Wine region / Country
Capellanía 2010 (2 bottles)
Allende Blanco 2011 (2 bottles)
Miranius 2013 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £75.11
Club Discount Price: £65.26
You save: £9.86 (13.12%)
There are white wines to suit all tastes and in all shades too, but the three we've chosen here share the same or a very similar colour, a very pale yellow, the same grape, the Viura (or Macabeo in the Penedès region) and that gastronomic versatility we were talking about, although not alike in style; they are three different wines, each one having its own personality: Capellanía 2010, the great white from Murrieta and a white with the heart and soul of a red, able to accompany oily or smoked fish, ham and suckling pig; Allende Blanco 2011, from Miguel Ángel de Gregorio, excellent, a terroir wine with immense volume and plenty of character, which reminds us of both those superb Burgundies, due to its precision, and also the classic Riojas, due to its saline nuances; and a nice little white to make the collection more reasonable and to widen the scope of the pairings even further, a coupage of Macabeo and Xarel·lo, Miranius 2013, from the expert Recaredo family, under their Can Credo brand of still wines.
Thank heavens for the hands that made them, and we thank our lucky stars, as we're the ones who'll be drinking them!
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Barrel Aged white. Marqués de Murrieta Rioja, Spain Viura
Bottle: £14.69 club members / £16.88 non-members
Capellanía is produced from Viura grapes that come from a single vineyard, planted in 1945 and situated on a plain lying at an altitude of 485 metres, in the highest area of the Ygay estate, owned by the winery. It's a very fine white, extremely versatile gastronomically due to its astonishing complexity, with aromas which range from fresh almonds to delicate fruits in liqueur, with distinct salinity and toasted notes; a serious and profound nose. On the palate, it's powerful and elegant, fresh, and has crisp fruit in its youth, and very good acidity which will lengthen its life for several years; it's voluminous, with a refined creaminess, a touch of very well integrated caramel and a background of camomile tea, hints of honey, dried peaches and apricots and other dried stone fruits.
To sum up, a great white with the heart and soul of a red.
NOTE: Decanting or oxygenating is recommended half an hour before serving.
Ham / oily fish / smoked fish / marinated fish / duck / white meats / roast suckling pig / feathered game / honey baked cod
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Barrel Aged white. Finca Allende Rioja, Spain Viura, Malvasia
Bottle: £11.91 club members / £13.74 non-members
The contrasts will become apparent when you compare the nose and palate; at first it seems there are two different wines. In the glass it's a very bright yellow, extremely limpid, and once poured, the aromas tally with that lightness of colour: subtly perfumed and tremendously fresh, citrus, with a very clean and well-defined nose, yet also revealing some surprising hints redolent of chalk. We asked Miguel Ángel about that character in this Rioja Alta region and he told us that the soils of Briones, the town where his vineyards are located, are ones that make the difference; clay soils, yes, but with a continuous substratum of calcareous gravel which makes the roots of those old vines sink down deep and extract a large amount of minerals. Warming up a bit, it develops a saline nuance, a balsamic waft and even a hint of the odd off-white flower. It's definitely not lacking in elegance, character, nor complexity either.
The great surprise, or the second one, comes through on the palate. It's impressive: very flavoursome, with great volume and the fruit provision is delicious, with flavours more of stone fruit than the citrus ones suggested by its nose, peach and very ripe greengage plums. Unless you'd read the technical sheet, you'd never believe that this wine not only ferments in new barrels but also ages in them for over a year, for a total of fourteen months, in French oak barrels and all new. The secret? Burgundy barrels with a very light toast. In fact, the Burgundy idea also comes to mind due to the overall quality and precision, recalling some of those superb Chardonnays. With the aftertaste, however, we are back to Rioja: maturity, tension and saline profundity, like some of the classics. A white that few can compare to, a great Viura, long and very persistent as well.
NOTE: Allende Blanco is almost a single varietal Viura and will ultimately become one in time. It has a mere 5% Malvasía from some vines planted among the Viura, but which Miguel Ángel intends to select and discard over time since, even though it's a variety that imparts aromas when the wine is young, it's quick to oxidise.
Anchovies / fish in sauce / grilled fish / pasta with cheese / olives
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Young white. Celler Credo Penedès, Spain Xarel·lo, Macabeo
Bottle: £6.04 club members / £6.93 non-members
Miranius is a nice little white — but not simple — with a really perfumed bouquet, a mixture of refreshing aromas of gentle citrus notes, white pears and country flowers (thyme, fennel, almond blossom, cumin...) and a potpourri of warm herbs and soothing talc. On the palate, it has surprising volume for the price range it falls into; it's creamy and refined, with some sweetish touches similar to those discerned on the nose, fruity, flavoursome, with good acidity, an easy drink, showing remarkable liveliness, freshness and a very moderate alcohol content which is an added bonus for pleasurable drinking. A wine suitable for any occasion.
Sheep cheese / salads / sole / white fish / chicken / dried fruit and nuts / rabbit / oysters
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