SITT, Banrock and more
It's been a busy day - the sort of day where you know there isn't time to fit in everything you planned, but you still attempt to cram it all in.
I had to attend to some stuff in the office, and then I was off to Vinopolis for the SITT tasting. SITT stands for 'specialist importers trade tasting' - a relatively recent fixture in the calendar, it has deservedly grown in size and popularity. There were some fantastic wines being shown, and I didn't have enough time to do them all justice. I spent most of my time at just four tables: Genesis Wine, Richards Walford, Clark Foyster and Raymond Reynolds. There are loads more I'd liked to have loitered by.
It's hard to pick a favourite wine from such a diverse and excellent sampling, but nicest funky wine of the tasting goes to Stephane Tissot's Arbois Chardonnay Les Bruyeres 2005. It's a simply wonderful wine with herby, minerally, reductive, tangy, nutty fruit. Complex and a bit weird, but really alive and interesting. (Guide retail £15, Genesis Wines)
After the SITT, I had an appointment with Tony Sharley, who runs Banrock Station for Hardy. Based in Australia's Riverland region, Banrock Station is a combination of wetland and vineyard. It supplies but a small portion of what goes into the Banrock Station wines (there are 700 growers on Hardy's books, contributing grapes that are then assigned according to quality to the various Hardy brands), but it is important to Hardy because Banrock is an environmentally aware brand. We talked a lot about water issues, which are very important in drought-hit Australia.
Then I headed off to meet up with Sam Harrop. We've several projects on the go, including a potential publication on wine faults and also a book on natural wine. It's always quite energizing meeting with someone like Sam.
Just two days to go with the day-job, so lots of sorting out to do there. And I'm doing a tasting in Dorking tomorrow night.