I’ve been thinking about Christmas a bit lately. I know. Already. Sorry about that, but such is 21st century life. My family have already been on the phone about where I might spend it, friends are making plans back in London and I feel like I’ve only just got over the summer. Still, here we are on October 18th 2010 and the fact is, there are only two and a half months to go. So I got to thinking, if not about where I would be, at least about what to drink with it, which is when I happened across La Figuera.
I’ve never heard of the winery, which it turns out is called La Figuera and not Algerri as I might have supposed from the label, a small-scale producer from the Noguera region, which is in the heart of Lleida, just north of the city and known for its silky, easy-to-drink, fruit-forward wines.
This one is a bit more complex. Rather tightly packed on the nose at first, it’s as if it doesn’t really want to show you what it’s made of, a bit too powerful and spicy enough to make you sneeze. Give it time. In the glass it’s dark too, black, and almost jammy with legs thick enough to stand up on. All good signs for a wine that will stand the test of time.
First sip and I get lots of festive flavours: black figs (breves), licorice and pepper all thrown into a bowl with a big handful of super-ripe blackberries and a splash of green, slightly astringent tannins on the finish. This isn’t bad, in fact it means you can buy some bottles now and it will benefit from the wait, or open well in advance of when you plan to drink it. I don’t think it necessarily needs decanting, but on my tasting it had improved markedly an hour after my first try, getting softer and more rounded on every sip. For €10.90 I think it’s quite a good option as a Christmas red and it certainly won’t disappoint paired with a winter stew. Salut.