October 2016 Selection

The Generation of 32

October 2016 Selection

Orben 2012 (2 bottles)
Serras del Priorat 2015 (2 bottles)
Aloers 2014 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £80.28
Club Discount Price: £68.53
You save: £11.75 (14.63%)

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About this selection...

The Generations of 98 and 27 are well-known to any good lover of Spanish literature, but perhaps not so much is known about the 32. It was in that year, 1932, when the first 19 wine denominations of origin in Spain were simultaneously recognised in the Wine Statute. Its early regulations and constitutions as denominations of origin came later, but from then on, names such as Jerez, Rioja, Priorat and Penedés began to lay the foundations for what would become over time the essence of Spanish wine.

In honour of those first wine-growing regions, this month we've prepared a selection which illustrates to perfection the level of meticulous care and excellence Spanish wine has reached. In the bottles of Orben 2012 you're sure to find one of the finest Rioja Alavesa red wines currently on the market; powerfulness and elegance in equal measures. With Serras del Priorat 2015 you'll discover a new side to the Priorat: fresher and more floral; and Aloers 2014 will leave you amazed at the delicacy and profundity the Xarel·lo grape is capable of in expert hands. What do you say? Are we off on our travels to 1932?

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Orben 2012 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodegas Orben Rioja, Spain Tempranillo, Graciano

Bottle: £13.39 club members / £15.68 non-members

In Laguardia, in the Rioja Alavesa, where the Atlantic climate still succumbs to some far-distant Mediterranean influence, there grow vines aged more than 70 years old which produce the grapes that will give rise to Orben. At the winery they combine knowledge acquired over generations with the most modern practices in order to obtain expressive wines that appeal to everyone. The grapes from micro-parcels scattered around the area are cared for meticulously so as to achieve a refined and robust wine that's, never fear, certainly not at all rough.

Its violet tinges on the rim point to freshness whilst its central opaqueness is a very clear indication of its strong personality. From a combination of these two merits, Bodegas Orben attains a modern red, with an extensive aromatic palette which ranges from cherries and inky hints to liquorice and pencil lead. On the palate, it appears fresh right from the start, at the same time as lactic (toffee flavoured) and moderately tannic. It's juicy and rugged, and the concentrated fruit stands out on a spicy and balsamic background. It takes its leave repeating its fruit character with maximum expression accompanied by the warm touch of well-applied oak. Its older sibling, Malpuesto, a single parcel wine, takes all the Orben's merits to the next level. If you have the chance to taste it, don't turn it down.

Sheep cheese / beef entrecôte / game

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • For drinking this year.

Orben 2012
Front and back

Serras del Priorat 2015 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Clos Figueras Priorat, Spain Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Bottle: £11.40 club members / £13.35 non-members

Serras del Priorat is one of those wines that's almost obligatory to get to know if you want to understand where things are going in the present-day Priorat. The Cannan family makes this wine in Gratallops, in one of the most prestigious corners of the DOQ, using the native Garnacha and Cariñena with a small contribution from the international varieties, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. All seems more or less normal so far; the surprise comes on opening a bottle of Serras and looking at the wine in the glass.

Its colour intensity is more subtle that what's usual in the region, but the tears remain slow and dense. It has a magical impact on the nose, and it's a wine that makes us feel like expressing our surprise, the sheer satisfaction of smelling it. You get a whiff, take another good look at the glass, and immediately want to sniff it again. It smells of freshness, elegance, pomegranates, wild strawberries, but also of the Priorat, and therein lies the magic. It reveals good tannicity, and this is pleasant too; it has fantastic acidity yet without becoming sharp, just pure balance. Balsamic, French in style, floral, with woodland hints and refreshing touches of tangerine peel.

Totally distinct from those bulk wines packed with alcohol, colour and tannins and a far cry from the voices of those who thought the Priorat would be incapable of producing fine, elegant wines. If you know anyone who still harbours even the slightest doubt in this regard, just offer them a glass of Serras del Priorat and, if there's still any reluctance, a drop of Clos Figueres, the company's top wine, will be sure to convince them completely.

Tuna carpaccio / grilled swordfish / cured cheeses

  • Alcohol content: 15,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 14ºC and 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2018.

Serras del Priorat 2015
Front and back

Aloers 2014 (2 bottles)

Young white. Celler Credo Penedès, Spain Xarel·lo

Bottle: £9.48 club members / £11.11 non-members

Sniffing a glass of Aloers, you might well ask yourself whether a white wine could ever be more elegant than this. Even knowing the expertise and Recaredo's long track record in the world of sparkling wines, the house's still wines, those that Celler Credo have been making since 1990, never fail to amaze us every time.

The winery's catalogue nowadays is extensive, and it's founded on three pillars: the Xarel·lo grape, organic-biodynamic agriculture and infinite attention to detail. The Celler Credo wines are direct, honest and individual, they are wines which shun trends and superfluous effects in order to enable the terroir that gives life to its grapes to express itself without any restrictions.

Aloers, the name in Catalan given in the Middle Ages to peasants who owned their land and weren't required to pay any tribute, is one of the Credo project's spearheads. The grapes with stems are macerated for several hours before fermenting, and afterwards rest on their lees for two months, until becoming a fresh, vibrant and exciting wine, that takes us off to a meadow of yellow flowers and fennel to pick up aromas of pine and resins in the distance; the aromatic element is so subtle and at the same time so complex that it's captivating. Unctuous, moderately saline, and above all other considerations, elegant, the hallmark of Recaredo and Celler Credo.

Risotto / meats with creamy sauces

  • Alcohol content: 12,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 5ºC and 7ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2017.

Aloers 2014
Front and back

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