Saturday, 4 June 2011
Three lovely wines
Just one line on the running front - I am back to 3 runs a week, about 25 miles, with no specific training goals until I come back from holiday. Feels like I will focus on some shorter races. The injuries are settling down....anyway, on to wine.
The first is a great curiosity - Tio Pepe 'En Rama' (£12.50, Wine Society). This is the second production of this Fino sherry, bottled in Spring 2011 with strict instructions to drink within 3 months. OK then, if you insist...and so the first of my two bottles lasted precisely 48 hours from delivery. (talking of bottles, I feel privileged too, as only 5,300 or so bottles are produced as well.This special version of the excellent sherry Tio Pepe is handled lightly, with minimal treatment and filtration, to preserve the full richness of the wine . It is taken when the 'flor' - the yeast blanket that accumulates in the barrel to protect the wine - is at its thickest. Anyway, it is gorgeous, dry, nutty, fresh..and such a great aperitif. The mouth is positively salivating for food after this - and it goes very well with olives and almonds, as you may imagine. What is intriguing is that this is clearly a 'wine du moment' as I have seen it written up all over the place, from Anthony Rose through to Jamie Goode. I guess that the wine aficionado loves sherry, and looks for any opportunity to evangelise about it.
The second (middle bottle above) is Cedro do Noval, Douro, 2007 (£15.50). This the second wine of the famous port house Quinta do Noval, and graded as a Vinho Regional because it contains non-Portuguese grapes, in this case 25% syrah. This is blended with the traditional Port grapes, though not fortified, and so is a strange, heady brew, with the rich, cut-with-a-knife characteristics of an LBV, and a bit of warm spice. Quite alcoholic too, so we drank this over two nights, and, as is so often the case with chunky wines, the second night was much better, as it had softened out the harsh edges, and the tannins seemed more in balance. A definite winner for 24 hours of decanting here - high risk but high reward as a wine strategy!
The final wine of the trio is a lovely white, d'Arenberg's 'The Hermit Crab' 2008 (£9.99 Waitrose), essentially an Australian blend in the Southern Rhone style. Since we don't actually drink a whole load of White Chateauneuf anyway, which is a bit of a shame, then I have a limited comparison set (in fact the last white Rhones I can remember were some lovely Chateauneufs, bought in the town itself, at a lovely cellar where Lesley and Janet were salivating over the dishy salesman, whilst Martin and I resolutely tasted the wines..
Pip pip and drink well