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“Behind the Label” Case Offer – Wines with a story from South Africa & Spain

£57.00

Tasting Notes

“Behind the Label” Case Offer brings you wines with great stories!

Discover “Behind the Label” Case Offer with accompanying notes, provides a journey in flavours that should delight most palates! Sip your way through – Two white wines from South Africa – both from family estates, one is an unusual and excellent blend (Bonfire Hill), the third white is from Galicia in Spain, made from the Godello grape; a sophisticated, complex white with a great story.  The three red wines range from Gatito Loco a new-wave young Rioja with some complexity, an award-winning, deliciously complex Garnacha and a stunning organic Bobal; from one of the highest vineyards in Spain in DO Manchuela.

This case comes complete with Tasting Notes.

Barton Estate Chenin Blanc 2020 Walker Bay, S Africa  (1 bottle)

“Behind the Label” of a Blue Crane, is an attractive crisp, full-flavoured Chenin Blanc with a fresh palate of pears, peaches and hints of cox’s apples. Dry, zingy and full of flavours with excellent length and some mineral complexity.

The Estate was bought by the Neil family in 2001 with just 6 hectares of Chenin Blanc vines; the vines are now around 40 years old, providing great depth of flavours. The label features the endangered Blue Crane featured which has made its home in the  Barton Estate. If you visit this wine farm, you may see them strutting about! Barton’s vineyards are in the Bot River area on the cooler south slopes of the Kogelberg hills, where the summer heat is reduced by Atlantic breezes from Walker Bay, just 11 miles away.

Extreme Vineyards Bonfire Hill White 2020  Western Cape, S Africa (1 bottle)

This white has lovely complex, ripe aromas of peach and citrus which are backed up by herbs and hints of oak. The flavours are also complex, with rich, more-ish stone fruit and apples mixed with a dash of citrus acidity and nicely balanced by a light oak touch. Bonfire Hill White is a great example of what excellent blends South Africa is now producing; in this case a blend of Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. It is mouth-filling, succulent with great depth of flavour. The grapes are whole bunch pressed and a natural fermentation occurs. The wine spends around 8 months in 500 litre French oak barrels; 10% are new oak.

The grapes are harvested from the Leewenkuil Family Vineyards in Swartland and Voor Paardeberg. It is made by the highly respected winemaker Bruce Jack. The name of this wine (Bonfire Hill) is derived from a winter solstice celebration at Drift Farm, where this wine is made. “Behind the Label” is Bonfire Hill, where they celebrate the ancient festival of St John by building a big bonfire and burning any unwanted vegetation from the previous season. 2018 vintage is still drinking well.

Bodegas y Viñedos Merayo Godello 2020, DO Bierzo   Spain  (1 bottle)

This is one of the stars of this case offer, a grape that needs to be discovered. It has pronounced but subtle nectarine, greengage and apple aromas with citrus and fennel hints. The flavours are layered and complex, ranging from nectarine, white peach to hints of pears and there is definite minerality here. It has a lovely full palate with a sensation of freshness balancing an edge of glycerol. Overall a lightly rounded dry white with excellent mouthfeel, terrific length with harmonious balance. This white wine is made from grapes of 40+ year old bush vines and has been aged “sur lie” for four months before bottling.

“Behind the Label” – which is minimalist but emphasises the importance of the vineyards where the Merayo family have been growing grapes for generations – is Pedro Merayo who has 25 hectares of established, immaculate vineyards at 600 – 700 metres. Merayo is a small, family-producer in the hills of DO Bierzo in North West Spain. The vineyards are near Villafranca, close to the Camino de Santiago de Compostella (The Pilgrims Way) and during our visit to Pedro’s scenic vineyards, we could see walkers making their way along the Camino!

Such is the care and attention to his vineyards, Pedro Merayo has observed other vignerons taking photos of his vineyards to pass them off as theirs! Attention to detail in the vineyards, hand-picked grapes and careful winemaking by Juan Merayo is producing excellent results. Only 25,000 bottles of Merayo Godello are produced annualy.

Gatito Loco 2020 (Organic)  DOCa Rioja, Spain (1 bottle)

(Recommended in Decanter “Affordable Riojas £10 – £20: March 2020)

Gatito Loco Rioja is bursting with fruit. With it’s eye-catching label depicting a Gatito Loco (literally meaning a crazy kitten), it is a young, yet full flavoured Rioja and is strikingly different. This wine has fresh, bright aromas of red and black fruits with a wonderful fresh character. Blackberry and red fruit flavours with supporting nuances of balsam, liquorice and chocolate. This is a young, un-oaked Rioja but quite complex wine and it stands out for its combination of full flavours and freshness.

This is a wine that emphasises vineyard over bodega, which moves away from the more traditional image of oaked Rioja, everything about this wine is intentionally provocative to challenge your view on what Rioja is!

Care Garnacha Nativa 2020/21  DO Cariñena (1 bottle) (Gold Medal Mundus Vini International Wine Competition 2022)

With fresh, powerful aromas of blackberry and blackcurrant fruits with spice, mocha and date hints, this red has an abundance of ripe black fruit, spice and date flavours with almond, liquorice and toasty oak hints. A fresh, elegant and complex red with soft, ripe tannins and a well balanced fruity structure. There are also hints of dark cherries and coffee beans and it has excellent length and depth of flavours; all in all Care Garnacha Nativa is a really attractive, smooth and enigmatic red wine. It is a very good example of why Garnacha deserves more attention as a serious grape, when it is grown well in the right place.

The grapes for this wine come from some of Bodegas Care older vines of more than 40 years old on the slopes of Sierra de Alairén, in the hills near Zaragoza. It has had 8 months ageing in American oak barriques which has provided some spice, body and roundness. Made by Nacho Lazares with the Diaz families with grapes grown in their 150 hectare estate and produced in their modern bodega on the estate.

Mil Historias Malbec 2019 (Organic)  DO Manchuela (1 bottle) (Highly Recommended Decanter Magazine)

intense aromas of mulberries, blueberries and hints of dark chocolate, leather and spice are followed by equally intense flavours. There is black fruit and dark cherry fruit together with dark chocolate, espresso, liquorice and black pepper hints here. This full-bodied red has a lovely full, savoury and complex finish. It is structured with ripe tannins and excellent fruit balance. An organic Malbec which is a definite rival to the fine Malbecs of Argentina and France. Highly Recommended in Decanter Magazine in April 2021.

Mil Historias literally means a thousand stories and it is produced by Manolo Garrote (agronomist) and his wife Rosella Molina (winemaker) at Bodegas Altolandon, in the hills well inland from Valencia, near Cuenca. The vineyards are at 1100 metres, where the nights are cool which is helpful for retaining freshness in the grape flavours. This Bodega also restricts the yield to around 1.5 kilos per vine, which concentrates the aromas and flavours. This wine is aged for 4 months in French oak barrels with some in clay amphora to retain purity and build complexity. Finally they are bottled and have an eye-catching label which captures their organic, natural production using biodynamic practices.