Red Wine Castello Romitorio Rosso di Montalcino 2019. This winery takes its name from the evocative ancient castle set on a high hill close to the town of Montalcino which was first built by the Romans and later used as a monastery. The estate’s modern history began in 1984 when it was acquired by Giorgio Franchetti who gave it to Italy’s iconic Neo-Expressionist artist Sandro Chia in exchange for several paintings. As well as creating art here, Sandro also began to make excellent wines and played a key role in the revitalization of Montalcino’s wine scene in the 1980s and 1990s. Today the property has 15 acres of vineyards set to the northwest of Montalcino on excellent gravelly, mineral-rich soils. Winemaking at Castello Romitorio is overseen by famous consultant winemaker Carlo Ferrini who’s worked with top names like San Leonardo. For this youthful and expressive Rosso di Montalcino fruit is sourced from the estate’s youngest Sangiovese vines. The grapes are harvested by hand and carefully sorted before vinification with 10 months of ageing in oak barrels prior to bottling. The nose is bursting with ripe Marasca cherry and red fruit notes as is typical for Sangiovese, which evolve on the palate to notes of plums, leather, wild thyme and wood polish. Medium bodied with fine tannins and a bright streak of acidity, this is a great wine to pair with tomato-based pasta dishes, charcuterie, or roast pork.
Red Wine Castello Romitorio Rosso di Montalcino 2019
Red Wine Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2019. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Catena family helped put Argentina on the map for world-class Malbec. They’ve made wine in Argentina’s Mendoza region for four generations and were the first to start exporting premium Malbec wines around the world in the 1990s. These days the family business is headed up by the visionary Nicolas Catena and his daughter, Laura, who have collectively spent decades studying Mendoza’s high altitude vineyards. Amongst their vineyard holdings is the prestigious Adrianna Vineyard in the Uco Valley, the highest altitude sub-region in Mendoza, where top quality Malbec vines are planted 1450 metres above sea level. This plot is perfect for premium winemaking thanks to the gravel soils, warm and sunny days, and cooler nights which ensure a long ripening season. This magnificent cuvee is named Fortuna Terrae”, meaning luck of the land” in Latin, which refers to the excellent terroir. Once in the winery the fruit is fermented with wild yeasts in 225 and 500 litre oak casks followed by 18 months of ageing. This adds extra polish and complexity to the finished wine, highlighting the smooth, well-rounded tannins and adding smoky, oaked notes to the rich dark berry flavours. A great Malbec to serve alongside a ribeye steak or barbecued ribs, although it can also be cellared for a decade or more longer.
Red Wine Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard River Stones Malbec 2019. It is recommended to decant it for an hour. The history of the Argentina Catena Zapata winery began in 1902, when Nicola Catena, who emigrated from Italy in search of fortune, planted his first Malbec vineyard in Mendoza. At that time, this area, characterized by poor soils, was discarded by European immigrants due to low fertility. Nicolas Catena has succeeded in identifying and understanding the potential of these soils that are ideal for quality viticulture, implementing a real Malbec revolution. From the famous Adrianna vineyard, the company produces exceptional wines, both white and red with very limited production. The naturally low yields and slow maturation during the summer give the wines elegance, balance, and wonderfully soft tannins. The grapes for the production of the River Stones come from the rockiest part of the Adrianna vineyard, exposed to the north. The wine represents the red version of the White Stones and ages in oak barrels for 20 months. It is a wine that offers power and elegance, with a dark purple color and shades that tend to be blue-black. On the nose, it reveals a complex aromatic profile of dark berry fruits (especially blackberries and cassis) with delicate floral notes and hints of vanilla and coffee. In the mouth, it is concentrated and refined, with firm but round tannins. The intense minerality develops in a long and harmonious finish. Try it with roast beef served with a mushroom sauce.