Acabamos de sacar la nueva añada 2017. Una añada donde ha habido menos producción pero como suele suceder, de mayor calidad, con más cuerpo que las anteriores y muy frutal. Sin ninguna duda, un regalo para tus sentidos. Prúebala.
Por segunda vez, Jancis Robinson vuelve a recomendar nuestros vinos entre todos los vinos del mundo, y de su recomendación también se hace eco el Financial Times. Tan sólo 35 somos los afortunados. No podemos estar más agradecidos y contentos por ello. Que los disfrutéis.
9 Dec 2017
Warming, and refreshing, winter reds
A version of this article is published by the Financial Times.
In the second of my four collections of wines for festive entertaining (see last week’s whites), I recommend these reds, and in some cases suggest how they might best be enjoyed. Some of them, particularly the simpler beaujolais, would make great aperitifs for those who prefer reds to whites. Others are grand enough to be a centrepiece at a special meal. The burgundies and Pinot Noirs may be especially suitable for turkey and its sweeter trimmings. See winesearcher.com for stockists near you. Next week – sweet and fortified wines.
Ch de Lacarelle 2016 Beaujolais-Villages 12.5%
Ridiculously cheap for this amount of fruity, youthful pleasure. This was a delightful vintage for accessible beaujolais, one of the world’s underpriced wines.
£7.75 The Wine Society
Jiménez-Landi, Bajondillo 2016 Méntrida 14.5%
Crazy price for a Spanish Garnacha that tastes like strawberry juice that stones have been soaked in. Dry and appetising on the finish.
£8.50 The Wine Society
Aldonia, Vendimia 2015 Rioja 14.5%
60% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo. Fruit not oak soars out of the glass. This decidedly non-industrial wine, the product or a particularly ripe vintage, is bursting with life. Great value.
Ch de Balan 2015 Bordeaux Supérieur 14%
50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon with excellent fruit and drive. A good example of the extraordinary value to be found in Bordeaux’s lower reaches. Best with simple food.
Undurraga, Cauquenes Garnacha 2015 Maule 14.5%
Thoroughly satisfying southern Chilean chock full of fruit for drinking with or without food. Many a Châteauneuf producer would give their eye teeth for this sort of structure.
£9.50 The Wine Society
Dom de la Meynarde 2016 Côte du Rhône-Villages, Plan de Dieu
Truly a beaker of the warm south and a great emissary of the immediate allure of the superior 2016 vintage in the Rhône. Warm, sweet, juicy, with wonderfully gentle tannins. Substantial.
Dom du Moulin d’Éole, Les Thorins 2014 Moulin-à-Vent 12.5%
A relatively serious cru beaujolais with some maturity but also still some potential and chewiness. This would be lovely with cold roast beef but it does need food.
£10.95 The Wine Society
Alexandre Burgaud 2016 Beaujolais, Lantignié 12.5%
Just the job for guests who want a red to drink as an aperitif. Fresh and super-juicy from very old vines and made by the nephew of highly regarded Jean-Marc Burgaud.
£11.50 Berry Bros & Rudd
Regina Viarum Mencía 2016 Ribeira Sacra 13.5%
Excellent value. The fragrant Mencía grape most often encountered in Bierzo is in this case grown on the steep banks of the river Sil in north-west Spain.
£11.50 The Wine Society
Casa Santos Lima, Al-Ria Reserva 2015 Algarve 14.5%
The first wine I have ever recommended from the far south of Portugal. Oaked blend of Touriga Nacional and Syrah that delivers both friendly bitter cherry fruit and refreshment.
£13.50 The Wine Society
Ch Ste-Eulalie, La Cantilène 2015 Minervois-La Livinière 14.5%
This producer has been making some of the finest wines in this western Languedoc village for years. Round, satisfying Midi blend and ridiculously good value. What’s not to like?
£13.50 The Wine Society
Haskell, Dombeya Fenix 2011 Stellenbosch 14%
A Bordeaux blend that includes Malbec, from one of the Cape’s most accomplished winemakers. Great price for this amount of complexity and maturity.
£14.50 Lea & Sandeman
Braunewell Spätburgunder 2015 Rheinhessen 12%
Germany’s accessible, often floral, answers to red burgundy are increasingly popular, and this one is especially keenly priced.
£14.75 Lea & Sandeman
Cantina Paolini 2012 Etna 13.5%
Pretty good value for a five-year-old wine from such a fashionable appellation. Light-bodied and fully mature with the warm, singed quality of reds grown on Sicily’s volcano.
MOB, Lote 3 2014 Dão 12.5%
Debut vintage of a joint venture between three of the Douro’s most admired winemakers. Superb drinkability, zestiness and complexity for the price but this should certainly age further.
£14.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Palacios Remondo, La Vendimia 2015 Rioja 14%
From the family bodega of the maker of one of Spain’s most expensive wines, L’Ermita in Priorat, this is another friendly 2015 rioja. Those who like modern wines with local character should love this.
£29.95 a magnum Berry Bros & Rudd
Mas de la Devèze 2014 Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 15%
Very sweet and luscious. Round with tannins completely overwhelmed by the spicy fruit with a hint of liquorice. A bit potent but very comforting. Most suitable accompaniment a cold?
Federico Paternina, Gran Reserva 2006 Rioja
This is not the greatest mature rioja you will ever taste but it may well be the best value. All that soft American oak, vanilla and lively tobacco leaf fruit. Great stuff for the money.
Dom des Trinités, L’Étranger 2015 Vin de France 13%
Century-old Cinsault vines. Solid and friendly with some sweetness and real interest for the money.
£15.95 Lea & Sandeman
Zorzal, Eggo Tinto de Tiza Malbec 2014 Mendoza 13.5%
The Michelini brothers made this from vines grown high in the Andes in fashionable concrete eggs. Positively leaps out of the glass with a grainy finish that feels like licking the inside of a concrete egg. Probably best with food.
Poggiopiano, La Tradizione Gran Selezione 2013 Chianti Classico 14.5%
Pure essence of a hot Tuscan summer with the wood in check. Long and satisfying for fans of Sangiovese tanginess.
£16 The Wine Society
Sendiäna 2014 Lebanon 13.5%
As spicy, rich and complex as a Levantine business deal. A blend of Bordeaux and Rhône grape varieties. Persistent and rewarding.
£17 The Wine Society
Piemaggio, Le Fioraie 2008 Chianti Classico 14%
Unusually mature Tuscan and, apparently, found in the cellar by the new owner. Gentle and fun. Great value if you appreciate how wine evolves in bottle.
£19.50 Lea & Sandeman
Salomon Shiraz 2013 Fleurieu Peninsula 14.5%
This Syrah and Viognier blend from close to the South Australian coast is made by Austrians. Round, flattering and luxurious. It somehow tastes like salty satin.
£20.75 Lea & Sandeman
Celler Sangenís i Vaqué, Vall Por 2006 Priorat 15%
A most unusually mature, full-throttle red from the hills of Catalunya. Sweet, very thick and velvety with a slightly hot finish (note that high alcohol). The more refined Coranya 2004 at £36.50 is also fair value for such a mature wine.
£22.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Ch Fleur Haut Gaussens, La Viminière Malbec 2015 Bordeaux 13.5%
A most unusual varietal red bordeaux that could almost be mistaken for a high-quality Argentine red. Very rich and flattering with a particularly velvety texture. Perfect for those who like to be enveloped by their wine. Probably not a long-distance runner but massively delivers pleasure. The American oak is not too obvious.
£22.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Frog’s Leap Zinfandel 2015 Napa Valley 14%
From an early Napa adopter of organic viticulture and a champion of balance in all wines, including this beautiful rendition of California’s signature grape. Such zest and lift without any sense of excess. A great way to support post-fires northern California.
£25.50 Berry Bros & Rudd
Tongue in Groove, Cabal Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Waipara 14%
Voluptuous violets and so full of charm that winemaker Lynnette Hudson must be very proud of this. Too sweet for burgundy but so much more interesting than the average Kiwi Pinot. Glorious.
£26.95 Lea & Sandeman
Dom Tollot-Beaut 2012 Chorey-lès-Beaune 13%
Chorey is always relatively well-priced and Natalie Tollot runs the most admired domaine in the village. Sturdy, unmistakably burgundian and ready to drink. What’s not to like?
£27 Richard Granger, £27.30 The Wine Tasting Shop, £40 The Sampler (halves from Four Walls Wine)
Eymann, Sonnenberg Pinot Noir 2014 Pfalz 13.5%
Based on biodynamically grown top-quality Pinot plants. Particularly serious German answer to red burgundy with zest, density, freshness and the grainy potential for further development.
£28.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Mas Doix, Salanques 2014 Priorat 14.5%
From one of Priorat’s over-achievers. A blend of 65% Garnacha, 25% old Carignan and 10% Syrah in which you can almost taste the local dark llicorella rock. Very smart, dense, complex wine with lovely completeness, offering a great combination of ripeness and definition.
£30 The Wine Society
Dom du Clos Salomon, Premier Cru 2014 Givry
Light, fresh southern burgundy. Very elegant with masses of eloquent fruit in a lightweight register. Lunchtime burgundy?
£30–£32 Four Walls Wine, The Secret Cellar, In Vino Veritas
Alcohuaz, Tococo de Alcohuaz Syrah 2015 Elqui 13.5%
This may seem expensive for a Chilean red but it is so very obviously hand-made and fine that it is irresistible. I found myself writing about this southern hemisphere answer to Côte Rôtie, ‘Such accomplished winemaking. Lots of polished fruit. Wonderfully pure. Really tastes of place – not that I’ve been there’!
£30.95 Berry Bros & Rudd
Dom Vincent Paris, Granit 60 2013 Cornas 13%
Pure northern Rhône Syrah grown on granite in this dynamic appellation. Absolute perfection to drink now if you treasure fragrance rather than sweetness. I could imagine this with goose. Lots of energy here.
£31.95 Uncorked, also Wholefoods, Vino Vero
Lingua Franca, Avni Pinot Noir 2015 Eola-Amity Hills 13.5%
Ex somm Larry Stone and Dominique Lafon of Burgundy’s new adventure in Oregon. Seriously outstanding, with the hand of Lafon evident in this pure, emphatic, appetising expression of terroir without any surplus sweetness. Rewarding.
£41.25 Berry Bros & Rudd
Philippe Livera, Dom des Tilleuls, Clos Village 2014 Gevrey-Chambertin 13%
A real charmer from this attractive red burgundy vintage with sufficient fruit to stand up to turkey but this one should still be going strong well into the next decade.
£42.50 Harvey Nichols
Dom Christian Sérafin, Vieilles Vignes 2007 Gevrey-Chambertin 13%
You pay more for real burgundy … The chief attributes of this wine with its combination of bitter cherries and leaf mulch are that it has bottle age and is from a particularly accessible vintage. The 2010 at £79.50 has more grunt and definition.
£60 Berry Bros & Rudd
Con JancisRobinson sobran las presentaciones, pero para quien no la conozca todavía, es una muy prestigiosa crítica inglesa de vino, Master of Wine, y consejera de vinos de la bodega de la Reina Isabel II. Es periodista y editora de diversos libros relacionados con el mundo del vino. En la actualidad escribe una columna semanal en el Financial Times.
En esta ocasión recomienda nuestros vinos Aldonia en su blog https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/aldonia-2015-riojas
Enormemente agradecidos por ello. Que los disfrutéis.
Aldonia 2015 riojas
From €5.86, $8.98, £8.95, 1,274 yen, 2,098 Icelandic krona, 94 Brazilian reals
Today, Friday the thirteenth, we offer yet another lucky, and extremely well-priced, Spanish recommendation. I see from my records that Spain is the country that has supplied more wines of the week than any other in recent months. This doubtless reflects how keenly priced so many Spanish wines are currently.
I’m particularly recommending three 2015 red riojas on offer from Aldonia, a bodega in Rioja Baja, the eastern, most Mediterranean sector of the Rioja region where more Garnacha than Tempranillo is grown.
Fourth generation wine grower brothers Mario and Iván Santos built a new bodega in Navarette to make wine for themselves rather than selling all their juicy grapes to other producers. Like Maquina y Tabla, producers of these recent wines of the week, they aim to make Vinos de Pueblo, thoroughly local expressions. Like so many rioja producers today, they don’t use the old terms Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva so as to leave themselves complete flexibility over how and how long each wine is aged. (With our Spanish specialist Ferran Centelles, Nick and I shared a bottle of La Rioja Alta’s 908 Gran Reserva 2005 last weekend and it seemed aggressively oaky – and that from a house as irreproachable as La Rioja Alta.)
I seem to have been banging on forever about the deliciousness of much Spanish Garnacha and querying Spaniards’ determination to regard it as almost a dirty little secret as opposed to the noble Tempranillo. See, for example, my introduction to this 2001 wine of the week. I’m thrilled therefore to see a re-evaluation of the (originally Spanish) southern Rhône grape all over the world, including Spain. See innumerable more recent articles such as Garnacha – now the height of fashion and G-Day and the Grenache Symposium for evidence of the groundswell of support for this accessible, super-fruity grape variety.
Aldonia’s three wines are all made from Grenache predominantly, their top wine from nothing but. Their 16 hectares of vineyards are high elevation, over 800 m (2,625 ft) in some cases and some are over 100 years old. Viticulture is organic.
This is a rather charming extract from their website: ‘Our grandfather was a wise man, taught us the elaborate “second bottle wine”, which means that after finishing a bottle, the wine is at a level of quality as well, to invite start another bottle.’ The English may not be perfect but the sentiment is clear, and well merited. And the ripeness of the early 2015 vintage in Rioja seems to have suited the Aldonia range particularly well.
Aldonia Vendimia 2015 Rioja is the least expensive of the three wines (£8.95 Tanners in the UK) and is absolutely delicious already. My tasting note:
‘60% Garnacha, 40% Tempranillo. Transparent crimson. Fruit not oak soars out of the glass. Very juicy, sweet fruit that would not look out of place behind a relatively smart label in the southern Rhône. Firm tannic framework. This is a wine that is bursting with life. So non industrial. Bravo! VGV 16.5/20 Drink 2017–2020’
At 14.5%, this is not a wine for casual sipping, however many bottles you may be tempted to open. It would be such a superior house wine though for accompanying a wide range of emphatically flavoured and textured foods.
Aldonia 2015 Rioja (their nomenclature is a tad confusing) is the mid-range wine (£12.80 Tanners) and for drinking now I would definitely recommend the cheaper Vendimia as the best value. My tasting note:
‘82% Garnacha, 15% Tempranillo, 3% Graciano matured for 12 months in oak barrels. Paler than the Vendimia 2015 and the nose is subtler. Less bumptious and a bit more reticent at this stage but with an attractive stoniness on the finish. Good balance and a real future. 16.5/20 Drink 2018–2023’
This is all of 15% alcohol, doesn’t taste it but I would be pretty wary of any second bottle.
Aldonia 100 2015 Rioja (£16.50 Tanners) is the jewel in the crown. My tasting note:
‘100% 100-year-old Garnacha grown at 850 m in Rioja Baja, aged for 14 months in oak barrels. Light and sophisticated. Really lovely texture and lift. Soars off the palate with fine acidity but masses of fruit. A very gentle hand on the tiller in the winery. This should have a real future but is already a delight. GV 17/20 Drink 2017–2025’
This 15% wine is dangerously appetising and drinkable. Really lovely stuff.
The wines are available in Spain, of course, where they are virtually given away, as well as in the UK, US, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil and – Iceland, where their inherent warmth should be particularly welcome, I would have thought.
Mientras realizamos las tareas de Vendimia, nos siguen llegando reconocimientos. En esta ocasión, nos han otorgado 91 Puntos Peñín en dos de nuestros vinos, lo cual nos hace ser elegidos para formar parte del Salón de los Mejores Vinos de España.
Sin duda, un motivo más para disfrutar de estos vinos.
Wine Club 10 June
Heaven help us, it’s barbecue season. You know, that ghastly time of year when testosterone-fuelled hunter-gatherers push the little lady aside and fire up the rusting, bird poo-covered grate in the garden and ask the neighbours over.
Never mind that these poor saps never darken the kitchen the other 11-and-a-half months of the year (and wouldn’t know what to do there if they did), nor that the little lady in question is a hugely capable Leiths-trained cook as well as a multi–tasking barrister/entrepreneur/CEO/novelist and mother of three, no doubt.
I’ve never ‘got’ barbecues. The food’s either scorched or raw. I mean, isn’t it to save us from such things that God invented kitchens? Be that as it may, here follow six wines perfect both for lovers of barbecues and for miserable gits like me who aren’t.
The 2015 Alto Los Romeros Gran Reserva (1), from the Colchagua Valley in Chile is made from Roussanne and Marsanne which always taste better when blended together than either does on its own. Originally from the Northern Rhône (where they are permitted in both white and red Hermitage), the grapes clearly thrive in Chile. I love this wine’s creaminess and its poached pear and fresh peach/apricot flavours. I love its price, too. £8.95 down from £9.95.
The 2015 Sauvignon de Touraine ‘Le Boulay’ (2) is made at Château de la Presle in the Loire Valley, HQ of Domaine Jean-Marie Penet. This 100 per cent Sauvignon Blanc is wonderfully fresh, zesty and full of ripe gooseberries and mangoes. It’s bone-dry on the finish and makes the perfect 6 p.m. kick-starter. £9.90 down from £10.90.
We’ve offered previous vintages of the 2015 Tanners White Burgundy (3) before and I’m delighted to do so again because it’s such a steal. A Chardonnay of real style from Cave de Viré, the highly regarded co-operative near Mâcon, it’s absolutely bang on with deliciously ripe, rounded fruit and just a faint whisper of butter thanks to the briefest spell in oak. £10.95 down from £11.95.
The 2015 Aldonia Vendimia Rioja (4) is a real charmer. A blend of 60 per cent Garnacha (aka Grenache) and 40 per cent Tempranillo, it’s made by the Santos brothers who used to flog all their grapes to the big Rioja houses until they realised their quality was so good they were worth vinifying themselves. They don’t bother with old Rioja terminology such as Crianza and Reserva, but I suspect this does have a touch of oak. It’s fresh, juicy, concentrated and full of ripe cherries and mulberries with a savoury finish. £7.95 down from £8.95.
The 2015 Le Pigeoulet (5) from Frédéric and Daniel Brunier of celebrated Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape is right up my street and I hope yours, too. A fabulously complex blend of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault, it’s soft, smooth and dense with loganberries, plums, leather, liquorice and herbs. The vines lie just outside Châteauneuf-du-Pape, otherwise the ridiculously modest price would be way higher. £11.40 down from £12.90.
Finally, the 2014 Massaya ‘Le Colombier’ (6) from Lebanon, a huge favourite of mine and of everyone else who was at the Spectator Winemaker’s Lunch hosted by Massaya’s Sami Ghosn. The vineyards are at Tanail in the Bekaa Valley and at Faqra on Mount Lebanon where the climate is so benign —hot days, cool nights — that no irrigation is needed, nor pesticides, nor fertilisers. It’s where, Ghosn told us, the vines are neither too stressed nor too comfortable but just happy. A blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo, it’s another extremely barbecue-friendly wine. Don’t say I’m not doing my best. £12.50 down from £13.50.
The mixed case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free.
Estos días, el prestigioso periódico The Guardian, nos ha mencionado como una de las seis mejores Garnachas del Mundo. Además de estar muy agradecidos por ello, nos impulsa para seguir esforzándonos más cada día para que lo podáis seguir disfrutando.
The wonder of grenache is that the meagre crops of fruit produced by vines which can be anything up to 100 years old create some of the most vivacious wines around: a stream of soft, mouth-filling juiciness, with flavours of bramble jam, raspberry, cherry, tangy plum and paprika. How all this primary-coloured flavour emerges from such harsh surroundings is a wonder of nature on a par with something from a David Attenborough documentary – like one of those desert plants that lie dormant for years waiting for the briefest rain shower to bring them into bloom.
If there’s a better-value red wine style in the world – a better yield of fruit flavour per pound – than the absurdly underpriced old-vine garnachas of the Campo de Borja region of Aragon in northern Spain, I’ve yet to find it. Wines such as Bodegas Borsao Garnacha 2015 (£5.95, slurp.co.uk) and the Co-op’s Gran Vista Garnacha 2015 (£4.99) have so much more about them than the sweetened alcoholic Ribena that so often passes for wine at the £5 to £6 level these days.
Grenache’s reputation has also suffered more than most at the hands of incautious winemakers: leave it to get too ripe and the abundance of fruit becomes a syrupy, alcoholic jamminess.
When it’s good though, it certainly deserves a place at the top table – indeed, over the past decade,it’s made more strides than any other grape variety, with producers developing a much wider palette. It can provide succulent, spicy easy-drinkers such as Honoro Vera Garnacha 2015 (£8.45, Booths) from another Spanish region, Calatayud, or the always-alluring Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache 2014 (£12, Morrisons) from South Australia. Or it can produce lush winter warmers such as Domaine of the Bee 2011 (£27.50, thesampler.co.uk)
Most interesting of all, however, is the new wave of grenache made in a more restrained style. The prime movers behind this re-imagining of grenache as the “pinot noir of the south” are Spanish, with the likes of Daniel Jiménez-Landi in the hills of Mentrida, Bodegas Joan d’Anguera in Priorat’s neighbour Montsant, and Bodegas Aldonia in Rioja all conjuring subtly earthy, graceful, light-coloured garnachas from very old vines.
There are fine examples, too, in the New World’s new wave. Producers such as Australia’s Jauma, the Ministry of Clouds and Ochota Barrels, and the likes of Craig Hawkins and David Sadie from South Africa’s trendy Swartland set have all contributed to grenache’s more nuanced 21st-century personality in wines that, no matter how gentle they might feel, are still all about the sun.
Six of the best grenaches
Tesco Old Vines Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain 2015 (£5, Tesco)
The winemakers of Campo de Borja are blessed with a wealth of old garnacha vines that provide real depth of flavour at absurd prices, like this delightfully exuberant bargain burst of juicy bramble fruit.
Waitrose Southern French Grenache 2015 (£6.49, Waitrose)
Spicy and supple, with a sprinkling of white pepper and dried herbs adding savoury interest to the brisk raspberry and cherry fruit, this is good-value grenache in light, thirst-quenching, bangers-and-mash-matching mode.
Bodegas Aldonia Vendimia Rioja 2015 (£12.50, Vinoteca)
Having been somewhat eclipsed by tempranillo in Rioja, garnacha has made a comeback in recent years. At Aldonia it takes a leading role, joined here by 40% tempanillo in a fluently elegant, red-fruited, super-silky red.
Chris Williams The Foundry Grenache, Stellenbosch, South Africa 2014 (£12.95, the Wine Society)
Talented Cape winemaker Chris Williams’s Rhône-inspired grenache is perfectly pitched, offering a lively succulence of blackberry and raspberry combined with a nip of tannin and hints of peppery spice and wild herb.
Bodegas Jiménez-Landi Las Uvas de la Ira, Castilla y Leon, Spain 2014 (from £21.50, St Andrews Wine Company; the Sampler)
Daniel Jiménez-Landi is one of a handful of Spanish winemakers to pioneer the more sensitive, subtle side of garnacha, using old vines from the Gredos hills of central Spain. So pretty, floral and subtly earthy – it’s garnacha for pinot lovers.
Ochota Barrels The Fugazi Vineyard Grenache, South Australia 2014 (£28.50, Honest Grapes; Handfords; Prohibition Wines)
From a new-wave Australian cellar that puts the emphasis on fresh drinkability, this is a flat-out gorgeous take on grenache with a core of crunchy black and red berries and a streak of peppered-steak bloody-meatiness.
Nos alegramos de que Parker haya valorado nuestro esfuerzo realizado este tiempo, otorgando a Aldonia 91 puntos. Deseamos que lo disfrutéis.
Aldonia 100 2013 ha obtenido la valoración más alta en la cata del Gurú británico Steven Spurrier, con 93 puntos.
Tasting notes Steven Spurrier:
Fine fresh mid red, very attractive nose of fresh red fruits with good lift from high elevation vines, polished and natural on the palate, great purity of fruit and lovely acidity, elegant for Grenache, full of natural energy. 2016-23. 93/100.
Toca disfrutarlo. Salud!