Summer Wine Tasting
I’m fortunate enough that close to home is a wine shop that takes the vines less travelled by: The Good Wine Shop in Chiswick (their latest award being winner of Decanter’s 2017 Specialist Wine Retailer for Champagne).
I am always super excited when I come here (the words “kid” and “candy store” come to mind). Hence I go in to browse and come out with more wine to drink… nice problem to have!
This week, we organised for 15 of us to have a summer wines tasting, delivered in blind pairs where we had to match the glass to the wine. Great fun and makes the tasting a bit more interesting (and sometimes competitive!) for the group. All in, we had 8 wines to taste: 4 white, 2 rosé and 2 red – with every wine interesting and delightful to taste. I’m pleased to say that the majority of us got over 7 out of 8 right although there is always one person who decided to vote againt the majority.
We also encouraged our friends to bring their own nibbles (the salmon is shown!) as we sat at the lovely rustic high tables.
Alex Robinson was our guide and spoke knowledgeably about each wine (even as our attention spans got shorter as the wine kicked in). No spittoons in place here!
I thoroughly recommend exploring Jura wines off the back of this tasting, and whilst I’d quite happily drink any of the wines, I favour the two red wines we finished with and both of the rosés would be equally welcome on a warm day gassing with friends.
White wine tasting notes
Domaine de La Borde “Foudre A Canon”, Savagnin, Jura 2014
- Good whiff of farmyard migrating to grassy after some exposure to the air. Brassy white wine and darker than the Aligoté below, with a pretty keen citrus acidity and oak on the palette.
- Savagnin is a grape variety grown almost exclusively in the Jura region of France and takes its heritage from the Traminer grape (more famously perhaps in the Gewurztraminer wines).
- I’ve been exploring more of the Jura wines recently as they come up with some complex, surprising wines and also, like this one, dedication to natural methods of making wines.
Domaine Bernard Moreau, Bourgogne Aligoté, 2015
- Lighter nose than the Savagnin, this has the green apples and a hint of creamy almonds, plenty of acid on a medium-long finish.
- Aligoté is the much lesser known grape variety grown in Burgundy (it used to be far more common) compared to Chardonnay but definitely not to be ignored.
Both of the next two wines shared the Macabeo grape (more commonly known as a usual grape in white Rioja) within their blends.
Domaine Paul Meunier Centertach, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Blanc, 2015
- A good earthy compost bouquet, with a pale yellow translucence in the glass
- The slight effervescence start is fades into a smooth, rounded and very dry finish, with almost no acid and only a hint of fruitiness.
- Blend of Macabeo and Greneche Gris.
Blank Bottle, “The Good Wine Shop”, Western Cape, South Africa, 2017
- Definitely tropical fruits and a hint of asian spices on the nose and palatte, with a long complex finish.
- An exclusive to the Good Wine Shop, the Macabeo is blended this time with Fernão Pires / Maria Gomes (a grape from Portugal mostly grown in Tejo, Lisboa and Bairrada regions).
Rosé Wine Tasting Notes
Clos Signadore, ‘A Mandria’ Rosé, Patrimonio, Corsica, 2016
- A pale pink wine with crisp aromas of summer fruits.
- A little effervescence at the start, long dry taste with good acidity on the end. I think I need to taste more Corsican wines!
- Made from 100% Nielluccio grapes, with a short stay of the skins to limit the pinkness on the wine.
Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rosé, Provence, 2016
- Surprisingly not as fruity on the nose as I had expected but definitely brought a freshness to it.
- A darker, more strawberry pink in the glass, it had a fruity freshness to taste and was very nicely drinkable.
- Over half of the wine is made with Munvedre grape, which is often used in the Chateauneuf de Pape wines.
Red Wine Tasting Notes
Roberto Voerzio Langhe Nebbiolo, Piemonte, Italy, 2015
- Spicy perfumes with a ruby-light brown colour in the glass
- Dark fruit and cherry with tanins and acidity throughout the length.
- A really good example of a balanced Nebbiolo grape, I’d probably prefer this with food than to drink solo.
Domaine Besson, Givry 1er Cru Grand Petans, Burgundy, 2012
- Typical Burgundian vegetal compost heap on the nose, with a plummier ruby red in the glass
- Lovely dark blackcurrants on the palette, plenty acid to balance the fruit and to give it a long consistent finish.
- A perfect way to finish off the tasting with a lovely evening.