September 2019 Selection

Land, grapes, and winemakers

September 2019 Selection

J. Antonio Ponce La Casilla 2018 (2 bottles)
El Prohibido 2017 (2 bottles)
Inconsciente Tempranillo Blanco 2018 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: 73.91 €
Club Discount Price: 62.80 €
You save: 11.11 € (15.03%)

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About this selection...

If we had to define wine as a combination of just three ingredients, these would be: the land, grapes, and winemakers. The best wines, terroir wines, are always built on a balance of these three elements. Having said that, one of these factors is usually more significant than the others in a wine and each one of this month's three wines has been chosen for one of these three reasons.

La Casilla is a Bobal variety wine made by the Ponce family but, above all, it is a Manchuela wine. The commitment of the Ponce family to this region, barely known in the winemaking world a few years ago, has been — alongside the work of other brave wineries — decisive in placing this appellation in the Castile-La Mancha region firmly on the map of great Spanish wines, bringing the character of their chalky-clay soils and continental climate to the wines.

We find a similar story behind the El Prohibido wine. A splendid wine from the D.O. Ribeira Sacra produced using local grapes such as the Mencia and Souson, but there is one factor in particular that gives it its unique character; it is clearly a wine made by Raúl Pérez. His personal style is undoubtedly recognizable in this wine, more even than the characteristics of this region or the varieties used. Flowers, minerality, and freshness represent the classic signature of this winemaking wizard.

Last but not least, our third proposal is a wine whose quality is principally based on the grapes used. Rioja wines are famous world-wide of course, but in this case the fact that the Inconsciente wine is made using a lesser known grape with a great oenological value is much more significant for the splendid result than the fact that it's from Rioja. The Tempranillo Blanco variety is responsible for the uniqueness of the Bodegas D. Mateos winery's Inconsciente wine.

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J. Antonio Ponce La Casilla 2018 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce Manchuela, Spain Bobal

Bottle: 11.86 € club members / 13.95 € non-members


Projects like this one from the Ponce family mean that nowadays no one questions the possibility of great wines being produced in the D.O. Manchuela. Proud of these lands, in 2005 the family made a firm commitment to using traditional local grape varieties as the backbone of their project. And time has proven them right. Led by the experienced winemaker Juan Antonio Ponce, the Manchuela soil in the area of Cuenca is an excellent partner for grapes such as the Moravia Agria, Albilla, or Bobal – the latter being the variety the winery uses to make La Casilla.

Their old Bobal vines (between 35 and 70 years old) are the key to the deep character of this wine, and the chalky-clay soils and continental climate provide the perfect framework for them to thrive in. Utmost care and attention is paid to collecting the fruit and the vinification process. The grapes are harvested by hand, collected in small crates, and then crushed by foot, before the resulting whole-bunch must is fermented using its own natural yeasts. The wine ages in large used French oak barrels on its lees and is bottled unfiltered and unclarified. The aim is to produce a wine which clearly expresses itself.

La Casilla has a wild freshness and a delicate and tantalizing nose, with red flowers and an intensely balsamic background. It is airy and spongy in the mouth with lactic and white pepper touches combining in pursuit of an aromatic balance. A juicy wine with delicate tannins and energizing acidity in the mouth, it has hints of damp chalk, ash, small wild strawberries, and a certain dryness which comes from the stalks of the mature bunches of grapes. It is recommended to aerate the wine to bring out flavours of Mediterranean scrubland, such as rosemary and thyme, and its elegant tannicity obtained by just the right amount of skin maceration. The slightly bitter aftertaste makes it a particularly elegant wine, while a delicate rusticity allows it to be served at temperatures cooler than 14 degrees.

Peppercorn steak / kid goat / meats with red berry fruit sauces

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red / intense / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Fruit aromas / red fruit / cherries / blueberries / mineral notes
    • Palate
      Good entry / silky / lovely tannins / well-integrated acidity / pleasant finish
  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 12ºC and 14ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2021.

J. Antonio Ponce La Casilla 2018
Front and back

El Prohibido 2017 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Finca Míllara Wines without GI, Spain Mencia, Sousón

Bottle: 10.62 € club members / 12.50 € non-members


El Prohibido is made using 20-year-old vines located in the heart of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra with the advice and work of the renowned oenologist Raúl Pérez. Local varieties such as Mencia and Souson are used to give the wine its northern typicity.

Grapes are hand-collected on the hillsides of the Ribeira do Miño area of this appellation and the best are then carefully selected before undergoing a cold maceration process and fermentation using wild yeast. The wine is stirred three times a day to ensure a good level of oxygenation and an optimum extraction of the colour and aroma of the skins. This is followed by a malolactic fermentation in barrels and an ageing process in tanks, French barrels, and the bottle. The five thousand bottles produced are a faithful reflection of the surroundings the grapes are grown in.

El Prohibido is a fresh and seductive wine; with a low alcohol content and low intensity, it is even lighter than most other wines from the Ribeira Sacra, and also a little more acidic. A stylized and subtle wine, just the way Raúl Pérez likes to work. El Prohibido is one of those wines where the character of its creator is even more noticeable in the final result than other factors such as where it is produced or the variety used — though, their characteristics are also present. Although the vineyards are south-facing, the wine is not too mature — in fact, it is actually a complex and floral wine, silky and wild. It offers balsamic hints somewhere between bay leaves and eucalyptus, with minerality, smoke, and well-integrated tannins being key features. It has a long life ahead of it and is sufficiently moreish to convince even the most reticent wine-drinkers.

Meats cooked on hot stone / oven-baked quails / smoked sausages

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red
    • Bouquet
      Complex / fruit aromas / red fruit / compote / floral scents
    • Palate
      Silky / rich / well-integrated tannins / good acidity / pleasant finish / long / persistent
  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 15ºC and 17ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2021.

El Prohibido 2017
Front and back

Inconsciente Tempranillo Blanco 2018 (2 bottles)

Young white. Bodegas D. Mateos Rioja, Spain Tempranillo Blanco

Bottle: 8.92 € club members / 10.50 € non-members


The Inconsciente Tempranillo Blanco is a deliciously exotic Rioja wine; one of those wines that grabs your attention as soon as you try it. The local grape variety used to produce it is still not widely grown here and was not officially accepted by the DOC appellation until about 10 years ago, but immediately surprises and delights wine drinkers with its aromas and texture.

The vineyards are located in Aldeanueva de Ebro. The grape bunches are de-stemmed at the cellar and gently pressed before the must is fermented at a controlled temperature. It then remains in stainless steel tanks for six months, pumped over (remontage) weekly to gain texture and complexity.

The resulting wine is an extraordinary and crisp interpretation of a grape with much to offer. A straw/gold colour with the odd hint of rosé, the Inconsciente has notes of passion fruit and freshly-cut grass in the nose, with touches of peach and talcum bringing to mind the dusty stones from the vineyards. It has a citric and seductive palate, and sharp citric tones over a spongy, almost lychee, background. Its complexity and elegant dryness give the impression that the wine has aged for a lengthy time, but it is not so. Its qualities are down to the excellent fruit and the careful work carried out during its production. Over time flowery aromas (lilies and magnolias) appear and slightly bitter hints which make it an elegant drink which becomes more fatty and balanced with every sip. The Inconsciente represents a firm and brave commitment to recovering lost flavours and the old Rioja tradition of producing top-quality white wines.

Vegetable rice dishes / lobster / cod fritters

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Greenish yellow / clean / bright
    • Bouquet
      Higly aromatic / fresh / tropical fruit / passion fruit / mango / stone fruit / white-fleshed peaches / flat peach / citrus notes / floral scents / white flowers / lilies / jasmine
    • Palate
      Complex / rich / balanced acidity / fruit notes / easy to drink / long finish / persistent
  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 5ºC and 6ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2021.

Inconsciente Tempranillo Blanco 2018
Front and back

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