Red Wine Zuccardi Tito 2014. Zuccardi is one of Argentina’s most respected family wineries thanks to the hard work of José, and his son, Sebastian, who have focused their efforts on producing premium wines from Mendoza’s high altitude Uco Valley. The winery has been around since the 1960s when it was founded by José’s father, Alberto, who actually planted his first vineyard here to show off a new irrigation system rather than to make wine. Today Alberto’s legacy lives on through this wine, Tito, which Sebastian has created in his honour. This sublime cuvee is primarily a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it also contains a small proportion of two rarer grapes, Ancellota and Caladoc. The fruit all comes from Zuccardi’s prized Paraje Altamira vineyard which sits at 1100 metres above sea level and has excellent well-draining alluvial and calcareous soils. The fruit is carefully selected at harvest time and fermented in a combination of barrels and concrete tanks before being left to mature in oak barrels. The result is a characterful and intense red that exudes luscious dark fruit notes of cassis, blackberry and dark plum on the nose along with undertones of tobacco leaf, exotic spice, and dried herbs. On the palate there’s a full body, firm yet smooth tannins, and a well-developed structure which will help this wine age beautifully in the cellar for a few more years.
Red Wine Zuccardi Tito 2014
Red Wine Fasoli Gino Calle Merlot 2015. This magnificent Merlot is carefully crafted by the Fasoli family who have been making wine in this corner of the Illasi valley east of Verona for four generations. Their story began back in 1925 when Amadio Fasoli started a fruit and vegetable farm where he would also make wine to sell to local bars. Today the winery is in the hands of Amadio’s grandsons and his great-grandsons who lovingly work their vines according to biodynamic and organic principles. Calle is the name of the vineyard where the Merlot grapes for this wine are grown and it was the first of the family’s vineyards to be farmed biodynamically. Each year the grapes are carefully harvested by hand and then hung on nets to try for 80 days. This traditional appassimento technique creates a rich and flavoursome wine which is then matured in oak barrels for up to 18 months. Leather, truffle and crushed wild berry aromas captive on the nose, while the palate is velvety smooth with a bold full body and concentrated raisin, liquorice and cherry jam flavours. This characterful wine is an excellent choice to serve alongside hearty dishes like beef bourguignon or fresh pasta served in a rich ragù sauce.
Red Wine Inama Oratorio San Lorenzo 2015. Decanting time: 2 hours. Almost opaque, carmine red in color carrying an inky intensity. Full, concentrated nose of wild berries, and the fruit is supported by deep aromas of black pepper and cocoa. The expressive palate commands attention and offers exceptional balance, with harmonious, silky tannins and soft, spicy undertones. A sophisticated, elegant wine framed with authoritative, deeply packed flavors of ripe cherry, blackberry and plum jam delivering a fulsome mouthfeel with its plush, well-structured palate. This wine delivers plenty of drive, leading to a round finish that extends to an unusual and surprising generous length, which unearth cedar and berry nuances. This wine is well-balanced and carries boldly through to a full, expressive finish. Part of the DOC Colli Berici since 2009, the laborious Carmenere grape is cultivated in the relatively mild climate of the south of Vicenza in limestone topped with red soil providing naturally dense concentrations of iron oxide. Its historical mislabelling as a Cabernet Franc, despite its ancient roots in this region, is part of why the Colli Berici is often renowned as one of the best places in the world to grow the prodigal Carmenere. The Riserva is made of handpicked grapes from the older half of the 12 hectares of San Germano dei Berici Carmenere vines. Matured for 18 months in 50% new and 50% one year old French oak barriques. Serve with pork, hard cheeses, salami and polenta.