Wines From A Special Parcel


Tasting List

1. Mystery wine

2. Riesling, Selection de Vieilles Vignes 2011, Trimbach (£23 Millesima UK)

“When I was finalising the blend for our Riesling Réserve in autumn 2009, I totally fell in love with one particular tank. The one from our old vines in Hunawihr and Ribeauvillé. I remember I was impressed, even as the grapes arrived at the winery. I decided not to blend this selection into the Riesling Réserve as I would usually do, so it became a Réserve N°2. We chose its name – Sélection de Vieilles Vignes – because that’s exactly what it is. It is dry, of course, but has some creaminess, hints of minerality and beautiful length. I love it with a very classic ‘carpaccio de daurade’ with lemon and olive oil, or some beautiful sea bass…but it is also fabulous with a white meat or pork!” – Pierre Trimbach

3. La Rocca Soave Classico 2013, Pieropan (£22.90 HMWS)

After gentle, whole bunch pressing, there was a short period of maceration on the skins followed by fermentation at 20ºC in stainless steel tanks and 500 litre oak casks because Pieropan feels Garganega is too delicate for fermentation in barrique. 60% of the wine then remained in 500 litre oak casks and 40% aged in 2,000 litre `botti` or barrels for one year. The wine then stayed for four months in bottle before release.

4. Marques de Murrieta Blanco Capellania Rioja 2010 (£13.92, The Wine Society)

5.Nero d’Avola 2013, Mt. Horrocks (£20.79 HMWS)

An appealing modern take on classic Italian varietal.

6. Cairanne Hommage a Andre Brusset 2012, Domaine Brusset (£28.80 The Big Red Wine Company)

7. Trapiche Terroir Series SV Malbec Finca Ambrosia 2010 (£21.30, HMWS)

8. Rabalais 2009, Thelema (£37.68 HMWS)

Working to the principle of ‘benign neglect’ is the philosophy of Thelema’s Cellar Master Gyles Webb – minimal fining and filtration, and no use of commercial yeasts in the red wines.This also reflects the Thelema name, which is taken from the idealised concept of a new world order imagine by 16th century French monk, physician and writer Rabelais, after whom this wine is named. Rabelais is a blend of the top Bordeaux varieties planted on the estate. The quintessential Thelema wine – bone dry, well structured, great concentration and complexity, with a long finish. This is the top wine from Thelema.

9. Campo S. Giorgio Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG 2009, Umani Ronchi (£50.07 HMWS)

Through the production of Conero Riserva ‘Campo San Giorgio,’ Umani Ronchi are aiming to take both the appellation and the Montepulciano grape to new heights. Campo San Giorgio is a proper cru, in the marine area of Mount Conero district. The vineyard was planted in 1999, with 8,000 vines per/ha – a unique density in the Adriatic area – and grown under a very original trellising system.The winemaking is very respectful of the Montepulciano varietal character and brings us a wine with incredible depth and class, but which is incredibly approachable.

The event will be held at the Masonic Hall in Harrogate on Thursday 5 November 2015 starting at 7pm and will be restricted to 30 tasters

 The tasting will be followed by a two course supper prepared by Adam Vear of the Masonic Hall

Tickets cost £35 for members and £40 for guests


Roasted pork tenderloin, marinated in sage and balsamic vinegar
Baked plums with cinnamon and mascarpone

Michelle Sparkling NV, Chateau St. Michelle, Washington State, a blend of 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris is aged sur lie for 18 months will be poured on arrival and 2012 Columbia Syrah, Chateau St. Michelle, Washington State, will accompany the pork



  • “Thelma Rabelais 2011 is a blend of Cabinet Sauvignon 90%( CS 338C) Petit Verdot 10%( Cone PV 219A) It does not appear to have any Cabinet Franc. I greatly enjoyed the tasting and the subsequent meal.  I am glad future meetings at the Masonic Hall seem to be possible from John’s reply. The Rabelais and Pieropan La Rocca were my favourites and Ann also enjoyed the Thelma Rabelais !!!” – Stephen (Cameron), Pick Hill, 6 November
  • “What a splenid evening we had with all those  wines in the Parcel — I enjoyed them all but some were more to  my  taste than others  — but the Star   of the night was the Marques  de Murrieta Blanco ! Thank you Bernard and Long Live the HMWS!” – Gwynneth (Owen), Leeds
  • “Just a quick word to say how much I enjoyed the tasting of a Special Parcel. Though I wasn’t too taken with the Michelle, I couldn’t fault any of the other wines. Surprisingly, as an avid red wine consumer, the outstanding wine for me was the Marques de Murrieta Blanco. It reminded me how much I like traditional riojas and that was a superb example.” – Rhiannon (Owen), 6 November
  • Very much enjoyed the special parcel and tasting wines specially offered to wine enthusiasts. My favourites were the La Rocca and the Rabalais. – Peter (Goulding), Harrogate, 6 November


1. Michelle Brut

  • Each press cut undergoes primary fermentation that lasts roughly 2 – 3 weeks.
  • The individual lots are kept separate until blending decisions have been made.
  • Winemaker Rick Casqueiro samples approximately 110 lots of base wines and eventually selects the cuvée, based on aroma and acidity to create the assemblage.
  • Méthode Champenoise: the assemblage is then bottled with a small amount of liqueur de tirage which triggers secondary fermentation.
  • The sparkling wine is aged sur lie for up to 18 months.
  • A sweet liquid dosage is added to the bottle balancing the delicate, naturalhigh fruit acids and viscosity, giving Brut its unique style.
  • ALCOHOL: 11.5%
  • TOTAL ACIDITY: 0.62g/100mL
  • pH: 3.41
  • RESIDUAL SUGAR: 1.28g/100mL
  • BLEND: 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris

2. 2012 Columbia Syrah, Ch. Ste Michelle

  • Ripe grapes were picked during the warmth of the day to start fermentation quickly, then destemmed and fermented for 7-8 days.
  • A combination of maceration techniques were used to bring out Syrah’s lush, concentrated character and minimize harsh tannins.
  • Approximately 80% of the wine was made using the pumpover technique, where the juice was pumped over the cap twice daily to extract color, aromas and flavors.
  • The remaining 20% was made by delestage (Rack and Return) technique, where wine is completely pumped out of the tank, and then quickly put back over the cap, to completely submerge the grape skin cap. Syrah skins can be soft, and we want as many whole berries as possible, and this technique is gentle and still extractive.
  • Aged for 18 months in 16% new French oak, 15% new American oak, and 69% neutral oak barrels.
  • Total acidity 0.68g/100ml pH 3.74

    Alcohol 13.5%
    Blend Syrah 99%, Viognier 1%

3. La Rocca

The vineyard ‘La Rocca’ is situated on the Monte Rocchetta hill, just below the mediaeval castle built by the Scaligeri family in the town of Soave. The microclimate in this vineyard produces wines with a unique perfume and distinctive taste.
The grapes are picked when very ripe, often as late as the end of October, giving tremendous complexity and aromatic qualities to the wine, making it a wine of great breeding.

  • 100% Garganega
  • Hillside vineyard in the Soave Classico zone.
  • Chalky, clay soils, situated at 200-300m above sea level, facing south west.
  • Spur pruned cordon trained with 5000 vines per hectare.
  • Holistic, low environmental impact approach to pest control.
  • 8 buds per vine.
  • 10-50 years old vines
  • 60 hl (2 kg per vine).
  • Hand picked at the end of October, often in two harvests to select the ripest grapes.
  • The grapes are destemed and crushed & under go a short maceration with skin contact in 2500 litre barrels
  • At the end of fermentation, the wine is racked into barrels of between 2000 and 500 litres capacity where it ages for around a year. During this period, the wine remains on the fine lees where is acquires complexity and a rich bouquet. It is held in bottle for some time before release.
  • Alcohol (ABV): 12%, Acidity: 5.75g/l, Residual Sugar: 4g/l, Wine pH: 3.2

4. Marques de Murrieta Blanco Capellania Rioja 2010

A wine of limited production from a centennial single vineyard, which has been kept for a year and a half in new French oak barrels and one year in bottle; giving an astonishing complexity, structure and elegance. It is a very singular white wine, with the soul of a red wine which surprises all who taste it. A white wine that exceeds all expectations with its complexity and structure, it combines the quality of selected grapes grown on a traditional singe vineyard, which gives its name to the wine and of a balanced ageing in new French oak barrels for a year and a half. The result is a surprising white wine of great bouquet, a white wine of character born to surprise by its uniqueness and perfect to accompany a great variety of rich dishes, with a magnificent potential to evolve and last gracefully in the bottle.

  • Own vineyard: Capellanía single-vineyard. Planted in 1945 located on a plateau at an altitude of 485 metres, the highest point of the Ygay Estate, our 300-hectare estate in Rioja Alta.
  • Grape variety: 100% Viura.
  • Manual harvest: September 22 and 23, 2010.
  • Winemaking: Grapes are first carefully crushed and after a short skin contact they are gently pressed in a vertical press. This is a gentle and slow process that favours the extraction of all the aromatic potential from our low-yield Viura grapes. The juice is then settled and fermented a temperature-controlled stainless steel tank for 24 days.
  • Barrel ageing process: 17 months in 225-litre new French oak barrels.
  • Bottling date: July 15 and 16, 2014.
  • Numbers of bottles: 38.929 (75cl).
  • Pairing: Iberian ham, smoked or marinated oily fish, duck, white beef meat, feathered game, etc.
  • Serving suggestions: We recommend pouring or decanting the wine for some minutes and serve it at around 14º-15º C to let the wine breathe and show its full aromatic potential.

5. Cairanne Hommage a Andre Brusset 2012, Domaine Brusset 

  • Grape varieties : 55% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah.
  • Type de soil :Argilo-calcaire, vignoble en terrasses exposées Sud.
  • Yield : 20 hl / ha.
  • Age of vines : 80 years.
  • Harvest : 100% Manuelle avec tri.
  • Vinification : Éraflage, foulage, cuvaison 21 jours avec pigeages journaliers et contrôle des températures, pas de levurage.
  • Maturing : 30% en cuve et 70% en fûts de 3 ans pendant 14 mois sur lies fines. Pas de filtration.

6. Campo S. Giorgio Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG 2009, Umani Ronchi 

The Conero Riserva Campo San Giorgio stands out as the most im‐ portant experience of Umani Ronchi history in handling with excellence the Montepulciano grape from the Conero area. The chosen name is the name of the exact piece of land, which has track on the back label, in Osimo municipality. Land that has clearly distinguished, after some experimentation harvests, for its unique character. Finding its roots in a long family tradition the label, finds its inspiration on the design of Rosso Conero of the 70’s, representing the vines, Camerano village and the Mount Conero surrounding. The goal is to enhance a wonderful and vocated terroir and the result is a great Montepulciano able to combine strength, deepness, territoriality, elegance and high harmony.

Vineyard: The vine of Campo San Giorgio, around 15 years old average faces south‐east, at a height of about 150 meters above sea level. The terrain, dating back to marine formations from the Pleiocene‐Pleistocene era, consists of deep and particularly calcareous soils. Only 10.000 square meters, containing 8.000 plants per hectare, distance is 2.1 meters between the rows, 60 cm along the row. The bush‐trained vine, kept within strict limits by very close pruning and targeted thinning, aims to reach a production of about 500/750 gr of fruit per plant, and it has a yield of 4‐5 tons per hectare.

Harvest: The grapes are picked by hand, and collected and transported in boxes. The harvest, strictly connected with the climatic trend, does not normally begin before the second ten days in October, when the grapes have reached peak condition with an advanced degree of phenolic ripening.

Vinification: The grapes are destalked but not crashed, then fermented at 28‐30°C in steel fermentation tanks for 14‐16 days on its natural yeasts. After the malolactic fermentation stage, the wine is aged in new oak barriques for a period of 12‐ 14 months and further 6 months in tonneaux of 2nd and 3rd passage. After bottling, Campo San Giorgio is left to age further, in a temperature‐controlled environment, for about 8‐10 months.

Coined “the New Tuscany”, the Marche Wine Regionis one of Italy’s last untouched wine regions, and a must for gourmet travelers. Sandwiched between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche was long kept from realizing its full potential as a wine-growing area by poverty and geography; even with the relative prosperity of recent decades and the improvements in communication lines, Le Marche is still off the beaten track. Tuscany and Umbria lie just to the west, but the charms of rural Marche – wines that are as easy on the palate as they are on the wallet, long stretches of pristine coast, and stunning medieval towns like Ascoli Piceno and Urbino – have remained largely undiscovered. Yet this area is as captivating as anything you’ll find in Italy, and as Marche wines are finally begin making their mark on the wine world, the region is inching ever closer to the mainstream.

Le Marche is a beautiful wine region, with miles of untamed coastline, picturesque fishing villages like Portonovo, Renaissance gems like Urbino (where the painter Raphael was born), medieval hamlets such as Urbania, rustic mountain villages like Carpegna and wild expanses of nature that culminate in the splendorous peaks of Monti Sibillini. The most important wine towns include the capital, Ancona, and lovely Ascoli Piceno, Cupramontana, Matelica, Cingoli, Fabriano (and its curious Paper and Watermark Museum), Conero, the fortified beautiful village of Jesi, Recanati (also famous for being the birthplace of one of Italy´s most famous poets- Giacomo Leopardi) and Numana. Other fascinating places include the Grotte di Frasassi, a spectacular cave network which is the largest of its kind in Europe and features million year old stalactites!

Like its more famous neighbors Tuscany and Umbria, Le Marche boasts Mediterranean flora like Cyprus trees, olive trees and vines spread across a hilly landscape, and dotted with medieval villages. The calcareous soils here, like those to the west, have proven excellent for varieties like Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Verdicchio and Montepulciano. Even with enviable growing conditions, the region has just 20,000 hectares of vineyards spread throughout 11 DOCs in the provinces of Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata and Pesaro; and it ranks 12th among Italy’s wine regions.

The best red wines coming from the region are Sangiovese and Montepulciano, the indigenous black grape varietal that reaches its optimum point in the area’s dry maritime climate and limestone-rich soils. The Montepulciano grape is not related to the Tuscan wine region of Montepulciano where Vino Nobile is made, rather is a separate noble varietal. Both Sangiovese and Montepulciano are used by the two most prolific appellations for red wine- Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno- to make firm, tannic and easily recognizable wines. Moroder is an excellent producer of Rosso Conero.

Beyond these two up-and-coming regions, most of the wine made in Le Marche is white, with the crisp and fresh Verdicchio varietal being the star. Although Verdicchio had long been seen as a lesser variety, the work being done by producers like Sartarelli and Pievalta are bringing a newfound depth and personality to the region’s most popular white wine. There are different types of Verdicchio- Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica, Castelli di Jesi being more prevalent. The Pecorino grape is gaining popularity in Marche and many producers are making stellar white wines with this trendy varietal.

Other appellations in Marche include the DOCG Vernaccia di Serrapetrona (a unique red sparkling wine that has been made since ancient times and it mentioned in Dante´s Divine Comedy), Lacrima di Morro d’Alba (a sweet red wine made in Ancona province), Falerio dei Colli Ascolani (a wine that dates back to Roman times!), Bianchello del Metauro (named after the white Bianchello grape which is a clone of the Greco grape, and the “Metauro” river), Colli Maceratesi (local red and white wines made in the hills around Macerata), Colli Pesaresi, Esino, Offida, and Terreni di Sanseverino.

Top wines of the Marche include Moroder Rosso Cònero Dorico, Fattoria Le Terazze Rosso Cònero Sassi Neri, Lanari Rosso Cònero Fibbio, La Monascesca Verdicchio di Matelica, Bisci Verdicchio di Matelica Vigneto Fogliano, Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Tralivio and Umani Ronchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Casal di Serra, Bucci Verdicchio, La Distesa Verdicchio, Pievalta Verdicchio, and Fattoria San Lorenzo.

7. Rabalais 2009, Thelema

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Petit Verdot (10%)
  • Yeasts: Natural occurring yeasts
  • Fermentation temp: 27 °C
  • Method: De-stalked, hand sorted, crushed, pumped into stainless steel fermentation tanks, cold soak for two days, and pumped over twice a day for 5 days, an aerated pump over in the morning and a closed circulation in the afternoon. After fermentation the wine is left on the skins for 2 days before pressing, once pressed wine is racked to barrel for malolactic fermentation.
  • Wood Maturation: 20 months in 80% new 225 L French oak barrels
  • Production: 6500 bottles, Residual Sugar: 2.8 g/l, pH: 3.72, Total acid: 4.2 g/l, Alcohol: 14.85% by volume, Maturation: 2016 – 2030

8. Trapiche Terroir Series SV Malbec Finca Ambrosia 2010

Founded in 1883, Trapiche is one of Argentina’s best-known wine brands. Located at the foothills of the Andes in Mendoza, they own more than 3000 acres of vineyards ranging from 600 meters to over 1200 meters. Chief winemaker, Daniel Pi’s goal and vission is to represent the richness and diversity of Argentina’s terroir. Trapiche is dedicated to creating the best Malbec wines in the world as exemplified by the winery’s most successful project, The Single Vineyard Malbec Series. As a tribute to the growers’ passion and dedication, the winery selects three of its best growers and bottles their wines exclusively in limited production. The result is rich, incredibly massive, terroir-driven wines, prossessing bold, powerful fruit that express passion, history and the grower’s personal touch.


2 thoughts on “Wines From A Special Parcel

  1. Bernard , “The Wines from a Special Parcel” tasting sound marvellous. What a selection, look forward to the 5th November. Enjoyed the blog too. peter

    Liked by 1 person

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