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Friday, 16 October 2009

Masham Famous Ales and Fortified Wine

In my latest article for the Ripon edition of Infocus magaizne I wrote about how good it is to help one another out.
I call it being kind.

Last Saturday someone was very kind to me.

I went into the wine shop in Masham to ask if they would display a poster for a friend of mine. While I was in the shop one of the owners (Angela) was talking about a very classy vintage fortified Shiraz from Australia. Apparently this wine is available from only five retail outlets in the UK, Corks and Cases being one of them. She invited me to taste it. I don't drink alcohol (only on very rare occasions because it goes straight to my knees, and I was driving) so I declined.

But, I thought I would write about this wine because I think it is amazing that wine such as this is available in Masham.
It's a bit ironic too, as Masham is renowned for its excellent beer being the home of the legendary Masham Ale 'Old Peculier' from as well as 'Black Sheep Best Bitter' and 'Holy Grail' from

I wanted to take a photo of a bottle of this d'Arenberg tipple and tried several times but couldn't get a decent pic on my mobile phone. I didn't have my camera with me.
But then Elias Moubayed came into the shop, picked up on the conversation and offered to take a photo for me, which he did and promptly sent it straight to my email address. Now that's what I call kindness at it's best. Thanks Elias.

Now for my wine buff friends I've take the following information from the d'Arenberg website. You can find out more from Cheers!

The Characteristics
The wine has a very deep black appearance with a wonderful crimson deep cherry red hue. Intense aromas of ripe, blackberry fruits, liquorice appear first followed by prune-like notes with deep spicy plum pudding characters. As it opens, deeper blackberry mulberry fruits with anise evolve combined with a lifted (and slightly ‘taily’) brandy spirit which is most appealing. The initial attack of primary fruit flavours, combined with the integrated, unwooded brandy spirit ensure the palate is full-flavoured balanced with very fine, almost tea-like tannins and the dry impact of the spirit.
Just wonderful!

With significant bottle age, ‘The Vintage Fortified’ made with Shiraz gains extraordinary complexity. The intense young colour becomes a lighter, more ruby-red initially, then quite amber. Fruit and brandy spirit integrate further, making way for whiffs of roses, chocolate/walnut, coffee and orange/cumquat peel smells. The palate becomes more balanced and develops further complexity with notes of caramelised figs, dark chocolate, malt, coffee and vanilla mixed with tobacco-like flavours with a finish that’s very soft and delicate.

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