February 2017 Selection

Qué Syrah, será? Which Syrah will it be?

February 2017 Selection

Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Mathilda 2013 (2 bottles)
Venta La Ossa Syrah 2012 (2 bottles)
Malpaso 2015 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £77.81
Club Discount Price: £65.01
You save: £12.80 (16.45%)

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About this selection...

Nowadays the Syrah, or Shiraz as it's known in the New World, is a wine that's widely grown all over the planet with a whole host of admirers. However, if we wound back the clock twenty-five years, few wine buffs had heard much about it, except for Rhône wine fans.

It's believed to have originated in Persia, in the city of Shiraz, although many other theories exist. What certainly seems irrefutable is that the epicentre of the grape's historic quality must lie in the Rhône. To the north of the river, the Gallic tribe called the Allobroges were cultivating back in Roman times a grape which was growing wild on their lands and was known as allobrógica; it would appear that over time this grape evolved into the vine we all know today as Syrah.

The Scotsman James Busby took cuttings of several varieties to Australia in 1832, and Syrah was the one that adapted best to the weather conditions there. When Rhône wines began to become popular in the 1990s, they soon realised in Australia that they had a real gem.

The Syrah/Shiraz grape is greatly affected by the environment in which it grows. Therefore, Australian wines in a warmer climate are all about concentration, while the French ones tend to be more spicy and floral. Nevertheless, Australian and French oenologists fly all over the world exporting their wine-making styles, so that it's now possible to find not only Australian wines with French nuances, such as Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Mathilda 2013, a fresh, floral and balsamic red, but also wines with a definite Australian profile in other parts of the world, as is the case with Venta La Ossa Syrah 2012 in Spain, with its strong, mature character. Deserving a separate mention is Malpaso 2015, an elegant and complex red which combines Mediterranean aromas, like black olive with other typically Australian ones such as cocoa and black beer.

One thing's for sure, this selection gives you the opportunity to get to know a magical, perfumed, elegant grape, capable like no other of adapting to its environment and conquering the most exacting of palates. No matter which style you prefer, there's a Syrah waiting for you.

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Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Mathilda 2013 (2 bottles)

Young red. M. Chapoutier Pyrenees, Australia Syrah

Bottle: £11.43 club members / £14.13 non-members


In 1997, Michel Chapoutier's pioneering spirit prompted this renowned Rhône producer to set off for Australia, attracted by the high quality of the Shiraz grapes that were growing there, and he found what he was looking for: an exceptional terroir, in the Victorian Pyrenees region, where he established his Domaine Tournon, with two vineyards: the Shays Flat Estate and the Landsborough Valley Estate.

For the production of his Tournon Mathilda, Chapoutier harvests the grapes at exactly the right point of maturity, avoiding any over-ripeness. After destemming, the clusters ferment in steel and concrete tanks, while macerating for two to three weeks to ensure a good extraction of tannins. The wine rests in the same containers for twelve months before bottling. The result? A wine with Australian maturity and French savoir-faire: of low to medium density and a bright cherry/ruby colour, a very fresh, profound and balsamic nose, with a predominance of black fruit, peppers and scrub, and a silky, medium-bodied palate that's mature, juicy, floral and delicately spicy, with suggestions of tar and liquorice. As regards mouthfeel, the Tournon Mathilda is pleasantly rough, earthy, mellowed by hints of jam, and with good acidity that takes it through from start to finish. Very well measured oak, with toasty nuances.

Red meats / Iberian pork / vegetable casseroles

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Ruby red / medium to low density / bright
    • Bouquet
      Profound / fresh / black fruit / spicy notes / pepper
    • Palate
      Silky / medium-bodied / ripe / juicy / earthy / good acidity
  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 14ºC and 16ºC
  • For drinking this year.

Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Mathilda 2013
Front and back

Venta La Ossa Syrah 2012 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodegas Mano a Mano Castilla, Spain Syrah

Bottle: £9.94 club members / £11.69 non-members


Under the Venta La Ossa name we find a collection of wines which includes two single varietals: one is a Tempranillo and the other a Syrah, both bearing an eye-catching label which you'll surely soon come to recognise once discovered. Try the single varietal Syrah, and you'll realise how well this variety has adapted to the Castile-La Mancha region, and you'll enjoy an impressive red, a wine that will pleasantly surprise any lover of luscious, robust reds.

The grapes are grown at an altitude of 700 metres, harvested and placed in crates, then fermented in stainless steel tanks. Afterwards, the wine is matured in first and second-fill French oak barrels, giving rise to a wine of medium-high density, with slow, thick tears. A Picota cherry colour. Mint, black fruit jam, toasty and smoky notes from fine oak seduce the nose, while on the palate, the entry is fluid, immediately drawing us towards a robust, strong and spicy core. Very ripe cherries, in liqueur; noticeable pepper and vanilla, black olives, smoked bacon, anchovies even. It's a wine that fills the whole mouth, meaty and feisty, with a mature finish that's also drying, mineral, spicy and juicy.

Red meats / Iberian pork / vegetable casseroles

  • Alcohol content: 15,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 14ºC and 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2020.

Venta La Ossa Syrah  2012
Front and back

Malpaso 2015 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Canopy Méntrida, Spain Syrah

Bottle: £11.13 club members / £13.09 non-members


Malpaso is a distinguished and distinct wine. A wine which, poured into a glass, with medium density and a cherry colour, doesn't seem to presage the strong wine that's in store for us. However, before trying it out, let's first disclose some details about how it's made, always interesting, in order to get to know the philosophy that lies behind it.

Malpaso ferments with whole clusters and native yeasts in open oak casks, where the grapes are trodden by foot as in times gone by. It's a wine that's had the vines under prime consideration, with the intention being to show maximum respect to their fruit. The sandy soils of the vineyards, lying at an altitude of 400 metres, guarantee freshness, perfect maturity and elegance. The wine matures for a year in large-size (400 and 500-litre) French oak barrels, without their aromas being intrusive.

The wine. The first surprise is on the nose: it smells of elegance and complexity; black olives, orange peel, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and sand, and some touches of smoked bacon reminiscent of the Rhône. A cool, fresh palate, having a very fine mouthfeel, but with a characterful undertone and clear-cut aromas of stout. Lovely Garnacha-type hints appear in this profound and balsamic wine, a different wine, with a long and far from simple finish. We'll say it again: a distinguished and distinct wine.

Wild mushroom risotto / duck with red fruits / Peppercorn steak

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

Malpaso 2015
Front and back

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