As the seasons change, why not try something different: 29 May 2022.
All of these vibrant & dynamic wines are ready to sip, savour & share. I am sure some of these grape varietals & wine styles are new to some readers. But the following selection of engaging red wines - are an ideal pairing with varied occasions and cuisine. Here are a few brief words to describe my first impressions and the essence of each wine. A diverse range of enjoyable now red wine expressions that are worth sharing.
Remember - 'when & where possible, all wines tastes better when served from the appropriate glass and at the ideal temperature’.
EON of Bendigo Pinot Noir 2016
Grape Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Growing Region: Bendigo in Central Otago - NZ
*Original Winemakers: *Ben Glover & Cleighten Cornelius
4 Stars ★★★★
The project and wine was originally crafted under the direction of the acclaimed Ben Glover. Eon was born out of an incredible passion to produce the finest Pinot Noir. Eon is a contemporary style which has been created from the stunning region of Bendigo in Central Otago. *(Limited Release)
• This single vineyard Pinot Noir has an enticing bouquet of mountain wild thyme, bracken and classic dark cherries. The palate is no less complex, showcasing those regional flavours of morello cherries, red currants, hilltop flowers and dried herbs. The French oak, fruit tannins and natural acidity are in good balance crafting a long silky finish.
• Soft decanting & serve between 15°- 17°C : 13.5% Alc. - Classic Dry Style : Cellar 2 - 3 years : *Retail ~ NZ$48.99
KILIKANOON ‘Killerman’s Run’ G.S.M 2020
Grape Varietals: 50% Grenache, 40% Shiraz & 10% Mataro
Growing Region: Clare Valley - South Australia
*Chief & Senior Winemakers: Peter Warr & Kirby Graudins - *(both joining in late 2018)
4 Stars ★★★★
This moreish Rhône Valley inspired blended red wine, was crafted through careful fruit selection and traditional winemaking techniques. Along with 15 months maturation in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads, after blending it was bottled unfiltered to fully enhance the wines character and palate appeal.
• The palate is generous and seamless, one could nearly say a classic French styled blend. On the nose your senses will be engaged by ripe dark berry fruits, dried spices & truffle-chocolate notes, all complimented by hints of vanilla French oak. The three varietals seamless entwine bring a lush mouth feel with structure and a smooth lingering finish.
• Mild decanting & serve between 17°- 18°C : 14.5% Alc. - Classic Dry Style : Cellar 3 - 4 years : *Retail ~ NZ$29.99
CHAKANA 'Estate Selection' Malbec 2019
Grape Varietal: 100% Malbec
Growing Region: Mendoza - Argentina
Chief Winemaker: Gabriel Bloise
4 Stars ★★★★
After harvesting, the fruit parcels went through low intervention traditional vinification. Then once Gabriel was happy with the colour and flavour extraction - a portion of the wine was transferred into a mix of French oak barrels and the remainder into concrete tanks for 12 months. *(unfiltered - so stand upright for at least 24 hours before opening)
• Inviting aroma expressing ripe dark berries, mixed with dried herbs and a touch of mocha coffee. The textural medium weighted palate has a generous fruit forward nature, along with well-balanced smooth tannins and a deft infusion of vanilla oak, which produces a moreish and appealing crowd-pleasing finish.
• Unfiltered - Medium Decanting & serve 16°- 18°C : 13.5% Alc. - Dry Style : Cellar 3 - 4 years : *Retail ~ NZ$30.99
PAUL MAS Réserve ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Carignan 2020
Grape Varietal: 100% Carignan
Growing Region: Languedoc - South of France
Owner / Winemaker: Jean-Claude Mas
4 Stars ★★★★
The crafting of this wine saw daily pump overs to extract colour and varietal flavours, then the fermented wine before malolactic fermentation started, was pressed to 50% oak barrels, with the other half to vats. The wine was aged for 6 months in American oak (with 20% new). In May the wine was filtered and bottled.
• This wine has a hypnotic aroma of wild forest berries and exotic dried spices. The palate is upfront and engaging, showcasing small dark berries, tobacco, dried herbs and earthy spice notes. The vines are over 52 years old, and have a charismatic personality expressing those dark berry flavours & infused earthy characters on a lingering dry finish.
• Medium decanting & serve between 16°- 18°C : 13.5% Alc. - Classic Dry Style : Cellar 5 - 6 years : *Retail ~ NZ$29.99
MONTES ‘Alpha’ Carménère 2019
Grape Varietals: 90% Carménère & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Growing Region: Colchagua Valley - Chile
Founder / Chief Winemaker: Aurelio Montes
4 Stars ★★★★
The grapes for this wine were hand-harvested. Once the second fermentation ended, 55% of the wine was racked into mixed ages of French oak barrels where it developed for 12 months; the other proportion remaining in concrete tanks until the final blending, prior to bottling.
• The nose has lifted aromas of ripe dark fruits, blueberries, blackberries, along with dried spices of black pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. The time in French oak barrels has added to the rich berry characters adding nuances of dark cacao, vanilla and toast. The palate is textural, with a good mouth feel balance, that leads to a long off-dry finish.
• Medium decanting & serve between 17°- 18°C : 14.5% Alc. - Off Dry Style : Cellar 4 - 5 years : *Retail ~ NZ$32.99
LAN ‘Reserva’ Rioja 2015
Grape Varietals: 92% Tempranillo & 8% Mazuelo
Growing Region: Rioja - Northern Spain
Head Winemaker: María Barúa
4 Stars ★★★★
‘LAN’ is an acronym for the 3 provinces that make up the Rioja wine region: Logroño, Álava and Navarra. Selected vineyards with an average age of more than 25 years were chosen. This ‘Reserva’ spent at least 18 months in hybrid barrels of French and American oak, and then around 20 months in bottle before release.
• Inviting aromas of ripe mixed berry fruits with prairie flowers and dried spice aromas. These are joined by flavours from its time in oak, with hints of cinnamon and tobacco. The palate has a velvety texture, and nicely balanced by respectful oak working in harmony with the natural fruit tannins. A long dry finish, that encourages you to take another sip.
• Mild decanting & serve between 15°- 17°C : 14.5% Alc. - Classic Dry Style : Cellar 3 - 4 years : *Retail ~ NZ$34.99
*(prices, vintages & availability will vary by outlet & country)