Red Wine Chateau Maucoil Chateauneuf du Pape l’Esprit de Maucoil 2015. Decant 1 hour before serving. In the ancient Roman period Julius Caesar created a base for his army on the present-day site of Chateau Maucoil, and in 1624 the property was inherited by Joseph de la Pise who first began to make wine here. Today it is owned by the Arnaud family who are passionate about sustainable and organic agricultural practices including low impact methods like ploughing and furrowing to manage the soils. L’Esprit de Maucoil is one of their top cuvees which is only produced during the finest vintages. Fruit is hand harvested from the chateau’s oldest vines with an average age of 70 years which include a mixture of the 13 varieties permitted in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation. After vinification the young wine goes into oak barrels for 12-18 months depending on the vintage. The final step is to age the wine for a few more years in the bottle before release. Fragrant notes of kirsch, cassis, ripe plum and dried violets immediately burst out of the glass, while the first sip reveals a punchy full body, firm tannins, and a solid core of dark fruit. The solid flavour profile means this is a great match for hearty dishes like beef stews, venison, or roasted meats. It’s also ideal to keep in the cellar for a few more years where it will continue to develop and evolve.
Red Wine Chateau Maucoil Chateauneuf du Pape l’Esprit de Maucoil 2015
Red Wine Idiom Cape Blend 2015. No need to decant it, but best to open it half an hour before service. The collection known as Idiom represents the highest point of the wines produced by the Bottega Family, one of the most awarded wineries in all of South Africa. This is an almost tailor-made project that originates in the most suitable vineyards of the company, in the southern area of the wine region of Stellenbosch, on the great False Bay, and which continues in the cellar with obsessive attention to detail. The varieties are among the most famous in the world: from Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon to Sangiovese and Viogner. The result is rich, elegant and almost opulent wines, structured and defined, always characterized by great balance. Idiom’s famous Cape Blend” owes its name to the presence, in blends, of a significant percentage of the most famous of South African vines, Pinotage. A maturation of over a year in new barriques leads to a rich and velvety wine which, also thanks to the presence of Merlot, is characterized by very fruity, soft and enveloping notes. The wine has a dark ruby red color. On the nose, it reveals a particularly fruity aromatic profile, with scents of cherry and currant jam, and chocolate notes. Hints of caramel and tobacco open to a soft, deep, long, and velvety taste. The tannins are round and the finish is pleasant and persistent, with evident hints of small red fruits returning. It goes well with grilled red meat or lamb.
Red Wine La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva Vina Arana 2015. Decant 1 hour before serving. La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890 by five local families including the Aranas, Ardanzas and the Alberdis whose names still feature on many of the winery’s most celebrated cuvees. The families headquartered their new winery right by the train station in Haro, enabling them to start exporting significant quantities of their quality-driven wines to France and beyond. Their Vina Alberdi Gran Reserva is crafted almost exclusively from Tempranillo grapes from the estate’s Las Cuevas, El Palo and Las Monjas vineyards along with a tiny drop of Graciano from their Montecillo estate. The grapes are all carefully harvested in small boxes and fermented in tanks over a lengthy period. The young wine is then aged in American oak barrels which La Rioja Alta makes in their own cooperage for three years.