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Chateau Rauzan Gassies, AC Margaux, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2002

Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blend
Chateau Rauzan Gassies, AC Margaux, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2002
Bordeaux, France

In 1855 the great estates in the Medoc were ranked according to their quality. The 1855 classification is still in place today, and provides wine lovers with a useful guide to the wines of Bordeaux. Château Rauzan Gassies was classified as a 2nd Growth, almost the highest ranking for an estate in Bordeaux, the world’s most famous wine region.

This superb wine shows some signs of its age, evidenced by a slight brick red and orange tinge to the color at the rim. The nose is classic Bordeaux, with a combination of blackcurrant, cedar, mushroom and earthy notes. The palate is dry, medium to full in body, with a slight chewy texture to the tannins and a gorgeous spectrum of highly complex flavours.

All of the criteria for judging wine quality are evident – intensity of flavour, balance, length, and complexity. We hope you enjoy this classic mature Bordeaux red.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect complement to red meats such as lamb and beef, and ideal with hard cheeses like aged Cheddar.

Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Spatlese, 2009

Riesling
Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Spatlese, 2009
Mosel Valley, Germany

Since 1660 the Selbach family has been producing some of the very finest Rieslings in the Mosel Valley. This is arguably the greatest of all the German wine regions, which is known for the incredibly steep slopes, slate soils, and wines that are capable of ageing for decades.

This wine comes from the Sonnenuhr vineyard which is close to the village of Zelting. It is made entirely from the Riesling grape, which is picked when the level of sugar in the berry qualifies it to be classified as a “Spatlese”, or late harvest. This indicates the wine is medium sweet.

The nose shows enticing aromas of sweet apricots, peaches and honey, with a subtle mineral character. The palate is medium in body, with succulent honeyed flavors and sweet apple, with a zesty acidity that dance across your palate. This is a wine of great elegance, delicacy and style.

Food and wine pairing: The medium sweet character of the wine will suit spicy Indian and Asian dishes, and fresh fruit plates.

La Crema, Russian River Valley, Sonoma 2009

Chardonnay
La Crema, Russian River Valley, Sonoma 2009
California, USA

Chardonnay is a chameleon. It comes in a range of styles depending on the growing area and the winemaker’s techniques. In the Russian River valley in Sonoma the hot California sun is tempered by the cool coastal fogs that roll in off the nearby Pacific ocean. This creates a style that has the richness of a warm climate and the lively acidity of a cool climate. This is the magic of the Russian River valley.

On the nose there are aromas of citrus, pear, and juicy ripe apple. The palate is dry, quite full bodied, with a crisp acid running down the spine to give freshness. The wine spends 9 months in barrel, which helps add more richness, and layers of different flavors such as toast, spice and vanilla.

Food and wine pairing: This is the perfect match with chicken, richer fish dishes, and pasta in a cream sauce.

Dr. Loosen, Erdener Treppchen, Spatlese, 2010

Riesling
Dr. Loosen, Erdener Treppchen, Spatlese, 2010
Mosel valley, Germany

Ernst Loosen is the owner of a winery that can trace its history back over 200 years. In fact, back then Mosel Rieslings were the most expensive wines in the world.

This wine comes from the Treppchen vineyard, close to the town of Erden. Long ago, stone steps were built into the vineyard’s steep hillside to help workers reach the vines.

A “Spatlese” is made from late harvest grapes that have achieved a high level of ripeness. This, combined with the halting of the fermentation, has created a wine with a pleasant degree of sweetness.

The nose is young and vibrant, and bursts with aromas of stone fruits like peaches and apricots. The palate is medium bodied, elegant and delicate, with enough acidity to counter-balance the sweetness. This wine will age for 20-30 years, but is delicious now.

Food and wine pairing: The medium sweet character of the wine will suit spicy Indian and Asian dishes, and fresh fruit plates.

Torres, Salmos, 2008

Grenache, Carinena, Syrah
Torres, Salmos, 2008
Priorat, Spain

Torres is unquestionably one of the greatest names in Spanish winemaking. In 1999, readers of Wine Spectator magazine voted Torres as “The Most Important Winery in Spain”.

In 2007 Torres unveiled a new wine called Salmos, from the small region of Priorat on the northern Mediterranean coast close to Barcelona. This region has shot to fame after several of the wines received extremely high scores from the major critics. Much of the quality is attributed to the black slate soils, called licorella.

The wine is made from Grenache, Carinena and Syrah. The color is almost inky black. The nose is shows dark black fruits. The palate explodes with flavors of black cherry, licorice, vanilla and more sweet spices. It’s rich, full-bodied and extremely powerful wine.

Food and wine pairing: Stews, pastas in tomato sauce, red meats and hard cheeses pair well with this rich red wine.

Albert Bichot, Meursault, 2007

Chardonnay
Albert Bichot, Meursault, 2007
Burgundy, France

Albert Bichot was recently named amongst the “Top 100 wineries in the world” by Wine and Spirits magazine. When Bernard Bichot founded the house back in 1831 it’s doubtful that he would have imagined such success.

This wine is from the famous appellation of Meursault, which is synonymous with top quality white wines. Meursault typically produces the richest and most buttery wines of Burgundy’s prestige appellations. It’s located just south of the historic town of Beaune, the winemaking capital of Burgundy.

The nose shows classic aromas of hazelnuts, apple, peach and citrus. It beautifully dry, crisp and refreshing, with medium body and has a light toasty note to complement the minerality. This is well balanced fine white Burgundy.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect complement to chicken dishes, richer fish and pasta in a cream sauce. It also drinks beautifully all by itself.

Babich Family Estate, Wakefield Downs, Single Vineyard, 2011

Sauvignon Blanc
Babich Family Estate, Wakefield Downs, Single Vineyard, 2011
Marlborough, New Zealand

Established in 1916 by Josip Babich, this winery has remained in family hands. It now ranks in the Top 50 World’s Most Admired Wine Brands, according to Drinks International.

It came as no surprise to see Babich emerge as the winner in our extensive blind tasting of over 50 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc’s. This comes from a single vineyard in the Awatere River, a sub-region of Marlborough, the capital of New Zealand Sauvignon. The wines are known for their minerality and purity.

The wine is fermented in stainless steel and minimally treated throughout the winemaking process. The nose bursts with fresh and lively aromatics of melon, passion fruit and citrus. The palate is dry yet fruity, light in body, well balanced and very refreshing.

Food and wine pairing: In hot climates this is the ultimate dry white wine, enjoyed as an aperitif or with light and fresh seafood dishes such as crab, oysters or scallops.

Craggy Range, Avery Vineyard, 2011

Sauvignon Blanc
Craggy Range, Avery Vineyard, 2011
Marlborough, New Zealand

Terry Peabody, a successful businessman, had a passion for wine. He believed that New Zealand could produce wines that were superior quality to the established regions of France, and then set out on a mission to prove it.

He joined forces with Steve Smith, Master of Wine. Together they decided to focus on single vineyard wines exclusively and to do everything within their means to extract the absolute best from each site.

The Avery vineyard is in Marlborough. It sits 15 kilometers from the ocean which bring cool breezes to an otherwise warm and sunny climate. The soils are stony, providing excellent drainage and heat reflection to the vine.

Beneath the intense aromatics there is depth and complexity, with lime, white peach, and passion fruit notes. On the palate the steely acidity revives the senses, and the mineral flavours exude terroir. Craggy Range is now admired and highly sought-after around the world.

Food and wine pairing: In hot climates this is the ultimate dry white wine, enjoyed as an aperitif or with light and fresh seafood dishes such as crab, salmon and scallops.

Craggy Range, Te Muna Vineyard, 2011

Sauvignon Blanc
Craggy Range, Te Muna Vineyard, 2011
Martinborough, New Zealand

Terry Peabody, a successful businessman, had a passion for wine. He believed that New Zealand could produce wines that were superior quality to the established regions of France, and then set out on a mission to prove it.

He joined forces with Steve Smith, Master of Wine. Together they decided to focus on single vineyard wines exclusively and to do everything within their means to extract the absolute best from each site. They then built one of the most impressive wineries in the New World. No expense was spared on the equipment and the people that it takes to make great wines.

The Te Muna vineyard is in Martinborough at the southern tip of the north island. It sits at a slight elevation, which results in cooler temperatures and a longer ripening period.

Beneath the intense aromatics there is depth and complexity, with passion fruit, citrus, and notes of fresh cut grass. On the palate the steely acidity revives the senses, and the mineral flavours exude terroir. Craggy Range is now admired and highly sought-after around the world.

Food and wine pairing: In hot climates this is the ultimate dry white wine, enjoyed as an aperitif or with light and fresh seafood dishes such as crab, salmon and scallops.

Esk Valley, 2011

Sauvignon Blanc
Esk Valley, 2011
Marlborough, New Zealand

A recent gold medal at the Concours Mondial de Sauvignon in Bordeaux affirms Esk valley as one of the world’s notable producers of this classic grape. For a New World wine to be awarded Gold in a competition judged in France speaks volumes.

The winery is located in Hawkes Bay, a premier region on the north island that has shot to fame in the last decade. The grapes are sourced in Marlborough, the warm and sunny capital of Sauvignon on the south island.

Picked at optimal maturity, the grapes are quickly pressed and then fermented at cold temperatures to enhance the vivacious and intense qualities. Gooseberry, grapefruit and tomato leaf flavors saturate the palate and a streak of fine acidity is deeply refreshing.

Food and wine pairing: In hot climates this is the ultimate dry white wine, enjoyed as an aperitif or with light and fresh seafood dishes such as crab, salmon and scallops.