Cellar these 3 bottles as they’ll get better with age
JOSEPH PHELPS INSIGNIA 2017
At 7,500 cases of insignia made, this is half the usual production at Joseph Phelps (see vintage highlights). Introduced in 1974, Insignia is California’s first Bordeaux-style proprietary red blend, made each year of the best selection of grapes (think St. Helena, Rutherford and more). The estate-grown 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc blend races out of the glass with generous dark fruit and chocolate espresso notes. The palate is velvety and enveloping, building up layers of cherry, blackcurrant and tobacco with finessed tannins, finishing long and lush. Critics point to 10-30 years of ageing. $355 from wine-clique.com (ETA April)
2017 NAPA VALLEY VINTAGE HIGHLIGHTS:
• James Suckling calls it a traumatic vintage, marked by wildfires that started on 8 Oct.
• However, a warm growing season helped ripen grapes earlier and many reds were already picked and safe from smoke taint.
• 2017 is likened to 1997 and 2015 vintages, with reds tending to dark black fruit characteristics with ample tannins.
PENFOLDS YATTARNA CHARDONNAY 2018
With a name that means little by little, or gradually, in the Aboriginal language, this is a Burgundian-styled wine you indeed take your time with. Created in 1995 as Penfolds’ icon white, the Yattarna is sourced from three cool climate regions, Tasmania, Tumbarumba and Adelaide Hills based on their grape performance. This vintage is inviting, with juicy stone fruit giving way to crisp apple and grapefruit acidity, integrated seamlessly from eight months maturing in French oak barriques. While approachable now, it’ll peak in at least a decade under screwcap. $165 from winenspirits.sg
DR. H. THANISCH BERNCASTELER DOCTOR RIESLING AUSLESE 2018
Rieslings historically held the reputation for longevity, especially those from Mosel. Dr. H. Thanisch, a winegrowing family of over 375 years and now in its 12th generation, is one of the stewards of the famed Berncasteler Doctor site, Germany’s most expensive white wine terroir for its old vines, stony schist soil and southwest orientation. Spontaneous fermentation and lees aging bring out full aromatic complexity, ranging from bergamot and baked apples to white truffle, smoke and dried fruit. A wine for the ages – their Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 1921 auctioned for 11,200 Deutschmarks in 1986. $90 from corneyandbarrow.com.sg
THE 100 PROSECCO RECIPES
By Sandro Bottega is much more than a recipe book. The bestselling Prosecco winemaker pays tribute to the culinary traditions of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Veneto, evoking its art, heritage, landscape, farmers and producers along the way. Bottega is an avid culinarian, establishing 20 restaurants around the world in addition to his wide range of sparkling wines, grappa and liqueurs. Recipes like risotto with Prosecco DOCG, redolent with butter, thyme, extra virgin olive oil and a splash of Prosecco, can be attempted by the amateur cook; while fine dining showstoppers like the marinated musky octopus requires dextrous wrangling and at least 24 hours of preparation. Vivid photographs make this a coffee table keeper. €19.90 from bottegaspa.com