Wine region / Country
Las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda 2018 (2 bottles)
SassuVini Cannonau di Sardegna RossoSassu 2016 (2 bottles)
Domaine Lafage Côté Sud 2017 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £64.18
Club Discount Price: £56.24
You save: £7.94 (12.37%)
Argentina has made a strong commitment to the Malbec grape with regions such as Mendoza becoming world-famous thanks to their red wines. But there are also wines made with other, less familiar, grape varieties like the case of the Bonarda (Douce Noir). Italian in origin, it has adapted perfectly to the Mendoza soils, providing a transparent image of the essence of this terroir in wines such as the Las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda.
Italy is undoubtedly one of the great wine nations: Chianti and Barolo are just two names which evoke thoughts of tradition, history, and excellence. Beyond the great historic wine regions of Italy, though, there are other somewhat forgotten areas producing wines with unique characters and, very often, with a fascinating personal history behind them. The RossoSassu from Sardinia is a prime example of this.
Last, but by no means least, France. The glamour of its excellent wines has always seduced wine-lovers around the world. In recent years, wines from the south are showing a great potential and wineries such as Lafage are pushing the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon to levels of quality on a par with wines from the more famous historic regions of France. Try the Côte Sud de Domaine Lafage and you'll soon see what we mean!
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Young red. Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza, Argentina Bonarda
Bottle: £8.12 club members / £9.20 non-members
The Bonarda Clásica is a juicy wine which is easy to drink. Its grapes come from trellised vineyards the winery owns around the town of Luján de Cuyo. Early harvesting is carried out to avoid over-ripening, and maceration is measured so as to obtain the most delicate aromas but without an excessive extraction of tannins. Fermentation is done with local yeasts, and then the wine ages in concrete tanks to conserve the fruity aromas and freshness so typical of the cool nights in Mendoza.
As is expected with a Bonarda wine, it is a rough-edged wine with plenty of character, but rich in texture and extremely easy to drink. Its tannins are soft and the resulting wine is balanced, noble, and earthy. Its vinification in these concrete tanks does nothing to hide these principal virtues — rather, it highlights them and gives the wine a pleasant feel. Both dry and juicy, the Bonarda pairs well with elaborate dishes as well as simple ones. It is extraordinarily rounded and is sensitive and aromatic on the palate to an extent rarely seen in wines in this price range.
Peppercorn steak / semi-cured cheeses / white meats
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Red. SassuVini Cannonau di Sardegna, Italy Cannonau
Bottle: £12.69 club members / £14.55 non-members
At altitudes of over 300 metres, the old Cannonau (Grenache) vines have to struggle through granite soils to find what sustenance they can to produce a small amount of excellent fruit. The vinification is carried out purely in steel tanks before the wine is bottled and sealed with, of course, a Sardinian wine cork. Tasting this wine, it is hardly surprising that the RossoSassu was deservedly named one of the best wines in the international competition, Grenaches du Monde de 2018. It evokes a flavour of the Cannonau variety as well as the distinctive forestland character of the island. It is clear in the glass and delights us with aromas of ash, plums, flowers, and candy. Ripe strawberries meet the acidity of blackcurrant which stimulates the taste buds and brings liveliness to the wine, while standing alongside fine tannins in a perfect balance. This wine has a long life to come and, if left, it will become more elegant over time, but it also seduces wine-lovers from day one thanks to its honesty and transparency.
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Red Crianza. Domaine Lafage Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes , France Syrah, Grenache
Bottle: £7.31 club members / £8.33 non-members
A medium-full bodied drink with fine traces of fruit in liqueur which remind us of its Mediterranean origin but with no sign of over-ripeness. Juicy and lightly balsamic (eucalyptus and liquorice), it's a suitable wine for all wine-lovers thanks to its excellent balance. It offers fine but bitter hints of cocoa at the finish, rounding off an exceptionally balanced and top-quality mouth. The soothing effect of the waters of the river Têt and the Mediterranean give it a pleasantness meaning the Lafage Côte Sud can be drunk immediately. Intense north winds help to create a perfect grape which brings with it a keen clarity to the wine.
Stuffed aubergines / beef steak with wild mushrooms / small game
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