Red Wine Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2018. Rippon Vineyard boasts some of New Zealand’s most beautiful vineyard scenery as well as a fascinating origin story. It’s named after Emma Ripon who left behind her native England for a new life in Australia in the 1850s. Several generations later, the family moved to remote Wanaka where they founded a farm. In the 1970s Rolfe Mills was inspired by a trip to Portugal’s Douro Valley to plant some of the first vines in the region, experimenting with a few rows on a steep slope above the family house. Rolfe’s pioneering efforts have been continued by his son Nick who also happens to be a former Olympic ski champion. Nick worked at many of Burgundy’s top domaines including Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti before returning home to head up winemaking at Rippon. Today the family have 15 hectares of vines predominantly planted to Pinot Noir and Riesling which are farmed organically and biodynamically. This charismatic Pinot is crafted from mature vines planted on coarse gravel and schist which helps craft a powerful yet elegant flavour profile. On the nose there are dense layers of baked plums, cherries, blackcurrants and earthy notes while the palate offers ample red fruit notes along with hints of graphite and spice. Cellar for a few more years or enjoy now with classic Pinot Noir pairings like roast duck, rich casseroles, or game dishes.
Red Wine Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2018
Red Wine Rizzardi Clos Roareti Verona Merlot 2018. This single vineyard Merlot is made with grapes from the charming century-old walled vineyard of Rovereti in the Negrar subregion of Valpolicella. Only made in the very best vintages, the Clos Roareti gains its opulent character from the warm microclimate and pebbly clay soils which are ideally suited to the Merlot grape. Following the harvest this limited production wine is fermented in temperature-controlled tanks for 10 days. The wine is then matured in oak barrels which are 33% new for a period of 24 months to add extra complexity and a delicious sweet spice character to the Merlot. On the nose you’ll immediately notice the classic Merlot character of soft ripe berries and toasty hints from the oak. The first sip reveals a generous full body, velvety mouthfeel and rich blackberry jam flavours carefully balanced by a touch of freshness. Thanks to the firm structure, extended maturation in oak and intense flavour profile, this fine Merlot is an excellent candidate for cellar ageing. If stored in good conditions, it should continue to develop and evolve over the next decade or so. It is also ideal to drink now alongside a prime steak, wild boar or fillet of venison.
Red Wine Rizzi Barbaresco 2018. Ernesto Dellapiana’s family have owned this estate since the 19th century, but it was only in 1974 that he decided to leave behind his city career to found his own winery here. The property takes its name from the famous Rizzi cru which is overlooked by the historic farmhouse. Over the years Ernesto has added additional vineyards to the estate and also reclaimed a long-lost former family property named Cascina Boito in 1984. In total the estate has some 40 hectares of vines grown at 200 to 430 metres above altitude which are mostly planted to Nebbiolo as well as other classic local varieties like Barbera d’Alba. This is their classic Barbaresco which was first produced way back in 1974 when the winery first opened. It’s made with fruit from the Rizzi cru, a large vineyard that offers a great variety of soils and altitudes. The young wine ages for 12 months in large oak barrels as is traditional for the region, followed by another 6-9 months in concrete vats. Bright red cherry and wild berries dominate on the nose along with hints of dried herbs and undergrowth. The palate shows a medium body with firm tannins and a long finish seasoned with spice from the oak and persistent fruit notes. A great partner for tomato-based pasta dishes, charcuterie and grilled red meats.