March 2024

March 2024

Iberian varieties



Welcome to the March edition of the l’Art du Vin wine club!

Spring is always an exciting time in the warehouse, as the wines we have sourced over the winter begin to land in Dalgety Bay. Look out on our website over the next few weeks as new wines begin to appear! And we definitely have some earmarked to feature in our Wine Club selection over the coming months!

For this month, we are headed to the Iberian Peninsula!

The focus for the whites is on the region around the Portuguese/Spanish border. Here we find whites that are bright, fresh and brimming with acidity. Albariño and Loureiro are varieties that are wonderfully aromatic and possess great fruit structure. I think they are among the perfect varieties for our cuisine at this time of year – as green ingredients like asparagus and peas start to appear on our plates!

I believe Portuguese reds are extremely under rated. Blends such as that we have included this month pack a punch, with great fruit, balanced tannins and offering great value for money. They probably suffer in the UK market due to the fact they concentrate on indigenous Portuguese grape varieties rather than more common ‘international’ varieties. However for me that most definitely adds to their charm!

And our final red is from Navarra, a bright and crunchy Garnacha from a young, dynamic winery who make wines that are perfect for enjoying in the spring sunshine!

I hope that you enjoy the selection and I look forward to introducing you to more of our new arrivals over the coming months.





Loureiro, Anselmo Mendes, Vinho Verde, Portugal



Anselmo Mendes is seen as one of the shining lights of the Vinho Verde region.

First and foremost, his wines are always of supreme quality, showcasing the freshness and energy you expect from this area of northern Portugal.

However he has also developed a reputation for the way in which is balances tradition with modernity, combining the use of age-old techniques, such as fermentation on skins, with bold winemaking methods such as the fermentation of Alvarinho in oak casks.

At heart, he is an environmentalist, focussed most keenly on giving drinkers a true expression of his land and preserving said land for future generations.

The Loureiro grapes for this particular wine come from the sub-region of Lima. This district has granitic soils, deep and poor in organic matter. The vineyards are on the south-facing hillside along the banks of the river Lima. As a result, they receive bags of freshness from the breeze that whips along the river from the Atlantic Ocean.

Tasting Note

The nose is delicate and floral, with notes of bright white flowers and citrus fruit. This theme continues on the palate before a long, elegant, mineral-laden finish.

Food Pairing

In this case, to match the intensity of this wine with a dish, it’s important to think light and bright! So opt for dishes such as lightly fried seafood, grilled fish, crab or lobster.



Albariño ‘Serra da Estrella’, Adegas Valmiñor, Rias Baixas, Spain


Adegas Valmiñor is a modern winery founded in 1998. Iñaki Vazquez and his team are devoted to the promotion and discovery of the Rías Baixas region, which is in North Western Spain’s Galicia, and more particularly to the smaller district of Rosal.

This particular cúvee is made up of around 85% Albariño, backed up with 10% Loureiro and 5% Treixadura.

All three varieties come from vines that are at least 40 years old, planted in poorly yielding, sandy soils. As a result, harnessing their potential is a particularly laborious task but ultimately rewarding in terms of the final quality and concentration of the fruit.

It is widely acknowledged that Rias Baixas is the indigenous home of the Albariño variety. And it is a region that is steeped in wine culture, with quality winemaking having been initiated here by Cistercian monks, arriving from Burgundy during their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella.

Tasting Note

On the nose expect hints of apricot, pear and elderflower before a palate that is jam-packed with stone fruits and fresh, thirst-quenching acidity.

Food Pairing

A perfect partner with sheep’s milk cheese, shellfish, fish and root vegetables.



‘Terras d’El Rei’ Tinto, Carmim, Alentejo, Portugal


Carmim is a small, co-operative group that was established in 1971 by a collective of quality-driven, like-minded grape growers.

Over time, they developed their project by combining their resources in an attempt to produce wines that offered great value for money but, most importantly, were still true to the origin of the Alentejo terroirs they represent.

This particular red is a blend of three varieties that are very typical of the Alentejo – Trincadeira (50%), Aragonez (30%) and Castelão (20%).

Aragonez is the Portuguese name given to the Tempranillo grape variety that is more widely known across northern and central Spain – most notably in Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

And, while it only makes up 20% of this blend, Castelão plays a key role in this particular wine. It’s mellow tannic structure and heightened acidity helps to take the edge of what otherwise would be a particularly bold, brash bottling.

Tasting Note

Aromas of black and red fruit leap out the glass, backed up with hints of spice and black pepper. The palate is medium bodied, with soft tannins and a peppery finish reminiscent of a good Shiraz.

Food Pairing

Most at home when paired with roast meats or harder cheeses. An ideal contender for uncorking with a Sunday roast.



Garnacha ‘Abrazos’, Reverte, Navarra, Spain


Antonio Sanz founded the estate in 1989 in the Basque country of Northern Spain, although the estate is now run by the second generation of the Sanz family, brothers Xabi and Iñaki.

They have injected a new lease of life into proceedings, most notably with the construction of a new modern winery situated in the village of Corella, in the Ribero Baja area of Navarra bordering Rioja.

There are 70 hectares of vines and as well as Garnacha, the estate also grows Tempranillo, Mazuelo and the indigenous Graciano.

In the winery, the team works hard to preserve the natural fruity character of its wines.

This 100% Garnacha is fermented in stainless-steel tanks and is completely unoaked.

Tasting Note

The nose is dominated by aromas of fresh red cherries, plums and green tea. On the palate, expect concentrated red and black fruit flavours with a smooth texture and dry tannins. The finish is refreshing, underpinned by bright acidity, ensuring this is an extremely quaffable red.

Food Pairing

Equally delicious when consumed with or without food. If you want to pair with some traditional cuisine from the Navarra region, opt for rib-eye steak (chuleta) with a green salad, hake in parsley sauce with clams or slow cooked bean stew with peppers and black pudding.