After a summer break, Guest Wines were back with a thirst to find out what has been happening in the lovely world of wine.
Let’s just get things straight right here, this does not mean that we have been abstinent during these past weeks, no, we have been merely sitting back and enjoying a glass or two, immersed in all this wonderful sunshine that we have been having! Yes, including here in the north east as well – and we can only say cheers to that!
However, it was now time to get back in the driving seat and see what’s going on along the grape vine. Lots by the look of things, so where do we begin?
Well, why not start with a bit of a jolly down to that London and along the south bank in the surroundings of the OXO building, with a fabulous rage of top-notch wines on show courtesy of Armit Wines!
Celebrating their 30th anniversary, and as one of the leading independent merchants and wholesalers, we knew that we were going to come across some real delights.
It was a nice ‘across the board’ tasting with wines from all price and compass points.
So we begin with a bit of fizz and from a producer that we have had the privilege to have visited, and we even got the chance to meet the head winemaker! Here, we are talking about Champagne Geoffroy – now then! Let’s go!
Champagne Geoffroy Volupté Brut 1er Cru 2008 12.5% – A Classic Cuvée blend, with a rich nose consisting of ripe fruit that just burst out at ya on the palate, quite enticing to say the least
Moving a little further south, we came across a nice petillant from Vouvray, and with 8 years behind it. It was really beginning to show itself whilst remaining oh so fresh!
Domaine Huet, Vouvray Petillant 2010, Loire France 12.5% – Ripe spicy apple, hints of straw with a citrus burst – lovely balance of sugars and acidity
And moving onto stills:
Dowie Doole Tintookie Chenin Blanc 2012, McLaren Vale, Australia 12.5% – Lifted and perfumed lime Opal Fruits, with floral undertones and hints of spice, and lime pastille runs along a long finish
Weingut Eichenger Roter Veltliner Krasser Hasel 2017, Kamptal Austria 13% – Sour mango meets elderflower and a touch of hedgerow for good measure, with the scent of lavender running all the way along the tongue, and ending with a pleasant dry finish
Weingut Eichenger Riesling Zöbinger Heiligenstein Erste Lage 2017, Kamptal Austria 12.5% – With added depth and textured layers that lie upon a taught body, leading you on a bit of an adventure!
Domaine Sébastien Dampt, Chablis 1er Cru Les Beugnons 2016 13% – Produced in concrete eggs. Bursting with ripe melon fruit, with taught, precise acidity running along the rather long length
Tahbilk, Marsanne 2015, Nagambie Lakes Victoria Australia 12.5% – Lifted with a mineral edge and a spark of flint that carries onto the palate, rounded and appealing with a fresh finish
Weingut Eichenger Grüner Veltliner Kammerner Lamm Reserve Erste Lage 2017, Kamptal Austria 13.5% – Lifted and elegant with floral perfume, lime fruit and a touch of tarragon herb onto a dry finish
Delaire Graff, Chenin Blanc Reserve 2017, Swartland South Africa 14% – Smokey, flinty on the nose, with a palate that really fills out with pleasant spicy yellow ripe fruits
Momento, Chenin Blanc/Verdelho 2016, Western Cape South Africa 13% – Sweet ripe spicy fruit meets mouthwatering acidity
Castello di Buttrio, Vermentino Colli di Luna Etichetta Nera 2017, Friuli Colli Orientali Italy 13% – Cooling minty herb, hints of wet stone, crisp and lean with body to show off
Ornellaia, Poggio Alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Tuscany Italy 13.5% – Plenty of depth, beginning with lime fruits, then getting emerged in vanilla essence, spice and then crisp pea pods. Plenty to wrap around the mouth
Bien Nacido Estate, Solomon Hills Chardonnay 2014, Santa Maria Valley USA 13% – Lime and lemon citrus burst along a well toned body, with a hint of egg custard. As clean as a whistle!
Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec Chenin Blanc 2016, Loire France 12.5% – Red apple fruits jump out on the nose and embrace a full and rounded palate, balanced by fresh acidity and a touch of herb
Moving onto the reds…
Dowie Doole, Moxie Sparkling Shiraz NV, McLaren Vale Australia 13.5% – Bright dark cherry and blackberry nose with a touch of spice and sweetness on the palate with a measured dose of fresh acidity which was lifted by being served slightly chilled
Castello di Buttrio, Refosco 2014, Friuli Colli Orientali Italy 13% – Light, spicy red currant fruit and rosehip, with just a dash of white pepper – nice
Matetic, EQ Pinot Noir 2014, Casablanca Valley Chile 13.5% – Ooooooeeeer! Fragrant floral tones with lovely red fruit and structured finely grained tannin backed up with a hint of spice
Bien Nacido Estate, Solomon Hills Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley USA 13.5% – Fragrant and lifted with red currant fruits and a smidgen of Chinese 5 spice and orange peel
Château Latour, Pauillac de Château Latour 2011, Bordeaux France 12% – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Petit Verdot. Cassis with hints of liquorice run along a light body, interspersed with violet overtones, kept in check with firm tannins
Matetic, EQ Syrah 2014, San Antonio Chile 2014 14.5% Biodynamic – Meaty, blood, savoury with underlying concentrated blackberry fruits and black pepper, with dusty tannins on the finish
Bruno Giacosa, Barbara d’Alba 2016, Piedmont Italy 15% – The high alcohol is well balanced here with the crisp acidity which serves nicely to lift the ripe dark cherry and blackberry fruits
Bruno Giacosa, Barbaresco Asili 2015, Piedmont Italy 14.5% – Nebbiolo. A lovely bricky orange colour, with plenty of earthy meaty notes, along with underlying red fruits, a dash of sweet oak, and embraced by firm grippy tannins
Elio Grasso, Barolo 2014, Piedmont Italy 14.5% – Nebbiolo. Bricky-orange with a lovely freshness, floral perfume mixed with earth, and plenty of tannic grip
Gaja, Sito Moresco 2015, Langhe Italy 14% – A blend of Nebbiolo, Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit forward and approachable but with plenty going on, and fine grained tannins on the finish
Gaja, Barbaresco 2015, Piedmont Italy 14% – Nebbiolo. Light ruby with a lifted floral nose with plenty of sour red fruit, fresh and fine but with firm tannin
Giacomo Fenocchio, Barolo Cannubi 2014, Piedmont Italy 14% – Nebbiolo. Very savoury with a good slice of liquorice stick and undergrowth. Sour cherry Spangle fruits lie beneath and come to the fore toward a tight finish
Fattoria Le Pupille, Poggio Valente Toscano Rosso 2015, Tuscany Italy 14.5% – Sangiovese. Ruby with some signs of browning, emphasising the liquorice, rooty and earthy nuances
Pieve Santa Restituta, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany Italy 14.5% – Sangiovese. Garnet with a blackcurrant fruit pastille burst, backed up with plenty of acid and grippy tannins
Agricola Punica, Barrua Isola dei Nuraghi 2014, Sardinia Italy 15% – A blend of Carignano, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot. Ripe, concentrated blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with hints of herb and spice. A taught and angular body keeps the alcohol nicely in check, and finished with grippy tannins on the finish – oooo!
Capoverso, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015, Tuscany Italy 14% – A blend of Sangiovese & Merlot. Garnet with a spicy liquorice essence, leading onto cherry spice, fresh blackberry fruit and those tight grippy tannins
Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornella 2015, Tuscany Italy 14% – A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot. Precise, polished with meaty spice and liquorice stick, embraced by finely grained tannins
Querciabella, Camartina Toscano Rosso 2008, Tuscany Italy 14% – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Sangiovese. Now then! Gamey, earthy, animal tones with a savoury appeal upheld with lovely freshness and more of those fine grippy tannins
Tua Rita, Syrah Per Sempre Toscana 2016, Tuscany Italy 14.5% – So fragrant with juicy blackcurrant, dark cherry and blueberry fruits, textured and morish
Tua Rita, Redigaffi Toscana 2016, Tuscany Italy 14.5% – Merlot. Hey up! Blackcurrant, freshly cut herbs, bell pepper, all riding on a fresh and textured body that just carries everything along nicely
Jackson Family Wines, Vérité Le Désir 2014, Sonoma California USA 14.5% – A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot. Deep ruby, full and concentrated with a spicy, meaty finished encased in fine dusty tannins
And it simply would not have been right at all to have bypassed the stickies, so we didn’t!
Astrolabe, The Wein Vineyard Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2013, Marlborough New Zealand 11% – Golden amber with ripe mango and honeyed tropical fruits, with a hint of fig and tobacco – appealing freshness
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Were Trie 2016, Loire France 12.5% – Ssssh! Busy! Let’s just say that it was a mouth full of ripe mango and honeydew melon, mouthwatering fresh and very morish
Château Defeszla, Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2010, Tokai Hungary 11.5% – Furmint & Hárslevelű. Pow! Pow! Pow! Lush tropical fruits descend one after another, oh my! Crisp, clean and sooo many layers!
Capoverso, Vin Santo 2001, Tuscany Italy 11.5% – A blend of Grechetto & Malvasia. Amber with a greenish-brown tint and a raisin rush, herbal tang, that leads to a walnut coffee cake finish – mouthcoatingly delicious!
It has to be said that we really enjoyed this first tasting after our summer break giving us a brief scout across the vinous globe! There’s more to come!