Spring Reds 6-pack
If you are like any of us here at HQ you will be drinking reds all year round. If that the case then here is a selection of delicious reds that are perfect for warmer spring weather, light on their feet, vibrant and packed full of flavour! There are some classic wines and a couple of surprise drops from Italy and Spain. These are the perfect pair to the warmer days ahead, not too heavy, not too light, just right!
1. Jane Eyre Chenas 2017
Village Beaujolais at its best!
Jane Eyre left Australia in 2004 on a journey to make wine in Europe, a journey that landed here in Burgundy, where while working at Domaine Newman, she has established herself as a producer in her own right. She has assimilated into the scene of emerging Burgundian talent and speaks with a respect and understanding of the place that is also evidenced in her wines. NICK STOCK, Gourmet Traveller Wine
200 cases made
Debut vintage. 100% destemmed and old vines and bottled in August. Lots of freshness and zest but with a real undertow of juicy fruit. Really nice acid balance. JANCIS ROBINSON
2. Domaine de Bellene Beaune Vielles Vignes 1er 2018
100% 1er Cru vineyards in Beaune
Domaine de Bellene Beaune Vieilles Vignes 1er 2018 (Formerly Cinquantenaire)
This is a very special project for Nicolas and one which he is justifiably very proud of. I think the story is well known to fans now, a blend of five of his best parcels of Beaune Premier Crus where he, rightly, believes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts with each Cru bringing something to the final blend. We tasted through the components here and then a "theoretical blend" of its constituent parts. The result was a wine that showed a much darker hue than the previous couple of iterations. Darkly pitched, plush, juicy, surprisingly fresh considering the volume and power of the wine and with an almost chalky aspect to the tannins. Overall the impression is one of balance. Really pretty aromatics here, floral and attractive. This should drink well young but amply reward a little patience.
3. Ministry of Clouds Grenache 2018
100% Mclaren Vale Grenache
After almost three decades shared experience in the wine industry, Bernice Ong and Julian Forwood decided to have a crack at their own (ad)venture. For them, Ministry of Clouds represents the relinquishing of past security and structure for the beguiling freedom and independence inherent in this, their own voice.
Ministry of Clouds produce classic wines that show careful attention to detail, wines that speak of the land, that reveal the essence of the season; wines with perfect ripeness yet showing some tension, restraint and poise complete with crunchy texture, delicate balance and a somewhat modest built. They are wines that beg to be shared on a convivial table consumed with various foods, flavours and textures.
"Rosy, aromatic, raspberry and light spice. It’s clean, precise, juicy but feels nice and dry too, no doubt because of the liberal amount of fine-grained tannin running through its core. Very long. All just so. Top shelf." 95 points. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front
4. Francesco Rinaldi Dolcetto d'Alba Roussot 2019
100% Dolcetto, Alba, Piemonte
Like their famed relatives on the other side of Barolo village (Guiseppe Rinaldi) Francesco Rinaldi e Figli are an avowed traditionalist producer with vineyard holdings in some of the commune's most highly prized plots; not surprising considering their history dates back to the 1870s!
Today the estate is run by the 80+ year-old Luciano along with his nieces, Paola & Piera Rinaldi. The wines are made pretty much the same way they always have been with the exception of a new press and some stainless steel in the cellars. Beyond that, vinification follows the "traditionalist handbook" and includes extended maceration times and elevage in 20-50 hectolitre Slavonian oak.
Oh man this wine is good! Blue fruits with a spicy punch that jumps out of the glass begging you to drink. This is perfect trattoria wine, not too heavy, not too light and a cut of tannin and acid that just perfectly off-sets the juicy fruit. It's all crushed blueberries, wild forest fruits and sweet spice and so enticing.
5. Tenuta Aglaea Etna Rosso Thalia 2017
Nerello Mascalese from the Etna Hills
Tenuta Aglaea is a tiny estate on the North side of Etna covering only 1.8 hectares across three vineyard sites; the miniscule and excellent vineyard Bocca d’Orzo (.3 ha) in the zone of Randazzo combined with Passo Cannone (1 ha) and Santo Spirito (.5 ha) in the zone of Passopisciaro. A new vineyard has also been replanted (Passo Cannone) and will be in full production in 2019. Owned by longtime wine professional Anne-Louise Mikkelssen the estate is all about meticulaous attetion to detail and her philosophy of having the wines be a faithful expression of the terroir.
What makes this wine 'Thalia' great is that this representation of place is undeniable. High up on the slopes of Mount Enta on the Italian Island of Sicily, Nerello Mascalese is grown in mineral rich volcanic soils. The soil made up eruptive materials such of lava, sand and ash along with the altitude restrict the vigour of the vine producing a concentrated yet vibrant refreshing red.
The tell-tale grilled cherry and smokey herb with a wild ferrous note. Lifted and pretty but wild at the same time. This wine is gentle and soft yet with great purity and length, the perfect spring/summer drinking red.
6. Envinate Lousas Vinas de Aldea Mencia 2018
Envinate, which literally translates as “wine yourself,” is the project of four passionate young winemakers: Roberto Santana, Jose Martinez, Laura Ramos and Alfonso Torrente. The four met while studying oenology in Alicante in 2005 and formed a collective based on a shared philosophy of wine and a desire to explore the ancient, Atlantic influenced terroirs of western Spain.
In 2008, the group bought their first vineyard in Ribera Sacra, then took control of vineyards on the north of Tenerife and then ba single patch of Tinta Amarela in Extremadura. Finally, in 2012, they began working a site in Almansa, planted with Garnacha Tintorera. In each place, the team care for old abandoned vineyards and move frequently around the country. THE DRINKS LIST
"The regional red from Ribeira Sacra 2018 Lousas Viñas de Aldea sets the tone for the portfolio in a cool and rainy vintage that has resulted in very fresh wines with great purity and definition. This mixes origins (Amandi, Bibei and Ribeiras del Sil), soils (but mostly gneiss, slate and granite), altitudes (400 to 600 meters) and exposures. It also mixes grape varieties—it's mostly Mencía with some 20% other grapes, including Merenzao, Brancellao, Caíño, Sousón, Mouratón, Alicante, Godello and Palomino, etc.—and comes from vines ranging between 15 and 60 years of age to represent the region and vintage.
For Envínate, this 2018 is in line with previous cooler years like 2014 and 2016, but with lots of rain in June and July that resulted in mildew and especially black rot, which reduced yields by about 30%, and in some places whole parcels were lost. September was much drier, and they were able to harvest slowly and with the precision needed for each plot. The different plots fermented in concrete or open plastic bins with 70% to 100% full clusters. Thirty percent of the volume matured in concrete and the rest in used barriques with the lees and without racking for 11 months. They only used a little sulfur at bottling time.
The backbone comes from Ribeiras del Sil, a zone that delivers vertical wines and adds freshness. It's perfumed with notes of violets, expressive and open, with lots of fruit, a spicy twist and the complexity of mixing different origins and soils. The palate is pungent and more powerful than it seems, with very fine minerality. Incredible for the price." LUIS GUITERREZ, eRobertParker