Curious Case January 2023 - Reveal

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The Curious Case is a 'mystery' case that changes every month whereby you find out what is in it when you receive it! Could be red, white, rosé, orange or sparkling from a classic region or a boutique producer in some remote far-flung region using indigenous rare varieties.

For the first Curious Case of the New Year we're sticking just to red wines this time out. And more specifically we've gone for a selection of big, bold wines, the sort of thing that goes well with hearty wintertime food. In fact in terms of where they come from and the grape varieties they're made from it's a pretty diverse selection. In Europe we cover France, Italy and Portugal, while from the New World there are wines from The USA, South Africa and Argentina. Some are made from familiar grapes such as Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon while others are made from lesser known ones like Touriga Nacional, Corvina and Carignan. All this means there's a interesting range of flavours - each of them certainly have a distinctive character of their own, but they're all united by the fact they're unashamedly big, rich and ripe blockbusters. If you fancy exploring this warm and welcoming style we can heartily recommend this selection.

As always with our Curious Cases this is just a snapshot aimed to showcase some good quality, well-priced wines on the theme in question. We certainly hope it piques your interest because there's plenty more to explore in this vein.

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Wine #1 - An Intense and concentrated example of one of California's signature grapes

Wine #2 - A rich and fruity Portuguese blend from the warm and arid interior.

Wine #3 - Delicious soft ripeness from the western Languedoc.

Wine #4 - A mouth-filling, warming and richly layered South African single varietal.

Wine #5 - Complexity and elegance sits comfortably alongside a host of dark ripe fruit in this delicious organic Argentinian

Wine #6 - Vibrant, intense and wonderfully rich, this style of northern Italian is becoming more and more popular.

Chateau Ollieux Romanis Classique Rouge, Corbieres 2020

In a nutshell:
A delicious, soft, ripe French red blend from Corbières in the western Languedoc.

The lowdown:
Ollieux Romanis make quite a selection of wines at their large family estate in the Corbières and this, the Cuvée Classique Rouge has long been a fixture on our list simply because of its quality and value for money. It's a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah which is fermented and aged in tank forbetween 12-18 months. No oak ageing is involved. There is a burst of blueberries and cassis on the nose wrapped up with a lingering spicy note while on the palate the luscisous dark fruit flavours have a touch of herbiness reminiscent of the local garrigue. It's all very well balanced and leaves with a really tasty finish.

When to drink:
Big and juicy and perfect for roast beef and other grilled meats.

Ciconia Tinto 2020

In a nutshell:
A rich and fruity Portuguese red blend from the warm and arid inland Alentejo region.

The lowdown:
The little known Alentejo region, in the hot, dry inland region south of Lisbon, is a source of super value generously fruity wines and this eye catching, easy drinking red blend has long been a favourite of ours. This is a modern fresh tasting blend of tradtional varieties such as Touriga Nacional and Aragonez with a bit of Syrah which is making inroads in the region. It's got a lovely touch of ripe brambles on the nose and a basketful of rich, soft red fruit flavours and a touch of dried fruit and peppery spice. The finish is nicely judged with subtle tannins seeing it all out.

When to drink:
A flavour packed glugger if ever there was one; it's also great with pasta, lamb, or poultry dishes.

Journey's End Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

In a nutshell:
A rich, warming and layered Stellenbosch Cabernet from Journey's End Vineyards.

The lowdown:
Handpicked and hand-sorted, then matured in a mix of predominately French new and used oak barrels for 16 months. There is a core of typical Cabernet Sauvignon blackcurrant cassis flavours backed up rich plums, a savouriness, white pepper and mixed spice notes. The tannins are velvety smooth and the acidity well balanced. A big but well judged wine with complexity and a long finish.

When to drink:
This is a wine for big, full-on meals such as steak, roast beef or a big stew. A wine that will keep and change over the next few years.

Amalaya Malbec 2021

In a nutshell:
A complex and elegant Argentinian Malbec from the northern Salta region.

The lowdown:
Amalaya's vineyards are in the Calchaquí Valley which is the highest wine region in the world and one of the most remote. After fermentation about a quarter of the wine was aged in French oak for 10 months prior to blending and bottling. There's a little Tannat and Petit Verdot among the Malbec here and together gives rich aromas of dark fruits, herbs, sweet spice and subtle oak. It's wonderfully smooth on the palate with ripe, sweet blackcurrant fruit, oak spice, liquorice, mint and cedar notes while the tannins are velvety and rounded and the finish long and lingering.

When to drink:
Reliably good value it's a perfect to go with barbecued red meats or roasted lamb and beef.

Suitable for Vegans, Organic

Fabiano Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2020

In a nutshell:
An intense, vibrant and rich Valpolicella Ripasso from the Lake Garda region of northern Italy.

The lowdown:
Ripasso is quite a different animal to bright and breezy Valpolicella. It's has an extra dimension of richness obtained by a second fermentation on the skins of Amarone and it's a style of wine that's really grown in popularity over the last few years. It has elegant, ripe cherry aromas and a silky vanilla spiciness on the palate which it gains from 12 months spent in oak.

When to drink:
A more affordable alternative to a full on Amarone and is full of character and richness. Suits roasted red meats and full flavoured game dishes.

Bogle Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel 2019

In a nutshell:
An intense and concentrated wine made with the archetypal grape of California.

The lowdown:
Low yielding vines ranging in age from 60 to 80 years old are used here; they're all dry farmed, no irrigation, and give small concentrated clusters of grapes which reach a high degree of richness. The result is a big and bold wine filled wth rich, ripe fruits and sweet spice yet with a nicely vibrant feel and a touch of Black Forest Gateau. Sensitive use of American oak in which the wine spends 12 months gives the finished product the ideal balance and delicious, softly spicy finish.

When to drink:
Superbely mouthfilling, this is just great with top quality grilled or barbecued sausages.

Suitable for Vegans

Curious Case January 2023 - Rice, Ripe & Red

Out of Stock
Single Price: £23.50
Mixed 6 Price: £21.50
Out of Stock
Single Price: £15.50
Mixed 6 Price: £14.50