Red Wine Castello di Verduno Barbaresco 2017. The Castello di Verduno estate takes its name from the characterful 16th century castle which sits at its heart in the village of Verduno in the Barolo wine region. Owned by Gabriella Burlotto and Franco Bianco, the estate specialises in top quality Barolos and Barbarescos produced from their prime Nebbiolo vineyards which are harvested by hand and farmed organically. The grapes for this bottling come from the estate’s Rabaja, Rabaja-bas and Faset vineyards which are harvested at the beginning of October. Following the harvest the grapes are carefully sorted and fermented in stainless steel tanks for 20 days. Then the wine is transferred to large Slavonian oak botti or casks where it matures for at least 18 months. The finished wine is then left to rest in the bottle for 14 months before release. The result is an intense and multi-layered red that opens with classic Nebbiolo aromas of ripe red cherries, dried violets and rose petals. On the palate the ripe red berry character and baking spice hints are balanced by a bright streak of acidity and very long finish. This is a wine which can be kept in the cellar for another 6 to 7 years or enjoyed now alongside red meat dishes.
Red Wine Castello di Verduno Barbaresco 2017
Red Wine Castello di Volpaia Coltassala 2017. Decant 1 hour before serving. The modern history of Castello di Volpaia dates back to the 1970s when it was given as a wedding gift to Carlo and Giovannella Mascheroni by Giovannella’s father, Raffaello Stianti. The winery is located in the charming 11th century walled village of Volpaia. Over the years the couple have completely renovated and transformed the winery, creating wine cellars out of ancient buildings and churches, without significantly altering the external structure of this enigmatic place. Their single vineyard Coltassala Chianti Classico is a true icon of the winery which was first created as a so-called Super Tuscan wine in 1980. At the time the wine could not be classified as Chianti Classico due to strict limitations on using grapes other than Sangiovese. Over time those rules have been changed to allow greater winemaking creativity and expression, and Coltassala is now proudly labelled as a Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. The prized Coltassala vineyard is farmed organically and planted on well-draining sandstone soils which help to create an elegant Chianti with refined tannins and a delicate structure. Following vinification the young wine is aged in new French oak barrels for 24 months and then aged in the bottle for another 6 months. Luscious dark cherries, spice and leather dominate the flavour profile with plenty of freshness and a long and complex finish.
Red Wine Castiglion del Bosco Prima Pietra 2017. No need to decant before serving Castiglion del Bosco is in the community of Montalcino in the province of Siena. The rolling hills and captivating beauty of Tuscany make it a draw for visitors from many countries. So much so that in 2004 UNESCO deemed it a World Heritage site, celebrating its cultural and natural heritage which is of outstanding value to humanity. It is still very much a wild region with many deer, boar and pheasant enjoying the natural abundance of the countryside. Castiglion del Bosco Prima Pietra is produced at the nearby Tenuta Prima Pietra winery located in the small commune of Riparbella about 40 km south-east of Pisa. The grape varieties grown reflect the final composition of the wine, consisting of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. The latter more unusual variety is associated with darker colour, stronger tannins, and plenty of black fruit flavours. Harvest typically happens towards the end of September, when the grapes are gathered by hand and stored in aerated 15 kg boxes until the cooler autumn climate leads to optimum ripeness and the development of more subtle aromas. Fermentation lasts for 20 days, and each grape variety is kept separate. The winery uses native yeasts to best conserve the developing aromas. After fermentation the wine is transferred to French oak casks, where again each variety of grape is aged individually. After 10 months refinement the final Prima Pietra blend is created by the master winemakers, and this is further aged for eight months. Prima Pietra has rich, dark fruit aromas such as blueberry and plum, along with the freshness of mint and herbal spice. The tannins are robust but silky, with dense dark berry fruit and spice. Light game dishes such as pigeon breast or lamb complement the full flavour of the Prima Pietra.