 they finally selected the small town of Anguix for their new winery, planting vineyards on the property’s finest sites. This lively and vibrant red is crafted from 100% Tinta del Pais, the local Ribera del Duero name for Tempranillo. The vineyard sits on gentle slopes in an arid area where the poor quality soils encourage the vines to dig deep for nutrients and moisture. This helps produce intensely concentrated and deeply flavoured grapes which are harvested in the early hours of the morning to preserve their freshness and natural character. Once in the winery the grapes are soaked for 7 days and then fermented in neutral tanks. The best batches are then transferred to new French oak barrels for 62 days with regular lees stirring. The next stage is the maturation with the best barrels kept for 16 months before the final blend is decided and bottled.
Red Wine Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2018. Evocatively named dawn sky” or new beginning”, Ata Rangi is one of New Zealand’s legendary Pinot Noir producers thanks to the foresight of founder Clive Paton. In 1980 Clive was a young dairy farmer who experienced a sudden mid-life crisis and decided to investigate the potential of the Marlborough region for making wine. A few years earlier he’d come across a scientific study comparing Marlborough’s terroir to that of Burgundy, and despite having no winemaking experience or expertise Clive decided to take a gamble on a new project. Today Clive produces iconic Pinot Noirs which are loved by wine critics and enthusiasts all over the globe. The first encounter reveals intoxicating aromas of cherry liqueur, ripe dark plums and earthy herbal notes, while on the palate there is an abundance of dark berry flavours along with hints of sweet spices and licorice. The bright freshness and soft tannins are carefully balanced by a medium body and long finish which make this wine an ideal match for a rich duck dish or slow-cooked game. Although ready to drink now, this is a wine with ample potential to develop and evolve if matured in ideal cellar conditions over the next decade or so.