23 April 2014

Bottle Juice

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Simon Field

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Simon Field MW advocates Portugal's flagship fortified wine as a sensational accompaniment to any chocolate-based indulgence this weekend may hold.

Dark and bitter needs dark and sweet to temper its indulgent flavours: Port, of course, is wonderfully versatile, and Quinta do Noval's superlative Late Bottle Vintage exemplar is a fantastic match for dark chocolate. Traditional LBV is bottled four years after the harvest, unfined and unfiltered, and is both powerful and pure, …

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Simon Field MW advocates Portugal's flagship fortified wine as a sensational accompaniment to any chocolate-based indulgence this weekend may hold.

Dark and bitter needs dark and sweet to temper its indulgent flavours: Port, of course, is wonderfully versatile, and Quinta do Noval's superlative Late Bottle Vintage exemplar is a fantastic match for dark chocolate. Traditional LBV is bottled four years after the harvest, unfined and unfiltered, and is both powerful and pure, …

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Oscar's Joven is a very grown-up wine, despite its youthful name... Made from young Tempranillo and completely devoid of oak, this wine has a natural exuberance and beautifully soft tannins.

The perfumes of violets and hedgerow lead to a velvety palate which is structurally more complex than one may expect from the Joven descriptor, the fine tannins and balanced acidity lending authority and length.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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…Artazuri a generous 6 months in barrel.

The ensuing complexity is a delight to behold. The natural exuberance of the Garnacha grape is not lost, merely enhanced by a complexity which combines notes of spice, licorice, damson and bitter chocolate. Berries, black and blue but unbruised, dominate the front of the mouth, with a sweet seductive velvety texture which is difficult to resist.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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…implying the crispness and firmness, ‘poule', rather more tangentially, hinting at soft and maternal qualities. The wine has fine colouring with hints of green. It boasts a spicy and floral nose, distinctive with echoes of gunflint, aniseed and fennel, not to mention oyster shell, pebbles and almost a hint of honey. The wine is an unbeatable match for fruits de mer, grilled fish and, when in season, asparagus.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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Made from 90% Viura and 10% Malvasía, the 1999 has been barrel-aged for a mere 6 years, somewhat unusual for a red wine, let alone one that is white. If Viura in its youth can be callow in the extreme, then mature Viura is one of wine's great treasures, its palate profile of wax, honey and pebble-stones well worth the effort if, at first, it appears somewhat unusual. Different is good, in this case. Very good.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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Tempranillo with the balance shared evenly between Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. During the ageing process, racking has taken place twice every year. Patience has been rewarded by a marvellously supple, complex and subtle wine, its fruit descriptors wreathed in spice and experience, its acidity beautifully balanced and its oak adding further profundity to the ensemble.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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American oak, the 2010 is richly coloured with forthright aromatics dominated by notes of blackberry, licorice, tar and mocha. Behind the sun-dried herbs and liqueur de cassis, there are neatly weaved tannins and natural balancing mineral acidity at the back in the name of self-restraint. 2010 is a fine vintage, combining power and elegance; the former will cede to the latter, acquiescent in nature's planned scheme.

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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Pesquera is made from 100% Tempranillo and has been aged for 18 months in American barrel and then left for six months in bottle before release.

The 2011 has the voluptuous creamy ripe profile that one has come to expect and savour; with black fruit and soft spice lending eloquent support. Ideal with casseroles and cured cheeses and much more besides!

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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A treat for fans of fine Tempranillo, the 2003 has defied the warm conditions of its vintage and matured with great charm. Brick red colour cedes to a pleasingly evolved nose, with notes of Autumn evening, wood smoke, truffle and saddle leather all evidenced. The palate has firm acidity ( not volatile in the slightest) and an elegant warming mouth-feel, with great textural poise and no lack of food-matching potential

Simon Field MW, Wine Buyer

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