Travel the world (without leaving home!) with this stunning World Dozen
4.1 bottle rating average
Worldwide Reds Dozen
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Beyond the Labels
If you’re looking for amazing flavour at an exceptional price for the quality, then look to our stunning internationals. Here, you’ve lavish Rioja, a fine French red, luscious Italian treasures and a bestselling favourite from Argentina – and more. It’s like going on holiday (only SO much less expensive!)
As one of the most exciting talents in Argentina, Rodolfo Sadler (aka Opi) is the magician behind this bestselling hero red. He’s a gentle, affable man, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, yet modest to a fault. When asked to tell us his secret to making such great wines (he has two permanently in our Top 20!), he simply shrugged and said, "this is how my family has always made wine." Typical Opi, the humble, crafty magician. And why Opi? The nickname came from his childhood when his little sister would follow him round the family vineyards calling ‘Opi, Opi’ as she couldn’t pronounce his name. Now 40 years on and an internationally renowned winemaker, the name's stuck! We recommend this with a juicy grilled steak or a hearty casserole.
If you’re a fan of the sort of reds you can only get from ancient, ultra sunny vineyards, then chances are you’ll love Il Brutto. So low yielding and unprofitable were these heirloom Negroamaro and Primitivo vines that the growers in Puglia were planning to rip them out. The fruit flavour, however, is amazing, so Tony Laithwaite stepped in and offered to make it worth their while to carry on tending them. He also engaged his old friend Angelo Maci from the nearby award-winning Cantine Due Palme winery to turn the grapes into a magnificent red. The vines’ twisted trunks may be ugly (‘brutto’) to outsiders, but they’re things of beauty to those in the know. Serve this treasured red with hearty dishes such as casseroled lamb shanks or lasagne.
Fitou is one of the top appellations of the Languedoc, with red wines that are hugely appealing with their rich, ripe fruit and authentic taste of the herbal garrigue. Our buyer, Mark Hoddy, lives close by, always on hand to check out any great discoveries. This is one from the Dellova family and their 40-hectare estate, which they've owned since 1971. They proudly began organic conversion in 2009, gaining full status in 2012. Brothers Thierry and André are today in charge, nurturing the vines in the dry, ocean-breeze-swept terroir of La Palme. This fabulous, silky, intensely flavoured 2019 is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, heaped with heady black fruits and spice. Perfect for baked aubergine and tomato or grilled meats.
The local group of human tower builders – Els Castellers de Vilafranca – were founded by the winery's very own Oriol Rossell in 1948 and holds the world record for their 10-storey tower. The Aleta stands on the shoulders of the unsung heroes who care for the vines and enable them to produce this gloriously rich blend. It's an elegant collision of the vibrant red fruit aromas of Merlot with the deeper, spicier aromas of our Syrah. Time in barrel adds a velvety texture and subtle touches of toast and mocha, which beautifully complement the ripe fruit flavours without overpowering them. The true excellence of this wine is reflected in the Denominación de Origen (D.O.) quality classification.
Introducing Il Papavero – a delicious Italian red showing loads of charisma and style. Blended from the best grapes of the vintage, it offers supple, ripe fruit and easy charm. Only the most flavoursome grapes from the best performing vineyards go into this wine. With fresh and fruity berry aromas and irresistible value, Il Papavero is the perfect match to your favourite pizza or pasta.
Vintage after vintage, Barón de Barbón proves to be our bestselling Rioja. It’s a lot to do with the wine’s enticing berry aromas, silky texture and luscious flavour. The talent behind this contemporary, fruit driven red is the young and infectiously keen Javier Murúa. His father Julián owns Bodegas Muriel (a winery Julián’s parents established in 1926) in Rioja’s superior Alavesa. We have a fabulous working relationship with the family, ensuring our Buyer Beth goes in straight after vintage and gets first refusal on the finest vats. With its easy going, ripe red berry flavours and fragrant vanilla character, this supple Rioja is great to drink on its own or with simple suppers such as lamb chops, char-grilled vegetable kebabs or chicken.
Recommended Mixed Cases
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