Red Wine Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. Decant 2 hours before serving. The historic Mayacamas winery was built in 1889 by German immigrant and pickle merchant JH Fisher, but was soon abandoned from the time of the 1906 earthquake up until 1941. After passing through several owners, today it’s owned by the Schottenstein family who brought in legendary Napa winemaker Andy Erickson to help elevate its wines to their current complex and compelling house style. Cabernet Sauvignon was first planted on the estate in the 1940s, although fruit for this bottling comes from select vineyards in the Mount Veeder appellation. These are mostly 20-30 year old organically-farmed hillside vineyards which benefit from a cool mountain climate and some of Napa’s lowest yields. The poor soils and tough conditions ensure grapes keep lots of natural freshness and elegant fruit with delicate minerality. Once in the winery the fruit is fermented in a combination of concrete tanks, open-top foudres and stainless steel tanks to add yet more complexity to the finished wine. The young wine then ages in large foudres for 20 months followed by 12 months in smaller neutral barriques. The final maturation happens in the bottle for an additional 12 months. The extensive ageing and excellent terroir help create a powerful yet elegant wine that’s bursting with exotic notes of figs, cacao, sandalwood and polished leather as well as luscious dark fruit. The firm tannins and intense personality of this blockbuster red will respond well to a decade or so in the cellar, although it can be enjoyed now alongside hearty red meat dishes.
Red Wine Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Red Wine Michel Rolland Mariflor Malbec 2015. Renowned for his work as a flying winemaker” consulting with top wineries across the world, Michel Rolland also owns three estates in Argentina. Rolland’s love affair with the land of tango began in the late 1980s when he was invited to meet with the Etcharts whose family winery was located in northern Argentina. It wasn’t long before Rolland also founded a winery in Mendoza where his classic Mariflor Malbecs are now made. Grapes for the Mariflor Malbec are sourced from the highest estate vineyards on the Clos de los Siete property in Vista Flores which sit at 1100 metres above sea level. Conditions here are ideal for making robust and rich red wines thanks to the plentiful sunshine and large temperature difference between the day and night. This helps the grapes to ripen fully while preserving freshness and aromatics in the wine. The grapes are carefully harvested by hand in small boxes in the early morning and then sorted on arrival at the winery to maintain quality. They are then fermented in concrete tanks and the young wine ages in French oak barrels for 15 months before bottling. The result is an exuberant, fruit-forward Malbec that’s bursting with ripe cassis, plum and blackberry along with hints of cigar box spice, vanilla and dried violets.
Red Wine Mildiani Qvevri Bouquet Saperavi 2015. It is recommended to decant it for half an hour. Founded by 4 brothers in 1991, the Mildiani winery is located in the Alazani river valley, in the Georgian wine region of Kakheti, and it’s recognized as one of the most remarkable ones in the country, thanks to its production of excellent quality wines which have obtained numerous international awards. The company owns about 100 hectares of vineyards planted with local and international varieties. In the cellar, the use of modern technologies guarantees great quality. This wine is made through the Qvevri method, a traditional practice of Georgian wine production, used for centuries and handed down from generation to generation. It consists of maceration, fermentation, and maturation of the wine in giant underground terracotta amphorae. This particular process creates wines of great complexity and depth, both among whites and reds. Made with the indigenous Saperavi grape, this wine displays a deep red color with a brick edge. On the nose, the wine is rich and complex, with evident aromas of dark sweet cherry, blueberry, and dried plum, followed by a spicy hint, and some notes of tobacco and black pepper. In the mouth, the wine is round and well developed with abundant tannins and marked acidity. It goes perfectly with vegetarian dishes of the Georgian culinary tradition, but also with grilled meat and spiced lamb.