£8.50 (£7.50 on offer), Tanners Wines
A Spanish wine made from Bordeaux grape varieties by a British couple. It’s either three-way vinous entente cordiale or a recipe for disaster. Needless to say it wouldn’t be here if it was the latter. The entente distinctly cordiale has produced an exuberant, dark, fruity red with chocolate-coated black cherry, liquorice and toasted oak flavours and a welcome lift of freshness to the finish. The 2016 is Merlot-based with 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and, waving the flag for Spanish varieties, 12% Tempranillo. In fact, there’s nothing unusual about French grapes in Somontano, a region in the Pyrenean foothills heading for the French border. The people behind it are Tom and Emma Holt, who met in Shrewsbury when they were both working for Tanners Wines (their main stockist), then settled in northern Spain after working in New Zealand and Canada, among other countries. The choice of name, 'first steps', is obvious, although they've now reached their fourth vintage, counting the one currently fermenting, and the wren on the ladder was chosen because it’s a bird common to both Somontano and Shrewsbury. Food? Think wintery casseroles and bakes, whether vegetarian or meat, a juicy rump steak or meaty, spiced sausages.
Paso-Primero 2016, Somontano, Spain
£8.50, but on offer at £7.50 when you buy 3 bottles, until 30 October, Tanners Wine Merchants