Just a reminder to visitors to our pages that we score out of 7, so 5’s and 6’s are really rather good!!
Wines from Portugal
This evening’s tasting certainly divided the room….another evening of mixed opinions but a great opportunity to taste wines from a country a lot of us don’t actually associate with wine and necessarily have tried.
Portuguese wine, like Italian wine is better paired with food and although some of these wines are drinkable on their own the flavours are certainly brought out and complimented by the likes of cheese, creamy chicken dishes and seafood.
One of the wines tasted during the evening scored an overall score of 3 from guests and members. A score not seen at The Wine Society for a long while. This was Luis Pato Vinha Formal White 2014 12% from Portugal Vineyards Ltd costing £22. The grape variety was 100% Bical. It was a wine that had an unusual nose but creamy on the palate.
It certainly was not a disappointing evening though and most of the wines scored a 5 or 6.
The two wines that scored the highest were Quinta do Carmo Red 2013 14.5% from Portugal Vineyards. A mix of 4 grape varieties including the well-known Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine had been aged in French oak for 1 year and was a fabulous accompaniment to cheese. It was priced at £15.70.
The last wine of the evening was also popular. This was a 10-year-old Madeira Malvasia by Henriques & Henriques. This can be found at Majestic Wines and was priced at £22 for a 50cl bottle.
It would be interesting to know how many of you enjoy a Portuguese wine and what is your favourite? Please do let us know it’s always great to try wines recommended by others.
See you next month!
Committee Challenge 2017
Six of the committee members had the opportunity to share with us the wines they rated highly from two categories. These were under £10 and over £10. The idea of the evening was for all of the attendees to try all of the wines. What could be better? 12 wines…oh yes! An hour and a half to do so and then be sober enough to vote for the wines…….a difficult task on a school night but manageable!
We had a real eclectic mix of grape varieties and it just goes to show how individual a person’s taste buds really are. Listening to the conversations around the room there were some clear favourites and some not so but a great talking point, enabling people to mix well during the very informal but thoroughly enjoyable evening.
So the winners?
Under £10 was a wine chosen by Peter – Scotto Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 USA. This scored an overall 5 and had 9 votes. The cost of this wine is £9.49 and can be purchased from Sandhams wine merchants in Caistor.
Over £10 was a wine selected by Paul – Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva Rioja 2011 Spain. This scored an overall 6 and had 8 votes. The cost of this wine is £24.99 and can be purchased from Waitrose.
The other wines scored an average of 5-6 so did extremely well in both categories. Votes were 3-4 for each. Not sure if this was down to taste, time, pressure, drunkenness or a combination of all of the above!
A very enjoyable evening with some definite wines to try. A list of the other wines can be found below with cost and location to purchase. Enjoy!!
Biferno Rosso Riserva 2012, Italy – £7.99 The Wine Society
Porta 6 2015, Portugal – £8,99 -Majestic
Tim Adams Semillon 2014, Australia – £9.00 Tesco
Compte de Senneval Brut Champagne NV, France – £9.95 Lidl
Kumeu Village Hand Harvested Chardonnay 2016, New Zealand – £9.95 The Wine Society
Cayetano Del Pino Palo Cortado NV, Spain – £11.49 Waitrose
Wines from Bordeaux presented by Anthony Stockbridge
This tasting was particularly informative with a well-balanced presentation of knowledge and wines. Anthony is a Bordeaux-accredited tutor and delivers WSET courses throughout the world. He is certainly a man who knows his subject which was a delight for us as we were guaranteed some cracking wines to try. The scores were very favourable for the majority of the wines sampled and so was the price which was a pleasant surprise indeed. We would generally associate Bordeaux quality wines with a price tag to match but not this time. The quality was however not compromised.
The most expensive wine tasted was a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, a 2001 grand cru Classe priced at £50. This achieved a score of 6 out of 7 but so did the last wine of the evening which was a 2012 Sauternes with a 95% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon blanc blend. A sweet wine with honey, apricot and orange aromas. I would definitely recommend you try this one. Especially as it is readily available from M&S – L’Or du Ciron 2012.
We had an interesting variety of sharp, fresh, sweet, fruity and full bodied wines all packed with flavour.
This was an educational evening delivered by Anthony which taught us how to appreciate wine by tasting and not just drinking. A great refresher for some, and newfound knowledge for others on how to distinguish primary, secondary and tertiary aromas from wine and the type of oak barrels and grains of the oaks that determine some of the aromas delivered.
Bordeaux currently has 1.5% of the world’s vineyards with 118900 hectares which is the largest French region. This itself houses 60 different appellations with a staggering 10,000 wine estates.
In essence when pairing wine with food going by these simple rules you’ll have a perfect match…….
Light food with light wine
Strong flavoured food with strong wine
Simple food with simple wine
Complex flavoured food with complex wine.
At the end of the day it is all down to personal preference. Tasting many different wines is a great way to determine whether you like it or not!!
The most expensive wine does not necessarily mean you or your guests will like it.
The wine society based in Stevenage retail several of the wines we tasted throughout this evening with bottle prices varying from £6.25 through to £10-12 and the most expensive from them being £31.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the wines we have tasted check out the picture gallery which will tell you the names and blends of the wine.
See you next month! x
Rioja was the wine of the evening and not always as we know it! There were 8 wines for us to try chosen from two of Rioja’s regions. This included a Tempranillo Blanco to start the evening and a Rosado Rioja as well as some great reds. Jeremy Sandham from Sandhams Wine Merchants of Caistor presented this evening alongside Loren Hardwick from Richmond Wine Agencies who have been established since 1822 and are based in Middlesex. Both were knowledgeable about the chosen wines and provided a very informative evening. The Tempranillo Blanco was discovered in 1988 and is a mutation of the red Tempranillo grape. However the Blanco was only permitted to be made in 2007. In my opinion the wine which we tasted – Fincas Azabache Tempranillo Blanco 2015 was a little sharp and acidic. As it is the first vintage of this particular co-operative (which was established in 1955) I look forward to seeing how this will develop. This was priced at £10.99. For me the Ramon Bilbo Rosado Rioja was a pleasant alternative to some rose wines I’ve tasted previously. This 2015 vintage had a good year with temperatures reaching 50 degrees C. The wine is salmon pink in colour and it had a subtle fruit flavour and was delicate and stylish. The maker of this wine has been quoted as saying “Wine making is like painting. You can take a big brush and a big pot of one paint to produce something bland and uninteresting, or you can take a small brush with lots of different pots of paints to create something with character and complexity” and this is what he’s done! This wine comes with a very reasonable price tag of £9.25 per bottle. The first red we tasted was a Ramon Bilbao Crianza Rioja from 2012 priced at £9.98 This is the wine of choice in Spanish restaurants and it is easy to see why. It is a fruity modern Rioja made from 100% Tempranillo sourced from around the region, fermented separately, then blended and aged in new oak for 12 months and in bottle for 12 months. It was very smooth with hints of spice and deep red fruits. A very easy drinker indeed. The three reds that followed were all very different indeed from their blends, where sourced to fermentation and ageing. These were Ramon Bilbao Reserva Rioja 2010 priced at £13.28, Ramon Bilbao Vinedos Altura Rioja 2012 £11.95 and Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva Rioja 2008 £16.95. This particular wine is aged in oak for 30 months and then in bottle for 36 months before release. It has won 4 gold medals including the International wine challenge! The final wine of the night was the evenings winner with a score of 6. This is the Ramon Bilbao Mirto Special Cuvee Rioja 2010. This is 100% Tempranillo produced from 40 year old vines. It has spent 24 months in new French oak and will certainly age for a few more years yet. Only 3000 cases were made of this vintage and it is priced at £37.58 per bottle. I really enjoyed this tasting and thanks goes to both Jeremy and Loren for bringing some great wines for us to try. I’m already looking forward to see what April has to offer!!