Monday, 17 January 2011

Papa Luna 2007

Majestic, £7.50

New Year's resolutions have always struck me as a bit rigid.

I don't much like the lack of leeway they provide, the implicit pass or fail mentality doesn't sit well with the fuzzy grey-area in which I exist. Things never seem to get resolved anyway, quite why every year a large proportion of the population pretends they're going to is beyond me.

I'm not averse however, to the odd improbable-sounding lofty aspiration.

Which is why this year I'm going to give up smoking, alcoholism, drugs and gambling, before quitting my job, taking a wife and moving to live in the hills of Andalusia among the gypsy folk where we will eat only the local peasant fare and drink rough wine from unmarked flagons.

First up I obviously needed to learn Spanish. Having decided on this I cracked open a bottle of an old Calatayud favourite Papa Luna to celebrate.

The 2007 which was once stocked by Majestic at around £7-8 per bottle, but is no longer listed on their website, 'though I bought up as much as I could from two local branches a couple of months ago, since when they've not had any more.

In a move clearly designed to confuse the lay-drinker, it lists a composition of 70% old-vine Garnacha, 25% Syrah, 5% Mazuelo and Monastrell. Translating to non-obscure names that's Grenache, Syrah/Shiraz, Carignan and Mouvedre.

Mind you, this is the kind of thing you would expect from Norrell Robertson MW, a winemaker who with the curious affectation of referring to himself as 'The Flying Scotsman'. The copy on the back of the bottle is mysteriously silent on the origin of this, and I have neither the time nor inclination to investigate but it's probably a pointless flying winemaker / train pun I imagine.

On the nose there's some lovely deep dark fruit, not overripe, lots of earth, leather and tobacco and little kick of the Mouvedre coming through with slight animal meatiness. Complex stuff with layers and layers of aroma.

This is nicely backed up on the palate with good cherry and blackberry, some smokiness, nice acidity and a fine tannic backbone. Again, a lot going on, deep and thought-provoking.

Damn silly name, really good winemaker.

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