October 2015 Selection

The unknowns

October 2015 Selection

Gordo 2012 (2 bottles)
Pas Curtei 2013 (2 bottles)
Château Fourcas Dupré 2010 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £72.65
Club Discount Price: £62.17
You save: £10.48 (14.42%)

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About this selection...

How many times have we said of a wine that it has character, personality, that it stands out from its peers? That's how it should be in our opinion. Otherwise, rather than wines they are simply designed and reproducible products. A wine's origin matters and makes its contribution, yet we may not always recognise its source, nor the vintage or the characteristics of each grape and vineyard either; therein lies its greatness and the goal of its makers, who must be creative while at the same time allowing nature to express all its virtues and, possibly too, its limitations. Nature and man can work together as a great team.

This month we have selected for you three wines which break the mould. The diversity and singularity are totally guaranteed. They are unknowns but really worth your while getting to know. From Yecla, the young and dynamic team of Compañía de Vinos del Atlántico surprise us with a wine whose more comprehensive character both of the Monastrell and the Cabernet Sauvignon few will recognise: Gordo 2012. In the Penedès, a wine for cellaring at an incredible price, of exceptional quality, produced by a pair of winemakers enamoured with Burgundy, who have managed to awaken a region where it seemed great reds couldn't exist: Pas Curtei 2013 (keep the bottle, don't open it yet, don't be fooled by the price, it's a wine for laying down). Then from Bordeaux, what we all look for, a classic, a fine Bordeaux that enables us to enjoy the excellence of this region without having to empty the wallet: Château Fourcas Dupré 2010.

Three wines, from three regions set well apart from one another, which, despite having one of the most international varieties in common, namely the Cabernet Sauvignon, have nothing much to do with each other. Three very singular wines, unknowns... until today.

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Gordo 2012 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Compañía de Vinos del Atlántico Yecla, Spain Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon

Bottle: £7.31 club members / £8.32 non-members


Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata are the creators of this wine, creators and artisans. With their Compañía de Vinos del Atlántico, they are continuing in the wine-making tradition of their respective families, but their project now extends all over the Iberian Peninsula. They seek out old vineyards in high altitude areas, and with mostly indigenous varieties and applying organic viticulture they offer wines of great character at very affordable prices.

Gordo is their Yecla wine and its name relates to the nickname affectionately used by Patrick when referring to his father; yet another example of the natural way in which this winery works, the honesty, the seeing things as they are, while showing great respect for tradition and learning from the expertise of the past.

With Gordo, for example, they demonstrate how different a Monastrell wine from Yecla can be, in comparison with other similar wines made in neighbouring Jumilla. In Yecla, and especially in this vineyard, located at an altitude of 713 metres, the climate is cooler, the wines are more aromatic, fresher, naturally well-balanced and easier to drink. In fact, the exact profile of this wine. In this vineyard too, the soil's composition is calcareous, which favours the wine's finesse, and very poor in organic material, so that yields are really low, with very small berries and a great concentration of aromas, thanks to the high proportion of pulp in contact with the grape skin.

You'll find Gordo to be a very fresh and lively wine, different from what you might probably expect in a Monastrell wine. An intense, vivacious colour of dark Picota cherry but not overly deep, and a very open nose, of sweet red fruit, fairly luscious, with very vibrant woodland aromas, of juniper, cedar and aromatic plants, typical of the Monastrell but with no greenness, and touches of both dry earth and damp leaves, hints of pepper and cloves, plus a smoky undertone; a rather exotic nose, spicy but above all open and accessible. It's very easily drinkable, tasty, juicy, medium-bodied, with a subtle bitterness well-balanced by its mild sweetness and a particularly distinguished caramel undertone encountered on the aftertaste.

Peppercorn steak / barbecues / chilli con carne / roasts / chops

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red / luminous
    • Bouquet
      Exotic aromas / crystallised fruit / red fruit / blackberries / raspberry / blueberries / spicy notes / clove / black pepper / smoky notes
    • Palate
      Opulent / flavoursome / expressive / pleasant tannins / slightly sweet / spicy notes / long
  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • For drinking this year.

Gordo 2012
Front and back

Pas Curtei 2013 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Alemany i Corrió Penedès, Spain Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan

Bottle: £10.90 club members / £13.19 non-members


Pas Curtei is impressive and surprising for a good many reasons. Its quality comes as a surprise and so does its style, a wine more for laying down yet not reflecting this in the price. Its coupage is a surprise, with 20% Cariñena... In the Penedès! Well yes, from some old vines that Irene's great-grandfather once tended. Surprising too are the intensity and density of its colour, when we learn that they carry out very short macerations; the secret, we're told, lies in care of the vineyard, controlling the yields through green harvests to ensure perfect maturation of the skins and pips. Its production method takes us by surprise: they use tanks with a smaller diameter than usual and fill the barrels weekly so that the must and wine are always kept in a reductive wine-making regime, effectively, to avoid contact with oxygen as much as possible; and they use Burgundy oak barrels, a wood which has less influence on the wine's character. Irene and Laurent have declared themselves disciples and admirers of Burgundy vine growers and everything they do proves it. For all these reasons and more, the price of a bottle of Pas Curtei comes as a surprise.

Pas Curtei is a unique wine in the Penedès. At least for the time being. In this region there's a lot of effort going into the whites, but as regards reds, right now the Alemany i Corrió wines stand out as being different. The winery's flagship is Sot Lefriec and Pas Curtei was created to be the company's wine with an accessible profile, at a more affordable price. When you try it, you'll no doubt agree with us that they've only totally achieved one of their objectives, the price —which does them credit, of course, not the opposite— because although it's obviously more accessible than Sot Lefriec, Pas Curtei likewise boasts the profile of a great wine and deserves to be treated as such. A piece of advice: don't open it until its third year, and best after several months of maturing in bottle, the longer the better; always open it beforehand, and decanting is definitely favourable, and don't worry about finishing it the following day. This wine's longevity is astonishing.

Pas Curtei is a powerful wine but extremely pleasant on the palate, expressing itself naturally, with no artifices nor aromas that might mask the authentic personality of the varieties and its terroir: Merlot (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) and Cariñena (20%). On uncorking the bottle it is usual and quite normal to detect certain reductive notes. They will soon blow off and don't imply a defect but, on the contrary, are one of its great merits. Reductive winemaking avoids oxidation and allows the wine to develop a greater richness and complexity of aromas: a profound perfume of ripe fruit, very well composed with elegant notes of India ink, typical of the Cariñena, leather, coffee and chocolate notes, earthy touches and mild balsamic hints. It's well polished on the palate, with great structure but a velvety texture, having an intense flavour and a very pleasant suggestion of sweetness. A noble and truly complete ensemble, a clean and honest wine with plenty of personality.

NOTE: We recommend not opening it until its third year and better still after a couple of years of maturing in bottle. Always decant it an hour before drinking. To enjoy to the full all its complexity and richness just needs a little patience and careful handling at the table.

Marinated meats / stewed meats with mushrooms / cannelloni / spicy dishes / venison stew

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2022.

Pas Curtei 2013
Front and back

Château Fourcas Dupré 2010 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Château Fourcas Dupré Listrac-Médoc, France Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot

Bottle: £12.88 club members / £14.81 non-members


Fourcas Dupré always affords the opportunity of enjoying a good Bordeaux wine without having to spend a fortune on it. It has all we expect from a wine of this region, at a most reasonable price. It's serious and elegant, classic in style, traditional in its coupage, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon (44%) and Merlot (44%), with a little Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot. In short, it's a wine to open, enjoy and come back for more.

The Listrac-Médoc appellation is very near to Saint-Julien, in the centre of the Gironde's left bank, and both share that balance between powerfulness and smoothness. Fourcas Dupré is almost certainly the winery which best represents this small appellation and its first wine, Château Fourcas Dupré is undoubtedly one of its finest ambassadors, if not the foremost.

Fourcas Dupré comes over as opulent and complete, yet with restraint and elegance, and doesn't aspire to impress, merely to please. It's neither very concentrated nor focused on one single aspect, offering a varied and variable aromatic palette, with ripe red fruit (raspberry and black cherry) aromas, leather and damp undergrowth notes, alternating too with smells of a drier nature, earthy notes, whiffs of tobacco, aromatic herbs, spices and having a balsamic undertone. On the palate, it's simply lovely, fruit-forward, flavoursome, very pleasurable, mineral, balanced, fresh, and with silky tannins. It's a well-nurtured, well-crafted wine which isn't aiming for power or volume but —we'd like to stress this— purely the pleasure of enjoying a good glass of wine. A harmonious, profound and precise wine, for pouring, sharing and looking forward to a second glass.

Chicken with raisins and plums / roasts / cooked sausages / beef / casseroles / barbecues

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2020.

Château Fourcas Dupré 2010
Front and back

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