The Wendouree tasting was fantastic, with the wines living up to my high expectations. Full write up will follow. About 30 people were gathered in the remarkably spacious Cellar Door shop, and the tasting and dinner went really well. As well as the Wendouree wines, we had a few from Greg Hobbs, of the Barossa Ranges, who was in town. It was nice to catch up with him.
On Saturday morning I had a chance to tend my vines at the allotment. They were in pretty good shape, considering the lousy May we have had (with rain every day for as long as I can remember). I sprayed them with sulphur (which will probably have washed off in the torrential rain last night) and chopped down the inter-row grass. The in-row glyphosate treatment has worked a treat, and there's now a mulch of dead grass along each row. The only negative point has been the extensive snail damage to some of the vines.
My foot is sore. Yesterday I stood on a nail. It was sticking out of a piece of wood, by about three-quarters of an inch, and it went fully into my heel (I was barefoot). The painful bit was tugging it out. It took several firm pulls.
Two wines to report on, continuing a Spanish mini-theme. First, Finca Sandoval 2002 Manchuela. This is the wine from Spanish journalist Victor de la Serna, who is sort of gamekeeper turned poacher (is this the right way?). It's dark and dense, in quite a modern mould, with concentrated fruit, firm structure, chocolatey richness and a savoury, earthy streak. On the first evening this was a little disjointed, with the structure and earthiness winning out over the fruit, but on the second night it was much better. Not a great wine, but promising, and one to watch in subsequent vintages. I wouldn't be surprised if this develops nicely over a decade or so.
Second, Torres Fransola 2004 Penedes is a fantastic white wine. It's a Sauvignon Blanc, half of which is aged in oak. There's a wonderful balance between the crisp, grassy, gooseberry Sauvignon characters and richer, more tropical fruit, and then the subtle oak that's hardly noticeable. The result is a rounded, polished wine (£12.49 Oddbins and some independents).