Wine region / Country
Ferral 2014 (2 bottles)
Ritme 2015 (2 bottles)
Les Crestes 2016 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £75.21
Club Discount Price: £64.42
You save: £10.79 (14.34%)
Ferral is the entry wine from Celler Castellet, a small and relatively new, family-run winery, located in Porrera, a village tucked away at the bottom of a valley, on the sunny side of the River Cortiella and protected from the north winds by mountains. There, the iron-rich, slate shards impregnate the grapevines with character, resulting in intense, distinctly individual wines that are well worth discovering.
Ritme is a wine which keeps to the pace of the Priorat and its people, a wine requiring time and deliberation, a vigorous yet timid red that opens up slowly to bring us a truly authentic Priorat. Refined, full and complex, it brings together many of the attributes found in the best Priorat reds.
Then, to round off a selection with a strong local character, what better than Les Crestes, the great little wine from Celler Mas Doix, one of the Priorat's most famous. Only the Serra del Tossal separates the vineyards of Porrera from those of Poboleda, the location of this winery. There, the north-westerly breeze cools down its vineyards and enables the production of opulent but accessible wines, with this Les Crestes proving a magnificent example.
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Red Crianza. Celler Castellet Priorat, Spain Grenache, Hairy Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot
Bottle: £9.32 club members / £10.83 non-members
The name Ferral is derived from 'llicorella férrica', a type of slate traditionally found in some parts of Porrera, which has reddish streaks due to iron (ferro, in Catalan). Using grapes from vines planted on some of these slate terraces between the 1990s and the early 2000s, production began of Ferral, a red which, despite its alcohol content and ageing, isn't at all harsh or oaky. Ferral is juicy, fresh, succulent and jaunty, but also intense and distinctly individual. On the nose it combines musk, black fruit and orange peel with liquorice and Bordeaux hints, revealing a perfect aromatic balance which continues onto the palate. It has an enveloping feel and a fluid passage thanks to the perfect acidity of wild fruit. The refined bitter touches from the oak underline the blend's Bordeaux recollections, presenting an honest, versatile wine with a lengthy finish, one that looks to the future very well-prepared.
Kid goat / Gouda / hare
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Young red Crianza. Ritme Celler Priorat, Spain Carignan, Hairy Grenache, Grenache
Bottle: £10.37 club members / £12.13 non-members
Ritme is an elegant and distinguished wine as regards its aftertaste. Following an initial, mild whiff of alcohol, a wine of countless attributes and nuances comes through. The aromas of juicy wild strawberries and spices enhance a palate of sweet tannins and amazing acidity which immediately takes us to the Priorat's iconic 'llicorella' soils. The rhythm of the old vines of indigenous varieties comes through intensely and purposefully in every sip of Ritme. The 10 months in French oak barrels are evident but not overwhelming, they simply give the fruit the finishing touches of fine resinous notes. Balsamic hints of undergrowth mark the finish of a red which, bottled without filtering or clarifying, exhibits all the nobility and tradition of the Priorat's historic wines. Ritme is an unassuming Priorat crafted in the manner of a great wine that will continue to develop in the bottle and delight all those who drink it.
Meats cooked on hot stone / cep mushroom carpaccio / small game
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Young red Crianza. Celler Mas Doix Priorat, Spain Grenache, Carignan, Syrah
Bottle: £12.53 club members / £14.65 non-members
On uncorking a bottle of Les Crestes, you'll find all you could ever hope for from a fine Priorat wine, but in a version that's been revised and brought right up-to-date. Yes it does have body, its aromas are intense, you'll see the tears sticking to the glass, and you'll detect refined tannicity too, but this all converges into a harmonious, round and elegant wine.
Its purple colour with violet glints invites you to take a quick sip. If you do manage to wait and whiff the wine, you'll be rewarded with a hefty load of ripe black fruit, a strong mineral hint and an intoxicating balsamic undertone. A second swirl of the glass and the fruit turns red, bestowing an extra touch of freshness on the wine which works wonderfully well overall. The oak toasts come through in the form of spices and pencil lead. It's full, dense and intense on the palate. It has a lactic touch, feeling granular like powdered cocoa, caressing the inside of the mouth. A trace of liqueur in the background reminds us of the slatey land where Les Crestes started life. Once the glass is empty, the wine is slow to take its leave, its aromas very slowly fade away and tactile sensations are clearly perceived even after several minutes. Decant it if you prefer and take your time over enjoying it.
Duck with red fruits / grilled rabbit / cured cheeses with intense flavors
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