Red Wine Pasqua Mai Dire Mai Valpolicella Superiore 2013. Three generations of the family have looked after this wine business which was founded in Verona in 1925 by the Pasqua brothers. Today their passion and love for wine drives them to craft both classic styles like this Valpolicella Superiore as well as more modern bottlings which are both exported all over the globe. As is traditional, this sumptuous red is crafted from hand-harvested Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone and Oseleta grapes from the family’s 23 hectare Montevegro vineyard located 350 metres above sea level on top of a hill. After the harvest the fruit is macerated for an extended period on the skins to extract lots of delicious flavours and tannins. The young wine is then aged in 500 and 225 litre French oak barrels for 18 months to add finesse and extra complexity. Seductive and rich notes of blueberries, cassis and morello cherries dominate the nose, while the first sip reveals an attractive core of dark fruit as well as liquorice, woodsmoke, and cigar box spice. The ample tannins and generous full body make this a great partner for red meats, including barbecued ribs, roast lamb, or game dishes.
Red Wine Pasqua Mai Dire Mai Valpolicella Superiore 2013
Red Wine Elio Altare Langhe La Villa 2013. This generous blend of Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes opens with evocative aromas of rose petals, sweet spices, and crushed blackberries which deepen on the palate into rich ripe plum and black cherry flavours. The first sip reveals a powerful full bodied wine with Nebbiolo’s characteristic firm tannins and well-defined structure complemented by a streak of vibrant freshness from the Barbera. The Langhe La Villa spends 18 months ageing in French oak barrels before bottling which contributes attractive hints of cinnamon, cloves, and leather as well as helping to fully integrate the Nebbiolo and Barbera components. The result is a bold yet finely balanced wine which stands up well to hearty red meat dishes and is also suitable for extended cellar ageing. The architect of this classic Piedmontese red is Silvia Altare who took over the running of the estate from her father, Elio Altare, in 2016. The Altare family have been making wines here on the estate for generations ever since the original purchase of the farm in La Morra in 1948. Today the estate focuses on producing the best quality fruit possible by avoiding chemical pesticides and herbicides in the vineyards and using minimal quantities of sulphur.
Red Wine Zlatan Otok Plavac Barrique 2013. Decant 1 hour before serving. Drunk by Dalmatia’s fishermen and farmers for centuries, Plavac Mali is Croatia’s leading black grape variety and is thought to be related to California’s Zinfandel and Italy’s Primitivo varieties. This superb example is crafted by talented winemaker Zlatan Plenkovic from top quality grapes grown on the sunny island of Hvar. Here the warm summers and cooling sea breezes are ideal for producing complex, ageworthy red wines with a bold flavour profile and well-developed tannins. Following vinification the wine is aged in new and used oak barrels for 18 months and then matured in the bottle for 6 months before release. On the nose there are rich ripe plum, black cherry and earthy notes which deepen into spicy dark berry and sweet cinnamon on the palate. The firm structure, bold fruit character and impressively long finish indicate this is a wine which will age gracefully over the next decade or so if kept in cellar conditions. If you don’t have the patience to wait that long, this powerful Plavac Mali is also ideal to serve now alongside hearty and richly-flavoured dishes like beef bourguignon, coq au vin or steak with fries.