Wednesday, 27 August 2014

News from the Cellars: Our latest tasting

The Wines of Australia and New Zealand - 27th August, 2014

Thank you for everyone who joined us for our latest monthly tasting, focusing this time on Australia and New Zealand.

We started with two light and fresh styles showing that these countries can offer good low alcohol wines, Yalumba Vermentino 2011, at only 11.5% and Invivo Bella Sauvignon Blanc 2012 at only 9% alcohol. Achieved through early harvest, picking at night and high altitudes it doesn't sacrifice any flavour for having lower alcohol and would work brilliantly as a great lunch time drink to enjoy with a salad.

Next was Saint Clair Family Selection Chardonnay 2013 displaying a lovely rich creamy palate while still being fresh and crisp. This wine was fairly Burgundian in style, similar to a good Macon. I’d be interested to see how this wine develops over the next few years.

Two polar opposite styles to kick off the reds. Invivo Pinot Noir Central Otago 2012 and McHenry Hohnen 3 Amigos Shiraz Mataro Grenache 2008. From light and soft Invivo, with a hint of smokiness and gently silky palate to the rich and robust 3 Amigos which was crying out for steak with a full body and jammy dark fruit.

Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2009 and Jim Barry Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 were our two show stoppers for the evening. Big and bold Aussie blockbusters that packed a strong punch! The Heytesbury was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec - three big red grapes, with the Cabernet offering tannin, structure and blackcurrant aromas, the Petit Verdot adding body, weight and a jammy texture and the Malbec giving smoke, spice and pepper aromas. A very good wine. The Benbournie also had a lot of interesting layers with rich, ripe blackcurrant fruit, hints of mint, vanilla and cinnamon, but was starting to show some aged character as well. It was hard to decide which was the favourite!

We finished the evening with the Alpha Domus Pilot Leonarda Late Harvest Semillon 2010 which had a beautiful balance of rich honeyed stone fruits and clean mouth-watering acidity. An excellent after dinner treat with a little sugar pick-me-up!

Thank you to the Arch House Deli for some excellent cheeses to specially match our tasting.

The wines from the evening:

Yalumba Vermentino 2011, South Australia - £8.99/btl
Invivo Bella Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough - £11.49/btl
Saint Clair Family Selection Chardonnay 2013, Marlborough - £13.99/btl
Invivo Pinot Noir 2012, Central Otago - £19.99/btl
McHenry Hohnen 3 Amigos 2008, Margaret River - £13.99/btl
Vasse Felix Heytesbury 2009, Margaret River - £40.00/btl
Jim Barry Benbournie Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, Clare Valley - £54.99/btl
Alpha Domus Pilot Leonarda Late Harvest Semillon 2010, Hawkes Bay - £14.99/btl

Upcoming Tastings

Our next tasting will be September 10th 2014, 7pm - 9.30pm, Loire and Languedoc - Only £25 per ticket. France has so much more to offer beyond the headline regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy so we'll be taking a look into the oft-overlooked areas of France.


The following day we've got another tasting: Thursday 11th Sept 2014, 6pm - 8pm, Pomerol Seduction Tasting - Only £15 per ticket. Join us for an exploration of the magnificent wines of Pomerol. This is a rare opportunity to taste the wines and meet the winemakers from eight different Pomerol estates. Averys was one of the early pioneers of Pomerol wines in the 1940s and we are delighted to welcome these winemakers to our historic cellars.

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