Wine region / Country
Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2011 (2 bottles)
Prior de Scala Dei 2013 (2 bottles)
Finca Villacreces 2011 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £99.08
Club Discount Price: £85.22
You save: £13.86 (13.99%)
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Red Crianza. Bodegas y Viñedos Pujanza Rioja, Spain Tempranillo
Bottle: £14.39 club members / £16.71 non-members
Finca Valdepoleo is a classy wine. Elegant. Fruit-forward. It reflects the Tempranillo's character extremely well, delivering very ripe and fresh fruit, blackberries and blueberries, yet the ageing notes starting things off —definitely very well integrated—, sweet toasty touches, aromas of incense and charcoal, fine wood, subtle leather, aromas of undergrowth and damp leaves, with a dry undertone of tobacco... which might lead us to suppose a blend with an international varietal. An interesting, evocative wine, particularly evocative on the nose.
Finca Valdepoleo is also a Rioja in every sense of the word. It pleases lovers of both classic and modern Rioja. It's been made expertly and very tastefully. It has moderate acidity, making it especially pleasant on the palate, and setting the wine up for really decent cellaring. The primary aromas stand out and the fruit is powerful, yet at no point does it show any excesses of concentration nor overwhelm, just enveloped by a pleasing minerality and balsamic touch. Such a pleasure to drink.
NOTE: With differences according to the nature of each vintage, this wine began exhibiting its finest qualities from the fourth year. We recommend aerating or decanting this wine half an hour before serving.
Red meats / poultry / small game dishes / meat casseroles / mushrooms / black rice / rice dishes / lamb
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Red Crianza. Celler Scala Dei Priorat, Spain Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Bottle: £12.42 club members / £14.44 non-members
Prior has a complex nose yet at the beginning the outstanding aromas are woody, of Mediterranean pine groves in particular and fir trees, which will make you think at first of a wine from neighbouring Montsant. Some of the grapes used in making this wine come from the typical slatey 'llicorella' soils, but also from the clayey ground of the higher altitude vineyards. Just as there are Montsant wines with a Priorat soul, there are wines in the Priorat with a Montsant spirit, or on entry at least. This is one of them, as you will discover.
Celler Scala Dei is the winery most closely linked to the Priorat's history. The Priorat's cradle, it was also the first winery in the denomination to bottle wine, in 1974. The winery has always owned the same vineyards, so both the vines and the vine-growing team know the terroir well. The majority are Garnacha grapevines, but there are also some very old Cariñenas, planted in 1904, as well as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Around 60 ha of vineyards in total, distributed among 42 different estates, with very varied orientations, altitudes and soil types, a diversity that we find in their wines, with Prior not only no exception but also the one which best picks this up, made as it is with grapes from several parcels.
The Garnacha, the foremost variety in this wine's composition, drives the fruit aromas yet its complexity is down to the overall coupage, with plenty of red fruit, but also blueberries, damp notes of undergrowth and hints of raisins, as well as a chocolatey undertone. The Priorat expression has greater presence on the palate, although it's an accessible one since the wine's still very young: meaty, sweetish, not exceptionally robust and very easily drinkable. With a menthol and mild eucalyptus finish. As the saying on the label goes, a "Vi fi de terrer", a fine terroir wine.
Turkey / duck with red fruits / chicken with raisins and plums / oven-cooked pork / paté / aperitifs
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Red Crianza. Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero, Spain Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Bottle: £15.80 club members / £18.38 non-members
It's also a classic red in style: pleasurable, accessible, for opening up and enjoying, with the guarantee of an eminent brand name and a prestigious group, that of the Antón family, Izadi or Artevino, as they are better known. It's made primarily with Tempranillo grapes, but small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have been added which further enhance its elegance and enrich the blend overall.
The end result is a wine that's a dark Picota cherry colour and exudes expressive aromas of ripe fruit, fine cocoa, creamy oak, leather notes, orange peel, tobacco, balsamic and subtle menthol wafts. It's flavoursome on the palate, with a delicate earthy undertone, hints of graphite and floral nuances. It's not an opulent red, but it's definitely refined. Noble and rooted in its terroir. Fresh and honest. Still young and spirited, yet mature and elegant. Allow it some time, decant it and you'll see how much pleasure it can give, offering more with every glassful. A sweet, spicy, polished palate, with good structure, not exceptionally complex but decidedly rich without being overstated. Classic, noble and pure Ribera.
Venison stew / stewed meats with mushrooms / entrecôte / roasts
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