The Clover Club. A magical summer cocktail that tastes just as good as it looks (and it looks bloody great). Raspberries at the ready, please.
Ah, raspberries. Perhaps my favourite summer fruit. I’m not typically an enormous advocate of fruity cocktails (I prefer ‘em punchy and boozy) but the Clover Club is an exception. A sharp, gin-fuelled affair, it is fruity in the correct way: it is not sweet, it is not banal, and the fruit isn’t masking the complexities of the alcohol.
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…thrusts an unapologetic gallicism in your direction
This wine is French. It’s very French.
That’s a good thing, by the way.
I couldn’t tell you exactly what I mean by that, except that everything about its smell and taste thrusts an unapologetic Gallicism in your direction.
Much like General de Gaulle did, I’d imagine.
Its relatively rare — and very welcome — for a wine both to evoke an overflowing of fruit (here, ripe, fat cherries and crushed raspberries particularly, as well as dark, rich prune) and to maintain an almost austere, savoury complexity, bound in by a fruit-kernel-bitter structure.
This is a massive wine, a fireball blooming in the mouth. Suck and chew on it for several seconds and you’ll see what I mean. Its intensity and depth is port- or brandy-like. But despite its massiveness, it doesn’t overreach. It keeps its structure and integrity right through its development: no telling belch of alcohol or flab of fruity decay.
I’m not sure if you can still readily buy the 2004 Domaine Font de Michelle: I got it a while ago from the Wine Society, but it’s no longer available there. Other vintages, though, seem to be available at Waitrose and Lay & Wheeler. On the strength of this one, I’d recommend trying others.
£20.99 from the Wine Society
(no longer available)