European Taster Pack (Tier 1&2) 12 btls: Another Upgrade & Greater Depth

European Value Pack

Pack Quantity:


Price: ¥1,000

1st tier entry level gems from the 3 big guns of Europe, France, Italy &  Spain; all selected for Chapoutier rustic wall and vines sunnytheir versatility, easy approach and yet distinctive old world qualities, and wrapped up in a benchmark starter pack that is easy on the pocket.

Thanks go to the Rhone Valley, La Mancha & the Island of Sardinia for currently being off the ‘trendy’ radar and therefore realistically priced. Also, we are very lucky to have sourced a Burgundy Chardonnay at a low enough price-point to include here.

UPDATE: We have replaced Zonin Collection Pinot Grigio (deleted) with Chiaro (makers of a nice Prosecco and lovely Primitivo) and upgraded the Vermentino to award winning ‘La Cala’.

In fact, we have lined up about 10+ wines that we can and will swap into this case as the need arises or customers request. From Italy; a Primitivo, a northern Italian Rosado, Nero D’Avola from Sicily and new Classici Valpolicella and Chianti. Also an award winning low cost French Bordeaux and Cotes Du Rhone Villages (if that floats your boat) are waiting in the wings: If you have a preference just ask and we’ll tell you what difference (if any) it might make to the cost.

Please click on the wines listed below to extend/retract descriptions.

1x Chiaro Pinot Grigio IGT Italy, Veneto

Appealing straw-yellow colour with delicate green reflections. Delicately fruity, medium bodied and refined. Lightly dry, yet extremely fresh. It also offers a delicious reminder of the original grape. It’s light and elegant structure makes this an unusually refined and aristocratic wine, especially at this price point.

Although the packaging lacks some grace, the wine inside the glass combines particularly well with delicate appetizers, pasta courses with light sauces and white meats. In addition, it makes a fine aperitif. Popular with those who like a wine to be drier and fresh.

1x Emile Durand Bourgogne Chardonnay AOC France, Burgundy

This Chardonnay is a nice introduction to the fascinating world of Burgundy Chardonnays, which are considered amongst the finest white wines in the world, and an inexpensive everyday wine that promises a lot of enjoyment for little money.

In the glass the wine is presented in bright, bright gold. On the nose an elegant bouquet of apricots, peaches, citrus fruits and a hint of fresh oak. Beautiful full-bodied and fruity on the palate with mild tannins that lingers on the finish.

Find a beautiful setting: a warm summer evening, some seafood or cream cheese to harmonize. Heaven.

2x Heritage de Baroncourt VDP White France, L'Aude

All you really need to know is it’s ‘a low cost, off dry glugger, which makes it easy to drink on it’s own and with Asian dishes. Best served cold. Here’s more that we found on the net:

Clear straw yellow colour. Ripe fruit aroma. Fresh clean acidity with complex aromas of exotic fruits such as mango and lichee. Well balanced and a lingering finish of mango.

Grapes harvested at night. 100% De-stemming. Pneumatic pressing. Cold racking off the must. Fermentation in stainless steel vats with strict temperature control. Ageing in stainless steel vats.

Food Matching: This tantalizing white is perfect as a cocktail or matched with a variety of savoury dishes. Serve cold at: 8℃-10℃”

2x Sella&Mosca La Cala Vermentino Di Sardegna DOC Italy, Sardinia UPGRADE

La Cala is a lovely white made from Vermentino grapes on the warm island of Sardinia. Italy has a plethora of indigenous (and little known) white grape varieties that are very suited to warmer climates. The resultant wines are similar to Sauvignon Blanc and make a good alternative.

It has an intriguing green hue and an intense and fresh complex nose that belies the light structure on the palate of marine saltiness and fruit bursts. A long soft finish commands attention. If ever a wine was meant to be married to seafood La Cala is it: always ably bringing out the best in a partner dish. Serve fairly COLD at 10°C!

February 2013: Out of season I have been drinking quite a few whites recently. I haven’t tucked into La Cala for a while and I was struck by quite how very dry it is, and for a 2009 vintage, it still has excellent acid. It paired beautifully with Pan Fried Bream yesterday. Then, I remembered that it was the most popular white at our Winter 2010 tasting event. Who said cold weather a whites don’t mix?

September 2013: Now we have our hands on the 2012 Vintage. WOW.

This wine was awarded a score of 86/100 by Robert Parker in The Wine Advocate who described it as ‘The World’s Best Wine Under $25′. He noted:

“A classic Vermentino with its soaring, perfumed aromatics and crisp, clean fruit.” Robert Parker.

Quite a statement. (and it was also reported in the Best Italian Values in 2007).

Decanter Awards 2013: Commended

2x Castillo De Manza Tempranillo Spain, La Mancha

This is a dark purple red with an attractive violet tone. There’s a clean aroma of ripe fruits; strawberry and raspberry and some pervading herbal notes. On the palate it is smooth and full bodied with soft tannins. There’s a good weight and it’s hearty disposition means this wine thrives alongside some hearty food, like roast meats and chilli and pizza.

Castillo de Manza falls firmly under the ‘glugger’ moniker with such a price, but wait, there is something unusual about this wine. For me, it resembles a French wine; not a Spanish. I could swear there are Cabernets Sauvignon or Franc in this blend evidenced by the herbaceous aromas and weight. It seems so French. But it is 100% Tempranillo, the grape of Rioja, Ribero Del duero and Valdepeñas.

1x Armand Dartois Cotes Du Ventoux AOC France, Rhone

Cotes Du Rhone reds are a beguiling mixture of styles and prices, but Grenache based wines (like this example) are generally low in both tannins and acids.

This wine has a lighter body with an earthy, spicy character that is typical of the Grenache grapes and the Ventoux appellation. Notice how it develops more complexity as you quaff your way through the bottle. It’s lightness makes it relatively easy drinking during daylight hours. Some even chill these wines on a hot day and match it with a BBQ burger.

Food Matching: Pair this wine with any hearty dish, pizzas, chilli and you can’t go wrong. My favourite red in this pack.

2x Heritage de Baroncourt VDP Rouge France, L'Aude

A simple fruity glugger with some complexity above it’s pricetag. Better than some wines twice its price, but not on our lists of course. Again, I saw it on Taobao or Yangjiu for RMB138 a bottle, reduced to 98. Daylight robbery. It’s alright, we are here to redress the insatiable greed of these ‘rip off’ merchants.

A deep ruby colour. Supple, well balanced and fruit-driven with lingering final notes of fruit ripeness that enhance its aromas. Spicy aromas and a blend of red berry fruits. There is a whiff of vanilla on the nose.

Destemming, traditional fermentation with pumping over and strict temperature control. Aged in vats. Matching suggestions: Perfect match with many dishes, including barbecue,salads and cheese. Serve at: 17℃-18℃

1x Ca Ernesto Teroldego N Italy

Coming soon…

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