Red Wine D’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2016. D’Arenberg is one of McLaren Vale’s most famous wineries with a reputation for producing intense, deeply-fruited Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate was originally founded in 1912 by Joseph Rowe Osborn, a teetotaller who used to sell his grapes on to local wineries for processing. Remarkably, the chief winemaker today is Joseph’s great-grandson, Chester Osborn, who uses the estate’s collection of very old Shiraz vines planted in the 1880s to create powerful yet approachable wines. This characterful blend is named after the Kookaburra bird which was given the nickname of Laughing Magpie” by Chester’s young daughters. Just as the Kookaburra bird is black in colour with white stripe, this blend combines darkly-fruited Shiraz with a streak of white Viognier. In the winery the varieties are fermented together in open fermenters and then transferred to American and French oak barrels for maturation. The wine is then bottled without any filtering or fining. Cassis, crushed blackberries and dark plums dominate on the nose along with hints of spice, leather and baked earth as well as some more delicate florals and aromatics from the Viognier. On the palate there’s a generous full body, firm tannins and well-defined structure that will respond well to additional cellaring. Serve with roasted red meats, game, tomato-based pasta, or even wintry stews.
Red Wine D’Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2016
Red Wine Domaine du Grand Tinel Cuvee Alexis Establet Chateauneuf Du Pape 2016. Decant 1 hour before serving. Originally founded in the late 1700s under the name Chateauneuf Calcernier, Domaine du Grand Tinel is actually one of the Southern Rhone’s oldest wineries and amongst the first to start bottling their own Chateauneuf du Pape wines in 1906. These days the domaine holds some 56 hectares of vines including some 100-year old Grenache and other plots of old vines which help to produce exceptionally complex and age worthy wines. Their Cuvee Alexis Establet was first produced in 1997 and is only produced during the best vintages. The wine is crafted from 100% old vine Grenache from the revered La Gardiole lieu-dit. Made in a modern style, the young wine is aged in a complex mixture of new French oak barrels, used barrels, and larger casks for up to 18 months. On the nose there are seductive aromas of plums soaked in brandy, figs, and crushed dark berries while the first sip reveals intense flavours of dark cherries, currants and raisins seasoned with hints of dried herbs and baked earth. Full-bodied and well-rounded on the palate, the complexity and intensity of this wine makes it a great contender for extended cellaring or pairing with heavy red meat dishes.
Red Wine Domini Veneti Vigneti di Jago Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016. Decant 1 hour before serving. This dark and handsome Amarone is made by Cantina Valpolicella Negrar which was founded in 1933. Initially formed by seven grape growing families the Cantina now has over 200 members and is a key player on the local wine scene. In fact, the first ever Amarone was bottled here in 1939 and the winery continues to produce benchmark examples using traditional techniques alongside cutting-edge technology and expertise. The Domini Veneti label is only given to their finest wines like this example which is crafted from prime vineyards set on the Jago hills in the traditional heartland of Valpolicella. The principal ingredient is Corvina along with a smaller proportion of Corvinone and Rondinella as well as some other local varieties. The grapes are harvested by hand and are left to dry out on mats for up to 120 days to concentrate the sugars and flavours. They are then vinified at the end of the year and aged in French oak barrels for 24 months followed by another 12 months of ageing in the bottle. The first thing you’ll notice is the inky deep red hue and enticing hints of vanilla, cigar box spice, tobacco and rich dried fruits. On the palate there are ample smooth tannins, a firm structure and a very long finish seasoned with intense dark berry and spiced notes.