When our customers buy a wine again and again, you know it’s good! Taste favourite drops from Australia, France, Spain and Portugal in this delicious dozen here. From Australia, you’ve true blue beauties from The Black Pig team, John Quarisa, and the Casella Family – these are crackers! Then, indulge in a velvety aged Spanish star, the fabulous old vine Cabalié from the sun-drenched south of France, and a luscious Touriga Nacional from Portugal. A stunning selection.
As Robert Parker says, “Spain leads the world for sensational wine bargains of character and soul” , none more so than its mature reds. Nowhere else produces mellow, barrel aged wines of such remarkable quality and price. Take Palacio del Conde – a gorgeous, complex, oaky 2013 from Valencia. Part of this region is close to the coast, while the more southerly part is inland, up in the hills and very arid. It’s there that winemaker Marta Martínez selects the finest, hand harvested – from 50 year old vines – Tempranillo grapes for this Gran Reserva, then ages the wine for three years in oak barrels. A wonderfully fragrant, silky red with mature redcurrant and strawberry fruit and a rich, toasty character. Sublime with roast lamb or tapas.
According to winemaker Alan Kennett (and thousands of Black Stump customers), when you combine Durif and Shiraz “magical things happen”. Perhaps that explains Black Stump’s splendid two decades of popularity. The wine owes its name to a mythical outback marker of the boundary between the known world and the unknown. Describe anything as the best “this side of the black stump” and you mean it’s reckoned to be unbeatable. How appropriate for an affordable Aussie red of peerless intensity and popularity. Dark Durif, “the grape that takes no prisoners” (The Observer), and impressively juicy Shiraz make a perfect marriage, creating a velvety, voluptuous, and irresistible style. Serve in large glasses with steak and kidney pie or a Sunday roast.
After enjoying a “distinguished career as a winemaker spanning over 20 years, working for some of Australia’s largest wineries” (Halliday), John Quarisa is making his own wines – his own way. The result? Mile upon mile of excellent wines that continue to win Gold! Fragrant cassis, ripe plum with hints of mint and subtle cedar oak aromas, followed by rich black fruit, sweet plum and fine grain tannins across the palate. A soft generous wine which pairs perfectly with duck or rabbit. This wine has the flavour, structure and balance to be enjoyed now or offers added satisfaction from further cellaring.
The word ‘Nacional’ is reserved for treasures that fly the flag for Portugal. Touriga Nacional certainly does that. A decade ago the Freitas family planted the grape on their acclaimed Fava vineyard and it has produced a wine so special that it's won 30 Golds in seven vintages and was listed as “Best Portuguese wine” by The Independent. Founded 100 years ago, Casa Ermelinda Freitas is proud to have been run by three generations of women, with the fourth waiting in the wings. The highly awarded Leonor Freitas is in charge today, with her daughter, Joana, not far behind. Our customers can’t get enough of this barrel-aged beauty. Ideal with roast meats or a hearty casserole.
Once your wine arrives, slow right down. Be patient with this wine and it will reward your handsomely – decant for half an hour and the transformation is magical. Once the juice loosens up and releases its hidden depths, it develops an aroma that is just divine. Discover liquorice, blackcurrant, cherry, blackberry and bitter cocoa mirrored on the palate with turbo-charged punch and power. And the finish? It goes on forever…
Take a minute to read the (literally thousands of) 5-star online reviews for Cabalié. This one is typical: “When my time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil, this is the wine I want in that final glass. It is simply, utterly, indescribably fantastic.” Its secret? It’s crafted by a master winemaker, Hervé Sabardeil, following the centuries-old style beloved of Roman centurions, who first made wine there. Raspberry-rich Grenache, with herby Syrah and Carignan, Cabalié has impressive concentration. That’s due to the maturity of the vines, most well over 50 years old. The tiny berries they produce give Cabalié extraordinarily rich, ripe flavours. Smooth, velvety raspberry, blackberry, herbs and spice, all leading you to a long finish. Boasting 9 Golds in as many vintages, this much-loved red is warming solo or with hearty dishes.