Are You Tasting the Pith? - 15th August 04
I can't imagine that this column will often be given over to only one product a week, but this is one of those weeks.
We've had a bottle of Pata Negra Gran Reserva in the rack for a couple of years now, waiting for the right moment, which of course almost never comes. However, a Friday night, the start of the Olympics, and a pair of fine fillet steaks provided the perfect backdrop against which to decant this fine rich Valdepeñas.
Deep jammy fruit and a hint of tobacco smoke were the most prevalent aromas in the neck of the decanter, let alone the top of the glass, which was such a heady plug of fruit and alcohol that a big sniff seemed to give an alcohol rush to the brain.
This concentration was matched only by the smoothness of the wine as it hit the palate, giving a deep jammy, brambly fruit flavour, with hints of oak and just a touch of Rioja-like fusty oxidation. The intense fruit hit mellowed into a smoky, oaky finish, which just seemed to go on and on (a bit like the reviewer). No doubt that a wedge of fillet helped to show this wine at its best, but even so, a wonderful wine, easily accessible but with enough complexity to delight all the way to bottom.
Black Pig, we salute you.
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