Red Wine Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017. Named after the rugged Black Sage Bench in the Okanagan Valley wine region where the winery is located, this up-and-coming Canadian winery was founded in 1992 by Harry McWatters and Bob Wareham. As owners of the nearby Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Harry and Bob recognised the potential of this disused land which had long been considered only suitable for raising cattle. They set about planting cuttings taken from French varietals here and soon found the terroir is ideal for crafting richly-flavoured and intense red wines. This powerful Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted from estate fruit grown in Black Sage Vineyard and harvested at optimal ripeness in late October. Once in the winery the grapes are fermented in open top stainless steel tanks and the young wine is then transferred to French and American oak barrels to mature for 16 months. Thanks to the arid, sunny climate and relatively cool nights, this is an intense yet balanced red with ample dark berry and plum notes along with freshness and smooth tannins. The bold fruit flavours are complemented by hints of spice, smoked meat and dried herbs as well as a generous full body and long finish which makes it an ideal match for red meats, barbecues and hearty stews.
Red Wine Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Red Wine Blue Rock Baby Blue 2017. Set in Sonoma’s picturesque Alexander Valley right next to Silver Oak Winery, the 100 acre Blue Rock winery specialises in crafting small batch wines using sustainable winemaking methods and minimal environmental impact. The estate benefits from cool mornings and warm, sunny days which helps the Bordeaux varieties planted here to develop great depth of character while retaining grace and elegance. Their Baby Blue red blend is crafted from 100% fruit grown on the estate’s hillside vineyards which boast fine rocky and pebby soils. This composition includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah for power and depth of flavour as well as Merlot and Malbec which add a soft, smooth texture and richness. There is also some Cabernet Franc which brings a savoury touch to the overall flavour profile. On the nose there are intense notes of blueberry, cassis and crushed wild berries while the first sip reveals a robust full body, firm tannins and a well-built structure. The finish is long and elegant with hints of toasty oak, winter spice and succulent dark fruit, making it a nice partner for barbecued meats, a prime steak or even game dishes.
Red Wine Bodegas Piedra Negra Chacayes 2017. Fifth generation Bordeaux winemaker Francois Lurton first started making wines in South America in the 1990s, and in 1996 he and his brother purchased some 200 acres in a remote corner of Mendoza’s Uco Valley. At the time the valley was considered a barren desert-like region and some thought him a little crazy to start making wine here. Fast forward a few decades and the Uco Valley is now the source of many of Mendoza’s most famous bottles, including Francois’s very own Chacayes. This iconic bottling now has its very own namesake appellation, IG Chacayes, thanks to the unique terroir here which combines altitudes of 1050-1350 metres with poor alluvial soils and minimal rainfall. These conditions help to produce intensely concentrated and aromatic grapes which reach perfect ripeness. To maintain quality the Malbec fruit is carefully harvested by hand and sorted twice before vinification. Part of the fermentation takes place in 400 litre French oak barrels to add extra complexity, and the young wine is matured in new French oak for 24 months. This extensive maturation helps to soften the tannins and add gentle spiced notes to the succulent dark fruit. The result is a dark and handsome Malbec that exudes charm and is very easy to drink. Pair with a fine steak served with fries for an authentic Argentinian experience.