Red Wine Nicolis Recioto della Valpolicella 2017. Serve lightly chilled. Valpolicella literally means the Valley of Cellars” and the region is famous for its exceptional red wines made from local indigenous grape varieties. The Nicolis family have been making wine here on their estate since 1951. Brothers Giancarlo and Giuseppe inherited the Nicolis estate from their father Angelo and currently work 40 hectares of vines including 15 hectares of the oldest and best-placed sites in the region. The Nicolis family’s Recioto Della Valpolicella is created using traditional techniques which transform the ripe Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes into a rich and complex wine. Top quality grapes are carefully selected and left to dry out over the winter, concentrating the sugar content and flavour compounds. The raisined grapes are then fermented until an acceptable alcohol level has been reached, leaving a high sugar content in the finished wine. The result is a luscious dessert wine with a full body and seductive flavours of ripe cherries, figs, dark chocolate, and vanilla. Thanks to the high sugar content, this is the partner for desserts like chocolate fondants, sticky toffee pudding, and panettone. It can also be served slightly chilled as a fun alternative to dessert.
Red Wine Nicolis Recioto della Valpolicella 2017
Red Wine Dominique Piron Chenas Quartz 2017. For 14 generations Dominique Piron’s family has been making wine in the cru of Morgon in the Beaujolais wine region of France. Amazingly, Dominique can trace his roots back in Morgon to a certain Etienne Bailly who was born in 1590. This legacy of nearly four centuries of growing grapes and making wine on this exceptional land has given Dominique an intuitive knowledge of how to craft remarkable wines which bear his own unique stamp. Dominique’s Chenas Quartz is made with Gamay grapes sourced from his family’s 9 hectares of 60 year old vines in the smallest Beaujolais cru of Chenas. Thanks to the warm, long summers and the granitic soils which are studded with quartz, the wines of Chenas rank amongst Beaujolais’ most powerful and they are known for their ageability. Dominique harvests the grapes for the Chenas Quartz at optimal maturity and the first step is a short semi-carbonic maceration to emphasise the fruity character of the wine. The grape must is then fermented for 18 to 20 days and then 30% of the wine spends a few months ageing in oak barrels to add a touch of finesse and smooth roundness to the finished wine. This creates a well-balanced wine with luscious aromas and flavours of ripe cherries, hints of minerality and floral nuances of violets and lilacs. Thanks to the ripe tannins and firm structure, this is a great bottle to pair with hearty meat stews or even Peking duck.
Red Wine Clai Ottocento Crno 2017. Located just 40km from the Italian border in Istria, the Clai estate has been in the hands of the same family for generations. With just 8 hectares of vineyards, winemaker Giorgio Clai runs this boutique winery with a focus on producing high quality wines without sacrificing the natural ecosystem that makes viticulture possible. The family uses organic fertilizer, avoids use of chemical treatments on the vines, and work only with wild yeasts which are naturally found on the skins of the grapes. Clai’s red blend Crno is a characterful combination of two international grape varieties, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with Refosco which is indigenous to Croatia. This ancient grape is found in different guises across Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy and western Slovenia. The Refosco makes its presence known in the blend with the sumptuous deep red colour, refreshing acidity levels which give poise and balance and distinctive violet and dark pepper notes. Modest quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon add firm tannins, a full body and rich dark berry flavours and aromas, while the Merlot helps to give a well-rounded texture and velvety smooth mouthfeel. To fully integrate these three components Giorgio matures the wine in large wooden casks until he feels it is ready for release.