Wine region / Country
J. Antonio Ponce La Casilla 2018 (2 bottles)
El Prohibido 2017 (2 bottles)
Inconsciente Tempranillo Blanco 2018 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £63.44
Club Discount Price: £53.91
You save: £9.54 (15.03%)
La Casilla is a Bobal variety wine made by the Ponce family but, above all, it is a Manchuela wine. The commitment of the Ponce family to this region, barely known in the winemaking world a few years ago, has been — alongside the work of other brave wineries — decisive in placing this appellation in the Castile-La Mancha region firmly on the map of great Spanish wines, bringing the character of their chalky-clay soils and continental climate to the wines.
We find a similar story behind the El Prohibido wine. A splendid wine from the D.O. Ribeira Sacra produced using local grapes such as the Mencia and Souson, but there is one factor in particular that gives it its unique character; it is clearly a wine made by Raúl Pérez. His personal style is undoubtedly recognizable in this wine, more even than the characteristics of this region or the varieties used. Flowers, minerality, and freshness represent the classic signature of this winemaking wizard.
Last but not least, our third proposal is a wine whose quality is principally based on the grapes used. Rioja wines are famous world-wide of course, but in this case the fact that the Inconsciente wine is made using a lesser known grape with a great oenological value is much more significant for the splendid result than the fact that it's from Rioja. The Tempranillo Blanco variety is responsible for the uniqueness of the Bodegas D. Mateos winery's Inconsciente wine.
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Red Crianza. Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce Manchuela, Spain Bobal
Bottle: £10.18 club members / £11.97 non-members
Their old Bobal vines (between 35 and 70 years old) are the key to the deep character of this wine, and the chalky-clay soils and continental climate provide the perfect framework for them to thrive in. Utmost care and attention is paid to collecting the fruit and the vinification process. The grapes are harvested by hand, collected in small crates, and then crushed by foot, before the resulting whole-bunch must is fermented using its own natural yeasts. The wine ages in large used French oak barrels on its lees and is bottled unfiltered and unclarified. The aim is to produce a wine which clearly expresses itself.
La Casilla has a wild freshness and a delicate and tantalizing nose, with red flowers and an intensely balsamic background. It is airy and spongy in the mouth with lactic and white pepper touches combining in pursuit of an aromatic balance. A juicy wine with delicate tannins and energizing acidity in the mouth, it has hints of damp chalk, ash, small wild strawberries, and a certain dryness which comes from the stalks of the mature bunches of grapes. It is recommended to aerate the wine to bring out flavours of Mediterranean scrubland, such as rosemary and thyme, and its elegant tannicity obtained by just the right amount of skin maceration. The slightly bitter aftertaste makes it a particularly elegant wine, while a delicate rusticity allows it to be served at temperatures cooler than 14 degrees.
Peppercorn steak / kid goat / meats with red berry fruit sauces
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Young red Crianza. Finca Míllara Wines without GI, Spain Mencia, Sousón
Bottle: £9.12 club members / £10.73 non-members
Grapes are hand-collected on the hillsides of the Ribeira do Miño area of this appellation and the best are then carefully selected before undergoing a cold maceration process and fermentation using wild yeast. The wine is stirred three times a day to ensure a good level of oxygenation and an optimum extraction of the colour and aroma of the skins. This is followed by a malolactic fermentation in barrels and an ageing process in tanks, French barrels, and the bottle. The five thousand bottles produced are a faithful reflection of the surroundings the grapes are grown in.
El Prohibido is a fresh and seductive wine; with a low alcohol content and low intensity, it is even lighter than most other wines from the Ribeira Sacra, and also a little more acidic. A stylized and subtle wine, just the way Raúl Pérez likes to work. El Prohibido is one of those wines where the character of its creator is even more noticeable in the final result than other factors such as where it is produced or the variety used — though, their characteristics are also present. Although the vineyards are south-facing, the wine is not too mature — in fact, it is actually a complex and floral wine, silky and wild. It offers balsamic hints somewhere between bay leaves and eucalyptus, with minerality, smoke, and well-integrated tannins being key features. It has a long life ahead of it and is sufficiently moreish to convince even the most reticent wine-drinkers.
Meats cooked on hot stone / oven-baked quails / smoked sausages
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Young white. Bodegas D. Mateos Rioja, Spain Tempranillo Blanco
Bottle: £7.66 club members / £9.01 non-members
The vineyards are located in Aldeanueva de Ebro. The grape bunches are de-stemmed at the cellar and gently pressed before the must is fermented at a controlled temperature. It then remains in stainless steel tanks for six months, pumped over (remontage) weekly to gain texture and complexity.
The resulting wine is an extraordinary and crisp interpretation of a grape with much to offer. A straw/gold colour with the odd hint of rosé, the Inconsciente has notes of passion fruit and freshly-cut grass in the nose, with touches of peach and talcum bringing to mind the dusty stones from the vineyards. It has a citric and seductive palate, and sharp citric tones over a spongy, almost lychee, background. Its complexity and elegant dryness give the impression that the wine has aged for a lengthy time, but it is not so. Its qualities are down to the excellent fruit and the careful work carried out during its production. Over time flowery aromas (lilies and magnolias) appear and slightly bitter hints which make it an elegant drink which becomes more fatty and balanced with every sip. The Inconsciente represents a firm and brave commitment to recovering lost flavours and the old Rioja tradition of producing top-quality white wines.
Vegetable rice dishes / lobster / cod fritters
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