March 2018 Selection

The devil used to wear barrique

March 2018 Selection

M. Marengo Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2014 (2 bottles)
Il Palazzino Chianti Classico Argenina 2014 (2 bottles)
Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2012 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £119.75
Club Discount Price: £105.10
You save: £14.65 (12.23%)

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About this selection...

Since it first appeared this side of the Alps, barrique has divided the Italian wine world. Accustomed to subtle aromas and austere and sometimes rough flavours, the vine-growers most tied to the tradition of the great Italian native reds have considered barrique a monster to avoid. The personification of evil that rounds and smoothes necessarily severe wines, irreparably influencing the olfactory profile. In the Langhe, land where Nebbiolo purists have been particularly combative, the use of barrique has even triggered vehement controversy. The target? The producers who experimented with its use.

The history of the last twenty years has, however, has dampened the hostility. Modernity, embodied by supporters of barrique, has ceased to represent a controversial breaking with tradition, made of large barrels or cement tanks. It has become a standard, and in many territories coexists with history as a viable alternative to ageing handed down by grandparents.

In the Langhe, the Barolo barricati are no longer news: consumers have the choice. The same happens in Montalcino and in Chianti, where the wave of new Tuscan wines, which have become the flag-bearers of barrique based on the model of the classic Bordeaux wines, has also influenced the more classic Sangiovese wines. Not to mention the areas of Aglianico: from Taurasi to Vulture barrique is now in the majority, and is well suited to a vine for its indomitable traits, especially if derived from volcanic soils and high altitudes.

And now that barrique is part of the history of Italian wine, that wine deserves to be taste without prejudice. Especially if what is going into the barrique are the the greatest native grapes of the Bel Paese.

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M. Marengo Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. M. Marengo Barolo, Italy Nebbiolo

Bottle: £26.33 club members / £30.07 non-members


A small family-run winery in La Morra, now managed by Marco, Marengo operates on the basis of simple but solid principles of style and sustainability. The work is centred on the integrated management of vineyards and reduced cellar intervention. The style, placed between territorial strength and expressivity, is based on the production of elegant and fruity wines with short maceration times and ageing in small wood.

From ancient vines located on the best calcareous soils in La Morra, with a rocky subsoil that maked the roots work hard, this Bricco delle Viole is definitely one of the most significant and, by now, constants in its category. Extremely expressive and territorial, the Bricco delle Viole, dark garnet in colour, elegant and refined with its aroma of fruit and spices, with subtle echoes of herbs, roots, cherry, undergrowth, liquorice and mint. The aromas abound in their fullness and vigour, and even when young hold a sort of ethereal scent, which peep out to emphasize the longevity of the product.

The palate is proportionate and balanced, it has a vivid but partially integrated tannin, and a long, tasty, satisfying finish. It is full-bodied, upright, solid, of a beautiful freshness and seductive impact.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2040.

M. Marengo Barolo Bricco delle Viole 2014
Front and back

Il Palazzino Chianti Classico Argenina 2014 (2 bottles)

Red. Podere Il Palazzino Chianti Classico, Italy Sangiovese

Bottle: £11.83 club members / £13.44 non-members


Argenina is one of the oldest settlements in the village of Monti in Chianti, near Gaiole, in the southern part of the denomination. Around the inhabited centre, now completely restored, the Winery owns three hectares of recently renewed vineyards. The land is located at 310 metres above sea level, with a radial exposure which goes from South-East to South-West. The wines born on this land is characterised by enormous amiability, harmony, freshness of fruit and floral scents, due in part to the excellent selected clones of the new system.

The farmhouse and the village, a product of the eighteenth-century Leopold of Hapsburg-Lorraine agrarian reform, are now managed by Alessandro and Andrea Sderci according to the principles of certified organic farming methods, plus a refusal of selected filtrations and yeasts, in addition, of course, to the drastic reduction of sulphur dioxide.

Argenina is the classic Sderci Chianti, a modern conceived wine which is however deeply rooted in the territorial tradition and winemaking. Sangiovese with drops of Canaiolo and Colorino, the colour is one of beautiful dark ruby, interspersed with garnet hints. Fermentation, carried out in steel, imbibes this Chianti with a youthful aroma: pleasant floral and fruity sensations, with red berries and plum at the forefront, interweaved with notes of sweet spices.

The palate is of a precious body, which is not exaggerated, broad, rich, with a smooth tannin which never edgy. It has a perky freshness, softness and subtle sapidity. The final, which is enduring, especially brings to mind fruity aromas.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Il Palazzino Chianti Classico Argenina 2014
Front and back

Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2012 (2 bottles)

Red. Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi, Italy Aglianico

Bottle: £14.40 club members / £16.37 non-members


In the glass, this Taurasi appears dark and virtually opaque to look at. On the nose, so rich and intense, it offers aromas of ripe black berries and cherries, as well as elegant floral touches and spicy notes of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Marbled with a garnet tinge as it ages, the bouquet alsp becomes more complicated by subtle mineral hints, ethereal puffs and goudron.

On the palate, with the fruit and the oak working together in perfect harmony (the wine matures for 18 months in medium toast French oak barrels), it imparts a dense flavour, rich and well-balanced, that culminates in a long and persistent finish with balsamic and spicy hints. When it's young it may seem slightly nervous due to the impetuosity of the vine, but, elegant and snappy as it is, it gradually evolves into a full-bodied wine with integrated tannin, sweet, warm, rich in after-tastes which create a new road-map for the complexity of the bouquet.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC
  • Drink now or keep until 2028.

Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi 2012
Front and back

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