Sign up today for this great 12-bottle deal through Snooth and it gets better: shipping is FREE! You’ll also receive three bonus bottles of award-winning Patagonia Malbec from one of Argentina’s (and the world’s) extreme southern wine regions – praised by International Wine Challenge judges for its “big meaty and rich in black truffle” character. That’s a total of 15 outrageously good wines selected by the Virgin Wines buying team.
While it’s hard to argue with 15 bottles of wine for just $89.99, the bigger picture is every bit as appealing. Explorers Club wines really are unique, the tasting notes are a fun way learn the story behind each bottle (warning: not for wine snobs) and the home delivery is also a convenient way to stock up on wines, while knowing you’re getting the good stuff — or, if you happen to disagree, that you get your money back. In addition to the 100% money-back guarantee, you’re under no obligations to take future cases (which will be offered to you every three months, when you're ready for a re-fill).
Bottom line: This really is a great deal. Order your case today, and go enjoy your summer!
Two standouts included the 2010 Domaine d’Aiguillon Viognier, all aromatic and pretty on the nose but showing real length and vibrancy on the palate and the 2008 Coorong Sounds Shiraz-Cabernet Reserve which was packed with Shiraz character, spicy and deeply fruited, though in August I might just prefer a lightly chilled bottle of the crunchy, dark fruited 2010 Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Laurent. The beauty of this assortment is its variety, with a great assortment of flavors and textures ready for you to explore!
2009 d’Aria Pinot Grigio Delle Venezia 12.5%
Rather clean and fresh on the nose with faint pear fruit and a touch of apple blossom. A nice round edge up front is followed by clean, brisk flavors of green apple and pear with a hint of peach and a nice touch of steely minerality. The finish is fairly long with more of the mineral character and a light layer of sweet and sour apple fruit. Rather nicely done with a touch of creaminess on the palate but otherwise rather bright and focused perfect for summer refreshing. 86pts
2009 Tikohi Chardonnay Marlborough New Zealand 13%
Nicely ripe on the nose with notes of almond and grilled peach topped with floral and lime leaf notes. This is fairly rich on entry but has fabulous acidity that offers great cut on the palate. The flavors are fairly intense with orchard fruits complimented by orange and lime zest notes. There’s a hint of oak here but it’s really well wrapped up in all this fruit. The moderately long finish reveals a bit of stickiness but this remains quite fresh and well balanced with more grilled peach fruit and almond notes on the finale. 87pts
2010 Domaine d’Aiguillon Viognier Pays d’Oc France 13.5%
Very aromatic and pretty with violet, honeysuckle, honey, fennel, and nectarine fruit that has a slight caramel edge. Nice and bright and light bodied on entry with good mid-palate energy and nice flavors of nectarine and green plum. This has a touch of phenolic bitterness that adds nice contrast in the mouth and supports the mineral tones on the finish. The finish is actually very long with nice rich orchard fruit tones with hints of dried apricot and some toastiness all supported by mouthwatering acidity. 88pts
2010 Charles Smith The Honorable Riesling Washington State 12.5%
Very nice on the nose, subtle but aromatic with precise lemon, and mineral tones topped with a floral hint and an edge of green onion. Great acid/sugar balance is the first thing that strikes me, this is round and lightly sweet though the acidity is firm and gently supports the sweet lemon and softly grapefruity core of flavors. The finish is much like the nose, lemon and mineral with delicate floral edges that linger nicely. A bit simple but fresh and wonderfully friendly for a summer’s day. 88pts
2010 Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Laurent 14%
Nicely aromatic with an initial burst of violet and dry forest floor followed by more dried earth and crunchy purple fruits. A touch lean on entry and with some youthful astringency which is followed by a fine plummy mid-palate that offers up cool, crisp little tannins and nice refreshing acids. There’s a nice bit of floral lift on the back end followed by a nice, fresh moderately long finish which shows off a bit of minerality as well as clean if simple plum skin fruit. A bit simple perhaps but very much what a Cotes du Rhone should be, fresh, crisp, succulent, and perfect for a light meal. 87pts
2010 Route 40 Malbec Mendoza Argentina 13%
Slightly sweet and fugdy at first on the nose this quickly adds notes of rosemary and even a bit of minty sage along with some woodspice. A bit lighter styled for Malbec with a nice bite of soft tannins up front and good clarity on the plate. This has really fine acids and a transparent feel that reveals purple fruit, spice and a touch of mineral on the palate. It’s an austere wine, a bit unusual for Malbec though one that is well suited for warmer weather. 86pts
2009 Geneseo Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles California 13.8%
Toasty and cedary on the nose with notes of black currant and a hints of cracked pepper and licorice. Lovely medium bodied feel in the mouth with good depth of fruit that leans towards the black and blue end of the spectrum. With time the base of soft tannins builds and adds a nice firmness to the palate with vanilla edges appearing that help frame the pool of plummy, black and blueberryish fruit. There’s a nice bit of spice here as well that lingers on to the moderately long finish. 87pts
2008 Coorong Sounds Shiraz-Cabernet Reserve South East Australia 14.5%
This blend of 90% Shiraz and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon offers up rather intense perfumes of cracked pepper, salted plums, grilled bloody beef and hickory nuts with an edge of sweet tropical flowers and an almost grilled pineapple backnote. Broad and smooth on entry the tannin and acid both assert themselves fairly quickly tightening this wine up on the palate while allowing it to remain both rich and a bit nervous. The flavors on the palate show hints of black currant with a sweet edge to the bark berry fruit accented by notes of coffee, wood spice, prune and licorice. The finish shows a bit of mouthgrab from the tannin and nice persistence to the fruit flavors with a nice finale of plum and spice. Really nicely done. 89pts