Brian Sullivan suggests six wines to comfort you through the winter
PUBLISHED: 09:30 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:51 20 February 2013
Brian Sullivan of Adnams advises of six winter wines.
A grape favourite
Looking for comfort in a cold February? Brian Sullivan of Adnams suggest six choice wines to try.
I normally endeavour to find a theme for my scribblings, suggested either by the weather, or wines tasted and enjoyed during my normal, working week. This month will reflect both to a certain degree, but in an anorak-ish sort of way, I find that I have reverted to type, and that my favourite red grape, Grenache, features prominently.
As for the whites, a category that hardly touches my lips in such a raw month as February, I have opted for just the one this month, a food-friendly style from the Rhne, and have included a ros that happiest of compromises, which also happens to be Grenache. Read on for a spot of self-indulgence, but I hope you may agree, once re-visited, that a glass of Grenache is just what was needed!
Brian Sullivan is Adnams cellar and kitchen manager in Norfolk. He can be contacted at the following stores:
The Old School House, Park Road, Holkham, NR23 1AB, 01328 711714, firstname.lastname@example.org
23a Lees Yard, Off Bull Street, Holt, NR25 6HS, 01263 715558, email@example.com
2008 Grenache, Tim Gramp
Where is it from? McLaren Vale, South Australia south of Adelaide.
Grapes: Just the one, and youve guessed it!
Who made it? Tim Gramp, heir to a winemaking dynasty dating back to 1847.
Why is it special? Made without compromise. Low yields, prime fruit quality, and no quarter is given as quality is Tims driving force.
What does it taste like? Vibrant raspberries and a black pepper edge.
Food match: Spicy concoctions, mild curries, lamb tagines etc.
2007 Ctes-du-Rhne, La Truel, Frdric Zobel
Where is it from? This hails from the southern Rhne, about 20 minutes west of Chteauneuf-du-Pape.
Grapes: Mostly Grenache, but with some Syrah, Cinsault and Counoise.
Who made it? Fred Zobel.
Why is it special? To supplement his simple Ctes-du-Rhne crop, he now has to add in his Village wine from his grander Lirac vines to fulfil our needs.
What does it taste like? Leather, liquorice and violets. Stunning!
Food match: Any hearty, meat casserole, with a liberal sprinkling of thyme, bay leaves etc.
2008 Garnacha, Cruz de Piedra
Where is it from? Calatayud in Northern Spain, south east of Rioja.
Grapes: Its 100pc Garnacha (Spains name for my beloved Grenache!).
Who made it? Bodegas Virgen de la Sierra.
Why is it special? Inexpensive, packed with fruit and made from old vines, which gives it immense character and flavour.
What does it taste like? Mouth-filling, spicy, black cherry flavours with fresh, definingacidity.
Food match: Liver and bacon; all comfort food!
2007 Les Pampres, Mas Laval
Where is it from? Vineyards outside the village of Aniane, in the south of France.
Grapes: Lots of Grenache, with some Syrah and Mourvdre.
Who made it? Jol Laval.
Why is it special? This exudes the best of low yielding vines, made by Jol, his wife and brother. A real family affair.
What does it taste like? Brooding black fruit and tar. This is a wine that needs decanting to release its vast, chunky potential.
Food match: Venison, pigeon, partridge or pheasant pie.
2008 Rosado, Monte Arlas
Where is it from? Navarra, northern Spain.
Grapes: Garnacha and some Cabernet.
Who made it? This comes from a large, modern Bodegas.
Why is it special? This is one of the wines in the Adnams Selection range, which represents some of the very best value wines you can buy!
What does it taste like? Crushed raspberries and strawberries.
Food match: Chicken, hot or cold, roasted or otherwise. Lunch or informal suppers.