October 2019 Selection

The smaller brother

October 2019 Selection

El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2015 (2 bottles)
Augustus Cabernet Franc 2015 (2 bottles)
Domaine des Roches Neuves Cuvée Domaine 2017 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: 102.51 €
Club Discount Price: 87.58 €
You save: 14.93 € (14.56%)

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About this selection...

Being the smaller brother isn't always as easy as it seems, especially if your big brother is the most popular pupil at school. Everyone's eyes are always on him, leaving you in the background. The big brother in our story is the world-famous Cabernet Sauvignon, and its smaller brother, the Cabernet Franc. Having said that, if we continue with the family metaphor, it seems that Cabernet Franc is actually the father in our case as the Cabernet Sauvignon variety is very probably the result of a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Although both varieties originally come from France, while Sauvignon has travelled the world and become virtually a synonym for quality red wine worldwide, Cabernet Franc has remained in its shadow. It is less tannic than Sauvignon and produces wines which are often more delicate, aromatic and elegant. They don't have the same strength or body as Sauvignon wines, but they delight wine-lovers with their smooth texture and seductive aromas of wild fruits and violets.

The qualities of the Cabernet Franc are perfectly well-known and appreciated in Bordeaux (especially on the Right Bank), Italy, or California, but as it is commonly blended with other varieties such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, it is not always easy to enjoy a wine with the true essence of this variety. This month we propose three wines which will allow you to do just this, as well as surprising you with three very different styles. A Loire wine, a Penedes wine, and an Argentinian wine, all three made with Cabernet Franc but each one expressing its own terroir, transmitting their particular conditions of soil, climate, and winemaking culture in each sip.

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El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2015 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Bodega Aleanna Mendoza, Argentina Cabernet Franc, Malbec

Bottle: 18.76 € club members / 21.95 € non-members


El Enemigo is an elegant, discreet and deep wine with aromas of chocolate and malted grains which seduce you even before you take your first drink. It is an excellent Mendoza wine and, above all, an example of thoroughness in wine production. The green aromas usually noted in other Cabernet Franc wines are absent while it delights the drinker with the typical qualities of this grape variety; its opulence, elegance, and aromatic complexity, with a velvety feel and virtually perfect balance. Its tannins are perfectly integrated and measured, and the acidity is precise, giving tautness and style but without appearing aggressive. It drinks like a classic wine, but has the aromas of a modern one, combining the elegance of Old World wines with the openness of the New World. Aromas of ripe fruit, toast and nuts are found, and perhaps a hint of violet petals floating above a light blackberry and cherry jam.

Vineyards at 1,400 metres of altitude, with fine stone-covered limestone soils give El Enemigo an unusual freshness. It ages for a long time in wood – mainly in previously used barrels to ensure the ripe fruit remains to the front. Eucalyptus and pepper refresh a mature centre making El Enemigo Cabernet Franc an almost perfect wine aromatically, bringing to mind the old Bordeaux wines that Adrianna Catena would drink with her father during her youth or the Angélica Zapata Cabernet Franc that Adrianna’s partner in this project, Alejandro Vigil, served at his own wedding. The excellent El Enemigo, with the spice, grainy tannins, and freshness typical of the best Cabernet Franc wines is surely the wine that these two top winemakers were destined to create together.

Oxtail / game dishes / cured cheeses

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Ruby red / violet glints
    • Bouquet
      Higly aromatic / concentrated / cassis / redcurrants / sweet spices / black pepper / clove / cedar wood / vanilla
    • Palate
      Sweet entry / structured / ripe red fruit / pepper / eucalyptus / elegant / pleasant finish / persistent
  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2023.

El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2015
Front and back

Augustus Cabernet Franc 2015 (2 bottles)

Red Crianza. Celler Avgvstvs Forvm Penedès, Spain Cabernet Franc

Bottle: 10.60 € club members / 12.40 € non-members


There are very few wineries which have carved out such a reputable name as Augustus Forum by opting strongly for quite an unusual grape in the production of single varietals. On the estate at El Vendrell, 3 km from the sea, a small winery surrounded by vineyards, in the purest Bordeaux style, conceals a limited number of bottles of this extraordinary Cabernet Franc which already has a long and successful track record behind it. Perhaps its scant production is the reason why it's not so well-known as the house's Chardonnay, or the superb Forum vinegars, which now have their allotted place in the kitchens of Spain's best restaurants.

At Augustus Forum, the Roca family, with brothers Albert and Oriol clearly heading up the project, appreciate as few do the merits and requirements of the Cabernet "younger sibling"; this can only explain why the wine is so recognisable each year but without failing to express the character of the vintage. It's always an elegant wine, robust, pleasant, and complex too. It has all the character of a good French Cabernet cloaked in Mediterranean warmth and a clever usage of oak. Menthol, spicy, brimming with ripe fruit and substantial toasty notes, generous, full and long. Matorral shrubs, cherries in liqueur, liquorice, pepper, graphite, blue flowers... it doesn't stop growing. Without a doubt, a magnificent example of this varietal's capabilities.

A reference and pioneer among Spanish Cabernet Francs, the Augustus Cabernet Franc is undoubtedly a wine delivering the style of its winery and the character of this variety. While many other Penedes wineries bet on the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot grapes for their single-variety wines, the Augustus winery chose to go with the so-called little brother, the extremely elegant Cabernet Franc, using it to create a wine which is easy to drink but whose noble character comes through with every sip.

Beef sirloin steak / roasted peppers / parmesan or grana padano type cheese

  • Wine Tasting Notes:
    • Colour
      Picota cherry red / intense / garnet / violet glints
    • Bouquet
      Fruit aromas / red fruit / black fruit / peppers / nutmeg / pepper
    • Palate
      Dense / balanced / good acidity / complex / varietal notes / Mediterranean character / spicy notes / fruit aromas / menthol notes / fresh
  • Alcohol content: 14,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2022.

Augustus Cabernet Franc 2015
Front and back

Domaine des Roches Neuves Cuvée Domaine 2017 (2 bottles)

Young red Crianza. Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny, France Cabernet Franc

Bottle: 14.44 € club members / 16.90 € non-members


Domaine des Roches Neuves is a Cabernet Franc from cooler climes; spicy and embellished with light green aromas and the elegance of the limestone and cool clay soils the vines grow in. Fruits of the forest in delicate liqueur, bay leaves, black olive water, and orange peel all delight the nose immediately. The subtlety and wisdom behind this wine are the work of Thierry Germain, a visionary who came to the Loire from Bordeaux over 20 years ago and learned to observe and work patiently with the Cabernet Franc vineyards here.

Biodynamic agriculture and an utmost respect for the rhythms of nature are key factors behind the purity found in every bottle of Domaine des Roches Neuves. An easy-flowing wine, seducing the palate and cheeks, thrilling the tongue with a fine acidity and stimulating the nose with a wide palette of aromas — violets, black fruits, floral touches, and fine smoke. It is an unusual wine which showcases the style of the winery and is more than enough reason to explain just why Thierry Germain is widely considered to be one of the great winemakers in the Loire region. An open wine, with no tricks, and ready to be enjoyed immediately. It offers a wonderful combination of fruitiness, wild freshness, and perfectly mature vines.

Organic agricultural methods in the vineyards, a careful selection of the grapes, rigorous control of the fermentation process, and painstaking work with the wine’s fine lees all combine to explain the wine's wonderful clarity and delicacy. Germain is currently one of the best biodynamic wine producers in Europe and his wines, especially the single-vineyard ones, are among the most thrilling wines from France.

Tofu and seaweed salads / asparagus / rabbit with mushrooms

  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 14ºC and 16ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2022.

Domaine des Roches Neuves Cuvée Domaine 2017
Front and back

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