January 2017 Selection

January in the mountains: the Aosta Valley wines

January 2017 Selection

Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et La Salle Rayon 2015 (2 bottles)
La Source Cornalin 2014 (2 bottles)
Maison Anselmet Torrette Supérieur 2014 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £78.21
Club Discount Price: £69.01
You save: £9.20 (11.76%)

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About this selection...

Less than 600 hectares of vineyards and no more than 20,000 hectolitres of wine produced each year. The Aosta Valley's production is still very modest, nevertheless it’s one of the fastest and largest-growing regions on the Italian wine scene. The reason for this is simple: apart from counting upon excellent indigenous varieties, the Valley has become a perfect habitat for other international varieties and, no matter which ones they are, here they result in wines of exceptional personality.

The Aosta Valley boasts a heroic viticulture forced to confront huge difficulties: searching for the very best sun exposure, the terrain’s great inclines, the narrow terraces where the vineyards grow, the poor soils, the icy winds, the rainfall, the limited hours of sunshine... For this reason the local wineries benefit from both traditional and the most innovative techniques in their quest to express all the refinement of their century-old vineyards. Resilient vineyards, many of them pre-phylloxera and currently in the process of recuperation, which have shown themselves capable of attaining great elegance in both reds and whites.

The product's rarity and its extreme nature — the vineyards in the Valley may well be cultivated at altitudes rising up to 1,200 metres and are reckoned to be the highest in Europe — have restricted the popularity of wines produced here to a limited demand, yet the Aosta Valley wines are much more than simple mountain wines. They are wines which balance their fruity smoothness with a marked mineral freshness, ideal for every type of consumer and for accompanying a wide variety of dishes reflecting international cuisine.

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Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et La Salle Rayon 2015 (2 bottles)

White. Cave de Morgex et la Salle Valle d'Aosta, Italy Prié Blanc

Bottle: £10.26 club members / £11.55 non-members


The area comprising the localities of La Salle and Morgex, in the Aosta Valley, is the only one in the whole of Europe to possess authentic crus at a height of 1,000 to 1,200 metres above sea level. The challenge of heroic viticulture here is added to an ancestral tradition which calls for the vines to be trained on pergolas and also thus enjoy better sun exposure. Subject to adverse weather conditions, including wind, snow and few hours of sunshine, the Prié Blanc variety succeeds in expressing itself to the absolute full in this location.

This variety adapts to the low temperatures and mineral soils found locally to offer very rich grapes even after the coolest summers and toughest harvests, with relatively early ripening that escapes the first frosts. It's not a coincidence then that the Morgex area is one of the very few in Italy capable of delivering in specific years some splendid Ice wines.

Rayon is one of this denomination's gems. Appearing a pale, delicate straw colour and with evocative herbaceous, citrus and mineral aromas, it's an ideal wine to accompany aperitifs and starters. After 5 months in steel tanks, it exhibits on the palate its freshness, but also a surprising richness and opulence considering the altitude it starts out from. It finishes with a lovely hint of almonds which inevitably leads on to a quick succession of sips...

Grilled wild mushrooms

  • Alcohol content: 12,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 6ºC and 8ºC

Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et La Salle Rayon 2015
Front and back

La Source Cornalin 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. La Source Valle d'Aosta, Italy Cornalin

Bottle: £10.16 club members / £11.55 non-members


Among the Aosta Valley's indigenous varieties the Cornalin is undoubtedly the most extensive. Although it had been on the point of disappearing because of phylloxera, this variety is currently undergoing a period of widespread recuperation and is revealing itself once more as a grape with exceptional characteristics. Founded in 2003 and equipped with cutting-edge installations, La Source is a young winery that has achieved extraordinary results in its production of Cornalin by means of 6 months of refinement in steel tanks.

The winery's vineyards boast full exposure to the south and are located at an altitude of 800 metres. The moraines which gave rise to the valley and the characteristic sandy soils endow the grapes, and therefore the wine, with an amazing richness which is also influenced by their late harvesting in mid-October. Elegant and extremely pleasant too, La Source Cornalin is characterised by its refined notes of red fruits, sweet spices, wild flowers and mineral hints. On the palate it appears graceful, fresh and supple, but perfectly well-balanced due to good structure and an enveloping texture, with a balsamic and musky finish.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

La Source Cornalin 2014
Front and back

Maison Anselmet Torrette Supérieur 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. Maison Anselmet Valle d'Aosta, Italy Petit Rouge, Fumin, Cornalin

Bottle: £14.10 club members / £16.02 non-members


Torrette Supérieur is one of the Aosta Valley's finest native reds. This is all thanks to the character of the Petit Rouge, a traditional valley variety that has now become very well known, and the craftsmanship of Giorgio Anselmet, a real reference point for this region's viticulture and an example to follow due to the balanced use he makes of thoroughly modern technology and the oldest traditions.

Along with the Petit Rouge, Maison Anselmet Torrette Supérieur also possesses in its coupage a percentage of the Fumin variety, which brings sinew to the blend, and of Cornalin, another of the region's indigenous varieties, now in the process of recuperation. After its vinification in steel, the wine undergoes ageing in barrel (only 5% of them new).

As an example of the result, this 2014 vintage has received a rating of 91/100 in the Wine Spectator. A wine with garnet glints that reveals on the nose the typical fruity and violet aromas together with other more profound and evolved notes of cinnamon, cloves, incense, liquorice... On the palate, there's an emphasis on spiciness, showing a rich exuberance and perfect balance between the enveloping smoothness resulting from its stay in barrel and the characteristic mineral freshness of the Aosta Valley.

Sirloin steak

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Maison Anselmet Torrette Supérieur 2014
Front and back

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