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Grand Cru Classe, 2007, France

Meritage – Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac Leognan,
Grand Cru Classe, 2007, France

Florence and Daniel Cathiard, former members of the French Olympic ski team, purchased the property in 1991. Smith Haut Lafitte had always been one the better properties in the Pessac Leognan region, and following massive investments in the vineyards and wine making Cathiards have elevated the quality to rank amongst the finest wines of Bordeaux.

The 2007 vintage is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, and small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The average age of the vines is now 38 years old. The wine spends 18 months slowly ageing in oak barrels, to add extra depth and complexity. Smith is one of the few chateaux to actually make their own barrels.

This is a vintage that is approachable in its youth, showing characteristic blackcurrant and red cherry aromas. Robert Parker rated it 90-92 points.

Lanson, Brut, 1998

Lanson, Brut, 1998

A vintage Champagne is only produced in excellent years. Essentially, it is only the finest grapes from the best vineyards.

In the winery, vintage Champagne is given special treatment. Notably, it is given longer bottle ageing on the lees to allow its complex nuances time to evolve. This wine matured for over 13 years old before release.

Lanson 1998 is the epitome of a mature vintage Champagne. The golden tinges to the color indicate some maturity. But it is on the nose that the quality of the wine first becomes evident, with high intensity of apple, citrus and nuts.

The palate is dry, exceptionally rich and layered, with a backbone of acidity giving this full bodied Champagne excellent structure. Mature Champagne is a special taste, and one that we hope you will enjoy.

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

Hollick, 2009

Hollick, 2009
Wrattonbully, Australia

Ian Hollick is regarded as one of the finest producers in Coonawarra, one of the prestigious growing regions in South Australia. Together with his wife, Wendy, he started Hollick Wines back in 1983.

Since their humble beginnings Ian has produced dozens of award winning wines and now owns over 200 acres of vineyards. In 1998 he went in search of new terroirs and found that Wrattonbully had similar soils to the famed Coonawarra region. He planted a vineyard here to Shiraz, and called it Red Ridge.

This Shiraz displays a the classic fruit forward style of Australia. The color is a classic inky black with a purple shade to the rim, indicating youth. The nose bursts with an abundance of sweet fruit flavors, including black cherry, raisin and sweet spices. The palate is full bodied, dry yet very ripe, with soft and supple tannins.

Food and wine pairing:
This can be enjoyed by itself, but is ideally suited to grilled meats and cheese plates.

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.

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.

Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Spatlese, 2008

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.

Taylors, 20 Year Old Tawny

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.

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.