Les Cretes Fumin 2003

It’s, like, weeks since I last posted. This long lay-off coincided with my first ever bloggers’ event, at Bibendum. I had a very good time, tasted some interesting wines but I was, I think, slightly put off by the unwavering dedication to blogging exhibited by the capital’s top food and wine bloggers. They dedicate more time to their hobbies than I, a father of two little sleep-stealing time-eaters, can afford mine. Even though it only takes half an hour here and there, it’s either that or do a very small amount of genuine, computer-off relaxing. I did, though, take some very useful notes and didn’t throw them out so the good news is I’m still going to post!

In my time off I’ve still been drinking lots of wine. Highlights: Yali, Winemaker’s Selection Wetland Sauvignon Blanc 2008 Rapel Valley, a Chilean that was recommended by the venerable Jancis Robinson as her wine of the week, while Tesco’s had it in an opening offer at £3.99 a bottle (I didn’t like it quite so much as she did. I reckoned it was good value at that price but not amazing and, at its standard £5.99, probably pretty avoidable), and La Difference Carignan 2008, which I remembered enjoying last year and enjoyed again this – a superior, classy French vin de pays.

But it would take something special to force me to sit, on my own, in the living room after Rachel’s gone to bed, tip-tapping my way across the keyboard. And this is it: another Caves de Pyrene purchase and my first Fumin – not the most obscure Italian grape variety, certainly not if you drink lots of wine from the Valle d’Aosta, but I don’t and it’s obscure enough to impress me.

This could be my favourite Italian red – and I like Italian reds. It’s certainly up there. More approachable than their trademark top wines like Barolo and Brunello, and a much better partner for a full evening. It’s quite Syrah-like but it’s not as heavily oaked as they often are, and it’s a lot less fruity. It’s a very masculine wine. Tar, tobacco and leather. Tannins not overbearing. Alive, bright but serious. It’s really excellent. Note to self: keep an eye out for it in future.

EDIT: I found my receipt from Les Caves, and I’m going to tap it out here for future price-reference. For what it’s worth, this Fumin was an absolute steal.

Pis & Love 2003 – £7.82 / Pinocchio Saniovese 2003 8.70 / Pinot Noir Elio 2005 5.65 / Vaubois Pinot Noir 2005 3.91 / Viu 1 Viu Manent 2006 17.39 / Bartoli Sol e Vento 2007 6.52 / Close Du Tue Rouge La Guerrerie 2006 7.39 / Dom Alexandre Pouilly Fume 7.39 / Les Cretes Fumin 6.52 / Mount Maude Riesling 2004 3.48 / Viu Manent Malbec Blue Label 2007 3.91

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