Wine region / Country
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: £75.62
Club Discount Price: £66.72
You save: £8.90 (11.76%)
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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White. Cave de Morgex et la Salle Valle d'Aosta, Italy Prié Blanc
Bottle: £9.92 club members / £11.16 non-members
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
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Red. La Source Valle d'Aosta, Italy Cornalin
Bottle: £9.82 club members / £11.16 non-members
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.
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Red. Maison Anselmet Valle d'Aosta, Italy Petit Rouge, Fumin, Cornalin
Bottle: £13.63 club members / £15.49 non-members
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.
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