Traditionally, Spring evokes fresh green vegetables, fresh flavours and lightness. But, in today’s world, carrots, beets and bell peppers also abound during the season and are enhanced with the hint of spice found in all of these beautiful bottles. Break all the rules and try a bottle of red wine this spring! CSL has four old and new world reds, plus three Rhône Reds.
4 Old and New World Reds
1/ Falernia Carménère “Pedriscal” Reserva
Made from 100% Elqui valley, Chile carménère, this brilliant red screams of red fruit. Ageing for twelve months in American oak brings out ripe tannins with elegant vanilla notes and hints of tea.
2/ De Bartoli Woodfired Shiraz
Australian shiraz hardly disappoints, especially with oozing berries, herbal notes, balanced acidity, and soft, earthy tannins.
3/ Bodegas Breca Garnacha de Fuego
Spanish old vine grenache is one of the most beautiful. Forest fruit and earthy olive provide depth to this delicate sipper, that finishes with delightful pepperiness.
4/ Aubert Vignobles Château Saint-Hubert
Right bank Bordeaux, particularly Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, with its blend of merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, provide velvety plum and fig fruit together with a hit of acidity from boysenberry notes. 20-month French oak ageing reveals integrated wood spice
3 Rhône Reds
It’s no coincidence that one of the best-known food-rich regions of France, Lyon lies between the equally well-known wine regions of Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhône. While the lighter style of Beaujolais wine, dominated by gamay is a great choice, sometimes a more robust, indulgent bottle is called for – that’s where Cotes du Rhône, particularly from the Southern Rhône region of Gigondas makes a fine alternative.
With a Mediterranean climate, the Gigondas AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, a regulated designation for wine) is dominated by grenache noir, and also includes Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault permitted in the blending process.
The taste? Cherry fruit, with spice, floral and herbal notes characterize grenache, and when combined with the other three grapes, creates a well-rounded medium to full bodied glass of wine that is made for food. Here are three Gigondas that CSL loves.
1/ Château du Trignon Gigondas
Intense ruby colour with complex aromas of mint, spice and chocolate. Deep red fruit is strong and fresh with present tannins and long finish with hints of oak. 60% Grenache noir.
2/ Lavau Gigondas
Prominent spice aromas, with black currant and raspberry typically found in this appellation. Luscious on the palate with a long finish. 50% Grenache noir.
3/ Halos de Jupiter Gigondas
A beautiful expression of the Southern Rhône, brought upon by winemaker Michel Gassier and oenologist Philippe Cambie. Succulent fruit are offset with anise, with great ageing potential to bring the spice and smoky characteristics forward. 85% Grenache noir.
This original wines and spirits article first appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.