Wine region / Country
Vizcarra 2011 (2 bottles)
Pico Cuadro 2011 (2 bottles)
Parada de Atauta 2011 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £76.84
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Red Crianza. Bodegas Vizcarra Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo
Bottle: £9.67 club members / £10.98 non-members
Perhaps we do need a few details. Black fruit, notes of cinnamon, ginger and toasted biscuits: fresh, smooth, profound and very intense. Precisely because of its intensity on the nose, we’re expecting a powerful wine, which it certainly is, but also seamless, silky and very well-balanced. It is very much a fruit-driven wine and, although not possessing great complexity, it reveals coffee and chocolate notes on the palate, and is slightly sweet, with good acidity, fresh and appealing; a most enjoyable wine that leaves us with a very pleasant taste in the mouth, displaying mineral undertones and a subtle hint of caramel.
Vizcarra is a genuine Ribera but it also has a special juicy quality which reminds us in its expression of certain Rioja wines; a Tempranillo, when all is said and done. A wine to drink now or to keep, whichever you prefer, as Vizcarra will definitely never disappoint.
Oven-cooked meats / rice dishes / stewed meats with mushrooms / barbecues / cooked sausages
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Red Crianza. Pico Cuadro Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo
Bottle: £10.66 club members / £12.10 non-members
As regards appearance, there are no surprises: dark, with good intensity and very fine tears. On the nose it is most attractive, elegant, serious... and, although accessible, we're in no hurry: a little aeration wouldn’t go amiss, as with all good wines. It’s a fruit-forward wine, and above all varietal, Tempranillo, yes definitely Tempranillo, yet the first aromas raise a query: a Bordeaux? For a few moments, some interesting coffee notes suggestively recall certain great Bordeaux wines, but that sensation soon melds into what is a cohesive whole, very well integrated and with an extremely pleasant balance between the sweet aromas and notes of dry spices, of tobacco, dried flowers and toasted crusts of bread; then with a little more time in the glass or after swirling, some balsamic aromas appear refreshingly on the nose.
That same balance between the sweetness of the fruit and those dry spices can also be found in the mouth: having a powerful entry, this is a medium-bodied wine yet with good structure and moderate but palpable acidity, which results in it simply gliding over the palate. Fruit-driven and intense, with restrained, silky tannins, and a finish that is harmonious, once again, and persistent.
Barbecues / lamb / veal steak
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Red Crianza. Dominio de Atauta Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo
Bottle: £13.50 club members / £15.33 non-members
The Dominio de Atauta vineyards are located in the most easterly area of the denomination, in the province of Soria, in an incredibly harsh environment that appears almost forgotten and abandoned, yet one that still has much to offer. Its wines prove the point, possessing an elegance to which few Riberas can aspire.
Parada de Atauta is a Ribera to its very core, a mature wine with a generous amount of fruit and minerality; aromas of cassis, earthy notes, wafts of tobacco and toasted bread, and subtle undertones of caramel. Its entry on the palate is sweet and, although it favours decanting, you can tell this is an agreeable wine just by uncorking the bottle; flavoursome, rounded, with well-integrated ageing notes and a slight choclatey bitterness. Warm, glyceric, balsamic, silky and seamless, a Ribera true to its origins, yet bearing the Atauta hallmark.
Lamb / barbecues / rabbit lamb with fine herbs / oven-cooked meats / roast beef
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