Nick’s column has matured 12 months: he celebrates with a glass of the good stuff
A couple of lines into this week’s column, I realised that I have been doing this for a little over a year now, and was dumbstruck. It’s rare that I stick to one thing for so long, which leads me back to what I intended my original opening to be, in a round about way… It’s these little moments of joy that make life worth living. To celebrate, I’m going to indulge a little and go for the oh so vogue (a few years ago) Châteauneuf-du-Pape, from Domiane du Grand Tinel.
Parts of the vineyard were first founded in the 18th century, by the Establet family, who were winemakers in the times of Louis XV. The Jeune family were another wine producing family with deep links to the area, with one family member a wine transporter and then Mayor of Châteauneuf for 25 years. The two families were joined through marriage in the 70s and the land of both vineyards merged to create Domiane du Grand Tinel in it’s current incarnation. The picking on the 55 hectare estate is done entirely by hand from its roughly 70 year old vines, and then aged in oak barrels for 12-24 months.
This sumptuous and decadent wine is a blend of grapes: Grenache 90 percent, Mourvèdre three percent, Counoise two percent and Syrah five percent. There’s plenty of big tasting grapes in there, giving a heady and intoxicating aroma with swirls of liquorice, plums and figs, underpinned by plenty of sweet spice. In the mouth the fruit really comes to the fore and the wine is excellently balanced with firm tannins. Despite the salad season drawing ever closer, enjoy this wine at room temperature with a robust cheese and strong meaty dishes, or some game bird. Winner.