Red Wine Istine Levigne Chianti Classico Riserva 2016. Angela Fronti, owner, and winemaker, crafts her beauty works on small Istine wineries sitting on 20 hectares in the Chianti Classico area. With a bold yet humble personality, she opted to venture into wine production, a different field from what her entire family was used to. This red wine has managed to get a couple of accolades in competitive events. The most memorable ones are the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2012 and 2013. Lately, she has expanded her market to Chicago, a clear vindication of the commencement of something special right before our eyes. The structure of Istine Le Vigne Chianti Classico Riserva is pure and smooth. While the linger is taut and crisp, it shows light and classy flavors of blackberry, cherry, flowery, earthy, and sagebrush, which are subtle to the palate. The Le Vigne Sangiovese grapes give this wine a wide variety of aromas. They are carefully sourced from the organic Istine vineyards. Vinification of grapes takes place in separate barrels for up to one year, after which they are put together to continue aging in oak vats. The fermentation process occurs in concrete tanks for roughly 15 days under 25 degrees. The skins need to be soaked for approximately 21 days. Exceptional when paired with lamb, beef, poultry, and veal.
Red Wine Istine Levigne Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
Red Wine Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2016. The historic Kunde estate was first planted with vines in 1879 by the then-owner John Drummond who actually brought in prized cuttings from the prestigious Bordeaux estates of Chateau Margaux and Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. In 1904 the property was purchased by German emigrant Louis Kunde, and five generations later it’s remarkably still in the hands of the same family. Although Kunde has had it’s ups and downs, including World War II when two of the Kunde sons were drafted up to fight and the winery had to close, today it’s stronger than ever thanks to the family’s deep commitment to sustainability and preserving the land for future generations. Their estate-grown Zinfandel is a great example of their house style and is made from grapes grown on Sonoma hillsides, ensuring luscious fruit flavours balanced by plenty of freshness and a distinctive aromatic black pepper spice. Cassis, blackberry, and dark cherry dominate on the nose, while the first sip reveals a punchy full body, firm tannins, and a luscious dark fruit core that lingers on the finish. Although capable of ageing for a few more years, this Zinfandel is very approachable right now and is best enjoyed with rich dishes like beef stews, braised ribs, or a prime ribeye steak.
Red Wine Kunde Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. This powerful Cabernet is the handiwork of the Kunde family who have been farming their 1850 acre estate in Sonoma for five generations. Founder Louis Kunde settled here after emigrating from his native Germany and bought the Wildwood Vineyards ranch in 1904. The first vines had already been planted here in 1879 by John Drummond who imported cuttings from Chateau Margaux and Lafite-Rothschild. Despite being forced to close during World War II when two of the Kunde sons were drafted up to fight, the winery has gone from strength to strength over the last few decades. It is still run by the original family who are preserving the estate for future generations by pursuing both innovation and a deep commitment to sustainability. The fruit for this Cabernet comes from vines grown on the typical red volcanic soils which characterise the local terroir, and its left to hang on the vines until October to give an intense flavour profile. On the nose there’s a rich medley of blackberry, cassis and winter spice with firm tannins and plenty of luscious wild berry notes on the palate. A great wine to keep in the cellar for a few more years or enjoy now with hearty game or beef dishes.