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Agricola Punica Barrua 2015
Ideally drink until 2028.
Decanting time: 1 hour.
Vivid, deep ruby red in color. This hearty, full-bodied wine from a new Sardinian vineyard delivers a complex, intense if still young nose of ripe red fruits, dry herb with smoky hints of licorice and myrtle. Full, harmonious mouthfeel opening to reveal elegant chocolate and cassis flavors which follow a consistent line, exposing balanced, juicy tannins that extend through to a long, nutty finish underscored by subtle notes of caramel. Muted oak flavor displays the vintner’s success at producing a wine that is enjoyable both young and mature. Very sophisticated, yet extremely drinkable with a lasting impression of its soft, dark and balanced craftsmanship. Aged in 30% new French oak barriques for 18 months. Deliberate, expert workmanship underscore this vintage, which can be enjoyed on its own or paired with stews, lamb or game.
An ambitious offering by winemaker Sebastiano Rosa, this wine benefits from the proximity to the ocean for its cool breezes to moderate the hot, southwestern dry summers. The vintage is made from 85% Carignano, 10% Cabernet and 5% Merlot, cultivated in the blended calcareous, clay and sandy soil of the winemaker’s old Narcao and Barrua vineyards. The reliably low acidity of the Carignano grape cultivated in the Sulcis region lends to a distinct, refined smoothness.
Mario Giribaldi Barolo 2014
Azienda Agricola Mario Giribaldi was founded in 1886 by Giovanni Giribaldi and still remains in the hands of the same family three generations later. In 2001 the estate was converted to organic agriculture, achieving certification in 2004, and in 1999 a brand-new winery was built with state-of-the-art equipment. This has allowed the estate to blossom into an exceptional small producer with a clear focus on sustainability and quality. The family now work some 30 hectares of vines across the Langhe region.
Their top wine is their Barolo DOCG which is made in a classic, powerful style with ample ripe fruit character as well as spicy hints from the oak. The grapes are sourced from the Ravera and Cerviano Merli crus where the vineyards sit at 350-400 metres of altitude. After being vinified in stainless steel tanks the young wine is then matured in French oak barrels for 2 years.
On the nose there are intense hints of dark chocolate, ripe berries, and dried herbs while the first sip shows off a generous full body, firm tannins and well-developed structure. The intense dark fruit flavours and tannins make this a great match for red meat dishes like steak. It can also be cellared over the next 8 years or so as it will continue to evolve and develop in the bottle.
Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
This powerful Cabernet opens with enticing notes of cassis, crushed blackberries and dark plums while on the palate there are hints of cracked black peppercorns, green bell pepper, and sweet spices. The first sip reveals a generous full body, smooth tannins, and a well-developed structure which will help the wine to age gracefully over the next five or so years.
The fruit for this wine is sourced from the 20 year old Campbell vineyard which is planted on the old sand dunes that characterise the land around the town of Knightsen. The white sand reflects sunlight during the summer days, helping the grapes to ripen perfectly, and cooling breezes from the nearby river help to preserve freshness and balance. Before bottling the young wine is aged in oak barrels for 15 months to add extra complexity and depth.
The Jacuzzi Family Vineyards was established in 2005 by Fred and Nancy Cline in homage to Fred’s grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi, who with his brothers created the spa baths that bear his name. The property was built in the Tuscan style and modelled on the Jacuzzi family’s ancestral home in Italy. Today Fred and Nancy continue to honour their Italian heritage by making American wines with a Tuscan soul.
Chateau Maucoil Chateauneuf Du Pape Tradition 2017
Ideally drink now through 2027. Decant for 1-2 hours prior to drinking
The Chateau Maucoil is a beautiful example of a well-made Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A vibrant ruby hue, this wine displays intense aromas of red berries, kirsch, and garrigue herbs. On the palate, this fresh and lively wine has flavors of blackberries, black pepper, sage, and cured meats. Soft, silky tannins round out this medium bodied wine, giving it more complexity and depth.
The Chateau Maucoil Chateauneuf-du-Pape is best served with hearty meat dishes like classic French cassoulet, braised beef stew, or roast beef. It could also be paired with Asian dishes like Thai Curry, or heavier pasta dishes like creamy mushroom alfredo.
Crafted from Chateau Maucoil’s “youngest” vineyard (at 40 years on average, old enough to be called old-vine in many countries), this Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a classic blend of 60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, and 10% Cinsault. The soils are sandy and pebbly, with good drainage increasing intensity and complexity of the fruit. Grapes are all hand harvested, sorted, and fermented in concrete tanks, after which they are aged in a combination of large concrete vats and 1-year old barrels. As of the 2014 vintage, Chateau Maucoil is a certified 100% biodynamic winery, and is owned by the Lavau company, a negociant firm with many holdings in the Rhone.
Quinta Sardonia 2013
Quinta Sardonia was founded in 1998 by the legendary Peter Sisseck who also founded the famed Dominio de Pingus in Ribera del Duero. Located just outside the Ribera del Duero wine region, Quinta Sardonia occupies a magnificent setting on a high ridge overlooking the Duero valley below. Conditions here are ideal for producing gorgeous red wines which easily rival the estate’s more famous neighbors thanks to the harsh climate and talent of their ex-Pingus winemaker, Jerome.
Quinta Sardonia has 20 hectares of vines in total which are all farmed biodynamically to protect the local ecosystem and work in harmony with the rhythms of nature. This bottling is made from Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes along with smaller proportions of Syrah, Malbec and Merlot. The estate marks the best clusters of grapes as they ripen and then co-ferments the varieties together using yeasts that are naturally found in the winery and on the grapes. The wine is then aged in oak barrels for 19 months before bottling.
This careful and attentive approach to winemaking produces a luscious red wine that exudes rose petal, dark chocolate and sweet spice aromas. The first sip reveals a full body, intense fruity flavours and firm tannins which make this fine bottling an ideal candidate for extended ageing in the cellar.
Beaumont Pinotage 2016
Although best known for their deliciously vibrant and full-flavoured whites made from Chenin Blanc, the Beaumont estate also produces limited quantities of red wines from the Pinotage grape. Pinotage was actually the first wine made at Beaumont and this bottling is a stunning example of cool climate Pinotage made from 45 year old vines. The grapes are vinified in concrete tanks and then aged in oak barrels for 18 months to soften Pinotage’s notoriously firm tannins.
The result is a well-built, intensely fruited red wine with ample dark berry and cherry character which lingers on the tongue. The structure, fine balance, and subtle freshness of this wine make it an excellent match for red meat and it will continue to develop and evolve if cellared over the next decade or so.
Beaumont was founded in 1994 when Jayne and her late husband Raoul decided to leave the local co-operative system to produce their own wines from start to finish. The couple renovated the stunning property at Compagnes Drift which had formerly been an 18th century outpost for the Dutch East India Company and began to bottle their wines here. Recently the running of the estate has passed to Sebastian, the couple’s son, who has worked tirelessly to establish a reputation for crafting exceptional wines.