Wine region / Country
Cune White 2013 (2 bottles)
Benito Santos Pago de Xoan 2010 (2 bottles)
Petrea Chardonnay 2008 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £69.11
Club Discount Price: £59.39
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Barrel Aged white. Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España - CVNE Rioja, Spain Viura
Bottle: £6.36 club members / £7.40 non-members
Cune White is a typical barrel-fermented Rioja white. Bright in the glass and not showing much colour, a pale yellow with greenish flecks, it reveals aromas of flowers and white fruits, namely pear and apple, characteristic of this variety; plus a hint of fresh pineapple and fragrantly sweet flowers, and some subtle, refreshing traces of coconut resulting from the American barrels used in maturation. Given some time and evolution in bottle, it will gain in complexity, developing more mature aromas, of apple peel. It is one of those wines always worth having at home, for enjoying whilst young, when fresher and full of verve, or more complex after several years.
Oily and with plenty of volume on the palate, good acidity, fennel hints, a touch of sweetness… It’s a flavoursome, appetising white, both a lively and serious wine, high quality, at a good price, complete and with a degree of powerfulness, that leaves us with a subtle touch of fresh liquorice on the finish and fruit on the retronasal passage. A very versatile wine for pairing, like all good barrel-fermented whites.
Seafood / fish / white meats / aperitifs / to enjoy on its own / foie gras / poultry
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Barrel Aged white. Benito Santos Rías Baixas, Spain Alvarinho
Bottle: £11.28 club members / £13.12 non-members
The Albariño variety evolves beautifully if it is treated with due respect and, on becoming acquainted with this wine, which is released onto the market after a slow evolution in bottle, we’re led to believe that it’s a real shame the majority of Albariños are drunk whilst young, perceived by most consumers to be wines with razor-sharp acidity. What a wealth of richness to miss out on!
Pago de Xoan is a wine to take time over, mature and balanced. It appears pale in the glass, not showing much colour, with flecks of new gold. On the nose, the first impression is of ripe fruit, apple and pear peel, notes of very ripe fruit above all, notes acquired through evolution which bring warmth, immediately giving way to more balsamic touches and very fresh aromas, highlighting citrus fruits and fresh pineapple. Pago de Xoan is also a marine wine, with sea and brine notes; we can definitely imagine it already on the table, a delicious accompaniment to white meats and fish. A white boasting a lot of personality and above all identity, it smells of the countryside, reminiscent of hillside pastures.
On the palate it is meaty, profound, mature, mineral, fresh and at the same time warm (hints of crusty bread), intense, fruity, saline and leaves a balsamic touch. Our mouths are watering just thinking of the long list of dishes we’d serve it with.
Aperitifs / oven-baked fish / foie gras
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Barrel Aged white. Mas Comtal Penedès, Spain Chardonnay
Bottle: £12.05 club members / £14.04 non-members
It is only made in the best years, from Chardonnay grapes grown in organically cultivated vineyards, on vines now over 30 years old, which the winery planted when the company underwent renovation, in a major drive towards top quality wines. In the wine-making process, it is partially fermented in stainless steel tanks (30%) and in Hungarian oak barrels (70%), a wood that has an effect upon wine similar to French oak, not overly harsh; then it is matured on its lees and undergoes bâttonage for just over 10 months. The result is a wine with sinew, great body and structure, and a very pleasant passage through the mouth.
Mas Comtal makes its Petrea Chardonnay available to consumers only at its optimal point for drinking, after some four years of evolution in bottle. In the glass it appears a lovely new gold colour, clean and bright, and if you uncork it during the first months after its release, you can still discern the aromas of that new wood in all its freshness, which rapidly blends in with the aromas of peaches and mangos, ripe fleshy fruits, and a floral fragrance, of orange blossom. The citrus and refreshing notes seem to come to life somewhat later, on swirling the glass or when decanted beforehand: aromas of grapefruit and mint tea. The aromatic palette is extremely rich, a fine Mediterranean Chardonnay, a fresh one without excessive maturation.
It has an exceptional palate. Its entry takes you by storm and its intensity permeates the whole mouth. It comes over luscious and glycerin-textured, but its excellent acidity and certain saline notes mean that it glides smoothly over the tongue. It is a wine that builds up on the palate, with mild caramel notes, toasted hazelnuts and honey. It is long and persistent, with a structure and complexity that make it an ideal wine for pairing up with both meats and cheese, perfect for ham... and a dessert in itself.
Rice dishes / white meats / oven-cooked meats / ham / soft cheeses / cep mushroom carpaccio / fish in sauce
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