Red Wine Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta 2016. Decant 1 hour before serving. Originally built by the ancient Romans, Castello di Romitorio is dramatically set on a high hill next to the village of Montalcino. In 1984 it was purchased by Giorgio Franchetti who gave it to the famous Neo-Expressionist Italian artist Sandro Chia in return for some of his paintings. Chia set up his studio in the castle, but also embraced the revolutionary winemaking movement that was sweeping Montalcino at the time. Today Chia’s son Filippo is heavily involved in the winery which has 15 acres of prime vineyards planted primarily on gravelly iron and magnesium-rich soils. This magnificent bottling is crafted from fruit sourced close to the castle itself and is named Silk Thread” after the small stream that flows through the nearby forest. The microclimate here is cooler than other parts of Brunello di Montalcino, crafting a wilder, intense expression with plenty of savoury and earthy character. The grapes are harvested by hand fairly late in the season to ensure optimum ripeness and are fermented in high tech temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The young wine is then matured in oak for 30 months followed by another 12 months in the barrel. The result is a serious, structured wine that’s bursting with dark fruit, hints of violets, and undertones of forest floor, leather, and subtle spices.
Red Wine Castello Romitorio Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta 2016
Red Wine Catena Zapata Nicasia Vineyard Malbec 2016. Drink now through to 2036. The Catenas are easily Argentina’s most famous winemaking family thanks to their key role in establishing the country’s reputation for quality winemaking. The family have been making wine in Argentina for four generations, and Nicolas Catena is especially respected as the maker of the first premium Malbec wine to be exported around the world in 1994. Along with his daughter, Laura, Nicolas has spent years studying Mendoza’s unique high altitude vineyards and learning how to make top quality wine in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. This iconic wine is a single vineyard Malbec from the legendary Nicasia site which was planted in 1996 at 1095 metres above sea level. The grapes are fermented in open barriques and stainless steel tanks and then aged for 24 months in French oak barrels. The wine is then aged for an additional 24 months in the bottle before release. Cassis, crushed blackberries and plums characterise the nose while the first sip reveals multiple layers of flavours moving from ripe dark berries and cherries to cigar box spice, leather and dark chocolate. The ripe, refined tannins and smooth texture make this a very approachable wine now, although it will continue to develop and evolve in the cellar over the next decade or so.
Red Wine Ceretto Barolo 2016. Decant 1 hour before serving. The Cerettos have played a pivotal role in the modern history of Barolo ever since Riccardo Ceretto founded the family estate in the 1930s. Riccardo’s sons, Bruno and Marcello, helped pioneer the trend for estate-bottled single vineyard wines which is one of the defining features of top quality Barolo today. The third generation is now in charge of the property, taking great care of the family’s 160 hectares of vines so they can be handed on the next generation. This is the family’s classic Barolo which is made from top quality fruit from the legendary communes of La Morra, Barolo and Serralunga d’Alba. The vines are farmed organically to maximize quality and the fruit is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. After 12 months in tonneaux and another 12 months ageing in wooden barrels the wine is finally bottled. The long ageing process helps craft an elegant, well-balanced Barolo with ample red cherry, redcurrant, and plum notes mingling with hints of dried flowers, spice, and leather. The bold flavour profile, full body and robust tannins make this a great wine to stash away in the cellar, although it can also be savoured now with a fine sirloin steak, barbecued ribs, or game meats.