Wine region / Country
Allende 2007 (2 bottles)
Pétalos del Bierzo 2012 (2 bottles)
Predicador 2011 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £87.02
Club Discount Price: £76.41
You save: £10.61 (12.19%)
The three share a family background in vine cultivation and winemaking, but above all they have in common their passion for their work, their love of vineyards and wine, unreservedly fine wine, for which they work meticulously and rigorously, in search of what constitutes the best and the most authentic.
They are also of course completely different from one other, three distinct individuals! Three rebels, each with their own cause, each making their own waves, maybe openly or more discreetly; three personalities which are conveyed in three winemaking styles.
The real stars of our selection are, nonetheless, their wines. Three wines which should not be missed off every good wine lover's list, three benchmarks: Allende 2007, from Miguel Ángel de Gregorio (Finca Allende, Rioja); Pétalos 2012, from Ricardo P. Palacios, with the collaboration of his uncle, Álvaro Palacios (Descendientes de J. Palacios, Bierzo); and Predicador 2011, from Benjamín Romeo (Bodega Contador, Rioja).
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Red Crianza. Finca Allende Rioja, Spain Tempranillo
Bottle: £12.23 club members / £13.99 non-members
The first impression is of terroir, of that Tempranillo firmly-rooted in the Rioja soil, and also of a modern-style wine, due to its juiciness and body; the wine has plenty of fullness, but it's extremely pleasant. The second impression is of seriousness and rigour: most appealing. We’re scrutinising it, whilst enjoying every sip.
Appearing a dark Picota cherry colour of high density, without seeming opaque, it exudes aromas of ripe fruit, of red fruits (cherries, pomegranate), some concentrated fruit aromas which already give on the nose a sensation of juiciness, of intensity, alerting us to a fruit-driven wine. Accompanying that fruitiness, we breathe in a lovely terroir scent, spicy notes, a hint of chocolate and with some aeration it also releases those damp notes, of leather and even a saline touch, so reminiscent of the great classic Riojas. Worth remarking upon too is the perfect integration of the alcohol, the mild balsamic and mineral (graphite) notes that are being activated to come through in the same glass, and its slightly earthy finish.
We recommend that you decant it half an hour beforehand, so that its remarkable complexity can be better enjoyed. The best thing is that sensation of harmony and its palate, so juicy and mature, with glycerine sensations that fill the mouth yet glide away so very easily on the tongue. It is one of those delectable moreish wines. Most definitely a contemporary classic and a delight for the senses.
Oxtail / cannelloni / lentils with chorizo sausage / magret of duck / cooked sausages / veal with mushrooms / meat casseroles / to enjoy on its own / milk cap mushrooms
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Young red Crianza. Descendientes de J. Palacios Bierzo, Spain Mencia
Bottle: £10.88 club members / £12.37 non-members
Pétalos is made using grapes from very old vines, planted at very high altitudes, in the Corullón district, where the soils are primarily slate, in contrast to the majority in the area which are naturally clay. It therefore starts off with certain specific conditions already in place, despite being thought of, as occurs with Burgundy, as a regional wine, and an introduction to the Bierzo. So it is, but just with a distinct personality.
Broadly speaking, Pétalos is a wine with an Atlantic character and predominantly acidic fruit - a common occurrence in this region with so few hours of sunshine. Nevertheless, it is a lovely sweet-touched wine, with a dash of sugary lusciousness. Pétalos is along the lines of the great Moncerbal, crystalline and fluid, and offers suggestions of concentrated fruit, not overly ripe (the yields of these vineyards are extremely low), mineral traces, graphite notes, hummus and a balsamic background which gains in intensity with time in the glass; smoky notes too, wild flowers, (violets, rockrose blossom), fresh wafts ... which add to its aromatic complexity and define its profile, as a perfumed and feminine wine.
On the palate its great acidity contrasts with a very pleasant velvety feel. The wine is powerful, intense, oily, with hints of aromatic plants which confer on it a subtly bitter undertone. The sensation of smoothness is the feature that best defines the palate… and its name: Pétalos (Petals).
Ox fillet / lamb / cooked pork products / ham / veal carpaccio / blue cheeses
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Red Crianza. Bodega Contador Rioja, Spain Tempranillo, Mazuelo
Bottle: £15.10 club members / £17.15 non-members
Benjamín Romeo is also a winemaker and a very meticulous, exacting man; obviously, the work done in the winery is no less important and we can appreciate that in the wine’s perceptible smoothness, in those velvety tannins underpinning that fresh fruit. The wine mellows in French oak barrels, though not new ones, as they have held one wine; balance between fruit and oak every time.
Predicador is a red with a bright, intense colour, which smells of fruit and earth, but also of balsamic notes, menthol and wild herbs; that feeling of being deeply rooted to the earth which is palpable all the way through. This is a concentrated, mature, fresh and complex wine, with a certain minerality (stones), some subtle caramelised sugar notes, liquorice, spices (cloves) and the scent of red roses, and plenty of volume. Decant it at least an hour beforehand, especially while still young, and you will get full enjoyment from this vibrant wine, a powerful but accessible Rioja, created to reach the general consumer.
Roasts / wild boar / meats cooked on hot stone / oven-cooked game meat
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