A lot going on here with 14 days of skin fermentation (contact) after destemming and punch-downs twice a day. It has a funky nose of apple skin, flinty minerality, salinity and a range of citrus fruits. It’s rather dramatic on the palate, racy and rebellious with profound minerals, evident tannins, structure and then fading into citrus and free-run fresh-picked apple flavours that shout fresh and vibrant through the finish.
Barbera wines from Piedmont are usually quite light in style but in the hands of the Pietro Rinaldi winery, Barbera becomes an awesomely big wine. This is a dense purple-coloured wine with an intense bouquet of black fruits and vanilla oak; rich and spicy on the palate, it really fills the mouth with oodles of juicy fruit. You won’t taste another Barbera d’Asti like it.
Alvaro Palacios is one of Spain’s great winemakers whose range of wines can get very pricey. But at the introductory level, he makes this bargain wine from Rioja. Deep ruby-plum in colour, it has an earthy, cedary nose of sour cherries. Medium- to full-bodied, it’s dry and fruity and easy-drinking. The wine always contains around 8% of wine from the previous harvest that stays in barriques for 1 year.
Ripe blackcurrant with a whiff of clove, cinnamon and an elusive floral scent, together with an overtone of cedary wood, give way to generous blackberry and blackcurrant flavours wrapped in velvety tannins. Finishes with harmoniously integrated fruit, oak, spice and dark chocolate. Better with another 3 years cellaring.
Mid-weight and smooth-drinking, this textbook Franc doles out the cassis, raspberry, herbs, cedar/herbs, pencil shavings, violets and vanilla. Splendid length, fresh acid and fine tannins round out the experience. Pair with a pepper steak or ratatouille.
This cider ends up being mostly golden russet apples with northern spy and wine sap. It’s a beauty with a nose of rich, mature apple, melon, candied citrus, spice and wild honey notes. It has lovely texture and verve on the palate and made in a not-too-sweet style that benefits from electric acidity through the finish.