Sir John Kirwan MBE, the former rugby legend and mental health advocate, has been conducting a love affair with Italy for over 30 years now. (It's ok, his Italian wife is from Treviso, she gets it!) The fruit of this love affair is the selection of truly delicious and finely crafted Italian wines that he imports into New Zealand. With his son Luca and daughter Francesca playing an active role in the business, John and his family have carefully chosen wines that capture the heart and soul of the regions they are made from.
Carmenére is a dark-skinned grape variety originally from the vineyards of Bordeaux, France and it produces fine, deeply coloured red wines, with the attractive meaty plumpness of Merlot and the gently herbaceous notes of Cabernet Sauvignon. This Italian expression is ripe and fragrant with notes of violet and blackberry. It's pleasingly acidic and will pair beautifully with a nicely marbled piece of steak or strong cheeses.
John says “Mario is as much a part of my village of Treviso as the cobbled via and vine-covered hills – and he is ‘old-school’ Italian to the heart. His passions echo those of his father, and his father before him… family is everything. You see it in the glint of his eye when his grandchildren – my children – yell ‘Nonno’ and run into his open his arms. And just like Mario, his favourite wine is unique to this region, charmingly intense, and utterly unforgettable…so really, I had no choice but to name this wine for him. Nonno Mario.”
The winery writes "The colour is ruby red with violet highlights. The scent is fragrant and intense, with hints of violet, blackberry and rocket. The flavour is fresh, dry and pleasantly acidic."