Two of the wines I tasted from The Wine Society’s Small Wonders 6-bottle case of reds from around the world have already run out and been replaced by others, so if you want a case – and I highly recommend it – you’d better be quick. It costs £89, which is great value. One of the replacements, 2008 Katnook Estate Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon, I haven’t tasted, but here are brief notes on the the other five. All can be drunk now, but there’s no hurry over any of them.
2004 Château Ampélia, Côtes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
Cedar, cocoa, spice and black fruit. Dry, soft but structured, polished and fresh on the finish. Perfect for drinking now and over the next two or three years. 13% abv.
2007 Lanzaga, Rioja, Spain
Lovely cherry perfume and fruit on the palate, with liquorice, spice, chocolate and vanilla. Supple and fleshy, but with a firm central core. Impressive modern Rioja that will provide a good five years of drinking pleasure. Made by Telmo Rodriguez. 14% abv.
(£14.95 by the bottle)
2009 Mount Koinga Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand
Fragrant red berry and bergamot nose with honeyed redcurrant fruit on the palate and refined chocolaty richness. Pure and clean-edged. A single-vineyard made for The Wine Society by Paul Pujol of Prophet’s Rock. 13.5% abv.
(£17.70 by the bottle)
2007 Meandro do Vale Meão, Douro, Portugal
The second wine of Quinta do Vale Meão, and very good it is. Deeply scented with violets and black fruit and touches of black olive and liquorice. Full and concentrated palate with dark fruit, chocolate and black pepper underscored by oak. Long, silky, supple. Drink any time over the next five years. 14.5% abv.
(£16 by the bottle)
2009 Mascarello Dolcetto D’Alba, Bricco, Piedmont, Italy
Full, succulent dolcetto packed with plum and cherry fruit and sweet-earth and undergrowth notes underpinned by fine, grainy, dry tannins. From the top of Mascarello’s Monprivato vineyard. Drink over the next three or more years. 14.5% abv.