Red Wine Cycles Gladiator Zinfandel 2018. Cellar for up to 3 years This lush and juicy wine is California Zin at its finest: deeply colored, with aromas of black cherry preserves, cedar, and baking spices, followed by a rich palate that tastes of blackberry jam and dark chocolate, with a smoky undertone. Velvety tannins and a prolonged bead of acidity lend this wine character and a longer-than-expected finish. Zinfandel is the ultimate barbecue pairing wine: fruity, rich, and velvety, this wine begs for smoked ribs, grilled steak, pulled pork sandwiches, or even a juicy portabello mushroom burger. The Cycles Gladiator Zinfandel is 88% Zinfandel, and 12% Petite Syrah; this common blend derives its fruity, jam-like nature from the Zinfandel, and the structural backbone and smoky flavors from the Petite Syrah. The Lodi region in Central California, where this wine hails from, is the perfect climate for Zinfandel and Petite Syrah: hot and dry, with cooling night winds preserving acidity. Being a full bodied and round wine, Zinfandel needs time in barrel to tame its wealth of tannins, and the winemaker for Cycles Gladiator ages this Zinfandel for 17 months in one year old and neutral American Oak barrels. Not only does this help to smooth out the wine’s tannins, but it also adds a hint of smokiness and baking spices – classic elements of a traditional California Zinfandel.
Red Wine Cycles Gladiator Zinfandel 2018
Red Wine Mettler Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. The Mettler family have been grape growers in California’s Lodi Valley since the late 1800s and today every aspect of the winemaking process is in the capable hands of the family. The Mettlers insist on farming organically and in the most sustainable way to ensure the land is preserved in perfect condition for the future generations of the family who will take care of this beautiful property. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a generous, full-bodied red wine which combines rich dark fruit flavours courtesy of Lodi’s warm climate with an Old World elegance and finesse. On the nose there are inviting notes of cassis, black cherries, and dark plums while the first sip reveals black pepper, baking spice and blackcurrant notes. The prestigious review magazine Wine Enthusiast recognised the quality and exceptional value of this delicious wine, awarding the 2014 vintage an impressive 92 points. The power and concentration of this classic Californian Cabernet make it a wonderful match for red meats including a prime steak, beef bourguignon, or smoky barbecued ribs. The well-developed structure will help this wine develop gracefully if cellared over the next five or so years.
Red Wine Zuccardi Emma Bonarda 2018. The Zuccardi family winery has an origin story quite unlike any other. Alberto Zuccardi planted his very first vineyard in Mendoza in 1963 as a test site for a new irrigation system which was popular at the time in California. Despite his lack of winemaking knowledge or experience, Alberto became fascinated by the world of wine and five years later he broke ground on the family’s winery on the same spot. Today the winery is still in the hands of the Zuccardi family, with Alberto’s son José and grandson Sebastian at the helm. Over the years the family have moved from making large scale production wines which they sold on to bottling plants to premium wines from their prized high altitude vineyards in Mendoza’s Uco Valley. Winemaker Sebastian has created this unique cuvee in honour of his grandmother, Emma, from the Bonarda grape which has special significance for the family since Alberto was one of the first to plant it in Argentina. Sebastian sources the grapes from their prized Paraje Altamira and San Pablo vineyards which sit at 1100-1400 metres above sea level. To preserve the natural character of the fruit it is fermented spontaneously using wild yeasts and aged in concrete tanks. Bursting with ripe mulberries, cherries and delicate raspberries, this is a versatile medium-bodied wine ideal to pair with a great variety of dishes ranging from charcuterie and tomato-based pastas to herby roast lamb, duck, and even game.