A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the relaunch of La Fourchette (formerly Pascals). The event was centred around the tasting of the restaurant’s new and improved wine menu, designed by the host of the night – Graham Crawford. Graham laid out 8 wines for us to sample: 4 white, 4 red. Normally I don’t touch reds, but by the end of the evening I was a convert; testament to the quality wines on offer.
The first red I tried was a Rare Vineyards French Pinot Noir, from the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region. It had a smooth velvety palate and cherry and blueberry flavours backed with a hint of sweet oak spice. Around 30% of the blend is aged in French oak and Graham recommended trying it chilled. This was a good introductory red, uncomplicated and a great everyday wine.
The second red was the Cuvée Cabernet Franc Pays d’Oc, Sainte Marie des Crozes. It tasted great but oddly smelt of pencil shavings! A deep ruby red colour with a fresh, sweet palate finishing with notes of caramel and mocha. This was a high-end wine, priced at £27 a bottle and understandably so as it’s aged for 6 months in the barrel.
The third red was an Argentinian Callia Selected Malbec from the San Juan region. Another fruity, but soft wine, with a mix of blackberry, plum and herbal flavours alongside oak spice. Priced at £22, Graham’s advice was not to go cheaper with a Malbec – as you pay for what you get!
The final red was a Spanish Torres Celeste Crianza, from the Ribera del Duero wine region. Presented as a rival to the Rioja, Graham described this as a more complex wine, aged in French and American oak barrels for 12 months prior to bottling. Spicy, and intense with liquorice and black pepper notes on a base of ripe blackberry and cherry fruit.
I didn’t quite make it through the full white selection and by now my note taking ability was pretty sketchy but you like the sound the wines I have talked through, ring ahead and book a table to avoid disappointment.
PHONE: 01273 729 990
ADDRESS: 6 Queens Place, 2nd Avenue, Hove BN3 2LT
*Disclosure the wine tasting was complimentary but we paid for our food bill, but this has not influenced my review.