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February club classic mixed case tasting notes

Hilltop Királyleányka 2014

Hilltop Királyleányka 2014

A fresh and balanced dry white with aromas of citrus blossom, ripe stone fruits and a hint of autumnal smoke. In the mouth it balances a lovely crisp lemony tang with elegant peach and honeysuckle notes.

About this wine:

Neszmély is a region in northwest Hungary on the southern bank of the mighty Danube river, where the vines benefit from excellent exposure to the sun in the warm continental climate. Neszmély is known for its crisp and aromatic dry whites made from grapes indigenous to the Carpathian Basin, such as this elegant Királyleányka. Hilltop Neszmély’s head winemaker, Ákos Kamocsay, used 100% Királyleányka grapes for this wine, processing the fruit at Hilltop Neszmély's state-of-the-art winery and keeping the fruit cool throughout the process to capture its aromatic freshness.

Serving suggestion:

This crisp white makes a lovely partner for lighter mid-week meals like roast chicken salad, macaroni cheese or quiche Lorraine. It would also pair with goat's cheese or white fish dishes.

  • Aromatic dry white

  • screw cap

  • suitable for
    vegetarians
    and vegans

  • drink within
    1 year

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Hungary (Neszmély)

  • GRAPE VARIETY

    Királyleányka

  • ALCOHOL

    12%

  • SRP

    £8 per bottle

Berglicht Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Berglicht Sauvignon Blanc 2014

A delicious off-dry Sauvignon offering lots of bright and zingy lime, fresh-cut grass and yellow fruit aromas. The generous palate is full of ripe gooseberry and green herb flavours over zesty grapefruit and greengage notes.

About this wine:

South Africa’s Western Cape is a beautiful region blessed with fertile soils in which all manner of flora and fauna thrive. Vines grow well here too, digging down into the rocky terrain of the Matzikamma mountain range along the winding Olifants river. Cooled by winds from the nearby Atlantic coast, grapes ripen with excellent balance. Winemaker Marinda Kruger Van Eck ensured the grapes were harvested in the morning to capture all their freshness and vibrancy, handling them gently in the winery to express all their aromatic character in this balanced wine.

Serving suggestion:

Serve nicely chilled while young and at its aromatic best. It makes a lovely pre-dinner aperitif, or the perfect match for summer asparagus, soft goat's cheese tarts or seafood salads with citrussy dressings.

  • Fruity, off-dry white

  • screw cap

  • not suitable for
    vegetarians

  • drink within
    2 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    South Africa (Western Cape)

  • Grape Variety

    Sauvignon Blanc

  • Alcohol

    12.5%

  • SRP

    £9 per bottle

Paarl Heights Chenin Blanc 2014

Paarl Heights Chenin Blanc 2014

Creamy baked apple and zingy lime aromas spring from this off-dry South African Chenin Blanc. On the palate it offers deliciously rounded tropical fruit, melon and floral notes with a crisp acidity that helps keep the wine fresh and lively.

About this wine:

South Africa’s Paarl region is renowned for the quality of its growing conditions and producing fine and expressive grapes. For this Chenin Blanc, winemaker Marinda Kruger van Eck sourced grapes from mature vines growing in the deep red Paardeberg soils. With little rainfall, this area naturally restricts vine yields and help produce fruit with excellent intensity and balance. The grapes in this wine were hand-harvested and only gently handled in the winery, helping to capture their aromatic freshness. After fermentation, Marinda left the wine on its lees to extract extra depth and balance.

Serving suggestion:

Clean, crisp and unoaked, this expressive Chenin is best drunk young when at its vivacious best. Serve chilled on its own or with dishes like salmon and dill fishcakes, chicken Kiev or roast turkey.

  • Rounded off-dry white

  • screw cap

  • suitable for
    vegetarians
    and vegans

  • drink within
    6 months

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    South Africa (Paarl)

  • Grape Variety

    Chenin Blanc

  • Alcohol

    13.5%

  • SRP

    £8.50 per bottle

Portas da Herdade White 2013

Portas da Herdade White 2013

A fresh, young dry Portuguese white with a golden tint and fruity aromas of lemon and greengages with a hint of dried garden herbs. In the mouth it offers a refreshing burst of aromatic fruit and a crisp, clean finish.

About this wine:

The Alentejo region in eastern Portugal is a vast rural landscape of sun-kissed plains coloured with cork and olive trees. This is where the country’s wine revolution first took hold, sweeping modern vinification techniques in from central Spain. With its hot and dry summers, the Borba sub-region is a haven for vines and produces grapes with excellent ripeness. Winemaker Frederico Vilar Gomes took full advantage of this, blending three local varieties – Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and Arinto – to create a crisp and vivaciously fruity white with lovely herbal characteristics and bags of sunny southern charm.

Serving suggestion:

Enjoy well chilled as a mouth-watering aperitif or to wash down dishes like grilled sardines, king prawn paella or hearty salads of scallops and chorizo. Drink while young.

  • Fruity dry white

  • natural cork

  • suitable for
    vegetarians
    and vegans

  • drink within
    1 year

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Portugal (Alentejo)

  • Grape Variety

    Antão Vaz (40%), Roupeiro (30%) and Arinto (30%)

  • Alcohol

    13%

  • SRP

    £8.50 per bottle

Terre di Giumara Grillo 2013

Terre di Giumara Grillo 2013

This gorgeous golden Sicilian white offers intriguing notes of lime, ripe pear and ground almonds over a tingling fresh backbone of green apple and tropical fruit flavours.

About this wine:

Grillo is an historic Italian grape variety that thrives along Sicily’s southwestern coast near Marsala – where it is an important component of the area’s famous sweet wine. But Grillo also makes excellent dry whites when the grapes are carefully grown and vinified, such as this example from Terre di Giumara. Winemaker Giuseppe Clementi is an expert in bringing the best out of this and the island’s indigenous grapes, creating a wine with a wonderful balance of freshness and complexity.

Serving suggestion:

Enjoy this characterful white lightly chilled, either as a refreshing summer aperitif or to wash down oily fish like sardines and mackerel, or pasta with seafood and herbs.

  • Fruity dry white

  • natural cork

  • suitable for vegetarians

  • drink within
    6 months

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Italy (Sicily, Marsala)

  • Grape Variety

    Grillo

  • Alcohol

    13%

  • SRP

    £7 per bottle

Pardal Verdejo 2013

Pardal Verdejo 2013

This lovely dry Spanish Verdejo (often called the ‘Iberian Sauvignon Blanc’) offers blissful citrus, herb and floral aromas over a dry, well-structured palate with intriguing green apple, almond and spring blossom notes.

About this wine:

Based in Galicia, northwest Spain, Bodegas Gallegas have been making characterful wines in this little-explored region for 50 years. Many of their original vineyards lie in the green, sun-kissed hills and plains so familiar to those who’ve walked the famous Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. Winemaker Antonio Muñoz selected high-quality, perfectly ripened Verdejo grapes for this wine, ensuring the fruit was carefully handled during harvest and reached the winery within just two hours of picking, helping to capture all the freshness and complexity of this distinctive grape variety.

Serving suggestion:

Enjoy lightly chilled as a mouth-watering aperitif or with flavoursome dishes like spicy Galician fish pie, tuna empanadas, chicken with almonds or even roast pork. Drink while young and fresh.

  • Aromatic dry white

  • screw cap

  • suitable for
    vegetarians
    and vegans

  • drink within
    1 year

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Spain (Galicia)

  • Grape Variety

    Verdejo

  • Alcohol

    12%

  • SRP

    £8.50 per bottle

Forgotten Field Red 2013

Forgotten Field Red 2013

An inviting full-bodied Portuguese red full of cherry, blackberry and strawberry aromas over hints of baking spices and mint. In the mouth it is soft and appealing with an easy-going fruitiness, gentle tannins and a refreshing tang.

About this wine:

The west-facing slopes of Quinta de Pancas in the hills above Lisbon enjoy a beautiful position angled towards the Atlantic coast. The special microclimate here balances the abundant sunshine, with cool sea breezes and enough humidity to create an ideal environment for vines to grow. Winemaker Frederico Villar Gomes sourced high quality fruit for this wine, blending local varieties with Cabernet Sauvignon to create a rounded and fruity blend with good complexity and structure. Frederico left the wine unoaked to enhance its fruitiness and easy-going nature.

Serving suggestion:

Made for youthful drinking, this wine is best enjoyed within two to three years, either on its own or with grilled pork chops or barbecued lamb cutlets, meaty pasta bakes or herby roasted vegetables.

  • Fruity unoaked red

  • natural cork

  • not suitable for
    vegetarians
    or vegans

  • drink within
    3 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Portugal (Lisboa)

  • Grape Variety

    Castelão (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Aragonês (20%) and Touriga Nacional (20%)

  • Alcohol

    13.5%

  • SRP

    £9 per bottle

Campo Lagaza Tempranillo Navarra 2013

Campo Lagaza Tempranillo Navarra 2013

This unoaked Tempranillo offers ripe raspberry and plum aromas over notes of liquorice and cinnamon. In the mouth it is silky smooth with a good complexity of fruit and truffle-like flavours balanced by a fresh acidity.

About this wine:

Campo Lagaza’s estate lies in the heart of the Lerín Valley in Spain’s Navarra region, an area once powerful enough to count much of southwest France, including Bordeaux, as part of its territory. Winemaking here is well established, dating back to Roman times. Today, winemaker Pilar Calvo uses more modern techniques to craft the estate’s wines, sourcing high-quality Tempranillo from vines growing in crumbly chalk/clay soils where the fruit ripens perfectly. Pilar left this wine unoaked to emphasise the purity of the fruit and the complexity of the exceptional terroir.

Serving suggestion:

Enjoy this fruity red at cool room temperature, by itself or with tapas-style snacks like cured meats and chorizo, smoked paprika-rich tortilla omelettes or roast meats like chicken or pork.

  • Fruity unoaked red

  • screw cap

  • not suitable for
    vegetarians
    or vegans

  • drink within
    3 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Spain (Navarra)

  • Grape Variety

    Tempranillo

  • Alcohol

    13%

  • SRP

    £8 per bottle

Negroamaro IGP 2013

Negroamaro IGP 2013

A rich and fruity Italian red with ripe blackcurrant and plum aromas over seductive notes of chocolate and a deep, medium-bodied palate with vibrant autumnal fruits, hints of spice and a smooth, warm finish.

About this wine:

This red is from the Salento area of Puglia – the sleepy, sun-baked peninsula that forms the southern ‘heel’ of Italy’s ‘boot’. Produced amid olive groves and charming medieval towns, this wine was discovered by M&S winemaker Jeneve Williams, who was impressed by the talents of local winemaker Mario Ercolino in getting the best from the Negroamaro grape. Sourcing quality fruit from vineyards cooled by Mediterranean Sea breezes, Mario crafted a flavourful, fruit-packed wine which he left unoaked to display all the charms of the variety. This wine has not been treated, so may throw a harmless sediment in the bottle.

Serving suggestion:

Enjoy at cool room temperature, on its own or with spicy meaty pasta, Mediterranean vegetable bakes or aubergine parmigiana.

  • Rich and fruity red

  • screw cap

  • suitable for vegetarians

  • drink within
    2 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Italy (Puglia)

  • Grape Variety

    Negroamaro

  • Alcohol

    13.5%

  • SRP

    £7.50 per bottle

Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012

Côtes du Rhône Villages 2012

A seductively smooth medium-bodied red from France’s southern Rhône Valley, offering warm aromas of ripe hedgerow berries, black cherries and baking spice over an unoaked palate with subtle forest floor and meaty nuances.

About this wine:

As France’s mighty Rhône river meanders down from Montelimar to Avignon, it leaves behind the hills of the northern Rhône and enters the flatter, hotter landscape of the south. Here, Grenache is king, a grape that ripens with excellent fruity depths in the area’s warmer, more Mediterranean climate and gives the region’s wines their depth and richness. This Villages wine blends 80% Grenache with 20% Syrah to create a complex but easy-going wine bursting with sunny southern charm and a lovely food-friendly balance.

Serving suggestion:

Enjoy on its own or with rustic dishes like herby slow-cooked lamb shanks, garlicky roast chicken, stuffed peppers, sausage and mash or good old shepherd’s pie.

  • Smooth fruity red

  • synthetic cork

  • not suitable for
    vegetarians
    or vegans

  • drink within
    2 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    France (Rhône)

  • Grape Variety

    Grenache (80%), Syrah (20%)

  • Alcohol

    13.5%

  • SRP

    £7.99 per bottle

Luis Felipe Edwards Classic Malbec 2014

Luis Felipe Edwards Classic Malbec 2014

A bright ruby-red Malbec blend with powerful aromas of sweet plums and black cherries over notes of earthy truffle and milk chocolate. The rich, medium-bodied palate is silky smooth and offers fruity depths and a long, balanced finish.

About this wine:

The Central Valley in Chile is the heart of the country’s wine production, a large region lying in a plateau between the majestic Andes mountains and the cooling Pacific Ocean. The area is a viticultural paradise, naturally perfect for the cultivation of vines. This red was made by experienced winemaker Nicolas Bizzarri, who worked in Australia and California before settling in Chile. He blended Malbec with a little Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet to create a wine that is characteristically Malbec, but with added complexity and depth enhanced by a short maturation in French and American oak barrels.

Serving suggestion:

This wine is extremely versatile, and would be great on its own at a party or paired with anything from barbecued steaks to mildly spiced curries, pasta with chilli sauces to gourmet homemade pizzas.

  • Medium-bodied red

  • screw cap

  • not suitable for
    vegetarians
    or vegans

  • drink within
    2 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Chile (Central Valley)

  • Grape Variety

    Malbec (85%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), Alicante Bouschet (5%)

  • Alcohol

    13%

  • SRP

    £9 per bottle

Lazy Bay Shiraz 2013

Lazy Bay Shiraz 2013

Deep crimson in colour with a smoky bouquet of wild berries, sweet plums and hints of black pepper. The juicy, medium-bodied palate offers plenty of seductive fruit notes over the voluptuously smooth, gently spicy palate.

About this wine:

Traditionally known for its Bordeaux-style blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, South Africa’s Western Cape is today a highly diverse region where Shiraz is much prized for the robust reds it produces. Winemaker Hans Louw sourced the grapes for this wine from sun-kissed vineyards overlooking the south Atlantic Ocean, where the grapes are cooled by the sea breezes as they ripen. After fermentation, Hans matured some of the wine in seasoned French oak barrels, softening the intensity of the fruit and adding a softer, spicy warmth. Will keep for up to five years in the cellar.

Serving suggestion:

Ready to drink now, this sumptuous red would be ideal on its own or with smoky barbecued steaks, hearty pasta with Mediterranean vegetables or freshly seared tuna steaks.

  • Robust fruity red

  • screw cap

  • suitable for vegetarians and vegans

  • drink within
    5 years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    South Africa (Western Cape)

  • Grape Variety

    Syrah

  • Alcohol

    14.5%

  • SRP

    £8.50 per bottle