April 2016 Selection

Standing out from the crowd

April 2016 Selection

Corral de los Altos 2013 (2 bottles)
Sílice 2014 (2 bottles)
Chivite Colección 125 Rosado 2013 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £85.69
Club Discount Price: £74.50
You save: £11.19 (13.06%)

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About this selection...

This month we're again suggesting a selection of wines that are very different from one another, three wines sharing neither region, style nor grape... but which have attracted our attention and we'd like you to try them, as we're convinced you'll enjoy them. To all intents and purposes, these are singular wines.

In the wine world, it's not easy to stand out but it's essential for being able to be recognised —and we're not referring here to labels— and truly appreciated. A wine should tell us something that applies to it alone, get through to us in a different way from any other wine of the same region or made from the same grapes, or even by the same producer. It must be original and leave a particular memory. Only thus will we surely remember it.

In this selection we're proposing a Garnacha from Navarra, Corral de los Altos 2013, which proves to us yet again how only honest-to-goodness hard work can reveal the character of a particular parcel; there are plenty of Garnachas about, and especially in Navarra, but this one is refined, melts on the tongue and has a fruit-driven and earthy character which sets it apart. From the Atlantic area, from Ribeira Sacra lands although not formally belonging to this denomination, we find Sílice 2014, another wine that's seductive due to its minerality; if you liked Xabre, from our previous selection, then here you have another example of the great work that's being carried out in that region. Lastly, an incomparable rosé: Chivite Colección 125 Rosado 2013; a rosé with several facets, depending on the temperature it's served at, depending on the tasty dishes it's paired up with... a rosé with plenty of character from a winery of great prestige.

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Corral de los Altos 2013 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Viña Zorzal Navarre, Spain Grenache

Bottle: £9.03 club members / £10.39 non-members


We're already familiar with a fair few Garnachas, it's true. Even so, it's always a pleasure to discover new wines made from such a diverse and tasty variety, unearthing pastures new. Especially when they are so reliably made, like Corral de los Altos.

The Viña Zorzal project is one of those that's always welcome: quality wines at affordable prices, a modern image and the industrious work of reviving indigenous varieties and old vineyards which combine tradition and modernity and preserve the natural environment. In this instance in Navarra, a great Garnacha-growing region, and in the ideal location: the northern parcel at Corral de los Altos, vineyards aged over 40 years old, planted on stony soils, lying between the Sierra de Carneros and the River Ebro basin, where a strong north wind blows. The grapes ripen slowly here, maintaining their natural freshness and absorbing the aromas of the plants growing round about, flora which the Sanz brothers make efforts to reclaim and protect. This wine starts life here: a refined, feminine Garnacha which melts on the tongue; a fruit-forward Garnacha, centring on plums and red fruit, with a delicate perfume of woodland flowers and the occasional lactic note, plus very subtle hints of roast meat and bakery. On the palate it's vibrant, sinewy, with that same fruit-driven character discerned on the nose, slightly earthy, with highly polished tannins, extremely pleasant and luscious. A very well-made, reliable Navarra Garnacha. Another fantastic wine from Viña Zorzal. Carry on the good work!

Pork / oven-cooked chicken / meat rice dishes / ox fillet / rabbit lamb with fine herbs

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Clean / fruit aromas / red fruit / plums / spicy notes
    • Palate
      Fresh / medium-bodied / red fruit / smooth tannins / long finish / persistent
  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: 16ºC
  • For drinking this year.

Corral de los Altos 2013
Front and back

Sílice 2014 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Sílice Viticultores Wines without GI, Spain Mencia, Brancellao, Merenzao, Alicante Bouschet

Bottle: £10.65 club members / £12.24 non-members


Ribeira Sacra wines keep on conquering an increasingly broader range of consumers, with the region continuing to confirm its status as an exceptional Galician denomination. They have a very individual character, and they're authentic, honest, made in very low production runs, treated carefully, moderate on the alcohol, fresh, accessible... Try this Sílice and, despite the fact it doesn't fall within the denomination, you'll surely recognise its Sacra character straightaway!

Naturally, with a name like this we're expecting a mineral wine. So it is. Mineral but also smoky, and to such an extent that, tasted blind, we may wonder whether it's Sicilian or from the Canaries, as it reminds us of wines hailing from volcanic soils. Fresh, profound, with a very seductive vegetal Mencía note, luscious, and a complexity of aromas that goes way beyond: very fresh, ripe, juicy red fruit (lively and sparky), notes of roast meat, undergrowth, earth dampened after rain... This wine has "pedigree": an Atlantic terroir.

Sílice is profound and dark in colour, and dark and profound on the nose. Delicious on the palate. Absolutely Atlantic and definitely not lacking personality. Pleasant, juicy, intense, with a fantastic bitter-sweet balance, extremely easy and pleasurable to drink, with incredible persistence and totally alluring! We'll need to be on the lookout for any new wines these producers can offer us.

Red meats / grills / cured meat / semi-cured cheeses / beef / cooked sausages / ham / hearty dishes

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Elegant / fine / mineral / red fruit / smoky notes / undergrowth notes
    • Palate
      Medium-bodied / intense / velvety / mineral notes / balsamic notes / smoky notes
  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: 16ºC
  • For drinking this year.

Sílice 2014
Front and back

Chivite Colección 125 Rosado 2013 (2 bottles)

Rosé. Chivite Navarre, Spain Tempranillo, Grenache

Bottle: £17.58 club members / £20.21 non-members


If you're looking for a denomination in Spain with a tradition in producing rosés, it's definitely Navarra and the Chivite family, the best benchmark. Chivite was founded as a winery in 1647 and figures among the most historic dynasties in Spain. The Colección 125 range was released onto the market in 1985 to commemorate 125 years since they first started exporting in 1860, and the one which best showcases their expertise. They are true masters. In reds, whites, and naturally rosés. Chivite must be credited with having dignified the art of making rosés.

Chivite's rosé is one of Spain's finest, a rosé with considerable personality, not simply fermenting in barrel but maturing for months on end on its lees in French oak barrels. Besides its beautiful colour, between salmon pink and ready-to-eat apricot, it's an elegant and refined wine, with a notably balsamic nose. Swirl it around in the glass and you'll see how it arouses aromas of cumin, black liquorice and sandalwood, mixed with earthy notes, crystallised fruit (redcurrants, pomegranate, raspberries), a gentle perfume of dried flowers and some buttery touches in the background. Really unusual: there's something on this nose reminding us of sparkling wines, Champagnes —but no bubbles, of course. Quite fascinating, and interesting too, because the grapes producing this rosé have nothing to do with the ones normally used in the manufacture of those French wines. Keeping it in the glass and letting the temperature rise a little, you'll notice how creamy it becomes and all the new nuances that appear, so subtle and so well interwoven that it's difficult to describe them, but you could spoon them out like a dessert!

On the palate it offers a fresh and meaty attack, voluminous, dry, rather creamy on the entry — even more so as it starts to warm up — and now you can certainly detect an undertone of damp wood and notes of lightly toasted dried nuts and fruit from that barrel-ageing. Everything in just the right amount. A balanced and harmonious ensemble, which finishes smoothly and persistently. Back again, that initial Champagne-flavoured hint and aniseed background. A rosé with plenty of character, to enjoy at a leisurely pace.

Meat rice dishes / pasta with cheese / oily fish / grilled shellfish / white meats / pigs feet / hearty dishes / rice with wild mushrooms / with a good book

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Pink / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Fruit aromas / red fruit / aniseed aromas / floral aromas / dried flowers / earth / sandalwood / liquorice
    • Palate
      Oily / voluminous / good acidity / fruit notes / toasty notes / dried fruits and nuts
  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 10ºC and 12ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2022.

Chivite Colección 125 Rosado 2013
Front and back

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