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

£59.45 £53.50

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 Spain, made from the Godello grape; a terrific white with a great story.  The three red organic wines range from a “Field Blend” Red, a new-wave young Rioja wth some complexity and a stunning Malbec from one of the highest vineyards in Spain in DO Manchuela.

This case comes complete with Tasting Notes.

Barton Estate Chenin Blanc 2017 Walker Bay, S Africa  (1 bottle)

“Behind the Label” of a Blue Crane, is an attractive crisp, full-flavoured Chenin Blanc with aromas of pears and hints of guava and honey leading into a  fresh palate of pears and tropical fruits. Chenin Blanc is a grape which ages well and this vintage is refreshing with excellent length and has 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 vineyard now consists of 36 hectares of vines and these are outnumbered by fynbos, olive trees and lavender bushes, together with some very nice guest accommodation. 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 2018  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, who creates wines that are full of flavour and texture. 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.

Crego e Monaguillo 2018   DO Monterrei, Spain  (1 bottle)

Made from mainly Godello grape, this intriguing White has aromas of orange blossom, cut grass and apples followed by an intense and beautifully balanced palate of greengages and tropical fruit with a touch of lime.  Overall it has a silky mouth-feel coupled with refreshing acidity. A complex white wine with terrific length. This definitely rivals Albariño; people who try this white keep coming back for more!

Located in Salguiera near Verin, close to Portuguese border, the Rodriguez family have been growing and making wine for 50 years. The winery is located very close to the family home on a relatively small plot of land. In 2006 they produced around 30,000 bottles a year and gradually, since then, with demand for their wines out-growing their facilities, they built extensions to produce 700,000 bottles. The final expansion, (which was being finished when we visited them in April 2015), has enabled their production rise to nearly a million bottles.

“Behind the Label” is a picture of Crego (The Priest) and Monaguillo (The Altar Boy); Ernesto is a practising priest and his nephew Tito, who now runs the winery, used to be an altar boy. Each year they sell out of their wine!

Te Quiero Red Field Blend 2018 (Organic) VdlT Castilla, Spain  (1 bottle)

Te Quiero Red is a juicy red which contains many grape varieties. The principal grapes are Tempranillo and Syrah, in addition there is Garnacha, Graciano, Monastrell and Tinto Velasco; the wine is made as a Field Blend. It has aromas of garrigue, brambly fruit and spice which are followed by ripe brambly, blackberry fruit flavours. The palate is dry, spicy and savoury with ripe tannins and a light oak finish. Te Quiero literally means “I love you” in Spanish.

So what is a Field Blend? Spain’s vineyards, especially in La Mancha, are devoted to the commercial grapes we all love such as Tempranillo, Garnacha and Syrah, but there are also small plots of older, native varieties such as Graciano, Monastrell and Tinto Velasco that have been preserved. The small amount of these grapes that remain in the vineyards of Jesus del Perdon Co-operative, means it is not possible to vinify them separately (as usual, when blending grape varieties to produce a wine) so the grapes have been harvested together as a “Field Blend”. We think that this is a great success. It will be excellent with a wide range of dishes. The label shows the emblematic crocuses from La Mancha. It is the stamens of the crocus flower which produce the lovely saffron.

Gatito Loco 2018 (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!  It is made by a team at de Alto, working with Bodegas Manzanos and their winemaker Borja Ripa. Working with selected vineyards that have been converted and transformed into organic certified oases, the resulting wines are all about the fruit rather than winery and the ageing process.

Mil Historias Malbec 2018 (Organic)  DO Manchuela, Spain   (1 bottle)

This Malbec has intense aromas of mulberries, blueberries and hints of dark chocolate, leather and spice. The flavours are equally intense, there is blueberry and dark cherry fruit together with dark chocolate, espresso, liquorice and black pepper hints. This full-bodied red has a lovely full, savoury and very complex finish. It is structured with ripe tannins and excellent fruit balance. This organic Malbec is a definite rival to the higher quality Malbec’s of Argentina and France.

Mil Historias literally means a thousand stories and this range of wines from Bodegas Altolandon, one of the highest vineyards in Spain, are made from single varietals; all are organic and the winery is keen on the use of clay amphoras. It is produced by Manolo Garrote (who is an agronomist) and his wife Roselia Molina who is the winemaker at Bodegas Altolandon, in the hills well inland from Valencia near Cuenca. The vineyards are at 1100 metres which means cool nights which is helpful for retaining freshness in the grape flavours. This Bodega also restrict the yield to around 1.5 kilos per vine, which concentrates the aromas and flavours of the grapes. This wine is aged for 4 months in French oak barrels with some in clay amphora to retain purity, and build complexity and retain freshness.  Savour the great quality and depth of flavours in this wine; perfect with roast meats and strong cheeses.