First glass of the evening was a Tio Pepe En Rama:
Poetic outbursts are best avoided, so I’ll (prosaically) say that this is one hell of a drink! An ode to windfall apples and sourdough. ‘Fino on steroids’ is perhaps a little crude, but it definitely takes the style to a much more complex level. This will be the aperitif of the summer, methinks.
For dinner later (wild boar bangers and swede mash) we opened an absolutely delightful bottle of 2016 Fronton -‘Les Petits Cailloux du Roc’ from Domaine le Roc:
A blend of 70% Négrette and 30% Syrah, this is lovely from start to finish. Matured for 18 months in cement vats, there is real purity of fruit here with a kick of spice. On the nose, there’s a perfumed hit of violets, even peonies, mingled with baking spice, chilli pepper, blackberries, cherries and dusty gravel.
Medium bodied, the palate is alive with sour cherries, forest fruit, floral notes and a kick of black pepper. The chalky tannins are balanced nicely with a lively, mouthwatering acidity. There’s a pleasant rustic approachability to this wine - easy to drink, but not ‘simple’. Can’t wait to try this with the food.
The husband tasted it blind and thought it was either a Cab Franc or a Mencia. I can see why… this is light on its feet, but with ample character. Great find, at £8.50 from Vinatis