Red Wine Catena Zapata Argentino Malbec 2020. Today the Catena family have an international reputation for their delicious Malbec wines which are crafted from top quality grapes grown at high altitude. The family have been making wine in Argentina for four generations, although they only gained significant recognition in the 1990s when Nicolas Catena’s single varietal Malbec began to be exported around the globe. Together with his daughter, Laura, Nicolas has studied Mendoza’s sub-regions and high altitude vineyards for decades and helped unlock the region’s exceptional viticultural potential. Their limited production Malbec Argentino is crafted from the best estate vineyards, Nicasia and Angelica, which are planted at the foot of the Andes Mountains at 1095 and 920 metres respectively. The vines here are attentively tended by hand and give very low yields which produce remarkably concentrated and intensely-flavoured grapes. The grapes are fermented in small lots in new French oak barrels and the young wine is then fermented in new French oak barrels for 24 months. On the nose there are hints of violets, cassis and blueberries while the palate offers rich dark fruit flavours, smooth tannins and a firm structure which will respond well to cellaring over the next decade. It can also be enjoyed now and is best paired with hearty dishes such as steak, beef stews, or barbecued meats.
Red Wine Catena Zapata Argentino Malbec 2020
Red Wine Cline Old Vines Zinfandel 2020. Drink now through to 2028. Established by Fred Cline in 1982, Cline Cellars was initially based in Oakley before moving in the 1990s to a 350-acre farm in Carneros Valley. Since then the family-run winery has specialised in producing delicious red wines crafted from Zinfandel and from Rhone varietals like Syrah and Mourvedre. One key focus of the winery is sustainability and the estate is proud to be a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery. Highlights include building the largest solar-panelled winery in California and a flock of 2000 sheep and goats which are used instead of herbicides to remove weeds. The winery also provides raptor perches and owl boxes to encourage these natural predators to control pests like mice and gophers. The family’s Ancient Vines Zinfandel is made with fruit from the estate’s oldest plots in Contra Costa County which are dry-farmed to ensure deliciously concentrated and intense flavours in the fruit. On the nose there are enticing crushed cassis and blackberry notes as well as cigar box spice from the 10 months of ageing in American oak barrels. The punchy flavour profile makes this ideal for pairing with rich beef stews or for keeping in the cellar for a few more years.
Red Wine Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2020. Decant 1 hour Cloudy bay is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc but its Pinot Noir should be just as highly praised! The colour is a bright ruby red. The nose shows cherry, blueberry, cranberry and hints of spice such as cinnamon and ginger. On the palate, the ripe fruit bursts onto the tongue and displays chocolate, black cherry, spice, earthiness and leather. Elegant tannins integrate beautifully and the acid is perfect. The finish is persistent and flavour full – you want it to go on and on and it does! This is the perfect match for barbecued ribs, beef, salmon, turkey, chicken and cheese. It can benefit from a slight chilling and certainly improves even more if decanted. Notes of tea leaf, cinnamon, and ginger mingle with a cherry/blueberry core just perfectly. The wine is best with a touch of chill on it; too warm it starts to feel a bit watery. Cloudy Bay Vineyards started in 1985 and they had a vision then that has certainly come to fruition. They wanted to produce ‘wines of region’ growing the best grapes for particular terroirs. They combined that with using innovative wine making techniques, attention to detail that is second to none, and minimal intervention. The results are spectacular quality wines that are consistent and at the very top of their game.