Red Wine Bovio Rocchettevino Barolo 2015. Decant 1 hour before serving. Bovio is known for its tiny, artisanal production of exceptional Barolos thanks to the hard work of Gianfranco Bovio who is probably best known for his excellent Belvedere restaurant in Piemonte. In 1977 Gianfranco took over the running of the estate from his father Alessandro and set to work revitalising it by adding another seven hectares of prime vineyards on the prized slopes of Arborina, Gattera, and Rocchettevino. This single vineyard Barolo is sourced from the family’s 0.56 hectare Rocchettevino plot in La Morra which is planted on calcareous clay. The grapes are harvested in October at optimum maturity and fermented on the skins for up to 15 days. The wine is then transferred to used barriques for 12 months followed by 12 months in Slavonian oak casks. The process is completed by another 6 months in concrete tanks and 6 months in the bottle before release. The result is a traditional style Barolo with plenty of lightness and elegance. On the nose there are attractive floral and earthy notes as well as plenty of dark berries and cherries. The firm structure and punchy tannins make this a great addition to any cellar where it will age gracefully over the next decade or so.
Red Wine Bovio Rocchettevino Barolo 2015
Red Wine Ca dei Frati Pietro dal Cero Amarone della Valpolicella 2015. Decant 2 hours before serving. The first mention of the Ca Dei Frati estate dates right back to 1782, although it wasn’t until 1939 that the modern winery started to take shape. Felice Dal Cero recognised the excellent winemaking potential of Lugana on the shores of Lake Garda and set about planting vineyards to make his dream a reality. Today the winery is run by Felice’s three grandchildren and is widely considered to be Lugana’s finest winery with around 200 hectares of vines. This magnificent Amarone is named after Pietro, Felice’s son, who played a pivotal role in the story of the estate and the wider region, helping Lugana to receive official DOC status as an appellation in 1967. His namesake wine is crafted with top quality fruit from the estate’s Luxinum vineyard which sits below Monti Lessini. Once in the winery the grapes are dried according to tradition for 4 months to intensify and concentrate the flavours and sugars. They are then fermented and the young wine aged in oak barrels for 24 months followed by 12 months in steel tanks. The wine then undergoes another 24 months of ageing in the bottle before release. This lengthy maturation process crafts a remarkably polished and graceful Amarone which is bursting with complex layers of dried fruits, ripe crushed berries and cherries, and cigar box spice and vanilla from the oak ageing. It is recommended to decant the wine a couple of hours before serving to reveal the full beauty of this complex and powerful Amarone.
Red Wine Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino 2015. This ancient castle set on a high hill near the town of Montalcino was first built by the Romans and later became a monastery and a shelter for shepherds. In 1984 it was bought by the art lover Giorgio Franchetti who later exchanged it for some paintings by the well-known Italian painter Sandro Chia. Chia used the property as his studio, but he also renovated the vineyards and played a key role in the revitalization of Montalcino’s wineries during the 1980s and 1990s. In 2005 Sandro’s son, Filippo, joined the business and has helped lead it into a new era with help from winemaking consultant Carlo Ferrini who’s worked with a host of top names including San Leonardo. The property has 15 acres of vineyards which mostly sit on fine mineral-rich gravel soils high in magnesium and iron. This stunning Brunello is the estate’s flagship wine crafted from top quality fruit from plots located in the appellation’s northwestern reach. The fruit is harvested at optimum maturity fairly late in the growing season with vinification taking place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The young wine is then aged in oak for 24 months followed by another 12 months in the bottle. This creates a heady and enchanting Brunello that’s full of intense dark fruit flavours and intriguing hints of woodsmoke, spice and sage. The powerful structure and tannins make it a great wine to drink now with hearty red meat dishes or to cellar for another decade or so.