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Raisin Wine School

(Highlights from the La Bascula wine tasting)

Last night we were guests of The Pig Guide and an exclusive tasting from Spanish wine estate La Bascula courtesy of co founder Ed Adams MW at Bath’s Gascoyne Place restaurant.

We began with their delightfully fragrant white blend, Catalan Eagle, Garnacha Blanc/​Viognier. The perfume that flew from the glass was truly stunning, with ripe exotic notes of melon, peach skin and citrus pear. It was therefore a joy to find that the palate was more than equal to the task of providing rich, ripe unctuous flavours; flavours that were both precise and sharp.

The Turret Fields, Monastrell/​Syrah presented a truly dark and mystical fragrance redolent of crushed plums, red cherries and a whiff of white pepper. Faced with a wine as dark and menacing as this we were not disappointed. Subtle spices of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon supported a framework of bramble, raspberry and ripe summer fruits that gave this wine great body and length. The balance between fruit and acidity was delightful.

The Charge, Tempranillo/​Garnacha, had one of the ripest and fruitiest noses that I have had the pleasure of enjoying for quite a while. This was crammed full with crushed raspberries, cassis, mint and fresh green herbs; so much so that it was like trying to view a landscape through the eye of a needle. The palate was intense with flavours of red and black wine gums, raspberries sprinkled with black pepper, subtle strawberry and cherry notes. The finish was a delight with a flourish of interplay between both subtle acidity and ripe summer fruit.

We now move on to The Gauntlet, Monastrell. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer fruit intensity of this wine. This was an assault not only upon the senses but my olfactory system. Bushels of ripe brambles, pepper dusted hedgerow fruit, dark chocolate and Asian spice rocked my nasal passages. As for my taste-​buds, well they felt as though they had been hit by a fruit soaked jack hammer. Ripe, velvety, soft black fruits overhauled my palate with a stunning display of Dundee cake, mocha, blueberry, sweet wood smoke, parma violets and creme de cassis. This is a stunning wine and one that deserves to be in everyone’s cellar or cupboard under the stairs.

I finished my tasting with Ed’s recommendation, the delightful No Stone Unturned, which is an intriguing blend of Garnacha, Carinena, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This wine comes from the very best plots of Terra Alta in Catalonia and is a decidedly juicy fruit package. The sumptuous nose is an amalgam of sweet ripe red fruits and intense fresh herbal fragrances that dance upon the nose. The art of a skilled winemaker is clearly obvious here with this wine. Blackberry, raisin, cinnamon, and macerated mint revolve around the palate which at it’s centre is a core of savoury cassis fruit.

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