Red Wine La Rioja Alta Torre de Ona Martelo Rioja Reserva 2015. Decant 1 hour before serving. La Rioja Alta is focused on expressing the pure terroir of the best sites in Rioja’s Alavesa zone. The project was established in 1995 and has since bolstered its focus by closely studying and subdividing the vineyards based on expression, and then choosing to separately vinify all parcels. In part, this where the brand diverges into a few lines, this one representing the Torre de Ona winery. Great weather in 2015 vintage yielded near perfect conditions for ripening the estate grapes. The exceptional fruit quality lends to long-term aging of this bottle. It presents garnet red with medium-high intensity, aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, plum followed by clove, white pepper, anise and cedar. It has a full mouthfeel though still fresh and bright, and carries a long finish. This bold wine will pair well with anything creamy or fatty to balance its tannice structure. Drink it with unctuous aged cheese, charcoal grilled vegetables and marbled meats or a hearty game stew.
Red Wine La Rioja Alta Torre de Ona Martelo Rioja Reserva 2015
Red Wine La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015. Regarded as one of Rioja’s finest traditional-style producers, La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890 out of a partnership of five local growers who wanted to promote their quality-driven Rioja wines to the wider European market. To that end the winery was headquartered next to the Haro railway station, enabling them to easily export their wines to nearby France and beyond. Today they own 300 hectares of vineyards in top locations spread across Rioja Alta which are farmed organically with a strong focus on quality and tradition. In 1904 La Rioja Alta absorbed Bodegas Ardanza, a pivotal moment which is referenced in this Vina Ardanza Reserva bottling. It’s predominantly composed of Tempranillo sourced from 30 year old vines on the estate’s Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards, along with a small proportion of Garnacha from the La Pedriza vineyard in Tudelilla. The grapes are all harvested manually and fermented spontaneously before the young wine is transferred to American oak barrels for 36 months for the Tempranillo and 30 months for the Garnacha. This lengthy ageing process gives this wine a typical old school Rioja flavour profile with gentle red fruit flavours complemented by toasted oak, sweet spice and plenty of rich vanilla notes. The soft, ripe tannins, medium body, and long finish make this a great match for hearty beef dishes, barbecued ribs, or even earthy game like venison.
Red Wine Livon Eldoro Pignolo 2015. To afford to buy his first vineyards in Italy’s north-eastern Collio region, Dorino Lovin sold lumber and slowly pieced together the estate that is still owned by his family to this day. He also built a state-of-the-art winery that has put Lovin on the map for well-made white wines that showcase both the Collio region’s native varieties as well as international varieties like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The family also produces some remarkably elegant red wines like this unusual example made from the Pignolo variety which is rarely seen outside of Italy. Fruit is sourced from estate vineyards and carefully harvested by hand to ensure it arrives at the winery in optimal condition. The grapes then ferment in temperature-controlled tanks for 15 days followed by 15 months of ageing in oak barrels. As soon as you pour out a glass of this inviting red, you’ll notice the elegant ruby red hue and enchanting notes of cassis, blackberry and black cherry with undertones of spice and toast from the oak. On the palate the tannins are soft and smooth and there’s a solid core of dark fruit which lingers on the tongue. The bold yet refined flavour profile makes this a great match for roasted meats like beef and pork as well as venison and even wild boar.