(2021) As with the 2013 vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon marginally dominates the blend with 33%, then 32% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 17% Petit Verdot. This was a rather wet year, but a warm one, with warm and dry conditions for harvest. Winemaking follows a similar recipe for this wine each year, with only 25% new oak for the barrel maturation, the separate components blended after one year in barrel before further barrel ageing. This is a particularly silky and sleek Le Serre Nuove at this young stage, smooth black cherry and cassis aromas, melding seamlessly with creamy oak, a little graphite and tobacco. Terrific fruit sweetness and juiciness on the palate, with smooth, unruffled black fruit but edged with keen cherry acidity and taut framework of tannins. This has the hallmarks to be an exceptionally good wine with longevity too. Many merchants are offering this by the six-bottle case currently, at under £50 per bottle equivalent. Use the wine-searcher link.
(2014) Crossbarns is not a second wine as such, but an entirely separate label with its own winery (based in an old apple barn). "It's its own entity with its own winemaking staff," says Paul. It uses "Hand-me-down oak from the Paul Hobbs programme," with very little new oak. There's a small percentage of whole bunches with stems in the fermentation and maceration. Very good, deep colour, with an intense cherry aroma and incense-like notes of spices and Sandalwood. The palate has just deliciously focused fruit. There is also spice, a touch of briar and rhubarb/sappiness, and delicate floral notes amongst the power of the tannin and alcohol firmness. Lovely length with deep layers of flavour and texture.
(2014) A brilliant vintage in Mendoza according to Paul, this comes from 17-year-old vineyards, planted with two Cabernet clones and sited at over 1000 metres. This is the stony vineyard ground of Pedregal. It has deliciously buoyant fruit. A lovely lift of spice and plenty of keen black fruit, dark and blackcurranty with lots of edge and peppery spice. Lots of grip, lots of tannin and tightly focused too, with a huge, long finish showing copious black fruit and spices. So many layers of fruit, spice, texture and grip.
(2014) This vineyard in Pedregal, Lujan de Cuyo gives such beautiful fruit, and this has a tiny herbal and floral lift. The palate has really fine red fruits and a certain creaminess and has very fine raciness and red fruit character, It is very dry, really structured, but has the gravelly, grippy, refined character that is lovely. With a touch of tomato fruitiness and a touch of briar and really nice length and balance into the finish. Gravelly, like a really good right bank Bordeaux in some ways. 15% alcohol.