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January Sampling Club Wines

Here are the details of our January Sampling Club Wines – The Sampling Club is a great way to try new wines since members receive a bottle of two wines each month at half price.  Membership costs £30 per year.   Half price samples must be collected from our Ipswich shop during the appropriate month.  For more details on the club, click here.
Before Christmas we added a fresh face from Rioja to the list and put it on at our tasting in November. It was the best seller out of more than fifty lines and deserves to be shared with a wider audience. Step forward Bodegas Classica’s Tempranillo Roble, one of a small range of wines that they market under their Hacienda Lopez de Haro label, named after the founder of Bilbao. The winery has been excavated into the side of a mountain which is brilliant for temperature control, as well as allowing the grapes to enter the press house by gravity - the least harsh way of moving the fruit. The grape variety is Tempranillo and, while they use other permitted varieties in their Crianza, this is 100% the former and shows its character beautifully. It works well with slow-roasted pork belly and is a Spanish favourite with lamb - try it with a rich, savoury Lancashire hotpot.
Your January white has been a sample before but not for two years. It has been relegated to the seemingly humble status of Vino de Tavola - simple table wine - but only because it breaks The Rules rather than being inferior in some way, which it certainly is not. The authorities require that this particular grape in this particular part of Italy must be vinified into a sweet sparkling wine in order to qualify for its guarantee of origin. However, this producer has decided that he likes it better still and dry; he makes a delicious wine but forfeits the right to show any details - even the vintage - beyond the generic description above. It may be dangerous for us to reveal all, but we’ll risk it: the grape is Moscato (Muscat), the region is Piemonte and the vintage is 2010. It is a charming dry white of scent and originality to enjoy with light hors d’oeuvres, salads and as an excellent aperitif. When the asparagus season starts, remember this wine for it is delicious with this hard-to-match vegetable.
RED: 2010 Hacienda Lopez de Haro, Rioja, Tempranillo Roble, Bodegas Classica,
Price per bottle: £6.95 (sealed case price: £6.60)
Half price for one sample £3.48 (club members only)
Full of youthful vigour with bright, young fruit and a nip of tannin which makes it so good with food. This is a real winner and a bargain by the standards of the region.
WHITE: Alasia Sec nv, Vino de Tavola, Italy
Price per bottle: £6.95 (sealed case price: £6.60)
Half price for one sample £3.47 (club members only)
Dry without being sharp and possessed of a pretty bouquet with scents of freshly picked Muscat grapes and a blossomy note of elderflower.
Williamson is threatening to invent some more Mystery Six packs, so watch out for those in due course. The bins by the office steps will be returned to their regular job of displaying bin ends, so please feel free to have a ferret about in these as well.
Sampling Club membership subs are due by the end of January. The cost is £30 which is the same price as the last three years, despite all the increases to which the trade has been subjected. If you wish to renew, the simplest way to do this is to add your subscription payment when you come into the shop to collect your samples. As last year all members who renew before 31st January will receive a £5 voucher to spend during February or March. We look forward to seeing you soon.
We thank all Sampling Club members for your support in 2011 and send our best wishes for a healthy, peaceful and prosperous 2012.


Typically we send 2-3 emails each month so you won't get floods of stuff from us, though we do send out more emails in November and December.  You can unsubscribe at any time should you ever change your mind.

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