March 2019 Selection

Three aces

March 2019 Selection

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: £66.10
Club Discount Price: £57.92
You save: £8.18 (12.37%)

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About this selection...

Argentina, Italy, and France are not only well-known for their gastronomy, their music, and a passionate people but also for the beauty of their landscapes, their fascinating history, and, of course, their wines are also famed around the world. These three countries are at the top of the list of wine-producers regarding quantity bottled, and they are also up near the top regarding quality. France and Italy, alongside Spain, are the largest wine-producers in Europe and the world, whereas Argentina leads the ranking for South America.

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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Las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda 2018 (2 bottles)

Young red. Altos Las Hormigas Mendoza, Argentina Bonarda

Bottle: £8.36 club members / £9.48 non-members


The Bonarda Clásica is the flagship wine of the Colonia Las Liebres winery (part of the Altos Las Hormigas group) in Mendoza. Specialists in the Bonarda grape variety, the cellar's wines are always a safe bet for wines which offer you the maximum potential of this variety as well as an immediate pleasure.

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

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red / intense / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Fruit aromas / red fruit / spicy notes / white pepper / intense
    • Palate
      Intense / smooth tannins / characterful / profound / deep / vigorous / pleasant finish / long / fresh
  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2020.

Las Hormigas Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda 2018
Front and back

SassuVini Cannonau di Sardegna RossoSassu 2016 (2 bottles)

Red. SassuVini Cannonau di Sardegna, Italy Cannonau

Bottle: £13.07 club members / £14.99 non-members


We have Luca Depperu Sassu, a 27-year-old winemaker from Luras, in the north of Sardinia, to thank for the wonderful RossoSassu wine. Over the years this location has received much attention and interest from anthropologists and historians who have discovered quite unique features of this area such as the presence of a dialect little spoken in this part of the island. The climate and soil here are also quite special, and allow grapes as delicate as the Nebbiolo to thrive. Seeing the unique character of this area, Luca gave up his career as a topographer, and decided to buy some virtually forgotten vineyards, saving them from an inevitable abandonment or destruction. The caring attention he devoted to the vineyards slowly led to a successful revival of the plants, and nowadays, these vines — planted back in the 1950s among Mediterranean forestland — are rewarding Luca's efforts with the wonderful fruit used to produce RossoSassu.

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.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2022.

SassuVini Cannonau di Sardegna RossoSassu 2016
Front and back

Domaine Lafage Côté Sud 2017 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Domaine Lafage Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes , France Syrah, Grenache

Bottle: £7.53 club members / £8.58 non-members


The grapes used to delight us with the Lafage Côte Sud come from various old vineyards which have one thing in common — they are all south-facing to make the most of as much sunlight as possible. A wine proud of its very clear nose, with the freshness of mountain herbs mixing in with cold traces of spices like pepper and the measured warmth of extremely ripe wild fruit, such as blackberries. An enveloping all-round taste in the mouth, juicy and structured, based on polished and fresh tannins thanks to an acidity which, without being too vibrant, lends a certain style to the wine.

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

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Garnet / intense / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Fruit aromas / blackberries / cherries
    • Palate
      Fruit notes / red fruit / spicy notes
  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 14ºC and 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2020.

Domaine Lafage Côté Sud 2017
Front and back

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