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Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, La Grande Dame, 1998

Champagne
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, La Grande Dame, 1998
France

La Grande Dame represents the very finest Champagne made by Veuve Clicquot. It is a luxury Cuvee, and only made a handful of times every decade. To make La Grande Dame it has to be an exceptional vintage. After all, it is a tribute to the widow Clicquot, who was the driving force behind the success of this internationally famous wine.

Given the age of the wine the colour has become slightly golden and shows a small, fine, long-lasting bead. The nose has beautiful complex notes of citrus, fresh baked bread and toasted nuts.

On the palate, there is a lovely balance between the strength of Pinot Noir and the elegance of Chardonnay. The wine is dry yet rich, medium bodied, with a lovely refreshing acidity. The finish is quite remarkable, seemingly never-ending.

Food and wine pairing: The ultimate aperitif, and a perfect complement to caviar, smoked salmon, lobster and a variety of seafood.

Domaine Weinbach, Grand Cru Furstentum, Vendange Tardive 2008

Gewurztraminer
Domaine Weinbach, Grand Cru Furstentum, Vendange Tardive 2008
Alsace, France

This stunning wine is made by Domaine Weinbach in Alsace, considered to be one of the finest producers of Gewurztraminer in the world.

The grapes come from a single Grand Cru vineyard called Furstentum. They are picked late in the season, when they have high levels of sugar in the berry and tropical fruit flavors have developed. This results in a sweet dessert wine, but one that is exceptionally well-balanced by the lively acidity.

The aromas are intense, perfumed, and laden with tropical fruits and honey. The palate is sweet, full bodied, with concentrated flavors of pineapple, spice and butterscotch. The length lingers for minutes, which is the sign of a top quality wine.

The winemaker, Catherine Faller, believes in a non-interventionist approach to creating fine wines. The secret is to harvest at the perfect moment from a top vineyard site.

Food and wine pairing: The sweet character of the wine will best suit foie gras, or sweet desserts and fresh fruit plates.

Villa Maria, Cellar Selection, 2010

Sauvignon Blanc
Villa Maria, Cellar Selection, 2010
Marlborough, New Zealand

Villa Maria is the most awarded family-owned winery in New Zealand. It was founded in 1961 by George Fistonich who has been instrumental in putting the country in the spotlight for their crisp, fragrant Sauvignon Blancs.

Marlborough is the center of production, located on the northern tip of the south island. The region enjoys a large number of sunny days and cool nights, which is perfect for ripening this varietal.

It’s a beautifully intense and lively wine, overflowing with aromas of ripe gooseberry, melon and passion fruit. The wine is dry, light bodied, with bracing acidity, showing clean and pure mineral characters on the finish.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect match for smoked salmon, crab, and other light seafood dishes. It also pairs well with spicy food.

Vincent Girardin, AC Meursault, Vieilles Vignes, 2007

Chardonnay
Vincent Girardin, AC Meursault, Vieilles Vignes, 2007
Burgundy, France

Vincent Girardin is the 11th generation of a winemaking family from Burgundy. He is focused on producing outstanding quality wines using organic and biodynamic practices.

In winemaking, it takes three years to become organically certified. Any treatments applied to the vines must be natural. But Vincent takes this a step further and practices biodynamic viticulture, which means that he farms according to the lunar calendar. Many of the world’s very best wineries practice biodynamic viticulture.

This wine, from a parcel of old vines, is the epitome of elegant and refined Chardonnay. The nose shows beautiful citrus and peach aromas, with a subtle hint of toast from the oak ageing. The palate is dry, medium bodied, with a thread of acidity keeping the wine crisp and focused. The complex flavors unravel on the palate.

Food and Wine Pairing: This is the perfect match for poultry and richer fish dishes, and can also be enjoyed by itself.

Chartron et Trebuchet, Meursault, 2008

Chardonnay
Chartron et Trebuchet, Meursault, 2008
Burgundy

Chartron et Trebuchet is one of the old established merchants in Burgundy. They have been producing classic wines in the prestige appellations for generations.

Meursault is one such prestige appellation, known for producing some of the richest and fullest bodied Chardonnays in Burgundy. It is located in the Cote de Beaune, and is a relatively small appellation. Sometimes there are multiple owners of a single vineyard block.

Aged in French oak casks, the wine shows a medium lemon color. The nose displays aromas of vanilla, peach and toast with a subtle minerality. The palate is classically dry, medium to full bodied, with a slight nutty and buttery flavor held together by a tight thread of acidity. The long finish is a sign of high quality.

Food and wine pairing: This is the perfect complement to fish dishes, pasta in a cream sauce, and poultry.

Chateau Brane Cantenac, AC Margaux, 2nd growth, 2007

Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot
Chateau Brane Cantenac, AC Margaux, 2nd growth, 2007
Bordeaux, France

Chateau Brane Cantenac was classified as one of the best wines of Bordeaux in 1855, ranked as a 2nd growth. In recent years the owner, Henri Lurton, has catapulted the quality to a new level, garnering significant attention from wine critics.

The beautiful chateau is tucked away in the Margaux appellation, a region known for wines of great elegance and finesse. The gravelly soils are well-drained and reflect heat back onto the vines, which is ideal for the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are harvested by hand and then sorted using a state-of-the-art optical selection machine which only allows the finest grapes to be fermented.

Medium to deep ruby in color, the nose shows red and black cherry aromas, a hint of earth and soft leather, and the sweet aroma of vanilla. The palate is dry, medium to full bodied, with cassis and chocolate flavors.

Food and wine pairing: Perfect with lamb, beef, and a variety of red meats. It will also pair well with a selection of cheese.

Lopez de Heredia, Vina Tondonia, 2001

Tempranillo & Garnacha
Lopez de Heredia, Vina Tondonia, 2001
Rioja, Spain

Lopez de Heredia is one of the most fascinating wine producers in the world. It is an icon amongst all wineries, known for their long ageing periods and natural winemaking.

They still ferment the wine in oak vats that were built over 100 years ago, using natural yeasts. Instead of using computers to control the fermentation temperature they simply open the cellar doors at night. They make their own barrels and mature the wine for longer than almost any winery in the world, which is often 8 years in barrel before release.

Tempranillo is the classic grape of Rioja and gives flavors of strawberry and notes of soft leather. Garnacha provides spice and body, and soft smooth tannins. This wine is a model of complexity, elegance and delicacy. We hope you enjoy the complex and unusual flavors.

Food and wine pairing: The classic match is lamb, but the wine also complements beef and hard cheeses.

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.

Albert Bichot, Meursault, 2009

Chardonnay
Albert Bichot, Meursault, 2009
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 comes 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 yet youthful aromas of hazelnuts, peach and citrus. It beautifully dry, crisp and refreshing, and has a light toasty note to complement the minerality.

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.

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 comes 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 a touch of maturity, with more buttery and toasty notes complementing the apple and citrus aromatics. It’s dry, quite full bodied, with lovely concentration of flavours. It’s stylish and complex wine with a long lingering finish.

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.