(2014) >From Catalonia this 12.5% alcohol white is a blend of between five and nine each year, including Macabeo, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Albarino. Beautifully perfumed and ripe, with a Riesling and Sauvignon character driving the aromas, a touch of beeswax, a touch of elderflower, and plenty of punch. On the palate there's a lovely mouth-filling sweet fruit. The layering of this wine is lovely, with mineral notes adding to the dry juiciness, but no shortage of sweet and ripe, rounded flavours persisting to the end.
(2010) >From the Costers del Segre region, high in northeast Spain close to the French border, this is an unusual blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Carignan and Marselan (the latter a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, now quite common in the Languedoc). It is aged in new French oak barrels. The nose has a swirling, enticing, Sandalwood and cassis density with a little lift of kirsch and very ripe blueberry fruit. On the palate this is a big, fruit-packed wine with a creamy, balsamic richness, the smooth, fragrant and spicy oak adding layered depth and the tannins overtly chocolaty and dense. It is big and bold, but there is good balance in a showy but successful style. At the mixed case price it will have considerable appeal.