Red wine and red meat

Hawksmoor’s wonderful red meat provided an excellent foil for solid Syrah and Grenache last night as we dined to celebrate the birthday of our chum James and also my birthday. I shared a 1.2kg prime rib of beef and it was totally brilliant meat. Really amazing, so much flavour and such a wonderful texture.

The last wine is what I purchased with the money from the Google click-through adverts so many thanks to all who clicked on them.

Manzanilla La Gitana, Hidalgo

Do I even really need to write a tasting note for this? Surely everyone has drank so much of this wine its flavour profile is etched on all our minds. Surely when there is a test match on in the middle of summer and the mood is with us it is La Gitana which refreshes us? I’ll be brief to refresh your memories. A crisp, nutty nose with a pleasing delicacy. The palate is very dry and fresh with a slight salty tang. This is the Platonic ideal of Manzanilla, good Manzanilla at that.

Cornas ‘Granite 30’ 2007, Vincent Paris

A very fruity nose with lots of prunes and plums. We have decided 2007 Rhones are fruity and this seems to confirm that. It has a definite rustic streak to the nose as well, a sort of meaty, leafy, leatheriness. Smells like pretty type Cornas if you ask me. There is lots of fruit on the palate too, and it has a crunchy, chewy texture which makes this quite a nice mouthful. Decent Cornas structure, alright. It is perhaps not the longest or most complex of palates, but is a good example of the appellation and provides a reasonable amount of pleasure.

Hermitage 1996, J. L. Chave

A very suave, sophisticated nose of polished fruit and rich earth. It is quite powerful, though, ‘manly’ as we are lead to believe. I’m getting a lot of enjoyment out of smelling this, it is certainly mature but still very lively. Ah, now that is a bit sad, it suffers a tad from 1996 syndrome, which is to say it is just a bit too acidic. Sure, the fruit is scrummy and it is undoubtedly a masculine presence in your mouth as we would hope for from Hermitage, but ultimately the harmony just isn’t quite there. Bums.

Cornas ‘Domaine de Rochepertuis’ 1999 en magnum, Jean Lionnet

Oh lovely, lots of scrummy bramble fruits on the nose. It is earthy, but not really dirty, and the hint of rusticity is seriously cleaned up to the point of being being more than presentable in proper company. This is a complex, compelling nose, it is certainly Cornas but very smart Cornas. The palate seems smart too, every tannin is polished, every piece of fruit blemish-free and the acidity completely harmonious. There is a bit of mature softness to this, but it’ll keep. A really lovely magnum of Cornas, I loved it.