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Wednesday 17 June 2015

Joseph Barnes Tasting

A tasting of four wines with Charles Hardcastle of Joseph Barnes Wines

If you fancy a set of characterful dinner party wines, you could do a lot worse than serve this selection from Joseph Barnes.

Dedham Vale Vineyards Sparkling Brut 2012 an elegant vintage English fizz from mostly Chardonnay with a bit of Bacchus in the blend; the winery dates back to 1990 and was resurrected from Carters.

Pale straw yellow, it spends two years on the lees - biscuity yet floral and quite aromatic with English hedgerow. Ripe orchard fruits with lemon-and-lime, a leesy creaminess and a fine mousse. At £23.50, it is cheaper than almost any vintage Champagne.

Will improve with age. Serve as an aperitif.

Bodegas Bernabe Navarro "Tragolargo" Monastrell 2013 vibrant, rare, high-altitude organic / biodynamic Spanish red.

Dark purple in the glass, with dark fruit, black pepper and roasted dark spices. A complex and vibrant palate of dark fruit, pepper, bitter green herbs, red chili and sweet spices. Long with pronounced minerality.

One of only 3,000 bottles made, and excellent value at under £10.

Match with roasted leg of lamb with juniper berries.

Domaine Berthoumieu, Madiran Haute Tradition 2011 chewy Tannat blend from south west France.

Dark, opaque - almost black. Dark blackcurranty fruit, roasted spices and floral hints. Supple, but still grippy despite having been decanted much earlier in the day. Under the tightly-knit tannins, there is dark fruit, earthiness and minerality.

£13.50, match with a roast Sunday lunch.

Chateau de Jau Rivesaltes Ambre 2007 unusual fortified, madeirised French VDN sticky.

A blend of mostly Grenache Blanc with some Macabeu, this is part-fermented, fortified, then aged in glass demijohns for two years followed by 12 months in old oak, giving a deliciously complex curiosity in the Mediterranean-island tradition.

Amber-mahogany with floral, grape spirit, roasted nuts and a dark-sherry / Madeira aroma. Sweet and fresh with orange peel, honey, spice and ginger and a satisfying savouriness.

Serve with blue cheese, as a dessert in its own right or as a midday aperitif.

Good and great value at £13.50 for 50cl.

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