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Why do we love this case?

Wines from the Iberian peninsula are famously as lively as the people themselves. Punchy power makes for a fun drop, but you’d expect some finesse in the premium offerings. I’m happy to report that’s just what we have here. You don’t lose out on fun, but you get all the nuance and quality you could wish for. Think hot-blooded verve with flamenco flourish. 

And, our ‘friend’ this time is Portuguese, a classy and vibrant offering from the Douro - just to keep the Spaniards on their toes. 

Every pack contains one of each of the following:

Red
Other Red
Montsant DO

Celler Masroig Les Sorts Vinyes Velles 2015
Cocoa
Pepper
Redcurrant
Full-bodied
Bright
Concentrated

This is Mediterranean spirit, right here. From the region of Montsant, which forms a ring around the world renowned (and very expensive) Priorat of Catalonia, Spain. It’d be easy to think of this wine as Priorat on a budget. You’re welcome to, if that’s what you’re after. You’d be missing a trick though. We’re looking at 85% Carignan and 15% Grenache from some very old vines. It’s all about plush red fruits to begin with, bright cherries and berry jam. Then the classic spicy savouriness of Carignan comes through, with cracked pepper, cloves, violets and cocoa adding depth and interest. It’s not over the top in body, but it’s raucously full-flavoured. After 17 months in new French oak it’s come out fighting fit - structured and balanced. My advice? Take it for what it is. Absurd value, yes. But this bullish Montsant stands proud regardless of its neighbours. Spirited and delicious.

Red
Other Red
Portugal

Quinta Nova Unoaked Douro Tinto 2016
Blueberry
Plum
Spice
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
Platinum - Best in Show: Value Best in Show Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

The four classic Port varieties here: touriga franca, touriga nacional, tinto cão and tinta roriz. But glorious wine and no sense of over-ripeness. If I were to try to relate it to more familiar varieties, I’d say it had a malbec-like kind of richness, sangiovese-like tannins and nero-like fruit. Super interesting - so it’s unapologetically bold, has super savoury tannins, and is full of purple-black fruits and sour cherry, licorice, spice and white pepper. Youthful and chunky-bright. Generous (on the medium side of full bodied) but built on high acid, not overly worked. At the same time altogether its own self. As approachable as it is long. Well worth exploring the new Portugal, if it’s tasting this good.

Red
Other Red
Spain

Losada Vinos de Finca Bierzo 2016
Blackcurrant
Pepper
Spice
Full-bodied
Chalky
Concentrated
James Suckling
Old vine

This old vine goodness from one of Spain’s finest makers is exactly what you’re after - if you’re after a red that smells like Cherry Ripe meets river stone and has a silky fullness that has to be tasted to believe. I know I am. This is a very friendly, juicy and downright delicious welcome to the mencia variety, and you can enjoy these prices while they last. Not long before Bierzo reds go bezerko. Buy this, and you’re basically the Warren Buffet of the wine world, but you get to reap the profits on your taste buds.

Red
Other Red
Portugal

Quinta Nova Unoaked Douro Tinto 2016
Blueberry
Plum
Spice
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Decanter World Wine Awards 2018
Platinum - Best in Show: Value Best in Show Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

Every wondered what Portugal does other than Port? How about we start with Decanter’s 2018 Best in Show red, then... yes, this will do nicely. This is a blend of the four classic Port grapes, and it’s as dense as it is approachable. Dark and deep but fresh and friendly. Loads of plum, black and red berry, molasses and just enough spice. The finish is long enough to show its class and deceptively silky enough to make it dangerously sessionable. Who needs oak when the fruit is this good?

Red
Other Red
Spain

Celler Masroig Pinyeres 2015
Redcurrant
Spice
Toast
Full-bodied
Bright
Concentrated

This is a carnival of a wine. Ripe, juicy Grenache makes up the majority of the blend, with a splash of Carignan added for a spicy backbone of structure. Intensely coloured, and even more intensely flavoured. We’re talking ladlefuls of Spanish vitality and vigour. Old vines under a hot Catalan sun are a devilishly effective recipe. It’s a lip-smacker, and you’ll be doing so with every generous swig. To be enjoyed with rustic food on a balmy night of music and dancing. The winery themselves describe it as “agreeable”. Understatement of the millennium!

Red
Other Red
Spain

Bodegas Castaño Solanera Viñas Viejas 2015
Blackberry
Blueberry
Pepper
Medium-bodied
Rustic
Restrained
Robert Parker
Jeb Dunnuck

This immediately has something particularly Spanish about it, like licorice rolled in red earth and a medley of red and black fruits. Heady, but with a soft strawberry note that keeps it very approachable. Once approached, the palate is even crunchier and fresher than expected, with great sandy fruit-derived tannins. It’s totally medium-bodied, feeling light of touch but then bringing home fruit and tannin in a delicious, drying rush at the end. Yum. Said Jeb Dunnuck: “...fresh and lively, with ripe, sexy notes of blueberry and blackberry fruits intermixed with more subtle notes of violets, graphite and white pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, a seamless texture, and gorgeous purity of fruit, it’s another terrific vintage for this cuvée.”

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