Red Wine Charles Smith Substance Powerline Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. Charles Smith grew up in California in the Sierra Nevada foothills, but it was only in later life that he fell in love with winemaking. Inspiration struck while he was working as a rock band manager and traveling extensively in Europe, and he later decided to return home and teach himself how to make excellent wines that would rival those he had tried on the road. He chose the pristine terroir of Washington State for his new project which quickly blossomed and developed a cult following amongst local wine lovers. From the first vintage in 1999 when Smith made just 330 cases, he’s continued to innovate and experiment with different grapes and winemaking techniques. This creativity and drive is just one reason why he’s been named Winemaker of the Year by Food & Wine and by Wine Enthusiast magazines. This powerful single vineyard Cabernet is from Smith’s Substance range which captures the pure essence of each grape variety and terroir. On the nose there are intense notes of cassis, blackberry, and dark cherry along with enticing hints of woodsmoke, tobacco leaf, and oaky spice. The first sip reveals a punchy full body, firm tannins, and a core of rich dark fruit which lingers on the tongue. Try pairing with hearty red meat dishes like barbecued ribs, tomato-based pasta dishes, or charcuterie.
Red Wine Charles Smith Substance Powerline Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Red Wine Chateau Le Gay Manoir De Gay 2016. Chateau Le Gay is one of the Pomerol appellation’s rising stars thanks to the vision of Catherine Pere-Verge who bought the property for $25 million back in 2002. At the time of purchase the chateau had been underperforming for many years, and one of the Pere-Verge family’s first decisions was to increase their vineyard holdings by planting an extra 3.4 hectares on land not being used for vine growing. In 2014 the property passed to Catherine’s son, Henri Parent, who completely renovated the winemaking facilities to create space for more barrels. This has enabled the chateau to focus on verifying each parcel of vines separately and conducting micro-vinifications to give more control and greater quality in their wines. Manoir de Gay is the estate’s second wine which is produced from their younger Merlot vines, plus a small proportion of Cabernet Franc. The yields are kept very low and the winemakers use micro-vinification to create a perfectly-balanced cuvee which accurately reflects the terroir and the character of the vintage. It’s a remarkably accessible wine even in its youth, with luscious dark fruit notes and smooth tannins, although it can also be kept for at least another decade or so.
Red Wine Chateau Brown 2016. Originally founded back in the late Middle Ages when Aquitaine belonged to the English crown, Chateau Brown is named after its wealthy former owner, the Scottish wine trader John Lewis Brown who moved to Bordeaux in the 18th century. The property endured a tough couple of centuries, falling into disrepair, before it was revived under Bernard Barthe and more recently the Mau family who have been famous Bordeaux wine merchants since 1897. Although previously best known for their white wines, in recent years the chateau has focused their efforts on improving their red wines. Located in Pessac-Léognan, the estate has 29 hectares of vines predominantly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot which form the base of this cuvee, along with a dash of Petit Verdot. The fruit is vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats with ageing in 40% new French oak barrels for 12-16 months depending on the vintage. Chateau Brown tends to be made in a classic Pessac-Léognan style with plenty of power and tannins balanced by some degree of freshness. On the nose there’s plenty of dark cherry and crushed berry notes along with hints of menthol, undergrowth and dried herbs. The first sip reveals a full body, punchy tannins, and a solid structure which would respond well to further cellaring. Drink now with hearty red meat dishes or game like venison and wild boar.