The Symington Family has a long and storied history in Portugal’s Douro Valley. The family’s ancestry in the port trade spans over 350 years and through 14 generations. Their houses include Dow’s, Warre’s, Graham’s, Cockburn and others.Winemaking in the Douro Valley has evolved as port houses have focused on quality driven dry reds. Most notably, the Symington family has made extraordinary strides in this arena. In 1999 the Symmingtons formed a partnership with Bruno Pratts, former owner of Chateau Cos d’Estournel in St. Estephe, France. Pratts became co-owner of the Pratts & Symington venture into premium red wines from the Douro.
Sourced from the Douro grapes of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, then aged in French oak for 12 months. This opaque beauty opens with aromas of purple violets. In many ways this wine resembles some of Pratts previous efforts in Bordeaux. There are fresh blueberries and mulberries etched into a silky, elegant core. The fruitcake spices within are coated with vanilla bean and dark mocha. This wine has a beautiful weight and balance leading you to a long finish.
Sourced from premium estate parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, then aged for 16 months in new and used French Oak Barrels. If you close your eyes, you might fantasize that you were savoring a fine vintage Pomerol from Bordeaux’s Right Bank.
The highly perfumed bouquet is classic French with earth, mushrooms and truffles. Unctuous ripe, black fruits of mulberry and blackberry compote are mixed with savory Asian spices and graphite. This seductive wine is powerful yet silky and elegant through the finish. It is a thought-provoking and memorable effort that you might rank among your top ten of all time.
This New World blend from Villany is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It reveals a purple-opaque hue and personality that is reminiscent of a Napa Valley “Howell Mountain”styled Cabernet Sauvignon. There are enticing aromas of crushed red cherries and fruitcake spices. This expressive wine has a rich mouth-feel offering up a wealth of black and red orchard fruits mixed together with roasted coffee and black licorice. The tannins are ripe and supple, held together with some delicate freshness on the finish. It is accessible with great purity of fruit that lasts for minutes.
The majority of the grapes in this finely tuned sparkling wine are Furmit along with the addition of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Harslevelu. It is aged for a minimum of 36 months in the bottle. The pale salmon hue opens with fine, persistent bubbles revealing delicate toasty aromas. There is an assortment of mixed red fruits with red raspberry foam and crushed strawberries held together nicely with delicate salinity, minerals and a hint of smokiness.
A group of three friends including acclaimed winemaker Roberto Cipresso founded Achaval Ferrer in 1998. This winery is situated in the foothills of Mendoza, Argentina on the eastern half of the Andes Mountains. This winery focuses on low yielding old vine production. Winemakers Roberto Cipresso and Santiago Achaval look to make distinctive wines year after year, which have gained them a loyal following in North and South America.
The 2015 Quimera is predominantly Malbec blended with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, then aged for 12 months in French Oak Barrels. This deep purple beauty opens with dark plum, crème de cassis, earth, mocha and a hint of smokiness. It is plush with a full-bodied spiciness and fine tannins.
By Perry Miroballi
This single-vineyard Malbec from the high Medrano region of Argentina is situated at 2,300 feet above sea level and grown in alluvial soils with a base of clay and rock. The resulting wine is dark ruby with a massive amount of concentrated berries. This Malbec offers floral scents of purple violets and red rose petals.It retains a muscular core of creme de cassis, brambly spices and espresso along with a hint of cracked pepper. It has a generous mouth-feel that is deeply embedded with black fruits, but finishes with rounded and ripe tannins. There is plenty of energy in this age-worthy wine which will require some graceful aging in order to attain its true potential.