‘Never mix grape and grain’ – we’re breaking the cardinal rule again for the second vintage of our grape harvest beer. Chateau Aro, a dark rubescent ale, conditioned on the freshly crushed juice and skins of pinot noir grapes, then aged in French Oak barrels, all from the award winning Escarpment Winery. And the result of this unholy union? Rich, complex and surprising. Remember, beer then wine, you’ll be fine.”
Served in a stemmed tulip. This elegant beauty hits the glass with a deep chestnut hue and tops off with a short wispy cap which peels back to a ring. It laces quite well considering the diminishing head.
This aroma is unreal. The back story here is we bought this bottle from the brewery after we sampled it in a paddle at the taproom in Wellington a couple of months back. It is simply erupting with sweet notes of port, raisins, fig jam, mixed berries, vanilla bean and ripe cherries. Absolutely love the subtle oak and red wine tannin that cuts through a bit of the sweetness. It’s like nothing we’ve ever smelt before. Just divine.
The mouth feel is WAY too accommodating for a beer weighing in at 10.9% ABV. It’s smooth, velvety and flows over the tongue just like an expensive pinot noir would. Unbelievable.
The characteristics of the aroma transition incredibly well on to the palate. The light sparkle gives it a gentle lift as the cherries provide a subtle tartness through the mid. A mild bitterness is then introduced before it rounds off on a sweet, tannic and slightly dry finish with the cherry fusing with the port notes on the rear.
Simply put..perfect. There is literally nothing that could have been done better here, it is dead set spot on. We reckon it’s a beer that can be thoroughly enjoyed now but would improve with a few years on it. Wow, what a brilliant drop.