Thursday, 26 September 2013

New Vs. Old World Tasting 25.09.2013 at the Averys Cellars

Welcome to another blog from the Cellars, this time with an interesting comparison of New World Vs Old World. Exploring how differences in climate, soil, and wine-making effect the styles of wine we enjoy. In a nutshell: Old World = Europe, and New World = Everywhere else! Despite the fact that most of these new world countries have been producing wines from 3-400 years, we consider them ‘new’ due to imports into the UK.

We tasted all of these wines in similar pairs, starting with:

Burgundy vs South Africa

Domaine Berthenet Montagny 1er Cru 2010 £17.99 and Hamilton Russell Chardonnay Walker Bay 2011 £21.00

Two brilliant Chardonnays showcase how very different climates influence the wine. The Montagny from a cool continental climate showed soft fresh apples, with blossom and peach with gentle oak flavours of toast and oatmeal.

Up against the big and bold Hamilton Russell from Walker Bay, an extremely hot climate, cooled by sea breeze along the coast offered much riper fruit flavours with some tropical hints of pineapple but driven by intense new oak with vanilla and toast.

Personal favourite = New World
Group favourite (yes, I made people vote!) = Old World

Germany vs Australia

Dr Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2012 £16.49 and Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling Clare Valley 2012 £15.99

One of my personal favourites and the majority of my collection at home, Riesling! With a very classic off-dry German Riesling from one of the nicest men in wine, Ernst Loosen. This wine offered just a hint of sweetness, with fresh stone fruits of peach and apricot, some nectarine and soft honey after-tones and a very agreeable 8.5% alcohol making it perfect for a lunchtime wine!

The Jim Barry showed the complete opposite with intense citrus fruits of lime and lemon and not a hint of sweetness, just mouth-watering acidity and freshness. Perfect if paired with a nice Thai dish.

Personal favourite = Old World (obviously!)
Group favourite = New World

South-West France vs Argentina

Chateau Ponzac Cahors 'Maintenant' 2011 £9.99 and Chakana Estate Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2012 £10.99

With Argentina making Malbec their signature red grape variety people forget its origins. Originally from Bordeaux and Cahors it displays a very different style from the soft and supple wines bursting full of rich fruit associated with Argentina. The Cahors I thought would be classic and fairly aggressive but due to being unoaked and focusing on nice rich fruits was really smooth and enjoyable with plenty of spice, smoke and jammy plums.

The Chakana had seen 18 months in French oak which added more depth and layers to the wine with added tobacco, chocolate and cedar aromas and very thick inky colour that instantly strains your teeth!

Personal favourite = Old World (surprisingly)
Group favourite = New World

Rhône Valley vs Australia

Chapoutier Cote Rotie Les Becasses 2007 £44.99 and Rockford Basket Press Shiraz Barossa Valley 2006 £39.99

Two very impressive Syrah/Shiraz to finish showing the classic meaty, leathery complexity of the Northern Rhone and the less-than-subtle blockbuster beast from the Barossa Valley.

Cote Rotie is famous for co-fermenting Syrah with the white grape Viognier (up to 10%), yet Chapoutier prefer to make 100% varietals. This wine while already showing very nicely will age for another 5-10 years. A beautifully complex wine with soft black fruits and some red cherry with soft, silky tannins and layers of leather, game, cedar and spice.

The Rockford was the absolute winner for me. Prized as the next ‘Penfolds Grange’ with very old vines aging from 60 to 136 years old and very well concentrated. Oozing with powerful jammy blackcurrants developing into raisins, prunes and figs with spice, cinnamon and cedar. Even with 14.5% alcohol its well integrated and the glass became empty very quickly!

Personal favourite = New World
Group favourite = New World

And the final score....

3 – 1 to New World, join us next year to decide for yourself!

A big thank you to everyone who came along and also to the Arch House Deli for another great selection of cheeses. 


Make sure to book on to our next event, Fine Wine Showcase on Wednesday 30th October at 7pm. Come and see what all the fuss is about and we show some amazing high-end wines from around the world, including vintage Champagne, Condrieu, Chianti, Eiswein and Californian Chardonnay.

It's only £40 per ticket to sample some wines well out of my price range!

If you're interested in coming along, or you'd like any other information, please get in touch:
Averys Cellars
9 Culver Street, Bristol
Tel: 0117 921 4146 

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