Wine region / Country
Nietro 2011 (2 bottles)
Ressons Clot de la Vella 2009 (2 bottles)
Vinya d'Irto Negre 2011 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £56.88
Club Discount Price: £50.01
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Young red Crianza. Sommos-Alianza de Garapiteros Calatayud, Spain Grenache
Bottle: £4.78 club members / £5.44 non-members
The label is stylish, quite simple but tastefully done; it is elegant and manages to convey the idea that its producers take care over every detail. Perfectly true. As regards the wine, it has character, with an excellent price-quality ratio, a pleasurable wine that offers all the fruitiness of the Garnacha grape (old vine Garnachas) and conveys “terroir”. Great work.
In the glass, Nietro appears a vivid, dark purple cherry colour, bright, clean, with dense tears but of medium to high density. The first impact on the nose makes us totally aware that we are dealing with a wine that has character: it is fresh, clean, Mediterranean, with spicy and black pepper notes. Most appealing. With some aeration in the glass, its aromatic intensity increases, it opens up gently, offering sweetish notes of ginger, juniper – there’s a Christmas feel about it! – mineral notes of graphite and some subtle nuances from oak ageing. All very well integrated and, essentially and most importantly, a fruit-forward (blackcurrant) and fresh red wine.
Its entry is rich, voluminous, in keeping with its nose although showing a bit more warmth. It is powerful, with touches of undergrowth, smooth tannins present that maintain its structure and augur well for a good evolution, and also, a red wine that is predominantly fruit-driven. It is smooth and creamy. Most enjoyable.
Nietro gives us a good mouthfeel, it is long and slightly bitter on the aftertaste, not indicating any unpleasant connotations just that it persists for longer. The alcohol is well-integrated and leaves us with a fine feeling of freshness on the finish. Very moreish.
(Nietro is made from old vine Garnachas, averaging 40 years old, grown at 950 metres above sea level on slate soils, in the municipalities of Castejón de Alarba, Alarba and Acered. Its name, Nietro, comes from an ancient wine measuring unit equivalent to 16 large pitchers or 160 litres.)
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Red Crianza. Celler Mas d'en Canonge Montsant, Spain Grenache
Bottle: £14.59 club members / £16.58 non-members
Its primary aromas, warm and leather-noted, will captivate Bordeaux wine lovers; its notes of oak ageing, in the background as it opens up but clearly present with an immediate impact, will satisfy those who like their wines intense; its fruitiness, its expansive aromas (Indian ink, black fruit patiently ripened, resinous hints) and its powerfulness will win over everyone else. It is an accessible wine, like all those produced by this winery, but a wine to figure among ones of great quality.
Ressons Clot de la Vella conveys the powerfulness of those old Garnacha vineyards and, should it be possible to stop sniffing wafts from the glass, there is a balanced, sweet-tasting wine to be enjoyed on the palate: ripe fruit, black fruit, a wine with volume and body, sweetish, balanced, pleasant, and with an aftertaste of tertiary aromas (leather and earthy notes). Undoubtedly, the older sibling of that Ressons which we liked enormously, yet even so a wine for the general consumer. Its first vintage has aroused our interest and made us very curious to learn about its evolution and the new vintages.
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Young red Crianza. Vinya d'Irto Terra Alta, Spain Grenache, Syrah
Bottle: £5.63 club members / £6.42 non-members
Vinya d'Irto Negre is a little treat which delights us on the nose and melts in the mouth. An impeccably turned out wine, from its label: simple, modern, unpretentious…, to its colour in the glass: it’s bright, of medium density, with very lively red glints. It’s attractive and, dare we say it, nice.
It releases gentle, elegant aromas, of very fresh fruit (red, mainly), cloaked in a delicate perfume… floral? Undergrowth? It’s a velvety perfume, and quite surprising too with its minerality. Furthermore, it demonstrates its openness right from the very start, something we’re thankful for: it’s an honest and genuine wine. A promising youngster, without a doubt.
Its entry is powerful but balanced, medium-bodied and perhaps without that complexity heralded on the nose, but don’t take that as a defect – how we’d like to find this wealth of nuances and the pleasure it gives in wines at much higher prices! Definitely, this is a well-made wine, with some subtle oaky notes very well-integrated, a most appealing sweetish touch and its minerality comes through on the palate as well; showing considerable persistence. Delicious, juicy fruitiness served in a glass.
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