Buy just six bottles to qualify for free, mainland UK shipping. You can split the six and go for three reds and three whites if you prefer.
For this wine offer we feature a terriﬁc sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, with a distinctive mineral and herbaceous character. The red is a brilliantly characteristic example of Argentine malbec.
Both wines are exclusivities of the supplying merchant, Corney & Barrow, and furthermore reduced in price exclusively for the readers of Oxford Today, by 20 per cent. A mixed case of 3 red and 3 white will cost £59.94, or 6 red and 6 white £119.88.
To order, contact Corney & Barrow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7265 2438.
Sauvignon Blanc, Eradus Wines – Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
£9.99 per bottle (normally £12.50)
A family owned estate situated in the unique microclimate of the Awatere Valley, Marlborough. The Eradus wine-making and viticultural philosophy is based around the concept of ‘balance’; we find this philosophy perfectly expressed in all of their wines.
Eradus Har and Sophie Eradus immigrated to New Zealand in 1982 and decided to start making wine from their own estate when they retired, some 20 years later. They looked around, found and bought what was to become the Eradus vineyard. They felt their decision was confirmed as the right one when they came across a door of an old “pot belly” stove in a shed on the grounds. On the door was an embossed emblem which contained the letters H, S and E – Har and Sophie Eradus. This emblem is now the logo on every bottle of Eradus wine.
Running the vineyard and producing wine proved to be a little more work than they originally thought and after the first vintage they decided to let their son, Michiel, take over the reins; he now runs the estate with his young family and small team.
The vineyards are set in the Awatere Valley, south of the Wairau Plains. Michiel believes that their location is partly responsible for the difference between his wines and others from Marlborough, many of which come from the Wairau.
In between the Wairau and the Awatere, there are a range of high hills that block most of the rainfall that the Wairau can experience. Daytime temperatures are warm but nights are cooler here and, being closer to the sea, they also tend to see stronger winds. These factors combine to give the distinct mineral and herbaceous notes which we have come to expect in all Eradus wines.
Location: Situated in the lower Dashwood region of the Awatere Valley, the vineyards cover 12 hectares in total; 6.5ha of these are Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyards run for 2km alongside the Awatere river on a series of undulating terraces, which naturally protect the vines from the harshest norwesterly winds.
Climate: Warm days, cool nights and a dry climate give intense flavour and minerality to all Eradus wines. Located close to the sea, the marine influence also helps to maintain the crisp acidity.
Soils: Are free-draining and stony, with only a thin layer of top-soil. This means that there is less water retention in the soil and the vines are forced to dig deep for water and nutrients, increasing vigour in the vines. Michiel believes that this helps to contribute to the minerality and flintiness of the wines.
Viticultural approach: Is sustainable; Michiel intervenes in the vineyard as little as possible. When it comes to pruning and cropping, each vine is treated individually, helping to ensure that each one produces the very best fruit possible. The company works in a way that is good for the environment and is currently going through the process of becoming certified to show that they are carbon neutral.
Harvest: Takes place between mid March and mid April, depending on when the grapes are ready. The Sauvignon Blanc is machine harvested, which means that the grapes are very quickly transferred to the winery, preserving freshness and aromatics.
Grape variety: Is Sauvignon Blanc.
Winemaker: Michiel Eradus, assisted by Jeremy Hyland.
Fermentation and Maturation: The juice is cold settled in order to maximize natural flavours and then left to rest for 3 days. Each batch is racked to remove any lees or sediment and then fermented separately in stainless steel, at cold temperatures, using selected yeasts. The use of these yeasts, rather than wild ones, allows more control over fermentation and enables temperatures to stay low – wild yeasts could die. Post fermentation the wine is racked again, blended and stabilized to remove tartrates. The wine is filtered, but not fined (leaving plenty of natural flavour), and then bottled.
Tasting note: Pale lemon with green flashes. An intense blend of asparagus and cut grass on the nose. The palate is beautifully balanced and fresh with good fruit flavours, herbaceous notes and a stoney minerality. The finish is long and rich.
Malbec, Bodega Ruca Malen, Mendoza, Argentina
£9.99 per bottle (normally £12.50)
A premium example of Argentina’s signature grape: Malbec. A style combining power with elegance from a boutique winery in Mendoza, Argentina’s most classic wine producing region.
Bodega Ruca Malen is a boutique winery in Mendoza set up in 1998 by owners Jean-Pierre Thibauld and Jacques Louis de Montalembert. They brought with them a vast knowledge of wine from Bodegas Chandon in Argentina and in Burgundy, respectively. Together, the friends have lived their dream and founded their own winery where they concentrate on making premium wines largely from Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mendoza is the best known wine producing region in Argentina and Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley are both premium winemaking regions within it. Both areas boast high UV levels, high altitudes and subsequent cooler temperatures, which help concentrate colour pigments, aromas and flavours.
Malbec is still the principal grape of Cahors in France and was first introduced to Argentina in 1868, by a French agricultural engineer. However, it seems to have found its spiritual home in Argentina, producing wines that are softer and less tannic than their French cousins with the best wines coming from Mendoza.
The Legend of Ruca Malen was discovered by Jean Pierre on his first visit to Mendoza and this inspired the winery name. Legend has it that a young Mapuche girl dared to look at the face of a young God who walked amongst her people and as a result, fell instantly in love. The God gave her a home, ‘Ruca Malen’, meaning ‘house of the young girl’ and an everlasting nectar to drink to remind her of the joy of that first look of love.
Location: From vineyards in Agrelo, Lujan de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, Mendoza. 950 - 1,050 metres ASL.
Climate: Dry and cool, due to higher altitudes with very high levels of UV promoting vivid colour pigments.
Soil: the rocky and silty soils of Lujan offer excellent drainage, whereas the nutrient-poor, sandy loam soils in the Uco valley enhance grape complexity but forcing the roots to penetrate deep into the ground to find nutrients.
Grape variety: 100% Malbec
Fermentation: Hand harvested grapes and bunch selection. Cold and long maceration and regular pumping over of the skins ensures a high level of colour, flavour and tannin extraction. Malolactic fermentation then takes place in stainless steel tanks to soften acidity before ageing.
Maturation: the wine is aged for 10-12 months in 80% French & 20% American oak barrels (1st,2 nd & 3rd use).
Tasting Note: Vibrant, dark purple-red, with ripe, red cherries, plum fruit and notes of spicy liquorice. Full and well-structured on the palate, with elegant, soft tannins and ripe black fruit balanced by a spicy oak and a delicate, vanilla and chocolate finish. Delicious!