Pete Ste­wart rec­om­mends

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - DRINK -

PHEAS­ANT has a clas­sic match in the wine world. With pheas­ant, you’re sup­posed to go to the cel­lar and pick an old Pomerol or a Saint-Emil­ion (es­sen­tially a Mer­lot-dom­i­nant Bordeaux blend). My is­sue with Bordeaux is that you never re­ally get good value. I don’t mind pay­ing for a bot­tle as long as the qual­ity and the value are in synch, which (in my opin­ion) rarely hap­pens in Bordeaux.

So, in my time in the trade, I’ve al­ways been on the look­out for good-value Bordeaux or new world al­ter­na­tives (ba­si­cally the same grapes, but from dif­fer­ent re­gions around the world). Very oc­ca­sion­ally, I’ve man­aged to find a bot­tle that ticks all my boxes, and this week’s rec­om­men­da­tion is the best Pomerol al­ter­na­tive that I’ve found in 22 years.

The wine is made by a young man that I’ve men­tioned sev­eral times in this col­umn be­fore. Ma­tias Ric­citelli is one of the best wine­mak­ers cur­rently work­ing in Ar­gentina. I’d ac­tu­ally rate him in my top 10 pro­duc­ers in the world. His dad, Jorge Ric­citelli, was the head wine­maker at Nor­ton for years, so Ma­tias grew up sur­rounded by wine. This was a re­ally good start for Ma­tias and set him on his path to where he is to­day, at the fore­front of mod­ern Ar­gen­tinian wine pro­duc­tion.

When he came of age, he ini­tially trav­elled the world learn­ing his trade from some very cool pro­duc­ers, be­fore re­turn­ing home and buy­ing some ex­cep­tion­ally old vine­yards al­low­ing him to im­me­di­ately pro­duce some re­mark­able wines. His Repub­lica del Mal­bec, for ex­am­ple, could po­ten­tially change your life. It is that good.

The wine to match Shirley’s pheas­ant, how­ever, is his Ric­citelli Old Vines Mer­lot 2015 (In­ver­ar­ity One to One, £34.99) from Patag­o­nia in South­ern Ar­gentina. The vines are un­grafted (orig­i­nal, pre­phy­lox­era) and over 50 years old. The wine is aged in con­crete vats (which in­ci­den­tally also hap­pens with Petrus, one of the most ex­pen­sive wines in the world). You’d be for­given for think­ing this was a par­tic­u­larly gamey Bordeaux on the nose and palate, when in­stead you’re ar­guably get­ting the new world wine bar­gain of the year. If this were from Pomerol, at this qual­ity, you’d cer­tainly be pay­ing over £50 a bot­tle. The pro­duc­tion is such that we could only se­cure 24 bot­tles, and I don’t ex­pect them to be here for long. Buy a pheas­ant, and pop in soon. Cheers! Pete Ste­wart is Glas­gow direc­tor of In­ver­ar­ity One To One, 185a Bath Street, Glas­gow­ver­ar­i­ty­mor­


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.