The weekend arrived at last. I had been planning a wine and food match this for weekend with a wine that is a 100% Tempranillo grape from the Castilla y Leon region in Spain, Toro. in Toro they call Tempranillo Tinta de Toro which means red wine of Toro. If you drink Tempranillo, you would probably opt for a Rioja as this is the most famous region and produces many gorgeous wines. However, Matsu ‘El Viejo’ is not from Rioja but from Toro. Toro is in North West Spain, further south than Rioja. Matsu ‘El Viejo’ is organic, young and has spent 16 months in oak. The labelling on the bottle is very unusual. There are three wines in the Matsu range and the age of the man on the label gives an indication of the age of the vines that the grapes are from. Matsu ‘El Viejo’, translated ‘the old one’ is from the oldest vines and has the oldest man in the picture. The vines have an average age of 110 years old.
I decanted the wine for an hour before serving. The colour was deep ruby, as can be seen on my Instagram post at wonderofwine, but disappointingly there was not much on the nose at all. The legs were amazing but as the alcohol volume was 15% this is to be expected. The luxurious legs did heighten the visual appeal of the wine in the glass. Swirling it was a pleasure to be savoured. Prior to tasting, I was expecting high tannin from this young wine but I was wrong. When I tasted Matsu ‘El Viejo’ 2015 I was pleasantly surprised. The wine was silky and rounded, even without food and very drinkable. Absolutely delicious, dry, black fruit. Cherries were the predominant flavour. I detected no tannin at all. It was completely and beautifully balanced.
I served this food with pan griddled venison. I had taken a gamble because Tempranillo pairs well with fat on meat and the venison was lean but for this reason I had opted for the venison to be served medium rare. To accompany the venison were Cocannon (a variant with baby spinach of the Irish dish of mashed potato mixed with kale) cauliflower and a gorgeous sauce made from boiled, chopped red onion, fresh succulent blueberries and good red wine. The venison alone without any of the blueberry sauce heightened the cherry flavour in the wine. When I tasted the venison with the sauce and then drank the wine the flavour of the wine was blueberry with a cherry finish. It was so exciting. The butter in the potatoes brought out the vanilla from the oak aging. This was a Kaleidoscope of beautiful flavours worthy of a special occasion like a family Christmas dinner.
Matsu ‘El Viejo’ 2015 was a gift. It was purchased at Majestic Poole in a mixed 6 price of £22.49 and worth every penny. £24.99 if bought alone.
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