Red Wine Leviathan Red 2018. Decant 1 hour before serving. Leviathan was founded by Annie Favia and Andy Erickson in 2004 out of a vision to express the authentic beauty of California’s diverse terroirs. Together the duo have more than 35 years of experience in both the vineyard and the cellar, working at many of Napa’s top wineries like Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle. Leviathan has offered Erickson and his viticulturist wife Annie the opportunity to create their very own wine free from the limitations imposed by Napa’s big, famous names. The blend typically includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot. Fruit is sourced from a variety of terroirs which varies according to the vintage, including Coombsville, Moon Mountain, Carneros, and the Sierra Foothills. Boysenberry, black cherry and ripe plum notes immediately jump out of the glass, along with more delicate notes of cocoa, nutmeg and cigar box spice. On the palate there’s a big full body, grippy tannins and enchanting earthy notes of bay, sage and cedar which remind of the rocky northern California hills where this magnificent wine begins its life. The long finish, bold fruit flavours and well-built structure make this a great wine to cellar for another decade or so, although it can also be enjoyed now with hearty red meat dishes.
Red Wine Leviathan Red 2018
Red Wine Lismore Syrah 2018. California winemaker Samantha O’Keefe moved to South Africa in 2000 and soon fell in love with a 300-hectare ranch called Riviersonderend which she has transformed into one of the region’s finest wineries. In 2018 she was invited to join the prestigious Cape Winemaker’s Guild in 2018, making her only the sixth female winemaker to achieve this honour. The property is located in Greyton, a sub-region of Overberg which is forging a reputation for excellent cool climate wines. Lismore’s vineyards are planted on the foothills of the Riviersonderend Mountains where the combination of elevation and the cool climate ensure the ripening season is much longer, usually by 3-4 weeks, than the rest of the Western Cape. This masterful Syrah is a great introduction to the Lismore style, and has previously been called consistently one of South Africa’s best expressions of the grape” by renowned wine critic Tim Atkin. 30% of the fruit comes from Greyton vineyards planted on schist soils without irrigation, while the remaining 70% is from Elgin where the vines sit on sandstone and shale. Around half is fermented in whole bunches in small open vats and the remainder is destemmed and fermented in a 5000 litre wooden vat. The young wine is then left to mature in a 3000 litre oak cask for 9 months. This use of large neutral oak vessels helps showcase the natural cassis, blackberry and cherry notes and fine tannins while adding delicate hints of spice and white pepper.
Red Wine Long Shadows Feather Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Long Shadows is the brainchild of Allen Shoup, the visionary man who built Chateau Ste. Michelle into a household name across the globe. His idea was to celebrate the exceptional winemakers he had already worked with at Chateau Ste. Michelle and continue their collaboration into a bold new project. Together they are working to put Washington State on the map for world-class fine wines. Long Shadows is based in the Columbia Valley which is one of the youngest top wine regions in the world. The terroir here is shaped by the ocean, mountains, and ancient floods which create ideal conditions for premium winemaking. Of particular note are the long sunny days during the summer and cooler nights which help the grapes achieve ripeness without loss of freshness or delicate aromatics. The grapes are harvested by hand and then fermented in small stainless steel tanks with the cap pumped over to extract even more colour and intense flavours. After fermenation is complete the wine is then aged in 90% new French oak barrels for 22 months. This high proportion of new oak adds hints of spice and tobacco leaf to the rich dark cherry, blackberry and plum core. A great addition to the cellar or partner for hearty red meat dishes.