Just back from a 'gig' in Dorking tonight. It was a wine tasting I was hosting for St Paul's church as a favour to a friend, and it turned out to be a really enjoyable evening. I used a powerpoint presentation and got people tasting pretty soon in the evening; there were quite a few questions, which always helps keep things moving along. And the wines (below) showed pretty well.
Bizarrely, Mark and Ali Brookman, who were coordinating the evening, turned out to know my younger sister Hester pretty well. It's a small world...
The wines were (all from Majestic):
- Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Marlborough, New Zealand
- Louis Latour Grand Ardèche Chardonnay 2005 Vin de Pays des Côteaux de l'Ardèche
- Susana Balbo Crios Torrontes 2007 Argentina
- Château Guiot 2006 Costières de Nîmes, France
- Porcupine Ridge Syrah Viognier 2006 Western Cape, South Africa
- Concha y Toro Winemaker's Lot Carmenère 'Puemo Lot 114' 2006 Colchagua Valley, Chile
- Petit Verdot 'Par Preignes' 2005 Vin de Pays d'Oc, France
- Catena Malbec 2006 Mendoza, Argentina
The star, for me, was the Winemaker's Lot Carmenere. I'm beginning to appreciate this variety, when it's ripe enough. This is a fabulously concentrated, intense wine, but the sweet never shows any sign of straying into soupiness. Instead, it develops this smooth, beguiling texture with an almost autumnal dark fruit quality, framed beautifully by a subtly chalky, minerally greenness that is subtle enough to be a positive feature. But the first place votes among the gathered crowd were spread pretty evenly across the wines, which I find strangely reassuring.I got home quickly, despite being led on a strange, meandering route by the sat nav, which I'm still getting the hang of.