May 2012 Selection

Costers del Segre?

May 2012 Selection

Missenyora 2010 (1 bottles)
Blanc de Roure 2010 (1 bottles)
Alges 2009 (2 bottles)
Cérvoles 2006 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: 84.54 €
Club Discount Price: 71.37 €
You save: 13.17 € (15.57%)

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Missenyora 2010 (1 bottles)

Barrel Aged white. Cooperativa L'Olivera Costers del Segre, Spain Macabeo

Bottle: 10.01 € club members / 11.85 € non-members


Missenyora is a single varietal Macabeo, impeccably made, with fermentation and ageing on its lees in oak barrels - an unpretentious white, a wine without a huge fanfare but not lacking merits either. It is balanced, refreshing, flavoursome, fruit-driven, smoothly-textured..., and with a slightly sweet touch that is worth explaining.

Years ago, in the town of Vallbona de les Monges and its vicinity, a very singular wine was made and in the process the must was brought to the boil in order to concentrate the sugars. Inspired by this tradition, the Celler L’Olivera now adds concentrated must during the production of Missenyora, although in very small amounts of around 9-10 gm/l of residual sugar, which endows the wine with that extra special sweetish element and complements its good acidity particularly well, besides making it a perfect wine for accompanying dishes with foie gras and for counteracting the bitter aspects of certain foods, the sort that are difficult to match up, such as artichokes.

Missenyora is a bright straw-yellow colour, with plenty of tears, and exhibits a delicate but intense nose, with fruit and white flower aromas, and some very subtle hints of pineapple in syrup and chalky calcareous stone. It is tasty, oily and balanced on the palate, sinewy and structured, fresh and with that light sweet quality that makes drinking it a very pleasant experience.

Its presentation couldn’t be better: a delightful bottle blue in colour, the winery’s iconic colour that recalls the ceramic pottery from the royal monastery, found when the ground was being prepared for cultivation, plus a modern, tasteful label designed by Claret Serrahima, who works in close collaboration with the winery. Missenyora is the most popular L’Olivera white, and rightly so.

  • Alcohol content: 12,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 8ºC and 10ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2014.

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Blanc de Roure 2010 (1 bottles)

Barrel Aged white. Cooperativa L'Olivera Costers del Segre, Spain Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay

Bottle: 7.10 € club members / 8.40 € non-members


The L'Olivera white wines, and in particular those fermented and aged in barrel, are blessed with balance and very good oak integration, showing a touch of barrel-ageing that is there one minute and gone the next, as the notes come and go, so they never overpower. These are fruit-driven, complex wines, where any powerfulness seems moderated too by the smoothness.

This Blanc de Roure is the “oaked version” of the Blanc de Seré. It is a Macabeo and Parellada coupage, with a little Chardonnay, which is vinified in barrel on its fine lees, and thereby gains in complexity.

It is a pale yellow colour in appearance and bright, whilst on the nose ripe fruit comes through, along with creamy vanilla notes yet always in the background; especially after some aeration in the wine glass, the fruit is really predominant. Some rather unusual Camembert notes cause some amusement, since this is just the type of cheese we’d like to enjoy with it. Oily and flavoursome on the mid-palate, it shows good acidity and those vanilla notes from ageing remain pleasantly on the aftertaste. This is a refreshing and expressive barrel-aged white that stands out in its price range.

Salads / anchovies / white meats / vegetables / soft cheeses / starters / fruit salads / summer salads

  • Alcohol content: 12,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 8ºC and 10ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2014.

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Alges 2009 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Clos Pons Costers del Segre, Spain Tempranillo, Grenache, Syrah

Bottle: 10.01 € club members / 11.85 € non-members


Alges offers us the mature, fragrant and more intensely fruit-forward side of the Costers del Segre region. It is a wine we could describe as modern in style, due to its concentration and the notes apparent from barrel-ageing, but work with the wood has been done to perfection and the overall effect shows the clear predominance of fruit intensity and a pleasant perfume. This is a complex, balanced and flavoursome wine.

A dark cherry colour and dense tears prepare us for a wine with a Mediterranean nose: the warmth of dark fruit, intense and ever-present, is enhanced with notes of undergrowth, balsamic, mineral and smoky nuances, hints of fruit in liqueur, of baked bread and black olives, and there is even evidence of a strawberry and raspberry background that brings out further its fruit character and complexity.

That fruit warmth does not rule out freshness. It is a fresh wine with a very pleasant entry, sweet, with body and good structure, showing smooth tannins, and the minerality and notes from barrel-ageing are clearly revealed again on the palate. Plenty of length; it carries on opening up after taking a mouthful. A wine only too happy to be drunk.

  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 15ºC and 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2018.

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Cérvoles 2006 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Cérvoles Celler Costers del Segre, Spain Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot

Bottle: 17.12 € club members / 20.30 € non-members


There are some wines whose elegance you can already sense by intuition before opening the bottle. In this case, a tall and slender bottle with a black label and simple design heralds a wine for special occasions. And that’s exactly what it is.

Dressed just right, Cérvoles 2006 presently exhibits a bright dark cherry colour with a rim that is starting to evolve but which still retains its lively ruby-red shade. Tears slowly emerge, leading us to expect a dense, full-bodied wine.

First appearances over, Cérvoles offers us a primary aroma on the nose of black fruit, ripe plums and blackberry jam, but before we can ponder whether maturity might be leading to rather weighty aromas, and especially on swirling the wine glass, up comes a balsamic background that will continue coming through, and be complemented by some spicy notes denoting pepper and fine woods (cedar). A lovely complex ensemble which becomes increasingly exuberant. We recommend that you open the bottle at least an hour beforehand and let the wine open up in the glass, and it’s like an ‘in crescendo’ movement in music - pleasurable, intense and lively. Definitely, Cérvoles is a wine to take time over, a wine for relaxing moments and one we would recommend for special dinners, as an accompaniment to delicacies.

We resist taking a sip because with time in the wine glass new notes have appeared: perhaps stony ground, maybe pine groves, or black olives. This is undoubtedly a Mediterranean wine, juicy and very voluptuous, seductive. After that utter density, hints of liquorice are evident too. A lively, expressive nose, that we can’t grow tired of smelling and which gives us twice as much pleasure when eventually we move on to tasting: that refinement on the nose, that complexity is multiplied on the palate, as long as we’ve allowed the wine to open up enough. Its entry is voluminous, very intense, and the fruit is so ripe you can almost chew it. Intensity, with elegance and balance. Although sweetness wasn’t noticed on the nose, it is sweet and rich on the palate, with some very notable, ripe tannins and generous acidity that confirm it still has a lot of life ahead. As for now, it is exceptionally enjoyable. There are no new twists on the finish, “simply” a ‘decrescendo’, with that roundness slowly fading away.

  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 15ºC and 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2017.

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