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February Club Reserva red case tasting notes

La Finca Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere

Graham Beck The Game Reserve Pinotage 20131

This superbly structured Pinotage offers complex aromas of sour cherries, strawberries and plums with spice undertones. The balanced medium-bodied palate reveals ripe fruit and savoury notes over a soft oaky finish.

About this wine:

Pinotage is South Africa’s very own grape variety, a cross of Pinot Noir with Cinsault (at the time known as ‘Hermitage’) created in 1925 by Abraham Izak Perold, the first professor of viticulture at Stellenbosch University. This vibrant red expresses the grape in its most classic profile: a deep and enticing wine with complex savoury depths and masses of red fruit exuberance. Sourcing fruit from vineyards in Paarl and Stellenbosch, winemaker Erika Obermeyer matured a portion of the wine in seasoned oak

Serving suggestion:

An excellent food wine, this bottle would be great with slow-cooked meat casseroles such as juniper-scented venison stew or even a spicy lamb rogan josh, chargrilled steaks or herby Mediterranean roasted vegetables.

  • Complex full red

  • Screw cap

  • suitable for vegetarians and vegans

  • drink within
    18 months

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    South Africa (Coastal Origin)

  • GRAPE VARIETY

    Pinotage

  • ALCOHOL

    14%

  • SRP

    £11 per bottle

Casas del Bosque Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

Château Ramel Minervois 2013

A bright, carmine-red blend offering poached berry, liquorice and bonfire smoke aromas. The sumptuous medium-bodied palate reveals blackberry and plum notes with pine forest nuances and elegant tannins.

About this wine:

Château Ramel was established in 1592 in the heart of Minervois, a beautiful region just east of the medieval fortress city of Carcassonne that forms a vast, sun-trapped amphitheatre between the Midi canal and slopes of the Montagne Noir. With 80 hectares of vines spread through 200 plots in some of the best sites in the region, Château Ramel’s winemaker Marie-Suzanne Mazard was able to select the finest grapes for this wine, choosing hand-picked fruit at the peak of ripeness to ensure the characteristic Minervois depth and balance.

Serving suggestion:

This harmonious red is best enjoyed with food, particularly slow-cooked shoulder of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary, steak in mushroom sauce or roast duck.

  • Soft fruity red

  • Natural cork

  • suitable for vegetarians and vegans

  • drink within
    five years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    France (Languedoc)

  • Grape Variety

    Carignan (80%), Syrah (10%)

  • Alcohol

    13.5%

  • SRP

    £11.50 per bottle

Montevina Zinfandel

Noctua Quinta de Aves Shiraz Tierra de Castilla 2012

Bright cherry red-to-purple in colour, with a bouquet of summery red fruits and hints of warm baking spices. In the mouth it is soft and silky, with a delicately fresh medium-bodied palate and long, lingering fruitiness.

About this wine:

Based in Calatrava in the famous La Mancha region, Bodegas Quinta de Aves have 75 hectares of vines, including seven of mature, trellised Syrah. The vines are spread through a land rich in wildlife and history (an old Templar refuge can be found in one of their vineyards) that is drenched with sunshine through much of the year. Head winemaker Laura Garcia Cámara harvested the grapes for this wine at night to ensure their ripeness was balanced by good acidity.

Serving suggestion:

This highly versatile wine can be enjoyed by itself or with food. Pair it with Spanish cured meats and spicy chorizo, as well as pâtés, meaty pasta dishes and semi-soft cheeses.

  • Soft fruity red

  • Synthetic cork

  • not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

  • drink within
    two years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Spain (La Mancha)

  • Grape Variety

    Syrah

  • Alcohol

    13%

  • SRP

    £10.50 per bottle

Finca Manzanos Graciano

Miopasso Primitivo Puglia 2013

A brooding southern Italian red with aromas of mulberries and blackberries over more savoury, spicy notes. The full-bodied palate is voluptuously rich, with plum and black cherry notes balanced by fresh acidity and grippy tannins.

About this wine:

The Miopasso range of wines is produced by The Wine People, an Italian company that takes a modern approach to classic Italian wines. TWP’s wine production is the responsibility of Stefano Chioccioli, the respected winemaker of Casa Girelli fame. For this wine he selected high-quality fruit from vineyards in Puglia’s Salento peninsula, ensuring the grapes were hand-harvested when cool to retain all their freshness. To emphasise the quality of the grapes, Stefano opted to leave the wine unoaked after fermentation, helping to bring out the sun-baked fruit’s intensity.

Serving suggestion:

Powerful but versatile, this sumptuous red would drink well on its own, or with flavoursome dishes like aubergine parmigiana, spicy sausage pasta, roast venison or a fiery chilli con carne.

  • Powerful fruity red

  • Screw cap

  • not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

  • drink within
    two years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Italy (Puglia)

  • Grape Variety

    Primitivo

  • Alcohol

    14.5%

  • SRP

    £12 per bottle

Finca Manzanos Graciano

Château Le Logis de Sipian 2011

This modern ruby-red claret offers a seductive bouquet of fresh and poached cherries and sweet red fruit. The medium-bodied palate reveals lovely supple red cherry fruit and a clean, deliciously refreshing unoaked character.

About this wine:

The Médoc region of Bordeaux’s revered ‘left bank’ is home to a wide variety of soil types, from sand and gravel to clay and pebbles. The key to successful winemaking here is in understanding the different character these soils give to the grapes, and marrying them together. Château Le Logis de Sipian’s head winemaker Laurent Vache is an expert of Médoc soils, and has blended Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes from different vineyards on the estate’s property to create this florid wine, which he’s left unoaked to reveal the character of the fruit.

Serving suggestion:

This balanced wine is best enjoyed with food, from slow-cooked shin of beef casserole to roast shoulder of lamb. It would also work well with full-flavoured hams or mature cheeses.

  • Balanced fruity red

  • Cork

  • not suitable for vegetarians or vegans

  • drink within
    three years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    France (Bordeaux)

  • Grape Variety

    Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet Franc (30%)

  • Alcohol

    13%

  • SRP

    £12 per bottle

Barbera d’Alba DOC Superiore

Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise 2013

A brilliant crimson-red Shiraz blend with plum, raspberry and rhubarb aromas over liquorice and eucalyptus notes. The full-bodied palate offers plum and rhubarb notes, mingling with soft cedar wood undertones and fresh acidity.

About this wine:

The Wirra Wirra vineyards are situated on undulating land in the McLaren Vale overlooking the Gulf of St Vincent. It was here that the Wirra Wirra tribe once built a viewing platform to take in the majestic views where today the winery has its Scrubby Rise vineyard. Winemakers Paul Smith and Paul Carpenter selected Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes for this wine, vinifying the grapes separately and maturing the wines in seasoned French and American oak barrels before blending to craft a wine with bags of personality and depth.

Serving suggestion:

A truly versatile red, great by itself or as a match for roast beef, good quality pizzas, smoky pulled pork, venison sausages or roasted vegetables with smoked paprika.

  • Complex full red

  • Screw cap

  • suitable for vegetarians

  • drink within
    three years

  • COUNTRY | REGION

    Australia (McLaren Vale)

  • Grape Variety

    Shiraz (54%), CabernetSauvignon (37%), Petit Verdot (9%)

  • Alcohol

    14.5%

  • SRP

    £12 per bottle

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