Paso-Primero Tinto 2016
Tasting Note from Joanna Simon!! Wine of the week October 5th 2017 on www.joannasimon.com
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
Varieties – 79% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Tempranillo.
Vintage – 2016
Alcohol – 14.5%
pH – 3.58
Each variety included in the Paso-Primero blend was chosen for its suitability to the Somontano climate. As each variety ripens at slightly different times we are able to harness the full spectrum of fruit maturity and capture their most desirable characteristics. The earlier picks of Merlot and Tempranillo bring plenty of red fruit flavours to Paso-Primero while the later pick of Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine structure and a deeper complexity. Each of these would make excellent single variety wines but together they have been utilised to create a fantastic fruit-forward blend.
Food Pairing :
Paso-Primero is the perfect accompaniment to light meat dishes and roasted vegetables. Tom’s top tip would be to pair the wine with a charcuterie board and a variety of mature cheeses. Emma would recommend grilled, lightly-peppered Portobello mushrooms with herby pesto, rocket and goats cheese.