Friday, 1 November 2013

Averys Fine Wine Showcase: The Cellars, Bristol

Hello and welcome to another Averys Tasting Blog, and a big thank you to everyone who came along to our Fine Wine Showcase. I had a lot of fun putting together this list, I selecting a wide range of expressive wines from around the world (not just France!), wines that I’ve enjoyed in the past and wanted to share with you.

Our first two wines were:
Boizel Blanc de Blanc NV Champagne - £44.99 and Silverado Chardonnay Carneros California 2011 - £25.00

Starting with a producer some of you might be familiar with, Boizel are the Champagne house that have been producing our own label Champagne for the past 50 years. Their Blanc de Blanc offered a very different style from our own Special Cuvée and was much lighter and softer in body, but  not in flavour with a lovely creamy mousse and fresh crisp green apples.

This was followed by  an impressive Californian Chardonnay that wasn’t your standard ‘over-the-top’ style and had really well integrated oak showing delicate vanilla and butter aromas. Tasting more like a fuller Grand Cru Chablis it was all too easy to forget it was 14.5% alcohol!

Next up were two aromatic whites:
Domaine Niero Condrieu Les Ravines 2010 - £33.00 and Marcel Deiss Engelgarten 2010 - £29.00

Condrieu is always an interesting and flavoursome wine but always has a high price to match. This rich and full-bodied white oozed intense stone fruit aromas of peach and apricot with a rich mouth-feel and hints of honey, nuts, blossom, rose and spice – not a subtle wine.

I’ve been working my way through the many wines that Marcel Deiss produces and still haven’t found a bad one. This interesting blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Muscat AND Pinot Noir was a serious wine with mouth-watering acidity and a very complex palate. Offering ripe stone fruits, honey and orange peel and a hint of raspberry with a beautiful minerality which will help this wine develop over the next 10 years.

Moving on to the reds:
Torraccia Di Presura Chianti Classico Riserva Tarocco 2007 - £19.99 and D’Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2008 - £30.00

Despite being our most modestly priced wine of the evening it certainly did not disappoint. Sticking your nose into the glass you're greeted by liquorice, rich black cherry, cedar and smoke this Sangiovese-driven blend was a great addition to the list and punched well above its weight.

The Dead Arm from D’Arenberg in Australia was exactly what you expect from an Aussie Shiraz – intense, rich, ripe black fruits, powerful aromas of sweet spice, cinnamon and a meaty body, but also showed a good balance of acidity with some hints of mint which made this wine not too overpowering but still a ‘winter-warmer’!

The big finale:
Chateau Leoville Las Cases St Julien 2eme Cru Classe 1989 - £189.00 and Krebs-Grode Alsheimer Sonnenberg Riesling Eiswein 2012 Half Bottle - £45.00

Leoville Las Cases is one of my all time favourite wines, it’s one of my ‘desert island wines’. If I could ignore the price I’d like to drink this every single day. Beautifully layered and complex and still has some good tannins, showing blackcurrant, plum, cassic, chocolate, tobacco, cedar, pencil shavings, leather, game and hint of spice, it’s a wine that doesn’t get boring and really shows class and reminds you why Bordeaux wines cost so much!

Finishing with a super sweet Eiswein from the Rheinhessen at a mere 187 grams of sugar per litre! This luscious dessert wine was well balanced with fresh acidity to stop it becoming too sickly and displayed aromas of dried stone fruits, honey, vanilla and some floral hints

Look out for our next tasting: Staff Highlights! In the Cellars, 25th November.

Frank Mason

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