Red Wine Pasetti Harimann Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012. Decant 4 hours before serving. Harimann is the Pasetti family’s top wine and a benchmark expression of the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grape variety. The grapes are typically harvested in November when they have reached optimum maturity from vineyards set at the foot of the mighty Gran Sasso massif in the Apennines mountains. The vines are planted at an altitude of 550 metres and benefit from the strong mountain winds and cool nights which help to preserve freshness and create a complex flavour profile. In the winery the must is vinified in stainless steel tanks where it is kept for 12 months followed by up to 36 months in new oak barrels. The wine is finally released after another 18 months of maturation in the bottle. This extensive ageing process helps to produce a rich and powerful wine with a very long finish and layers of flavours which evolve and change in the glass. The nose opens with hints of black cherry, leather and caramel which deepen on the palate into heady cherry liqueur, plums and cassis along with notes of coffee, cocoa, licorice and smoky tobacco. This mature wine is ideal to enjoy now along with hearty red meat dishes or can be cellared for another decade or so.
Red Wine Pasetti Harimann Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012
Red Wine Mouchao Tinto 2012. Decant 1 hour before serving. This charming red is the flagship wine of Herdade do Mouchao, a historic Alentejo winery that produces some of the region’s finest wines from the popular local Alicante Bouschet grape. The story of Herdade do Mouchao began back in the 19th century when Thomas Reynolds moved to the region to work in the cork industry. It was his grandson, John Reynolds, who later purchased the estate and decided to start making wine from some of its 900 hectares of land. In 1974 the estate was confiscated by the military junta ruling Portugal at the time, and it was only in 1985 that the Reynolds family were able to regain control of their property. Today they have around 38 hectares of vineyards which are predominantly planted to Alicante Bouschet along with Aragonés, Trincaderia and Moreto, Touriga Nacional and Syrah. Their top bottling is composed of Alicante Bouschet along with a dash of Trincadeira. Once harvested the grapes are trodden by foot in large lagares or stone troughs in keeping with traditional local winemaking practices. The young wine is then aged in huge 5000 litre casks for 24 months followed by another 24-36 months of ageing in the bottle. This lengthy and complex process produces a rich yet elegant red wine which is bursting with cassis, dark cherry, plum and eucalyptus and black pepper notes. A great wine to keep in the cellar for a few more years or enjoy now alongside hearty red meat dishes.
Red Wine Sassetti Livio Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012. Decant 2 hour before serving. The Sassetti family have been making wine from some of Montalcino’s top vineyards for over a century, and winemaker Livio was actually one of the founding members of the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino. Today the family estate is run by Livio’s son Lorennzo and his wife Sabina who continue the Sassetti legacy of making stunning Brunellos which showcase the beauty of their land. Their 16 hectares of vines are located to the north of Montalcino on the Montosoli hill which has a reputation for being one of the appellation’s finest terroirs for Sangiovese. This is their iconic Brunello Riserva which is made from the estate’s finest fruit each year. The grapes are carefully harvested by hand and gently crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then left to mature in traditional 33 hectolitre Slavonian oak casks for 48 months, followed by another 6 months in the bottle before release. This lengthy ageing period helps craft a polished and remarkably complex Brunello, with notes of ripe cherries and berries mingling on the nose with hints of woodsmoke, spice, and leather. On the palate the firm tannins and well-developed structure are nicely balanced by ripe dark fruit flavours and a long finish seasoned with toast and oak. A magnificent Brunello to cellar for a couple more decades or enjoy now alongside hearty beef or game dishes.