At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistant to publishing director - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out...
Editorial Assistant, Decanter
Bestué de Otto Bestué, Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon rosé, Somontano, 2008
Tried for the first time in the bodega’s pristine tasting room earlier this year during an excursion to the exciting but little-known region of Somontano, in Aragon, northwest Spain, the wine tasted even better second time round, in the less urbane surroundings of my living room on a Saturday night. Bright strawberry pink in colour, it showed fresh summer fruits on the nose – cranberry, raspberry, red currants and a hint of blackberry. The palate was pure Wimbledon: deliciously indulgent strawberries and cream. Extrovert, vivid, crisp and refreshing, it delivers everything you’d expect from a decent rosé – ideal for idling away a long summer night.
Catena Malbec, Mendoza 2007
With times tough, restaurants are getting more creative with their offerings in an effort to draw in custom, especially on quieter nights. Winemaker dinners are one example, and one such event in the City on Tuesday evening jumped out at me. Held at The Mercer, Decanter’s New Restaurant of the Year in 2008, it was hosted by Mariela Molinari, winemaker at Catena, whose figurehead, Nicolas Catena, is the current Decanter Man of the Year. With such accolades, it promised to be a good night, one would think (or certainly, so I hoped). I had nothing to fear. Besides the excellent food, the wines were suitably impressive. And though the opulence on the flagship Caro and Nicolas Catena Zapata was impressive, the wine that really struck me was the more humble straight Malbec. Smooth-textured, but with layers of spicy, chocolatey fruit, it was nonetheless light and bright, not at all in the heavy, dense mould of so many Argentinian Malbecs. A delight.
Chief Sub-editor, Decanter
Hijos de Raniera Pérez Marin, La Guita, Manzanilla, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Jerez, Spain NV
Known more just by its brand name rather than the bodega, La Guita – along with La Gitana – are probably the two most famous exponents of this style of Sherry made in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, whose proximity to the sea and higher humidity give the wines a fresher acidity and saltier tang than the Finos made in Jerez.
The brand name come from the old Spanish word for money – people wanting to buy the Sherry were always asked: ‘Do you have La Guita?’, so it stuck. For me, it was a mere five euros, bought from a corner shop while on a weekend break in Barcelona. It always amazes me that Sherry remains such great value, given the time (five years in this case) it spends ageing in the solera. Bone dry and fresh with oyster shell, almond and floral notes, this is the perfect hot-weather aperitif, paired with a nuts, olives, manchego, jamon and a poolside sun lounger. Bliss.
Managing Editor, Decanter
Alain Gautheron, 1er Cru Vaucopin, Chablis 2004
It would never occur to me to cellar a Chablis for this length of time – other white Burgundy, certainly, but somehow not Chablis, which I associate with drinking relatively young. I’m now a convert to more mature Chablis after tasting this incredible example from the very good 2004 vintage. Amazing aromas, evolution and complexity – perfectly balanced and brimming with minerality, ripe citrussy fruit and a spice on the finish. The last couple of Chablis vintages have both been very good (2007 and 2008), so if you are planning to buy some, why not hold on to a few bottles? You might be surprised.