Wine region / Country
Botani 2011 (2 bottles)
Cortijo los Aguilares Tinto 2011 (2 bottles)
Samaruco 2009 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £64.18
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Young white. Jorge Ordóñez & Co. Sierras de Málaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria
Bottle: £9.95 club members / £10.68 non-members
As if the Ordóñez name didn't speak volumes - the person who is possibly most responsible for renovating and who continues to renovate the Spanish wine-growing scene with exceptional wines in a great variety of areas – we have to say that the true identity of Botani's original creator is the Austrian Alois Kracher, considered one of the best master craftsmen in the making of sweet wines. We're absolutely positive: try it and you'll immediately be seduced by an exquisite bouquet of the finest and most delicate varietal aromas. Botani exhibits a typically varietal nose (Muscatel) but it does at some point raise the odd doubt: Gewürztraminer? Alsace Riesling? A delicate fragrance cloaked in gentle sweetness. Very seductive. On the palate too: a light sensation of bitterness, of grapefruit, hints at an appearance but doesn't actually materialise, just adding body and vigour to this delicious Muscatel, a white that has an extremely long persistence. Really surprising. But be careful, as the alcohol is very well integrated, so well in fact that you'll finish the bottle off without hardly realising... until the end, that the Malaga sun has given these grapes 13.5 degrees.
For the 2011 vintage, the winery has further improved the label, making it water-proof so that the bottle can spend sufficient time in the cooler. What more could you ask! Botani is a truly perfect wine.
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Young red. Cortijo Los Aguilares Sierras de Málaga, Spain Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah
Bottle: £7.63 club members / £8.68 non-members
Cortijo Los Aguilares Tinto is a wine which is bright in appearance, lively and glyceric, that exhibits a fresh, clean nose: aromas of black fruit, aromas of strawberries when the glass is held still, spicy notes – and yet it has had no contact with wood! It is also a wine that gains complexity in the glass: balsamic hints, sweet notes, even a touch of Sauternes, of pear, rhubarb and orange blossom; it has a creamy nose, on a background of undergrowth, with a definite hint of rusticity.
Cortijo Los Aguilares Tinto has a pleasant entry and its palate is in keeping with the nose. It offers a considerable amount of body, it is fresh, flavoursome, rounded, well-structured and balanced, and comes with an attractive aftertaste: an oily feel that we would normally associate with a Crianza, but we are well aware there has definitely been no ageing. This is a very decent wine, clean, fine and delicious.
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Red Crianza. Bodegas Luis Pérez Cádiz, Spain Syrah, Merlot
Bottle: £11.49 club members / £12.74 non-members
Samaruco is a coupage of varieties, mainly Syrah and Petit Verdot - this latter being the bodega's star grape - and aged in barrels previously used for one year. It is a fruit-forward wine, very accessible soon after opening the bottle; it doesn't require decanting, exhibiting all its merits within a short while of being poured into the glass. An intense colour and glycerin tears prepare the way for the dense nose to come: balsamic notes, which we've also already noted in its cellar-mate Garum, very ripe fruit, red and black, with notes of cherries steeped in liqueur and aromatic herbs, plus a mineral background. Warm and fresh at the same time, it offers a lovely, elegant combination – not a particularly complex wine but definitely very pleasurable - and one to enjoy on any occasion. After a sweetish entry, smooth but intense, its juiciness and discernible (yet not at all harsh) tannins end up by winning us over. It's persistent too: a wine easy to recommend and ready to enjoy.
(One last point: if you're curious to know more about the Petit Verdot variety, although its price puts it out of most people's reach due to its rarity and low production, we would recommend that you try, if you get the chance, this winery's single varietal: Petit Verdot Bodegas Luis Pérez. It really is quite amazing.)
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