Monday, 25 July 2011

A Tall Tasting

 A Tall Tasting, those that know Lawrence will get the title ~

Those on the ball will notice I am a day late with this months Blog. I do have a really good excuse. I took part in Race for Life on Sunday morning. I walked the race as opposed to run, not because I had a hangover but through injury… although I did have a tiddly headache, I think it was the second Limoncello after midnight that pushed me over the edge !

So you can already guess it was a good get together, great hosts, great wines, great company and a great honour, Lawrence Page came to our wine club and talked us though his selection of wines, he met the brief, wines under £10 and delivered superb good value for money wines.

So lets get started, the first thing we were asked to do was NOT drink the wine, we are a bit on the keen side normally. So we went through the correct process of checking the clarity & colour learning what the differences meant (you are shocked we were learning) followed by the old swill & sniff, there is probably some posh term for this.  Then we learnt how to taste by rolling the tongue and breathing air over, easier said than done,  it produces a lot of giggles coughs & splutters then finally as Ingrid said “Can we drink it now” so we did..

First up was Riversdale Sauvignon Blanc 2010, a real wake your senses up wine, looked pale & clear, aromas of peaches & nectarines and so zingy on the palate, absolutely loved it.  We all agreed it was suited to drinking alone, I don’t mean without friends, although if you prefer to why not… opps digressing as usual… what I meant is without food.

No.2 770 Miles Chardonnay 2010, now we all admitted to having preconceptions about Chardonnay, heavy, buttery and oaky etc.  well how wrong can you be, this was a delight and proved very popular among the group and a favourite of Lawrence & Ingrid. Crisp dry with a hint of pears & vanilla, personally I didn’t get the vanilla, others did.  Mark thought cloves too, so this wine although nice (that famous wine term) was my own least favourite maybe because I don’t like cloves.

No.3 Macon Lugny ‘Les Genievres’ 2009 again another very pleasant surprise.  A family owned & run highly respected wine producer in Burgundy..sorry my notes stop there (yes I do take notes, teachers pet & all that !) . anyway back to this exquisite, well exquisite might be too much, but you get my drift, subtle wine, so smooth and rounded, gentle buttery lemons & smooth fruit made this my favourite wine of the night.  I think if you went back to the sauvignon after this it would be a complete assault on the senses… needless to say I will be buying more of this one.

Now onto the reds, we started with a Pinot Noir, Lawrence had read our blog and noticed our negative comments on the Pinot Noir we had in the past… so could he change our minds & prove that Pinot is worthy of the hype it gets in Decanter (it’s a wine mag for those that don’t know).. when I saw the list of the wines earlier in the week, this is the one I was really itching to try. No it didn’t cause a rash !

AND… yes it was a smooth wine with plum & black cherry notes but it still has that ‘thin’ feel to it, someone said they felt it was neither red nor white wine.. however all said and done we DID like it just not as much as the others, so I think Lawrence proved it was worthy of another chance. 
Oh I suppose you would like to know what it was Neptune Point Pinot Noir 2008 from Malborough New Zealand.

No.5 Kleindal Cabernet sauvignon 2009 (Joint Winner) normally we would be a bit tiddled by this stage and have eaten food to ‘ruin’ our ability to taste the wines properly but Lawrence kept us on the straight and narrow, he poured the wine in sensible measures and only let us eat dry crackers. A superb deep dark blackcurrant coloured wine, soft tannins and tastes of black cherry and currant, a touch of cigar smoke (odd but yes it was there) and vanilla this was a very good wine, again South African isn’t a wine that has come across that well in the past. 

Finally No.6 last but not least, in fact, the joint winner of the evening Lomas Carrera Camenere 2009 from Chile. A country that is always a firm favourite with our wine club, many a raucous evening has been had drinking Chilean wine. This wine from a respected winery was delicious, dark purple in colour, ripe berry aromas and big on taste.  Carmenere was a new grape to us and worth pursuing further I think.

So to sum up an education and tour of six superb wines, proving that the oldest wine merchants in the country know a thing or two about wine !

Just one slight worry, Linda wondered what the slop jug would taste like, I know the wines were good but…

Thank you Lawrence for sharing your time & experience with us, you never know we might be able to twist your arm to join us a sometime in the future.

The evening ran on late into the night, the wines revisted (more bottles opened) delicious antipasto and finally a few liqueur tipples to end.

 Time to stick a cork in it.

Bye S