June 2012 Selection

Malaga and Cadiz, perfect Muscatels and signature wines

June 2012 Selection

Botani 2011 (2 bottles)
Cortijo los Aguilares Tinto 2011 (2 bottles)
Samaruco 2009 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £65.87
Club Discount Price: £59.68
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Botani 2011 (2 bottles)

Young white. Jorge Ordóñez & Co. Sierras de Málaga, Spain Muscat of Alexandria

Bottle: £10.21 club members / £10.97 non-members


There are wines about which much could be written, and others that only need one word: perfect. A description of Botani. Try it for yourselves and tell us what you think.

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.

  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: 6ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2014.

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Cortijo los Aguilares Tinto 2011 (2 bottles)

Young red. Cortijo Los Aguilares Sierras de Málaga, Spain Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah

Bottle: £7.83 club members / £8.90 non-members


Blind tastings are always interesting because they enable us to appreciate a wine's honest to goodness nature, its totally genuine character, with no preconceptions. It is always surprising to discover its identity and this is exactly what happened with the entry-level wine from Cortijo Los Aguilares: its complexity left us feeling totally amazed on learning that this was a Young Red, without any barrel-ageing.

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.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 15ºC and 17ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2014.

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Samaruco 2009 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodegas Luis Pérez Cádiz, Spain Syrah, Merlot

Bottle: £11.79 club members / £13.07 non-members


The Luis Pérez winery offers us their wine Samaruco as “the work of an artisan”. It is the very special selection of its creator, Luis Pérez, and a wine which proves to be a pleasant surprise right from the start, but also somewhat disconcerting: on a blind tasting, it would be difficult to place. It is, most definitely, a signature wine.

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.)

  • Alcohol content: 15,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 17ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2017.

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