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Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, AC St. Julien, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2004

Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blend
Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, AC St. Julien, 2nd Grand Cru Classe, 2004
Bordeaux, France

Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is, without question, one of the very finest wines of Bordeaux. It is a top performing second growth and consistently rated 90 points and higher by the critics. The 1995 vintage was awarded “Best Red Wine in the World” by Wine Spectator.

It is owned and operated by the dynamic Bruno Borie, the 3rd generation to manage the estate. The stately chateau is surrounded by 75 acres of beautiful vineyards, planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.

This 2004 vintage shows intense aromas of cassis, wet earth, and tobacco notes. The palate is classically dry, quite full in body, with some chewy tannins, and flavors of vanilla, black cherry, and cedar. Elegant yet concentrated, with exceptional length, this is one of the finest wines in the world.

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

Mt. Difficulty, 2008

Pinot Noir
Mt. Difficulty, 2008
Central Otago, New Zealand

Central Otago has become a classic New World wine region known for its rich, silky and complex Pinot Noir. This beautiful region, at the southern tip of the south island in New Zealand, is nestled amongst mountains and shimmering lakes.

Mt. Difficulty is one of the oldest wineries in the area, and yet it was only established in 1998. Whilst a long history of winemaking is important in Europe, many of the top wines of New Zealand have gained international fame in just a few decades. It’s the quality in the bottle that counts, and this boutique winery consistently delivers exceptional Pinot Noir.

On the nose, the wine shows ripe red cherry fruit. The palate exhibits elegant flavours of red berries and sweet spices, is light to medium in body, and the tannins are soft and smooth. Well balanced, light and elegant, this is classic Pinot.

Food and wine pairing: Perfect for sipping by itself, and pairs well with richer fish dishes, and light weight red meat dishes.

Dorrien Estate, Bin 1, 2005

Shiraz
Dorrien Estate, Bin 1, 2005
Barossa Valley, Australia

The Barossa valley is recognized as the benchmark region for Australian Shiraz. The early settlers planted vineyards back in the 1800’s and today there are still some vines over 100 year old.

Dorrien is a very small boutique wine showing a style that modern Australian Winemakers are aiming to capture – one that shows complexity and elegance to the bouquet and palate as well as ripe fruit flavors.

The wine is a deep dark cherry red, which is characteristic of dark skinned grape varieties grown in hot climates. The nose has plenty of ripe blueberry and blackberry fruit combined with notes of white pepper and soft leather. The palate is dry, full bodied, with the tannins softening out with age. Chocolate and vanilla flavors complement the dark fruit flavors.

Big, bold yet complex, this wine encapsulates the essence of the new Barossa style.

Food and wine pairing: The perfect match for red meats, hard cheeses, and soft enough to enjoy on its own.

Taylors, 20 Year Old Tawny

Port
Taylors, 20 Year Old Tawny
Douro Valley, Portugal

Taylors is one of the most famous names in Port, and their 20 year old Tawny is a benchmark in this style.

Many of the winemakers in this historic region say that the 20 year old Tawny represents the pinnacle of Port winemaking. The components are aged for an exceptionally long time, in this case for an average of 20 years. During this time the color changes to a reddish brown, the tannins melt away, and the fabulous complexity of aromas and flavors develops.

The nose is laden with toffee, raisin, fig, and other dried fruits. The palate is a gorgeous medium sweet, exceptionally smooth, without a trace of tannin, and powerful caramel, raisin and butterscotch flavours.

Food and wine pairing: Ideal with blue cheese, Cheddar, and perfect all by itself.

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 international brand.

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.

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 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, graphite, 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 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.

Hunter’s, Jane Hunter, 2009

Sauvignon Blanc
Hunter’s, Jane Hunter, 2009
Marlborough, New Zealand

If New Zealand had a royal family of wine, Jane Hunter would be the queen. Jane is an internationally respected vintner, has an OBE, and is credited with helping to put New Zealand’s wines on the map.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs first came to the attention of international wine drinkers when Hunter’s won the top award at the Sunday Times Wine Festival in London in 1986. Jane repeated the feat, winning the top spot again in 1987, 1988, 1992 and 2001. Together with Cloudy Bay, Hunters made Marlborough famous.

The wine is classically styled. Typically pale water white, the nose has tremendous intensity and freshness with a mixture of passion fruit, crisp apple and citrus aromas. The palate is dry, light in body, with bracing acidity and bursts with grapefruit and passion fruit flavors. This is classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

Food and wine pairing:
Ideal with salads, light seafood dishes, pasta in a cream sauce, and spicy dishes. This is very versatile wine, and lovely with soft cheeses too

Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Spatlese, 2008

Riesling
Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Spatlese, 2008
Mosel Valley, Germany

Since 1660 the Selbach family has been producing fine Rieslings in the Mosel Valley. This is arguably the greatest of all the German wine regions, which is known for the incredibly steep slopes and slate soils. Johannes Selbach is now at the helm as Winemaker, and showing an impressive ability to create wines of elegance, finesse, delicacy and style.

This wine comes from the Schlossberg 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”.

This indicates the wine should be medium sweet. The nose shows a minerally character of wet stones, a touch of peach and apricot, combined with sweet apple aromas. The palate is light to medium in body, with honeyed flavors, and a zesty acidity that dance across your palate.

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

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, AC Pomerol, 2004

Meritage – Merlot & Cabernet blend
Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, AC Pomerol, 2004
Bordeaux, France

Chateau Le Bon Pasteur is the home of the world’s most famous flying winemaker, Michel Rolland. This is a highly revered property that lies in close proximity to the iconic Chateau Petrus and just a stone’s throw from Cheval Blanc.

Inside Le Bon Pasteur, you will find some of the most revolutionary winemaking techniques being developed, such as red wine fermentation inside small barrels. The estate sets trends in winemaking that then spread to the finest wineries of California, South America and elsewhere.

The wine is a deep dark ruby red. The nose shows rich, ripe and powerful aromas of blackberry, plum, coffee and milk chocolate. The palate is dry, full bodied but not heavy, with opulently ripe black cherries, and a long smooth finish. Merlot represents 90% of the blend in this outstanding Pomerol.

Food and wine pairing: Perfect with red meats, and hard cheeses.

Torres, Salmos, 2007

Grenache, Carinena, Syrah
Torres, Salmos, 2007
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 and powerful, 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.