Wine for October – Mirabel 2010
This wine turned out to be our favourite for the year so far – beating even the Trapezio ++ reserve.
It’s made from 65% tempranillo and 35% cabernet sauvignon grapes…. but it doesn’t taste anything like a Rioja…more if anything like a Taurasi wine from southern Italy… but in fact what we liked most about it was that it tastes entirely different, just of itself. It’s not full and fruity… at the risk of sounding pretentious the nearest description we could reach was that it tasted of strength and integrity… a very genuine wine from a hot climate and a harsh environment.
This was not surprising as it comes from Extremadura – an area in the South West of Spain which is well-named – it means literally ‘hard ground’. The wine is matured in French oak barrels for eight months, and has a deep rich purpled colour.
Ah, yes. Well, in this case a good friend of mine in Madrid introduced me to Anders Vinding-Diers. Anders is a real magician, an incredible wine maker. Although he’s a new wine maker he also got into the Guía Peñín top five wines with his Pagos de Mirabel which sells for £135 – only 200 bottles were made. This is a Mirabel 2010 and Anders hasn’t made any more since because the conditions have not been perfect.
The region of Extremadura is well-known for producing the best jamón Ibérico from wild black Iberian pigs that only eat acorns but has yet to be seriously recognised for its wine – at least not yet – but now with his award that may change. He learnt a lot about wine making from his cousin, the visionary Danish winemaker Peter Sisseck who produces the world acclaimed Pingus from Ribera del Duero in particular how to make it biodynamically. The bottles are beautiful but he could do with smartening up the rest of the packaging, marketing is key now for higher priced wines.
£27 from Ralph’s Wines Online.
Cheese, smoked meat…. jamón Ibérico de bellota of course….