Wine region / Country
Almodí 2017 (2 bottles)
La Atalaya del Camino 2015 (2 bottles)
4 Monos Tinto 2015 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £60.93
Club Discount Price: £51.75
You save: £9.18 (15.06%)
We start out with a Hairy Grenache wine. This grape variety, whose name comes from the fine hairs on the underside of the vine leaves, offers thrilling wines in the hands of expert winemakers. The Almodí wine from the Terra Alta is one such case — a superb wine with a strong presence of red fruits, elegance and excitement.
Further south, on the Levante coast, we find one of the most forceful and stunning Grenache wines in Spain: the La Atalaya del Camino wine made from the Alicante Bouschet variety. The sandy soils of Almansa allow this varietal to offer such a full body and complexity as only grapes with red flesh can. Admire its colour, watch how the wine moves slowly around the glass, and you won't be able to resist sampling this wine.
To finish off our adventure with Grenache wines, there is nothing better than visiting Madrid and its excellent Grenache vines working in perfect unison with its granite soil. The Grenache wines from the Sierra de Gredos region are wild, rustic, fresh and deep, offering an almost-Burgundy profile which you'll fall in love with at the first taste, as the 4 Monos Tinto red wine demonstrates.
The Hairy Grenache, the Alicante Bouschet (a red-fleshed Grenache), or just the plain Grenache: the different profiles offered by these varieties goes on and on. Each one of them displays a distinct personality but forms part of the same large family — that of the Grenache red.
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Young red Crianza. Altavins Terra Alta, Spain Hairy Grenache
Bottle: £6.27 club members / £7.39 non-members
Hairy Grenache vines are grown in Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Alicante, and the south of France. Due to its supposed vegetable profile, this variety fell out of use for many years, but modern day oenology allows winemakers to use it to develop wines full of personality where wild fruit aromas win out against vegetable ones, and its delicateness and elegance come to the forefront of the wine. The rather peculiar name of this grape comes from the hairy or furry underside of the vine leaves.
The Almodí is a red wine from the Terra Alta region combining all the qualities of the great Hairy Grenache plants in old vineyards. Its aroma is seductive, soothing, and purely Mediterranean. You'll find overtones of scrub-bush alongside notes of wild fruit. On the palate, it is juicy and strong, but fine, full and elegant. On airing, hints of blue flowers, liquorice, fine toast and dust appear. The wine's tannins are somewhat rustic but balanced, and its pleasant volume captivates you. Flavours of blackberry jam and peppers become more evident with time, rounding off a wine with aromas usually associated to a higher price range.
Grilled vegetables / cooked pork products / meat rice dishes
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Red Crianza. Bodegas Atalaya Almansa, Spain Alicante Bouschet, Mourvèdre
Bottle: £8.34 club members / £9.83 non-members
The Alicante Bouschet and Mourvèdre grapes used to make La Atalaya del Camino are collected from vineyards in the Almansa region at altitudes between 700 and 1,000 metres. The sandy soils there with a strong presence of limestone, together with the huge temperature differences found at these heights, ensure the grape harvest is of exceptional quality. The two varieties of grape are fermented separately to give a wine with a great complexity which, after twelve months in French oak barrels, displays a striking character.
It is virtually impossible to see anything through a glass of La Atalaya del Camino. The intense character of the grapes produce such an opacity and viscosity that the wine seems to want to stay in the glass. It gives off intense aromas of liquorice and ripe black fruit, with tones of anise, blue flowers, black olives and Indian ink. If you close your eyes, it's easy to imagine blackberry jam, violets, fresh mint leaves, and even a hint of a forest with Herbes de Provence and pine resin. This wine is silky on the palate from start to finish, with strong but pleasant tannins.
Give this wine time, decant it and swirl it around your glass. On aeration, its sensations grow and its aromas multiply, placing this old-vine red wine among the most original wines of the Iberian Peninsula. This wine can also be kept for several years and will continue to improve.
Wild mushroom risotto / wild boar
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Young red Crianza. 4 Monos Viticultores Vinos de Madrid, Spain Grenache, Syrah, Carignan
Bottle: £11.25 club members / £13.25 non-members
The 4 Monos red wine is a lively wine with a wonderful colour in the glass, between cherry red and ruby red, low density and viscous. The wine has fruity aromas alongside wild, fresh and appetising notes without becoming sweet. A smoky and mineral (pencil lead) touch, and notes of violets offer a remarkable complexity, with a very elegant and serious nose. The wine is intense and velvety on the palate, with a good, juicy and vibrant structure. The addition of Syrah grapes helps it to have a good body, while the Carignan grapes bring verticality. A fresh wine, accessible but complex, with a slightly smokey seductive finish.
Granite soil, stems, and the cool climate at these altitudes lead the four monkeys (the four friends who started this project) to produce a wine brimming with typicity and personality, yet one more excellent example of how well the Grenache grape and the Sierra de Gredos get on together.
Ham on toasted bread / vegetable rice dishes / grilled tuna
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