jamie goode's wine blog: A nice tasting...and a new discovery

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A nice tasting...and a new discovery

Today’s Richards Walford tasting at the Baltic was a bit of a treasure trove: lots of interesting stuff. This year we had Riedel glasses – a great improvement on the restaurant glasses we had last year, an improvement for which we were all suitably grateful. [See my post here. Karen from R-W reminded me of this today, and pointed out that the glasses cost 0.50 each to rent.] ]In fact, if there’s one consistent change in professional tastings that I’ve noted over the last three or four years is the increasing use of the Riedel Chianti glass as the standard tasting glass over less suitable tasting glasses (including the rather small but otherwise nicely shaped ISO).

I didn’t taste as diligently as I could have done. I spent an afternoon, when there was plenty there to occupy me for the whole day. And I talked lots. It was nice to bump into Jorge Borges who was showing the Passadouro wines, and David Harvey, who is moving increasingly into the area of natural wines – a real interest of mine. It was also nice to chat to Alister Viner from Harrods, who I met in the Douro in July, and George Austin of Tulbagh Mountain Vineyards.

I met Olivier Jullien for the first time and tasted through a vertical of Mas Jullien from the Languedoc. These are impressive wines. But perhaps the ‘find’ of the tasting were the wonderful Châteauneuf du Papes of Isabel Ferrando at Domaine St Préfert. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted such an exciting set of wines from the Southern Rhône: these showed wonderful elegance and purity, alongside remarkable complexity. She was previously a banker with Credit Agricole, and only purchased her 15 hectares of vineyard in 2003, which was her first vintage. She gained experience with a number of winemakers, her biggest influence being Henri Bonneau. ‘Prefer my wines to be elegant and feminine, like those of Bonneau’, she reveals. ‘He doesn’t interfere much, but he understands’.

Olivier Jullien (pictured) wins the prize for best jumper of the day. Congratulations Olivier!

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At 12:26 AM, Blogger Bradley Cooper, Winemaker said...

Saw the jumper before I read your last line.
I was held transfixed as if viewing a tangle wreck of an automobile crash as I rode past in the passenger seat of an expensive touring car.
I couldn't look away.


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