Red Wine Clos de Gat Ayalon Valley 2015. Decant 1 hour before serving. Eyal Rotem founded Clos de Gat in 1998 in partnership with Maison Sichel, a negociant house based in Bordeaux. Over the intervening years he has succeeded in creating one of Israel’s most successful boutique wineries with some 19 hectares of vineyards planted with international varieties. To showcase the local terroir and natural beauty of the grapes Rotem practices minimal intervention in the winery and harvests his grapes by hand. Crafted predominantly from Cabernet Sauvignon with a smaller proportion of Merlot, this is the flagship wine of the Clos de Gat collection. The grapes are rigorously sorted and then fermented in open tanks using wild yeasts found naturally in the winery and on the skins of the grapes. The young wine is then aged in oak barrels Rotem imports directly from France for 18 months and bottled without fining or filtering. On the nose there are enticing aromas of cassis, ripe plum and crushed dark berries while the first sip reveals a powerful flavour profile with dark fruit and hints of sweet spice, leather and woodsmoke from the maturation in oak. The firm tannins and full body make this a great contender for additional cellaring over the next decade or so.
Red Wine Clos de Gat Ayalon Valley 2015
Red Wine Domaine Billard-Gonnet Pommard Premier Cru Chaponnieres Vieilles Vignes 2015. Decant 1 hour before serving. Venerable Burgundy producer Domaine Billard-Gonnet was founded way back in 1766 and has remained in the same family down the generations. As well as their excellent Pommard village vineyards, they also have plots in eight premier crus which they have pieced together over the centuries. Today the domaine is run by Philippe Billard who continues to vinify and age his wines in the traditional way. This old vines Premier Cru comes from the family’s Chaponnieres vineyard. Pommard is known for its punchy and tannic red Burgundy, and this example masterfully combines a robust structure with more delicate aromatics. Once in the winery the fruit is fermented in open oak vats which are carefully temperature-regulated. The young wine then ages in small oak barrels for at least 18 months before bottling. Bright berry red in colour, this opulent Pommard is bursting with notes of luscious red berries, cassis, and hints of smoked meat and spice. On the palate there’s a generous full body, smooth tannins, and a solid core of ripe fruit that lingers on the palate. A magnificent wine to enjoy with roast duck, or earthy game dishes and mushroom risottos.
Red Wine Escarpment Pinot Noir 2015. Established in 1999 in New Zealand’s Martinborough region, Escarpment winery is famous for the high quality of its Pinot Noir wines, and in particular for its flagship wine Kupe, widely regarded as a benchmark for that variety in New Zealand. The company also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and Riesling. The vineyards extend over 24 hectares east of Martinborough village on gravelly soils typical of the Martinborough Terrace, an alluvial gravel plateau. The company obtained organic certification for its vineyards in 2019. Winemaker Larry McKenna, nicknamed Prince of Pinot Noir is considered one of the pioneers in the Martinborough region. The Escarpment Pinot Noir is the winery’s entry level wine, but it has all the characteristics of an exceptional Pinot Noir. It is full-bodied, powerful but mineral, complex, and harmonious. The nose reveals intense aromas of cherries and plums, accompanied by sweet spices such as cinnamon, anise and ginger with some earthy nuances. This complexity is also evident on the palate which is fruity and mineral, with woody notes of cedar and tobacco. It is a soft wine, with surprising character and purity, ready to drink now and to pair with game, beef bourguignon, or beef fillet with porcini mushrooms.