Wine region / Country
Sayago (830) 2010 (2 bottles)
Quixote Merlot - Tempranillo - Petit Verdot 2007 (2 bottles)
Faunus de Montsant 2011 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £60.93
Club Discount Price: £53.60
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Young red Crianza. Dehesa de Cadozos Castile and León, Spain Tempranillo, Pinot Noir
Bottle: £8.29 club members / £9.43 non-members
Sayago has an unusual blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Pinot Noir; yet it is most successful. It is not a particularly complex wine but don't imagine this means it is simple, because it isn't; this wine is direct, with clean aromas, made very well, which must be congratulated on its accessibility and its good price; it is so easy to drink, almost addictive.
In appearance it is compact with medium-high density; the Tempranillo prevails. It is particularly interesting on the nose, due to that predominance of fruit, enriched with notes of black pepper, pencil shavings and subtle smokiness (emanating from the Pinot Noir, perhaps?) The wood is perfectly integrated and the tannins do not appear until much later, without cause for concern. It is a balanced wine, with good body, fresh overall with a subtle sweet touch on the palate, and again leaves a smoky finish on the aftertaste.
A wine that comes forward as a Tempranillo but takes its leave as a Pinot Noir; interesting and delicious. Try it with rather rich meat dishes, sausages and ham, or a lovely duck casserole. The bottle will disappear pretty quickly!
Duck / cooked sausages / ham / smoked
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Red Crianza. Pago Casa del Blanco Pago Casa del Blanco, Spain Merlot, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot
Bottle: £9.88 club members / £11.23 non-members
Quixote wines are made patiently, undergo long ageing in the cellar, and that deliberately unhurried maturation is discernible in all aspects. Visually, the colour it exhibits is vivid despite its age, with good density, a lovely dark Picota cherry shade, clean and bright, with carmine on the rim that is beginning to show signs of evolution but still displays all its vitality.
Its aromas are open and elegant; it seems as though the Merlot grape has taken overall control, avoiding an excessive display by any one element. The nose is restrained, not at all aggressive but definitely intense, complex, accessible, attractive and interesting. The fruit aromas, of black fruit (plums, blackberries) are accompanied by a gentle sweetness and balsamic, spicy, mineral (graphite) and fine wood notes (laurel, thyme, cloves, cedar…), forming a neatly interwoven and highly polished aromatic texture.
It flows easily on the palate, it is medium-bodied, flavoursome, fruit-forward, with just about perfect acidity… and after time in the glass it is the Tempranillo variety which takes the lead: the wine presents more fruit intensity, black tea notes, but once again nicely rounded. There are fine tannins, the finish is pleasant and via the retronasal passage a subtle backdrop of liquorice appears.
An outstanding coupage wine, successfully executed; a recommendable wine and one that should always be decanted about 30-60 minutes in advance to enable all that complexity to come into play.
NOTE: The wine does not undergo any stabilisation or filtration; natural precipitation and sediment may occur.
Meat casseroles / game dishes / entrecôte with pepper sauce / stuffed peppers / lasagne / cured cheeses / pigs feet / oven-baked quails
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Young red Crianza. Ediciones I-Limitadas Montsant, Spain Carignan, Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot
Bottle: £8.63 club members / £9.79 non-members
It is made using a combination of four varieties, with ‘those that darken the glass’ contributing a higher percentage: Cariñena (30%), Syrah (30%), Tempranillo or Ull de Llebre (25%) (it also contains a smaller amount of Merlot) and it truly does darken the glass: with medium-high density and fairly concentrated.
Just by pouring it into the glass, a feast of aromas emerges, extremely fruit-forward aromas, of fresh yet ripe red and black fruit, of Mediterranean herbs, India ink, smoky and mineral notes..., an aromatic array which leaves us in no doubt at all that this is a Montsant wine: it smells of Montsant.
Faunus is, moreover, a wine that is simultaneously dense and fresh; a wine with plenty of body yet at the same time accessible; warm, revealing the fruit’s maturity, but balanced by a delicious acidity. Its entry is most appealing, it has good structure and spreads through the whole mouth, growing, with this full, meaty mouthful culminating in a fruit-driven finish, revealing notes of India ink, and, on swallowing, it takes its leave with some polished tannins and a pleasant fresh feel.
Exactly what Alfredo envisages achieving: freshness, elegance and fruit expression. Mission accomplished, with this vintage.
Veal with mushrooms / chicken / stews / spicy dishes
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