Reds Taster Pack (Tier 1) 12 bottles: REDUXED & Price Reduced

Reds Taster Pack (Tier 1)

Pack Quantity:


Price: ¥1,025

UPDATE: We have replaced the deleted Zonin Merlot & Ch. Lamargue by Emporio Nero D’Avola and Heritage de Baroncourt rouge.

There’s several trusty Cabernets, each with it’s own take: Black grapesa sturdy yet easy drinking award-winning, fruit-driven Malbec, an award winning Aussie Shiraz Cabernet, a light yet spicy Rhone Grenache, food friendly Barbera and Dolcetto from Piedmont, a glugging Tempranillo (with an identity crisis…) and a rustic hot climate inky Nero D’avola from Sicily.

Pretty much a cornucopia of styles and regions for the intrepid adventurer.

A great place to start exploring the captivating range of red grape styles from both the Old and New Worlds, with and without oak.

Start singing: “RED, RED, wine………”

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

2x Castillo De Manza Tempranillo Spain, La Mancha (tier 1)

I love the bargains that is Spain and Italy right now. Long may it last. It’s one of the reasons I chose to specialise in Italian wines; apart from the obvious love affair with that country’s wines.

This low priced bargain 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.

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. 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.

Last October 2011 my wife exclaimed that this wine is better than Capocaccia (Our top selling red wine). It’s cheaper too.

2x Callia Alta Shiraz / Malbec Argentina, San Juan (t1)

I don’t think it is possible to find a trustier everyday wine that can be enjoyed by lovers of both Old and New World styles. We sell a lot of this wine. Since its introduction in late spring 2011, it has quickly has become our top selling red wine.

Tasting Intense violet wine with ruby tints. It is a wine of great aromatic intensity. Its prevailing penetrating and vigorous notes are ripe blackberries, plums and figs, which, together with their sweet tannins and balanced acidity, render a full-bodied wine with a long finish.

Food Matching: Perfect with pasta in rich sauce, Steaks, hearty dishes.

Note: Won 2nd place in a serious Shanghai tasting competition for sub ¥100 wines. Callia is a winery to watch.

1x DeBortoli Sacred Hill Shiraz Cabernet Australia, Riverina (t1) Commended 2104

De Bortoli have done it again. The wine is currently a silver and bronze medal winner at several wine competitions. I sampled this on Sunday night after a roast dinner (Nov 2011). I drank the entire bottle. That’s not normal for me.

 Vibrant purple, deep crimson. Lifted plum and spice. Fresh fruit, berry and toasty vanillin oak. Soft, rounded tannins with good length.

They have the sweet-fruit-oak-tannic balance to perfection and not simply for a wine in this price-point. I was staggered that they can do this so effectively, time after time when I taste so much disappointment from time to time in higher priced wines. My hats go off to De Bortoli again. That’s 2 silver and a bronze from the range we stock. Not bad. They are fast on their way to getting a winery of the year award from the like of James Halliday. I just wish they made the labels a bit smarter.

1x Heritage de Baroncourt ROUGE VDP D'Oc France, Rhone (t1)

A masterful blend of 3 southern grape favourites; Syrah, Grenache Noir and Mourvedre from the very southern Rhone Valley offering an ample, rich and fruity nose with aromas of liquorice and cassis which tumbles into elegant tannins with a beautiful balanced, long finish.

Food Matching: Ideal for red meats, meat in sauces & white meat & cheese.

This wine is very refined for such a LOW price point. Consistently one of our most popular red wines in winter and among French wine drinkers.

Scored 87/100 in the Wine Spectator magazine.

1x Portillo Salentein Malbec Argentina, Mendoza (t1) Silver Medal 2013 & Bronze MEDAL 2014

Portillo Malbec is a steady favourite among our customers, particularly through the colder winter months. The fruit forward style with supportive acidity is very welcome at this price.

It has an interesting ruby-red colour with violets tints. Wine of great structure, well-balanced acidity and long finish. The nose is rich in fruits, with reminiscences of plum, black fruits and blackberries and violets from the Uco Valley.  At the start of mouth, its tannins feel soft and pleasant, with marked roundness at the finish and a strong fruity after-taste. Perfect with pasta in rich sauce.

So guess who won a major award in 2013: SILVER MEDAL at Decanter magazine?

1x Firriato Emporio Rosso (Nero D'Avola) Italy, Sicily (t1)

A bright, lively ruby-red colour. Vinous bouquet, fresh and attractive, with rich fruity tones. Dry but well-balanced flavour: extremely easy to drink.

Food Matching: Ideal to enjoy with some grilled white meat and vegetables or with pasta or noodles.

1x Enrico Serafino Barbera D'Asti DOCG Italy, Piedmont (t1)

For us, this is the most interesting sub-¥130 wine in Shanghai. Big Statement? Well, it is more refined and interesting than anything costing ¥40 to ¥60 more, from both the old and new world. Astonishing.

We have been drinking this wine every few weeks now for over 2 years (That’s at least 25 bottles which is saying something thinking about the busy schedule to keep up for the educational side of this job.) It is staggeringly ‘that good’.

Barbera D’Asti is a wine that displays an intense violet colour and typical perfumes of cherries. Intense and rich nose. The typical wonderful acidity brought by Barbera grapes creates an explosion of cherry and flowers perfumes.

It never fails to impress. Great when first opened, it is absolutely stunning after 1 hours open. Sometimes, I have a glass and then finish the bottle the next day with little or no vacuum pumping. The in glass and in bottle development, once open, are beautiful to behold.

Food Matching: Put it with tomato based sauces and you are in for an ‘experience’. I love it mostly with strong flavoured herby and earthy casseroles, pizza and pasta. Loves to be matched with food. But I often drink it after the meal or without food (on its second day of opening). Serving temperature 16-17 °C.

It hails from from the same producer as our impressive Barbaresco and Barolo.

In the early days, we experimented with mixing this wine with Serafino Barbaresco after a Swiss guy asked me to find him a Barbera/Nebbiolo blend. We failed to locate one, so we made our own. Heaven.

April 2014: New 2011 Vintage tested. report soon. early bird word? Yum Yum. Frensh and vibrant and so silky smooth.

1x Armand Dartois Cotes Du Ventoux AOC France, Rhone (t1)

Cotes Du Rhone reds are a beguiling mixture of styles and prices.

This wine has a light body with an earthy, spicy character that is typical of the Grenache grapes and the Ventoux appellation. It’s lightness makes it easy drinking. Notice how it develops more complexity as you quaff your way through the bottle. Pair this wine with any hearty dish, pizzas, chilli and you can’t go wrong. Some even chill these wines on a hot day and match it with a BBQ burger.

1x BP Rothschild Maipo Mapu Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, Maipo (t1)

This is from a German website:

Beautiful dark red. Aromas of black currant, blackberries and blueberries. The taste is fresh and elegant, with round and soft tannins that gives the wine excellent balance. The long and expressive finish rounds off a wonderful fruity and powerful wine.

The site also goes on to say that mechanically harvested grapes are fermented at high temperature in stainless steel barrels for a ‘long time’ (to protect good balanced tannin structure) then spends 7 to 8 months ageing in stainless steel; this wine receives no oak at all. I am imagining then from this description a lot of fruit, jammy almost with maybe some mint, and no tobacco or cigar box notes. Whatever the outcome its not expensive to find out for yourself.

update: tasted Jan 2012: I thought it was a yummy little sub-¥100 fruity red, with enough substance to get me to the ‘nodding approval’ phase as I sipped.

1x Bodegas Alina Emblema Cabernet Sauvignon Chile, Central Valley (t1)

Having tasted this for the first time in December ’11, it got onto our website without hesitation. It is staggeringly good for very little cost.

Vivid ruby colour. Exquisite aroma of forest berries and spices on a rich background of leather and liquorice. Palate characterised by sweet healthy tannins from the fruit and the vegetal nuances typical of this variety.

It’s even better after being open a while; unusually so, for a wine of such a low price point.

My every day red wine of choice at the moment ( January 2012).

UPDATE: Emblema was spotted on a Chinese website (March 2012) for ¥98 a bottle, brilliantly on ‘offer’, down from ¥135. Amazing.

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