Out with Christian and Lauren at El Pirata tapas bar, having finally found Down Street’s dead tube station! A good Spanish wine list also included Alvaro Palacios’ ‘other’ wine (the L’Ermita was £225) so I though it worthwhile giving it a go. Overall not bad – a well-made wine, but equally, didn’t exceed expectations. Mid-to-deep black-garnet core with a narrow garnet rim. Medium-to-intense nose with creamy vanilla and cocoa-oak toast, wrapped round blackcurrant-led fruit (or is it just because I read Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, on the back-label?). Fairly concentrated, somewhat fruit-led palate, yet not tannic (Grenache?), with some limited acidity. Smoky black fruit flavours with fair complexity and good length. Fair all round, but Sassicaia has greater complexity and interest, and I’d prefer many Châteauneufs for concentrated Grenache.