Last weekend saw the approximate one year anniversary of me discovering and joining the Tesco Wine Community which, despite being a one-of-a-kind promotional tool for Tesco, sadly closed last August. That, however, didn’t stop a core number of us staying in contact and organising a weekend away to do what we do best – talking about and trying new wine. For me it was a wonderful and fitting way to celebrate the anniversary, by meeting in person some of the people I’d been chatting to online for some time.
Many attendees had met each other at previous Tesco winemaker events, but a rented house in Stratford-Upon-Avon last weekend marked the first time that a concerted effort had been made to bring together a wider group of us from all over the south of England. Added to this, each attendee was bringing wines that they rated highly and wanted to present in the best possible light, so it was set to include a stellar list of top quality examples.
What follows isn’t an account about what transpired, or even a looooooong list of tasting notes – in order to preserve the relaxed atmosphere none of us were taking them. I will however, as the one who took lots of photos of the bottles as they came and went, try to draw together a list of the 30 wines that were tasted as part of the weekend (including a few not available in the UK and shipped across from Germany).
I appreciate that a simple list of wines may make curious reading for some, but for 10 people in particular, it will remain a document of a wonderful weekend with great wine, great food and above all, great company.
And so, in no particular order:
We covered a good number of the sparkling bases here, with an example from each of the major categories:
- Cono Sur sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé, Bio Bio Valley, Chile, 12%
- I Duecento Prosecco Brut NV, Veneto, Italy, 11.5%
- Freixenet Extra Vintage 2013 Brut Cava, Spain, 11.5%
- Louis Delaunay Brut NV Champagne, France, 12.5%
Our white wine selection comprised:
- Denis Dubourdieu 2010 Clos Floridene, Grand Vin De Graves (blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 47% Semillon, 3% Muscadelle), France, 13%. A nice chance to try a rare white example of Graves
- Symbiose La Grande Olivette, Cuvee Florence, Piquepoul, Sauvignon Blanc blend, Cótes de Thau 2014, France, 12%. Piquepoul is something of a recent trend in the UK, so this was an interesting one to try
- Karl Pfaffmann 2013 Weissburgunder, Trocken, Walsheim, Pfalz, Germany, 12.5%. The first of three wines sourced exclusively from Germany and rarely seen in the U.K.
- Karl Pfaffmann 2014 Riesling, Trocken, Walsheim, Pfalz, Germany, 12.5%
- Randersackerer Ewig Leben 2013er, Albalonga Auslese, Franken, Germany, 11%
- Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva 2015 Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 14%
- Alvi’s Drift 2015 Chenin Blanc, Worcester, South Africa, 13.5%
- Calvet Reserve 2013 Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France, 12.5%
- The Cup and Rings 2013 Godello Sobre Lias, Monterrai, Spain, 13%
- Ara Single Vineyard 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 12.5%
All the wines supplied were kept undisclosed to the other attendees prior to the day, and so it is interesting to notice the heavy red bias towards Spain. Our full selection comprised:
- Arjona (unoaked) 2014 Rioja (100% Tempranillo), Spain, 13.5%
- Club Des Sommeliers, Morgon (100% Gamay) 2014 Beaujolais, France, 12.5%
- J Opi 2014 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.5%. This wine was decanted to bring out the rich flavour
- Marques de Riscal Finca Torrea 2007 (Tempranillo), Rioja, Spain, 14%
- Cháteau Hervé Laroque 2007 (Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon), Fronsac, France, 13%
- La Cantera Reserva 2007 (Tempranillo based blend), Carinena, Spain, 13%, (from magnum)
- Ermita de San Lorenzo 2008 Garnacha based blend, Rioja, Spain, 14%. Another one for the decanter
- Mayu Syrah Reserva 2011, Elqui Valley, Chile, 14.5%. This wine was again decanted to allow the rich flavours to mellow
- Piccini Memoro 2010 (Aglianico, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero D’avola, Sangiovese blend), Regional blend across Tuscany, Basilicata, Veneto and Sicily, Italy, 14%. Decanted, but perhaps needed more time to open fully.
- Cháteau Valfontaine 2012 (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) Bordeaux, France, 12%
- Stobi 2011 Petit Verdot Barrique, Tikves, Macedonia, 14%. A rare opportunity to try this wine.
- Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2007 (Tempranillo), Rioja, Spain, 13.5%
- Les Vaucorneilles Cuvee Nathan 2005, Touraine, Loire Valley, France, 13.5% (Blend of Gamay, Cabernet and Cot)
- Vox Populi 2012 Bobal, Utiel-Requena, Spain, 14%
- Laurent Miquel L’Artisan 2014 (Syrah, Grenache), Faugeres, France, 13.5%
Thanks to Clare for organising what proved to be a successful event, and one that is already mooted to be taking place again next year. Cheers!