Most people look forward to the first bank holiday of the year and a nice long weekend, maybe a break away or just chill out at home with the family.
The Easter break, normally fish on good Friday, plenty of sport, Sunday mass, traditional roast lamb and relax and recover on Monday before heading back to work.
Now the burning non-religious issue for me was what to drink with our Sunday lamb, well, not so much of an issue in our household as anything Spanish was always going to be the first choice, although I had to compromise with my daughter who doesn’t generally like Spanish red wine (can’t have brought her up right !).
Before Sunday lunch I decided to go with something different, a dry Fino sherry, perhaps not everyone’s first choice and to be honest not many people I know would have tasted what a well chilled bone-dry sherry tastes like and as I found out you either like or hate it.
Let me say before I go any further, I love sherry, especially the drier styles, Fino, Manzanilla and Amontillado and anything produced by Lustau, just doesn’t get any better. Unfortunately, not everyone in the family agreed with me and if you could see some of the faces pulled when trying it you can understand why some people just don’t get it.
This was very dry and tasted of the sea with a salty, nutty, hazelnut flavour. It has to be served well chilled and at 15% abv, not for the fainthearted and the perfect accompaniment for some olives, nuts and especially Iberico ham, which are always in plentiful supply in our house. I did find someone willing to share this bottle with me, although it was his first time trying a Fino he was intrigued enough to give it a go and the more he drank the more he enjoyed it.
Now the wines picked for the roast lamb, unlike the sherry went down a treat (apart from my daughter who drank something else I’ll get onto later). I picked a Ribera Del Duero Legaris 2005 and a Baron De Ley Finca Monasterio Rioja 2011. The Legaris was the first bottle opened as I thought it would be a suitable match for the meal, having a little age the wine had lost some of its fruitiness taking on a more, fig-like character along with tobacco leaves, liquorice, leather and spice with mild tannins, this combination just seemed to work perfectly with the fatty leg of lamb. The Baron De Ley got opened towards the end of the meal, was much more about dark fruits and much more suitable for drinking on its own, velvety smooth with a touch of vanillary oak and just simply fabulous!
As I mentioned earlier, my daughter is not a big fan of Spanish reds so I selected a South African Rustenberg RM Nicholson 2015 Bordeaux blend with some Shiraz for her meal and if I have to say so myself, an excellent choice which she seemed to enjoy. Very fruit forward, full of blackberries and dark cherries, good acidity and pronounced tannins and just a joy to drink, (had to taste it to make sure it was ok).
All in all an Easter meal to remember, superb food cooked to perfection by my wife and stunning wines picked by yours truly and of course fabulous company.
My Rating 8/10 Corks
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