No ICC tastings in August or September, so this little dinner report in lieu:

A friend of mine has bred some Gloucester Old Spot x Mangalese pigs, and together with two other friends I bought a butchered side, including 120 sausages, which we took delivery of this week.

So with (yet) another friend we decided to try some of the “Lincolnshire” style bangers with mash and a nice bottle.

The sausages were beautifully meaty, juicy yet firm with a rich pork taste under hints of sage (from the Lincolnshire recipe) and a floral note reminiscent of dry-cured ham. With it we chose a 2005 Gigondas from Raspail-Ay, bought at the vineyard in 2008.

The Raspail-Ay is 80 % Grenache, 15 % Syrah and 6 % Mourvedre, aged at first in old foudres and afterwards in barrels for 18-24 months. When tasted at the grower’s the strong alcohol (14%) was too forward giving a “porty” note, but fruit and structure underneath seemed promising.

Now the wine had an immediate nose of damson jam, with a slightly spice after-note – maybe tending to a hint of clove. The palate carries through the same flavours, immediate and lasting sweet fruit but mounting mature tannins with a slightly grainy, spicy, warm finish with a little pleasant bitterness (a bit like the bitterness in good chocolate), the alcohol burn is now integrated. A splash of the wine went in the onion-gravy and with the dish the wine was perfect – the sweetness reflecting the sweetness of the meat and the spice and tannin framing the secondary flavours in the dish.

Such a simple combination – but just right at the end of a taxing week….

Tutored Tasting (Bordeaux grapes….) notes will with you next week,  Until then……