Wine region / Country
Castellare Chianti Classico 2016 (2 bottles)
Château Beaumont 2015 (2 bottles)
Tentenublo Xérico 2016 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £82.43
Club Discount Price: £70.05
You save: £12.38 (15.01%)
The wines of these highly regarded historic regions enjoy a seductive touch, accompanied by moderate acidity and tannicity; they don't tend to have too high an alcohol content, but instead they're smooth and medium-bodied. They define and always have defined the more traditional European style, that's removed from over-extraction, too much oak and exuberant fruit. They're dry, occasionally austere wines, which have their distinctive traits based on the vintage factor and the typicity of the region giving rise to the grapes. They're versatile and smooth, the sort of wines where you can drink a glass with no other company than some pleasant music or a good book, yet they possess sufficient character and complexity to be able to accompany countless dishes as well.
The Castellare Chianti Classico transports us to the oldest area of the Chianti region, where tribute is paid to the Sangiovese grape. The Château Beaumont exudes aromas of tradition and gravel, of Cabernet and French grandeur, whilst the Tentenublo Xérico, with its percentage of white grape in the mix, speaks of the local people's sincerity, their fresh approach and the genuine nature of their lands. It would be rare to find someone who doesn't adore these wines, who doesn't love their balance, and even more unlikely, to come across anyone who isn't seduced by the elegance of their history.
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Red. Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico, Italy Sangiovese, Canaiolo
Bottle: £11.31 club members / £13.91 non-members
Naturally, the Castellare Chianti Classico appears a bright red colour. On its nose there's a mixture of the delicate fresh fragrances of Morello cherries and violets, Mediterranean herbs (especially rosemary) and mint, joined by the spicy and toasty hints which emerge from the background. From the first sip it comes over as juicy and crisp, reminding us of blackberry jam, with a fantastic acidity of redcurrants and young tannins, though not at all aggressive so portending a great future. It's vigorous at the start, with youth's typical impetuosity, but it tones down after some aeration. Fine touches of bitterness combine superbly well with a final note of sweetness which balances the wine to perfection.
The seven months of ageing in used barrels endow the Castellare Chianti Classico with a complexity uncommonly found in this price range. The judicious use of oak and maximum respect shown for the grapes deliver a wine brimming with typicity and history. It's quite impossible to get things wrong with this wine since, apart from its unquestionable quality, it boasts a huge gastronomic versatility.
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Red Crianza. Château Beaumont Haut-Médoc, France Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Bottle: £12.63 club members / £14.53 non-members
Located on the Gironde's left bank, between Margaux and Saint-Julien, the Beaumont vineyard extracts fineness and delicacy from the gravel of the Haut-Médoc's best soils. Furthermore, featuring among its tenets, is integrated agriculture, which aims to preserve the environment while superior quality grapes are being produced. The Château Beaumont wines are known for their elegance and balance, arising not by chance but by the rigour employed in their making, both in the winery and vineyards. They're direct, honest wines in their youth, when the fruit is more obvious, but they become dignified over time, a common occurrence with the great Bordeaux. The wise combination of the Cabernet Sauvignon's structure and the Merlot's smoothness enables them to gain in complexity year after year and proudly look forward to the future.
Behind the cork of every bottle of Château Beaumont you'll find a mature, profound wine, with all the merits of a classic Bordeaux. Initially, it does admit to a little shyness, but after a recommended aeration, it becomes expressive and most pleasant, rewarding us with hints of undergrowth and flowers. The good use of fine oak confers spices (pepper and vanilla) and endows it with extraordinary fruit (cherries and strawberries) that still conserves a good level of acidity, like the Bordeaux of years gone by. It will be precisely that freshness and its elegant tannicity, two of the key elements, which will enable it to evolve for years in the bottle.
Sirloin steak / roast lamb / braised vegetables
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Young red Crianza. Tentenublo Wines Rioja, Spain Tempranillo, Viura
Bottle: £11.10 club members / £12.77 non-members
The label pays homage to Vicenta, the mother of Roberto Olivan, a young winemaker and owner of the family winery. The picture on the bottle illustrates to perfection the kind of wine we'll find inside: a wine like those of times gone by, which smells of the winery and harvest. The Tempranillo and Viura (20%) grapes with which it's made come from three different parcels, planted with bush vines on the slopes of Viñaspre's chalky loam slopes, effectively adding pleasantness and complexity overall. The grapes are only partially destalked and because of the combination of these stems with the concrete and chestnut foudres used in its ageing there's the growing sensation of a classic wine.
After the recommended decantation, a fresh, crisp wine emerges, boisterous and lively. The red fruit, the lactic and spicy notes dominate the attack, but soon fine hints of smoke and wood appear, accompanied by aromas of times past, of bread toasted over hot coals, of stone dust, of a village wine, just as the label says. On the palate it's juicy and has good acidity with a balsamic background of laurel, liquorice and black olives. It has that rusticity of honest wines, the sort that speaks of a particular land.
Rabbit / Iberian sausages / veal steak
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