December is here, that means Christmas, that means parties, that means drinking in the sun on Sunday afternoon! It’s also a time of year when we see more rose, crisp white and light reds appear on our by the glass lists, and a time of year when we find more people stick around for that extra, last glass of sweet Pedro Ximenez at the end of a long lunch or celebratory dinner, savouring the sweet, orange rind and chocolate infused flavours of PX next to a espresso. Our latest pack is here to support all those endeavours in your own home, with a slight change to the formula in that we’ve beefed up the food component with three of MoVida’s pantry staples next to five bottles of wine to keep the festivities rolling through summer!
The pack kicks off with the lovely Forjas del Salnes 'Leirana' Albarino one of our favourite producers in Galicia, their Dandelion cuvee comes from slightly further inland in Rias Baixas, which helps it to gain a touch of texture to offset their hallmark nervy-acid style. That’s followed by a new release from Sierra de Tolono in Rioja – an estate owned and run by the talented young women Sandra Bravo. We’re super excited to have the first ever vintage of Rose released from her estate, a clarete blending Tempranillo with the local white varietal Viura to produce a dry, but really brightly fruited Rose. Next cab off the rank is a beautifully elegant Garnacha from Bodegas Maranones, the 2018 30,000 Maravedies. Grown in the high, granite hills of Sierra de Gredos above Madrid, from a vintage that may well be the best release to date, 2018 is one of those special years where long, slow even ripening helps exacerbate the lifted, elegant style Pinot-of-the-South vibe that Maranones aims for. It also adds an extra lick of natural acidity that primes this bottle for summer drinking by a bbq. Try pairing it with quickly grilled lamb chops topped with a generous spoonful of MoVida Romesco sauce. Next is a modern style, brightly fruited Tempranillo from a previous winner of Tim Atkin’s prestigious ‘Young Wine Maker of the Year’ Sandra Bravo of Sierra de Tolono in Rioja Alavesa. Before finishing with the Christmas-cake in a bottle that is El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez, an 8 year old solera aged PX that still holds a touch of freshness; it’s a great little way to round off a celebratory dinner and after 8 years of oxidative aging it won’t lose its verve if you leave it open in the fridge for a month as you chip away at it with the odd late night tipple!
Unlike the previous packs, we’re stopping this one at five bottles so we can jam in a few extra pantry goodies – MoVida Selection pickled Guindilla peppers, which we use to add a touch of acid to almost everything from raw fish starters to barbecued ribeyes. Piquillo Peppers from Lodosa in Navarra, the icon deep red smokey peppers which can be stuffed with sseafood or layered between sliced of barbecued meat. Finally Romesco sauce, an stable of Spanish cooking made with roasted Nora peppers, almonds and good paprika – it can turn the simplest cooked asparagus into an elegant dish, or flashed into sauteed seafood with a little light stock to make a deeply flavoured seafood stew, but most of all it’s at home with anything that’s picked up a bit of char on a barbecue; eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, a whole flat head or an epic steak.
The Pack -
2021 Forjas del Salnes 'Leirana' Albarino - Rias Biaxas
2020 Sierra de Tolono 'Clarete' Rose - Rioja
2018 Maranones '30,0000 Maravedies' Garnacha - Madrid
2019 Sierra de Tolono Tempranillo - Rioja
El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez - Jerez
Movida Selection Guindilla Peppers, Romesco Sauce, and Piqullo Peppers.