3rd September 2016 : "Bring a Bottle" with Jill & Bryan in Worthing
Jill and Bryan very generously volunteered to host our September tasting based around a theme suggested by Michael & Sheila who, unfortunately, were unable to attend. As an experiment, the evening was based around "Bring a Bottle" - instead of the hosts providing the wine, members were asked to bring a bottle of their favourite wine to share with the group. The tasting provided some surprises and at the end of the evening members were asked to vote for their favourite. The wines are presented in the order of tasting:
1. 'Lustau La Ina' a very dry Fino Sherry from Jerez de la Frontera; Presented by Peter Vos; 15% alc; purchased for £8.50 from the Wine Society
Peter's Notes: The Decanter review in 2014 said "Delicate flor aromas. Dry, intense and pure. Builds to a spicy, peppery core with a long finish. Alcohol shows a little. Mouthfilling and generous overall. - Panel Tasting" The Wine Society itself says "La Ina Fino retains its distinctive character, offering the most intense flor aromas of all finos. Very appley and yeasty."
One reviewer on the website goes rather over the top saying "Very fresh and savoury aromas of apples and yeast, the typical Sherry "dustiness", with flour and fried parsley (think pan-fried trout...), hints of salty sea breeze, but fairly restrained, and the aroma goes more towards the fruitiness, which also reminds me a bit of an empty jar of apricot jam and even pineapple. On the palate, it's quite austere and astringent, with a dry, almost dusty mouthfeel and a slight bitterness. Light to medium body, with a yeasty finish that leaves a slightly salty taste, but not as savoury in the finish as Botaina."
My own take on the wine is that it is best served cold as an aperitif, possibly even with ice, to bring out the fruit and reveal the savoury complexity of this accomplished product of the Solera system. Very respectable for the price, with all the components one would expect in a top-class fino. The finish sets you up for a decent meal. Delightful!
2. B'Ingias, Cantina Trexenta, Senorbi, Vermentino di Serdegna, DOC, 2013, 12.5%. Presented by James (from his own cellar).
James' Notes: This typical white wine of Sardinia, made with the cold maceration technique, has a peach and lemon nose, with a gooseberry taste.
3. Verdicchio di Matelica 2014, Monacesca; 100% Verdicchio; 12.5% alc by volume; Presented by Filipo
Filipo's Notes: Verdicchio is a white Italian wine grape, grown primarily in the Marche region of central Italy.
From the producer's website: http://www.monacesca.it/en/verdicchio-di-matelica-doc/
"Sensory Profile: This is our most distinctive version of Verdicchio Matelica. It needs a bit of time for its characteristics to mature and thus to reveal itself as a wine of exuberant aromatic richness, yielding notes of anise, citron, and dried fruit. Powerful and full-bodied on the palate, it maintains its remarkable concentration on through a very lengthy finish. The mineral edge to the finish reflects its terroir and makes it a good complement to elaborate recipes with fish; its firm structure will go very well with fresh cheeses and light meats."
4. Azinhaga de Ouro, Douro white, 2015; Malvasia, Gouveio and Viosinho grapes; Purchased from Lidl for £5; Presented by Margaret
Notes: Jane MacQuitty in The Times rated the 2014 vintage amongst her Top 50 Best White Wines for the Summer: "This summer Lidl has some cracking summer bargain buys like this one from the high, wild, terraced hillsides of the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. It’s a fruit salad mix of malvasia, gouveio and viosinho and is the perfect Summer buffet party white. It oozes exotic, yellow-plum and lime-zest spice."
5. Maranga Dam 2014, Barossa Valley, Australia; 50% Viognier, 40% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne; 14.5% alc; Purchased from M&S for £15; Presented by Jill
Supplier's Notes: A wonderfully lifted, floral and fragrant dry white wine with richness and superb length of flavour. About this bottle: M&S Winemaker Belinda Kleinig worked with famed Torbreck winemakers in Australia’s Barossa Valley to create this succulent white. The dominant variety is Viognier which offers a pure, floral lift and finishes the wine with refinement and elegance. Roussanne provides structure and finesse and helps tie the three varieties together, finally Marsanne gives the wine palate texture and richness.
6. Petritis Xynisteri 2014, Cyprus; 13% alc; Purchased for £13; Presented by Dinah
Supplier's Notes: Delicious aromas of candied lime combined with vanilla and spicy ginger through to a long and sustained finish. At a staggering 1,400 metres above sea level this outstanding modern winery is where you will find the highest vineyards in Europe. High up in the Troodos Mountains you will find Minas Mina producing truly outstanding wines within his craggy, cool, terraced vineyards in his state-of-the-art gravity fed winery. Kyperounda wineries award winning Petritis is produced from the local Xynesteri grape and is known as the best white wine in all of Cyprus, with its delicioius cool climate fruit and minerality. Grapes: 100% Xynesteri Region: Cyprus / Limassol District / Kyperounda Maker: Minas Mina Notes: Beautiful aromas of citrus fruits, litchi, kiwi. A medium bodied yet refreshing wine. Serve: Slightly chilled to accompany fish dishes, light salads and meditteranean style meals. ABV: 13% Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.
7. Wiltinger 2014, by Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt; VDP Ortswein (ie from a village's best vineyards); 100% Riesling; 12% alc; Purchased from The Wine Society for £ 11.50; Presented by Sioned
Sioned's Notes: The Wine Society say: "With a bouquet evocative of Wilting's steely slate slopes and clean cut distinctive refreshing flavour; this is classic dry Saar riesling."
The producers say it "entices with its mineral, salty nose; a hint of flintstone, sandalwood and pomelo. Aromas of red apple and litchi on the palate. A Riesling with lots of power and a long finish, yet an extremely elegant and graceful wine." It probably sounds better in German.......
It's got a good powerful nose, and a rather more citrussy hit than you'd expect from a Riesling, though you do get the stone fruits and minerality. It really is dry and the citrus is a bit acid - which is why it's better with food [nuts, bread, cold meats, fish - not cheese or fruit]. The finish is indeed long, and you get an almost honeyed burst at the end, with a hint of petrol".
It was good after the meal too - perhaps because it benefited from being open for longer and had warmed up a bit. This wine repays time and attention, though it might take a bit of getting used to if unfamiliar with modern Rieslings, though I've got to like them very much!
8. Adgestone Rondo, Full Bodied Red; Isle of Wight, UK; 12% alc; £12; Presented by David
Producer's Notes: A rich blackberry and caramel aroma with a distinct blend of fruit and smoked oak to taste.
9. Château Reysson 2005, Bordeaux, France; Haut-Mèdoc, Dourthe; 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot; 12.5% alc; Presented by Tom
Notes: Château Reysson 2005. Won a silver medal (Concours des Grands Vins de France 2008). Made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. Dark cherry colour. Moderately intense blackberry, blackcurrant, vanilla and cedar wood aromas dominate the nose. In the mouth, one can notice lively acids, velvety tannins, sloe, blackcurrant and cherry aromas. Says adieu with a bit harsh, medium-long finish with flavours of dark chocolate and sour cherry.
10. Campos de Solana 2015, Bolivia; 50% Malbec & 50% Tannat; 14% alc; £11; Purchased from M&S; Presented by Bryan
A bold and fruity red with rich flavours of blackberries, plums and kirsch. This perfumed red is from Tarija in southern Bolivia, where the vineyards sit high in the pristine Andes mountains and produce perfectly ripe grapes with fresh acidity.
11. Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008, Zeni; Bardollino & Corvina grapes; 15% alc; Pesented by James; Currently priced at around £45 per bottle ... !
This wine comes from the shore of Lake Garda in the north of Italy. It is a dry red wine made from partially dried grapes. It has a rich nose and dried plum flavours.