Red Wine Craggy Range Sophia 2016. Set right under the impressive Te Mata mountain peak, Craggy Range is one of New Zealand’s top boutique wineries. This refined New Zealand red is named Sophia” after the ancient Greek personification of wisdom, paying tribute to the unique blend of knowledge, experience and understanding required to create a truly exceptional wine. Primarily composed of Merlot along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and a drop of Petit Verdot, this cuvee is made with fruit from the Gimblett Gravels area which is carefully blended to capture the distinctive character of the local terroir. Once in the winery the grapes are vinified separately by individual batch with ageing in French oak barrels for 19 months. The final blend is created by the master winemaker and the wine is allowed to rest and mature in the bottle before it is deemed ready for release. This helps to create a richly aromatic red bursting with cassis, blackberry, cocoa and winter spice on a backbone of firm tannins and a well-developed structure. The elegant yet powerful flavour profile and long finish make this a great gastronomic wine, ideal for pairing with hearty beef stews, steak, or rich vegetarian dishes like moussaka.
Red Wine Craggy Range Sophia 2016
Red Wine Cullen Diana Madeline 2016. This punchy Bordeaux-style blend is named after Diana Cullen who, together with her husband Kevin, is regarded as one of Margaret River’s most important pioneering winemakers. The couple founded Cullen Wines in 1971 and were the first to experiment with planting Cabernet Sauvignon in Wilyabrup. Today the estate is run by the couple’s daughter, Vanya, who in 2019 was named Winemaker of the Year” by the Australian Women in Wine Awards and Halliday Wine Companion Awards. In recent years the estate has converted to biodynamic agriculture to produce the very best fruit possible. This red is composed of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon along with a dash of Merlot and Petit Verdot planted on granite and gravel soils. The Cabernet vines used in this bottling were planted in 1971 and produce very concentrated grapes with plenty of firm tannins and deep flavours. The grapes are harvested by hand and fermented using wild yeasts with maturation in French oak barrels for 14 months. On the nose there are all the classic Wilyabrup Cabernet notes of dark chocolate, dried violets and baked earth layered with cassis and dark cherries. The robust full body and well-built structure makes this a great match for red meats and it will also age gracefully in the cellar over the next decade or so.
Red Wine D’Arenberg The Coppermine Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. The famed d’Arenberg winery in Australia’s McLaren Vale was founded in 1912 by Joseph Rowe Osborn who was actually a teetotaller, selling his fruit on to local wineries rather than vinifying it himself. The estate is best known for its precious old Shiraz vines which were planted back in the 1880s and have been tended by the Osborn family for four generations. The chief winemaker today is Chester Osborn, Joseph’s great-grandson, who has made it his mission to produce top quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz from their prime vineyards. This big and beautiful Aussie Cabernet is named after the Coppermine Road which runs parallel to the estate’s top Cabernet vineyard. This parcel is planted with an almost extinct clone of Cabernet, and yields of these old vines are kept very low, rarely exceeding one tonne per acre. Each plot is harvested and vinified separately in open fermenters, with workers treading the grapes by foot part way through the fermentation. The young wine is then aged in oak barrels and bottled without any fining or filtering. This exacting approach winemaking helps produce an elegant yet well-structured red which is bursting with luscious dark fruit, firm tannins, and hints of cedar, violets and mint which linger on the tongue. The power and opulence of this Cabernet make it a great wine to pair with venison, a prime ribeye steak, or even barbecued ribs.