2018 is very nearly over and in many ways it was another dreary waste of all our time. The only thing to be said for 2018 is that it wasn’t as bad as whatever 2019 will bring.
In previous years I have provided our readers with a run-down of new car launches and a digest of the year just gone. Simon A. Kearne has informed me that the considerable time and vermouth required to do this is not justified by the dismal expected viewing figures.
So this year I will just open a bottle of Marsala* and invite readers to struggle to remember what was launched. I remembered three for certain: the Ford Focus, the Suzuki Jimny and Rolls Royce Cullinan. I had a look around for a definitive list of new cars and did not find one that I believed was able to satisfy my need for certainty that it could be about the cars of 2018 and only about the cars of 2018. Perhaps you will fare better with your search machines.
So, I will come back a little later with a list of 2018’s new cars. In the meantime, what cars stand out for you and, indeed, why?
* The Marsala is Curatolo Arini’s reserve, the secco, or dry version. It is not dry in sherry terms – nothing is – but it stands a long way from the syrupiness of sweet (“dolce”) marsala. It is also sweeter than a medium sherry. It is also lighter in mouthfeel despite a similar alcohol content. It is an interesting drink in that that is is neither clearly an aperatif nor a digestiv. It has a gentle nose, with a hint of raisins. They add heated grape juice to the wine to add depth. This sounds a bit odd but it works. Remember that madeira is also slowly heated, albeit ambiently.
Like Sherry, Port and Madeira, Marsala is a fortified wine and of the four, the least known and most marginal. I don’t think this Marsala, the reserve, is as heavy a hitter as a port wine and that is its saving grace. You can enjoy a half a glass of it without feeling like you’ve had a full meal. Wine Searcher calls it a desert wine, “lush and balanced”. Yes, I suppose it could be a desert wine, with light cakes or ice-cream.
This was what Cellar Tracker said “spicy nose and some caramel and oranges, tangy, some length, lots of nuts, nice stuff, lacking a little in oomph but I liked it.” I can’t say more than that, other than after more than six months without sampling a Marsala I realised how much I like this form of wine and am sorry it is so hard to find.