These rich, redolent reds from Lebanon, Spain and California are best savoured over thoughtful conversations.
CHATEAU MUSAR 2016
Chateau Musar is the iconic red from Lebanon, a wine framed by civil war, financial turmoil and dogged perseverance. Widely popular around the world for its signature blend of cabernet sauvignon, carignan and cinsault, Musar is released after a long ageing of seven years. The 2016 is perfumed and lifted with dried flowers, plum and mulberry coulis. Its supple, textured and unfurls with an hour of decanting. $105, Pinnacle Wine and Spirits
MARQUÉS DE MURRIETA RESERVA 2018 RIOJA RESERVA
In the world of Riojas, Marqués de Murietta is a prominent brand. Unlike most properties in the region, Murrieta’s vast landholdings of 300 hectares ensure that all the grapes come from their own vineyards. The Rioja Reserva style is their flagship and the 2018 vintage – a blend of mainly tempranillo with dollops of graciano, mazuelo and garnacha – shows classic notes of vanilla, ripe baked red plums and cherry, integrated tannins and gentle oak, all framed with a lifted acidity. $72, The Straits Wine Company
Discovered by the famed Harlan family, Promontory is a steep hillside estate positioned across the Oakville and Yountville regions in Napa Valley. The patchwork of vineyards hides behind woodlands, forests and fog, and are cultivated with minimal intervention on volcanic and metamorphic soils. Each vintage ages in Austrian oak for five years, a unique choice preferred by Barolo producers. The 2015 vintage is laden with aromatics – from floral to cassis, olives and mulberries. It is rich and dense with polished tannins. $1,499, 1855 The Bottle Shop