Saturday 3rd February 2018 : "An Underrated Grape - Grenache" with Sally & Peter in Rustington.
"An underrated and important grape. Hope to show its range but I have not included two wines that went over well last year in my Spanish tasting: a £24 garnacha from Navarra and the £34 Priorat." - Peter
1. Lirac Blanc La Fermade, Domaine Maby 2016; Rhône Valley, France; 14.5% abv; The Wine Society £10.50
Full-flavoured yet crisp and refreshing. A blend of grenache blanc, picpoul, clairette and bourboulenc. “A wine that is so full of youthful energy! Its stone fruit character, orange peel and yellow peach complement its rather spicy edge. There's an almost salty, mineral feel on the finish, which makes it powerful and long, but refined." [Decanter]
2. Côtes du Roussillon Blanc Les Glacieres, Domaine Gardiés 2016; France; 13% abv; The Wine Society £12.50
A blend of roussanne, grenache and macabeu. This is dry and fruity, full-flavoured but fresh too with apple, herbs and some citrus in the flavour. Delicious and versatile, but especially good with seafood.
3. Ventoux Les Traverses, Paul Jaboulet Aîné 2015 ; Rhône; 13.5% abv; The Wine Society £8.25
Richly flavoured and fruity red from the slopes of Mont Ventoux. Made from almost 100% ripe grenache with a smidgen of other varieties, including syrah. Wonderfully rich in 2015. Cool breezes coming off the mountain give this Ventoux an attractive and juicy fruit flavour. "Punchy nose. Masses of juicy fruit inside a herby structure with some sweetness but noticeably cooler and fresher than lowland wines. Good value. 16+/20." [Jancis Robinson]
4. Bajondillo, Méntrida 2016; Toledo, Spain; 14.5% abv; The Wine Society £8.50
Pale-coloured Spanish garnacha which is full of personality. Herby and attractively rustic, with delicate raspberry fruit, this artisan-style red makes for deliciously interesting drinking. “Pale crimson. Gamey nose. Very light and fresh. Tastes like strawberry juice that stones have been soaked in. Very dry and appetising finish. Very good value 16.5/20." [Jancis Robinson]
5. The Society's Exhibition Gigondas 2012; Rhône; 14.5% abv; The Wine Society £16.00
The best Gigondas often needs bottle age and so this has been lying in cool cellars in Stevenage for three years. This came after 18 months in oak in the cellars of Château de Saint Cosme in Gigondas. Mostly grenache, full-bodied and ripe tasting with a touch of spice. "Tuck into this oak-aged, herby, liquorice and roasted plum-packed Gigondas from the top producer Saint Cosme.” [The Times] "Aromas of roast meat, redcurrant and raspberry hint at the types of red meat with which this Rhône red would pair beautifully. The dark fruit on the palate is matched by vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.” [Scottish Field]
6. SC Pannell McLaren Vale Grenache-Shiraz 2010; South Australia; 14% abv; The Wine Society £27.00
Steve Pannell is one of Australia's most respected winemakers. This is a blend of two exceptional parcels from a 44-year-old shiraz vineyard and 70-year-old grenache vines, harvested by hand in multiple passes of the vineyard to ensure that each bunch is picked at the peak of ripeness. Fermentation took place in small open-top vats before 18 months’ ageing in French oak, resulting in an Australian classic with rich blackberry and strawberry flavours and toasty oak complexity. Hold for a few years or decant, and serve with a good steak.
7. The Society's Exhibition Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2013; Rhône; 14.5% abv; The Wine Society £18.50
A rich, dark and fruity Châteauneuf. Refined and richly textured with a flavour of ripe fruit, hints of fig and bay leaf and gentle spice. Perfectly rounded and ready to drink.
8. Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Font de Michelle, 2011; Rhône; 14.5% abv; The Wine Society £26.00
A full bodied wine, rich with red berry fruit, spices and hints of liquorice and well balanced with elegant tannins. On the palate the wine shows great structure and depth of flavour. Matured in large oak casks for between 6 and 12 months.
9. Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Coume Gineste Rouge, Domaine Gauby 2011; Roussillon, France; 14% abv; The Wine Society £59.00
This new cuvée from Gérard Gauby consists mostly of exceptional grenache from a north-facing slope with low-yielding vines, some of them very old. A sense of finesse is paramount here and a fruit-driven expression and flavour that has more in common with Burgundy than the south of France. Highly recommended.
10. Domaine Pouderoux Maury Grande Reserve: Pyrenees-Orientales, Languedoc-Roussillon, France; 16.5% abv; Waitrose £11.49
[how much alcohol...?? - Ed.]
Robert Pouderoux's family have been vignerons in Maury since 1826. The vineyard is situated in the heart of Maury. The vines are planted on granite soil. Organically produced, picking is by hand and there is no fining or filtration. The vines are between 30 and 50 years old producing small amounts of very concentrated fruit. “Unique, barrel-aged sweet red aged min 6 years in demijohn and barrel. Pruney, figgy palate.” [Waitrose]
For supper Sally served Beef Casserole with Potoato Gratin followed by Raspberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake, Apple Tarte Tatin and Cheese.
1. Domaine du Bosc 2016 - won by Sally & Peter...!
2. Viña Zorzal Garnacha, Navarra 2016 - won by Sioned & Peter