I’ve had a soft-spot for this wine ever since my first encounter at the Painted Wolf tasting hosted by founder Jeremy Borg last Spring, so I was naturally eager to revisit it in preparation for our Flight Club #4 South Africa wine tasting and to check that my memory wasn’t playing tricks…I wasn’t disappointed!
Guillermo, 100% Pinotage, delivers on all levels. The nose is juicy, jammy with leafiness and a little spice. It’s a satisfyingly rich red, intense and brimming with flavour, ripe black fruits, sweet spice, the perfect measure of vanilla and some leathery and smoky characters to balance. The ripe tannins have a friendly grip and the finish is velvety and pleasantly lingering. Oh so memorable, and for all the right reasons!
The Grapes…Guillermo is made with South Africa’s signature red grape variety, Pinotage, the result of a successful cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault varieties way back in the 1920’s. The fruit comes from Painted Wolf’s pack member Billy (aka Guillermo) Hughes’ vineyard, where the vines are low-yielding and have seen minimal intervention, certified organic!
Why ‘Painted Wolf’? you ask… It’s the name of the ‘African Wild Dog’, an endangered mammal with a highly cooperative family and social structure and the inspiration for Jeremy and his colleagues. Fascinated by this animal Jeremy and his wife set out to form their own pack, organising a group of skilled individuals to join forces and craft a range of authentic and distinct South African wines.
A story of cooperation, innovation and conservation…Not only do they produce delicious wines but Painted Wolf are also committed to supporting the conservation of the ‘African Wild Dog’ and wild spaces of Africa with a contribution from each bottle sold going to the Tusk Foundation and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. They’re a good bunch these Painted Wolves!
A worthy cause and a fabulous wine, Guillermo Pinotage at £16.50 (that’s £14.85 to wine club members) has so much to offer and will bring a sure-fire smile, so don’t hold back.
La Lisse Soie d’Ivoire Chenin Blanc, Languedoc, France £8.50 2 bottles
As smooth (Lisse) as silk (Soie), this Chenin is as the name suggests, it boasts bags of ripe fruit and a luscious silky texture. Planted on the Limoux hillsides the Chenin vines, originally hailing from the cooler climes of the Loire Valley, enjoy plenty of sunshine whilst benefitting from the coolness of these Pyrenean foothills helping to balance the ripe fruit with a citrusy crispness. In the winery, part vinified and matured for 9 months in oak barrels, the wine develops in structure and texture, the result is a bright, fruity and very approachable white with backbone and appealing finish.
Price with wine club discount: £7.65
The Crossings Pinot Gris 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand £12 2 bottles
Carefully tailored by wine-maker Tamra Kelly-Washington, this is a lovely, slightly off-dry white. The 2015 vintage has an elegant balance of fruits (peach, pear and some more exotic) combining with honey notes in a delicate savoury wrapper. Conditions in the unspoiled, glacial Awatere Valley allow the fruit to ripen slowly, retaining a lively freshness that we find in this great value and versatile Pinot Gris.
Price with club discount: £10.80
L’Hospitalet Rosé 2015, Languedoc, France £9.50 2 bottles
Summer’s not over yet! An old-faithful pink is in order to round off the season. For those of you who haven’t been introduced, L’Hospitalet rosé is made from 100% Grenache, it is beautifully pale thanks to very little skin and juice contact, it is incredibly delicate and dry yet it reveals chunky red raspberries and cherries on the palate. A wine not just for Summer, a great aperitif or partner for dressed crab.
Price with wine club discount: £8.55
Castell del Remei Gotim Bru 2013, Costers del Segre, Spain £12 2 bottles
The star of our last #DecanterSaturday (the day of the week when we pop something new, interesting and tasty open for you to try.) receiving a big thumbs up from customers and staff alike. Gotim Bru blends Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon (and a little Syrah and Merlot too). It’s a dark, rich and incredibly comforting red, with bright cherry and plum fruit, toasty characters, and the perfect measure of sweet spice and savoury. Pioneers of Catalan winemaking, Castell del Remeii, fuse the traditional with the modern in their methods from vineyard to winery and their iconic Gotim Bru reflects this fusion, blending with international varieties and ageing in both American and French oak. This is definitely a red to accompany the darker evenings and Sunday roasts.
Price with wine club discount: £11.25
Domaine Langlois-Château Saumur 2012, Loire, France £11.50 2 bottles
Yet another fine wine from Langlois-Château! You may have met its big brother recently (#Decanter Saturday).
We love this Loire Valley red for all the right reasons: its colour, a beautiful bright red with a purple hue, its nose, bursting with blackcurrants and raspberries and its palate, leafy, juicy and mouth-watering. This 100% Cabernet Franc is a nice lighter red option with plenty of character to enjoy on its own or with a platter of charcuterie.
Price with wine club discount: £10.35
The Colonial Estate Explorateur Old Vine Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2015 £12.50 1 bottle
If you’re after a good value stocky Shiraz which packs a friendly punch then the Explorateur is for you. The 2015 is certainly bolder and more full-bodied than its predecessors. The nose is sweet and spicy with blackberries, white pepper and liquorice at the fore. The palate follows with more unctuous dark fruits and pepper, and the finish is long with a hint of freshness. Colonial Estate combine French winemaking methods with Aussie fruit, picking the finest fruits, sorting rigorously, fermenting using traditional methods and ageing in French oak. Here the outcome is an intense yet elegant Shiraz calling for a fine steak.
Price with wine club discount: £11.25
Peter Bayly Cape White Port NV, Calitzdorp Valley, South Africa £11 1 bottle 37.5cl
Appearing for the first time at our Flight Club #4 South Africa this coming Saturday, I couldn’t not share this little gem with you all! This Cape White Port made from 100% Chenin Blanc is deliciously dry with a lengthy treasure-trove palate, dried apricots, Seville marmalade, toasted almonds and spice seduce. To be served chilled alongside fine cheeses and nibbles or made into a wonderfully refreshing cocktail to find out more join us at Flight Club #4 South Africa.
Price with wine club discount: £9.90
Total price of wine: £130.50
Bin Delivered price: £110 (£120 delivered nationally)
What’s Flight Club? I’m glad you asked… it’s a series of informal tasting events where we combine a little bit education with a healthy dollop of fun. You get to taste some lovely stuff in an ever so slightly structured way so that, if you wish to, you can learn a little bit more about wine. But we’ll keep things light so that if all you want to do is try some different bits and bobs, you won’t feel like you’ve been dropped into night school. We provide you with little crib cards with just enough information to cover the basics and a bit of room for your own notes so that, as Flight Club progresses, you can build a pocket sized compendium of wine facts.
In our fifth outing we’ll be focussing in on Spain; more precisely we’ll be focussing right in onto Rioja and Ribera del Duero. 20 lucky Flight Clubbers will receive a welcoming cocktail, generous tasters six fabulous wines, a tapas supper and a snifter of brandy with something sweet to finish. All insanely good value at just £30 per person BOOK NOW
Close followers of BinTwo will know of our love of Rioja and Ribera del Duero and, in particular of the wines produced by Bodegas Roda and Bodegas la Horra. Bodegas Roda has for many years been the producer of our “go to” wine for when someone walks into the shop asking for “something a bit special”. This question typically prompts a decisive move towards the Spanish section where carefully, almost reverently, we’ll tease from the shelf and coddle in our hands a paper wrapped bottle of Roda 1. “This” we’ll whisper…”this is the wine for which you have searched”.
We’ll probably then relay the story of winemakers who since the 1980s have been seeking to make the perfect Rioja using old vines located in the best ecosystems of La Rioja Alta. We may speak of 16 month’s of ageing in old and new French oak barrels and a further 20 months in the bottle. We’ll probably finish with a reassuring smile and a simple plea to “trust us on this one – you won’t be disappointed”.
So we were extremely excited when our importer offered to send their Roda ambassador, the ruggedly handsome Matthieu Barrère, to run our Flight Club event. What’s more amongst the fabulous wines he’ll offer us to taste there will be not one but two vintages of the Roda 1 to savour: the 100% tempranillo of 2005 and the 2009 featuring 5% of Graciano. Does vintage variation make much of a difference? Come along and find out!
We’ll be needing some suitably Spanish food to match of course and our minds immediately turned to tapas. So if your think in terms of tortilla, manchego, chorizo and beans, jamon, olives and nuts then you won’t be far wrong.
All this for a measly £30 per person. The event will be held at our Hub at Hawksfield between Wadebridge and Padstow between 7pm and 9pm (ish).
BOOK NOW and pay on line to confirm your places or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you’d like transport (or if you have spaces in a car available) and we’ll co-ordinate taxis and/or car shares from Padstow.