Wine region / Country
Domaine de Majas Ravin des Sieurs 2010 (2 bottles)
Clos Montblanc Syrah 2009 (2 bottles)
Arrayán Syrah 2007 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £64.53
Club Discount Price: £57.61
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Young red. Domaine de Majas Côtes-du-Roussillon, France Syrah
Bottle: £8.65 club members / £9.83 non-members
Once poured, this "Ravin des Sieurs" ('Gentry’s Ravine' is the name of the vineyard where the Syrah grapes are grown from which it is made and it is a really beautiful ravine which was once used by the nobility for taking a walk) presents a lively colour, of dark Picota cherries, clean and showing good density. Its primary aromas are of black fruit, with black pepper notes, spicy hints and liqueur, however it blossoms out beautifully to proffer red fruit aromas and its scent also acquires balsamic and liquorice notes. It displays a very pleasant and balanced freshness, and subtlety.
On the palate it has a good mouthfeel, light, medium-bodied, well-defined and with a lively acidity that enables it to be described as a youthful wine, a jolly good tipple. Just as on the nose, a slight chocolatey bitterness gives it a rustic quality, not devoid of elegance, which ends up being dominated by its fruitiness (blackcurrants), the smoothness of its tannins and its great persistence. A very interesting Syrah.
Aperitifs / daytime conversation / red meats
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Red Crianza. Clos Montblanc Conca de Barberà, Spain Syrah
Bottle: £7.44 club members / £7.99 non-members
Clos Montblanc Syrah is like a little thoroughbred: in the glass it appears strong and vigorous, a dark cherry colour, bright, very clean, and its aromas are pure and honest. The aromas of black fruit are expressed in a completely natural way, aromas of wild fruits, although the first impact and the aromas which initially come to the fore are redolent of recently ground pepper. We obviously have here a fine example of a Rhône-type Syrah, fresh, in fact very fresh. Despite not having a huge amount of complexity, that spicy element is complemented by some sweeter subtle notes, of chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, pine nuts, a balsamic background and a touch of minerality (the estate where the grapes come from lies on slatey soil). A rounded and full nose.
And on the palate? The fine work perceived on the nose is confirmed, but there is more severity on the palate. It is intense as well as supple, medium-bodied, juicy and with a fine bitter finish, in no way unpleasant. A polished and well-structured wine, with good persistence, a red that has promise and augurs well for good ageing.
Red meats / oven-cooked meats / roast chicken / lentils with chorizo sausage / beefburgers
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Red Crianza. Bodega Arrayán Méntrida, Spain Syrah
Bottle: £12.71 club members / £14.44 non-members
Once in the glass its density becomes obvious and it shows off its dark Picota cherry colour as it gently evolves. On the nose it is clean and honest, offering aromas of fruit harvested at its best moment, fresh aromas of ripe black fruit, of forest fruits. In time and after letting it stand in the glass, it acquires a warmer, denser character, as aromas of black olives and spicy notes come through, notes reminiscent of roast meat, yet without losing its freshness, offering a “balsamic” warmth; and it picks up again that more rustic and refreshing (menthol) quality when we give the glass another swirl. It is a well-finished wine, wholly balanced, pleasant and appetising, with a gentle perfume that encourages us to taste its flavour.
On the palate blackberries and lactic notes are predominant, and the initial refined bitterness develops into subtle sweetness by the finish. It has a lot of body and is persistent. In that persistence there appears a mineral background (lead pencil) and smoky notes. It is a wine with good structure, long-lasting, definitely a wine to enjoy in a peaceful setting, with good food and especially over a lengthy postprandial chat.
Veal stew / stewed meats with mushrooms / afternoon/evening conversation / dishes with creamy sauces / barbecues
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