Red Wine Michel Rolland Mariflor Merlot 2018. Michel Rolland’s Mariflor wines are made at the Clos de la Siete winery in Mendoza which the famous winemaking consultant founded in collaboration with several other Bordeaux winemakers in the 1980s. Michel fell in love with Argentina after visiting Mendoza many decades ago, and he quickly realised the potential of these high altitude vineyards in the Uco Valley to the south of the city of Mendoza. Clos de la Siete’s vines are planted at some 1100 metres above sea level on excellent stony and gravel soils which drain very well. The vineyards are irrigated by melted snow from the nearby Andes Mountains and the altitude helps moderate temperatures in the hot summers to ensure a long ripening season. These factors help the grapes to achieve full ripeness while also locking in plenty of freshness and delicate aromatics. This bold Merlot is a great example of the Mariflor style with plenty of approachable ripe fruit flavours seasoned with hints of spice, cedar, and toast from the oak barrel ageing. On the nose there’s ample cassis, black plum and dark cherry notes while the first sip reveals a full body, firm tannins and pleasingly long finish with touches of licorice and bitter chocolate.
Red Wine Michel Rolland Mariflor Merlot 2018
Red Wine Dominique Piron Brouilly 2018. Brouilly is the most southerly of the Beaujolais crus and the Gamay-based reds made here tend to be amongst the most fruit-forward and robust of the region, characterised by luscious ripe plum and berry flavours. Dominique Piron’s Brouilly is true to type with notes of dark cherry, blueberry, blackcurrant and kirsch complemented by hints of violets, aniseed and cinnamon. On the palate the entry is silky smooth followed by fine tannins and a vibrant hit of acidity that makes this a very versatile gastronomic wine. Take a trip to France by pairing this elegant bottle with classic local fare like a hearty pot-au-feu beef stew, garlicky sausages or a seared duck breast served with a cherry sauce. With family roots in Beaujolais which date back to 1590, Dominique Piron is currently the 14th generation to make wine on this soil and sees himself as a caretaker for future generations. His Brouilly is made with Gamay grapes sourced from 50 year old vines planted on the cru’s typical granitic soils which help to give a certain elegance and finesse to the wine. He insists on hand harvesting all of his grapes to ensure they arrive at the winery in the best possible condition and the wine is then fermented and macerated over the course of 10 to 12 days.
Red Wine Rocca di Frassinello Ornello 2018. The Ornello takes its name from the distinctive long stick that is traditionally used for driving cattle in Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region. Just like the butteri”, or the local cowboys who have worked on these lands for centuries, this striking wine is the unique product of this terrain and offers an effortless combination of power and elegance that is sure to captivate the drinker. A vibrant cherry red hue and hints of crushed berries, ground coffee, and undergrowth are immediately apparent as you pour the first glass, followed by enticing flavours of kirsch, dried herbs and dark chocolate on the palate. The Ornello has a firm structure and well-defined tannins thanks to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah components of the blend, along with balancing acidity and a rounded mouthfeel due to the influence of the Sangiovese and Merlot. Following the harvest and vinification process, the Ornello is aged in oak barrels for 6 months and then aged in the bottle for a further 5 months until it is deemed ready for release. This adds distinctive notes of sweet spices and vanilla to the wine and makes the Ornello an ideal partner for a generous platter of charcuterie or cheeses.