A mixed case perfect for drinking right now -
Felicette, Blanc, Pays d’Oc, France - Named in honour of Felicette, the first cat in space, and made to explore less explored regions and varieties, this is an easy drinking white from the Languedoc. Using Grenache Blanc and a little Viognier it’s fresh and fruity with hints of white flowers, mango and spice. A bit of time on fine lees gives added weight and texture and makes the wine great to drink with salads, fish and shellfish or with white meats. Not built as a wine to keep for a long time, it’s best drunk while relatively youthful within a year or so of vintage.
Barco del Corneta, Cucú Verdejo, Castilla y Leon, Spain - Beatriz Herranz has made a mission of discovering the different facets of Verdejo, one of the great but often overlooked grapes of Spain. From her first small vineyard planted on an abandoned family vineyard in La Seca, near Valladolid, to projects in other regions of Northern Spain the Barco del Corneta project has grown barrel by barrel. Cucu is made with grapes grown at around 700 metres in the cool continental climate of the Segovia region. It is bursting with zesty citrus and melon fruit and a lovely minerality. Fantastic with seafood and salads it’s also a great aperitif and wine for sharing. Best drunk while young, within a couple of years of vintage but it will age too due to the balance of fruit and acidity so there’s no rush. Organic and vegan
Tinto de Rulo, Pipeño, Bio Bio, Chile - Chile is renowned for making consistent, dependable, good value wines but, frankly, could be accused of being a little boring. This wine is a great introduction to both the wilder side of the country and also its history. Its made from Pais grape which is unique to Chile and thought to have been brought to Chile by the Conquistadors from Spain via Peru. Until it was overtaken by oh so fashionable Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of the nineteenth century it was Chile’s most widely planted grape but now is generally used just for low alcohol “jug” wines for domestic consumption. Tinto de Rulo is three friends attempt to rehabilitate the grape using fruit from some truly ancient vineyards - up to 200 years old - in the Bio Bio region 500km south of Santiago and traditional wine making methods. Yeasts are naturally occurring, the only sulphur added is a little at bottling and fermentation and maturation is in a mix of clay amphora and old barrels made from Rauli wood. The resulting wine is juicy, fruity and easy with little tannin and flavours of fresh red fruits. Drink with spicy food, maybe a classic chilli or bean stew. Organic and vegan
One Chain, The Unforgettable, Grenache Shiraz Mataro, Langhorne Creek & Riverland, Australia - GSM is about producing a wine that is bigger than the sum of its parts, each grape variety bringing something different to the party. Not that it is about massive power and structure and alcohol, more about complexity and length. In this case too the grapes are sourced in different parts of Australia and handled in different ways in order to extract the best from each. The Grenache is gently pressed then fermented with twice daily punch downs to obtain loads of aromatics. The Shiraz is balanced and fruity with characteristic dark fruit flavours and touch of pepper. Mataro (aka Mourvèdre) gives a lovely herbal edge. This is a friendly, approachable wine that doesn’t overwhelm with big flavours but accompanies a wide variety of foods well. Drink happily over the next couple of years.
Domaine Bonnefond, IGP Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, Sensation du Nord Syrah, France - Patrick and Christophe Bonnefond own vines on the fabled slopes of Côte Rôtie in the Northern Rhône valley where the wines, made solely from Syrah for the reds, can be as beautifully aromatic and pure as Burgundy while keeping some of the power and poise natural to Syrah. This wine is made from grapes grown outside the Côte Rôtie appellation, on the hills near Mornas thus the VdP tag. It too is 100% Syrah and while not as beguiling as Côte Rôtie proper has many of its characteristics (and a lot less of its cost). The brothers used to use quite a but of new oak to age the wines - well, it was the fashion - but now uses almost none and none at all for this wine. Hints of spice, tapenade, black fruits, pepper and a slightly wild edge to it. Drink with game or mature cheese or something suitably herby and spicy now or over the next couple of years or longer if well stored.
Rafael Cambra, Soplo, Valencia, Spain - Made from Garnacha grown on sandy soils in the Mediterranean climate of Valencia where temperatures can reach 40º but are moderated by the altitude - around 700 metres asl. Perfumed plum and raspberry with a touch of leather and earth. Rafa’s backgound is in vineyard nursery development but he started his own wine production in the early 1980’s and has developed a great reputation for producing wines with strong identity and individual character - that thumbprint of place. Viticulture is all organic and winemaking as non-interventionist as possible. Lovely upfront fruit with touches of wild strawberry and herb are followed by a refreshing lift and lovely length. Drink with a variety of food but it would hold up well to something with a bit of paprika and character. Good to drink within the next 2 to 4 years. Organic and vegan
This case contains one bottle of each of these wines. If any is out of stock or becomes unavailable it will be replaced by one of equal or greater value and deliciousness.