Wine region / Country
Avanthia Rosé 2011 (2 bottles)
Ziries 2009 (2 bottles)
Sant Gall Negre 2008 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £64.23
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Barrel aged rosé. Bodegas Avanthia Valdeorras, Spain Mencia
Bottle: £9.45 club members / £10.60 non-members
Avanthia Rosé is tastefully dressed: a lovely redcurrant colour, lively and bright. On the nose, it is natural and genuine. Best not served very cold, you will notice how it releases all its aromas in the glass after a bit of time and air: fresh aromas, with citrus notes, really fresh fruit and touches of shelled almonds and subtle nuances of fresh new wood (Please note! We're not talking of barrels, or vanilla, but a smell you get when you come across a carpenter at work: that smell of wood shavings, a subtle but interesting background).
Now taste it: it's like biting into fresh grapes, the nearest thing to grape juice, without any decoration, a smooth texture, lively and fresh, which caresses the palate whilst also displaying intensity, sinew and volume; this is a wine that gains in density and vigour with every minute spent in the glass, without straying from that line of finesse and delicacy. It is sweetish but shows very good acidity; a rosé that is most inviting to drink and totally moreish too. It has some viscosity, an oily feel, sweet-tasting, like taking a mouthful of fresh strawberry, a wine which despite being light and delicate is chewable too. Quite simply, delightful.
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Red Crianza. Bodegas Lobecasope Castilla, Spain Grenache
Bottle: £9.88 club members / £10.30 non-members
Ziries is a fabulous wine. Its label and its Burgundy bottle - and all the more so on reading that it is made from Garnacha grapes – point to a delicate wine, without great concentration. In addition, it is made using grapes from Garnacha vineyards aged between 40 and 55 years old, grown organically on sandy soils; we expect it to be a well-made wine. It certainly is.
You only have to pour it into the glass, its rosy-pink colour, not overly dense, confirms its fineness. Its aromas are refined and very fresh, cherry juice, with pine forest notes, spices... (If you are familiar with wines from the Châteauneuf-du-Pape area in the Rhône, it will remind you of them). It is an honest, pleasant wine and does not need decanting. It boasts medium aromatic intensity, yet its perfume is incredibly elegant; with some aeration and time spent in the glass, it develops into warmer Garnacha aromas, the Garnachas of Montsant, becoming more Mediterranean again. Ask your tasting companions which wines it reminds them of; the conversation will become even more interesting, you'll see... The nose is sweet, warm and smooth, on which balsamic and fresh notes can be detected too.
It is not as complex on the palate as it is on the nose, but it does show a similar evolution, of freshness to maturity and more volume. It is spicy, like the Rhône wines, mineral and with the juiciness of that intense fruit (cherries); its tannins are velvety and its structure, perfectly balanced. Quite persistent too. This is definitely a wine for opening, chatting over and enjoying. NOTE: This wine has not been filtered or clarified, for which reason natural sediment may occur.
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Red Crianza. Bodega Biniagual Binissalem-Mallorca, Spain Mantonegro, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Bottle: £9.88 club members / £11.22 non-members
In the glass, it is not particularly dense, a dark cherry colour with bright crimson hues on the rim, and tears due to the glycerol. As soon as our noses get a whiff of its aromas, we are seduced: a Bordeaux nose (could it be due to that 40% Cabernet Sauvignon?), aromas of Indian ink, coffee, leather notes, spices... a sweetish nose with a very subtle caramel background and balsamic hints. It is perfectly enjoyable without the need for decanting. On the palate it is quite powerful, intense and fruit-forward, with flavours of black fruit (blackcurrants) and fruit in liqueur, smoky touches and traces of coffee, with an easy and very pleasant mid-palate, and an outstanding finish: appearing on the aftertaste are notes of undergrowth, smooth vanilla, dry tobacco, and the persistence it has for a wine of this type is truly remarkable! Another glass anyone?
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